Tag Archives: timepiece

Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Kaleidoscope Prestige

Review: Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Kaleidoscope Prestige

When a watch collector says he’s going to take one of his watches out for a spin, it just means he’s going out with that watch. Unless the watch in question is the Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Kaleidoscope Prestige, in which case it means that he is going to retrieve the watch out from its storage area – presumably a high-security safe embedded into the wall – and play with the mechanism.

One look at this breath-taking masterpiece is all it takes to realise that it is no ordinary watch. Beautifully decorated, it features a delicate fluted bezel and wisps of hand-engraving on the blackened gold dial emulating tall grass being blown askew by the wind. More importantly, the centrepiece carved out of rose gold into the shape of a rosette demonstrates the immense handcraftsmanship mastered at the Fleurier manufacture. This is also the part that gives the watch the name Kaleidoscope.

The rosette is openworked and hand-bevelled in a series of artisanal operations and required 80 hours of handcrafting. Through the openworking, a lower disc made from mother-of-pearl marquetry can be seen. Once the repeater is activated, this disc begins to rotate, interacting with the rosette, which is fixed to produce a dazzling optical effect not unlike that of a kaleidoscope. Thus when the repeater is chiming, not only would the wearer be thrilled by the sound of hammers striking gongs, he would also be mesmerised by the spiralling visual effects on the dial.

Entirely decorated with Côtes de Genève, the movement Calibre PF358 can be seen through the sapphire case back. This is also where the wearer can admire its striking mechanism. In particular, the gongs in this movement are cathedral gongs, which encircle the movement twice for greater acoustic quality: clearer chimes with finer resonance at the end. In addition, the case had been forged with the intention to produce the best acoustics, and so the sound waves oscillate at optimal frequencies inside the case.

Specifications

Dimensions: 45mm
Functions: Hours, minutes, minute repeater with entertainment kaleidascope
Power reserve: 40 hours
Movement Manual-winding Calibre PF358 with minute repeater using cathedral gongs
Material: 45mm in rose gold
Water Resistance: 10 meters
Strap: Black Hermès alligator leather with rose gold ardillon buckle

This article was first published in World of Watches.

Review: Rolex Air-King 2016

It’s tough being the Rolex Air-King. Despite its illustrious heritage, most people only think about the GMT-Master II when they’re looking for a Rolex aviation watch. Some might bring up the Sky-Dweller but only if hard pressed, and only the truest of Rolex aficionados will remember the Air-King.

You could hardly blame them, though. The GMT-Master II is a pretty hard act to follow, especially after all that fervour surrounding the red-and-blue Pepsi Cerachrom bezel. On hindsight, it appears to be a wise decision for Rolex to only offer it in white gold, because had it been available in steel, their phone lines are going to be burning hotter than the furnaces used to sinter the Cerachrom bezels. But we digress.

The Air-King harks back to the 1930s, a period considered to be the Golden Age of aviation (as mentioned in our previous story on this watch). This was the era of stupendous advancements in flight technology and pioneering achievements in air travel. As a matter of fact, the notion of long-distance flying was realized at this point. English aviator Charles Douglas Barnard was one of the early conquerors of the skies, having set a number of flight records. Of the Rolex Oyster, he said, “The peculiar qualities of this Rolex watch render it eminently suitable for flying purposes and I propose to use it on all my long-distance flights in the future.”

In 1933, Oyster watches accompanied the Houston Expedition as it made the first-ever flight over Mount Everest at an altitude exceeding 10,000m (33,000 feet) in extreme weather conditions. In 1934, Owen Cathcart-Jones and Ken Waller made a return voyage from London to Melbourne (Australia) in record time with a twin-engine De Havilland Comet, using a Rolex Oyster as their on-board chronometer. It is in remembrance of these victorious accounts, and the Oyster’s role in the aviation history, that Rolex revived the Air-King.

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Bearing slight resemblance to the Rolex Explorer, the Air-King enjoys more than 70 years of continuous production, making it one of the longest running Rolex models to date. Introduced in 1945 via ref. 4925, it was made expressly for the RAF pilots involved in the Battle of Britain. Rolex founder, Hans Wilsdorf, personally started a dedicated line of Oysters called the “Air series” for this very purpose, and of all the watches in the Air series (Air-Lion, Air-Tiger, Air-King, and Air-Giant), only the Air-King remains in production.

The simplicity and practicality of the Rolex Air-King remains prevalent in the new ref. 116900. Even though it is a flying Oyster, it guarantees water resistance to 100m, with a case middle machined out of a solid block of steel. Incidentally, Rolex uses only the best steel, which is 904L grade. Like an actual oyster, there is no way you could force open the fluted case back because it has been hermetically screwed down with a special tool, thus ensuring that only Rolex watchmakers can access the movement.

What makes ref. 116900 stand out from the earlier Air-Kings is indisputably its numerals, where the hours are indicated by 3, 6, 9, and the traditional inverted triangle placeholder at 12 o’clock. The numerals for the minutes fill in the space between the hours at five-minute intervals, which is a source of debate for a number of watch aficionados. What is more unanimously appreciated, however, are the Mercedes-style hour hand and the touches of green on the sweeping seconds hand, as well as the Rolex insignia. In striking contrast to these modern aesthetics, the Air-King lettering on the dial takes after the antecedents, which is surely a much cherished design element for all owners of this timeless icon.

 

This article was first published at World of Watches.

Review: Zenith Tourbillon Georges Favre-Jacot

The name Georges Favre-Jacot may not be associated with a prominent invention, but it is no less instrumental to watchmaking tradition; his contribution to modern watchmaking is omnipresent. Without Favre-Jacot, there might not even be the concept of a manufacture, where a company makes its watches from start to finish. Before Favre-Jacot, watchmaking was a cottage industry where dials were made by dial makers, cases by case makers, movements by movement makers, and so on.

Revolutionary in his own way, Favre-Jacot had the vision to unite all of the key watchmaking processes under one roof. So when he had the opportunity to start his own company, he brought representatives from all the different crafts to the manufacture named Zenith.

Accordingly, the timepiece that Zenith wants to make as a tribute to its founder has also got to be revolutionary. The Academy line carries the manufacture’s most illustrious complications, from the very unique Christophe Colomb gyroscopic balance to more traditional examples like the tourbillon, the perpetual calendar, as well as the minute repeater. Thus, this is also the collection that most befits a tribute piece to its founder.

Zenith introduced the Academy Georges Favre-Jacot on the occasion of its 150th anniversary. It was a stunning timepiece that features a large chain-and-fusée mechanism on the dial side. The follow-up model to this inspirational creation is the Academy Tourbillon Georges Favre-Jacot, which appears like a completely different watch.

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Where its predecessor was classical in aesthetic, with a silver-toned dial decorated with grained texture and facetted gold indexes, the Academy Tourbillon Georges Favre-Jacot is undeniably ultramodern, boasting cutting-edge materials and a sexy all-black aesthetic. Its movement, too, was given a sleek industrial style design and finish. The decision to do away with a traditional dial is an especially judicious one, because then the wearer may fully appreciate the robust chain-and-fusée mechanism as well as the tourbillon – both invented hundreds of years ago but looking resolutely contemporary, no futuristic, in this timepiece. This is the first time that Zenith has combined the tourbillon with the chain and fusée.

Shrouded in darkness, its movement is the Calibre 4805, which can be clearly seen on both sides of the case. Given Zenith’s distinctive expertise with high frequency balances, it is only natural that Calibre 4805 oscillates at 36,000vph. Indeed, only Zenith is capable of making tourbillons that oscillate at 36,000vph.

While it is certainly a pleasure to observe, the tourbillon is not the only highlight because what defines the Georges Favre-Jacot from other Academy models is the chain and fusée. Of course, this means that Calibre 4805 is a hand-wound movement. Winding the barrels thus becomes even more pleasurable in this watch because every turn of the crown turns the barrel, which also turns the fusée as they are connected by the chain. When the mainspring is fully wound, the chain is coiled mainly around the fusée. As power gradually depletes from the mainspring, the chain also gradually uncoils, releasing power with increasing torque to provide constant force to the balance.

One of the most exciting timepieces to emerge from the Zenith manufacture, the Academy Tourbillon Georges Favre-Jacot is also a rare find – only 150 pieces will be made.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 45mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes
  • Power Reserve: 50 hours
  • Movement: Manual-winding Calibre 4805 tourbillon with chain and fusee
  • Material: Black ceramic
  • Water resistance: 50m
  • Strap: Black rubber with black PVD-coated titanium triple folding clasp

This article was first published at World of Watches.

Review: Patek Philippe World Timer Ref. 5230

One of the most agonising dilemmas, and also the most pleasurable conundrums, a watch collector could ever face is having to choose a Patek Philippe complication, especially if it is to be one’s first complicated Patek Philippe watch – that it wouldn’t be the last is another matter for the very fortunate individuals. Just when your heart says it should be an annual calendar piece, your brain tells you it can only be a chronograph model. Then there’s the world timer, which you’ve set your eyes on since forever…

Don’t bother asking Siri. Unless you want to send her straight into shut down mode – or a complete system meltdown. And don’t type this question into Google unless you want to break the Internet, which is far, far worse. OK, we jest. But it’s not like we have a solution and we have been debating for years. Just know this: there is no right or wrong choice. There is only the timely choice, like this Patek Philippe World Time Ref. 5230. Let us explain.

New for 2016, Ref. 5230 is poised to replace all existing world timers at Patek Philippe. This means that it is the latest and most updated version of the watch. Doubtlessly, the manufacture constantly updates all of its timepieces, but for the world timer, this is especially germane, seeing as the world is also constantly changing. In particular, indication of the world’s time zones would see all kinds of fluctuations every now and then. Some zones are now defined by new cities: Dubai instead of Riyadh, for instance, and Brisbane instead of Noumea (capital city of New Caledonia).

In 2014, Moscow switched from UTC +4 to UTC +3. As such, Ref. 5230 is the perfect platform to reflect all these changes, although, the world time display isn’t the only part of the watch to be updated. Patek Philippe took the opportunity to rework the case, dial, and hands, giving the watch a refreshing new look that, however, isn’t too far from its original mien.

While it comes with the traditional Calatrava case, its lugs and bezel deserve special mention. Winglet-style lugs lend it an old-school vibe and the narrow, polished bezel distinguishes it from the earlier world timers. Unlike Ref. 5131, this watch does not have the “Patek Philippe” and “Geneve” engravings on the bezel – for every one collector who would be pleased with this touch of refinement, another will bemoan the loss of a small but treasured detail.

The hands are another part of the watch that got an update. Before, the gold hours hand is ring-shaped. Now, it reflects the contours of the Southern Cross constellation. The minutes hand, too, changed from Dauphine to a lozenge shape. Both hands mark their individual paths around the dial, which features a hand-guillochéd center featuring an elaborate vieux panier basket weave pattern. This center portion of the Patek Philippe world timer is always a source of delight for watch connoisseurs, as it typically showcases exquisite guillochage in various styles (grain d’orge, sunburst, etc) or cloisonné enamel featuring, appropriately, a world map.

Otherwise, the core aesthetics remain unchanged, with a cities ring encircling the dial and the 24-hour ring with day/night indication. Local time refers to time in the city indicated by the red arrow tip at 12 o’clock, while the remaining 23 time zones can be deciphered at a glance. Control the 24-hour ring by pushing the button at 10 o’clock, which is synchronised with the hours hand. The minutes hand, however, can be adjusted freely by manipulating the crown – especially handy when you’re travelling to cities with half- or quarter-hour deviations.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 38.5mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, world time with 24 time zones
  • Power Reserve: 48 hours
  • Movement: Self-winding Calibre 240 with 24 time zones and micro-rotor providing 48-hour power reserve
  • Material: White or rose gold
  • Water Resistance: 30 meters
  • Strap: Hand-stitched alligator leather in black or chocolate brown with fold-over clasp

 

This article was first published in World of Watches.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Watch: Golden Age

The Royal Oak is enshrined within the annals of horology as the timepiece that proved the efficacy of steel in a high-end luxury sports watch. In fact, the watch was only offered in steel in the initial years of its production, since the material was central to the Royal Oak’s very identity. References in gold were eventually introduced in 1977, and all three colours of gold alloys have since been used, depending on the specific watch model.

Yellow gold has, however, been absent from the Royal Oak collection for a while… until this year, that is. Audemars Piguet’s reintroduction of this color variant may seem strange, given its (arguable) status as the less fashion forward alternative to its pink and white cousins, but the manufacture’s penchant for going against the grain is well known – it was this very quality that spawned the Royal Oak, after all.audemar-piguet-royal-oak-caseback

The Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar is one of the models to receive the line extension in yellow gold. The top surfaces of the bezel, lugs, and bracelet links are all vertically brushed, and give way to high-polish slanted surfaces before returning to vertically brushed flanks. This combination of different finishes cleverly highlights the facetted case and bracelet; the rounded octagonal bezel, a mainstay of the Royal Oak’s design, is especially prominent given the surface treatment. A cool blue dial bearing the manufacture’s signature Grande Tapisserie guilloché balances the warmth of the case and bracelet. Upon it, three sub-dials present the information from the perpetual calendar, while the fourth at six o’clock bears an astronomical moon phase display, which requires a correction just once every 125 years and 317 days. The week is indicated by a centrally mounted white hand, which points to the markings on the flange.

Powering the watch is Audemars Piguet’s Calibre 5134, a slightly larger version of the ultra-thin 2120 calibre aimed at providing a better fit for the 41mm case. At just 4.31mm thick, however, the new movement manages to keep the watch case’s height to a reasonable 9.5mm.

Breguet Heritage Grande Date 5410: Fine Lines

There are only very few tonneau-shaped watches on the market that are actually popular with watch collectors, and the Breguet Héritage is one of them. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that its tonneau- or barrel-shaped case is curved on not just one but two axes, thus ensuring a perfect fit to the wrist. While the majority of Breguet buyers idolize the Tradition and just as many desire the Classique, to simply pass over on the Héritage would be a grave mistake, for this elegant watch with a generous mien has much to offer.

In the Breguet Héritage Grande Date 5410, the watchmaking firm utilized the ample dial space judiciously, deploying no fewer than three different types of guilloché decoration. Since its inception, Breguet’s watches feature one guilloché pattern for each dial area with the intention of segmenting it for greater clarity. Such is the inimitable dedication to quality as defined by the master.

The watch’s small seconds sub-dial occupies its own zone at six o’clock and is decorated by a sunburst guilloché. Its blued steel hand contrasts elegantly against the silvered background, just like the larger blued steel Breguet-style hours and minutes hands do. Emanating from the central pinion is another style of guilloché to mark out the 12 hour segments. Decorated with alternating scalloped sunburst guilloché, it allows the grande date windows to overlap. Both the hours and minutes, as well as the seconds, occupy a circular recessed area set apart by a chapter ring with dotted minute markers from the tonneau-shaped upper area decorated with yet another guilloché pattern, and blue stylised Roman numerals. Here, a figurative moiré pattern adds just enough visual drama to end things on a high note.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 45mm x 32mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, grande date
  • Power Reserve: 65 hours
  • Movement: Self-winding Calibre 516GG
  • Material: White or rose gold
  • Water Resistance: 30 meters
  • Strap: Alligator leather with white or rose gold deployant buckle

This story was first published in World of Watches.

Review: Franck Muller Vanguard Grande Date

Tonneau-shaped watches are usually behind round or rectangle watches on the popularity scale, but there are some exceptions, the Franck Muller Vanguard being one of them. An offshoot of the classical Cintrée Curvex, this relatively new collection represents a younger, more dynamic Franck Muller as it features robust dimensions, bold aesthetics, strong curves, and bright colors – hence the name Vanguard. Its larger than average size also requires a big personality to pull off, although being large also brings along other advantages, namely, more space to show off what’s inside the watch.

New for 2016, the Vanguard Grande Date has much to share and with a fully openworked dial, hides nothing. This is exactly the kind of watch you’d want to be wearing on an idle weekend afternoon, a glass of wine in one hand and loupe on the other. Through the sapphire crystal, you could easily make out the shape of the movement, which follows exactly that of the case. Not that this has any practical function, but it is always nice to know that the movement is dedicated to the watch.

Its Côtes de Genève finishing provides a neat backdrop to the layers of bridges and skeletonised wheels on top. Both chronograph counters are see-through, as is the grande date display, which is especially alluring with a stepped wheel for the individual digits of the date. All of the components have been hand-beveled or circular-grained or decorated with Côtes de Genève. The Vanguard Grande Date is available in four material variations: titanium, stainless steel, rose gold, and carbon.

Specs

Dimensions: 44mm x 53.7mm

Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, grande date, chronograph

Power Reserve: 46 hours

Movement: Self-winding Calibre FM 7002V1GGDTC3

Case: Stainless steel, titanium, rose gold, or carbon

Water Resistance: 30 meters

Strap: Rubber-lined leather or nylon with deployant buckle

This article was first published in WOW.

Patek Philippe Nautilus 40th Anniversary Watches Ref. 5711/1P

Patek Philippe Nautilus 40th Anniversary Watches

The 1970s were a time of upheaval, especially for the traditional Swiss watch industry, resulting in some modern classics such as the Patek Philippe Nautilus. We are looking today at two new limited edition models that remind us once more of the genius of the late Gerald Genta (he designed the original 1976 Nautilus, reportedly on a napkin) but first we need to set the stage, as it were.

As the Patek Philippe Nautilus celebrates its 40th birthday this year, it is indeed odd that we find ourselves again in a period of unparalleled change. In a strange way, this reminds us that a watch like the Nautilus is resilient in the face of the inexorable march of time. In 1976, when Ref. 3700/1A debuted – the very first Nautilus model – it seemed an unthinkable decision on the part of Swiss watchmaking institution like Patek Philippe. Today, the family-owned company’s decision is celebrated.

The audacious design – typical for Genta – and the fact that it was a sports watch were both somewhat astonishing but this does not really explain why the watch was so important. The Nautilus was cased in steel and that material choice earned the watch its legendary status. For the 40th anniversary, the Geneva-based manufacture has once more made heads turn as both limited edition models for 2016 are in precious materials. Granted, sporty watches in precious materials are not uncommon at all, but honoring a watch that was famous for being made in steel with precious metal models is quite cheeky. Speaking of cheek, the old ads for the Nautilus were all cheek (and they illustrate that Patek Philippe has been casing Nautilus watches in precious metals for some time).

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This brings us to the watches proper, the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711/1P 40th Anniversary Edition and the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5976/1G 40th Anniversary Limited Edition. Both retain the signature “hinges” at 9 and 3 o’clock, and have the same eye-catching octagonal bezel as the original. It is enough, we think, to leave it at that for the salient similarities and move on to each of the watches in a little more detail.

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We’ll address the watches by the reference numbers, as is traditional, as we dive deeper. Ref. 5711/1P most closely mirrors the original Ref. 3700/1A but it is of course cased in platinum with a matching bracelet, which (we imagine) makes it quite a load on the wrist. It is a 40mm time-only watch, with sweep seconds and date, as far as the functions go. There is quite a bit more precious about Ref. 5711/1P than the platinum case and bracelet here. The dial is in 18k gold and so are the hands and the hour makers too, though the markers are set with baguette-cut diamonds. There is one final diamond, set into the bezel at 6 o’clock, which is par for the course when it comes to Patek Philippe’s platinum models. You will already have noticed the embossed words, possibly the most controversial element here. The embossed wording also appears on Ref. 5976/1G. Limited as it is to just 700 pieces, Ref. 5711/1P clearly doesn’t have to appeal to everyone of course.

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Ref. 5976/1G is of course a chronograph, which you will recognize from Patek Philippe’s signature numbering, even if the configuration and pushers don’t clue you in. This model is cased in 18k white gold and it is significantly larger than Ref. 5711/1P. Indeed, at 44mm this is might be one of the largest Patek Philippe watches we have ever covered (neither of these pieces were at BaselWorld, as we reported on so we haven’t seen them up close). Things are a bit less precious here as the dial is in brass (which is a common practice in watchmaking), though the hour markers and hands are all in 18k gold. Unlike Ref. 5711/1P, Ref. 5976/1G uses princess and baguette-cut diamonds. This watch is limited to 1,300 pieces so getting it will be a little easier than scoring the simpler Ref. 5711/1P but not by much.

Specs

  • Ref. 5711/1P
  • Dimensions: 40mm (corner to corner); 44.5mm (end-to-end width, including crown)
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, central seconds, date
  • Power Reserve: 45 hours
  • Movement: Self-winding Calibre 324 S C
  • Case: Platinum 950
  • Water Resistance: 120 meters
  • Strap: Link bracelet platinum 950, foldover clasp
  • Ref. 5976/1G
  • Dimensions: 44mm (corner to corner); 49.25mm (end-to-end width, incuding crown)
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, central seconds, date, chronograph
  • Power Reserve: 55 hours
  • Movement: Self-winding Calibre CH 28-520 C
  • Case: 18k white gold
  • Water Resistance: 120 meters
  • Strap: Link bracelet 18k white gold, foldover clasp
MB&F Horological Machine 8

MB&F Horological Machine 8 Can-Am: Racing Time

With the Horological Machine 8 Can-Am, Swiss watchmaker MB&F continues its tradition of delighting watch collectors with thoroughly idiosyncratic creations. Now, those in the know will be thinking, shouldn’t it be the HM7 and actually that is right. MB&F is vaulting over the HM7 but we’ll let Max Busser (the MB in MB&F) explain it.

“We had a choice between producing the HM7 or the HM8 this year and because the HM8 is inspired by the Can-Am racing (which started 50 years ago) we decided to go with the HM8. Of course, changing the number would have been easy but the ‘8’ here is the result of ‘5 + 3’ (HM5 and HM3) so we kept it.” Ok, that’s a great explanation but it unfortunately requires an explanation, especially because if you count the HMX, the HM8 is then properly the eight Horological Machine from MB&F! Thanks for giving us a reason to write more words on this MB&F! In case you’re wondering, Busser was speaking at a presentation for the MB&F HM8 in Singapore for watch retailer The Hour Glass.

First of all, some watches reveal their charms easily in photographs; the MB&F HM8 is not one of them. In a world of round watches competing for attention with variations large and small, the HM8 is in a class of its own. For example, it is both sumptuously curvy yet somehow just as angular; having just seen it in person, I can say it is the most remarkably flat watch I have seen in recent memory and this is important but we’ll come back to that.

When you look at the watch, you’ll think at once of the HM3 and the HMX (and maybe the Bugatti watches created by Parmigiani-Fleurier), which is exactly what MB&F wants. This brings us back to that Can-Am bit and the HM3, which is important because like everything MB&F does, this is connected to Busser’s childhood. The Canadian-American Challenge Cup peaked long ago and has been defunct since 1987 (look it up). Like most American racing, it was completely bonkers but the cars were highly distinctive in their curvilinear designs – the roll cage inspired the bars on the watch.

MB&F Horological Machine 8

As for the HM3 bit, well that concerns the battle axe motif that has been consistently used by MB&F since the first Horological Machine – well except for the spoilsport HMX. The HM3 put this motif front and center, not only dial side (so to speak) so it was always visible but you could also feel it whirling when you moved. Looking at the time and feeling the motion of the rotor makes one feel connected to one’s timepiece, is how Busser put it. Well, this connection is back in the HM8, where the massive sapphire crystal over the movement is so transparent that at some angles, you can’t even tell that there is something covering the display of the rotor. Another nod to the open-top racers of Can-Am perhaps…

How is the battleaxe motif and that race car design related? Well, Busser wanted to be a car designer and the battleaxe was the weapon of his favorite cartoon hero. He has grown up to be neither a car designer nor a superhero but he nonetheless gets to express these passions in his professional work. It is really that simple.

Before we get to specifications, you should reacquaint yourself with the HM5 and the HMX too because the watch basically works in the same way, in terms of how the indication of time works. Neither of these watches had the rotor on the front of the watch though (not to be confused with the indicator-side in the case of the HM8). The HMX didn’t even express its rotor in the battleaxe form. Once again, MB&F makes it difficult to express exactly how this all comes together so our advice is to go look for the watch. Happily, the MB&F HM8 isn’t a limited proposition, as much of the firm’s output is, so if it retails where you live, you might be able to find the real thing to take a look.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 49 x 51.5 x 19mm
  • Functions: Bi-directional jumping hours, trailing minutes (these are displayed via dual reflective sapphire crystal prisms and integrated magnifying lens)
  • Power Reserve: 42 hours
  • Movement: Automatic Sowind gear train with in-house jumping hour and trailing minutes module
  • Material: 18k white gold and titanium; 18k red gold and titanium
  • Water Resistance: 30 meters
  • Strap: Hand-stitched alligator strap in marine blue (white gold case) and dark brown (red gold case), folding buckle in matching material
Singapore Rendezvous deLaCour Reflet Tourbillon

SINGAPORE RENDEZVOUS Welcomes Watchmaker deLaCour

Within the universe of prestigious timepieces, deLaCour emerges as a unique and independent brand, a reality that will be on show at the upcoming SINGAPORE RENDEZVOUS. From October 20-23, you can discover this reality of watchmaking “since tomorrow” at SINGAPORE RENDEZVOUS with deLaCour, the Official Timepiece Partner of the SINGAPORE RENDEZVOUS.

Embracing all the prestige, precision and finesse synonymous with the Swiss standard of excellence in crafting luxury timepieces, deLaCour transcends classical convention with distinctive and very clever collections.

In 2003, deLaCour unveiled its first collection, the Bichrono, an innovative dual time-zone watch with twin chonographs. It was powered by two independent chronograph movements set in a stunning oversized tonneau shaped case.

This debut was followed by other high complication timepieces, the Bitourbillon and the Birepetition.

Detailed view of the case middle of the deLaCour Reflet tourbillon

Detailed view of the case middle of the deLaCour Reflet tourbillon

The words “Since tomorrow”, define the Geneva-based watchmaker’s conception of creativity: with constant innovation, the history of the brand is written in the future.

Along with its complications, deLaCour presents five collections: City, Leap, Saqra, Reflect and the Promess.

deLaCour has expanded its global presence, including in Southeast Asia with a boutique in Singapore and another one in Indonesia.

For the first time in Asia, the Reflect Tourbillon will be presented during the SINGAPORE RENDEZVOUS.

The new case is the latest creation, combining avant-gardism and tradition. The concept is based on the design of the iconic elliptical shape, however comes with a more rectangular shape and softened corners.

The tourbillon was developed with strict specifications and the expertise of a recognized team of Swiss watch manufacturers.

Alfred Terzibachian, co-founder and CEO of deLaCour Genève, along with the deLaCour Asia Pacific Team based in Singapore, will be delighted to present selective and exceptional timepieces from the collections.

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Slim d’Hermès Email Grand Feu: Daily Beater

Slim d’Hermès Email Grand Feu: Daily Beater

When you look at the Slim d’Hermès Email Grand Feu, you’re looking at both fire and ice. Fire, because the enamel dial is fired in a kiln at 830°C, which is why watches with such dials are called ‘grand feu’ (great heat, literally). The ice bit is more metaphorical is it refers to the precision of crafting the in-house H1950 ultra-thin automatic movement as well as the font. Yes, graphic designer Philippe Apeloig specially crafted the font of the Arabic numerals for this watch. Take a good long look at the dial, see how those gorgeous baton hands work with the Grand Feu dial and the font, and let it grow on you.

We first saw this watch at the La Montre Hermès stand at BaselWorld this year, where by all accounts it was an unqualified success, but the appeal of it really hit home for us when we experienced the Slim d’Hermès exhibition in Singapore a couple of months ago, where the font sprang to life. The beauty of the lines might be hard to appreciate on such a small canvas as a watch dial but it is something you feel, over time. This is important because Hermès says this exquisite watch is designed to be a daily beater.

Firing of the dials. © Sandro Campardo

Firing of the dials. © Sandro Campardo

Returning to that canvas for a moment, you can’t understand the distinctive appeal of Grand Feu enamel in pictures. Ultimately, you have to see it in person. When you do that, recall that this is a three-part structure that is largely built manually, and that the beauty of the dial depends entirely on how long the artisan who fires the kilns keeps the dial exposed to heat. The resulting glaze you see here is permanent and requires no polishing – from the moment it emerges from the kiln for the final time till the end of time, its properties will not change. This of course contrasts with simple lacquer, which changes over time; a white dial like this one would slowly acquire a yellow tint.

Slim d’Hermès Email Grand Feu: Daily Beater

Specs

  • Dimensions: 39.5mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
  • Power Reserve: 42 hours
  • Movement: Automatic (micro-rotor), calibre H1950
  • Material: Rose gold (5N 750)
  • Water Resistance: 30 meters
  • Strap: Matt Havana alligator
5 Watches Bridging Art and Time

5 Watches Bridging Art and Time

The confluence between and art and time is obvious and fine watchmaking brands have certainly noticed. As we have written previously (we’ll get to it), this connection can feel forced when brands push the commercial angle too hard. Contemporary art and fine timepieces are both collectible and are regarded by auction houses and institutions such as Knight Frank as so-called investments of passion.

As Jerome De Witt, the founder of DeWitt, once told us, watches are not works of art because art is not produced for commercial reasons. Wise words and worth remembering but there are still valid links between timekeeping and art, even if there no houses of fine art the way there are houses of fine watchmaking! You might think that it is only high art and very expensive watches, perhaps limited to unique pieces, that truly share a stage but that is not quite right.

We were reminded of this when watchmaker Arbutus (whose timepieces are quite accessible) revealed a collaboration with artists for charity in Singapore. Each of these watches had hand-painted dials, making each one unique, and had a very modest price tag of S$1,800. Credit Arbutus Singapore distributor Crystal Time for this bold move.

Arbutus Of Passion and Imagination Limited Edition timepiece collection, by Lovage

Arbutus Of Passion and Imagination Limited Edition timepiece collection, by Lovage

In truth, art and mechanical timekeeping share a certain quality, the ability to transcend time itself, that is evident in the above example. On higher ground, it is also evident in the marketing campaign of the most rarefied of watchmaking names, Patek Philippe. If you’re not familiar with this campaign, well, Google it! The point is that timepieces, like art, survive makers and owners alike.

Here at Luxuo, we love watches and we also love art. With this in mind, we put together a selection of watches that tie watchmaking and art together in forms both pleasing and challenging. While we split it into five watches, there are actually six below. If you want to quibble, the inclusion of Arbutus above takes well beyond six!

Arceau-Tigre-Email-Enamel-JohannSauty-main

Hermès Arceau Tigre Watch

On the metiers d’art front this year, Hermès has unveiled the stunning Hermès Arceau Tigre, created in partnership with the husband-and-wife team of Olivier and Dominique Vaucher. The timepiece marks the first time the shaded enamel (enamel ombrant) technique is used in watchmaking, and sports the motif of a tiger in the likeness of an illustration by Robert Dallet, an artist with whom Hermès collaborated in the 1980s.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Vincent van Gogh with a Reverso watch featuring an enamel miniature of "Self-Portrait as a Painter."

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso à Eclipse Vincent Van Gogh

Swiss watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre and its iconic Reverso model pay tribute to another unmistakable star, this one from the world of art: Vincent Van Gogh. As you can see, the watch features a miniature enamel reproduction of Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait as a Painter, painstakingly crafted by the manufacture’s artisans. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso à Eclipse features a shutter mechanism that can be opened to reveal the miniature reproduction.

LM1_Silberstein_Black_Ti_Face_Hres_CMYK

MB&F LM1 Silberstein Watch

When you think about a timepiece like the MB&F LM1 Silberstein, concerns about instant gratification are rendered meaningless. The appeal here is so personal – and it really does grow on you – that we can’t imagine conventional marketing methods working well. Silberstein is a designer famed for bringing playful geometric designs to watchmaking, including three-dimensional elements such as pushers and crowns in square, triangular and round shapes.

5 Watches Bridging Art and Time Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Quaestor

Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Quaestor Watches

Parmigiani Fleurier has chosen to turn to the Land of the Rising Sun for ideas to create the two latest unique pieces in its Toric Quaestor line. The first piece features a scene dominated by the branches of a great pine tree, which is a symbol of power, vitality, and immortality in Japanese culture. The second features the dry, level landscapes of Japanese rock gardens, often simply called Zen gardens. All manner of traditional artisanal crafts were applied in the creation of these timepieces.

Richard Mille RM68-01 Kongo

Richard Mille RM68-01 Kongo Watch

The Richard Mille RM68-01 Kongo tourbillon wristwatch (top and above) marries fine watchmaking and graffiti, which is both amazing and unthinkable! Artists like Cyril ‘Kongo’ Phan are modern-day equivalents of muralists such as Diego Rivera so learning that one such artist managed to work on a canvas the size of a (large) stamp is remarkable. The entire mechanical movement has been decorated by Kongo, using specially developed paints and airbrushes.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Vincent van Gogh with a Reverso watch featuring an enamel miniature of "Self-Portrait as a Painter."

Jaeger-LeCoultre Vincent Van Gogh: 2nd Edition

Swiss watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre and its iconic Reverso model pay tribute to another unmistakable star, this one from the world of art: Vincent Van Gogh. This is actually the second special edition Reverso created as an homage to the Dutch master, and this time features one of his famous self-portraits. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso, you may recall, is the famous reversible watch with two faces, thanks to a swiveling case that it first introduced in 1931 for polo-playing British army officers.

For this Reverso à Éclipse, Jaeger-LeCoultre has partnered up with Gassan jewelers (the brand’s retail partner in the Netherlands) and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam to celebrate the post-impressionist painter. As you can see, the watch features a miniature enamel reproduction of Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait as a Painter, painstakingly crafted by the manufacture’s artisans. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso à Eclipse features a shutter mechanism that can be opened to reveal the miniature reproduction.

All these clever moves, from that enchanting shutter to the swiveling case and the métiers d’arts enameling technique, are accomplished by Jaeger-LeCoultre at its Le Sentier manufacture. Like Van Gogh and any other artist, the work of the manufacture arises from its own intrinsic values and characteristics. We suppose that is why watchmaking firms such as Jaeger-LeCoultre keep returning to artist tributes – the manufacture featured Van Gogh’s insanely famous Sunflowers (well, one of them, there are a few!) in a 2015 edition.

This current edition is limited to just four examples, all of which are cased in platinum and feature the in-house manual-winding calibre 849 at its timekeeping heart. The watch can be admired at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, if you don’t manage to make the shortlist on this!

Glashütte Original PanoMatic Luna: Pale Blue Watch

Glashütte Original PanoMatic Luna: Pale Blue Watch

German watchmaker Glashütte Original knows a thing or two about beautiful dials, as illustrated here by the Glashütte Original PanoMatic Luna watch. This boutique edition sports a blue mother-of-pearl dial, showing off once more the manufacture’s affinity for this color. More importantly, it shows how useful it can be to have one’s own dialmaker, as Glashütte Original does.

On the face of it, this model – exclusive to Glashütte Original’s own boutiques – has the same features as any other Panomatic Luna. Hour, minutes, seconds, Panorama date and moon phase indicator are all accounted for and in the off-centered style favored by the manufacture. As with other models in the same series, the watch is powered by the automatic Calibre 90-12.

Glashütte Original PanoMatic Luna: Pale Blue Watch

To understand the particular beauty of this boutique edition of the PanoMatic Luna, one has to look at the pale blue dial, which shimmers with an uncanny incandescence. The work of the dialmakers at Pforzheim, Germany, this execution is what sets this model apart from all other versions in the collection. We look forward to seeing this variation in person (it was not at BaselWorld). Whoever the artisans responsible for the spate of beautiful blue dials (Senator Chronometer) and generally rich colors (Senator Sixties Iconic Collection) here, we salute them.

The perfect companion piece to this Glashütte Original PanoMatic Luna watch is the Louisiana alligator strap, in a matching pale blue. The effect is delicate and suitably feminine without being overt. Well we suppose the 83 diamonds decorating the case and the dial take care of that part!

Specs

  • Dimensions: 39.4mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, oversized date, moon phase indicator
  • Power Reserve: 42 hours
  • Movement: Automatic Calibre 90-12
  • Material: Stainless steel case set with 64 diamonds on the bezel, 18 diamonds on hour indexes and one 3mm diamond set on the crown (total carats: 1.09)
  • Water Resistance: 30 meters
  • Strap: Louisiana Alligator, pale blue

Glashütte Original PanoMatic Luna: Pale Blue Watch

Glashütte Original PanoMatic Luna: Pale Blue Watch

5 Highlights From Apple Media Event

Apple knows how to put on a good show— and orchestrate a media circus around it. You, like us, have probably been waiting for the Apple media event in San Francisco even if you care so little about Apple that you think a lightning connector is a kind of lightning rod. You can admit it even if you are an Android lover or if you just love to hate Apple (despite shrinking sales, the iPhone is still the best-selling smartphone in the world). Apart from rolling out the expected new generation of products, CEO Tim Cook is hoping these clever — and perhaps brave— introductions are set to jumpstart growth at the tech company. Here are five key things to note from the announcement, although really we are mainly interested in the Apple Watch, which is why that part has the most meat in this tale…

Water-resistant iPhones

The event saw Apple introduce two new upgraded versions of the flagship smartphone — but still at the same price. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, which will be slightly larger, pretty much look the same as the iPhone 6 and 6S Plus. With a powerful processor called the A10 Fusion chip, improved camera technology and even water resistance, it is all set to lord it over other new models in the industry. Seriously, that A10 chip is a big deal, bringing more power to the table, without consuming more power, and calling attention once more to Apple’s proficiency with processors. For the selfie lovers, the new dual cameras will allow for pictures with better quality. The most controversial move, however, is the removal of the headphone jack. There is nothing in its place; the proprietary Apple “lightning” connector will function as a headphone jack, with the help of an adaptor. Apple however isn’t encouraging the use of the lightning connector for this purpose. Instead, Cook, Ive and co are inviting you to cut the cord…

Cutting the Cordairpods-apple

Forgoing the plug-in headsets that usually end up entangled, Apple has introduced a new pair of wireless headphones. Using a new wireless communication chip called the W1, the new AirPods (we recall the days Apple made another product called the AirPort — similar sounding but totally different — but we digress) can detect if a user is listening to music or not, staying ready for action in standby mode. The AirPods connect automatically to all devices linked to a user’s iCloud account. As you can see, the AirPods are tiny so you can expect to lose them frequently. Then again, Apple has never made the best headphones for its own products so this is merely par for the course. Also, they have a company that happens to make headphones, as you may have heard…

Super Mario on iPhonesuper-mario-apple

In collaboration with Nintendo, Apple announced the launch of “Super Mario Run” that was designed for mobile. The iconic game featuring everyone’s favorite plumber will be available on the App Store this year. Alongside SuperMario, Apple announced that users of the Apple Watch will be able to enjoy the popular game Pokémon Go later this month.

Apple Watch Series 2watch_nike_hero-93ec8182802-h0

Speaking of the Apple Watch, the brand will be introducing the upgraded Apple Watch, which boasts a water resistance of up to 50 meters. Fitness junkies will welcome the GPS that allows users to track their workouts without having to bring along a smartphone. Just so you know though, your watch needs to be water resistant to at least 100 meters before you can safely swim with it. Apple will also be introducing new designs in collaboration with Nike that will be targeted at runners. For those favoring something more fashionable, Apple is also working on new styles for its Hermes edition and here is where things get interesting because observers are not buying it. For the record, neither are we.

The Verge — and others — have noticed Apple’s nod in the direction of utility, meaning its dream of conquering the Swiss fine watchmaking business might be over, or at least on hold. Basically, there is only one watch brand that is truly for everyone, middle class and up: Rolex. The Apple watch was meant to be all things to all people, whatever their station, and that was probably foolish — at least for now. Even mighty Rolex did not arrive as the King of Watches overnight, though it was born with a crown. Well, Apple will have to content itself with being the world’s most valuable brand and largest publicly traded corporation (by market capitalization).

iOS 10 Release

The new mobile operating system is aimed at working with the new hardware, on September 13, including upgrades to its maps and news applications. A test version of the software, which helps accelerate Apple’s efforts in home automation, was released earlier this year.

Richard Mille RM68-01 Kongo

Graffiti Watch: Richard Mille RM68-01 Kongo

Graffiti or street art appears to be quite a popular subject, if our last few stories on the topic are any indication (see our Banksy piece if you are so inclined) so we’re interested to know if this piece on the Richard Mille RM68-01 Kongo tourbillon wristwatch will also resonate. The world of fine watchmaking and art – high or low – might be connected as so-called investments of passion but they are very different. Nevertheless, we shall merely present the case here for this collaboration between Swiss watchmaker Richard Mille and French graffiti artist Cyril Phan. Phan, the French-Vietnamese artist also known by his nom de guerre Kongo, might make for an unlikely partner for a watch brand but Richard Mille goes its own way – and has done since it revealed the RM001 in 2001.

The Richard Mille RM68-01 Kongo made news perhaps not because of this partnership between haute horlogerie and street art but because it costs $800,000 (other reports list the price as $685,000) and has already sold out (only 30 were or will be made). In an environment where the watch business is visibly suffering, this success is remarkable and begs many questions. Some of these are out of our scope and we’ll leave that to the likes of CNBC (they report that Richard Mille sales have grown by 15%) and Forbes to probe but we are able to comment reasonably on both watchmaking and art. Artists like Kongo are modern-day equivalents of muralists such as Diego Rivera so learning that one such artist managed to work on a canvass the size of a (large) stamp is remarkable.

Richard Mille RM68-01 Kongo

This is not to say such partnerships are beyond the pale. Even smaller and more accessible brands such as Arbutus have done it. What is remarkable here is that it isn’t just a dial that has been created by an artist – the RM68-01 has no true dial in fact – but rather the entire mechanical movement has been decorated by Kongo, using specially developed paints and airbrushes. Apparently, the paint had to be carefully engineered so that its heft and thickness wouldn’t interfere with the moving parts. The special airbrushes were used to spray on micro drops of paint.

As for the watch itself, well, it is a time-only proposition, with a tourbillon. The case is also remarkably complicated, in TZP black ceramic for the bezel and caseback and NTPT carbon for the case middle. Official information on the Richard Mille RM68-01 Kongo is available here. The images below illustrate the level of detail involved in this collaboration.

Richard Mille RM68-01 Kongo

Richard Mille RM68-01 Kongo

Michael Kors Access

Michael Kors Access Smartwatch: Fashionably Smart

We love ourselves a smartwatch that cuts out the need to carry multiple devices at one time so the new Access smartwatch by Michael Kors and Fossil is a welcome treat. Rather than creating a range that would be simply functional, the designer ensured that the designs would be stylish as well. Apart from the 49 pre-customized faces, the timepiece also comes with easily interchangeable rubber and leather straps.

To learn more about the Michael Kors Access Smartwatch, visit L’Officiel Singapore.

MB&F Balthazar: Time Gets Dark Playful Twist

MB&F Balthazar: Time Gets Dark Playful Twist

MB&F puts a mean twist on time with the Balthazar table clock – although in fairness calling Balthazar a mere clock misses the point entirely. Ok, so MB&F is a Swiss watchmaking outfit we’ve covered many times over the years. Just click on the tag MB&F if you’re a Thomas who doubts. Personally, I’ve had many a wonderful encounter with the good people at MB&F over the years as I’ve wandered the halls of BaselWorld (like Bono, I too have not found what I’m looking for) and have always come away entertained, if nothing else. Being entertained at the madhouse that is BaselWorld is no small matter.

MB&F Balthazar: Time Gets Dark, Playful Twist

This entertainment value is what comes to my mind when looking at the Balthazar clock, which shows (slowly) jumping hours and sweeping minutes, alongside 20-second retrograde seconds, a 35-day power reserve indicator and moon phase indicator. Reading a text description like this undercuts Balthazar’s power though and doesn’t tell you what’s so entertaining about this, unless you’re a watch geek.

In fact, Balthazar is so interesting that no less than TechCrunch dedicated Part 23 of its Goofy Rich-Person Gadgetry series to it. Being respectable techies, TechCrunch calls Balthazar a “novelty” made by hand to sell to rich people. It also calls MB&F a “glitzy watch manufacturer… Basically, that is what most tech-savvy people think of high-end watches and watchmaking but not to worry, we’ll do what we can to correct such notions. If that doesn’t work, maybe Balthazar can unleash his death rays on them…

Balthazar_Green_Light_Lres

Nevertheless, MB&F isn’t just positioning this to the rich, as they demonstrated with the Sherman and Melchior. Balthazar is a toy, with movable joints and everything, make no mistake but it is a toy for grown-ups. Founder Max Busser is quite open that what MB&F makes are objects inspired by his own childhood experiences. In this way, we suppose that MB&F channels Antoine de Saint Exupery, if you can accept Busser in the role of the Little Prince (we still love you Max).

Like the previous table clocks/kinetic sculptures, the movement here is by L’Epée, the high-end table clock specialist. Standing some 40cm tall, Balthazar is made up of 618 components but has a heart made of pure whimsy. When you rotate Balthazar’s torso 180 degrees, you see his more menacing visage, complete with Terminator-esque skull. Honestly, Balthazar reminds us of the Iron Giant, which is quite far removed from Busser’s childhood but perhaps speaks to some sort of universal and timeless experience.

Balthazar carries his winding key in his shield (on his right arm) and has moveable arms, at the shoulders and elbows, and his hands can grasp objects. While his torso does indeed rotate, Balthazar’s legs are immobile for greater stability. By the way, this mean machine weighs 8.2 kg so he needs adequate support.

Specs

  • MB&F and L’Epée Balthazar
  • Dimensions: 39.4mm x 23.8mm x 12.4mm
  • Functions: Slow jumping hours, sweeping minutes, 20-seconds retrograde display, power reserve indicator, double-hemisphere moon phase indicator
  • Power reserve: 35 Days
  • Movement: Mechanical, manual-winding calibre 1839, by L’Epée
  • Water resistance: NA (Balthazar doesn’t swim)
  • Material: Fully palladium plated polished brass, with black, silver, blue and green armor
  • Limited to 200 pieces: 50 in black, 50 in silver, 50 in blue and 50 in green

Review: Corum Golden Bridge Watch

Like the Bubble and the Coin watch, the Golden Bridge is one of Corum’s central pillars. The original Golden Bridge was presented in 1980 with a long, rectangular case containing a unique baguette movement. Occupying little space in the central vertical section, this manual-winding calibre has all its gear train’s components laid out in a linear fashion along its length. An entire collection has sprung from this initial release, with case designs gradually becoming barrel shaped and executed in both precious and technical materials to please all palates. Decorative elements such as dragon and phoenix figurines carved from gold have also been offered to play with the available space afforded by the movement, but the latter remains the star of the watch.Corum-Golden-Bridge-closeup

Corum’s novelties for BaselWorld this year may seem dominated by the numerous Bubble models, but the brand also introduced the Golden Bridge Round watch. This isn’t the first time the Golden Bridge has appeared in a round case; a previous interpretation of the shape has been done at least once before, in a small limited production run for an anniversary occasion.Corum-Golden-Bridge-closeup-2

For 2016, the Golden Bridge is offered in a round case for good, complete with a twist. Instead of leaving the space at the sides of the movement void as in most Golden Bridge watches, the watch’s designer, Dino Modolo, has decided to create a tribute to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge – the 2,727-meter long suspended bridge that served as the inspiration for this watch model in the first place. Rose gold sculptures now flank the movement, and take the form of lattice frameworks mimicking the Golden Gate Bridge. This piece of art can be appreciated at all angles, thanks to the use of a crystalline ring which forms the case’s middle.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 43mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes
  • Power Reserve: 40 hours
  • Movement: Manual-winding Corum Calibre C01133
  • Material: Rose gold (sapphire crystal case middle)
  • Water resistance: 30 meters
  • Strap: Brown alligator with rose gold ardillon buckle

This article was first published in World of Watches.

Longines Mini Watch

Longines Mini Watch: Pretty and Precise

Bigger is not always better, as the Longines Mini watch attempts to illustrate. Although Swiss watchmakers have been beefing up their watches since 2001 or so, timepieces still need to be elegant and full of grace and there is still plenty of room for watches like this. At just 16mm in diameter, the Longines Mini is the Swiss manufacture’s smallest watch in the current range. Take a long look and see if small is indeed beautiful, as Longines proposes here. Now it is hard to tell from the pictures because they don’t offer context but the watch is smaller than the caps of some fountain pens and plenty of lipsticks. So yes, this is a real tiny dancer!

There are four possibilities with the Longines Mini and all are in steel, with 42 diamonds set on the bezel. Actually, that is a little misleading because it is one watch that comes with four strap options. Nothing spectacular so far you might think but that is because Longines cares about the details here and if you are the sort of person who finds the Mini irresistible you already understand. Obviously, the luminous colors of the straps ranging from vivid red and soft lavender to trendy beige and chic black are key to the appeal of the watch. Those terms are actually what Longines officially calls these colors, once again calling to mind shades of lipstick.

Whatever your tastes might be, we think these colors will make for a nice contrast with the blued steel hour and minute hands, along with the mother-of-pearl dial. The colors will make it easier to match the watch with your wardrobe and mood, which unless you go with black all the time is important.

On the technical front, the Longines Mini is powered by a quartz movement, calibre L298.2, which is how Longines manages to maintain such a dainty size. Despite the size, the clean dial and baton hands allow one to easily read off the time while the case retains a certain degree of strength, being water resistant to 30 meters.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 16mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes
  • Movement: Quartz calibre L298.2
  • Material: Steel, with 42 Top Wesselton VVS diamonds (0.1 carats)
  • Water Resistance: 30 meters
  • Strap: Leather with buckle, four colors

For another perspective on the Longines Mini, visit L’Officiel Singapore.