Monthly Archives: July 2014

Big Crown ProPilot Chronograph GMT

When you think of summer you think of far-flung voyages and exotic holidays so it’s good to know you can count on a watch which is as beautiful and reliable as it is versatile. Oris has designed your globetrotting ally: the new ProPilot chronograph model with a second time zone. The self-winding 677 calibre on the ETA 7754 base is housed in the 44mm steel case. It brings to life the hours and minutes (in the middle of the dial), small seconds (at 6 o’ clock), chronograph (central seconds, 30 minute counter at 12 o’ clock and 12 hour counter at 6 o’ clock), date (at 4.30) and 24 hour GMT function. A yellow aeroplane-tipped hand flies above the GMT function which latter is graduated and surrounds the dial on the chapter ring. The Arabic numeral hour markers and two large hands are coated in Super LumiNova® whilst the chronograph hands feature hints of red. Price: 3,600 CHF (fabric strap) – 3,800 CHF (metal strap)

Healey GMT 24h

Austin-Healey sports cars were the jewel in Britain’s automobile crown in the 50s. Their road performance and curves in all the right places cemented their reputation. These very elements, – technique and beauty – are what inspired Frédérique Constant. In tribute to the legendary car brand, the watchmaker has designed a special model: Healey GMT 24h in three versions each limited to 2,888 pieces. The 42mm PVD rose gold or steel case houses an automatic GMT calibre with date which brings to life the 38-hour power reserve, hour, minute, central seconds and date functions (3 o’ clock on the chocolate or silver dial) and 24 hour GMT (set using the crown). The case back is engraved with a Healey (the NOJ393 model) and a display showcasing part of the movement whilst the car brand’s logo appears at 6 o’ clock on the dial. Price: 2,350 CHF (rose gold plated) – 1,895 CHF (steel)

ZENITH – El Primero Stratos Flyback Rainbow

The love story between the heavens and the starry brand began over a century ago when Zenith began designing on-board equipment namely for aviation in the 1900s. At the request of the French air force, the brand designed the ultra-resistant Rainbow Flyback in 1997 for fighter pilots which in turn inspired the El Primero Stratos Flyback Rainbow in 2014. Housed in the steel 45.5mm case and armed with a rotating bezel protected by a black aluminium ring, the legendary self-winding El Primero movement brings to life the hours and minutes in the centre, small seconds (in 4 colours at 9 o’ clock), chronograph (red central seconds, 30 minute totalizer at 3 o’ clock and 12 hour totalizer at 6 o’ clock) and date (at 6 o’ clock). The Super LumiNova coating and different colours on the hands and Arabic numerals on the black dial make it easy to tell the time in any light. Price: 8,300 CHF

Superocean Chronograph Steelfish

Steelfish is the perfect name for a piece which brings the deep sea depths and Swiss watch workmanship together. The sturdy 44mm steel case enveloped by a thick domed sapphire glass and ratcheted rotating bezel enables it to stay water-resistant to depths of 500m making it ideal for deep sea explorers. This Superocean designed for sea exploration is fitted with the self-winding COSC-chronometer certified Breitling 13 calibre which brings to life the time functions (central hours and minutes, small seconds at 9 o’ clock), chronograph (central seconds, 30 minute totalizer at 12 o’ clock and 12 hour totalizer at 6 o’ clock) and calendar (double day/date display at 3 o’ clock). This information features on the dial (available in black, silver or blue) as large Arabic numerals and hands with a luminescent coating, a slim minute track and three contrasting counters to ensure it is easy to read even in the dark. Price: 5,780 CHF

Néo-Tourbillon sous Trois Ponts

It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful watches presented at Baselworld 2014: a mini-masterpiece of watchmaking architecture by Girard-Perregaux with a new take on its famous tourbillon with three bridges. The 45mm rose gold case is more streamlined than previous models. It’s simple; there’s no bezel. The case houses an automatic calibre which, if it follows the symmetrical design of its predecessors, has a completely new concept. The titanium tourbillon completes one revolution per minute and has been designed in a modular way for easy assembly and maintenance. The dial showcases three black PVD-coated sandblasted titanium skeleton bridges standing on tilted rods incorporated in the platinum. 3D and depth are key to the design and give the piece a look which is as near as you can get to divine perfection. Price: 156,600 CHF

BREGUET – Classique Hora Mundi 5717

The staggeringly beautiful and technically unrivalled Classique Hora Mundi has continued to surprise us since its launch in 2011. Breguet’s in-house 5717 self-winding calibre brings to life the usual hour/minute functions plus a second time zone with instant time display, date display (at 12 o’ clock on the dial) and day/night indicator (at 3 o’ clock) for a previously selected city (at 6 o’ clock) without affecting the watch’s precision thanks to a stop seconds system. The aforementioned movement is housed in a 44mm rose gold or platinum case with delicately notched sides. In the centre of the dial lies a continent (the Americas, Europe, Africa or Asia and Oceania) whose surrounding ocean has been guilloche-engraved then coated in a translucent lacquer. The Roman numerals on the hour and minute track are positioned on a silver rim around the dial with two blue steel pomme-shaped hands. Price: 77,000 CHF (rose gold) – 92,000 CHF (platinum)

Heritage 1935

It’s not glaringly obvious but this watch is nearly 80 years old (79 to be precise)! The Longines Heritage is actually a new take on a model dating back to 1935. Originally designed for the Czechoslovakian air force, its reputation for reliability and resistance ended up winning the general public over. The cushion-shaped 42mm steel case, its bevelled and angular structure and fluted bezel give the watch a bold look and big personality. The large white luminescent Arab numerals dotted around the matt black dial make it easy to tell the time even in the dark. The minutes are displayed on a white track surrounding the edge of the dial. Two rhodium skeleton hands coated in Super LumiNova point to the hours and minutes whilst the seconds are nestled in a counter at 6 o’ clock. There’s also a white-on-black date display at 6 o’ clock. All the functions are brought to life by the L615 self-winding mechanical movement designed by Longines. The Heritage 1935’s power reserve lasts up to 42 hours. Price: 1,900 CHF

Khaki Takeoff Auto Chrono

It was one of the biggest surprises at Baselworld 2014 so hat’s off to Hamilton, the most Swiss of American brands…or is it the other way round? We’re digressing. In terms of mechanism, this Khaki Takeoff Auto Chrono isn’t going to shake up the watchmaking world as it is fitted with an ETA self-winding chronograph which has been “customised” for the brand. But that’s not the most exciting thing about the watch. The best thing about this timepiece is the design which, to be blunt, is a knockout. It’s all about its bullhead case (crown and pushers at 12 o’ clock) and black PVD coating. The ingenious yet functional watch has multiple uses: the case clips onto a metallic base fitted onto the strap and is easily removed to be housed in a display or the cockpit on a plane or helicopter. Simply brilliant. Why didn’t anybody think of this before? It’s no wonder Air Zermatt’s pilots were so quick to get hold of the watch. The lucky devils! They’ve got a special version of it in their company colours. As for the rest of us aviation enthusiasts, you’ll have to be quick if you want to buy the Khaki Takeoff Auto Chrono: the series is limited to 1999 models. Prix: 2,995 CHF

Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date

Glashütte has been based in the Saxon Swiss town of the same name for over 160 years and epitomises flawless design and dependable movement. The proof is this 70s style square timepiece with a mirror-like face which was unveiled at Baselworld this year. The oversize steel case (40x40mm) features a large shiny bezel, a crown protected on the sides and two streamlined pushers. It houses the self-winding 37-02 chronograph calibre which provides a 72-hour power reserve and brings the time functions to life. Two facetted and raised Super Luminova-coated hands glide above the silver-tone sunburst dial with white gold indices and a slim minute track. The small seconds counter shares it dial with the power reserve at 9 o’ clock, the 30 minute counter is at 3 o’ clock and the 12 hour display is at 12 o’ clock. The date display holds court at the bottom of the dial at 6 o’ clock. Price: 13,200 € (steel)

HERMÈS – Arceau Millefiori

This is a story about love at first sight. Once upon a time, watchmaking and glassmaking collided and sparked an explosion of beauty and elegance. The Cristalleries Royales de Saint-Louis’ Millefiori technique and Hermès’ expertise in mechanics and design have come together to bring the pairing to life. In the 19th century, Millefiori was originally associated with paperweights to make a floral design to adorn the base of the heavy transparent ball. Working alongside the Cristalleries, Hermès showcased the artisan work to its Arceau timepiece. Presented in a 34mm white gold case set with 60 diamonds, the result is breathtaking: tiny pink flowers blossom on a raspberry background. In the heart of the bouquet, two white gold hands point to the minutes and hours and are brought to life by the in-house Hermès H1912 movement. Price: 45,000 CHF