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Can you explain a little of your career to this point in time? 28 years ago as a fresh faced 17 year old I started walking the horological road in what was then London's Hackney Technology College. 17 years ago I moved to Switzerland and my life along that road continued in a different context and language. 13 years ago I became self employed and whilst developing my own replica watches worked for a menagerie of companies and individuals in various capacities until 5 years ago when I started concentrating uniquely on my own work. This in hind sight was probably the worst time in watchmaking history to become entirely independent also not an ideal time to invest in component manufacturers. 2 years ago I relaunched my work with a clear vision through the 'Renaissance' wrist watch. Today through more fate than planning I have developed several collections of SM replica watches born of my work during the passed 10 years, defined a future plus developed a DNA for my work which I believe will outlive myself as an individual. In my relatively short career as a watchmaker making his own replica watches I have executed a plethora of models with a diversity normally found with in a company that has existed for half a century or more, from simple to complex to artistic. What is the relavance of the topping tool in your work? The topping tool is a manually operated machine that is used to alter the profile of teeth on wheels. The one pictured I purchased in La Chaux-de-Fonds in another life and used it to make the Foundation replica watch (my first watch) and inspired the cage design. This gothic design has since filtered its way into my tourbillon cages, automatic rotors, seconds hands and today has become my logo. It has also influenced the design of my bridges with its claw and tear shaped flamboyant curves. It has inspired an original design, it is a reflection of the designer inside a watchmaker. Foundation Watch. Speake-Marin What are your essential inspirations and what motivates you? The principle period of inspiration in my work derives from a period of time I spent in London restoring antique replica watches in Londons Piccadilly, where a passion for watchmaking was born. I have during my life rarely been a collector of anything. At one period I collected antique and vintage watchmaking tools, partly for their intrinsic beauty but in reflection because these tools were the means by which works of horological passion were realized. The tool is the key to realizing an idea, a dream becoming a reality, the dream being lived. Subconsciously I believe this is the reason for the core design element in my replica watches which has influenced virtually all of what I have designed and made for myself and sometimes for others. What have been your most successful designs? Certain models that I developed along my way have become iconic references to my work, all housed in the Piccadilly case, they have started to personify my work: the Resilience with its enamel dial, the Serpent calendar with its snake shaped calendar hand and the Spirit with its eternal logo engraved on the case backs (Fight, Love & Persevere). In parallel to these replica watches and aside from the complications I have made, I have executed a wide array of replica watches which I describe as 'Art' pieces, I have worked with numerous engravers and artists skilled in miniatures plus used modern techniques to execute dials which are not possible to achieve by using conventional artisanal techniques, such as the Dong Son. The Dong Son was based on a sacred Vietnamese drum which signified life. Life and time being and representing the same entity this seemed most fitting a subject to illustrate on a dial. Many of my replica watches have been influenced by Asian culture, there is often details and philosophies in the subjects that I chose that go beyond simply an attractive dial and give a deeper meaning to the resulting watch. What makes your replica watches different? I have not always been highly effective as to describing what makes my work different to others, it has taken what seems on occasions a life time to understand myself what this difference is. The simplest way to explain is that my work is a representation of who I am as a watchmaker. Each individual is unique therefore if what you design comes from creative, genuine originality opposed to simply designing a product, that replica watch or what ever the resulting work is will be unique. Renaissance Speake-Marin Can you describe the movements you use in your replica watches? I have my own calibre which is the SM2 which is enitrely my own design and is hand assembled and finished, these we make in small numbers, around 20 per year. In addition I take calibres from other manufactures such as the Fabrique du Temps or TechnoTime and adapt them to my style and needs, this allows me to increase the number and diversity of replica watches I make allowing me great flexibility in designing and developing new models. I tend to have multiple projects running in parallel developing new mechanisms, the time taken from idea to reality is a always a long path. At Basel this year you released the Triad, under a new collection Mechanical Art, can you explain the concept behind this watch? The Triad is number one in this collection. I have made virtually every kind of replica watch that can be imagined, either for myself or other brands. The Mechanical art collection is an extension from the art pieces I have made in the passed except they are mechanically oriented and they explore a different type of mechanical horological art piece that have never been made before. The Triad is a truely original piece which can be interpreted by the individual. For myself I have various ways of looking at the piece, essentially however its a reminder of how we share time, we do not own it and each set of hands is representative of the lives of other people who are important to me. The Triad, Mechanical Art Number 1 Speake-Marin Describe your replica watchesSpeake-Marin replica watches are many things, English in style, influenced by early marine chronometers and my life in restoration. They tend not to have a shelf life as do many designs, the Resilience I designed and made 10 years ago continues to appeal. All my replica watches are 'Contemporary Classics". One of the elements that shapes the collection is that I am not a designer designing replica watches but a watchmaker designing the replica watches that motivate him as an individual. Has your career been constant and do you anticipate remaining in watchmaking? No path in a creative realm is an easy one, and watchmaking with its natural and constant fluctuations in business which have always formed sine waves of prosperity and austerity is definitely not the easiest road to follow. Especially when your goal is to be honest to your own originality opposed to following trends and fashions. Within this horological world I have found myself for 28 years and having touched on virtually every area within the replica watch industry today I find myself back at my bench and sitting in front of a design software in a state of ore, that the buzz of excitement I original found in restoring a 130 year old complication that had not been touched since it was made, or the execution of a new replica watch simple or complicated is more than ever before present. Being a watchmaker is what I am and I can't see myself ever deviating from this road. Skull. Speake-Marin Fonderie forty seven is often a social enterprise whose mission is always to cut down the variety and influence of assault rifles together with other little arms close to the earth. Fonderie forty seven performs with foremost designers and artists to make jewelry, replica watches and add-ons, working with steel from AK47s that are recovered from African war zones. In turn, the sale of each and every piece funds the destruction of the particular variety of assault rifles in Africa. Fonderie 47 − 'fonderie' is French for foundry (for melting and casting metal),'47' for AK47 − was founded in 2009 by Peter Thum.
The founders were inspired to build Fonderie forty seven by their own personal experiences of meeting children armed with assault rifles in Africa and their desire to transform this problem and engage others in this effort. The company's programs are expanding to work to lessen the number and affect of modest arms all over the entire world.
Founded in 2009, the company launched its first collection in November of 2011 in New York City. Fonderie forty seven programs have destroyed over 30,000 guns in Africa to date, working with the Nobel Prize winning NGO, Mines Advisory Group.
Inversion Principle by Fonderie forty seven - Central Three-Minute Flying Tourbillion, Instantaneous Jumping Hours with Quick-Set Pusher, 240° Retrograde Minutes, Lateral and Back Power Reserve Indicators
Mission
To date, Fonderie forty seven has funded the destruction of over 30,000 assault rifles in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi. There are an estimated 20 million assault weapons in Africa. A large majority of these are AK47 variants. These estimates are based on production estimates, population distribution, surveys of confiscated weaponry, and information from NGOs.
Fonderie forty seven is a social venture that consists of the for-profit company, and a not-for-profit corporation. The sale of every piece of jewellery resources the destruction of a particular number of assault rifles in Africa. The related amount of revenue is donated by the company to the not-for-profit, which in turn makes grants to NGOs that perform the weapon destruction programs. Currently, grant funding is provided to the Nobel Prize winning, UK-based NGO, Mines Advisory Group, who subsequently carries out the technical oversight and physical destruction of the weapons in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Burundi. Mines Advisory Group operates conjunction with staff of the governments of the Democratic Republic of Congo and of Burundi.
These assault rifles were collected from conflict by the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the government of Burundi and the United Nations from combatants who have turned them over as part of the disarmament process at the cessation of combat. Once these weapons are destroyed, the scrap metal, which belongs to the government, is recycled locally.
In Africa, assault rifles cost about 70% less than anywhere else in the entire world. While prices have risen elsewhere since 1990, they have fallen in Africa. By reducing the supply of older, cheaper weapons, we aim to scale back the overall supply. We do not expect to stop the importation of weapons. However, since purchasing power is low in such conflict zones, while the cost of the replacement weapons from outside Africa is several times higher, we anticipate that the overall supply will decrease.
About Peter Thum, CEO and co-founder of Fonderie 47
Fonderie forty seven CEO and founder Peter Thum began his business career with Gallo Winery and McKinsey Company before becoming a social entrepreneur. Visits to Africa highlighted the widespread health issues caused by the lack of clean water and led Thum to launch the bottled water brand 'Ethos Water' in 2003 to fund safe-water projects in Africa. Starbucks bought Ethos Water in 2005 and after the sale, Thum served as Vice President of Starbucks Corporation, operating theEthos Water business, and as a Director of the Starbucks Foundation. Ethos Water has helped around half a million people all over the globe to gain access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene education.
While visiting safe water projects in Africa, Thum became aware of the problems caused by widespread availability of assault rifles, in particular the ubiquitous AK47. He decided to launch a luxury brand − something sending a positive message and far removed from the destructive arms − the profits from which would be used to destroy and eliminate these weapons. In 2009 Fonderie forty seven was launched, a venture that transforms AK47sfrom Africa into rare jewelry and exclusive high-end Swiss timepieces, which in turn fund the destruction of more weapons −over 30,000 destroyed to date.
Peter Thum also founded and is President of the non-profit Giving Water, which has helped over 6,000 schoolchildren in Africa to gain water and sanitation access and is Board Director of The Fund for Global Human Rights and an adviser to FEED Projects.
Collections by Fonderie 47
The mission to generate a high-end mechanical replica watch incorporating metal from a destroyed AK47 began even before Fonderie forty seven was founded, because it quickly became clear that the development and production of a completely original complicated haute horlogerie timepiece would take many years. Fonderie 47 has also worked with some of the world's best designers and jewelers to make artistic pieces made from AK47 steel, precious metals and jewels. Working with the Nobel Prize winning NGO Mines Advisory Group, to date Fonderie forty seven has funded the destruction of over 30,000 assault rifles in war zones in Africa. The Inversion Principle Collection offers exclusive mechanical timepieces and the jewellery creations from Fonderie 47 are available under Crucible, Phoenix and Crangi collections.
Inversion Principle Collection
Inversion Principle is actually a completely original timepiece designed by Adrian Glessing and developed and produced by David Candaux/Du Val Des Bois exclusively for Fonderie forty seven. Revenues from the sale of every timepiece will be used fund the destruction of one thousand assault weapons in Africa, creating a safer environment for aid and development. This is usually a strategy that Peter Thum already implemented successfully in creating Ethos Water to fund clean water projects in Africa and around the world.
The Phoenix collection by James de Givenchy
New York-based jewelry designer James de Givenchy's Phoenix Collection for Fonderie 47 was inspired by the concept of the egg as a symbol of budding possibility, fundamental beauty, and the potential for rebirth. The Phoenix Collection features handcrafted jewellery pieces for women and an objet d'art, an egg crafted from AK47 metal and diamonds. The pieces are crafted from AK47 metal sustainably sourced 18-karat rose gold and platinum, and conflict-free diamonds in Givenchy's New York City studio. Each piece bears the serial quantity of the weapon used to build it. Each piece sold destroys a particular amount of assault rifles in Africa.
The Crangi collection by Philip Crangi
Philip Crangi's signet rings for men feature Fonderie forty seven metal set in 18-karat gold. Every single ring is custom crafted to customer specifications in Crangi's New York City studio. The Crangi collection also features earrings for women, with both18-karat gold and Fonderie forty seven steel from AK47s from Africa. Every bit bears the serial amount of the weapon used to produce it. Each bit sold destroys a certain amount of assault rifles in Africa.
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