Monthly Archives: February 2017

piaget altiplano 34mm collection



The Altiplano saga, celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, continues with a version for slimmer wrists and watches adorned with soft tones.

The Piaget brand is marking 2017 with its iconic Altiplano, while remaining true to its great speciality: colour, and more precisely, coloured gems. The brilliance of soft colour blends with the magic of minerals to give birth to a colourful trio of Altiplano 34mm watches designed for the 60th anniversary of the first timepiece from the collection.

piaget altiplano 34mm collection

The three Altiplano 34mm watches share the same ultra-slim case and mechanical movement. The metal setting, available in white gold with or without a bezel set with diamonds or in pink gold topped with 72 cut diamonds, measures, in fact, just 34mm in diameter. As for the mechanism driving the hours and minutes, it is the 430P automatic calibre made by Piaget and provides a power reserve of about 43 hours.

The differences between each of these timepieces lie in the colour and the material used for the watch face, which is filled with applied indices and houses two stick-shaped hands. Radiant with its raspberry tone, mysterious with its semi-opaque disc or iridescent with its white opal face, the Altiplano 34mm is also a watch that plays with the fire of the diamonds set on its bezel.

If the only power possessed by the deep pink version is to provide a bright colour, the turquoise and white opal, on the other hand, have a strong symbolic content, since the first is the gem of eternal youth and the second acts as a lucky talisman.

The Altiplano 34mm model with the pink watch face is available in 360 pieces with polished bezel and 360 with a jewelled bezel, while the models dressed in turquoise and opal are each limited to 38 pieces.

Price on request.

By Sharmila Bertin

louis vuitton escale spin time blue closeup



Seven years after inventing a new time display, the Parisian brand is renewing the experience with a titanium watch with a grey dial featuring twelve rotating cubes.

Why just show the time in a regular way when your name is Louis Vuitton and you have your own workshop (La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton)? The Parisian brand, famous for its trunks and the LV monogram, has overturned the traditional codes with its new Escale Spin Time Blue model. The idea of a watch with spinning time was born with the Tambour Spin Time in 2010, but Louis Vuitton has revisited this system and included it in the Escale watch case.

louis vuitton escale spin time blue closeup

The Escale Spin Time Blue has a titanium case measuring 41mm in diameter and 11.2mm thick, and is adorned with a titanium crown, bezel and lugs. This silvery setting contains the LV77 calibre, an automatic mechanism made at La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton, and drives the hour and minute functions, while providing a power reserve of 42 hours.

At the centre of the steel-grey watch face is a black and silver globe on a blue disc displaying the Parisian brand name. Under this stylised planet Earth is concealed a small luminescent hand displaying the minutes and a white minute track. The hours, meanwhile, are shown by 12 spinning cubes, each including four different faces, all made by transfer. Three tones of blue have been used for these very unusual hour markers.

The Escale Spin Time Blue has a navy blue alligator and calf-leather strap with a white gold buckle.

Price on request.

By Sharmila Bertin

panerai luminor oracle team chrono flyback closeup



Panerai has taken the plunge to become the official watch for the America’s Cup and for two teams, including Oracle Team USA. For Oracle, the Italian brand has created three timepieces, including a black ceramic chronograph with a flyback feature.

2017 is an important year for lovers of sailing, especially with the America’s Cup, the most prestigious and most followed sailing race in the world taking place in Bermuda. Panerai, the Italian brand with workshops in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, figures among the race’s partners as official watchmakers. For the occasion, the firm is presenting five new timepieces, including three for Oracle Team USA, the winner of eight consecutive races and two cups. Among the trio is the Panerai – Luminor 1950 Oracle Team USA 3 Days Chrono Flyback Automatic Ceramica (PAM00725).

panerai luminor oracle team chrono flyback closeup

The matt black ceramic case on the Luminor 1950 Oracle Team USA 3 Days Chrono Flyback Automatic Ceramica is 44mm in diameter. It is equipped with a crown guard with a lever – a typical features of Panerai collections – two pushers (start/stop at 10 o’clock and flyback/reset at 8 o’clock) and a black titanium background. The background features the words “America’s Cup”, the Oracle Team USA logo and the silhouette of the team’s famous trimaran.

At the heart of this black setting is the P.9100 calibre, an automatic mechanism made by Panerai, providing a power reserve of 72 hours (3 days) and driving the chronograph with the flyback function. This feature is used to launch the timer for a new event without having to press stop/reset. A precious timesaver during a race where each minute, and even each second counts.

The black watch face is encircled with a chapter ring featuring a nautical tachymeter (measurement in knots). In the centre, a set of stick-shaped luminescent hands display the hours and minutes around the hour rim made up of slender markers and large Arabic numerals for 6 and 12. The seconds are shown in a counter equipped with a small blue hand at 9 o’clock. Also in the centre are two slim coloured hands: a blue-coated hand to count down the seconds on the chronograph and a hand with a red finish for the minutes. The hours, meanwhile, are shown in a at 3 o’clock.

A black leather strap with the America’s Cup logo rounds off the sporting look of the Luminor 1950 Oracle Team USA 3 Days Chrono Flyback Automatic Ceramica. Like the watch dial, it is adorned with the colours of the famous regatta on the stitching: blue topstitches near the buckles and red stitches along the sides of the leather.

Price on request.

By Sharmila Bertin

tag heuer carrera heuer 01 43mm 2017 group



Two years after the first model from the new generation of chronographs made by TAG Heuer, the watchmakers present a slightly smaller version, a totally openwork watch available in three classic colours.

In 2015, TAG Heuer revolutionised the world of chronographs with a skeleton watch featuring a 54mm modular case and an openwork mechanism made in its workshops in La Chaux-de-Fonds. This first opus of a new generation of chronographs has opened the way for a trio of Carrera Heuer-01 43mm watches, available in navy blue, deep black and chocolate brown.

tag heuer carrera heuer 01 43mm 2017 group

Although the steel case has decreased from 45mm to 43mm in diameter, it has kept its modular features with the 12 elements that make it endlessly transformable through the use of other coatings or materials, such as PVD or ceramics. This is the case, for example, for the fixed bezel on top of the metal setting, with its polished ceramic ring, coloured blue, black or brown, and where a silver tachymeter is placed. The chapter ring showing the 60-second scale also matches the colour of the chosen model.

The completely transparent dial on the Carrera Heuer-01 43mm, encircled by luminescent markers, means that you can see the openwork mechanism driving the different functions of the watch. The Heuer 01 automatic calibre powers the hour, calendar and chronograph displays while providing a power reserve of 50 hours. The hours and minutes are shown at the centre of a real mechanical lace effect, while the seconds appear in a counter circled by a coloured ring at 9 o’clock. All the chronograph functions are displayed using red-coated elements, such as the central second hand and the small hands on the counters (the minutes are shown at 12 o’clock and the hours at 6 o’clock). A window at 3.30 displays the date discreetly – with a totally transparent disc – in black on a white background.

Price on request.

By Sharmila Bertin

zenith pilot type 20 caseback



For BaselWorld 2017, Zenith, the firm from Le Locle, has revisited the famous pilot’s watch and given it a fuselage of bronze, a metal alloy that changes attractively over time

Bronze really is the most fashionable metal in watchmaking. We can see it in the collections of several watch brands, especially over the past two years. Mainly made up of copper, but also aluminium and tin, bronze is an alloy that is resistant to rust and wear, and which takes on a fine patina over time and a grey-green colour. After a three-hander with a bronze case, the Pilot Type 20 Extra Special, Zenith has now released a chronograph version: the Pilot Extra Special Chronograph.

zenith pilot type 20 caseback

This Pilot Extra Special Chronograph is worn on the wrist with an oiled nubuck, khaki-green strap, similar to the one on the Pilot Ton-Up – a model released by Zenith in 2016 – and with a titanium clasp.

 Price on request.

 By Sharmila Bertin

oris hammerhead limited edition caseback



Concerned about the future of the shark, the Oris brand has taken the plunge and funded a research project in partnership with a famous diver and an NGO, while creating a limited edition diving watch.

The oceans are not only a gigantic and magnificent body of blue water bringing waves to lap at our feet when we are relaxing on our beach towels in summer. They are also and above all a habitat for billions of marine species, some of which, including the shark, are endangered. A victim of the industrialisation of fishing, of local laws to protect holidaymakers and surfers to the detriment of wildlife, and of underwater hunting for idiots in search of adrenalin, the shark is in danger of extinction in less than 50 years if nothing is done to protect it.

oris hammerhead limited edition caseback

Based on the second generation Aquis, a model from which it takes its shape, the new Hammerhead Limited Edition features a 45.5mm steel case that is water resistant down to 500m. The case is topped with a rotating bezel fitted with a black ceramic ring and a sliver diving scale, and has a screw-in crown encircled by side protections. The case back shows an engraving of a scalloped hammerhead shark. Thus protected in its attractive steel case, the Oris 752 calibre – an automatic movement based on the Sellita SW220 – drives the hour and calendar functions while supplying a power reserve of about 38 hours.

At the centre of the steel grey dial with a sunburst finish, two wide nickel hands of the dauphine type show the hours and minutes on a luminescent hour rim and white and blue minute markers; the second hand, meanwhile, has a blue finish. A double window at 3 o’clock shows the day and date.

Price: 2 550 CHF

By Sharmila Bertin

parmigiani ovale pantographe closeup



The brand founded in Fleurier has renewed with a mechanical concept dating from the 18th century to design a limited edition model with a surprisingly shaped case and, above all, hands.

What is a pantograph? The pantograph is an “instrument for the mechanical copying of a plan on the same or an enlarged or reduced scale” (OED), a draughtsman’s instrument with articulated arms to make enlargements or reductions of a model. This definition helps us to understand the unusual shape of the hands at the centre of the Ovale Pantographe by Parmigiani.

The brand based in Fleurier has taken inspiration from an oval pocket watch dating from 1780, with a movement covered in counter-relief engravings and depicting acanthus leaves. The guilloché cover, adorned with indigo blue and set with small pearls, hides a white face crossed by hands formed by a kind of flexible lattice work. Connected to the movement is a system of sensors inside a device called a cam that controls the hands, extending or retracting them. Parmigiani has taken up this ingenious system and adapted it to its Ovale Pantographe model, while taking into account the additional constraints involved in a contemporary wrist watch when compared with an 18th century pocket watch.

parmigiani ovale pantographe closeup

The Ovale Pantographe case has an oval silhouette, and is 45mm long, 37.3mm wide and 12.5mm thick. It is available in two gold colours – pink or white – and like all the Parmigiani classic collection features long, delicately prominent and angular lugs. The oval-shaped setting houses a manual winding movement in the form of a gold barrel: the PF111 calibre. Running at a frequency of 21 600 vph (3Hz) and providing a power reserve of 192 hours (8 days), it drives the hour, date and power reserve functions.

On the silver opaline watch face, decorated with a guilloche barleycorn pattern, are two hands equipped with a black “pantograph” body and placed at the centre, showing the hours and minutes. The date is shown in a panoramic window opening onto three dates, at 6 o’clock, while the power reserve is set at 12 o’clock.

This timepiece made by Parmigiani is available in a limited edition of 50 pieces.

Price: 85 000 CHF (limited edition) – 55 000 CHF (model with smooth watch face and blue hands)

By Sharmila Bertin

louis moinet metropolis closeup



We are now used to seeing the Louis Moinet workshops produce exceptional timepieces, and they have surprised us once again with the Metropolis, a model with a small second.

Through his career, inventions and achievements Louis Moinet became a major figure in watchmaking history. Since 2004, the company of the same name headed by Jean-Marie Schaller, like its illustrious founding figure, has never ceased to enchant us with watches featuring impressive complications, materials and finishes.

If its price seems to have been – and this is a first for the brand – one of the key points in the watch’s specifications, the Metropolis has kept the DNA and the production quality of its older siblings.

louis moinet metropolis closeup

The 43.2 mm watch case, baptised Neo, is available in pink gold or steel, and features remarkable finishes, as ever in the work of the manufacturing workshops in Saint-Blaise, in the Swiss canton of Neuchâtel. The extra-large Roman numerals set in three groups, the decentred second hand and transparent dial between 8 and 12 o’clock give the Metropolis a strong visual signature and make a clear link with the rest of the prodigious Louis Moinet range and, above all, provide an incredible look.

The depth of the dial and its geometry on several levels means light dances across the anti-reflection sapphire face.

The Metropolis is powered by the LM45 calibre, with a frequency of 28,800 vph, specially developed for the watch and providing a comfortable power reserve of 45 hours.

Diamond anglage, perlage, Côtes de Genève and Clous de Paris patterns… the standards of superior watchmaking are all present and correct in this model, which opens up a new direction for the Louis Moinet range.

A detail with a certain importance is that the crocodile leather strap on the Metropolis closes with a folding clasp decorated with fleur-de-lis, the brand’s symbol.

Price: from 10,500 CHF

By Yannick Ortolan

corum golden bridge rectangle closeup



After featuring barrel and rounded shapes, the flagship watch of the collection has adopted the rectangle bringing out a horizontal movement decorated with spirals, and adorned by a highly architectural hour rim.

A few weeks before BaselWorld 2017, Corum invited the specialised press based in Switzerland to a lunch in the presence of its managing director, Davide Traxler. During the meal, the brand from La Chaux-de-Fonds presented its new timepieces, including the Golden Bridge Rectangle model.

corum golden bridge rectangle closeup

Sculpted like a gold bar, the watch case of the Golden Bridge Rectangle is 42.20mm long, 29.50mm wide and 9.30mm thick. The result is a fine pink gold rectangle with delicately rounded angles and a body prolonged to form the lugs in a harmonious way. Like the Golden Bridge collection, this model has neither a watch face nor a back in order to highlight the CO113 calibre. This horizontal, self-winding mechanism is made up of gold bridges and a main-plate, and features acanthus leaves engraved in counter relief. These precious leaves are encircled by thick markers with brushed Roman numerals spanning out from the movement towards the case and forming geometric branches.

Between the barrel at 6 o’clock and the escapement at 12 o’clock, two stick-shaped rhodium and faceted hands are set, displaying the hours and minutes. The CO113 calibre provides a power reserve of 40 hours.

A brown alligator strap rounded off by a pink gold deployment clasp completes this new watch made by Corum.

Price: 39,900 CHF

By Sharmila Bertin

jaeger lecoultre reverso duoface small second closeup



After celebrating its 85th anniversary in 2016, the Jaeger-LeCoultre icon has been adorned this year with some new faces and interchangeable straps to set off the Duoface model, available in two sizes.

The are many advantages to wearing a Reverso. To begin with, this is a beautiful watch designed by Jaeger-LeCoultre, well proportioned, finely detailed and transcending time (it has existed for 86 years!). Next, the fact it is reversible means it can be protected, and can be discreet while masking the time, and be used to express words of love engraved on metal or as a medium for artistic creation. What’s more, the back can hide a second dial with an aesthetically different display or a small, useful complication. This is the case with the Reverso Classic Duoface Small Second model, available in medium or large formats, with a second time zone and a day/night indicator on the reverse side.

jaeger lecoultre reverso duoface small second closeup

Made for travellers who want to stay elegant even on the other side of the world, the Reverso Classic Duoface Small Second displays local time and home time on two dials. This is a watch with two different looks, but a single heart. The manual-winding JLC854A calibre drives the hours, minutes and second, on the one hand, and the second time zone and day/night indicator on the other, while providing a power reserve of 42 hours.

The front dial on this Reverso Classic Duoface Small Second is coloured silver, and blends two very different finishes: a vertically brushed pattern for the hour markers, with black Arabic numerals, and a guilloché motif of the honeycomb type with blue broadsword hour and minute hands. The second counter at 6 o’clock has the same decoration.

The reverse watch face, meanwhile, is wrapped in black, with a satin look in the centre, forming a disc where the hours and minutes slip by, embodied by two silver guilloché hands, and with a Clous de Paris pattern adorning the outside. The metal markers are set around the satin disc like the rays of the sun. At 6 o’clock, a circular counter split horizontally in two shows the day/night indicator against a silver or silver-lined black background.

The rectangular steel case on this Jaeger-LeCoultre model is available in two sizes: medium (42.9×25.5mm) or large (47.28.3mm).

Price: 8,350 CHF (Medium) – 8,450 CHF (Large)

By Sharmila Bertin