Monthly Archives: March 2014

PATEK PHILIPPE – Chronograph with Annual Calendar ref. 5960/1A

“The long-awaited second coming!” These words heralded the arrival of Patek Philippe’s new model at Baselworld. First launched in 2006 in platinum then rose gold, the brand’s first self-winding chronograph is now available in stainless steel. It thus joins the company’s few models – 20% of total production – to combine complications and steel. With three calendar displays and a single chronograph counter at 6 o’ clock for minutes and hours, this game-changing model is replacing all the other precious metal versions. Thierry Stern himself requested one detail that makes all the difference: the first of every month is displayed in red in tribute to the first Annual Calendar Chronograph with its stainless steel “drop” link bracelet and case. Price: 45,000 CHF

TISSOT – T-Touch Expert Solar

Tissot is switching to solar time. A hybrid between the traditional watch and smartwatch, the new T-Touch Expert Solar’s dial is covered in solar cells which charge up the battery. Tissot launched its first tactile watches with the Locle model in 1999. Things haven’t certainly changed with the T-Touch since it first launched with six functions (including the compass, altimeter and barometer). The Navigator featured no fewer than 150 time zones in 2004 and the 2009 Sea-Touch has a depth sensor and tells wearers the speed of the dive. The Expert Solar is in the same vein: the nonmagnetic titanium case houses a perpetual calendar with the date and week, two alarms, a dual time zone, weather forecast with relative pressure, an altimeter with a difference in altitude sensor, chronograph, compass, countdown timer, azimuth, sailing function and illuminator. Price: 995 – 1150 CHF

PIAGET – Limelight Blooming Rose

“I look at a rose and I am calm,” wrote passionate romantic Victor Hugo. I don’t wish to tread on the famous French author’s toes by drawing on this quote, but I must say that I am looking at a rose and I am spellbound. But this is not just any rose; look at the queen of flowers blossoming, unfurling her diamond petals and opening her flower bud. It is an embellished watch exuding poetry. An invisible mechanism in the upper part of the white gold case enables the rose to turn 45 degrees to reveal either 4 or 8 diamond-set petals (269 brilliant-cut diamonds totalling 2.5 carats) to suit your mood. Beneath the black lacquer dial lies a quartz movement made by Piaget which brings the hour and minute hands to life. Its small diameter (34mm) and embellished black satin buckle strap adds an extra touch of elegance to this glittering, magical rose. Price: 44’400 CHF

JAQUET DROZ – Grande Seconde SW Côtes de Genève

Famous for its classic timepieces with an enamelled dial and usually adorned with the large iconic figure 8, legendary watchmaker Jaquet Droz has surprised its devotees by exploring a sportier avenue this year. The Grande Seconde SW Côtes de Genève is the new kid on the block in the cool and contemporary SW collection, launched in 2008. Six new models have joined the family with two different diameters (41 and 45mm), three dial colours (grey, anthracite and blue) and an alligator strap with large scales whose colour matches the dial. Housed in a steel case and notched bezel, an automatic movement brings the hour, minute and large second hands to life. But what really makes this unusual piece stand out is the dial adorned with the Côtes de Genève stripes. The design was very popular at Baselworld 2013 and the blue version of the Grande Seconde Quantième was a big hit. Price: 14,000 CHF (exc. VAT)

TISSOT – T-Race MotoGP™ Limited Edition 2014

Two in one The Tissot T-Race MotoGP Limited Edition 2014 shows all the signs of the great synergy between Tissot and MotoGP. Black and red, it bears the colours of MotoGPTM and of Tissot, showing their dynamism and the fiery passion that they both carry. Furthermore, it has the precision that the Official Timekeeper provides during the exhilarating races, as motorbikes are separated by only thousandths of a second at the finish line, and the one that the racers themselves demonstrate on the track. The watch is the outcome of an amazing and long-lasting alliance between two like-minded partners and represents them both to perfection. Price: 825 CHF

HERMÈS – Arceau Temari

Temari is a Japanese art dating back to around the 15th century which involves embroidering thread balls and decorating them with geometrical and symmetrical designs. They were initially made for children using silk scraps from kimonos which were gradually replaced by embroidery. Hermès has drawn inspiration from this ancient Asian technique to create a breathtaking design uniting jewel setting and marquetry in its model, the Arceau Temari. The dial is adorned with interwoven bands of brilliant cut white diamonds (176 stones in total) and black onyx. Two silvery hands in the heart of the unique highly detailed design discreetly point to the hours and minutes; they are brought to life by an automatic movement produced by Hermès with a 50-hour power reserve. The calibre is housed in a white gold case 34mm in diameter and entirely paved with round diamonds (675 stones and 27 for the crown). Price: 140’000 CHF

ZENITH – Pilot montre d’Aéronef Type 20 GMT 1903

Zenith began making flight instrument panels at the start of the 20th century and aeronautical history became part of its DNA. At that time, on December 17th 1903 to be precise, the Wright brothers designed the first powered aircraft and flew 60cm off the ground for a distance of 40m with a passenger on board. Two pasts and two passions, aviation and watchmaking, come together in one: the Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 GMT 1903. Its titanium case and black 48mm DLC houses the automatic Elite 693 calibre with a 50-hour power reserve. The black dial has a small second hand at 9 o’clock, 12 large luminescent sandblasted Arabic numerals and a second time zone indicator (hand with red tip). Two wide luminescent ochre hands point to the hours and minutes. Price: 8’000 CHF

Speedmaster Mark II

When it was released back in 1969, it had already put its mark on time. Today, let’s hope that its reissue will do the same. Why? Because the Speedmaster Mark II is a success in every way. Firstly its style, with its polished and brushed tonneau-shaped case that reminds us of the codes applied over forty years ago, yet features a state-of-the-art tone and finishing details. The version with orange indexes and hands on an anthracite grey dial stands out from the pack. The transparent tachymetric scale on the flange is also worth mentioning as it is “illuminated” from beneath by a ring filled with a luminescent substance. The position of the counters is classical: 30-minutes at 3 o’clock, 12-hours at 6 o’clock and the small seconds at 9 o’clock. As for the engine, the manual calibre 861 of the day has passed the ball to one of the cutting-edge jewels of the brand: the automatic co-axial 3330 movement, comprising a chronograph mechanism with a silicon balance-spring and column-wheel. Price: 5’600 CHF

CHOPARD – The Historic Monaco Grand Prix

Chopard has a close bond to the world of vintage car racing. Their passion for retro racing cars has inspired the “Classic Racing” watch collection featuring ranges such as Mille Miglia and Superfast. The brand also sponsors certain races including the Historic Monaco Grand Prix for which Chopard is the official timekeeper. This year, the watchmaker is launching a new collection of watches in tribute to the race and starts as it means to go on with the first piece. Just take one look at the dial and you’ll sense the lively lines and the dynamic vibrations bouncing off the colours. Its face is powerful yet restless: grooved, hollowed, blue, black and silver teamed with bright yellow. Its 44.5mm titanium case houses an automatic movement which breathes life into the hours, minutes, seconds (at 9 o’clock), chronographs (30-minute counter at 12 o’clock and 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock) and date (at 3 o’clock). Price: 6’790 CHF

BLANCPAIN – Villeret 2014

Blancpain pays tribute to its past and its home village in the Berenese Jura with the Villeret 2014 model. The collection is famous for putting a new twist on the brand’s classics; it’s all about stripping things back to basics. The 42 mm diameter double-stepped red gold case houses the self-winding in-house 1335 movement with an 8-day power reserve. The rounded Grand Feu dial has a date display at 3 o’clock and three central hands. It’s a triumph of simplicity. The attention to detail is astonishing. The hollowed sage leaf-shaped hands are stunningly sophisticated as are the enamel Roman numerals. The sapphire crystal case back enables us to admire the detail of the luxury watch calibre and its decorative features: Côtes de Genève on the bridges and honeycomb pattern on the oscillating weight. A watch in its essence. Price on request.