Posts in Watches
by Lex Graham on February 8th, 2013
With the sixtieth birthday of the Rolex Explorer around the corner, the iconic and robust look of the original Rolex Explorer has changed very little since its premier in 1953. Dedicated to the first explorers to climb to the summit of Mount Everest, Sir Edmund Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa, Tenzing Norgay, the Explorer has been a pivotal part of Rolex heritage.
The combination of the brushed steel case and bracelet, along with the smooth bezel and luminous black dial represent the iconic DNA of the Explorer. This look is a very strong but classic approach to watch design that has stood the test of time. The Explorer is powered by a mechanical self-winding movement with Paraflex shock absorbers, a Parachrom hairspring, and a bidirectional self-winding perpetual rotor for efficiency and durability.
As the May anniversary of the Everest climb approaches, this piece will continue to represent the desire for exploration- new experiences and overcoming obstacles.
It is the perfect fit for the graduate with the world ahead of him, or the trailblazer with an unmarked route.
by Win Betteridge on October 13th, 2012
In 2012, Buccellati is commemorating its 60th anniversary in the United States. It’s a great moment for Buccellati and one that we are particularly excited to celebrate together. This year, Betteridge is celebrating its own 60th anniversary- in 1952, we opened up our headquarters in Greenwich.
In honor of Buccellati’s storied history and our longstanding partnership, we are proud to announce the Mario Buccellati 1952-2012 Tribute Watch.
Only 33 pieces will be produced for a few friends in the cities where Buccellati’s history has been written: New York, Beverly Hills, Chicago, Aspen and Greenwich.
For Greenwich, the watch is a limited, numbered edition of three (Buccellati’s US President is wearing number 2, but 1 and 3 are available, if you are looking for a truly special holiday present).
by Mike Manjos on August 16th, 2012
by Win Betteridge on May 1st, 2012
Last year, A. Lange & Sohne announced the production of an extremely limited series of watches, commemorating the 165th anniversary of Ferdinand Adolph Lange’s founding of his Glashutte manufacture. We just received one of the first to hit US shores: the “Homage to F. A. Lange” Lange 1 Tourbillon.
The tourbillon incorporates remarkable features that you will not find in any other watch. The case is in 18k honey-colored gold- a proprietary alloy that Lange created for this watch series. The honey gold has an unparalleled warmth to it, almost resembling the elegant patina taken on by Lange movements (in German silver) in the years following their production. Moreover, the solid silver dial is stunning with its exposed tourbillon mechanism and hand-guillochéd hour & minute sub-dial.
Finally, the Homage version of the Lange 1 Tourbillon incorporates a movement so innovative it would have made F. A. Lange proud. This is the first tourbillon movement that can actually be stopped, even when the watch is fully wound. This enables for time to be set to the second and to allow better viewing of the exquisitely finished tourbillon escapement.
Limited to 150 pieces worldwide, this watch is a collector’s dream come true.
by Mike Manjos on April 10th, 2012
Baselworld 2012 was the most exciting and upbeat watch fair in the last five years. Incredible demand from Asia, alongside a strengthening US market, has stoked demand for luxury watches to record levels. Most manufacturers have now recovered from the global crisis and are again expanding in-house offerings, as well as developing increasingly complicated models.
Rolex and Patek Philippe dominated this year’s show. While traditionally conservative, Rolex raised the bar, showcasing the new Sky-Dweller, which features an impressive dual time zone annual calendar. Although it’s a brand new complication for the manufacture, it retains the DNA we expect from a Rolex. This is one of the most innovative and easy-to-use annual calendar movements you will ever see.
On the other hand, Patek Philippe made 2012 the year of the bracelet. Patek added a bracelet to the ever-popular 5396 in both white gold with a blue dial and rose gold with a brown dial. The 5130 World Timer also received a bracelet in rose gold, while the white gold version added a spectacular black center disk- the finishing touches on two truly spectacular watches! Lastly, the 5726 Nautilus Annual Calendar now features a bracelet on both the black version and a new white dial model.
The highlight of Patek’s 2012 collection is the 5204 split-second chronograph perpetual calendar. The 5204 is the much anticipated replacement of the iconic ref. 5004, which many enthusiasts think of as the ultimate collector’s watch. For now simply in platinum, the 5204 features a traditional case design that has been beefed up to 40mm; a clean, easy to read dial; and, spectacular new in-house caliber. This is an exceptional evolution of a venerated classic and will be the new collector’s dream for years to come!
by Terry Betteridge on July 22nd, 2011
While big timepieces are the style today, some watches capture the hearts of generation after generation of collectors.
Our Patek Philippe astronomical, perpetual calendar is a “best of best”: where you’ve surpassed the end of the scale to measure greatness. In a format this grand, all the months of the leap year cycle are bold; the enamel night sky and golden moon vivid.
In pristine condition from 1951, one of Patek’s best is ready to be engraved for the first time ever.
Seen at right: Patek Philippe perpetual calendar keyless, open-faced pocket watch (ref. 725), featuring a m. 17”’-170, rhodium-plated with “fausses-côtes” decoration, 18 jewels, straight line lever escapement, adjusted for heat, cold, isochronism and 5 positions, blued steel Breguet balance spring with swan neck regulator; three-body, “variée carrure plate” with a concave bezel; silver dial with applied gold Arabic numerals and gold “feuille” hands; perpetual calendar complication with sub-dials for days-of-the-week, month with leap year indication, date and seconds with moon-phase display aperture; and 46mm, 18k yellow gold case with a polished gold case back.
by Scott La Du on November 4th, 2010
Over the last few years, it has been my privilege to get to know Tom Brady. He is an extraordinarily talented athlete for sure, but something many people may not know about him is just how wonderfully generous he is as well.
A few days ago, Tom, an avid watch aficionado, asked me if I would help him sell two of his most treasured possessions to benefit one of his beloved charities:
Best Buddies is a non-profit organization “dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).”
All of Betteridge’s proceeds from these sales will go to this fine charity.
If you are interested in purchasing either of these spectacular timepieces, please call me at (203)869-0124, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or come visit Betteridge at 117 Greenwich Avenue.
by John Reardon on October 27th, 2010
There is a bad joke that has circulated for years that goes something like this…. “A frequent flier asks an airline check-in attendant for a three day ticket from New York to London to Chicago to Rio to Tokyo and back to New York. The attendant replies that she cannot accommodate his request on such short notice. The frequent flier answers, ‘Funny, you just did it with my bag.’”
In the world of high-end strap making, this type of frequent travel is the norm as many straps start out in the United States, traveling subsequently to Italy, Paris, Geneva, then back to the United States. For alligator straps, the story usually begins in the swamps of Lousiana.
Alligators are farmed for their skins and ‘harvested’ when 19 months old. The best hides are often sent to Italy for selection and tanning where the choice cuts are taken from the belly and top of the tail. This insures that the straps showcase the desirable large square scales that many of us love. Once prepared, the hides are shipped to Paris where master craftsmen stitch the straps to accommodate the specific requests of watch aficionados and designs of watchmaking companies. Finally, the completed straps are returned to Switzerland to be attached to a watch before being sent to a local retailer.
Straps are either hand-stitched (the expensive way), machine stitched (the inexpensive way), or glued (the cheapest way). High-end, hand-stitched straps are recognizable by their oblique or angled stitching pattern and often feature the words ‘Cousu Main’ (hand-stitched) stamped on the underside of the strap. Machine stitching is easily identifiable as the stitching sits in a perfectly straight line and uses a thinner thread.
In the world of high-end straps, one could easily spend $400 plus on a strap. Companies such as Camille Fournet are masters in the world of fine strap-making. But it’s probably worth it. A quality strap adds something to a watch that brings your timepiece to life and makes it more comfortable to wear.
by John Reardon on September 30th, 2010
Shopping for a vintage or estate watch is much like treasure hunting: it involves a little bit of luck and lot of being at the right place at the right time. When you look inside the Betteridge Estate and Vintage Watch case, we make the job a little bit easier for you by putting all our favorite discoveries in one place for you to explore. You never know what you will find, and the value of buying a vintage or pre-owned watch cannot be matched.
As I travel the world looking for the rarest and most exciting timepieces ever made, my goal is to share the same sense of discovery and excitement with you that I feel when finding a uniqye watch. But be warned: the more you learn about watches, the more addicted you will become to the idea of owning a collection yourself! Just take a look at the collectors hovering around our vintage and estate watch case the next time you are in the Greenwich store, and you will understand… When you look inside this wall case, you will be treated to a revolving museum of timepieces ranging from the 1850s to watches made in the 21st century. I emphasize ‘revolving’ because many pieces only sit in the case for a few hours before finding a new home!
by John Reardon on September 30th, 2010
This Patek Philippe Ref. 1579 was made in 1946 and features a rare rose gold dial in a rose gold case. At 64 years old, this watch is not only one of the best looking chronographs ever made, it is a mechanical work of art that keeps time as well as any modern mechanical wristwatch!