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Architecture of time
Since we are talking about magnificent architecture of Italy, it is worth paying attention to the following watch of Panerai, designed in honor of Geneva. This men's wrist watch “Panerai Luminor Boutique Edition Geneve PAM 419”, presented in a steel case of 44 mm diameter. The main feature of this model is the engraving of the legendary fountain Jet d'eau de Geneve, which is the main sight of the Italian city and one of the largest fountains in the world. The height of this exciting element of landscape architecture is 140 meters, and the speed - 500 liters per second.
In 2010, the Swiss watch company “Panerai” presented a few more men's watches from a special series, which focuses on the company’s boutiques located around the world. These are watches with architectural motifs of such great cultural centers as Hong Kong, Madrid, Paris, Shanghai and Taipei. All models are characterized by luminescent orange indexes on dials, brand “sandwich” cases, as well as unique engravings on back cases. In addition, all models are produced in strictly limited quantities and go on sale in boutiques of corresponding cities.
Let's start with the watches “Panerai Luminor 1950 10 Days GMT Hong Kong” (reference PAM 402) and “Panerai Luminor 1950 10 Days GMT Taipei” (PAM 403). Both models have identical specifications, and differ only by engravings. The men's watch, dedicated to Hong Kong, has the back case, engraved with a picture of the city financial center’s architecture. The watch “Panerai Luminor 1950 10 Days GMT Taipei”, the production of which is limited by only 101 copies, is decorated with the image of the skyscraper Taipei 101, located in the capital of Taiwan. The amazing skyscraper has 101 floors, and its height is 509.2 meters with a long spire. By the way, the Taipei 101 building is the second highest in the world after Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Two models described above have the following functions: hours, minutes, seconds, date display and 10-day power reserve, also second time zone (12-hr scale with am/pm indication). In the 44-millimeter steel cases the manufactory self-winding caliber P. 2003 at 25 stones is installed, and the water resistance of the case with front sapphire crystal reaches 300 meters.
Other interesting models are the men's watches “Panerai Radiomir 8 Days Shanghai PAM 410” and “Panerai Radiomir 8 Days Madrid PAM 408”, which also are similar in their technical specifications: the watches come "into motion" thanks to the caliber P. 2002/3, providing functions of hours, minutes, seconds, date and power reserve (about 8 days). The quite massive case of polished stainless steel, water resistant at 100 meters, is 45 mm in diameter. The front part is covered with thick sapphire crystal in the spirit of Panerai. However, these two models have one major difference - engravings on the back cases. Thus, the model “Panerai Radiomir 8 Days Shanghai” shows a view of Shanghai, one of the largest cities in China and in the world, located in the Yangtze River delta. The back case of the watch “Panerai Radiomir 8 Days Madrid”, issued in a quantity of 20 copies, is also engraved with an amazing picture - Plaza de Cibeles, where a set of marble sculptures in the neoclassical style is situated. The main attraction of this park is the famous fountains, which have become symbols of the capital of Spain, Madrid. This is these unique fountains that adorn the wrist watches from Panerai.
And finally, let’s take a look at other "architectural" model “Panerai Luminor Marina”, designed in honor of Hong Kong (PAM 412), Taipei (PAM 413), Shanghai (PAM 420), Madrid (PAM 418) and Paris (PAM 414). The watches in honor of the first four cities are characterized by engravings on the back cases, as described above, but the magnificent watch “Panerai Luminor Marina Paris” is decorated with the images of architectural construction, which every fifth inhabitant of our planet associates with Paris, the Eiffel Tower, which is the national symbol of France. According to some sources, the watch engraved with Taipei was released in a limited edition of 50 copies, the model of Hong Kong - 200 copies, with Shanghai - 150 copies, and with Madrid - 100 copies. The men's watches “Panerai Luminor Marina” in honor of the company's boutiques are fed with vital energy by the caliber OP II with manual winding and functions of hours, minutes and seconds. The caliber lives at 17 stones with a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour. The power reserve is about 56 hours at fully winding. The 44-millimeter case is made of stainless steel, and the rate of water resistance reaches 300 meters.
In addition to the above watches, the Italian-Swiss company “Panerai” prepared a few "surprises" for their clients from around the world: the men's wrist watches in honor of such important world centers like Dubai and Tokyo. From the point of architectural view, these models do not carry heavy loads, as opposed to the watches we have discussed previously. Besides, in order to honor the American fans, the company “Panerai” has created two models of watches “Luminor 1950 10 Days GMT”, engraved with the Statue of Liberty, towering over New York (reference PAM 407), and Beverly Hills (PAM 406), a city in the district of Los Angeles. The release of these watches is restricted only by 20 pieces. The design of such masterpieces with the architecture of a city - this is truly a brilliant idea. I think everyone wishes to buy a watch with a picture of his hometown or the place, calling only positive emotions in him. The series of "architectural" watches from Panerai, of course, is a cherished dream of any collector and fan of great architecture objects.
“Pride” of Audemars Piguet
The Swiss watch company - Audemars Piguet - with a rich history and enormous merit in watchmaking several years ago introduced the world its "pride" - unique watches, dedicated to the greatest three countries, with images of the most remarkable things of the world architecture. All models with explicit architectural style have became a source of pride not only of the manufactory, but all the world collectors, who managed to get a great exclusive from Audemars Piguet.
The first "pride" of Audemars Piguet is the men's wristwatch from the collection of Audemars Piguet “Royal Oak” called “Pride of China”, issued in 2008. By the wristwatch “Royal Oak Pride of China” the Swiss company Audemars Piguet has made a huge step forward on the way to conquer the Chinese market and united high skills of watchmaking and centuries-old culture of China in its creation. The men's watch “Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Pride of China” is designed solely for the Chinese watch market. This model is characterized by a traditional octagonal bezel, as well as elements of the Chinese symbols. During the grand presentation of watches in honor of China, Mr. Octavio Garcia, the chief designer of the company “Audemars Piguet”, has demonstrated several important drawings and explained the importance of cultural symbolism that presents on the watch dials. For example, separate indexes-strokes, except Arabic numeral “8”, which, according to the Chinese worldview, symbolized good luck and happiness, were selected to indicate hours. In addition, the back case has a wonderful engraving, which shows the world-famous Great Wall, passing close to Beijing and representing a powerful symbol of eternity. By the way, I’ve read an interesting fact about this building: it turns out, when laying stone blocks of the Wall, the Chinese builders used their favorite rice porridge, adding slaked lime. Considering the length of the Great Wall of China with different branches, making up about 9 thousand kilometers, the Chinese people ventured to spend all the stocks of rice and doom themselves to a terrible famine. Speaking seriously, the Chinese motifs and unique philosophy of Audemars Piguet made an indelible impression on modern fans of manufactory. The men's watches can be bought in the Chinese company's boutiques, but even in China it wasn’t easy to get the model, as the unique wristwatches with main architectural structure of the Middle Kingdom were released in limited edition of 250 copies. We see that the cultural component of watches is great, the same can be said about the technical characteristics of the model. The men's watch “Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Pride of China” is a combination of different materials: stainless steel for the 39-millimeter case and bracelet, also 18-karat rose gold for the bezel, crown and vertical links of bracelet. The water resistant at 50 meters watch “Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Pride of China” can indicate hours, minutes, seconds, Moon phases, power reserve (60 hours) and date. Within the watch there is an automatic caliber 3123, the balance of which oscillates at the frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour.
A year later, in 2009, Audemars Piguet honored another country - Mexico, releasing the men's watch “Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Pride of Mexico” in a traditional case of “Offshore” series with octagonal bezel. The men's watch went on sale in two versions: in 100-meter waterproof case of 42-mm diameter of titanium and pink gold of 18 carats. It is almost impossible to buy the Swiss watch “Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Pride of Mexico”, because the series is strictly limited (titanium watches - 200 copies, gold watches - only 100 models). The men's watch “Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Pride of Mexico” works on the automatic caliber 2326/2804 with chronograph function, 38-hour power reserve and hand Cotes de Geneve finishing. These wristwatches as if filled with Mexican spirit, they are devoted to the 200th anniversary of the liberation of Mexico. First of all, the chronograph dial combines white, green and red colors, also presenting on the national flag of Mexico. And the back case is engraved with a unique structure, which can be referred to one of the most important elements of landscape architecture, - the statue of the Angel of Independence, also known as EL Angel. This statue, erected in honor of the Independence of Mexico, is located in the central part of the state's capital, Mexico City.
And finally, the third “pride” of Audemars Piguet is the men’s watch “Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Pride of Argentina”, presented by the Swiss company in 2010 in honor of the 200th anniversary of the independence of Argentina. In fact, this watch honors the May Revolution in 1810, which became the first step towards freedom of Argentine. The concept of this model is similar to the idea of previous watches for Mexico, but, of course, has its own features and cultural elements. First of all, this is an exquisite engraving on the back case, which magically transports the viewer into beautiful Argentina, namely, to Buenos Aires. The case is provided with the image of Cabildo Hall, which was built in colonial times and used as a government building. Now it is the most important sight and monument of the past. Currently, in the Cabildo Hall there are the National Museum and the Museum of the May Revolution. The men's watch “Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Pride of Argentina” was presented in two limited versions: in titanium case with steel bezel (reference 26365IS.OO.D305CR.01) and in case of pink gold of 18 carats (reference 26365OR.OO.D801CR.01). Only 100 lucky owners could buy the watch made of titanium, and the golden models are owned by 50 fans of Audemars Piguet. The automatic caliber 2326/2840 of 38-hour power reserve and balance frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour provides smooth operation of the watch and has the following functions: hours, minutes (hands in the center), seconds (additional dial), chronograph with the central second hand, 12 -hour and 30-minute counters, as well as tachymeter and date. Both titanium and gold models in honor of Argentina are presented in watertight cases up to 100 meters of 42 mm in diameter and 14.7 mm in thickness. The leather straps are neatly tucked under the case: the blue strap with steel buckle is attached to titanium, and the brown belt with gold buckle - to pink gold. Speaking of the wristwatch “Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Pride of Argentina”, I could not resist saying about the box of this watch. This is a true work of art. The box is made of high quality wood, and its surface is varnished in pale blue color, duplicating the national flag of Argentina.
Historic world architecture in Piaget Polo
The Swiss watchmaker “Piaget” is a true connoisseur of great works of art, including architecture. In order to pay tribute to the great works of world architects, the company created a number of luxury watch models with images of famous cities in the world. The manufacturer of Swiss watches has chosen the unique collection “Polo”, created in 1979 and already became a true legend. All these watches are specific by their design, in which case, bezel and bracelet are merged into a single unit, creating a unique inter-temporal harmony.
The first city admired by the Swiss company “Piaget” and by the whole world is the Italian beauty, Venice. One of the sights in Venice is an amazing clock tower, built on St. Mark's Square. This tower and its clock are of great historical importance: the Venetians have been relying on this clock for centuries, assigning dates, planning carnivals, under the arch of this tower one of the most enigmatic personalities of Italia - Giacomo Casanova - was not seen once. At the top of the Clock Tower there are bronze figures of two men, who beat every hour by hammers; a little bit below, on the facade, a winged lion statue with a book in left paw sits, symbolizing St. Mark himself, who preached Christianity in cities near the Venice lagoon in the IX century AD. In addition, the winged lion is associated by people all over the world with a magnificent symbol of Venice. A bit lower, in the tower wall niche, there is a gilded bronze statue of Madonna and Child. Now, when we’ve made a short excursion into the history of Italy, it has become clear what cultural values the Clock Tower and its clock carry.
The Swiss watchmaker Piaget played a considerable role in preservation of that architectural monument of the past, as in the 90s of XX century it was Piaget that was honored to become an assistant for the restoration of the great Venetian Clock at St. Mark's Square. In honor of such grand event, after a 10-year restoration process, the company has designed and released a watch of amazing beauty, dedicated to one of the most beautiful cities in the world - Venice. This men's wrist watch “Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif Venice” (Reference G0A31164) is the only one of its kind. Being one of the best representatives of Haute Horlogerie, the Swiss watch “Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif Venice” (G0A31164) is characterized by noble functions, characteristic to the models of “Piaget Polo”. The in-house caliber 608R with manual winding is characterized by flying tourbillon, the carriage of which is visually separated from the main plate of the movement, hidden under the dial plate. The current hour is displayed by central disk, and the minute hand pulls the tourbillon carriage, which goes all the hour-long way at a bright blue dial together with the minute pointer. The level of “Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif Venice” (G0A31164) finishing fully complies with the most complicated time mechanics. The round case is made of white gold, and the dial with elegant Roman numerals is made by delightful enamel technique Grand Feu. Moreover, the additional decorative elements were manufactured separately and then attached to the dial and case. The sides of the case are decorated with splendid images of the architectural treasure of Venice - a sculpture of winged lion, placed on the Clock Tower of the Italian city. The unique watch “Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif Venice” (G0A31164), issued in 2008 in a single copy, of course, became one of the most important pieces in the treasury of happy collectors, who managed to buy that watch for quite a tidy sum.
Another valuable piece from enamel collection “Piaget Polo” is the watch devoted to Chinese capital Beijing. This is the exclusive men's watch “Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif Beijing” (G0A33505). Inside the elegant gold case there is movement 608P with 70-hour power reserve and functions of hours and minutes. The carriage of flying tourbillon is fixed to the minute hand, as in previous version of "architectural" watch after Venice. The men's wrist watch “Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif Beijing” (reference G0A33505) is produced only in three unique copies. On the dial in red enamel there is an image of Chinese Dragon with a pearl of its life. Dragon in Chinese culture is of great importance, it is a symbol of power, prosperity and wisdom. However, in terms of architecture, the sides of the round case, along which the Great Wall of China stretches, are of the greatest importance to us. Perhaps, our dear reader has noticed that this antique architectural construction of China is paid special attention by the watch companies, which decorate their watches with images of the Wall. Speaking of these watches, I should add that Piaget offers a special service to its honorable clients - an opportunity to create their own watches of their dream. That is, a collector can choose the design of his time meter, starting from precious stones and ending with enamel decoration of dial. The masters of Piaget fulfill any order, any whim of the collector.
Paris is considered to be one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world. Everyone dreams to visit this city at least once in a lifetime. But you don’t have to go to France to make a travel to Paris and get inspired by its beauty – you can just buy the watch “Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif Paris” (reference G0A33044), which was first exhibited by the Swiss manufactory at SIHH 2008. This watch preserved Swiss roots only in its extremely accurate movement, but the design of the time meter is full of architectural charm of Paris. Let's start with the "face" of the model. The black and white dial of “Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif Paris” (reference G0A33044) is an interesting piece of art, it has hour and minute hands moving in an interesting way, the last of them has "shouldered" the flying tourbillon carriage, rotating around its axis per 60 seconds, and around the dial - respectively, per 60 minutes. A delightful sight! In addition, the watch dial is provided with the names of the most famous personalities who were born in Paris, inscribed by a talented master. If you turn the watch “Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif Paris” (reference G0A33044), you can plunge into fascinating "tour" of the main architectural structures of Paris. The "tour" begins with a visit to the Arc de Triomphe at Place Charles de Gaulle, then we come to the Louvre and its glass pyramid, go through Place de la Concorde and the Eiffel Tower, approaching the bank of the Seine. Continuing, we go in the Tuileries Garden, passing the Grand Palace and the arch of La Defense. The Swiss company “Piaget” has released only three of these masterpieces with individual numbers engraved on the back cases. Of course, the men's watch “Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif Paris” (reference G0A33044), made of white gold, is not a model that can be worn every day. These watches carry a tremendous cultural and architectural load, and therefore they represent a tremendous value both materially and spiritually.
So, our journey continues thanks to the magnificent watch company Piaget. At this time we leave Europe, swim across the ocean, and, as if by magic, find ourselves in North America, namely in the amazing American metropolis - New York City. The men's wristwatch of 2011 under the title “Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif New York” helps us to do it. The black and white dial, made by technique of enameling Grand Feu, is decorated with figures of 12 highest skyscrapers in New York, and on the sides of the case in white gold with enamel decoration we see magnificent engraving, showing the audience an amazing architecture of the largest city in the U.S. Here you can see the legendary Statue of Liberty (at "3" hours), as well as one of the five islands of New York, the so-called historic core of the city - Manhattan with its two major bridges (at "9" hours). Inside the "wrist New York" there is still the same movement from Piaget of caliber 6080P with 27 stones and flying tourbillon, the carriage of which is taken out directly on the minute hand. The crown of this watch model is a little piece of jewelry art. It is made of white gold of 18 carats, encrusted with diamond and adorned with hand engraving. So, that was good news. Now the bad one. The men's wrist watch “Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif New York” is released in only three copies, so not everyone will be able to get such a masterpiece. And as the watch is incredibly limited and amazingly beautiful, then the price is also quite high. So, to buy the Swiss watch from Piaget with the architecture of New York, you need to own a small fortune.
The above collection of watches from Piaget with architectural motifs of the most famous cities in the world includes unique masterpieces of art, which are guaranteed eternal life and memory, as well as the structures, shown on these watches. Architecture on a wristwatch is incredibly delicate concept, since possessing such time meter, a person imagines the whole world in his hands, rather, on his wrist. The collectors, who managed to buy watches of Piaget architecturally oriented, of course, are grateful for the opportunity to feel like owners of the world.
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