Horological Phonetics – Brands & Companies
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A. Lange & Söhne [a lahn-geh und zoo-nah]
- Manufactured in Glashütte, Germany
- Since 1845, excluding a 42 shutdown after the post-war Soviet Union expropriated their assets and restarting again in 1990 by the founders great-grandson; Walter Lange.
- Owned by Frederique Constant
- The Alpina Horological Smartwatch is an interesting adaptation of technology and Swiss watch making.
Audemars Piguet [awe-dih-mar pee-gay]
- The most famous of the AP range, the Royal Oak (octagonal with exposed mounting screws), was designed in just one day!
- Currently the oldest fine watch-making company that is still managed by it’s founding families.
Baume & Mercier [bowm-eh and mehr-see-ey]
- In a 1980 public test of durability and precision, B&M mounted their Riviera sports watch to a BMW M1 in a 24 Hour Lemans Race. 24 hours of heat, turbulence and speed; it ran perfectly.
- Founded in 1830 by brothers Louis-Victor and Célestin Baume under the name ‘Baume Brothers’.
- The Blancpain 1735, revered as one of the most complicate mechanical watches, continually makes the Top 5 most expensive watches in the world, estimated around $839,000USD. Limited to 30 pieces, it’s a rare and beautiful find.
- Founded in 1735, Blancpain is among the oldest Swiss watchmaking companies.
- One of the most influencial companies in horology, boasting historical high-society clients including Marie-Antionette, Lois XVI Napoleon Bonaparte.
- Abraham-Louis Breguet is the inventor of, among many things, the tourbillon.
- The Breguet No. 160 pocket watch is the inspiration for Twenty-Two Ten’s color scheme.
- The Calibre 11 was the first automatic chronograph wrist watch, beating Zenith to the glory by mere months. I have a feeling this will open passionate discussions…
- Breitling took a trip out of our atmophere when Astronaut Scott Carpenter wore the ‘Cosmonaute Navitimer’ aboard the Aurora 7 space capsule.
- Creators of the ‘Mystery Clock’ which boasts hands which are seeminly floating, unconnected to a movement.
- The 1969 Cartier ‘Love Bracelet’ draws design inspiration from the chastity belt.
- One of the few independently owned businesses in the watch industry, purchased by Karl Scheufele with co-presidents Caroline Scheufele and Karl-Friedrich Scheufele.
- Ebel was founded in 1911, named after its founders Eugène Blum and Alice Blum (Eugène Blum Et Lévy).
Greubel Forsey [groeyb-ull force-ee]
- One of the younger Swiss watch brands operating since just 2004 in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.
- Greubel Forsey are renowned for their complicated, inventive and inspiring timepieces like the quadruple tourbillon.
- Hublot translates to ‘Porthole’ in French
- Hublot is owner by the French conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE.
Jaeger Le Coultre [jey-jay-er leh-coolt]
- As contentious as they get – but this one is right. Am I sure? Yes. How? JLC ‘The Origin of Time’ advertisement at 2:32.
- Most commonly pronounced ‘JLC’ for a reason.
- The Longines logo represents a ‘winged hourglass’.
- Longines was the official timekeeper of the F1 for a period of 10 years from 1982.
Officine Panerai [off-ih-chee-nay pan-er-eye]
- A key supplier to the Royal Italian Navy since the the early 1900’s, Panerai creates ‘Radiomir’, a radium based power to used to illuminate the faces of thier instruments.
- The Luminor 1950 as we know it today was born in 1950, characterized by the bridge and clasp protecting the crown.
- A history both amazing and romantic, Omega’s museum is a must if you’re lucky enough to find yourself in (or anywhere neear) Biel, Switzerland.
- ‘Louis Brandt & Fils’ changed their globally successful company to ‘Louis Brandt & Frére – Omega Watch Co.’ in 1903.
- In January 1961, John F. Kennedy wore an Omega to his inauguration as the 35th President of the United States of America.
Patek Philippe [pah-tek fil-eep]
- To purchase one of the seven Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chimes at the justifiable price of US$2.5M, you must first be interviewed by Thierry Stern, the chairman of Patek Philippe.
- The 1932 Henry Graves Supercomplication houses 24 complications and last surfaced at a Sotherby’s auction, fetching a cool US$24M making it the most expensive watch ever sold.
- Currently owned by the Richemont Group.
- In 1957, as the trend was, Piaget created a 2mm thick, ultra-thin hand wound mechanical movement; the Calibre 9P.
- It was only in 1957 that Schlup & Co transitioned from only making movements to creating the watches we now know as Rado.
- Rado cemented themselves in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2004, when they introduced the hardest watch on earth; the diamond coated V10K
- Translating from Japanese to both “Success” and “Exquisite”.
- I bet you already got that one right.
- The German brand was started in the ’60’s by Helmut Sinn; a pilot creating watches and clocks for pilots.
- The Sinn 140S has seen zero gravity and proved that the self-winding mechanism in mechanical watches still operate.
TAG Heuer [tag-HOY-yur]
- Where TAG is an acronym for “technique d’avant-garde” which translates to “Technical Pioneering”. Learn more about TAG Heuer in our History Page.
- TAG acquired Heuer in 1985 and TAG Heuer has since been acquired by LVMH.
- The Heuer 2915A was actually the first watch in space.
- A Swiss watchmaking company started in 1853 and aquired by the Swatch Group in 1983
- A preferred brand of the great Elvis Presley
Ulysse Nardin [ool-ees narr-dah]
- Another one that may need to be heard to be perfected. What better source than thier own advertisement?
- Ulysse Nardin have operated out of the same headquarters in Le Locle, Switzerland since 1865.
Vacheron Constantin [vash-er-ohn con-stahn-tan]
- Vacheron Constantin holds the notable claim as the oldest continuously operating Swiss watch company.
- The company stands by their motto “Do better if possible and that is always possible“.
- Best known for their ‘Swiss Army Knife’ range, Victorinox started making watches in 1989.
- The 1969 Zenith El Primero is still claimed to be the most precise series made automatic chronograph movement, capable of measure increments to the nearest tenth of a second.
- Zenith as defined by Zenith refers to “The highest point reached by a heavenly body in the sky”, giving context to their star logo.