ML - Boston Common

2013 - Issue 4 - Fall

Boston Common - Niche Media - A side of Boston that's anything but common.

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Page 103 of 155

TIMEHONORED LEFT: continued from page 100 "We are building a watch that is forever —for the future, for the past, and for now. It is a timeless piece that encompasses both tradition and philosophy," says Hugues de Pins, president of Vacheron Constantin, North America. For that reason, Vacheron Constantin went back to its archives to create this year's newest geometric tonneau-shaped ladies' Malte watch, based on a piece from 1912 and taking its name from the Maltese Cross that is Vacheron Constantin's symbol. Though some may call these shaped watches new classics, they are really a blend of heritage and innovation, much like the city of Boston. These timepieces—with their daring, unusual shapes—embody a certain élan and individuality that connects with our independent Yankee spirit. Generally these watch cases are very difficult to make, with certain new forms proving so challenging that they are never brought to fruition. Introducing a truly unique shape to the market requires years of research and development, new tooling, and multiple extra steps in its production, often translating to an additional six months or longer (as compared to a round case) before it becomes a reality. What's more, new dials and crystals also need to be created to fit the case shape. For these reasons, such beguiling beauties usually command a slightly higher retail price than their round counterparts, and are often created in limited numbers. That may well be why so many brands adorn these special pieces with diamonds and gemstones—adding to their timeless appeal. BC Their daring, unusual shapes embody a certain spirit and individuality. SHINE ON, SHINOLA! It's been a half-century since full-production watchmaking took place in America. Shinola changes all that, and lucky Boston gets an exclusive. BY ROBERTA NAAS TWO YEARS AGO, a new company was formed in Detroit with the goal to create American-made watches, bicycle frames, and leather goods, among other products. To launch the business, a storied American brand name was adopted: Shinola. The original company, Shinola-Bixby, was founded as a small-scale shoeshine manufacturer in 1907, and the brand's business boomed during World Wars I and II, when shining boots was mandatory. In 2011 the Shinola brand was reimagined, with the concept of making quality timepieces here in the States. Thus began the search for a top Swiss watchmaker to partner with for parts and for the backing to build a state-of-the-art watchmaking factory in Detroit. The watch brand Ronda rose to the occasion. Today, Shinola has partnered with Ronda and has just rolled out its first comprehensive watch line. The company partnered with the College for Creative Studies in Detroit and built a 30,000-square-foot factory on the Ford General Motors campus. The brand then recruited Detroit locals and trained them in the art of quartz movement and watch assembly, all of which takes place at Shinola's Motor City headquarters. The first hand-assembled quartz movement from Shinola has been named the Argonite 1069, after the Argonaut building in which the brand is housed. Every Shinola watch will feature the Argonite 1069 quartz The Gomelsky watch ($545) from Shinola is movement, the Shinola lightning bolt logo, made in Detroit with a and the words BUILT IN DETROIT engraved on quartz movement created from Ronda Swiss parts. the caseback. The leather and steel straps are also made in America, courtesy of Horween Leather in Chicago. The collection launches with four distinct lines. Runwell, the first, is created in a limited edition of 1,000 pieces in a 47mm size and 1,500 pieces in a 40mm size. Other designs include Birdy, a round women's watch with coin edging and double-wrap leather straps; Gomelsky, a cushion-shaped watch; and Brakeman, a sportier timepiece. The watches retail for $475 to $850 and are being launched this month at Steven Alan and at Barneys New York, with Barneys having an exclusive on the newest Runwell style. Copley Place, 617-385-3300;; Steven Alan, 172 Newbury St., 617-398-2640; PHOTOGRAPHY BY JEFF GALE This Carl F. Bucherer timepiece fuses Gothic details with modern design. BELOW: The Noeud watch by Cartier is inspired by the Art Deco era. 102 BOSTONCOMMON-MAGAZINE.COM 100-102_BC_SS_TimeHonored_Fall13.indd 102 8/5/13 10:02 AM

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