Tag Archives: timepiece

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph

Originally launched in 1977 as the Ref. 222 to mark Vacheron Constantin’s 222nd anniversary, the Overseas line of sports watches was subsequently reintroduced in 1996. In 2004, it was refreshed, most notably with the integration of the Maltese Cross design into the bracelet links. Through the years, the watches enjoyed reasonable popularity with avid watch collectors even though they’ve been generally flying under the radar all this time.

Things may be set to change now that the new iteration is really made to shine because Vacheron Constantin has just revamped the Overseas collection with several new models including a 42.5mm self-winding chronograph. The movement used is a brand new Calibre 5200, developed in-house over a period of five years. This is a 12-hour chronograph with a Maltese Cross-shaped screw in the centre of the column wheel mechanism and a vertical coupling clutch for a smoother start of the chronograph second hand. Optimal torque is delivered for the period of about 52 hours, thanks to the twin barrel design. The movement’s 22K gold rotor is decorated with the wind rose emblem to reinforce the heritage of travel – the very purpose the collection is built for. A soft iron ring around the movement affords extra protection against magnetism.Vacheron-Constantin-Calibre-5200

This Geneva Seal-certified timepiece is designed with strap interchangeability in mind. Turn the watch around and you will see a small latch on both end-pieces to release the bracelet from the case. An alligator or rubber strap can then be attached with an easy snap. Extra straps are included in the package, and both the alligator and rubber straps are worn with the same triple-blade folding clasp. Of course, no tool is required to move this clasp from one strap to the next – a little turning on a pivot will do the job.

Even if you are not switching straps, you can still benefit from the bracelet clasp’s clever extension system. Simply pull at one or both ends to get a few extra millimetres of wrist comfort on demand. Once done, push the ends back and the bracelet returns to its original length – excellent for our hot and humid climate.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 42.5mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, chronograph
  • Power Reserve: 52 hours
  • Movement Self-winding Vacheron Constantin Calibre 5200
  • Case: Stainless steel
  • Water resistance: 150 meters
  • Strap: Steel bracelet with steel deployant buckle, plus black/blue alligator leather strap and black/blue rubber strap supplied with a second steel deployant buckle

Story Credits

Text by  Ruckdee Chotjinda

This story first appeared in WOW Magazine.

Back To Basics: Greubel Forsey Signature 1

Independent watchmaking is, for some, the pinnacle of traditional haute horlogerie, and in many cases, this is true. A pioneer of this style of watchmaking, Greubel Forsey has long since established its unique horological philosophy, which is typified by such astounding modern complications as multi-axis tourbillons, tourbillons with inclined balances linked by differentials, and even miniature mechanical computers. The firm may be not a hundred per cent independent today but the spirit of independent watchmaking continues to burn strong. Just not too long ago, together with the legendary independent watchmaker Philippe Dufour, it debuted a new project aimed at perpetuating traditional watchmaking know-how, and with the Signature 1, Greubel Forsey showed that it is also practicing this belief in-house.

A completely new collection, the Signature series is where Greubel Forsey handpicks one talented watchmaker in its employ to realise a watch of his or her dreams. The company spent six years setting the groundwork for this project and the first watchmaker to present his very own timepiece is Didier JG Cretin, a long-time member at Greubel Forsey. Cretin’s masterpiece is a manually wound three-hand watch that is regulated by an exclusive Greubel Forsey balance wheel and features a gold dial. It also comes with hands that had been manually finished and countersunk.Greubel-Forsey-Signature-1-back

Those familiar with Greubel Forsey’s watches would immediately notice parities between the Signature 1 and classic Greubel Forsey creations like the Invention Piece 1. They would not be wrong, for Cretin, as well as the other watchmakers after him, would draw solely upon the resources of the manufacture to produce the timepiece. As such, we could expect characteristic finishings found in all Greubel Forsey watches and the distinctive three-dimensional dial architecture, which is really the front of the movement. This would be the only condition set by Greubel Forsey; everything else is practically carte blanche. For this reason, the final result will be co-signed by the watchmaker, in this case Cretin, as well as the directors of the firm, Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey.

Another common aspect it shares with other Greubel Forsey watches is its rarity, for the inaugural Signature 1 is limited to only 33 pieces in steel and a further 11 each in white gold, red gold, and platinum.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 41.4mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
  • Power Reserve: 54 hours
  • Movement Manual-winding Calibre GFS1
  • Case: Steel, white gold, red gold, or platinum
  • Water Resistance: 30 meters
  • Strap: Alligator leather with ardillon buckle in steel, white gold, red gold, or platinum

Story Credits

Text by Jamie Tan

This story first appeared in WOW Magazine.

Quick Time: Parmigiani Tonda Chronor Anniversaire

Creating an integrated chronograph movement from scratch is expensive, time consuming, and downright impossible without the right watchmakers. This explains the common practice of sourcing for them externally, with the Valjoux 7750 and the Zenith El Primero being industry top favourites. To mark its 20th anniversary, Parmigiani Fleurier has unveiled the Tonda Chronor Anniversaire, which houses the brand’s first in-house integrated chronograph movement, in what Michel Parmigiani considers a sign of the manufacture’s maturity.

Why develop a chronograph, instead of another mark of high watchmaking such as the tourbillon? There are those who do not know this but many watchmakers including independents like Kari Voutilainen actually consider a chronograph to be more difficult to manufacture and assemble than a tourbillon, due to its number of parts and the precision required when adjusting them. This is doubly so for the Tondor Chronor Anniversaire’s PF361 movement, which has a split-seconds chronograph. Also known as a rattrapante chronograph, the complication allows two simultaneous events to be timed separately, with the additional split seconds hand controlled by the pusher on the crown.

Parmigiani-Fleurier-high_tonda-chrono-rattrapante

To increase the chronograph’s reliability and accuracy, Parmigiani Fleurier has included several technical features in PF361’s design. For one, the movement sports two column wheels – one each for the chronograph’s main and rattrapante functions. Although more difficult to manufacture than its counterpart, the cam, a column wheel offers better tactility as the pushers yield a more constant resistance before actuating with precise clicks. The chronograph itself is driven by a vertical clutch system, which is more accurate than a horizontal clutch as it avoids issues of hand backlash and flutter when it is activated. PF361 is also a high-frequency movement oscillating at five hertz; besides being more accurate, it also allows the chronograph to measure elapsed times down to 1/10th of a second. As for the finishing touch? The movement’s bridges and main plate have all been open-worked, and are executed in solid gold in lieu of brass.

Technical elements aside, the Tonda Chronor Anniversaire maintains the understated design typical of the collection. The timepiece is also extremely legible, with visually distinct timekeeping and chronograph functions thanks to the use of different materials for their hands. A large date display at 12 o’clock completes the package. The timepiece is limited to 25 pieces each in white and rose gold, with options of both white and blue grand feu enamel dials for each case material.

Parmigiani-Fleurier-Tonda-Chronor-Anniversaire-back

Specs

  • Dimension: 42.1mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, oversized date, small seconds, split-seconds chronograph
  • Power Reserve: 65 hours
  • Movement: Manual-winding PF361 movement (5 Hz balance)
  • Case: White or rose gold
  • Water Resistance: 30 meters
  • Strap: Black or Etruscan alligator leather with ardillon buckle

Story Credits

Text by Jamie Tan

This story first appeared in WOW Magazine.

Spirit of Travel: Montblanc 4810 ExoTourbillon

First launched in 2006 to celebrate the centenary of the maison, Montblanc’s 4810 collection has been newly overhauled for the brand’s 110th anniversary. The collection takes its name from the apparent height of Mont Blanc’s peak in metres, and has a full range of regular and limited edition timepieces, the most exciting of which is the 4810 ExoTourbillon Slim 110 Years Edition. The watch features three versions of miniature painting on its dial, with the motif being maps of the different continents – North America, Europe, and Asia. Maps, of course, evoke the spirit of travel and Montblanc’s founders had been early business travellers between Hamburg (where the company is based) and New York, which was the destination that would first come to mind when one thinks of Transatlantic Travel.

Painted as viewed from the sky, the continents were given a three-dimensional effect using layers upon layers of enamel paint. The artist who worked on these watches had been the same one who painted the twin hemispheres of last year’s Tourbillon Cylindrique Geosphères Vasco da Gama. Hailing from Montblanc’s spiritual and physical home, she paints in thick layers of vitreous enamel, beginning with the numerous shades of blue for the oceans before moving on to the greens and browns of land and mountains, not forgetting the whites of the polar ice floes.Montblanc-4810-collection-2

With a miniature painting dominating much of the dial, the remaining space below is dedicated to the ExoTourbillon, which also functions as a small seconds indicator thanks to the little red arrow on the tourbillon cage. The ExoTourbillon mechanism forgoes the traditional tourbillon design for a smaller cage that’s more like a platform outside and away from the balance. According to Montblanc, this reduces overall weight for improved isochronism. Also, the lack of a cage allows for a stop seconds mechanism to be easily – and elegantly – implemented. Without any risk of striking the cage, the balance wheel can be halted for precise time setting. Finally, an extra large balance is also possible with this geometry and Montblanc has certainly taken the opportunity to show off its in-house savoir faire with balance wheels and hairsprings.

These watches are limited to 36 pieces for the North America and Europe versions, and 38 for the Asia version, for a total of 110 timepieces.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 42mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
  • Power Reserve: 50 hours
  • Movement: Self-winding Montblanc Calibre MB 29.24 with ExoTourbillon
  • Case: White gold
  • Water Resistance: 50 meters
  • Strap: Black alligator leather with white gold ardillon buckle

Story Credits

Text by Jamie Tan

This story first appeared in WOW.

Good Times: HYT Skull Bad Boy

Death. Power. Celebration. The skull is associated with numerous themes, and HYT has used it to great effect in its namesake collection. The Skull watch was first released in two references with red and green liquids, each sporting matching eyes of the corresponding color and resembling a different comic book character. The Skull Maori came next, and had detailing that evoked traditional Maori tribal tattoos. For its latest creation, the Skull Bad Boy, HYT has ventured into the rebellious, grittier subcultures of biking and hard rock.

The most striking aspect of the new release is its fluid module’s black liquid, which had taken the brand over a year to develop. It’s worth noting that every new color used in the brand’s fluid modules is an individual “product” whose hue is just one aspect that must be engineered – the liquid must also maintain a defined meniscus within the glass tube, repel itself from the tube’s inner walls instead of sticking to it, have a suitable viscosity and thermal coefficient, and finally be UV resistant.

Chemistry aside, black also represents an entirely new shade for the brand, whose past developments have been confined to bright, almost fluorescent liquids. The new liquid is a perfect fit for the Skull Bad Boy’s monochromic color scheme, which includes a black DLC-coated titanium case and slate grey leather strap. The watch’s overall look is sinister, and fully deserving of its name. The general lack of vibrancy doesn’t translate into a lack of details though. Note how the grey hour indexes on the flange support the theme with their Gothic typeface, and the dial’s Clous de Paris pattern that resembles a leather cuff’s studs.

HYT-SkullBadBoy-Side

The skull itself takes centre stage, and is a wonder to behold – it’s a steel/carbon composite created by folding the two materials over themselves multiple times, before being polished and sealed with varnish. The folding process is akin to that used in crafting Japanese swords, and creates a similar pattern of wavy layers. As every batch of materials folds differently during the process, no two skulls will be alike. The displays in the eyes return in the Skull Bad Boy; the socket on the left houses a rotating disc that acts as a running seconds indicator, while the one on the right is a power reserve indicator that turns progressively darker as the mainspring winds down.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 51mm
  • Functions: Hours, small seconds, power reserve indicator
  • Power Reserve: 65 hours
  • Movement: Manual-winding HYT calibre with fluid module and
  • 65-hour power reserve
  • Case: DLC-coated titanium
  • Water Resistance: 50m
  • Strap: Slate grey alligator leather with Velcro clasp

HYT-SkullBadBoy-Back

This story was originally published in World of Watches Singapore

Drive de Cartier: Driving Force

When it comes to shaped watches, few brands can claim to match Cartier’s product variety and success. The classic Tank, the relatively new Clé de Cartier, and the highly atypical Crash, which makes recurring appearances over the years, are just a sampling of the manufacture’s offerings. This year, Cartier continues its trek off the beaten path of good ol’ round watches with the Drive de Cartier.

Foremost, Drive de Cartier is defined by a cushion-shaped silhouette and slim profile, lugs that extend smoothly from the case, which has both polished and satinated surfaces, a domed crystal, and a facetted crown set with a sapphire cabochon. The collection debuted with three models across seven references, including a Fine Watchmaking version, the Drive de Cartier Flying Tourbillon, which is the flagship. Like its siblings, this watch’s dial design is Cartier through and through: Roman numeral hour indexes, sword-shaped hands in blued steel, and a scalloped sunburst guilloché pattern are all present as identifying elements. But unlike its siblings, this piece has a more elaborate two-tier structure. The guilloché pattern is confined to a lower layer that is overlaid with an upper dial sporting the markers and chapter rings.Driving-Force-Cle-de-Cartier

The engine within the Drive de Cartier Flying Tourbillon is the manufacture’s in-house Calibre 9452 MC. As its name suggests, the calibre contains a flying tourbillon, which is prominently displayed at six o’clock on the dial. The lack of an upper bridge here affords an airier design for a view right through the movement. This is complemented by the tourbillon’s upper cage, which has been rendered in Cartier’s characteristic “C”. Design aside, the personalised cage also serves as a demonstration of watchmaking savoir faire. Finally, the feather in the cap is 9452 MC’s Poinçon de Genève certification, which attests to the movement’s finishing standards and origins.

Specs

  • Dimension: 40 x 41mm
  • Function: Hours, minutes
  • Power Reserve: 50 hours
  • Movement: Manual- winding Calibre 9452 MC with flying tourbillon and Poinçon de Genève certification
  • Case: 40 x 41mm in pink gold
  • Water resistance: 30m
  • Strap: Brown alligator leather with pink gold deployant buckle

Story Credits

Text by Jamie Tan

This story was first published in WOW.

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon

Anyone mistaking this as a new dial variation of last year’s Datograph Perpetual could be forgiven. But no, it is not; this is the new Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon, which A. Lange & Söhne spent four years developing. The quick and easy way of identifying the new model is the presence of a curved white and red power reserve indicator on the dial flange at the 10 o’clock position, as well as the absence of small circular indicators jutting out of the two sub-dials. Also, it proffers a longer power reserve of 50 hours.

The sweet combination of perpetual calendar and tourbillon easily makes this watch a Holy Grail watch contender. For the perpetual calendar, in addition to awareness of differing lengths of the months and the leap year cycle, the moon phase is extremely accurate as can be expected from A. Lange & Söhne. In this case, the display will be off by only one day in 122.6 years.

All calendar elements are individually correctable with recessed pushers on the side of the case. One regular pusher at 10 o’clock advances the entire calendar by one day. Accidental activation when worn or when the watch is placed on the side is made impossible, as one must pull the crown out first in order for this button to be operational. There you have it –convenience and security in one.A-Lange-Sohne-Datograph-Perpetual-Tourbillon

Ever so discreet, the tourbillon is hidden from the front view and visible only to the owner of the watch and the privileged few he would remove his watch to show. Its balance beats at the leisurely rate of 18,000vph or 2.5Hz. A mechanism is built in to stop the balance wheel for precise time setting to the seconds with the pulling of the crown.

Datograph watches, by default, feature a big date display and the flyback chronograph functionality; this new model is not an exception. The chronograph tracks time for the duration of 30 minutes with a jumping minute counter. The associated sweeping chronograph second hand is precise to one-fifth of a second. It is amazing how so much information can be presented on the blackened silver dial, and in such a legible fashion.

This 41.5mm watch is very wearable at 14.6mm thick (only 1.1mm thicker than its 41.0mm brother without tourbillon). One hundred units of the Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon will be produced, all in platinum.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 41.5mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, flyback chronograph, perpetual calendar,
    moon phase display and power reserve indicator
  • Power Reserve: 50 hours
  • Movement: Manual-winding Lange Calibre L952.2 with tourbillon
  • Case: Platinum
  • Water Resistance: 30 meters
  • Strap: Black alligator leather with platinum deployant buckle

Story Credits

Text by Ruckdee Chotjinda

This story was first published in WOW.

Less is More: Panerai Lo Scienziato PAM578

Thinking outside the box yields a world of benefits. As Panerai demonstrates, advancements in material engineering from other industries can be translated to watchmaking, especially in case making. Take 2015’s PAM616 for instance. That watch was the first to use Carbotech – a composite material normally reserved for high performance brake pads – for a case with both unique aesthetics and superlative physical properties. Now, the manufacture has unveiled a new case-making technique in the Lo Scienziato Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT Titanio PAM578: Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS).

This method essentially 3D-prints a case by sintering powdered metal in layers with a laser. Unlike subtractive manufacturing techniques, where a case is milled out of a solid block of material, DMLS is additive – the final product is built in layers, and can thus be hollow. This, coupled with the choice of titanium, which is 40 per cent lighter than steel, made it possible to create a case weighing less than 100 grams despite its hefty 47mm diameter.Panerai-Lo-Scienziato-Luminor-1950-Tourbillon-GMT-Titanio-view

None of the other properties of titanium have been compromised. The new case can still be brushed or polished, and remains corrosion resistant and hypoallergenic. As for issues of strength, Panerai has stated that the cavity within PAM578’s case was designed with a geometry that maintains the watch’s physical integrity. This idea isn’t new, as various objects from bicycle frames to aeroplane wings use the same principle for weight reduction at no expense to strength. Naturally, PAM578 underwent the same quality tests – water resistance included – as all other Panerai watches.

The idea of weight savings has been extended to the movement too. PAM578 is fitted with the P.2005/T calibre, a version of the skeletonised P.2005/S modified with titanium plates and bridges in lieu of brass, which makes it 35 per cent lighter. The rest of the movement remains unchanged, from the GMT and accompanying day/night indicator on the dial side, to the power reserve indicator on the reverse. Calibre P.2005/T also preserves its predecessor’s tourbillon, notable for making a complete revolution once every 30 seconds, and an axis of rotation that’s perpendicular and not parallel to the balance’s axis.

Of course, the movement features a long power reserve, which is the calling card of the manufacture from its days making military watches; three separate barrels arranged in series confer a power reserve of six days. PAM578 has a limited run of 150 pieces.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 47mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, second time zone with day/night indication, power reserve indicator
  • Power Reserve: 144 hours
  • Movement: Manual-winding P.2005T calibre with tourbillon
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters
  • Material: 47mm in titanium, water resistant to 100m
  • Strap: Ponte Vecchio brown leather strap with trapezoidal buckle in titanium and anthracite alligator leather with titanium deployant buckle

Story Credits

Text by Jamie Tan
This story first appeared in WOW.

Blancpain Great Wave: BaselWorld Epilogue

At a quiet moment after my last presentation at BaselWorld 2016, I found myself as usual at the Blancpain booth, where the bar is always open and the company is good. This remains the last place one can still have a cigar (or cigarette, as you please) inside the fair and it was just too cold to try to finish a cigar outdoors this year. Anyway, I was nursing an unnamed Swiss wine and taking a moment after looking at the Blancpain novelties to contemplate the chocolate boxes from the brand, to which there is a sad tale. To begin on a happy note though, here is the Blancpain Piece Unique, Villeret Metiers d’Art “The Great Wave” wristwatch. Only one watch will be made and it is very special, though not because it is extremely mechanically complicated. Indeed, it is a time-only proposition, with the 8-day power reserve manual-winding calibre 13R3A.

There is something unusual about that movement but first, feast your eyes on the dial here. Obviously, the scene depicted is the “Great Wave” in question; it is in fact a meticulous recreation of the Hokusai woodblock print called the Great Wave off Kanagawa. The dial material is actually a first for Blancpain, Mexican silver obsidian. The Great Wave design is in white gold, which is created on a Shakudo base. To obtain the patina you see, this base is immersed in a rokusho salt bath. Gold is famously non-reactive but this bath actually oxidizes it, according to the presenters who showed us the watch, which means this must have a been an alkaline sodium bath. Now what you see has different levels of polish to it, which lends the depiction of the wave lifelike qualities, and this has been painstakingly executed. Finally, the Shakudo base is removed and the white gold engraving is affixed to the Mexican silver obsidian base.

Blancpain Villeret Great Wave Metiers dArt dial

Adding to artisanal spirit here, the brand has opted to modify the standard 13R0 movement to move the power reserve indicator from the dial to the bridge side, so it can be viewed via the caseback and not interfere with the beauty of the dial. As you might imagine, this watch calls for a superlative strap and it has just such a strap, in calfskin handcrafted by a Swiss artisan. Honestly, the only thing that keeps this from being my favorite from Blancpain is the fact that there is only one and that the Villeret collection features one of my favorite complications, the annual calendar with GMT (in steel no less!).

That said, The Great Wave is a contemplative watch, one you could spend hours pondering, which brings me back to that chocolate. For years now, these chocolates have been a comfort here at the Blancpain booth (the ones at Longines, Breitling and Rolex are also excellent and consistent) but this year, the aftertaste is bittersweet.

Blancpain Villeret Great Wave Metiers dArt caseback

Benoit Violier passed away under tragic circumstances earlier this year and this occasion at BaselWorld is the first time since the news broke that I have come into contact with anything bearing his name. For me, this was the truly somber moment of the fair but it was also great to see his work and name live on, especially since his restaurant was recently declared best in the world. The artisanal touch he brought to the chocolates will always remind me of the unique pieces that Blancpain creates.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 42mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, power reserve indicator
  • Power Reserve: 8 Days
  • Movement: 13R3A, manual winding
  • Water Resistance: 30 meters
  • Material: Platinum
  • Strap: Artisanal calf leather
  • Unique Piece

Guide: 20 Watches to Achieve 6 Looks

Pair the right gear with the right watch and you’ll do fine no matter where you go. Here are six thematic looks, curated and shot by our friends at WOW, World of Watches in Singapore, to help you choose the right timepiece.

GO SPORTY

Whether you’re out to look like an athlete or just like the casual sportive style, the ensemble would really fly when there’s a sports watch on the wrist – think high-performance materials and utility-driven design. After all, no sporting pursuit was ever made without a keen eye on the time.

01-Graham-Prodive

Graham Prodive
The Prodive is Graham’s dive watch line, and this reference’s rose gold accents gives it a dual identity of both tool and luxury watch. The timepiece has all the hallmarks of a dive watch, including a water resistance of 600m and a helium escape valve, making it suitable for compression diving. It also comes equipped with a 30-minute chronograph that is operated with Graham’s patented trigger system. The trigger’s size makes it a cinch to access, and pushing it successively will start and stop the chronograph. Reset with the button above the trigger. In DLC-coated steel and rose gold. ($23,219)

01 733 7675 4754-Set RS - Oris Aquis Depth Gauge

Oris Aquis Depth Gauge
Any dive watch that is worth its weight in saltwater will perform flawlessly underwater and act as a backup to the dive computer. The Aquis Depth Gauge doesn’t stop there; it takes things a step further with an integrated depth gauge that’s useable to 100m – far deeper than where most recreation divers will venture. The watch has a commanding presence on the wrist, with a large 46mm case executed in DLC-coated steel, topped with an equally tough tungsten bezel insert. A bright yellow rubber strap completes the sporty look both in and out of the water. ($4,600)

03-Chopard-Mille-Miglia-GTS-Power-Control

Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Power Control
Rally the petrolheads with this watch. Themed on the Mille Miglia endurance race, the Power Control’s design harks back to the classic cars of yore. It houses a power reserve indicator at nine o’clock that mimics the dashboard fuel gauge, while the date window is set in the Mille Miglia’s red arrow race logo. The icing on the cake here is the rubber strap, which has a textured pattern recalling Dunlop tyres from the 1960s. In steel, with a black aluminium bezel insert. ($8,470)

04-Omega-Seamaster-Ploprof-1200M-Co-Axial-Master-Chronometer

Omega Seamaster Ploprof 1200M Co-Axial Master Chronometer
Nothing quite matches up to the imposing presence of a Seamaster Ploprof on the wrist, thanks to its chunky, angular case. Omega has given the watch several updates this year, beginning with a titanium and ceramic construction and a matching titanium mesh bracelet. This reduces its weight by nearly 50 per cent vis-à-vis its stainless steel predecessor to greatly improve on comfort. The watch is also a METAS-certified Master Chronometer now, having fulfilled eight criteria that include accuracy and magnetic resistance. ($17,850)

GO PREPPY

You might not come from old money or have graduated from an Ivy League college, but those are not reasons not to embrace the preppy look. This style conveys refined tastes and an appreciation for quality without appearing stuffy. What’s not to like? Naturally, a watch that is neat and minimalist with a stylish touch cements the look.

05-Zenith-Elite-6150

Zenith Elite 6150
The Elite 6150’s eponymous movement is a reworked version of the original Elite, and boasts a 100-hour power reserve that’s double its predecessor’s. The new calibre has a flat and wide construction, which the watch mirrors with a steel case that’s just 10.5mm high, but 42mm in diameter. These proportions are further accentuated by the cambered dial, which is silver-toned like the hands and indices. Be sure to match this with an appropriate belt buckle and cufflinks. ($10,500)

06-Baume-and-Mercier-Hampton-Ref-10156

Baume & Mercier Hampton Ref. 10156
Shaped watches are never as common as their round cousins, which makes this Hampton in steel the perfect choice for jazzing up a preppy outfit. The watch exudes a quiet, confident vibe, with a simple three-hand layout that’s supplemented by a date window at six o’clock. Legibility is further enhanced by the sculpted bezel, which is recessed at three and nine o’clock to expose the crystal and let in more light for an even airier dial. ($3,650)

07-Raymond-Weil-Maestro-Frank-Sinatra-Limited-Edition

Raymond Weil Maestro Frank Sinatra Limited Edition
Jazz aficionados with a penchant for prep will be well served to consider this limited edition Raymond Weil Maestro, which honours Frank Sinatra himself. Ol’ Blue Eyes was known for his impeccable dressing, and this watch would’ve completed his ensemble both on and off stage, making it a fitting tribute. The round steel case contains a patterned dial sporting blue indices, with matching leaf-shaped hands in blued steel, for a simple yet classy appearance. ($2,190)

GO QUIRKY

When more of the usual just won’t cut it, it’s time to shake things up with a dash of quirk. Work those clashing colours and mismatched prints, and ditch the conservative navy suit for a checked jacket instead. While you’re at it, have on your wrist something off-kilter. Why conform?

08-Romain-Jerome-Subcraft-Titanium

Romain Jerome Subcraft Titanium
The Subcraft eschews hands and a dial for an atypical way of presenting the time. The hour is read from the front via a linear, retrograde, and jumping indicator, while the minute display sits on top of the brushed titanium case. The watch sports a contoured form that’s devoid of straight lines and reminiscent of a graceful manta ray, to hold a dual identity of timepiece and sculptural work of art. A cuff in black calf leather acts as the interface between watch and wrist for a comfortable fit. ($35,000)

09-Ulysse-Nardin-Freaklab

Ulysse Nardin FreakLab
If you can’t already tell from its name, the FreakLab is not your typical watch. The timepiece’s avant-garde design permeates its entire layout, not least by how the silicon escapement-equipped movement turns about its own axis with the hands to indicate the time. Don’t bother looking for the crown – the time and date are set by turning the upper bezel. The lower bezel, on the other hand, winds the watch. In white gold, with a case diameter of 45mm. ($160,400)

10-Urwek-UR-105-TA-Black-Orange

Urwerk UR-105 TA “Black Orange”
The UR-105 TA tells the time not with hands, but using Urwerk’s revolving satellite system – the brand’s take on the wandering hours complication. This setup is housed in a shield-shaped case bearing numerous facets, and finished with an oversized crown at 12 o’clock. To top things off, the watch has been executed in a combination of orange and black – uncommon choices for a luxury timepiece, but certainly a striking one. In titanium with black PVD steel bezel. ($109,200)

11-Corum-Heritage-Bubble-Squelette

Corum Heritage Bubble Squelette
No matter which way you slice it, Corum’s Bubble is in a class of its own. At 47mm wide and 18.8mm high, the new Heritage Bubble Squelette will not fit under any shirt cuff. Instead, the watch sits openly on the wrist like a work of art, and extends an open invitation to admire its bubble-shaped crystal, so thick it both distorts and magnifies the skeletonised movement under it. In steel, with a leather-on-rubber strap. ($13,268)

GO EDGY

From skate punk to industrial metal and beyond, there’s a myriad sub-cultures to cop an edgy look from, depending on one’s inclinations. Steel and leather might make up the essentials alongside ink and piercings, but why stop there? Finish it off with a timepiece sporting the right colors and motifs – because the devil is in the details.

12-Franck-Muller-Vanguard-Carbon

Franck Muller Vanguard Carbon
There’s no such thing as going too far with black. The Vanguard Carbon here is proof, beginning with an all-black carbon case in Franck Muller’s signature Cintrée Curvex shape, which is paired with blacked-out hands, dial, and indices. Naturally, the strap delivers the finishing touch with a matching black Cordura-over-rubber construction. Things don’t look plain or drab though, thanks to Franck Muller’s play with textures and materials. ($19,881)

14-Bell-&-Ross-BR01-Skull-Bronze

Bell & Ross BR 01 Skull Bronze
The skull has been used by various groups ranging from Hell’s Angels to paratroopers, and serves to both inspire and intimidate. The BR 01 Skull Bronze displays this symbol prominently on its 46mm wide case, which uses additional detailing to outline the dial and form a set of crossbones. Bronze is an interesting choice here – the material develops a patina over time, which will make each Skull Bronze unique to its owner. For a personal memento mori that ages with its owner, look no further. ($9,500)

13-Hublot-Big-Bang-Unico-Italia-Independent

Hublot Big Bang Unico Italia Independent
The Big Bang Unico Italia Independent is serious business, and owes its look to a cohesive combination of colours, materials, and textures. Its case and bezel are constructed in Texalium – Hublot’s proprietary material of aluminium-coated carbon fibre, which combines strength, lightness, and a brilliant finish that was previously unattainable. Match this with a skeletonised dial in blue, attach a studded denim strap, and a complete package to electrify any wrist emerges. ($43,800)

GO GEEKY

Whether his chosen pursuit today is Star Wars, 3D printing, or something else entirely, the modern geek has left his sartorially challenged past behind. Geek chic staples such as knit ties and horn-rimmed glasses are easy picks, of course, but the bona fide geek remains identifiable by his choice of gadgets and, above all, his watch.

15-Hamilton-Khaki-Chrono-Worldtimer

Hamilton Khaki Chrono Worldtimer
The Khaki Chrono Worldtimer combines a chronograph and a worldtimer, with a twist on each thanks to its multifunction quartz movement. By selecting the operating mode using the pusher at 10 o’clock, the user can measure elapsed time of up to 120 minutes, view UTC time, or access the worldtimer, which automatically accounts for daylight savings time. A bold steel case 45mm across keeps the dial large and legible for the multitasker. ($1,860)

16-Breitling-B55-Connected

Breitling B55 Connected
The B55 Connected is Breitling’s take on the smartwatch – a timepiece that functions independently, yet is able to link up with a smartphone for greater convenience. In this case, the paired smartphone can adjust the B55 Connected’s functions and indicators, while also storing and displaying the watch’s chronograph measurements. The watch remains the dominant device here though. Performance fanatics will appreciate the COSC-certified high accuracy quartz movement, which measures elapsed time down to 1/100 seconds. In titanium, with a black carbon coating. (Price unavailable)

17-Casio-GShock-MTG-G1000D

Casio G-Shock MTG-G1000D
For the fan who bought his first G-Shock decades ago, the watch remains relevant today thanks to Casio’s constant updates to it. The MTG-G1000D is the latest such example, with a steel construction in lieu of resin, and the brand’s proprietary technology that combines GPS and terrestrial radio wave reception for timekeeping. New dual coil motors now allow the watch to switch indications almost instantaneously – just another improvement in a long line of upgrades the watch has received. ($1,799)

GO NORMCORE

When you’re tired of it all, there’s always normcore to fall back on. Take a leaf out of Steve Jobs’s book, and embrace the ordinary. Do not confuse plain with mediocre though – Jobs wore black turtlenecks from Issey Miyake, not Gap – let your choice of watch be something unassuming, but nothing short of excellent.

18-Sinn-EZM-3F

Sinn EZM 3F
Beneath the EZM 3F’s unassuming dial lie several technical details that make it worthy of its mission timer (EinsatzZeitMesser) label. The timepiece is water resistant to 200m, anti-magnetic to 1000 gauss, and contains Sinn’s proprietary dehumidifying technology, which creates a moisture-free environment inside the steel case. These features all add up to a robust and reliable tool watch, which doesn’t take a pilot to appreciate. ($3,600)

19-Tudor-North-Flag

Tudor North Flag
Created as a throwback to scientific instruments of the past, the North Flag’s design puts a premium on legibility, with bold hands and markers plus a high-contrast colour scheme. The highlight of the watch is the movement under its hood – Tudor’s first in-house calibre, MT5621, which boasts a 70-hour power reserve. The North Flag tops things off with the inclusion of both a power reserve indicator and a date display – arguably two of the most useful complications for a wristwatch. In steel, with a steel and ceramic bezel. (Price unavailable)

20-Junghans-Meister-Calendar

Junghans Meister Calendar
Junghans watches share a common design code and the Meister Calendar is no exception, with a pink gold-coated steel case that houses a relatively clean and minimalist dial. A closer look, however, will reveal that the watch contains a complete calendar complication, with a moon phase indicator to boot. These have all been subtly integrated into just one sub-dial and two tiny apertures to reduce clutter, which speaks volumes about the efficacy of the Teutonic design language. (Price unavailable)

Story Credits
Text by Jamie Tan
Photography by Greenplasticsoldiers
Styling by Ong Weisheng

This article was originally published in World of Watches

Focus: Franck Muller Vanguard Collection

Apart from Master of Complications, Franck Muller’s other nom de guerre could very well be Defier of Conventions, because this leading-edge watch company has never been known to just follow the rules. Since its inception, Franck Muller’s style of watchmaking has always been considered unique and avant-garde. As a matter of fact, the company’s eponymous founder himself is known to be a maverick in every sense of the word – and one with a wicked sense of humour to boot. Coupled with some truly mad skills honed from classical watchmaking, Muller was able to reimagine high complications like no other contemporary watchmaker of his time. This watchmaking whiz had been the mastermind behind such inimitable works of horological creativity and flair as the Master Banker, Crazy Hours, Totally Crazy, the mind-blowing Aeternitas series of grand complications, and more recently, such dazzling pieces as the Giga Tourbillon. Indeed, these are not watches for the meek, and likewise, the Franck Muller Vanguard collection was made to be revered.

Introduced just two years ago in 2013, the Vanguard is the modern face of Franck Muller. All-time best sellers like the Cintrée Curvex and Long Island have dominated its brand identity for the better part of the 2000s, thanks largely in part to the highly recognisable tonneau or rectangular case with curved sapphire crystal and those whimsical Art Deco-inspired hour numerals, which have become practically synonymous with Franck Muller. While these watches have been and will always remain the company’s classical icons, it is also apparent that existing owners of these watches want and need something else to go on with – something that was irrevocably Franck Muller yet also different, daring, and even more exciting. This was the raison d’être of the Vanguard, a watch that retained the core DNA of the Cintrée Curvex but turned the dial several notches up both in terms of technicality and design.

TECHNICAL FLAIR

Audacity may be Franck Muller’s middle name, but the Geneva-based watchmaker did in fact cut his teeth tinkering with horology’s most complicated mechanisms. Legend has it that Muller, in his apprentice years, once tampered with a Rolex watch, deconstructing the movement and adding extra components to make it a perpetual calendar. Legend didn’t say whose Rolex it was, but that’s not really the point. More importantly, Muller went on to found his own brand shortly after graduating from watchmaking school in the late 1980s to early 1990s and introduced new and ever more cutting-edge timepieces year after year. Those watches had been released as world premiers and they included the first tourbillon watch that featured the tourbillon on the dial side, a practice that did not exist before then.

Vanguard Tourbillon with precious materials

Vanguard Tourbillon with precious materials

Decades have passed since Franck Muller made that audacious decision, but the company’s bold approach to tourbillon-making hasn’t dwindled one bit. If anything, it’s became even more daring, especially since the turn of the millennium with collections like the Evolution watches, the Aeternitas watches, and, more recently, the larger-than-life Giga Tourbillon and the super-sized Gravity. Where the Giga Tourbillon exudes a more classical appeal, however, the Gravity is unmistakeably avant-garde and contemporary, which means it is just perfect for the Vanguard collection.

This technical tour de force leaves a huge impact, thanks in no small part to its colossal proportions. It occupies more than half of the watch’s dial, and this is by no means a dial of modest dimensions. The watch, after all, measures an impressive 44mm X 53.7mm. But what’s even more impressive is the architecture of the tourbillon, which arrests the eye with a pair of crossbars forming the bridge. Constructed in blackened steel, the entire structure arches over an elliptical aperture measuring 21.2mm at its widest and is doubly stable because it is screwed to the mainplate at four points instead of just two.

At the point where the crossbars meet, a single red ruby and its accompanying chatons keep the aluminium tourbillon carriage firmly attached to the bridge. As it rotates once every 60 seconds, the carriage chases the balance wheel around an elliptical path. In accordance with the oversized theme, the balance wheel at 14mm also measures large. Even the applied numerals and the hour and minute hands are robust to say the least. The Vanguard Gravity is also deeply versatile, sporting a host of case materials from black-treated titanium to precious white or pink gold. Each variation bears a unique colour palette that shows different sides of the watch.

03-Vanguard-Gravity-Red

In addition to the Gravity, the Vanguard collection also includes more classical models like the Vanguard Tourbillon and Vanguard Chronograph. While clearly on a different league than the Vanguard Gravity, these watches definitely hold their own in the complications arena. The tourbillon model, in particular, espouses the familiar black-polished FM tourbillon carriage found in all Franck Muller flying tourbillons. Whether set fully with diamonds or designed with a cool industrial style, the Vanguard complicated models are a veritable force to be reckoned with.

AESTHETIC SOPHISTICATION

The importance of design in luxury watchmaking cannot be overstated and in the case of Franck Muller, it even helped establish one of its watches as a contemporary icon. The classic Cintrée Curvex with fancy Art Deco numerals takes its place as the most recognisable Franck Muller watch of all, and it proffers little more than just the time and date. Available in a dizzying array of colours and styles, the Cintrée Curvex classic pieces follow the shape of the wrist flawlessly and this intangible feature is perhaps its biggest selling point. For years, budding watch collectors have swooned over the watch’s just-right proportions, funky numerals, and discreet dial décor, proving that while high complications are exciting to discover, simple pieces often win the day.

With the Vanguard collection, one doesn’t have to look too far to find traces of design creativity. Of course, the complicated watches pack a punch with a heady mix of different materials for the cases, dials, and straps. Even the simple models could sometimes steal their thunder, and the Vanguard Cobra is a shining example. This magnificent creation would definitely get under your skin and, love it or loathe it, there’s no ignoring it. Following in the footsteps of provocative earlier models in the Cintrée Curvex line like the Iron Croco, Black Croco, and Gold Croco, the Vanguard Cobra brings some serious swagger.

Like crocodile and alligator leather, snakeskin evokes a kind of sensuality and seductive quality that other skins generally don’t. It is this unabashed, unbridled indulgence that evokes luxury. With the Vanguard Cobra, this sensation had been doubly heightened when Franck Muller carved a solid gold case with lines emulating the scales of a deadly King Cobra. And not just the case but the dial, as well, reflects this captivating design motif. The components have been milled from a single block of gold in order to achieve realistic cobra scales, complemented by the rubber and leather cobra-effect strap. With just a little imagination, one could definitely see the similarities between this Vanguard case and the extendable hood behind the head of this largest of all cobras.

The Vanguard Pixel flaunts creativity in a novel fashion

The Vanguard Pixel flaunts creativity in a novel fashion

Moving over from the snake pit to the smart watch arena, Franck Muller has decided to throw its hat into the ring with its own rendition of a digital watch – tongue firmly in cheek. And if you find yourself complaining about the resolution, then you’ve simply missed the point. Technically, the Vanguard Pixel isn’t much, but visually, it is a refreshing sight even for tired eyes – as long as your sense of humour remains intact. Like a low-resolution image full of pixelated squares, the case and dial of the watch is covered in alternating polished and brushed miniature squares. There is no trompe-l’oeil going on here, though, because even when the case and dial are covered with pixels, the black flange indicating cardinal points, the oversized hour numerals, the Franck Muller insignia, the hour and minute hands, as well as the date, all remain in perfectly sharp focus.

06-Vanguard-Gold-Cobra

Where the Vanguard Cobra and Vanguard Pixel is designed to stand out, the Vanguard Camouflage aims to blend in – at least it tries. With a matte black titanium case, the dials of these watches are swathed in the classic camouflage motif but over a range of colours including khaki, green, grey, and blue. There are three variations available: time-only, chronograph, and tourbillon. An army-inspired watch with a tourbillon? Why not? After all, there are different ranks in the military, aren’t there? Plus, to have options is always good; even Starbucks offers tall, grande, and venti.

Fully set with diamonds, the Vanguard Lady will set your heart ablaze

Fully set with diamonds, the Vanguard Lady will set your heart ablaze

CLASSIC VERSATILITY

The true test of a watch’s longevity, its ability to stand the test of time, lies in its suitability for everyday wear. This is true of all watches recognised as icons today, including but not limited to the Rolex Submariner, the Omega Speedmaster, and definitely the Franck Muller Cintrée Curvex. At its most basic, the Vanguard is still an excitable timepiece, what with the bold appliqué numerals and chunky hour and minute hands dominating its mien. But this is all part of its DNA; its ancestor, the classic Cintrée Curvex, also had very large numerals. As a sports watch, however, the Vanguard does have some free play, its oversized dimensions lending themselves especially well to this cause.

Looking up close at the dial to discover a melange of details

Looking up close at the dial to discover a melange of details

In addition, Franck Muller doesn’t hold back in terms of design for this watch. Since its introduction in 2013, the Vanguard has taken on countless guises ranging from sporty titanium and black carbon to posh white gold and diamond pavé, not to mention numerous colour variations. Attesting to the versatility of the timepiece, this wide array serves to showcase Franck Muller’s long-term vision for the collection. With something for everyone, including women connoisseurs, the Vanguard embodies Franck Muller’s watchmaking philosophy and sets it in the present. Indeed, traditional high watchmaking is always appealing, especially to the watch connoisseurs, but with these watches, Franck Muller has shown that there is a way to be classical yet modern, adventurous, and anything but boring.

Bringing a bit of military chic to watchmaking is the Vanguard Camouflage

Bringing a bit of military chic to watchmaking is the Vanguard Camouflage

ALL HANDS ON DECK

The Vanguard Yachting collection tightens the collaboration between Franck Muller and the Italian Sea Group

12-Vanguard-Yachting-Closeup

From the sapphire blue of the Mediterranean Sea to the turquoise waters of the Andaman, the open ocean never fails to relax the spirit, especially when you’re aboard a beautiful sailing or powerboat. The Franck Muller Vanguard Yachting is all about the seafaring world, as its design is inspired directly by the Franck Muller Yacht made for the Genevan watchmaker by the Italian Sea Group. Echoing the sensual curves of the vessel, the three models in the collection all feature maritime-inspired details like the deep blue of the dial and case middle, as well as the strap spiked with a touch of white like the body of most yachts, and the symbolic wind rose that adorns the dial.

10-Vanguard-Yachting-1

Cased in a choice of stainless steel, titanium, or red gold, the collection includes three variants: classic, chronograph, and tourbillon. The pieces may be different in terms of movement, but they are united by super-high legibility achieved by setting pristine white appliqué hour numerals against the cobalt blue dial. Skeleton hands filled partially with white Super-LumiNova also help. Although every Vanguard model comes with the cardinal points on its inner flange, nowhere else is this element more pertinent than in the Vanguard Yachting collection, where navigation is the name of the game. On the case back, an engraving of the Franck Muller Yacht reinforces the nautical theme and each timepiece comes with a rubber-lined cordura strap with white or blue stitches.

Story Credits

Text by Celine Yap
Photography by Ching/Greenplasticsoldiers
Art Direction by Joaelle Ng

This article was originally published in World of Watches

Glashütte Sixties Iconic Collection

The Swinging Sixties have always been remembered as a period of fun and freedom. Watchmaking, on the other hand, is usually perceived as traditional and serious. So when Glashütte Original brings the two concepts together, the results were especially combustive.

Apart from the same distinctive playful hour numerals and the combination of a curved dial and sapphire crystal, the five models in this collection are wildly different in terms of dial color. The Sixties Red burns bright with passion, while the Sixties Golden glow with a luxurious warmth; the Sixties Aqua exudes a cool, marine vibe, and the Sixties Brown dominates with its dark persona. Lastly, the Sixties Grey is equal parts vintage and contemporary.

Each dial, however, isn’t simply washed with color but rather is given a beautiful dégradé effect that is darker around the periphery and lightest at the center. Emphasising the domed shape of the dial, these were manufactured in Glashütte Original’s own dial production site in Pforzheim, Germany. The Golden, Aqua, and Red combine bold colors with a refined sunburst finishing, and the Brown and Grey jazz things up further with an elaborate imprint applied using guilloché stamps and a 60-ton press. Look at them up close to fully admire the filigree pattern on those paper-thin dials. And not just the style of these two models but also the guilloché stamps used to create those dial textures are from the 1960s, and evidently still used at the Glashütte Original manufacture today.

Adding a pop of color to any watch aficionado’s collection, these watches are as much fun to wear as they are symbols of traditional watchmaking. Inside the 39mm stainless steel cases, the self-winding Glashütte Original Calibre 39-52 keeps them running for up to 40 hours. German watchmaking may be (at times) infamous for its asceticism, but as the Sixties Iconic Collection shows, a little color never hurts anyone.

Specs

  • Senator Sixties Iconic Collection
  • Dimensions: 39mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
  • Power reserve: 40 hours
  • Movement: Self-winding Calibre 39-52
  • Water Resistance: 30 meters
  • Case: 39mm in stainless steel
  • Strap: Brown or black alligator straps

 

Story Credits
Text by Celine Yap

This article was originally published in World of Watches

Sébastien Ogier Joins Richard Mille Family

Sébastien Ogier has been announced as the newest partner for Swiss watchmaker Richard Mille and only the latest convergence between the world of fine watchmaking and racing. The four-time world WRC rally champion, and ardent Richard Mille fan is set to don the most iconic driving watch created by the brand.

The 32-year-old French driver has had the most excellent career, less than 10 years after his debut, and is expected to have more success in future. What makes Richard Mille a perfect fit with the driver is the watchmaker’s ability to design timepieces that fit like a second skin and are robust enough to withstand extreme conditions. As the Ogier explained “I had never driven with a watch before because they’re not made for it”.

Sébastien Ogier with co-driver Julien Ingrassia in Monte Carlo

Sébastien Ogier with co-driver Julien Ingrassia in Monte Carlo

He added that his craft required him to be able to gain a few tenths or even hundreds of a second, making the reliability of the timepiece of utmost importance. In his latest season, the driver wore a RM 011 titanium flyback chronograph, and it must have been an excellent talisman because it accompanied him on his third consecutive winning drive at Monte Carlo.

Other notable names in the sorting world that have paired with the Maison include Felipe Massa and Rafael Nadal. The tennis star even wore a Richard Mille timepiece while competing for his 10th French Open title, and later auctioning it off in the name of charity. Their support of the finest competitors in the world makes the partnerships with both sportsmen a perfect match.

Mechanical Smile: MB&F and L’Epée Sherman

Does the picture above make you smile? Did it add a little joy to your day? If not, well don’t waste your time looking at this because that is mainly what the Sherman from MB&F and L’Epée was created to do. Max Busser, the impresario behind MB&F (he’s the MB part), has always been expressing his childhood dreams in mechanical sculptures and that is what he’s done with this (relative) mobile table clock. Yes, Sherman is a clock built by L’Epée, a manufacture specializing in high-end tableclocks, and the little guy mainly tells the time, via the blue hands on his chest (he does not literally tell you the time). More importantly, Sherman is a reflection of the young Max’s desire for a robot friend because MB&F pieces are time machines that take you back to your own past. Again, if MB&F timepieces and other kinetic creations have never done this for you then, at this point in the story, you are apparently a masochist who will read on no matter what.

Sherman_Gold_RGB_Lres_InSitu_02

As a reward to those of you who are soldiering on, here are some details on how Sherman works and what he does. Hours and minutes are displayed, as mentioned above and, timekeeping wise, that is it. Sherman’s arms can hold small items like pens or his own winding key (as noted in the press materials) and are flexible enough to be moved into many positions. The rubber caterpillar tracks are likewise functional and, with a little help from a friend, Sherman can move across flat surfaces. This basically covers everything Sherman, who stands just over 14cm tall, does. As the release from MB&F makes abundantly clear, it is not very much but you might want to also compare Sherman with the other robot from MB&F. At 450 pieces, Sherman is not for everyone but he will be appreciated quite a bit by some. He is also surprisingly light, at just under 1 kg, so he will be at home on most desks or even shelves. This surprising weight is probably due to the fact that he is palladium or gold plated, not made entirely of these dense metals. Even the version with diamonds (yes diamonds are an option) is gold-plated.

Sherman_Palladium_Front_RGB_Lres

For those who are interested in such things, you will have observed that Sherman’s construction appears to expose his moving parts to the elements, while turning structures like the barrel bridges into actual supports for the aforementioned rubber tracks. We are unsure of the possible care complications that may result from this but the escapement itself is protected by the blown mineral glass dome otherwise known as Sherman’s head. Yes, you can be “mesmerized” by Sherman’s thought processes.

Specs

  • MB&F and L’Epée Sherman
  • Dimensions: 143mm x 109mm x 80mm
  • Functions: Hours and minutes
  • Power reserve: 8 Days
  • Movement: Mechanical, manual-winding, by L’Epée
  • Water resistance: NA (Sherman doesn’t swim)
  • Material: Fully palladium plated or gold-plated with palladium-plated going train or fully gold-plated with 735 VVS diamonds around the eyes, hour markers and head
  • Limited to 200 pieces (palladium-plated), 200 pieces (gold-plated) and 50 diamond-set gold-plated pieces

Review: HYT H1 Colorblock

The HYT H1 Colorblock watches have been causing quite a stir with their aggressive styling and decidedly accessible positioning. In other words, Swiss watchmaker HYT is offering a technically exciting mechanical timepiece at a price that won’t break the bank while drawing every eye in any room to the wrist that sports it. Such a watch is worth brooding over, which is exactly what we’ll be doing here.

First of all, the HYT Colorblock might remind of something and that is the HYT H1, which we have covered twice before, once in gold and once in its original guise. In fact, it is another version of the H1, this time in titanium with a surfeit of personality in the form of three distinct colors, red, yellow and blue. Secondly, that accessibility is reportedly in the form of a CHF39,000 price tag so we need not add here that accessibility means different things to different people. More now on those colors though.

Adding a dash of color to one’s wardrobe was a serious trend some years ago, rising not surprisingly in tandem with the colorful socks for proper gentlemen phenomenon. Fortunately or otherwise, fashion is wickedly wilful and famously fickle. While the hems on men’s pants rose, the major labels sent models out sans socks, thus rubbishing the idea of fanciful socks appearing in the board room, for example.

hyt-h1colorblock-lifestyle-5

 

What does this have to do with watches? Aside from the fact that you could wear them around your ankles (we obviously recommend against), a colorful revolution has been quietly sweeping across the novelties offered at both watch fairs. The HYT Colorblock is both affirmation and confirmation of these revolutionary values, if ever there was one. Alongside its 48.8mm diameter, this watch doesn’t tell the time as much as it shouts it, like a punk rock singer. To understand it a little better, let us revisit our tweaked previous description of how it works, which we think was fairly comprehensive.

Obviously, the hour hand is absent, replaced by a circular tube that runs around just inside the dial’s circumference. Minutes are indicated via the subdial at 12 o’clock. Inside the aforementioned tube are colored and clear liquids whose relative levels are controlled by the alternate compression and expansion of two piston-driven bellows at 6 o’clock. As the hours pass, the colored liquid advances to mark the hour as the clear liquid appears to retreat. Twice a day at six o’clock, the colored liquid makes like a retrograde hand and returns to its starting position, to begin a new cycle all over again. Seconds are indicated via the wheel at 9 o’clock. The hand at 3 o’clock represents the power reserve.

With that out of the way, we’ll finish off by pointing out something obvious: this is a polarizing watch. Considering the price point and the aesthetics, HYT might just be reaching for an audience that will love it intensely. These same fans will also appreciate that the HYT Colorblock will be intensely dislike by another set of watch lovers, namely the classicists or, you know, people who hold that watches should have hands.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 48.8mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
  • Power Reserve: 65 hours
  • Movement: Manual-winding HYT caliber
  • Case: Titanium
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters
  • Strap: Reinforced water resistant fabric in matching colors with titanium gunmetal PVD buckle

 

Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane Grand Voyage II

Zenith pays tribute to Christopher Columbus

Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane Grand Voyage II

Swiss luxury watch brand  is celebrating its 150th anniversary in style by unveiling the Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane Grand Voyage II, a timepiece combining technical prowess with artistic mastery.

This tribute to the legendary Italian explorer will be presented at Baselworld 2015, which opens March 19.

A miniature fresco

The artwork on the back of the Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane Grand Voyage II by Zenith.

The back side of the watch is decorated with an impressive bas relief sculpture representing Christopher Columbus’s voyage of 1492.

Attached to the movement through a gold appliqué system, this colorful miniature fresco features several references to the explorer’s journey to the Americas.

Christopher Columbus carries the flag of the Spanish monarchy opposite two natives surrounded by palm trees and a parrot, while the Pinta, the Niña and the Santa Maria are seen on the horizon. Every detail is hand engraved and hand painted, making each piece unique.

Greater precision through technical expertise

Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane Grand Voyage II by Zenith

This extraordinary artistic craftsmanship is complemented by Zenith’s equally impressive technical mastery.

The new timepiece offers mechanical elements calibrated for optimal precision, including a fusée and chain constant force mechanism and Zenith’s patented Gravity Control system, which counters the effects of the Earth’s gravity to keep the escapement level at all times.

There is also a power reserve indicator for the hand-wound movement, which has a reserve of up to 50 hours.

Produced in a limited edition of just 10 units, the new watch comes in a luxurious mahogany box.

The Henry Graves Supercomplication handmade watch by Patek Philippe

Swiss Pocket Watch Sells for Record $24 Million

The Henry Graves Supercomplication handmade watch by Patek Philippe

A gold pocket watch made by Patek Philippe for a banker in the 1930s has sold for a record $21.3 million at auction in Geneva.

The sale of the “Henry Graves Supercomplication”, a handcrafted timepiece named after its original owner, a New York banker who ordered it in 1925, weighs more than half a kilo and comprises 900 separate parts.

The winning bidder, who remained anonymous, will have to fork out a total of $24 million, including the commission.

It took  five years to assemble the watch, which has Graves’s name on the dial.

DON’T MISS: PATEK PHILIPPE UNVEILS $2.6M WATCH

Supercomplication

Tim Bourne, Sotheby’s worldwide head of watches, said the sale confirmed the watch’s “superstar status”. Bourne called it an “icon of the 20th century, a masterpiece that elevates the discipline of watchmaking to art”.

A watch industry expert told AFP before the auction the timepiece was not just an immensely expensive accessory.

This is not a watch you can wear. It is a watch that symbolises strength, power and money,” he said.

DON’T MISS: PATEK PHILIPPE CLOCK FETCHES $2.3 MILLION

The Patek Philippe piece displays not only the hour but also a plethora of other indicators: a perpetual calendar, the phases of the moon, sidereal time, indications for the time of sunset and sunrise, and the shifting night sky over Manhattan. Its Westminster chimes sing joyfully every 15 minutes.

The seller and buyer chose to remain anonymous at the auction at a Geneva lakeside hotel, where bidding lasted 15 minutes.

Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime

Luxury Watchmaker Patek Philippe Unveils $2.6M Watch

Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime

To commemorate its 175th anniversary, Swiss luxury watchmaker  on Tuesday unveiled a new $2.6 million wristwatch.

Featuring 18-karat gold and sapphire crystals, the Grandmaster Chime timepiece is the most expensive wristwatch Patek has ever built.

It has two faces—one that shows the time and the other, the calendar. The case turns on a vertical axis to alternate between the two (below).

It’s the most complicated wristwatch ever, featuring 20 different complications including a range of different sonneries and repeaters.

The company apparently logged 100,000 hours for the watch’s development, production, and assembly with 11,060 meticulously hand-finished parts in the seven limited-edition exemplars of the watch.

DON’T MISS: MOST EXPENSIVE PATEK TO RETURN TO AUCTION

One of them will go on display in the company’s permanent collection, while the six others are priced at 2.5 million Swiss Francs ($2.6 million).

Here are the watch’s 20 complications: 

1 Grande Sonnerie
2 Petite Sonnerie
3 Minute repeater
4 Strikework mode display (Silence/Grand Sonnerie/Petite Sonnerie)
5 Alarm with time strike
6 Date repeater
7 Movement power-reserve indicator
8 Strikework power-reserve indicator
9 Strikework isolator display
10 Second time zone
11 Second time zone day/night indicator
12 Instantaneous perpetual calendar
13 Day-of-week display
14 Month display
15 Date display (on both dials)
16 Leap year cycle
17 Four-digit year display
18 24-hour and minute subdial
19 Moon phase
20 Crown position indicator (RAH)

Grandmaster Chime

Henry Graves Supercomplication

Most Expensive Patek to Return to Auction at Sotheby’s

Henry Graves Supercomplication

The Henry Graves Supercomplication, a timepiece which has an estimated value of $16 million, is “the most complicated watch ever made completely by human hand” and will be sold in Geneva on November 14, Sotheby’s said.

“The list of superlatives which can be attached to this icon of the 20th century is truly extraordinary,” the auction house said, describing it as “the Holy Grail of watches”.

The timepiece, made by , was commissioned by New York banker Henry Graves in 1925 and took a total of eight years to complete.

It features on its display not only the hour but also a plethora of other indicators: a perpetual calendar, the phases of the moon, sidereal time, indications for the time of sunset and sunrise, and the night sky of NYC.

The Henry Graves watch was the world’s most complicated for 56 years before it was surpassed by designs executed by technicians aided by computers.

It sold in 1999 for a then-record $11 million and is on sale again to mark the 175th anniversary of its manufacturer.

Midnight Planetarium van cleef

Midnight Planetarium by Van Cleef & Arpels

Jeweler and watchmaker Van Cleef & Arpels has decided to shoot for the stars with its latest design, the astrological watch Midnight Planetarium.

Midnight Planetarium van cleef

The watch replicates the orbit of six planets — Earth, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn — around the sun. The position of each of the planets at any given time is accurately represented on the watch face thanks to a complex mechanical system comprising 396 separate parts.

The movement of each planet is true to its genuine orbit — for example, it will take Saturn over 29 years to make a full circle of the watch dial. Mercury has the shortest orbit, circling the timepiece in just 88 days.

A pink gold shooting star moving along the outer edge of the dial is used to tell the time, whilst wearers can also set their own ‘lucky day’ by positioning a red triangle along the watch face’s calendar.

On that particular day, the Earth will skip to sit directly below a star engraved on a sapphire crystal — a sign of good luck.

Midnight Planetarium

The planets have been created from a selection of hard stones: turquoise for the Earth, serpentine for Mercury, chloromelanite for Venus, red jasper for Mars, blue agate for Jupiter and sugilite for Saturn.

The Midnight Planetarium is part of Van Cleef & Arpels’s Poetic Astronomy watch collection, which the brand has been developing since 2008 through its Poetic Compilations and Extraordinary Dials ranges.