Thursday, June 10, 2010

Vannen Series 2 Watches - New Limited Edition Styles from Artists Bigfoot, Blaine Fontana, Thomas Han, Brian Ewing and Travis Lampe

Created on the premise that this genre of wearable art would never get made otherwise, founder David Stowe and an amazing lineup of artists have come together to bring Vannen to life. Their impressive Series Two collection of limited edition Vannen Watches features designs by Bigfoot, Blaine Fontana, Thomas Han, Brian Ewing and Travis Lampe.

Vannen captures the electrifying worlds of art, fashion, and pop culture and infuses them into every limited edition timepiece they produce. Featuring exceptional, highly collectible, limited edition, quality driven timepieces at affordable prices. Constructing wearable art that is both functional and accessible - but still exclusive - Vannen gives the public a new way to showcase their taste in art, fashion and style without breaking the bank.

limited edition of 500

Originally from New Jersey, young Bigfoot fled to California to be closer to the big trees. Disassociated from art school and human society, in 1994 he started writing "Bigfoot" in the streets of San Francisco with relentless fury. Often working with house paint and wooden panels, his work depicts the conflict between the respect for nature held by the artist's cast of Bigfoot characters and the destructive agenda of mankind. Despite the artists reclusive nature, Bigfoot has managed to stay active in society with art shows in America and Japan and by also designing skateboard graphics, toys, limited edition art prints, footwear and apparel... which most recently included collaborations with The North Face and Hurley International. His eponymous character and his love of heavy metal - and especially the masked rock group KISS - play a major role in his studio work as well as his highly recognized street art.

Packaging and watch

Bigfoot at work and samples of his artwork (below)

Travis Lampe grew up in a small town in rural Kansas. His older brother and his friends never let him play “Dungeons & Dragons,” not even as a dwarf, so he was forced to search for another creative outlet. After briefly considering vandalism, he discovered the strangeness of old-timey cartoons. In fact, he became enamored by them and began making elbow-less characters of his own. His toys and paintings tend toward an ironic take on sadness and angst, probably as a result of never getting to play “Dungeons & Dragons.” He has a level-one dwarf character ready to go in case his brother changes his mind. Travis currently lives and works in Chicago and shows all over the U.S. and internationally.

Watch and packaging

Samples of Travis Lampe's artwork (below)

Thomas Han "Pill Finder"
limited edition of 500

About the Artist: Thomas Han was born in 1979 in Taiwan, and he spent his formative years in San Francisco. He now resides in Los Angeles where he finds himself an oddball embraced by the evolving art scene. Han is known for his colorful, character-driven silk screens and paintings. He takes all the destruction and hedonism in today's world and channels it into his art. These highly original works are the culmination of a process he calls "Tradigital." Han believes his work can comfort people from the growing vices facing society. He is a walking, talking contradiction, yet he is also a hopeless believer. On the surface, his work appears cute, but seething just underneath are serious subjects like pain and addiction. Thomas' message of want, desire, addiction, and the curious world of exaggerated pop and color are all wrapped up into well-perfected imperfections of candy-coated pieces.

Thomas Han's artwork samples (below)

Blaine Fontana "Growth Patterns"
limited edition of 500

About the Artist: Born in the Pacific Northwest, Blaine Fontana began his interest in art at a young age. He was always encouraged to use his imagination throughout his art education. While attending and earning a BFA in Communication Art/Design from OTIS College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, he worked at becoming a graphic designer and art director for a cutting edge design firm, a fashion/lifestyle magazine, and a young men's apparel company. As Fontana began to focus on his fine arts career, he has designed, exhibited, and licensed his work with a variety of galleries and companies such as KFC intl., LeBasse Projects Gallery, SCION, Upper Playground, NIKE, Kidrobot and others. Between managing his design studio with creative partner and wife, Eugenie Jolivett, Fontana's time is still spent working on his "Urban Contemporary" paintings for galleries and private commissions.

Blaine Fontana's artwork (below)

Brian Ewing "Black Curse"
limited edition of only 50

Sooner or later in life, someone's going to curse you. The only way to avoid such ugliness is to take control of your destiny and, essentially, curse yourself. Teamed up with New York-based poster artist and designer Brian Ewing to bring you the Black Curse watch. Brian's mark is visible all over the black, red and gold palette. Snakes, skulls and skeleton keys--all familiar graphics from his arsenal--cover the band, faceplate and packaging with curses.

This Black Curse watch is limited to 50 pieces worldwide and comes with extras! - a signed and numbered 8"x10" giclee print (on acid free velvet cotton rag with archival inks) designed specifically for this release and available nowhere else. You can see the print below...

watch packaging

Artist Brian Ewing and art samples (below)

Individually inspected, assembled and packaged by hand in Los Angeles, every watch is treated like a true piece of art. Designed by some of the world's most exciting multidisciplinary artists, Vannen creates wearable art that appeals to forward-thinking, style-savvy individuals while honoring the distinctive vision of our team of cutting edge artists. Every Vannen watch is a collaboration, from the design and packaging to the bonuses that have become a cornerstone of the Vannen experience. There is no single Vannen aesthetic. You just know a Vannen watch when you see one.

Based loosely around the Swedish word for friend, Vannen Watches takes a pro-artist stance and strives to build a global community of friends united by art. When you collect Vannen, you can feel good about your purchase. Your investment is felt directly by the artists, and you become part of the cycle of friends supporting friends. Each collection of watches bolsters the art scene by bringing awareness to emerging artists and inviting the world to experience something new.

Vannen is for the artists, the shops, the galleries, the collectors...and most importantly you.

The collection

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Horological Machine No 3 FROG from MB&F - Maximilian Büsser & Friends

Seeing a sneak peek of this prototype at Baselworld had my eyes pop out quite similarly to the Frog's bulbous displays. Originally based upon the HM3 Sidewinder & Starcruiser released last year, this alternative version features innovative domes for hours and minutes.

MB&F is the only "haute" brand I know that doesn't take themselves too seriously. They build fascinating machines blending humor and style. Sure it's an exclusive club to belong to but the inspiration is free.

MB&F will only craft 32 Frog movements this year: a limited edition of 12 pieces in black titanium (with green gold rotor) and 20 pieces of a non-limited titanium version (with blue gold rotor).

Haute horlogerie is (usually) a very restrained and serious business; however one of Maximilian Büsser main goals in creating MB&F was to bring a child's sense of awe and sense of playfulness into high-end watchmaking. There is no doubting that with the HM3 Frog, MB&F have certainly achieved that aim . . . and more! The protruding eyes of the (amphibian) frog enable it to see in many directions without having to turn its head. The bulbous domes of the HM3 Frog have the opposite, but no less important, feature of enabling the time to be easily seen from many angles without having to turn the wrist. The Frog differs substantially from HM3 in that it is the aluminum domes that rotate under the sapphire crystals in the Frog, whereas it is the hour and minute hands that rotate around their respective stationary cones on HM3.

Rotating domes of this size and shape posed MB&F with a number of technical challenges. The hour and minute domes are machined from solid aluminium - chosen for its optimal strength to weight ratio. The domes weigh in at just over 0.5g. They are milled first from the outside and then the inside to arrive at a paper-thin wall thickness of just 0.28 mm, which reduces their energy requirements to an absolute minimum.

Even the fabrication of the semi-spherical sapphire crystal domes was incredibly demanding and only recently even possible at all. This is due to the fact that any slight imperfection in the sapphire might introduce a disconcerting magnification effect. The sapphire has to be shaped and polished to be perfectly uniform.

The Frog's unusual method of indicating time necessitated the development of a new gear train for the HM3 engine. This was because the aluminum hour dome of the Frog rotates in 12 hours compared to the 24 hour revolution of the HM3 hour hand. And as the oversized date wheel is driven from the hours, the gearing driving the date had to be reworked as well.

The Frog may portray the time in a playful manner, but there is nothing but serious and meticulous attention to detail and care regarding the fine hand-finishing of the high-tuned engine purring within its lightweight high-tech titanium case. A close inspection of the case is rewarded with carefully thought out detailing including a figure 8 engraved around the domes that mirrors the form of the display back(revealing dual ceramic bearings); distinctive clover-head white gold screws; and an engraved arrow discreetly indicating the easy to read over-sized date.

If the viewer's gaze manages to break away from the obiculate indications, it is likely to be arrested by the brightly-coloured 22K gold battle-axe winding rotor or the intricacies of the thoroughbred movement beneath.
The HM3 Frog is available in Grade 5 titanium with blued rotor or a limited edition of 12 featuring mark-resistant black-coated titanium with green rotor.

HM3 Frog – Technical Specifications
Horological Machine No3 Frog

Three-dimensional horological engine designed by Jean-Marc Wiederrecht/Agenhor;
Girard-Perregaux oscillator and gear
Balance oscillating at 28,800 bph.
22K blued rose gold battle-axe shaped ‘mystery’ automatic winding rotor
Hour and minutes information transmitted via ceramic ball bearings to rotating domes.
Number of jewels: 36 (all functional)
Number of components: 304

Hour and day/night indicator on one dome (aluminium dome rotating in 12 hours)
Minutes on second dome (aluminium dome rotating in 60 minutes)
Date around the movement

Grade 5 titanium/blue 22K gold rotor; limited edition of 12 black titanium/green 22K gold (black treated with mark-resistant silicon oxide)
Screwed-down crown
Dimensions (exclusive of crown and lugs): 47mm x 50mm x 16mm
Number of case components: 53

Sapphire crystals:
Domes and both display backs with anti-reflective treatment on both faces.
Domes for indications: in aluminium, 0.58g

Rotating aluminium domes, stationary hands

Strap & Buckle:
Black hand-stitched alligator with 18K white gold & titanium custom designed deployment buckle

Visit MB&F Website

All MB&F Stories

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Beastie Boys Nixon Time Teller P Watches - No Sleep Till Nixon! Custom Designed by Mike D Himself!

Who would have thought that a punk band thrown together for its bass player’s 17th birthday party would evolve into one of the most influential and groundbreaking successes of its time? Certainly not the then-teenage Beastie Boys. Yet the band’s 25-year-and-counting career has logged 40 million in sales, two Grammy awards, the MTV Video Vanguard Lifetime Achievement award, four #1 albums; including the first hip hop album ever to top the Billboard 200, the band’s 1986 debut full length, Licensed To Ill, and countless sold out world tours, magazine covers and TV appearances.

As lifelong lovers of everything skate, snow and surf not to mention style icons in there own right it is fitting for Nixon to have The Beastie Boys create a unique interpretation of Nixon's Timeteller P watch available in four color ways which will be sold at select retailers.

Mike D went on to add "I am proud to release this little treasure as a token of my achievement in both the yachting and hip-hop communities. This advanced time piece allows me to navigate the open seas and the open mic".

Available in September from Watchismo! See the Beastie Boys Nixon Collection Here for this very first sneak peek!

The Opus 10 by Jean-François Mojon for Harry Winston Rare Timepieces

The Opus series has lost some of its "oomph" with the lackluster #10. More avant guard than garde. Sadly leaving people like me vanting more. Either way, thanks to Ian Skellern of Underthedial for his images and video of the latest Harry Winston Rare Timepieces Opus X.

"This simplified model of the Opus 10 mechanism only demonstrates the minutes and GMT functions. It does not include the complexity of the hours and seconds".

The Shape of Time

Inspired by planetary movements and the space-time continuum, Opus X captures the shape and dimensionality of time through the synchronous rotation of circular motions. Replacing a traditional fixed dial and watch hands, time is displayed as system of rotating indicators mounted on a revolving frame. Presenting a new technical challenge, as the frame completes a full rotation, the dials of each indicator turn in the opposite direction, ensuring orientation remains constant in any position.

Recalling the celestial mechanics of the solar system, the hand-wound mechanical movement functions as a planetary gear train, consisting of solar wheel, satellite wheels, and frame. The indicators for hours, minutes, seconds, and secondary timezone, are set on the individual satellite wheels, which orbit around the central, solar wheel. Each indicator is set at a slight incline, allowing the dials to follow the curvature of the case, while ensuring fluidity in rotation. The frame is driven separately to complete a full rotation in 24-hours.

Creating coherency throughout the design, the 72-hour power reserve operates as special planetary gear train, in which the diameter of the satellite wheel equals the radius of the crown wheel resulting in a linear indication. Balance regulation and chamfered bridges enhance the stability and functionality of the power reserve. A transparent backing shows the geometric precision and beautiful finishing of the movement.

Technical Specifications

Name: Opus X
Reference: 500/MMJFMWL.K
Movement: Mechanical movement with manual winding
Functions: Display of time by modules for hours, minutes and seconds mounted on a platform
Continuous movement of the platform rotates in twenty-four hours
Twenty-four hour second time zone indicated in the periphery
Linear power reserve indicator on the case back
Case: 46 mm white gold
Strap: Black alligator
Buckle: White gold
Power Reserve: 72 hours
Water resistance: 30 meters
Limited edition: 100 pieces
Collection: Opus

For more photos-->LINK

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rebellion T-1000 Vertical Roller Timepiece with 1000 Hour Power Reserve

"One of the horological highlights of Baselworld has to be the incredible rebellion T-1000 featuring 1000 hour power reserve, 6 mainspring barrels, two tiny chains, a double hairspring, titanium case and aluminum chassis."

Special thanks to Ian Skellern of UNDERTHEDIAL for his images and descriptions.

The 6 barrels are wound by this patented innovative (patented) lever that hinges upward from the case.

The winding lever clicks into place and looks integral to the case.

The force require to wind the T-1000 is very light and there is a tactile clicking ratchet sound as the lever is moved up and down.

On both sides of the T-1000 movement, a tiny chain distributes power between 3 barrels.


With a mind-blowing power reserve of more than 1,000 hours - that's more than 40 days - the T-1OOO doesn't simply push back the boundaries of the possible, it destroys them and creates its own reality.

Baselworld, March 2010 – After the successful presentation in January of The Predator, their first watch with a round case, Rebellion launched themselves into the creation of a never-before-realized challenge: creating a watch with a power reserve of more than 1,000 hours!

The T-1OOO – birth of a challenge
It was in June 2008, after the famous 24 hours of Le Mans car race, in an atmosphere rich with the smell of motor oil and hot engines, that the team at Rebellion thought, "If we can transform these fine-tuned racing thoroughbreds into 24-hour long distance endurance racers, why not do the same with a watch? Why not see just how long the power reserve could be?"
Sporting a body of pure design
The body of the T-1OOO was designed in a collaboration of Eric Giroud and Rebellion. The case was developed concurrently with the movement to ensure completely harmonious integration. There is a sensation of flying as the viewer gazes down through the massive opening to the vertical roller-borne time indications below. Attention then plunges towards 6 o'clock, where the inclined double balance releases the immense power at a precisely controlled rate. A window in the side of the case reveals one of the mainspring barrels, with markers providing a natural "Fuel Gauge" of the state of the power reserve.

Controlling the power
Housed three on each side of the body are the six mainspring barrels providing T-1OOO with its colossal energy reserve. The over-sized winding lever endows the T-1OOO with a strong and virile identity as well as an ergonomically tactile pleasure while "filling the tank". The streamlined downward taper of the case from the centre to 6 o'clock furnishes further evidence of Rebellion's car racing pedigree. A pedigree reinforced by the fact that a patented time-setting clutch activated by a push button in the crown makes setting the time as simple (and as pleasurable) as changing gears. The three rounded structures each side of the case provide a hint to the complex engineering within, while the innovative architecture of the majestic case is in perfect tune with the demand for exceptional contemporary horology.
A true racing machine
The power reserve of more than 1,000 hours is possible thanks to the six mainspring barrels that provide the T-1OOO with its exceptional capacity. In a patented system of energy distribution, six barrels are wound in parallel via a central prop shaft driving two chains, but they discharge in series (2 x 3) to optimize a regular power supply to the regulator. The technical ability behind the realization of this elegant technical solution came directly from Rebellion's long experience in endurance car racing and the Rebellion Racing team.

  • Limited edition: 100 pieces
  • Calibre: REB T-1000, manual winding with integrated winding lever
  • Jewels: 14 ceramic & 22 rubies
  • Balance: double hairspring inclined at 39°
  • Winding system: Patented system of six mainsprings wound in parallel by chain and prop shaft.
  • The barrels discharge power in series to provide an optimal torque curve.
  • Indications: hours and minutes displayed on rollers
  • Power reserve: 1'000+ hours provided by six (2 x 3) vertical mainspring barrels
  • Number of components: 693 for the chassis
  • Balance frequency: 18'000 bph (2.5Hz)
  • Material: case in titanium and chassis in aluminium
  • Dimensions: 46,7 mm X 46,9 mm / 19,5 mm
  • Crown: time-setting mechanism using patented push-button clutch system
  • Water resistance: 50 metres
  • Strap: black alligator leather
  • Buckle: patented folding clasp with micrometric push button regulation allowing easy adjustment of length on the wrist.
Rebellion Timepieces Website

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