WELCOME ON BOARD
The inauguration of two sea-front stores was the occasion for Hublot to introduce a new limited edition watch in ocean colours in the presence of its ambassador Lapo Elkann.
A week after summer officially arrived, Hublot has made a strong start to the season by inaugurating two new sales outlets, both close to the Mediterranean Sea, one in Saint Tropez and the other in Cannes. Although the St Tropez store has been around for six years, it has just had a relooking to blend into the seaside decor and harmonise with the store in Cannes. The two outlets are carefully decorated, with a theme deeply anchored in the world of the sea: ultramarine blue façades with full-length shop windows to let in the sunshine, interiors panelled with wide strips of wood similar to a ship’s deck, elements of rigging and coconut matting and furniture in a sandy beige and Havana brown colour. The ribbon-cutting at the Cannes store took place in the presence of Lapo Elkann, the ambassador of the Nyon-based brand, and the twin opening was the occasion to introduce a new limited edition watch: the Big Bang Blue.
Available in a limited edition of 100 pieces, this timepiece with an openwork dial contains the calibre MHUB1242, an automatic movement supplying 72 hours of power reserve.
Price: 20,400 CHF
By Sharmila Bertin
A NON-TRADITIONAL CLASSIC
Although Ulysse Nardin prides itself on being a relatively avant-garde brand, it still has the sense of tradition in its genes. Technically and often aesthetically innovative, it has still kept a respect for ancestral watchmaking expertise. An embodiment of the brand’s homage to the era that inspired the modern timepiece is the new Classic Dual Time Enamel model.
This edition limited to 99 pieces and only available from Ulysse Nardin outlets skilfully blends cutting-edge technology and traditional craftsmanship. The dial displays a modern aesthetic in some of its features (date, home time and mode selector), which delicately stand out against the more “timeless” aesthetic features (‘Grand Feu’ enamel, Roman numerals, leaf-shaped hands).
Like most of the brand’s dials, the Classic Dual Time Enamel dial was made by Donzé Cadrans, a subsidiary of the Ulysse Nardin group. The disc, coated with ivory-coloured ‘Grand Feu’ enamel, houses an hour rim featuring slender Roman numerals, while a minute track runs around the chapter ring. These black elements set up a strong contrast with the ecru colour of the enamel, a contrast also resulting from the pair of hour and minute hands showing the local time. The seconds are displayed in a large subdial at 6 o’clock. A small window at 9 o’clock shows the home time and the date is given in a double counter at 2 o’clock. At 3 o’clock, a cone-shaped indicator is linked to the selector controlling the crown, so that the user can set the time and date without pulling out the crown.
The 42mm-wide case of the Classic Dual Time Enamel has two monopushers on the sides, at 8 and 10 o’clock, making it easy to set the second time zone in both directions. This steel setting contains the calibre UN-324, a self-winding movement equipped with a silicon escapement, and providing a power reserve of 48 hours.
Price: 12,900 CHF
By Sharmila Bertin
S for steel, but also S for style. Piaget makes a big impact with an elegant chronograph at home in town or in the gym.
If Piaget stands out in the world of elegant, extra-flat men’s watches, then with the new Polo S collection the watchmakers also show they can make models in a very contemporary style and with a sports look. Among them, the Polo S Black chronograph has all the features to attract lovers of beautiful watchmaking. Exit the original design on round or square gold watches from the late 1970s – Piaget takes up the idea of a cushion-shaped dial inside a round, 42mm-wide steel case, resulting in a watch with an elegant outline. The visual effect is enhanced by the appropriate presence of a black bezel coated in ADLC.
The Polo S features a highly attractive horizontal black guilloché dial, where dauphine hour and minute hands and a seconds hand with a red dot move around luminous indices. Two bicompax counters display short-time measurements. There is a date counter is at 6 o’clock. All these functions are driven by a self-winding mechanical movement, the Piaget 1160P, which is revealed through the sapphire case back. This manufacture calibre provides the watch with 50 hours of power reserve.
The Polos S Black chronograph, produced in a limited edition of 888 pieces, is worn with a black rubber strap. It also comes with a second black calfskin strap. The result? It can adorn your wrist in any situation, when you are wearing a made-to-measure suit at a business meeting or you’re hanging out with friends at the weekend.
Price: €13,950 piaget.com
By Dan Diaconu
SOUND AND VISION
Get ready for a great spectacle! Jaeger-LeCoultre masters a long list of major complications and shows its skills in fine watchmaking here in breathtaking style.
In the Master Grande Tradition Grande Complication, fine watchmaking has found an exceptional home and a medium of expression worthy of the mechanical feat achieved by Jaeger-LeCoultre. On a sublime satin blue dial, the watchmakers have set their signature and highlighted their skill. Delicate dauphine-style hour and minute hands move around a representation of the skies of the northern hemisphere, with constellations such as the Great Bear and Cassiopeia. It also displays the 12 constellations of the zodiac. Around this map, a sun turns once every 24 hours. In the process it shows the signs of the zodiac, the months and the days on a circular scale.
At 6 o’clock, an orbital flying tourbillon joins in the spectacle, revolving around the dial anti-clockwise in 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds. Why? The mechanism does not show civil time, but sidereal time, a measurement used by astronomers to follow the trajectory of distant stars.
To complete this watchmaking masterpiece, Jaeger-LeCoultre has included a minuter repeater function with “cathedral” chimes and trebuchet hammers in the 527 components of the hand-decorated manual-winding movement. This complication can ring on the hour, quarters of an hour and every minute as wished. Precious materials combined with a refined execution result in a crystal sound of great purity. This exceptional calibre is set in a delicate 45mm-wide rose-gold case, giving the notes room to flourish.
Price: €359,000 www.jaeger-lecoultre.com
By Dan Diaconu
VINTAGE ENGLISH SPORTS CAR STYLE
The fruit of a partnership with Austin Healey, this chronograph takes us on a journey back in time, to a period when British cars blended sport and style.
The design of the Vintage Rally Healey Chronographe Automatique takes its inspiration from the world of classic motor car racing. So the chronograph sub-dials in bicompax position – “30 minutes“ at 3 o’clock and “seconds“ at 9 o’clock – recall the round headlights on a 1950s Austin Healey or the counters on the dashboard behind a beautiful wood steering wheel in the cars made by the British brand. The hour and minute hands move across a very simple silver dial with a guilloché finish at the centre. The shape of the monopushers evokes engine pistons. All the features on the dial of this watch made by Frédérique Constant are enhanced by the elegant 42-mm rose-gold case.
The Vintage Rally Healey Chronographe Automatique comes with a racing-style brown leather strap with perforations recalling those on racing drivers’ leather gloves. A Healey logo at 6 o’clock is a reminder that this model belongs to the attractive Vintage Rally collection. The chronograph is presented in a gift box with a miniature 1/18 replica of an Austin Healey. And unlike the other versions on offer in the collection, this is not a limited edition!
Price: €2,990 frederiqueconstant.com
By Dan Diaconu
A CHARMING QUARTET
Although they first appeared in the early 20th century, pin-ups – female figures generally shown lightly dressed and in sensual poses – enjoyed their golden age during the Second World War. Inspired by US comics, their smiling faces and generous curves were reproduced as decorations just under the cockpit on the fuselage (noses) of American, and to a lesser extent, British war planes. Hence the term “Nose Art“. Not only did these works of hope and freedom help identify and customise an aircraft, but they also helped keep up the troops’ morale. The Graham brand has decided to honour this long-standing military tradition by creating a series of four limited edition watches: the Chronofighter Vintage Nose Art Ltd.
Available in 100 pieces per model, the Chronofighter Vintage Nose Art Ltd feature four different pin-ups, two redheads, a blonde and a brunette, dressed in yellow, khaki, blue or pink outfits. Each pin-up has her first name on the left-hand side of the sunburst black or blue dial, above the double subdial showing the date and day of the week.
As is typical of the flagship collection by Graham, the steel case is 44mm wide and equipped with the famous start/stop ‘trigger’ for the chronograph function at 9 o’clock. A monopusher button at 10 o’clock resets everything to zero.
The case back is fitted with crystal glass, unveiling part of the mechanism driving the four Chronofighter Vintage Nose Art Ltd models, the self-winding calibre G1747. The mechanism has a power reserve of 48 hours, and drives the hour and minute functions (at the centre of the dial), the seconds (in a subdial at 3 o’clock), the day and date (at 9 o’clock), the chronograph second hand (in the centre) and the minute totaliser (at 6 o’clock).
Price: CHF 5,450
By Sharmila Bertin
MADE FOR RACING
The V8 collection has been expanded with a new model and as ever with a sports feel. Its strengths: precision to 1/10th of a second and an attractive look on the wrist.
Any mention of the V8 inevitably brings to mind the roar of the powerful motor in sports or luxury cars. At Tissot, V8 is the name for a collection of chronographs designed to compete. They all feature a 42.5mm-wide steel case and a reliable and precise quartz chronograph movement. Among the many models, one in particular stands out for its time-reading clarity. On the white dial of the V8 Quartz Chronograph (ref. T106.417.11.031.00), three counters display the shorter time measurements, making them easy to read.
Whereas on many chronographs, a press on the piston-shaped monopusher at 2 o’clock activates the hands of the complication and a second press stops them, the V8 Quartz Chronograph can also measure additional and intermediary time. The measurements are displayed in three subdials placed in the standard position on the dial and with a central hand for the seconds. And to guarantee a high level of precision, the watch is accurate to 1/10th of a second.
The tachymetric scale here is not only aesthetic, but also has a practical purpose. It can be used to measure the average speed in kilometres per hour over a distance of 1,000 metres. You just need to start the chronograph at the beginning of the distance and stop it at the end to see the result with the help of a second hand on a scale on the attractive blue bezel.
Price: €440 www.tissotwatches.com
By Dan Diaconu
See the time in two time zones at a glance with the GMT-Master II. An icon of contemporary watchmaking, the watch has been developed, while keeping the same spirit.
The aficionados affectionately call it “Pepsi” in reference to its blue and red bezel. First released in 1955, the GMT-Master has kept its aesthetic charms through all the different versions and innovations made by Rolex. This new version of the GMT-Master II, unveiled in 2014 (ref. 116719 BLRO – 78209), features a magnificent revolving bidirectional bezel with a two-colour ceramic machined disc. It is actually machined as a single piece – a stunning feat by Rolex! The grey gold Oyster case is 40mm wide, watertight down to 100 metres, and includes the latest self-winding 3186 in-house Perpetual movement with a Parachrom spiral that is unaffected by magnetic fields.
The GMT-Master II dial has kept its distinctive features. A Cyclops crystal magnifies the date window. The red hand shows the “home” reference time and turns once every 24 hours around the black lacquered dial. The time can be read on the graduations along the bezel. When you’re travelling, you can read the local time with the hour hand. It is easy to reset, “jumping” from hour to hour with the help of the winding crown. Thanks to a clever mechanism, this adjustment takes place in a totally independent way, without affecting the minutes and seconds, or the “home” reference time.
Like all Rolex watches, the GMT-Master II has the dual Superlative Chronometer and COSC certification, a guarantee of robustness and precision. The watch is worn with a grey gold strap with a safety buckle and folding clasp.
By Dan Diaconu
A CONCENTRATION OF TECHNOLOGY
With its new chronograph, Zenith has made the only standard watch on the market with precision to 1/100th of a second.
To stay at the timekeeping summit, Zenith has redefined its precision level with a high-tech, high-frequency calibre running at 50Hz. Nothing less was expected from the watchmakers with 2,333 timekeeping records! The result? The Defy El Primero 21 Titanium chronograph measures time to 1/100th of a second. To achieve this result, the watchmaker has developed a completely new calibre equipped with a double-chain architecture featuring two carbon-alloy regulators. One escapement running at 36,000 vibrations an hour is used to drive the watch. A second controls the heartbeat of the chronograph at… 360,000 vibrations an hour. A spiral made from carbon nanotubes guarantees that the mechanism is unaffected by magnetic fields.
The design on the 44mm-wide titanium case is inspired by the El Primero models from the 1970s. While the skeleton dial provides a contemporary face, the presence of the starred second hand, and the blue and anthracite grey counters mean that the Defy El Primero 21 Titanium is a worthy descendant of the mythical chronograph from 1969.
Price: 10,900 CHF zenith.com
By Dan Diaconu
AT THE SERVICE OF PRECISION
Although it has a classic look, the new 5170P-001 model contains a brand-new in-house chronograph movement. We take a closer look.
It took five years for the Patek Philippe watchmakers to develop the new calibre CH 29-535 PS. While this manual winding mechanism equipping the 5170P-001 model provides the watch with a comfortable power reserve of 65 hours, it also stands out through additional performances resulting from six patented technical innovations. The result? Although it has a traditional construction, the movement guarantees greater precision, more reliability and, for its owner, improved comfort in use. Like all the brand’s mechanisms, the finishes on the components perfectly respect the firm’s traditions. The individual pieces are angled with care, and are polished and decorated with Côtes de Genève stripes. The mechanism has been given the Patek Seal.
This classic arrangement is highlighted by Patek Philippe through the presence of a sublime blue sunburst, black gradated dial. And to go with this magnificent composition, the 5170P-001 is worn with a refined, shiny black alligator strap with square scales, and a fold-over clasp.
Price: €87,450 patek.com
By Dan Diaconu