Monday, February 17, 2020

18th Annual Dr. George Charity Car Show

The venue for this event takes place every February on the grounds of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. Over 1,000 vehicles participated. Here's a sample.

 I love this milk delivery truck
 This is the interior of the milk delivery truck.

 I think this station wagon seats 12.

 This is Voodoo Sahara and it won the grand prize.

 Check out the Voodoo's interior
 You can't get much lower than this low-rider.
 Very strange looking.
I don't know if I'd want to be seen in public in this car.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Palm Springs Dog Show (Part 2)

Though it's called the Kennel Club of Palm Springs, the actual location of this event is not Palm Springs (population 45,000) but, 20 miles east in Indio (population 80,000).  Haven't heard of Indio?  It's home to various polo fields (horses). This dog show is being held on polo fields. Matter of fact, this is where the famous Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival and, the equally famous country western Stagecoach Festival is held. Next door to the dog show today is the kick off to the Empire Polo Club season.

 Look at these little guys, don't forget you can click on the photo to enlarge it.
 These guys are big.
So many baby strollers. It makes sense though as it's a long haul from the parking lots to the various points of competition and the little guys would be kaput if they had to walk.

 This Great Dane gives me a regal pose.
 These little guys are happy in their transport vehicle.

 Irish Wolfhounds are the undisputed biggest of the big.

People watching is fun. Check out the woman in the sunglasses (don't forget you can click on the image to enlarge).
 One can purchase something here that'll get you noticed.
Wow, I better grab this dog treadmill as it's a "show special".

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Palm Springs Dog Show (Part 1)

It's the first week of January and that means it's time for the Kennel Club of Palm Springs to put on its annual show. This is no rinky-dink event---with over 3,300 dogs entered. Matter of fact, it's the third largest dog show in the USA. Why is this event so popular? Look at the location of the venue--OUTSIDE in the middle of winter. Blue skies with the temperature in the low 70's.
 It's fun watching the various breeds strut their stuff.
 Many of the people putting the dogs through their paces are not the owners but, paid handlers.
This woman looks like she has everything under control. Note the two dogs sticking out of her pockets.
The most fun was wandering through the grooming tents and watching finishing touches being done. Lots of combing and hair blowing (fluffing) going on.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland (Part 2) Swiss Watches

In 2018 Swiss watch companies generated sales of more than $51 BILLION. In 2003/2004 I cycled around Switzerland visiting more than 100 Swiss watch companies. Diving into the secretive world of watchmaking was fascinating. You can read these stories at On a Sunday in 2014 I cycled around Le Chaux-de-Fonds and nearby Le Locle cycling past watch companies to see if buildings were added on to, renovated or offices relocated. You can read those stories by going to the 2014 archives of this blog. So, today (a Saturday in August 2019) I thought it would be fun to just cycle around La Chaux-de-Fonds and see how many companies I can spot who are in the watch business.

Figuring out what Montremo (the company in the above photo) does isn't too difficult as those are watch dials on the sign. Checking out their website I learn they are an independent enterprise.

This is the backside of Montremo's factory/head office. Business must be good as they are adding an addition.
I visited Corum watches back in 2003 and received a nice reception. They're located directly next door to Montremo. In 2013 Corum was bought by a Chinese company. The surrounding area is primarily residential. 
Beauregard Manufacture SA occupies a two-story building on the main drag through La Chaux-de-Fonds. It's an independent enterprise making parts for watch bracelets--more specifically pins, screws and laser welding bracelets.

This two-story intriguing-looking building stands in an industrial area in downtown La Chaux-de-Fonds.  There's no name or plaque on the building--not even a mailbox. You can't see a thing when peeking in the front door windows as it's blocked off and looks like it's no longer used as an entry door. From past experiences, I'm 100% sure the place has something to do with watches due to its large windows (watchmakers need lots of light) and secure look (watch companies use precious metals and gems). After circling around the building several times I was just about to give up when a guy walks out a side door.  I told him I'm from California and was cycling around town looking for watch companies. He says, "you'll find a lot of them around here". I ask him what goes on in the building and he replies, "it's a goldsmith".  Bingo!

Back in 2004 I visited head offices of The British Master SA located several blocks from this photo. They own several watch brands; Graham and, Arnold & Son. Both watch brands have offices in this building which houses other tenants.
 This two-story building sits on a hillside and peeking in the reception area windows (it's Saturday) I don't see anything inside telling me what they do.  See next photo.
Using this sign out front of the building I check the internet for G & F Chatelain SA. Wow, they make watch & jewelry components AND, they are owned by Chanel. It's here they make those white ceramic watches for Chanel and the other brand Chanel owns: Bell & Ross. Plus, they do contract work for other watch brands.
Business must be good at G & F Chatelain 'cause they've just added a large structure to the 80,000 square foot main building. Over 350 employees work here.
 Back in 2014 I saw this building being built. It's some kind of production facility for Patek Philippe.
This building stands in front of the Patek Philippe building.  Fehr has been in business since 1924 and manufactures watch dials.
 This is the rear part of Fehr's building. The company is independent.
Back in 2014 I cycled past here. Greubel Forsey creates unbelievable watches--with prices to match. Founded in 2001 I visited their previous rented digs in La Chaux-de-Fonds back in 2004. They specialize in watches with tourbillon--which adds mega-bucks to the price. Richemont bought a 20% stake in 2006.
 Greubel Forsey's place was built in 2009.  This new modern structure was built into the landscape and connects to an adjacent ancient farmhouse.
Peeking in the front door windows of Greubel Forsey's farmhouse it looks like the space is used as the company cafeteria. This building dates back to 1736. How do I know?  Check next photo.
 This date is stamped above one of the windows.
This is Cartier's watch production facility. I cycled up to it back in 2014.
 This is a renovated farmhouse to the left of Cartier's production facility. In 2014 a farmer told me it's used by Cartier for entertaining and media events.
I cycled past Sellita's new building back in 2014 and at the time I wasn't aware of its significance. Sellita manufactures watch movements. So? ETA, a subsidiary of the Swatch Group, has for years held a virtual monopoly over the manufacturing of watch movements. Besides supplying Swatch Group's 19 watch brands with movements it also supplied outsiders. In 2002 Swatch Group's CEO announced they weren't going to supply outsiders (competitors!). This would have been catastrophic to the hundreds of small and mid-sized watch companies which relied of ETA parts because there were practically zilch alternatives. The Swiss government intervened and ordered ETA to continue supplying movements until January 2020. So, guess who has stepped up to the plate and become ETA's closest competitor. Yep, Sellita.
Evidently things are going well for Sellita as this covered walkway bridge goes from their main building to a brand new addition across the road.
This is Sellita's new building addition--which isn't quite finished. 
Universo occupies this building. Back in 2014 it was under construction when I cycled past. Universo manufactures watch hands. It's part of the Swatch Group.