Monthly Archives: July 2017

iwc da vinci tourbillon retrograde soldier with caseback



Boasting a balanced design integrating mechanical complications, this timepiece has all the elements that embody the creative spirit of brilliant Leonardo da Vinci.

Of all the Da Vinci models, the Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph would certainly have been the watch that appealed most to the Italian mastermind who lends his name to the collection. In order to accommodate the classic tourbillon, chronograph and retrograde date features on a single dial, IWC watchmakers designed a new 89900 automatic movement and ensconced it in an elegant red gold case. This distinctive calibre has a sophisticated tourbillon stop system allowing the watch to be set to the exact second. Although this timepiece includes a number of complications, discerning pallet and escape wheel design and Diamond Shell Technology still guarantee a 68-hour power reserve when fully wound.

iwc da vinci tourbillon retrograde soldier with caseback

With a flyback chronograph positioned at 12 o’clock, the savvy layout of watch face features make for an easy read, even when it’s 11:59! The central chronometer hand provides the time to the split second and the retrograde date display hand arcs from the 1st to the 31st, automatically jumping back to the 1st of the month after reaching the 31st of the previous month. Simply use the crown to set this beautiful timepiece.

The 44mm diameter Da Vinci Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph is available with a dark brown alligator strap by Santoni and folding clasp closure.

Price: 112,000 €

By Dan Diaconu

zenith el primero date open closeup



Zenith showcases multiple complications with the help of a brilliant movement laid bare in the Chronomaster El Primero Grande Date Full Open.

With its generous 45mm case topped by domed glass with sapphire crystal back, the entire movement in the Chronomaster El Primero Grande Date Full Open is on show. The 332 components in the Zenith movement have been carefully put together to create a stunning 3D artwork bringing the complications to life. A Moon and Sun phase appear at 6 with two discs, the former completing its rotation in 59 days and the latter in 24 hours. A large date at 2 displays the days. The sapphire dial also features two blue and grey-tinted transparent counters, one for the small seconds and one for the chronograph’s 30 minute counter.

zenith el primero date open closeup

The watch is fuelled by a high-frequency 5Hz El Primero calibre. Its precision provides short time accuracy to one tenth of a second. A 30 minute counter at 3 and a central chronograph hand make it easy to keep track of time whilst pushers make handling the chronograph classic. The self-winding chronograph joins forces with the best of traditional watchmaking: a modern column wheel and a silicone escapement. Despite its many complications, the movement still gives the Chronomaster El Primero Grande Date Full Open a 50 hour power reserve.

Specific colour codes make it easy to read the dial. The silver chapter ring is rimmed by a blue ring. The facetted SuperLuminova-coated hands track the black and white minute track and luminescent markers. A slim red-tipped central seconds hand bears Zenith’s signature star and glides over the majestic piece.

Price: 10,600 € (steel) – 12,200 € (steel and rose gold)

By Dan Diaconu

ulysse nardin marine torpilleur collection



Lighter and slimmer than Ulysse Nardin’s star Marine Chronometer model, the new Marine Torpilleur has all the assets it needs to win over quality watch enthusiasts.

Ulysse Nardin was inspired by 19th century pocket watches for naval officers and ship captains as well as its own contemporary Marine Chronometer to design the new Marine Torpilleur. This blend of styles has gone into making a lightweight, slim, easy-to-wear watch at a relatively affordable price (the least expensive is around 7000 EUR).

There are three versions of the Marine Torpilleur including two metals (steel and rose gold), two dial colours (pure white and petrol blue) and two strap types (alligator-style leather and steel links).

ulysse nardin marine torpilleur collection

The new model by Ulysse Nardin may be named after a speedy little warship armed with torpedoes to sink enemy ships and submarines but it has no ties to violence of any kind. The torpedo boat’s agility and flexibility are all that have gone into the watch.

Both the white and blue dial have large black or white Roman hour numerals. Two blue or silver pear-shape hands in the middle track the hours and minutes whilst the seconds counter lies off-centre at 6 surrounded by a white date display. Another counter at 12 features the power reserve (60 hours) fuelled by the self-winding and COSC-certified UN-118 calibre.

Price: 6,900 CHF (steel) – 7,600 CHF (steel on steel) – 17,000 CHF (rose gold)

By Sharmila Bertin

montblanc timewalker exotourbillon closeup



Montblanc has launched an ExoTourbillon and monopusher chronograph in a new limited series of 100 pieces combining modern design and traditional fine watchmaking.

In 2010, Montblanc unveiled the first ExoTourbillon. This complication differs from a traditional tourbillon through the screw balance wheel set on the outside of the rotating cage, which means it is not affected by the inertia of the cage. Precision and isochronism are both improved. Five years later, the watchmakers combined this clever mechanism with another prestigious timekeeping complication, a monopusher chronograph.

montblanc timewalker exotourbillon closeup

And once again this year, the TimeWalker ExoTourbillon Chronograph Limited Edition 100 brings together the two features along with a self-winding MB R230 movement. Montblanc has changed the aesthetic style of the timepiece to give it a monochrome look. The DLC-coated titanium case is 44mm wide and features a grained black dial, with the hour and date displayed on an off-centred counter at 12 o’clock. Two semi-circular counters show the seconds at 8 o’clock and the minutes at 4 o’clock. The figures and indices, with their distinctive styles, are coated with SuperLuminova to ensure optimal readability, even in the dark.

The watch also has a practical feature for travellers. When you are visiting another continent, you can change the hour hand and date display on the TimeWalker ExoTourbillon Chronograph Limited Edition 100 quickly and in either direction. The watch is also equipped with a quick stop-second mechanism, and the calibre is designed so you can reset the time without stopping the tourbillon, so the watch will maintain perfect precision!

Price: €45,400

By Dan Diaconu

richard mille rm035 ultimate edition closeup



Richard Mille is on the cutting edge of innovation and updating its timepieces with modern materials. The RM035 Ultimate Edition has been treated to the latest in technical progress.

The skier Alexis Pinturault has worn an RM 035 with a case made of a magnesium and aluminium alloy for the past two seasons of the Alpine Ski World Cup. The watch’s technical features that make it light and strong have also proved popular with Rafael Nadal. In other models such as the RM 35-01 and the more recent RM 50-03, Richard Mille has proven its expertise in using hi-tech materials to make cases even lighter and stronger. The new RM 035 Ultimate Edition has been treated to the latest innovations in the sector with the signature barrel-shaped case in NTPT carbon.

richard mille rm035 ultimate edition closeup

In terms of movement, Richard Mille has kept the RM 035’s manual wind skeleton movement with a 55-hour power reserve. The double barrel and variable-inertia balance wheel also improve the chronometer’s accuracy and movement architecture’s strength even if it’s knocked. The featherweight 4.3g calibre and polyurethane strap help make the watch ultra-light and comfortable to wear whether you’re a top athlete or just enjoy hitting the slopes.

The use of hi-tech materials gives the watch a monochrome look which is brightened up by flashes of red on the crown and markers. There are 35 of the limited edition RM 035 Ultimate Edition available. It is only available from Richard Mille shops.

Price: 140,500 CHF

By Dan Diaconu

corum bubble us uk collection



The Corum Bubble collection is prolific! Draped with the American and British flags, two new timepieces in steel or two-tone and yet another XXL option in the official colours of the United States.

Since it was literally brought back to life in 2015, the Bubble collection has continued to grow. For Corum, the unparalleled silhouette, thick sapphire crystal and magnifying glass look of this watch has become quite a provocative means of creative expression. Whilst some think it’s too funky, or in bad taste, others find it artistic, fun and original. Be that as it may, one thing’s for sure, the Bubble is a real head-turner! Two new watches have just been added to this prolific range featuring dials draped in the United States flag and United Kingdom Union Jack. Apart from that, nothing shocking. Everyone has the right to a bit of patriotism and to be proud of their native land or adopted country. On the other hand, the names of these two new timepieces may be somewhat disruptive: Bubble America First and Bubble Brexit. Inspired by current political developments, or such recent controversies as Donald Trump’s slogan and Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, Corum goes beyond creative expression, attaching a strong message to these new models.

corum bubble us uk collection

Available in limited editions of 87 each, both the Bubble America First and Bubble Brexit cases are in steel and measure 47mm in diameter. The back side of the sapphire crystal provides a small glimpse of the the calibre CO 082 and an automatic movement that boasts a 42-hour power reserve, driving the hour, minute and second display on the front. Leaf-like hands sport a Super-LumiNova® blue finish for the hour and red for the minute whilst the second hand features a white circle detail. Unique in its own right, there are also two-tone Bubble America First and Bubble Brexit options boasting rose gold bezels and ball-shaped crowns.

Go big with the XXL United States flag model, the Bubble Big Bubble. Measuring 52mm in diameter, it features steel case (87 available) or steel and rose gold (1 only) options, housing a calibre CO 403 and automatic movement that drives the same features as the smaller models and providing a 65-hour power reserve.

Prices available upon request

By Sharmila Bertin

chopard luc traveler one detail



The first watch in the L.U.C collection to integrate a world time complication, this timepiece reads like an exclusive invitation to travel.

The figure behind the acronym L.U.C is none other than Louis-Ulysse Chopard, founder of the celebrated watchmaker and jeweller that still bears his name. To pay him tribute, the sophisticated timepieces in this eponymous range all feature complications in the finest Swiss watchmaking tradition. Chopard introduces the L.U.C Time Traveler One, rounding out the collection with the addition of world time. A superb selection for the avid international traveller, this timepiece shows all time zones at a glance.

chopard luc traveler one detail

This watch is powered by a COSC-certified self-winding movement with a 60-hour power reserve.

Vaunting a 42mm case in stainless steel, rose gold or precious platinum, the L.U.C Time Traveler One is the perfect companion for gentlemen travellers.

Prices: £10,540 (stainless steel) – £18,530 (rose gold) – £28,990 (platinum)

By Dan Diaconu

jaquet droz grande seconde sw steel gold collection



SW, the range of sports-style watches by Jaquet Droz, welcomes two new steel and bi-metal watches with a link or textile strap. A modern way to highlight the famous 8 adorning the dial on the “Grande Seconde” watches

While Jaquet Droz is inseparable from dials with ivory “Grand Feu” enamel, the arts and crafts professions, the double loop forming a perfectly balanced 8 and a dark blue colour, these near-traditions are sometimes disrupted by timepieces that stand out from the rest and are more contemporary. This is the case for the SW collection, now enriched by four new models. The family of sports-style watches has been joined by the Grande Seconde SW available in two models, one made of steel and the other of rose gold, and each with a choice of straps featuring three rows of links or a resistant black textile.

jaquet droz grande seconde sw steel gold collection

The large new Jaquet Droz watch has a 45mm case equipped with a screw-in crown and moulded with black rubber, plus a notched bezel available in steel or rose gold. A sort of metal bridge separates the dial in two horizontally and meets up with two imposing pieces, placed at 3 and 9 o’clock, respectively, on the bezel and running down the sides of the case.

This elegant setting contains the calibre JD 2663A.Si-D, which is revealed through the opening in the case back. The self-winding movement runs at 28,800 vibrations an hour (4Hz) and provides 68 hours of power reserve – like most timepieces made by the watchmakers from La Chaux-de-Fonds – with the help of a double barrel.

The black dial on the Grande Seconde SW with its gentle satiny tones is adorned with a silver or golden bevelled figure 8. Each of the loops in the magic number embraces a sunken subdial: the hours and minutes, off-centred at 12 o’clock and displayed with luminous-tipped hands, and the famous Grande Seconde with its slender second hand and a moon-tipped counterweight placed towards 6 o’clock.

Price: 15,150 CHF (steel) – 18,600 CHF (steel on steel) – 20,450 CHF (steel/rose gold on textile) – 28,100 CHF (steel/rose gold on metal)

By Sharmila Bertin

louis moinet black gold derrick closeup



A new edition made by Louis Moinet and limited to 28 pieces includes a tourbillon movement driving a kinetic visual effect and a unique second display.

In 2013, Louis Moinet unveiled the surprising Derrick Tourbillon watch. What was original about it? It was a device representing a derrick used to extract crude oil, and which moved for as long as the watch worked. You just needed to recharge it with non-polluting mechanical energy for it to start up again. With the Black Gold Derrick, the mechanism has kept the same spirit linked to the world of oil-drilling, while pushing creativity a little bit further. The dial again features a long articulated arm with its “head” at the left-hand end, creating the visual identity of the oil-extracting tool. The mechanic architecture is rounded off by a titanium barrel located at 9 o’clock. Louis Moinet has given the permanently rotating barrel the task of marking the seconds. They can be read at the bottom of the barrel, on a red engraved seconds track.

louis moinet black gold derrick closeup

“Black gold” flows symbolically across the dial. The bridges have been coated with black PVD. They are open-worked, unveiling the mechanism and the barrel spring with its traditional finishes, characteristic of fine watchmaking. The numerous acute angles are all hand-finished. Also to be seen is a pearled decor on the plate and slender lines on the bridges.

The calibre and tourbillon provide the Black Gold Derrick with a healthy power reserve of 3 days. The watch is housed in a white gold case, christened Neo by Louis Moinet, and features the 6-screw bezel that has become the firm’s trade mark. The open-work lugs are fitted to an elegant leather strap.

Price: 260,000 CHF

By Dan Diaconu

hublot classic fusion feunte 20 anniversary closeup



Partners since 2012, the watchmaker Hublot and the cigar manufacturer Arturo Fuente confirm their links with three special editions designed to celebrate the 20th anniversary of a legendary cigar, the Fuente Fuente Opus X.

Hublot is without doubt the king of partnerships, whether in terms of products or joint projects. The watchmakers from Nyon have indeed made a speciality of producing sometimes surprising combinations. No partnership is beyond the pale, whether in sport (football or skiing) or in arts and crafts (embroidery or stained-glass windows). In 2012, Hublot decided to join up with the cigar manufacturer Arturo Fuente, and now, five years later, they have launched a trio of special watches in homage to the legendary Fuente Fuente Opus X: the Classic Fusion Fuente 20th Anniversary Special Edition. Each model is made from a different material (black ceramics, brushed titanium or King Gold, an alloy created by Hublot), and available in 20 pieces.

hublot classic fusion feunte 20 anniversary closeup

The mythical Fuente Fuente Opus X cigar is filled with unique aromas. It is made of nine tobacco leaves instead of five, like most top-of-the-range cigars, and takes about two years to mature, before ending its life in a humidified cellar belonging to the happy few, the fans of its undeniable qualities. The quest for excellence blended with skilled craftsmanship, painstaking care and patience are all points that the cigar manufacturer has in common with the watchmaker. The proof of the manufacturing skill can be found both in and on the case of the Classic Fusion Fuente 20th Anniversary Special Edition, particularly in the titanium and King Gold versions with their magnificent engravings. The engravings depict tobacco leaves, as well as an XX design, in homage to the 20th anniversary of Fuente Fuente Opus X.

The steel case is 45mm wide, 10.95mm thick and is water-resistant down to 50m. It features blue composite resin lugs, and the bezel around it is decorated with rose-gold screws (on the ceramic version) or titanium screws (on the other two versions). This imposing setting contains the calibre HUB1112, a self-winding movement driving the hour, minute and second displays on the dial while providing 42 hours of power reserve.

The dial on each piece of this exceptional trio features a delicate sfumato effect, with a matt-blue to Havana-brown colour, and reveals the XX pattern, like a watermark decorating the dial background. The dial also has a double bevelled and gilded XX on the right-hand side. The symbol can be seen once again at 12 o’clock, presiding over the hour rim made up of faceted applied indices. At the centre, two stick-shaped hands, gold or silver, depending on the model, show the hours and minutes, while the seconds are shown by a second hand tipped with red lacquer.

Price: 12,900 CHF (ceramic) – 13,900 CHF (titanium) – 28,900 CHF (King Gold)

By Sharmila Bertin