IN THE WEAVE
The Genevan brand puts a poetic spin on classic menswear to adorn gentlemen’s wrists.
Vacheron Constantin is exploring new creative paths by delving into the sacred art of tailoring. Its Métiers d’Art Elégance Sartoriale collection is only available in its stores and is inspired by classic fabrics that tend to be just for suits. With its legendary sophistication, Vacheron Constantin plays on fabric making on the dial of five pieces using traditional decorative techniques true to watchmaking such as engine-turning and enamelling.
Each design has been carefully chosen and paired with a colour: Prince of Wales and raspberry, chevron and blue grey, check and taupe, pinstripes and buttercup yellow, tartan and blue that verges on lavender and azure. An engraver hollows out the gold dial then coats it in translucent and colourful Grand Feu enamel.
The time features appear in a sub-dial off-centre at 3 with a gadroon trim like trouser cuffs. Roman numerals lie on a white mother-of-pearl hour rim like buttons on a shirt. The ivory disc is engraved with 3D patterns that adorn ties and pocket handkerchiefs (Paisley, floral and geometric and abstract figures) with two classic black domed hands and openwork tips tracking the hours and minutes in the centre.
The display and 40-hour power reserve are fuelled by the manual wind 1400 calibre which you can see through a little sapphire crystal display on the back. The 39mm rose or white gold case is suitable for men and women.
Style should ooze from head to toe so to accessorise this premium piece, every watch in the Métiers d’Art Elégance Sartoriale collection comes with a burgundy, brown or taupe alligator strap with saddle-stitching decorated like a boot. The devil is in the detail.
Price: 56,800 CHF
By Sharmila Bertin
“WITH VALOUR TO THE STARS”*
Le Locle’s Zenith has revived a military chronograph designed in the 60s for the Italian army with a model similar to the original and limited to 1000 pieces.
The Italian army wanted to replace the TIPO CP1 that the Italian Air Force pilots wore in the late 1950s and called upon the watchmaking expertise of Zenith. Their mission was to design a reliable, accurate and easy to use watch that can withstand extreme conditions and be worn over a jumpsuit. The Le Locle brand made a 43mm military timepiece called the TIPO CP-2 with two counters fuelled by the manual-wind Zenith DP 146 calibre. Only a handful of pilots ended up wearing the 2500 pieces delivered in the 60s as most of them went into storage and were never worn.
The TIPO CP-2, nicknamed “Cairelli” after Zenith’s Roman distributor, is now highly sought-after among collectors. Given its success, the Le Locle watchmaker has relaunched production of this famous chronograph. The Heritage Cronometro TIPO CP-2’s signature style may be almost identical to the original but it’s been given modern features and a cutting-edge movement. The famous self-winding El Primero 4069 calibre in the new chronograph brings the functions and 50-hour power reserve to life.
The 43mm steel case is topped by a graduated black bezel. The black dial has large luminescent Arabic numerals tracked by two rhodium-plated phosphorescent hour and minute hands in the centre. The seconds tick by in a counter at 9, the chronograph minute counter lies at 3 and a luminescent triangle-tipped central seconds hand tracks the seconds in the middle.
Price: 7,900 CHF/EUR zenith.com
* “Virtute Siderum Tenus“, the Italian Air Force’s motto
By Sharmila Bertin
AN OCEAN WAVE CALLED NAUTILUS
1976 marked a turning point in Patek Philippe’s history when it unveiled a now iconic watch. 40 years later and the Genevan brand is launching a new limited edition in keeping with the original Nautilus style to celebrate four decades of success.
Philippe Stern, the son of owner Patek Philippe Henri Stern (1911-2002) and member of the management department at the time, designed a piece inspired by his passion for sailing in collaboration with the famous watch designer Gérald Genta in 1976 (1931-2011). The name Nautilus comes from the sea mollusc living in a shimmering coffee striped shell and the avant-garde submarine dreamt up by Jules Verne (1828-1905) in 1869 in Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea. The steel watch makes quite a statement (lateral structures left and right of the case reminiscent of a porthole’s casing and a dial striped like a sailor’s top) enabling Patek Philippe to dive into the sports watch sector. The Nautilus has come in a wide array of versions since launching and was redesigned in 2006 for its 30th anniversary.
Wide embossed horizontal stripes in a sumptuous sea blue wash over the PVD-coated yellow gold dial. Twelve white gold markers paved with baguette-cut diamonds form the hour rim with two white gold baton-shape hands highlighted by a luminescent dash. A rhodium-plated bronze central seconds hand tracks the seconds whilst a black-on-white date lies in a silver bevelled display at 3.
The limited edition Nautilus reference 5711/1P (700 available) bears the figures “40” and “1976-2016” (at 6) on the dial.
Price on request patek.com
By Sharmila Bertin
This is the first time that the urban chic TimeWalker collection has been given a complication designed and patented by Montblanc: the ExoTourbillon.
The TimeWalker oozes style and performance with its ExoTourbillon, single pusher chronograph and hi-tech materials.
The collection is already famous for its avant-garde style and this TimeWalker is making a statement with its racy and vibrant looks. It’s innovative to boot as the three parts on its 44mm case are an expert blend of cutting-edge materials: brushed titanium on the openwork body, compact black carbon fibre on the container and black DLC-coated titanium rimmed by a red seal on the bezel. The design gives the watch lightness and weight.
But this isn’t style over substance. Montblanc has already put the famous ExoTourbillon into its Heritage Chronométrie, Villeret, 4810 and Bohème collections and now it’s joined the TimeWalker. The system designed and patented by Montblanc involves placing the screw-down balance wheel outside the tourbillon cage (hence the Greek term exo). The tourbillon is smaller than standard ones and isn’t affected by the weight of the balance wheel so it requires 30% less energy. A single pusher triggers the chronograph function fuelled by a column wheel and vertical gear.
The self-winding MB R230 calibre brings the functions to life and its double barrel fuels the 50-hour power reserve among other features.
The dial is split in two and plays on volume. The bottom is occupied by the ExoTourbillon and its double arrow bridge (a nod to the 158 year old Minerva factory that Montblanc took over in 2007) in vertically brushed silver metal. The larger top is home to the semi-circular chronograph seconds and minute counters. The hours and minutes appear off-centre at 12 alongside a date display with a hand.
Price: 39,000 CHF
By Sharmila Bertin
HERMES, THE RAINBOW MAKER
The Paris brand has designed a bespoke wardrobe for the 25th anniversary of its Cape Cod whose dial glitters with diamonds and magical gems.
In 1991 on the request of Hermès President Jean-Louis Dumas (1938-2010), the brand’s illustrator since 1958 and brains behind the Arceau (1978) and Clipper (1981) did a quick pencil sketch of a model that would become an icon. The watch, inspired by the famous Hermès Chaîne d’Ancre link, should have been square but Henry d’Origny designed a rectangle around a square. It was called Cape Cod in tribute to holidays on the American peninsula. At the time, the Belgian designer Martin Margiela styled Hermès’ ready-to-wear and in 1998 gave it extra leather to seal its fate as a legend: the double strap.
The Cape Cod’s simple, classic and stylish look has appealed for 25 years and it’s celebrating its anniversary by splashing its dial and strap with colours that are so Hermès.
Gleaming white mother-of-pearl, midnight black onyx and deep blue lapis-lazuli are three natural mineral elements chosen to adorn the dial on the paved steel Cape Cod GM (29x29mm) each treating the owner to their own virtues and goodness. An interchangeable single or double strap in smooth ultraviolet, sapphire or black alligator adds the finishing touch to this stylish trio.
The dials on the steel Cape Cod PM (23x23mm) may be classic opalescent silver but the splash of colour brings the strap to life. Be it single or double, calfskin (Barenia or smooth) or alligator, it’s definitely dazzling. The deliciously stylish hues are a sight for sore eyes. Their names ooze poetry and bring to mind tenderness, wonder and nature: orange, lime, iris, peacock, ember, raspberry.
The Cape Code dial bears the hours and minutes with two silver hands fuelled by a quartz movement.
Price: 2550 CHF (steel single strap PM) to 9700 CHF (onyx or lapis-lazuli GM) hermes.com
By Sharmila Bertin
Breitling’s Emergency Night Mission has a vibrant new look and is all about safety. The watch is designed to withstand any thrills and spills that thrill seekers and professionals want to throw at it.
Breitling specialises in chronograph wristwatches and is the ultimate aeronautics partner. The founder Léon Breitling set out to design watches for sports and industry in 1884. The Swiss brand has stayed true to its founder’s vision and is always innovating with ever more powerful models. Breitling designed the very first chronograph with a separate pusher in 1915. It was a revolution at the time. A second reset pusher was added in 1934 and sounded the death knell for the first modern chronograph. Breitling also equipped plane cockpits with on-board chronographs and the Royal Air Force used them for its fighter aircrafts in World War II.
The Breitling Emergency Night Mission is best-known for its built-in distress signal and has unveiled a new vibrant look. Its oversize 51mm titanium case comes in orange, blue or yellow making it ideal for city slickers and adventure seekers alike. The strong but light watch is waterproof to depths of 50m. The black carbon blend gives it classic flair. Its satin finishes and colourful rubber strap ooze urban chic. The hands and markers matching the strap colour create a vibrant contrast with the black case and dial.
The Emergency Night Mission by Breitling ranks as a PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) with a built-in twin frequency signal in line with international Cospas-Sarsat satellite requirements. It sends the signal and guides search and rescue operations. The watch is designed as a professional tool and has a COSC-certified multi-function electronic Breitling SuperQuartz chronograph movement that’s ten times as accurate as regular quartz. It has been tested and approved by the best patrols on the planet and has helped successfully complete several missions and saved countless lives. This watch doesn’t need to prove itself.
Price: 18,060 CHF
By Inès Aloui
A PERPETUAL CLASSIC
Every year Baume & Mercier brings out an exclusive piece from its famous Clifton Collection. The new Clifton Perpetual Calendar is the latest in the range that has sealed the brand’s success.
The Baume brothers were fuelled by the drive to make top quality watches when they built the foundations of Baume & Mercier in 1830. Mission accomplished: the brand is renowned for its precision, reliability and expertise all soaked in its signature classic style. The Clifton collection prides itself on its vintage design influenced by 1950s watches.
In tribute to star gazing and celestial mechanics, the new Clifton Perpetual Calendar houses one of the most impressive complications in fine watchmaking. The movement in the red gold case is true to the unique features of the Gregorian calendar. By automatically taking into account variable months and leap years, this Clifton Perpetual Calendar is among the most complex as the date display doesn’t need to be corrected before March 1st 2100, a non-leap year which comes three out of four centuries. So you have time!
The calibre’s cool details include Côtes de Genève on the bridges and “perlage” on the plate with blue steel screws. The display on the new Clifton Perpetual Calendar has a captivating classic look. The shimmering silver domed dial oozes the Swiss brand’s signature sophistication with a sapphire crystal to make it easier to tell the time. The Clifton Perpetual Calendar’s timeless style runs into the black alligator strap with a red gold deployment clasp. In keeping with the Baume & Mercier philosophy of affordable watches even in the world of grandes complications, this model has been painstakingly made and is worthy of fine watchmaking.
Price: 19,500 CHF.
By Inès Aloui
Ruler of the high seas
Two years after its first watch and ten expeditions later, Blancpain has unveiled a second limited edition whose sales will contribute to protecting the deep sea depths.
The first Fifty Fathoms watch was unveiled in tribute to the sea world in 1953. 63 years later and the model has not only produced a watch collection but has epitomised Blancpain’s values and commitment to protecting the oceans since 2014. The Blancpain Ocean Commitment (BOC) was designed that year to help protect and preserve the depths through ocean exploration, publications and forums about the environment and much more. In the space of two years, there were ten expeditions and three million km2 of ocean were protected.
Blancpain is ending the year with a second limited edition watch inspired by the ocean (250 available): Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Chronographe Flyback Ocean Commitment II. For every piece sold, 1000 EUR will be donated to protecting the sea world totalling 250,000 EUR in addition to the financial support Blancpain already provides.
The 43.6mm Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Chronographe Flyback Ocean Commitment II case is 15.25mm thick. Its features (body, sapphire glass back, rotating bezel, Liquidmetal® graduated ring on the bezel, winding and setting crown, flyback chronograph pushers) are all made in blue ceramic whose colour is achieved by injection or adding colour pigments. The ultramarine piece houses the self-winding F385 calibre that fuels the functions and 50-hour power reserve. You can watch the blue oscillating weight stamped with the Blancpain Ocean Commitment logo perform through the openwork back.
The steel grey dial has three counters: hollow and white chronograph minute (at 3) and hour (9) counters and the small seconds with a luminescent dotted hand (at 6). The date display floats between them at 4.30. Two rectangular luminescent hour and minute hands are joined in the centre by the red-tipped chronograph seconds hand. The hour rim has a phosphorescent diamond at 12 and bevelled rectangular and round metal markers.
Price: 18,800 CHF blancpain.com
By Sharmila Bertin
CELEBRATING ITS 20TH WITH A TRIP
The Chopard factory in Fleurier is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a steel model for stylish globetrotters.
1996 saw visionary co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele open Chopard’s new factory in Fleurier in the Jura municipality of Val-de-Travers. Its foundation brought a new watch collection in tribute to the past using the founder’s initials, Louis-Ulysse Chopard. L.U.C is the epitome of watchmaking as seen by Karl-Friedrich Scheufele: clean lines and fantastic functions. For its 20th anniversary the collection was given a new complication that’s popular among travellers: L.U.C GMT One.
When you think of a second time zone you always think it’s a complication that’s hard to set but that’s not at all true of the L.U.C GMT One. The dial displays are easy to read and two crowns on the 42mm steel case make setting it a breeze: date and local time at 2 and home time at 4.
The black sunburst dial is surrounded by a black ring bearing cone-shaped markers and Arabic numerals coated in white Super-LumiNova. Four hands appear in the centre: dauphine-shape local hour and minute hands, baton-shape orange central seconds and a luminescent tip for home time. Home time appears on a wide two-tone sunken chapter ring similar to the 24-hour indicator: a slate slab displays the time in white between 6.30am and 6.30pm and a black one features “night time” (6.30pm-6.30am) with orange figures. A date display at 6 completes the picture.
The L.U.C GMT One is fuelled by the new L.U.C 01-10-L calibre made by Chopard and certified by the COSC. The powerful self-winding movement provides a 60-hour power reserve which is handy for globetrotters who spend hours flying.
Price: 9,500 CHF
By Sharmila Bertin
ONE WATCH, TWO COMPLICATIONS
The Patrimony Moon Phase and Retrograde Date brings two stunning complications together in one watch in the second new model this autumn from the Genevan brand.
Vacheron Constantin has brought out a new model this autumn with the usual perfect finish housing two fabulous complications in two shades of gold. The Patrimony Moon Phase and Retrograde Date is inspired by the Genevan watch brand’s 50s models with a low-key dial. As the name suggests, the moon’s cycle and age features on the dial alongside the retrograde date.
The moon phase takes pride of place at 6 on the shimmering slightly domed silver dial. A rose or white gold disc showcases the moon on a starry background in a crescent-shape display. A graduation around the semi-circular display enables you to calculate the moon cycle which is exactly 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 2.9 seconds. You only need to reset it once…every 122 years!
The retrograde date fans out from 9 to 3 and progresses a notch per day until the end of the month before instantly restarting at 1. The date figures are interspersed with subtle dots tracked by a black gold hand with an openwork triangular tip.
A pair of slim rose or white gold hands appear between both complications to chase the hours and minutes. Their sharp tips track slender triangular and rectangular markers and a shimmering minute track all in rose or white gold depending on the model.
The functions are brought to life by the new 2460 R31L calibre by Vacheron Constantin. You can watch the self-winding mechanical movement fuel the 40-hour power reserve inside the 42.5mm case through the sapphire crystal back.
Price: 42,800 CHF
By Sharmila Berti