Monthly Archives: October 2015


“Shebam! Pow! Blop! Wizzz!” The onomatopoeic lyrics from “Comic Strip” performed by Serge Gainsbourg in 1967 epitomise the imaginative and free spirit of the 60s for me. Culturally, the world was changing: Audrey Hepburn embodied My Fair Lady, Andy Warhol printed Campbell’s soup cans and Mary Quant hit the streets of London in a mini skirt. In tribute to this creatively prolific time which produced the famous Spezimatic in 1964, Glashütte Original has unveiled a collection of five watches called Iconic Sixties. Some of the timepieces feature sunburst pop colours (turquoise for Aqua and orange red for Red) or more autumnal engraved patterns (chocolate for Brown and anthracite for Grey) on the domed dial. The indices and signature 60s Arabic hour numerals lie beneath baton-shape metallic hands powered by the self-winding 39-52 calibre housed in the 39mm steel case. Price: 6,300 CHF. Sharmila Bertin


1966 is an important date in the history of Girard-Perregaux. It’s the date when the super Gyromatic calibre with its high frequency first appeared (36,000 vibrations per hour). The milestone year was then used to name an understated and elegant watch collection. The La Chaux-de-Fonds brand has stepped outside its comfort zone and given one of its iconic watches, usually in rose or white gold, a steel case. It has a mechanical self-winding GP 03300-0030 calibre fuelling a 46-hour power reserve. The silver lacquer dial only features the bare essentials: hours, minutes, seconds and date. The embellishment-free dial is adorned by bevelled metal indices interspersed by a subtle pearlescent minute track. Two rounded leaf-shape hands tick time down alongside a slim central seconds hand and the date display at 3 o’ clock. Price: 7,600 CHF. Sharmila Bertin

MONTBLANC – Heritage Spirit Perpetual Calendar Sapphire

Heritage is “property that is or may be inherited” (Oxford dictionary). The sense of legacy integral to watchmaking, as watches are traditionally passed down from father to son, goes even deeper with Montblanc whose history goes into all of its current collections. The latest model from the Heritage Spirit collection is a perpetual calendar whose useful markers spread over the softly smoky sapphire crystal dial which subtly unveils the self-winding movement that brings it to life. Two gold dauphine-shape hour and minute hands in the centre tick along a slim white minute track and applied hour indices topped by a Roman XII. Months and leap years appear at 12, the day at 9, the date at 3 and the moon phase at 6. The 39mm rose gold case houses the MB 29.15 calibre. Price: 19’900 CHF. Sharmila Bertin

HERMÈS – Faubourg Manchette

In a world teeming with large pieces, Hermès surprised us all in 2014 by turning the trend on its head and unveiling a new collection of miniature watches. Named after the street on which the Parisian brand has long stood, Faubourg is a delicate, slim, understated and fabulously feminine little timepiece. This year it comes with a 19.55mm steel or rose gold case perfectly paired with a calfskin or alligator strap. The leather is cut from a single piece and available in a range of colours from classic (deep black) to eye-popping (agate red). The pin buckle secures the strap to the wrist. The simple time display on the white lacquer dial is brought to life by a quartz movement. Two silver or gold baton-shape hour and minute hands swing through time beneath the dazzling gaze of a diamond at 12 o’ clock and three hour markers. Price: 2,300 CHF (steel and calfskin) – 7,150 CHF (rose gold and alligator). Sharmila Bertin

BELL ROSS BR-X1 – Chronograph Tourbillon

Reminiscent of a fighter jet with its square cabin in grade 5 titanium (transition metal popular in aeronautics and aerospace for its hardness, light weight and resistance to rust and high temperatures), the monopusher BR-X1 chronograph tourbillon is powered by a manual wind calibre which provides a power reserve of up to 100 hours. The model designed by Bell & Ross showcases its mechanical heart beneath grey-tinted sapphire crystal. The so-called traditional hours and minutes appear in the centre tracked by two openwork luminescent hands. They glide over applied metallic hour markers and a white decal minute track whose graduations appear on the chapter ring. The chronograph function (seconds and minute counters at 2 and 10 on the dial respectively) is started, stopped and reset using the monopusher at 2 on the case side. Price: 148,000 CHF. Sharmila Bertin

HAUTLENCE – Tourbillon 01

It may not be the first time but it’s always a bit of a surprise to see a round watch in the edgy and highly architectural timepiece collections by Hautlence. The biggest surprise however is when you realise that the dial on the Tourbillon 01 is relatively “covered” and its openwork lower part showcases a tourbillon. Fuelled by a self-winding HMC 802 calibre designed by H. Moser & Cie, the tourbillon completes a revolution in a minute. The movement also powers the 72-hour power reserve, time functions and a second time zone. The dial is adorned by black enamelled Côtes de Genève and has three central rose gold hands all coated in Super-LumiNova® apart from the GMT hand. Luminescent indices and Arabic hour numerals unfurl on the translucent screwdown bevelled rim which also bears the white decal minute track. Price: 88,000 CHF. Sharmila Bertin

CORUM – Heritage Artisans Coin Watch

The bald eagle became the national bird of the United States on June 20th 1782. It is a symbol of beauty, strength and prestige which appears grasping arrows and an olive branch in its talons on most official American seals, including the President’s. It also appears on several coins such as the US dollar and inspired Corum to design the first Coin Watch with a coin as a dial in 1964. Half a century later, the La Chaux-de-Fonds brand has unveiled a limited edition of 100 pieces whose dial is a real dollar in 925 silver protected by sapphire crystal. Two black baton-shape hour and minute hands burst from beneath the eagle’s head powered by the self-winding CO 082 calibre which provides a 42-hour power reserve. The movement is nestled in the 43mm silver case whose crown gleams with a diamond. Price: 12,400 CHF. Sharmila Bertin

HARRY WINSTON – Premier Hypnotic Star Automatic

Can you remember how magical it felt to look in a kaleidoscope when you were a child? Personally, just gazing into the tube of reflective mirrors and colourful shards of glass was like diving into the rabbit hole. The Premier Hypnotic Star Automatic model by Harry Winston is inspired by the kaleidoscope as its white gold dial bursts with 84 diamonds and 108 spinels all baguette-cut and increasing in size. Each sharp petal on this dazzling flower lies in place of an hour marker. Two lance-shape hands slip by the hours and minutes whilst a star in the centre of the hypnotic piece shoots past the seconds. The time functions are brought to life by the self-winding HW2008 calibre inside the white gold case covered in 161 baguette-cut diamonds as four lateral brilliant-cut diamonds sparkle on the lugs. Price on request. Sharmila Bertin

AUDEMARS PIGUET – Royal Oak Quantième Perpétuel

In a world ruled by technology and digital, people still admire engineering for its innovative techniques and reliability. Designed and made by man, it lives at our pace and at our hands. The proof is the new self-winding 5134 calibre made by Audemars Piguet. It is housed in the 41mm steel or rose gold case which fuels the many functions on the Royal Oak Quantième Perpétuel. Its blue or silver dial is adorned by the “Grande Tapisserie” pattern with the hours and minutes in the centre, days, month, date and leap years in three counters with hands at 3, 9 and 12 o’ clock plus an astronomical moon at 6 o’ clock. The 52 weeks on the chapter ring are tracked by an arrow-tipped central hand. The applied indices and Royal Oak hands all have a luminescent coating and come in white or rose gold subject to model. Price: 61’400 CHF – 93’000 CHF

TAG HEUER – Carrera Calibre Heuer 01

With pride in its mechanical heart, the Carrera Calibre Heuer 01 boldly shows off its chronograph’s cogs and date disc open-worked like a veil of lace over its transparent dial. The self-winding Heuer 01 calibre by TAG Heuer provides a 50-hour power reserve from inside the 45mm titanium case topped with a coal black bezel adorned by a tachymeter scale. Surrounded by a black chapter ring engraved with the minute track, the hours unfurl their red and white tinged rhodium-plated indices. Two metallic luminescent hands track the hours and minutes whilst the seconds tick by in a black-rimmed counter at 9 o’ clock. The chronograph functions have three bright red hands: seconds in the centre, minutes at 12 and hours at 6. The counters also have a silver rim to make it easier to read the information. The date appears in the red display at 3 o’ clock. Price: 4,900 CHF