Showstoppers To Look Forward To In 2017
The recently concluded Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva showcased some stunning new watches that will be up for sale this year.
The recently concluded Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva showcased some stunning new watches that will be up for sale this year. Here’s our pick of the best.
JAEGER-LECOULTRE HYBRIS ARTISTICA MYSTÉRIEUSE
This timepiece, featuring a suspended orbital flying tourbillon within a finely worked dial, indicates time in a unique way. The hour is read from the tourbillon’s position on the dial, while the flange disc shows the passing minutes with the help of a discreet arrow. The blue aventurine dial is overlaid with skeletonised mother-of-pearl lace, which is also reproduced on the reverse. It comes in a 42-millimetre pink gold case. The power reserve is 50 hours, and it is a limited edition of 5 pieces.
ROTONDE DE CARTIER MINUTE REPEATER MYSTERIOUS DOUBLE TOURBILLON
This open-worked minute repeater stays true to the aesthetic of Cartier mysterious movements, inherited from the mystery clocks first created in 1912. Its flying tourbillon, which effects a complete rotation in 60 seconds, appears to float in mid-air, seemingly unconnected to the movement. Adding to the illusion is the sapphire disc bearing the tourbillon that in turn completes one rotation every five minutes. The mysterious double tourbillon is off-centred between 9 and 10 o’clock, and the hammers of the minute repeater are visible at 6 o’clock. The 45 mm titanium case which comes with a beaded crown set with a sapphire cabochon is just 11.15 mm thick. The manual winding mechanical movement has a minimum power reserve of 3.5 days. This is a limited edition of 50 pieces.
HYT H1 RC44
This new version of the pioneering hydro mechanical watch comes in a 48.8 mm titanium case, with a blue rubber-clad screw-lock crown. The retrograde fluidic hours are in blue. The mechanically hand-wound HYT caliber movement has a power reserve of 65 hours. The gold small seconds wheel in the shape of a 4 is at 09.30, while the power reserve indicator is at 02.30. This is a limited edition of 10 pieces.
AUDEMARS PIGUET ROYAL OAK EXTRATHIN OPENWORKED
This new version of the skeleton watch, first introduced in 2012, comes in two limited editions featuring the same size 41 mm case case – in brushed 18K pink gold with matching bracelet, and in stainless steel. Like the preceding platinum and yellow gold versions, the 31.5 mm diameter model is powered by the in-house caliber 2924 hand-wound skeleton movement that is only 31.5 mm in diameter and 4.46 mm thick. The pink gold version (50 pieces) features a pink gold mainplate and bridges, while the movement of the steel version (100 pieces) is rhodium plated in understated tones. The power reserve is 70 hours.
GREUBEL FORSEY GRANDE SONNERIE
11 years in development, this minute repeater combined with a 24-second tourbillon is Greubel Forsey’s most complex creation to date. The movement is manually wound, with a 72-hour chronometric power reserve. The striking mechanism features a self-winding system which provides about 20 hours of power reserve. It comes in a 43.5 mm titanium case. The chiming mechanism has three modes: Grande Sonnerie (which strikes the hours and the quarters in passing), Petite Sonnerie (which strikes the full hours in passing) and Silence (which does not strike in passing). The multi-level dial is in gold and black, with a window showing the hammers and the gongs. This is a limited edition, with only 5 to 8 pieces to be released annually.
IWC DA VINCI TOURBILLON RÉTROGRADE CHRONOGRAPH
On a single dial, this watch combines three complications: a classic tourbillon, a chronograph and a retrograde date. The distinctive flying tourbillon cage at 6 o’clock is bearing-mounted only on the underside, and is not connected to an upper bridge. The tourbillon also features a technically complex hacking function that guarantees down-tothe-second accuracy when setting the watch. The retrograde hand shows the date from the 1st to the 31st of the month as it moves across an arc and then, at the end of the scale, reverts to its starting point. It comes in a 18K red gold case with a silver-plated dial. The self-winding mechanical chronograph movement has a power reserve of 68 hours.
MONTBLANC TIMEWALKER CHRONOGRAPH AUTOMATIC
This watch is part of the new Montblanc TimeWalker Collection, which symbolises the spirit of racing and harks back to the time when the Minerva Manufacture, in an earlier era, was known for racing related instruments, including the `Rally Timer’ stopwatch. The vintage car codes paying homage to that era are visible throughout this watch, starting with the 43 mm stainless steel case that has been satinated for an automotive look. It also features the emblematic unidirectional rotating black bezel knurled on the flank and made of shiny high-tech black ceramic. The bezel can be used as a second time zone indicator. The horns have been semi-skeletonized, like the air inlets of a car’s body, and the black DLC crown and chronograph pushers have been knurled like vintage petrol caps for better gripping. The case back has been fitted with a smoked glass opening, reminiscent of the glass windows that cover powerful V12 engines, and the straps include perforation holes, much like the leather driving gloves used in the days when steering wheels were made of wood and needed to be firmly gripped. The self-winding mechanical movement has a power reserve of 46 hours.
A. LANGE & SÖHNE TOURBOGRAPH PERPETUAL `POUR LE MÉRITE’
The iconic watch that started life more than two decades ago as a combination of tourbillon and a fusée-and-chain transmission, and then was provided a chronograph with the rattrapante function in 2005, now gets a fifth complication in the form of a perpetual calendar. It will correctly indicate the duration of each month until 2100. A one-time correction will be needed on the last day of February. The limited edition watch (50 pieces) comes in a 43 mm platinum case. The manually wound movement provides a power reserve of 36 hours.
PANERAI LAB-ID LUMINOR 1950 CARBOTECH 3 DAYS – 49 MM
Every component of this watch has been made from high tech materials created in a lab. The 49 mm case is made from carbotech, a composite material based on carbon fibre. The deep black colour of the dial has been achieved by coating it with carbon nanotubes, used for the first time for a watch dial. Its optical properties include the ability to absorb light, thus reducing reflection to a minimum, and providing a spectacular contrast with the blue of the hour markers and hands. The hand-wound movement, thanks to the mechanical properties of carbon composites, is guaranteed to work without any lubrication for 50 years.
PIAGET ALTIPLANO SELFWINDING 43 MM
This timepiece is part of a new collection that celebrates the 60th anniversary of Piaget’s ultra-thin watch. Its mechanical self-winding movement is just 2.35 mm thick, and it comes in a 18K white gold case and features a sunburst dial in the historical Piaget blue, a deep shade somewhere between cobalt and midnight blue. The power reserve is 44 hours.
PARMIGIANI OVALE PANTOGRAPHE
Inspired by an oval pocket watch from the late 18th century, this watch comes in a 45×37.7 mm, oval-shaped 18K rose gold case. It is powered by a manually-wound movement made from rose gold. The power reserve is eight days.
VACHERON CONSTANTIN TRADITIONNELLE CHRONOGRAPH PERPETUAL CALENDAR
This new version comes with subtle changes like the dial, which features various shades of grey with finishes that differ according to the functions, reflecting the layout of 1940s Vacheron Constantin chronographs. But the most important one is the new manually wound Caliber 1142 QP, which drives the chronograph functions and the perpetual calendar – with the usual indications of the days, date, months, leap years and moon phases – and also the leap year indicator, positioned between 1 and 2 o’clock. It won’t need any adjustments until March 1st 2100. It comes in platinum and 18K 5N pink gold.
BAUME & MERCIER CLASSIMA
Inspired by a 1940’s museum piece in the brand’s archives, this sleek watch has roman numerals, a date aperture at 3 o’clock and a sophisticated steel case. Equipped with a Swiss quartz movement, it comes in three case sizes – 40mm, 36.5mm and 31mm, with a matte white or sun satin blue dial (40 mm).
ULYSSE NARDIN INNOVISION 2
Since 2001, the Ullysse Nardin Freak has been considered a pioneer in the field of horology, with its radically new design that did away with crown, hands and even the dial itself. It’s been re-interpreted several times, including the 2007 version called InnoVision 1, which stood out for its widespread use of silicon including in the double escape wheel escapement, escape wheel bridge, bearings, shock protection system and so on. The stunning InnoVision2 goes much further, both in its use of Silicon as well as innovations like Dual Constant escapement, Direct silicium bonding, a silicium balance wheel with gold mass elements and stabilising micro paddles, sapphire-coated silicium bridge, threedimensional glass minute hands and so on.
ROGER DUBUIS EXCALIBUR SPIDER PIRELLI – DOUBLE FLYING TOURBILLON
Part of Roger Dubuis’ new partnership with Pirelli, this watch features a sturdy 47mm diameter black DLC titanium skeleton case with vulcanised blue rubber accents highlighting its titanium crown and ‘container’. The flying tourbillon at 5 and 7 o’clock are rimmed by speedometer-like seconds counters, complete with automobile-inspired pointers, while the multi-coloured powerreserve indicator is a nod to racing-car fuel gauges. It is a limited edition of eight pieces.
RICHARD MILLE RM 50- 03 TOURBILLON SPLIT SECONDS CHRONOGRAPH ULTRALIGHT MCLAREN F1
At a mere 38 grams, strap included, this is the lightest mechanical chronograph ever made. It is the first product in a 10-year partnership between McLaren F1 and Richard Mille. Much of the watch is made using high tech materials developed by McLaren for its Grand Prix winning cars. It introduces an entirely new material into the world of watchmaking: Graph TPT, which is six times lighter than steel, and 200 times stronger. The watch combines a tourbillon escapement with a split-seconds function. The hollow pushers are representative of the air intake ducts on the McLaren-Honda race car, while the shape of the crown takes its cue from the racing competition wheel rims used by the team. Graphene has been used to make the rubber strap of the watch as well. It is a limited edition of 75 pieces.