Up Close With The Breguet Hora Mundi Singapore Edition (With Original Photos & Price)

Exclusive to the Breguet store in Singapore, the Hora Mundi Singapore edition is a variant of Breguet’s impressive travel timepiece that features the name of the island nation on the cities disc.

One of the most advanced travel watches on the market, the Breguet Hora Mundi Ref. 5717 features an instant-jump dual time zone display. Press the button at eight o’clock and the time jumps between the two time zones pre-set in the watch. Each time zone is synchronised with a city on the world time disc, with the time zone of GMT+8 is represented by Singapore in the edition made for the city state, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The Hora Mundi becomes the second Singapore edition travel watch launched in recent months, joining the Louis Vuitton Escale World Time SG50. The Hora Mundi is a simple to use travel wristwatch, combining the traditional Breguet aesthetic with a clever, high tech movement. Two time zones are programmed into the movement, each represented by a city on the world time disc. The pusher on the case jumps between the two. 

The window at four o’clock is a day and night display, with a whimsically engraved moon or sun on a lapis lazuli disc. 

Setting the two time zones takes a moment, but once done the watch is a breeze to use. Even the date is synchronised with the time, moving backwards and forwards along with the time. But it is no ordinary date, instead the circular date indicator travels along with the date numeral as the moves from the left to the right of the date window during the day. 

The fluted case band typical of Breguet

Despite the simple interface, the mechanism is complex, which is the reason the watch is a large 44mm in diameter. While the Hora Mundi has all the signature Breguet design elements, it is not quite as elegant as the typical Breguet given its size. The watch is impressive, both physically and conceptually, but the quintessential Breguet to me is one that’s slimmer and more compact.

The movement is self-winding with a 55 hour power reserve. And the hairspring and escape wheel are silicon, a friction-free and non-magnetic material that promises better timekeeping for longer.

As is typical for Breguet the dial is elaborately made and expensive looking. Made of solid gold and decorated with guilloche done by hand on a rose engine lathe, the dial centre is coated with translucent blue lacquer representing the oceans. The hands naturally are blued steel, while the tiny double secret signature sits on each side of “XII”.

The tiny Breguet secret signature visible just to the right of the minute hand
The dial depicts a map of Asia and Australia; a Singaporean would have appreciated a tiny red dot

A special edition available only at the Breguet boutique in Singapore, located at the Marina Bay Sands mall, this Hora Mundi is priced at S$113,300 inclusive of taxes. Update July 9, 2105: Corrected to indicate this is a special, rather than limited, edition. Pricing info added.

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Historical Baseball Pocket Watches To Go Under The Hammer

Pocket watches once owned by two World Series players as well as the Yankees’ team physician will soon go under the hammer at the Major League Baseball T-Mobile All-Star FanFest auction July 14, 2015.

Baseball memorabilia specialist Hunt Auctions will offer three pocket watches that are a part of MLB history during an auction on July 14 alongside over 450 other baseball-related items, as part of the MLB All-Star FanFest in Minneapolis.  The first is a pocket watch presented to “Smoky Joe” Wood, given to him for winning the 1912 World Series with the Boston Red Sox. Retailed by Dubois with a Longines movement inside, the pocket watch has been well worn, having been carried around by Woods for the rest of his life.  “Perhaps the most important member of the 1912 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox team”, Woods was just 22 years old when the Red Sox won the championship. The watch includes a letter of provenance from the Woods family and is estimated at US$20,000 to US$30,000.

The second is a pentagon-shaped 14k gold Gruen Veri-Thin pocket watch presented to A.A. “Doc” Woods, the team physician of the New York Yankees, when the Yankees won the World Series in 1923, the first of 27 the team would win. A gift from the Yankees to Woods, the pocket watch is engraved with a baseball motif on the back and carries an estimate of US$40,000 to US$60,000.

And the third is a Longines pocket watch given to Bucky Walters in 1939 by baseball weekly the Sporting News, when Walters was named National League Most Valuable Player, having won the Triple Crown that year. A year later, he helped the Cincinnati Reds win the World Series. Estimated at US$30,000 to US$40,000, this is accompanied by period paraphernalia well as a letter of provenance from the Walters family. 

Auction details can be found on Hunt Auctions.

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Introducing The Grand Seiko 55th Anniversary Spring Drive Chronograph (With Pricing)

To mark 55 years since the first Grand Seiko wristwatch, Seiko has unveiled a limited edition Spring Drive Chronograph with a ceramic bezel, and a specially tuned movement that runs to within 0.5 seconds a day.

Fittingly for an anniversary edition, the Grand Seiko chronograph is the top of the line timepiece in the Grand Seiko line-up, featuring the most complicated Grand Seiko movement developed to date. The Grand Seiko 55th Anniversary Spring Drive Chronograph  (SBGC013)combines a specially regulated 9R96 movement with a titanium case, deep blue dial, and in a first for a Grand Seiko, a ceramic bezel. A higher accuracy version of the 9R86 movement, the 9R96 movement is making its debut inside the Grand Seiko 55th Anniversary Spring Drive Chronograph. It’s equipped with specially selected quartz oscillators to give it an accuracy of within 0.5 seconds a day – half that of a standard Spring Drive movement. The rotor of the movement has an 18k yellow gold medallion with the Grand Seiko logo, a feature unique to this edition. 

Though it is largely mechanical, a Spring Drive movement relies on an integrated circuit with a quartz oscillator to regulate the rate of the mechanical fly wheel which functions as the balance. What that means is that a Spring Drive movement in essence is a mechanical movement with an electronic regulator that ensures it keeps time almost like quartz watch. The case has a 43.5mm diameter, made of a titanium alloy proprietary to Seiko. Known as “high intensity” titanium, the metal can be finished like steel, giving the case brushed and polished surfaces almost never found on other titanium watches. Though the case is identical to the regular edition Grand Seiko chronograph, it’s the first ever Grand Seiko to feature a ceramic bezel.

Like several other Grand Seiko limited editions, the 55th Anniversary chronograph has a dark blue dial, with gilded chronograph hands and logos on the dial. And the clasp of the bracelet is inlaid with an 18k gold medallion, just like that found on the rotor. The Grand Seiko 55th Anniversary Spring Drive Chronograph (SBGC013) is limited to 400 pieces, with a retail price of €10,500.

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