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Monday, June 27, 2011

Watches by Frédérique Constant for Land and Alpina for Sea

The Frédérique Constant Manufacture Tourbillon Grand Feu.

The Swiss watch brand Frédérique Constant and its subsidiary Alpina have been awfully busy lately producing new models of timepieces.

Among the new releases for Frédérique Constant is its Manufacture Tourbillon Grand Feu featuring a hand-enameled dial. The company says that genuine enamel dials are rare and only made by watch manufacturers with rich traditions.

Enameling is an ancient technique where finely powdered colored glass is applied to a metal plate. The metal plate with the glass powder is then baked in an oven, hot enough to melt the glass. This enameling process produces a deep, shiny surface.

Only few of the plates will survive the 900-plus degree Celsius (1652 degrees Fahrenheit) fire in the oven and produce an even surface. The slightest imperfection in the mixed powder, the supporting metal plate or a dust speckle will ruin the dial and the enameller has to start all over again.

Frédérique Constant developed its tourbillon for the watch in-house. A silicon escapement wheel, which is lighter, uses no lubricant and has better friction properties, than similar wheels. It has a 48-hour power reserve.

The 18k rose gold, round-shape, three-piece case has a 42mm diameter, and a thickness of 11 mm. The strap is made of alligator leather with water-resistant lining with an additional folding buckle.

Meanwhile, Alpina, known as an aviator watch, has taken to the sea with the launch of a new Sailing Collection, in a partnership with the Italian Extreme 40 Catamaran team, Niceforyou.

Yacht Timer caliber AL-880

Emphasizing its strong commitment to the Extreme Sailing Series, an international in-shore racing series that uses 40-foot catamarans, Alpina developed the automatic Yacht Timer caliber AL-880 in-house. The caliber is encapsulated in a stainless steel 30 ATM water-resistant case.

Alpina traces its roots to the 1930s as a manufacturer of military watches, particularly for pilots. The shape of this new seafaring watch resembles Alpina case designs from the past. The new model with sailing countdown function is available either with a white or a black dial. In addition to the new Yacht Timer version, Alpina introduces a lower-priced version, the Alpina Sailing Automatic with 3 hands and a date window and with a similar case and dial design. All Alpina Sailing timepieces are available on rubber strap, metal bracelet or metal mesh bracelet, for absolute comfort and security in the most extreme situations.

Alpina Sailing timepieces will be offered in limited editions and come in special packaging alongside a miniature reproduction of the Extreme 40 Catamaran.

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