The art of paillonnage is resplendent in its beauty on the three Jaquet Droz watch faces. The noble 18th century art and decorative paillon technique involves placing shiny gold or silver metal leaf on translucent enamel to create a design. Delicate gilded floral patterns traverse the deep blue enamel on the faces of the three limited edition watches (8 of each). The cases are all in rose gold but with different diameters (39mm Petite Heure Minute, 43mm Grande Seconde and 50mm pocket watch). The time functions on the watches are brought to life by a self-winding movement whilst the pocket watch houses a manual calibre. The hour and minute display appears on a white background on the upper half of the dial. Only the Grande Seconde and pocket watch feature a seconds counter with a slim blue second hand in the lower half of the dial. Price: 41,050 CHF (Petite Heure Minute) – 43,200 CHF (Grande Seconde) – 48,600 CHF (pocket watch)
Art in its essence! Breguet’s new 3797 model brings together technical performance and design prowess. Its manual winding mechanical movement is equipped with a tourbillon and features off-centre hour and minute functions, small second on the tourbillon at 6 o’ clock and a perpetual calendar with a retrograde date at 12 o’ clock, day counter at 9 o’ clock, month and leap year counter at 3 o’ clock. But Breguet’s genius really shines in how this information is laid out. The watchmaker plays on depth and has chosen to push the hour track into the foreground, a ring of opaque sapphire crystal punctuated by Roman numerals. The handmade guilloche then grabs your attention: “clou de Paris” for the date, “wave” guilloché for the days and “sunburst” guilloché for the months. The piece is available in rose gold, platinum and also in a skeleton dial version. Price: 161’000 (rose gold) – 175’000 (platinum)
He was always honest, straight as a die and in his element as Montblanc’s vice president. Now managing director of Roger Dubuis, Jean-Marc Pontroué still has the same state of mind two years after his appointment. We made the most of the 2014 SIHH to discuss the brand’s situation (which was still making a loss when he took the reins) and his plans for the future…
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Whoever said that stained glass, the decorative art of coloured glass pieces, was for medieval churches alone? Contrary to popular belief, Hublot proves that watchmaking is more than just a fantastic artistic and creative medium, it’s also an exciting playground. The result is called the Classic Fusion Tourbillon Vitrail. Designed and made by the Nyon factory, its tourbillon movement has a skeleton architecture housing glass patchwork in red or blue hues depending on the model. This painstakingly detailed feature means that each tiny piece is laser-cut and fitted using O-rings. The colourful stained glass that is the dial lies in a titanium or black ceramic 45mm case with matching screw-down bezel, crown and lugs. Price: 90,000 (titanium) CHF – 95,000 CHF (ceramic)
Just because it’s called a “diving watch” and meets the requirements of the ISO6425 standard, doesn’t mean it’s thick and heavy. The proof? The 11mm thick Calibre Diver de Cartier is not only slim and sophisticated but also has all the required assets for use in deep water: waterproof (up to 300m), readable (Super LumiNova features on the dial) and reliable (unidirectional rotating bezel and screw-down crown). Available in steel or rose gold, the 42mm case houses the 1904MC automatic movement made by Cartier which brings to life the hour, minute and small second hands at 6 o’ clock on the dial and the 3 day date display at 3 o’ clock. In keeping with the Calibre collection’s design, the Diver has a black dial whose upper half has a blue tint surrounded by Roman numerals with the famous oversize XII. Price: 25,300 CHF (red gold on rubber) and 7,400 CHF (steel on rubber)
Omega has designed a watch inspired by the Apollo 11 mission modules to celebrate the 45th anniversary of man’s first steps on the moon (there were actually two of them: Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin) and the Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch’s new status as an icon. The 42mm grey titanium case, SednaTM gold bezel and black ceramic ring bound by a brown nylon NATO strap epitomise the “Eagle” lunar module which the two American astronauts climbed off to walk on the moon. In terms of the mechanism, this anniversary piece has the same manual-winding chronograph movement as the legendary Moonwatch: the chronograph’s hour, minutes and seconds in the middle, small second at 9 o’ clock, 30-minute counter and 12-hour counter at 3 o’ clock and 6 o’ clock respectively. The “Eagle” landed on July 20th 1969 and fittingly, this edition is limited to 1969 models. Price: 6,900 CHF
The first ever regatta watch for Richard Mille; the first rush of adrenalin for sailors! In addition to its hour, minute and small second at 3 o’ clock, large date display at 12 o’ clock, month indicator at 4.30 and flyback chronograph (with central second hand, counter and timer at 9 o’ clock and hour counter at 6 o’ clock), this RM 60-01 also enables wearers to get their bearings whilst at sea. All you need to do is point the central red CUT (Coordinated Universal Time) arrow towards the sun. Using the rotating bezel, CUT lines up to local time on one of the two 24 hour scales in the northern or southern hemisphere. The four compass points are then aligned with the bezel’s engravings. The graduated 360° scale enables wearers to reach any destination. The watchmaker has also fine-tuned a patented safety lock system for the pushers using the crown. A real mechanical gem costing 146,000 CHF.
Once again, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s creativity and watchmaking expertise have set it apart this year with a spectacular new limited edition watch (500 available): Master Compressor Chronograph Ceramic. The versatile watch brings the hour/minute, date, chronograph and GMT functions together in a single case with a day/night indicator powered by the 757 calibre designed and made at the Le Brassus factory. The movement also has a 65-hour power reserve. The 46mm black ceramic case has a crown on the left side with a compression key system to improve its waterproof properties and two push buttons for the chronograph. The black dial features three openworked trapeze-type hands, indices and hour and minute figures all coated in a luminescent material, the date in a display at 4.30 and a central second hand in red to reflect the watch’s sporty side. Price: 14,000 CHF
What a champion Piaget! The Geneva-Neuchâtel manufacture has managed to create a timepiece that is even slimmer than an extra-slim, referred to as ultra-slim… To such an extent that it can declare urbi et orbi that its 38 mm Altiplano 900P model, that is only 3.65 mm thick, is nothing less than the “slimmest mechanical watch of all time”. A declaration, however, that is open to question. Specialists and bloggers picked up on the subject and began a relentless comparison of models, quibbling non-stop over the fact that there are a few more or a few less microns. Well, that’s what the world of watchmaking is sometimes like. As for us, we would prefer to try and answer the following question: is this variation of the Altiplano a technical and aesthetic success? The answer is yes. There’s no need for us to remind you of Piaget’s expertise in the field of everything extra-slim… expertise which is totally indisputable. The brand has been making calibres of this kind for over fifty years now. Among the 35 movements that it designed and developed in-house, 23 are extra-slim. It just goes to show! The 900P, equipped with 145 components, is as such perfectly in line with this.
One week after the start of the Blancpain Endurance Series in Monza, the Blancpain Sprint Series kicks off on the French track of Nogaro, at Easter weekend. The level of the drivers on the entry list is unequalled, with several former F1 drivers and GT champions all fighting for top honors.