Bellusso Jewelers Blog

Bellusso Jewelers Blog
2018-07-25

Just like your car needs regular maintenance, so, too, does your fine mechanical watch. Let's face it, it is comprised of hundreds of tiny mechanical parts, as well as lubricants that — if they get old, dry or sticky — can affect the way your watch performs.

How often a watch should be serviced is the real question... and the answer varies depending on the age of the watch, the brand and the movement inside. Today's mechanical watches do not necessarily need servicing as often as older watches because today's haute horology watches often have silicon parts inside, or ceramic ball bearings or other components that reduce friction and wear and tear. Generally, we suggest that new watches be serviced at least every five to seven years.

Similarly, if you have a watch you bought more than a decade ago, it should also be serviced every five years at minimum to keep it running smoothly. Other vintage watches (generally watches made before 1985) need more frequent servicing. Our suggestion is once every three or four years.

Essentially, full servicing of a watch entails removing the case back, disassembling the movement, cleaning of the components and then a reassembling of the movement with all new lubricants. All new gaskets are also added to the watch and a final testing is done to ensure it is fully water resistant and in prefect running order.  Because full servicing can be time consuming, we do ask our customers to be patient, but we will keep you apprised every step of the way. If you are unsure if your watch needs to be serviced or not, stop in any time to discuss it with us.

2018-07-18

Recently, a relatively new auction house based in New York City, Fortuna, held its two-day Summer Auctions of jewelry and its first-ever Important Watches auction. In two days, the auction total topped $2.1 million, with about a third of that coming from the watch auction.

The hot tickets of the night included a Rolex Daytona "Paul Newman" and a very impressive Breguet Tourbillon. The particular model that attracted attention is an 18-karat gold watch with white enamel dial with retrograde indications and off-set hour/minutes sub-dial at 12:00 to balance the tourbillon aperture at 6:00. The reverse side of the timepiece features a sapphire crystal that allows for viewing of the meticulously engraved gold plate.

Other notable Breguet watches included the Breguet Type XX pilot's watch, first created in the 1950s and a benchmark ever since for aviation timepieces, as well as the brand's flyback and calendar chronograph timepieces. Stop in any time to see our selection of fine Breguet watches.

2018-07-16

We are pleased to partner with ATimelyPerspective.com, the most authoritative source for watch reviews and news, to bring even more in-depth content to our blog. This article first appeared there.

A. Lange *& Sohne 1815 Tourbillon Enamel watch.

If you are a regular reader of ATimelyPerspective, you know that I have tremendous respect and affinity for German watch brand A. Lange  & Sohne. This brand experienced its rebirth around the time I was just starting in the watch industry, so I have witnessed its tremendous growth and success. Each year, the brand surprises me with new timepieces that either offer pioneering technology or stunning classic aesthetics. Now, the brand once again delights us with the A. Lange & Sohne 1815 Tourbillon with Enamel Dial that is as classically beautiful as they come.

A. Lange *& Sohne 1815 Tourbillon Enamel watch is powered by the L102.1 caliber with two patented mechanisms.

The special edition of A. Lange & Söhne’s first tourbillon watch is now equipped with stop seconds and ZERO-RESET mechanisms. The caliber L102.1 features a large aperture at 6 o’clock to reveal the tourbillon escapement suspended beneath a black polished bridge in addition to the mechanisms. The patented Zero-Reset mechanism was first introduced in 1997 with the Langematik model. It interacts with the stop-seconds mechanism (that was first unveiled by the brand for the tourbillon and patented in 2008) to assure one-second accuracy when stopping and setting the timepiece. This new edition of 100 pieces with white enamel dial pays tribute to the precision that the brand is recognized for. The movement is meticulously finished and visible via a sapphire caseback.

A. Lange & Sohne 1815 Tourbillon Enamel watch is powered by the L102.1 caliber with two patented mechanisms that include zero-reset and stop-seconds.

The  39.5mm watch is crafted in platinum and each piece is numbered. The white enamel dial requires more than 30 steps to create and is an incredibly time-consuming process. With red  “12” fired on, and stylized black numerals, the watch is finished with a railway minute track and blued steel hands for a rendition reminiscent of the finest pocket watches of the 19th and 20th centuries. It retails for $197,200.

Anthony de Haas, Director Product Development at A. Lange & Söhne, answers questions on the new 1815 Tourbillon with enamel dial:

What has inspired you to equip the 1815 TOURBILLON with an enamel dial and what is the message that A. Lange & Söhne is sending with this watch?

“In a way, the 1815 TOURBILLON is one of the most quintessential A. Lange & Söhne timepieces because it offers a well-balanced blend of the brand’s traditional aspects and pioneering inventions of the new era. The large tourbillon is combined with two patents, the ZERO RESET and the stop-seconds feature for the tourbillon. These intricate mechanisms are characteristic of our understated approach to fine watchmaking. They work behind the scenes like “hidden heroes” with the single purpose of enhancing the accuracy and the functional performance of the watch. The enamel dial accentuates the classic design, which is adapted from Lange’s pocket watches with their Arabic numerals, “chemin de fer” minute scale and blued steel hands. The basic idea was to build a credible bridge from the origins of watchmaking to the present.”

What is behind the decision to print the 12 in red?

“The red 12 is a design statement with a nod to the history of fine watchmaking. It brought liveliness to the dial of a pocket watch – and does it still today. Lange’s dedication to historic authenticity comes at a price: The red 12 has to be separately imprinted and stoved.”

What is the biggest challenge in making the enamel dial of the new 1815 TOURBILLON model?

“Enamel is capricious and can’t be hurried. The process takes several days, during which the various steps have to be repeated over and over again. Absolute cleanliness is paramount because the inclusion of even the smallest particle of dust or dirt would mar the flawless surface.”

Why does the watch have a different case height compared to the standard version?

“Compared to the standard version with a case height of 11.1 millimeters, the new model is 0.2 millimeters higher. The applied enamel results in a slightly thicker dial than the standard dial made of solid silver.”

What is so special about the patented stop-seconds mechanism and how does it interact with the ZERO-RESET function?

“While a stop-seconds mechanism is quite common in a modern wristwatch, it was for a long time not to be found in a tourbillon movement. The reason is that it was considered to be impossible to stop the oscillating balance wheel inside the rotating tourbillon cage. Lange overcame this problem with a stop lever featuring a hinged V-shaped braking spring. It reliably stops the balance wheel, even if one arm of the spring is resting against one of the three cage posts. By interacting with the added ZERO-RESET system, the tourbillon cage stops instantaneously and the seconds hand jumps to the zero position, much like in a chronograph. That makes it easy to synchronize the watch to the second.”

2018-07-11

One of the key questions we get from novice collectors when they read about watches and the technical specifications of the movement is, "Are the rubies inside the watch real?"

In fact, unless a new watch utilizes high-tech ceramic ball bearings in certain parts of a watch movement, all mechanical movements utilize synthetic gemstones as bearings instead of metal bearings that need oiling.

The synthetic gems — typically rubies, but sometimes sapphires — eliminate the need for oiling and significantly reduce friction and wear and tear on the movement parts,  enhancing the life of the movement. Sometimes, those rubies are visible via a transparent sapphire caseback, or via a skeleton movement where so much of the metal is pared away to allow viewing of the superb mechanisms.

Rubies have other added benefits to watchmakers, as well. Because they can withstand temperature changes without any reaction (unlike metal bearings) they offer higher stability. Synthetic rubies are generally created using aluminum and chromium oxide that are heated, fused and crystalized. They are not as valuable as genuine rubies, making them more affordable to use. This is especially important because a watch can have anywhere from a few rubies to dozens inside the movement.

Setting these minuscule jewels into their designated spots is no easy feat and watchmakers use microscopes and tweezers to accomplish the job.  In the end, the look is beautiful and the purpose is practical.

2018-07-04

The Fourth of July is here — a day to celebrate America's freedom and independence, and to show off our patriotism. It's a time to pull out the red, white and blue clothing and accessories and to have a good old-fashioned American barbecue. Looking for the perfect watch to show off your American spirit not just on Independence Day, but all year long? Look no further than the bold Corum Bubble Flag watch.

The Corum Bubble watch is a real icon in time. Introduced back in the late 20th century, the Bubble features a bold domed sapphire crystal that makes it immediately identifiable from across a room. Corum offers two versions of the Corum Bubble Flag watch and two sizes:  Bubble 47mm and Big Bubble 52mm.

Each watch is crafted in titanium for ultra-light weight. The Bubble 47 Flag watch is powered by the CO 082 automatic movement with 42 hours of power reserve, while the Big Bubble 52 Flag watch is powered by the CO 403 automatic movement. There are two versions of the 47mm Bubble Flag watch. Each of the American flag timepieces is water resistant to 100 meters, finished with a vulcanized rubber strap and features red and blue SuperLumiNova hands for easy reading at night when the fireworks are done.