This is no ordinary partnership. The collaboration between Richard Mille and Airbus Corporate Jets has been sealed by a timepiece designed together. The RM 50-02 ACJ was unveiled at the SIHH in Geneva and takes us on a first class flight to the land of luxury watches. Welcome on board the manual wind movement with a tourbillon and split seconds chronograph to measure intermediary time housed in a high-tech case made of a titanium and aluminium alloy to make it sturdy yet lightweight. The porthole design is topped by a ceramic bezel so we can see into the cockpit of an exceptional calibre with titanium components. A twin indicator enables you to wind and use the chronograph. It reviews pressure on the spring to avoid it being too slack or tight. Sit back and enjoy the 70-hour power reserve displayed on a digital scale at 11 o’ clock. Price: 1,079,500 CHF (limited edition – 30 available). Dan Diaconu
The Switzerland-based Italian brand Panerai is expanding its vintage collection with the limited edition Radiomir 1940 3 Days Acciaio (1000 available). Its milk chocolate dial is super smooth and so different to the pitch black on most Panerai watches. It has the same hue as vintage dials which were discoloured from black to brown by radium-based powder, used to make them luminescent. The design of the two central hour and minute hands is reminiscent of the brand’s first pieces. They glide over an hour rim featuring curvy Arabic numerals and markers all rimmed by Super-LumiNova® and shielded by Plexiglas®. The timepiece comes with an extra glass. The time functions are fuelled by the manual wind P.3000 calibre which provides a 72-hour power reserve. Price: 9,500 €. Sharmila Bertin
Tissot, a member of the Swatch Group, has distinguished itself once again in the world of cycling by becoming Official Timekeeper of the Tour de France and all cycling time trials run by Amaury Sport Organisation. The Swiss brand will provide its innovative timekeeping systems at all A.S.O. time trials for the next five years.
Cycling is one of the sports that Tissot has been most involved in, as it has been associated with various cycling events for the past 50 years. The brand had already been Official Timekeeper of the Tour de France from 1988 to 1992. Proud of its Swiss roots, Tissot got further involved in 1995 by joining forces with the UCI International Cycling Union. Since then, Tissot has been the official Timekeeper of road, trail, mountain-bike and BMX cycling world championships, world cup cycling time trials and the Mountain Bike World Championship.
The start of the 20th century marked a turning point in human history in terms of technical innovation and economic growth. During this very time, the company that was to be Montblanc was founded in the golden age of ferries (1897-1914) in which Germany played a major role. The Hamburg brand has taken inspiration from the number 4810 – altitude of Mont Blanc – to design a collection including the 4810 ExoTourbillon Slim. Its silver white dial is engraved with concentric engine-turning to depict Montblanc’s curvy star. Two central dauphine-shape luminescent gold hands glide over the Roman numerals on the partial hour rim. A semi-circle adorned with Côtes de Genève at the bottom of the dial reveals the ExoTourbillon seconds brought to life by the self-winding MB 29.21 calibre housed in the 42mm rose gold case. Price: 34,500 EUR. Sharmila Bertin
The Overseas collection by Vacheron Constantin was founded in 1996 in tribute to travel and is kicking the New Year off with its 20th anniversary. They’re certainly celebrating in style! To mark the anniversary, the Genevan brand has designed five new models (twelve pieces in total) all with the Geneva Seal and powered by a self-winding mechanical movement providing a 40-60 hour power reserve. Chronograph, three hands with date, ladies’ models, super slim, with or without a perpetual calendar in a 37, 41 or 42.5mm steel or rose gold case topped with a six-sided bezel. 84 round-cut diamonds glitter from the bezel on the ladies’ models. Most of the pieces have a graduated chapter ring around the dial which is lacquered in transparent bright blue, shimmering silver, pink beige or taupe grey studded with gold markers and hands with a luminescent coating. Price upon request. Sharmila Bertin
According to the Chinese horoscope, we’ll move into the year of the fire monkey on February 8th. The monkey, a symbol of intelligence and mischief, is celebrated by Jaquet Droz in the limited edition Petite Heure Minute Relief Singe featuring Sun Wukong, a character from classic Chinese literature nicknamed the “Monkey King”. Perched on a rose gold peach tree branch, the ape crouches against a backdrop of leaves and white mother-of-pearl that have been finely chiselled on a black lacquer dial. A gold bevelled onyx disc shines like the sun above the 3D engraving with two spear-shape hands to track the hours and minutes. The time functions and 68-hour power reserve are brought to life by the self-winding JD2653Si calibre. The sapphire back of the 41mm rose gold case reveals a monkey hanging off the gold and onyx rotor. Price: 70,200 CHF. Sharmila Bertin
“Pick a star, don’t take your eyes off it. It will take you far without tiredness or pain.” You’d be forgiven for thinking that the French-Belgian writer and explorer Alexandra David-Néel (1868-1969) was talking about Le Locle watchmaker Zenith. The brand with the star logo is shooting through the watchmaking sky with a timeless model: Elite Chronograph Classic. Its time functions, chronograph and 50-hour power reserve are brought to life by the ultra-accurate El Primero 4069 calibre. Two leaf-shape hands in the centre of the silver dial fly over rhodium or gold-plated engraved time markers. The chronograph seconds appear in the centre, the running seconds tick down in a counter at 9 o’ clock and the minute counter lies at 3. This new 42mm watch comes in steel or rose gold. Price: 8,100 CHF (steel) – 19,500 CHF (rose gold). Sharmila Bertin
“It’s not a sin to get knocked down, it’s a sin to stay down”. The words of Afro-American navy diver Carl Brashear (1931-2006) are engraved on the back of the Oris model bearing his name: Carl Brashear Limited Edition. Inspired by 1950s diving suits, the 42mm case, rotating bezel with a minute track and screwdown crown are coated in bronze. It’s water-resistant to depths of 100m and its self-winding movement fuels the time and date functions. The domed blue dial features rose gold hour markers dotting the honey-hued minute track beneath gold baton-shape hour, minute and seconds hands. Everything’s coated in Super-LumiNova® so the time glows in the dark. The white-on-black date display lies at 6 o’ clock. Price: 2,600 CHF. Sharmila Bertin
If the fabulous Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) was still alive, she’d certainly have loved the Slim d’Hermès Mille Fleurs du Mexique. The miniature artwork on this colourful dial depicts some of the cultural and folklore symbols so dear to the painter which she put into her paintings and outfits. Inspired by the pattern on the silk Hermès scarf designed by graphic artist Laetitia Bianchi, this is a celebration of the art of miniature paintings on mother-of-pearl. Once the design has been transferred onto the shimmering disc, the artisan adorns it with twenty layers of colour before firing it at 90°C. Lush nature in the form of flowers, foliage and feathers takes over the dial; the silver hour and minute hands are understated in the centre and brought to life by the ultra-slim H1950 calibre. The self-winding movement fuels a 42-hour power reserve from inside the 39.5mm white gold case. Price upon request. Sharmila Bertin
When you think of a ladybird, you think of the little black-spotted red insect that symbolises happiness. But did you know that Ladybird is also the name of a miniature watch designed by Blancpain in 1956? This year the model has been wrapped in a mother-of-pearl and diamond case to celebrate love. Its sheer dial is adorned by 4 glittering indices which 2 openwork hour and minute hands glide above. Lovers will adore the next feature: two hearts to spice things up. The first one lies in the centre in mother-of-pearl shimmering with diamonds and rubies. The second is a removable ruby charm shot with a diamond arrow and attached to one of the lugs (choice of 6 or 12 o’ clock). The small self-winding 6150 calibre brings to life the time functions and 40-hour power reserve inside the 21.5mm white gold case with a diamond-covered bezel. Price: 22,000 CHF. Sharmila Bertin