The Speedmaster was not originally designed for space exploration. Instead, it was introduced in 1957 as a sports and racing chronograph, complementing Omega's position as the official timekeeper for the Olympic Games. The first Speedmaster model, the reference CK 2915, was powered by the Omega Calibre 321. This movement was developed in 1946 by Albert Piguet of Lemania, which had been acquired in 1932 by Omega's parent company, SSIH. The "Speedmaster" name was coined from the model's novel tachymeter scale bezel (in brushed stainless steel) and by the convention set by prior Omega brands Seamaster and Railmaster. The model established the series's hallmark 12-hour, triple-register chronograph layout, domed Plexiglas crystal, and simple, high-contrast index markers; but, unlike most subsequent Speedmaster models, it used Omega's Broadarrow hand set. In 1959, a second version, CK 2998, was released with a black aluminum base 1000 bezel and later in 2998-2, tachymeter 500 bezel and alpha hands. This was again updated in 1963 by references ST 105.002, which kept the alpha hands and then less than 1 year later ST 105.003 with straight baton hands and ST 105.012 with an asymmetrical case to protect the chronograph pushers and crown. All of the early Speedmasters used the same calibre 321 movement, which was only replaced in 1968/69 with the introduction of the calibre 861, which was used in the 'moonwatch'. The watches used for Apollo 11's mission were the 1967 "pre-moon" 321 versions.
pam00396 Price Panerai Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT CLICK HERE NOW ...
Antonio Conservati's insight:
http://antonioconservati.com/pam00396-price/ Giovanni Panerai (1825–1897) founded Officine Panerai in Florence, Italy in 1860. By 1900, under the leadership of the founder's grandson Guido Panerai (1873–1934), Officine Panerai had become an official supplier to the Regia Marina (the Royal Italian Navy), supplying watches and precision instruments. Panerai watches of this time consisted of cases designed and manufactured by Panerai and movement made by Swiss manufacturers including Rolex SA.
A vintage Panerai Marina Militare wrist watch.
The Florence-based watchmaker produced wrist worn diving instruments and about 300 watches, all for the Italian Marina Militare, between 1938 and 1993. By that time, the company ceased to provide watches to the Marina Militare, as they were neither cost-effective nor met the naval specifications. It then moved to launch its products to the civilian market. The actor Sylvester Stallone spotted and bought a Panerai Luminor in a jewellers in Rome in 1995 to wear during shooting of the film Daylight. Stallone ordered a small batch of such watches with his signature on the case back, called Slytech, offering some as gifts to friends. This hugely influenced the resurrection of the brand. The brand's rising popularity caught the attention of Richemont, which acquired Officine Panerai in 1997. Following the acquisition, Richemont rebranded Panerai as a luxury watch brand and increased prices accordingly. The core of the watches remain the same. At auction and in the collectors market, some of these older models, particularly those produced in the 1940s and '50s have sold for high prices.
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Antonio Conservati's insight:
http://antonioconservati.com/iw356502/ In 1868, an American engineer and watchmaker Florentine Ariosto Jones (1841–1916)  who had been a director of E. Howard & Co., in Boston, then America's leading watchmaking company, founded the International Watch Company with the intention of combining the craftsmanship of the Swiss with the modern engineering technology from the U.S. to manufacture movements and watch parts for the American market." At the time, wages in Switzerland were relatively low although there was a ready supply of skilled watchmaking labor" mainly carried out by people in their homes. Jones encountered opposition to his plans in French-speaking Switzerland because people feared for their jobs" and the work they did at home because Jones wanted to open a factory.
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Louis-François Cartier founded Cartier in Paris in 1847 when he took over the workshop of his master. In 1874, Louis-François' son Alfred Cartier took over the company, but it was Alfred's sons Louis, Pierre and Jacques, who were responsible for establishing the brand name worldwide.
Cartier Santos - steel/gold from 1988
In 1904, the Brazilian pioneer aviator, Alberto Santos-Dumont complained to his friend Louis Cartier of the unreliability and impracticality of using pocket watches while flying. Cartier designed a flat wristwatch with a distinctive square bezel. This watch was liked by not only Santos-Dumont but also many other customers. Thus the "Santos" was born. This was Cartier's first men's wristwatch.
Mackay emerald and diamond necklace, 168 carats Muzo, Colombia, 1931.
Louis retained responsibility for the Paris branch, moving to the Rue de la Paix in 1899. He was responsible for some of the company's most celebrated designs, like the mystery clocks (a type of clock with a transparent dial and so named because its mechanism is hidden), fashionable wristwatches and exotic orientalist Art Deco designs, including the colorful "Tutti Frutti" jewels.
In 1907, Cartier signed a contract with Edmond Jaeger, who agreed to exclusively supply the movements for Cartier watches. By this time, Cartier had branches in London, New York and St. Petersburg and was quickly becoming one of the most successful watch companies in the world. The Baignoire and Tortue models (both of which are still in production today) were introduced in 1912, followed by the Tank model in 1917. This, designed by Louis Cartier, was inspired from the newly introduced tanks on the Western Front. This line too has survived, with over thirty varieties made since.
In the early 1920s, Cartier formed a joint company with Edward Jaeger (of Jaeger-LeCoultre) to produce movements solely for Cartier. Thus was the European watch and clock company born, although Cartier continued to use movements from other makers. Cartier watches can be found with movements from Vacheron Constantin, Audemars-Piguet, Movado and LeCoultre. It was also during this period that Cartier began adding its own reference numbers to the watches it sold, usually by stamping a four-digit code on the underside of a lug. Jacques took charge of the London operation and eventually moved to the current address at New Bond Street.
The roots of Audemars Piguet date back to 1874, when the 23-year-old Jules Louis Audemars met Edward Auguste Piguet, then only 21, at Vallée de Joux, they were both born in Le Brassus. When they graduated from school, they went to Vallée de Joux to start working together in watch manufacturing.
Thus Audemars started producing component parts for movements and Piguet got the job of a repasseur, maker the final regulation of the timepiece. In 1875, they founded a firm later known as Audemars, Piguet et Cie.
Since 1882, members of the Audemars and Piguet families have always been on the board of directors and have, therefore, directly or indirectly run the company.
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