October 2013 Archives

30 Years of F. P. Journe

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30 years ago François Paul Journe(see Previous) created his first tourbillon, a key-wound double-barrel pocket watch timed by a detente escapement. The aesthetic is a clear homage to early 19th Century watches by Breguet (the man, not the brand).

In commemoration of this anniversary, he's released a limited edition of 99 watches driven by a brand-new movement. The Caliber 1412 matches the dual barrels and finely-grained gold-plated brass of the original. It features a 19 jewels, 56 hour power-reserve, the more-common lever escapement, and a bunch of more specific and arcane specs:

  • The escapement has 15 teeth, a 90° anchor fork
  • The balance comes with 4 inertia weights
  • The hairspring is a flat Anachron with Breguet overcoil, fixed stud holder, free-sprung with a spring pinned to collet, a pinned GE stud
  • The screw heads are polished and beveled, with chamfered slots and heat-blued.


The case is a combination of 18kt rose gold and sterling silver and, like the original, engine-turned(previously mentioned) in a barleycorn pattern. The dial is finely-grained silver with the large subsecond circle and off-center hours and minutes engraved and filled with paint. The hands are blued-steel Breguet 'pomme' style.


It's an interesting state of affairs when the MSRP of $99,000 has caused comments that can be summarized as "that's surprisingly reasonable"


Screen shot 2013-07-01 at 2.55.54 PM.png

One of the towering achievements of the Baroque jewelers of the early 18th Century, The Throne of Grand Mogul Aurengzeb is an assemblage of 132 figures and 32 other objects in enameled gold.  It was designed by Johann Melchior Dinglinger and constructed between 1701 and 1708 by him and his two brothers, Georg Christoph and Georg Friedrich.  Despite loosing 391 precious stones over the years it is still set with 4,909 diamonds, 160 rubies, 164 emeralds, one sapphire 16 pearls and 2 cameos.  The google art project has a zoomable image of it, though the image isn't as sharp as one might desire at full zoom. It is housed in the historic Dresden Green Vault Museum, itself only recently recovered from damage suffered in WWII.


Comet Sketches

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Argentum im Zeichen des Jupiters


The 'Kometenbuch' (Comet Book) was produced in 1587 in the area of Flanders or North-East France. This is one of the many illustrations (see the source for more), in this case a comet of silver hue passing through the region of Jupiter.  A digitized version is available from the Universitätsbibliothek Kassel


Crocodilian Necklace

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The nile crocodile is said to be the inspiration for the new Hermes (see previous) necklace and ring set. It's at least clearly the origin of the name, Niloticus, for Pierre Hardy's newest design. The necklace consists of 112 rose-gold scales, and is set with diamonds, iolites, peridots and tourmalines and has a suggested retail price of $299,500 (clearly that $500 less than $300k makes it much more affordable). There's a matching bracelet and ring (MSRP of $30,000) as well.

hermes_croc.jpg (source)

Modern Cephalophore

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If there was ever a modern person who deserved to be depicted as a cephalophoric saint (not the first time)


(source - As usual, Tumblr has stripped any useful source info)


All the Diamonds

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In 1970 the founder of Graff Diamonds (previously mentioned), Laurence Graff assembled 1/2 million dollars of diamonds on and around the head of a model for a photoshoot. Now, 43 years later, Graff has decided that was far too tame and has recreated the image with 1/2 billion dollars worth of the carbons in celebration of his 40th boutique and 60 years in the industry.

They don't provide a price breakdown, but stand-out pieces include:

  • The Graff Sweethearts, a matched pair of heart-shaped 51.53ct and 50.76ct flawless diamond earrings.
  • Several white stones cut from the 550ct Letseng Star
  • A 10.5ct vivid-blue briolette cut pendent, possibly the nicest use of that cut I've ever seen.
  • 6.5 ct Intense pink flawless diamond. Bearing in mind that yellow diamonds, the most common of the fancy colors, are about 10x the price of white stones, and blue are 5-6x that, this stone is perhaps the most extreme value/weight object you can handle safely
The original 1970 image with $1/2 million worth of stonesToday's version, Dalia Gunther is wearing $1/2 billion
10.5Ct Intense blue, briolette cutGray-blue, orange-pink and yellow diamonds in a pendent


I always like it when reality lives up to my imaginings of it.  To wit, here's an extract from a letter written by Ernest Hemingway to F. Scott Fitzgerald:

To me heaven would be a big bull ring with me holding two barrera seats and a trout stream outside that no one else was allowed to fish in and two lovely houses in the town; one where I would have my wife and children and be monogamous and love them truly and well and the other where I would have my nine beautiful mistresses on 9 different floors and one house would be fitted up with special copies of the Dial printed on soft tissue and kept in the toilets on every floor and in the other house we would use the American Mercury and the New Republic.* Then there would be a fine church like in Pamplona where I could go and be confessed on the way from one house to the other and I would get on my horse and ride out with my son to my bull ranch named Hacienda Hadley and toss coins to all my illegitimate children that lined the road. I would write out at the Hacienda and send my son in to lock the chastity belts onto my mistresses because someone had just galloped up with the news that a notorious monogamist named Fitzgerald had been seen riding toward the town at the head of a company of strolling drinkers.



A Bit Shiney

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It's all about the smirk on the dexter-twin



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This page is an archive of entries from October 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

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