FOR YOUR EYES ONLY
You can’t go without 007. So when James Bond isn’t doing his thing on the big screen, Omega delves into his past to bring us a limited series.
Ian Fleming’s hero rose to the rank of Commander in the Royal Navy and although his official uniform is rarely worn, Omega has adorned his wrist since 1995. Whilst we wait for the famous spy’s new cinematic adventure in 2019, the brand has brought out a limited edition (7007 available) Seamaster Diver 300M “Commander’s Watch”. Omega gives us the chance to dive into James Bond’s military past with this model in the Royal Navy’s signature red and white. The 41mm steel case is water-resistant to depths of 300m with a blue ceramic bezel whose red rubber coating covers the first 15 minutes on the diving scale. Twelve blue markers and skeleton hands burst from the polished white ceramic dial. A counterweight bearing the 007 logo elongates the red central seconds hand. The date display also plays with colour as all the figures are blue except for the red 7.
By Dan Diaconu
THE ESSENCE OF MOTOR RACING
Ramp up the style stakes with a sporty watch. That’s the idea behind the new models in this year’s revamped TimeWalker collection by Montblanc.
Like the other four watches in the collection, the TimeWalker Automatic Date stands out for its edgy style inspired by the world of motor racing back when Minerva was the timekeeper. The company fell into the Richemont group’s hands in 2006 and Montblanc has kept its legacy alive. This model oozes heritage with finishes reminiscent of key designs in motor racing. The semi-skeletonised lugs bring to mind the air vents on vintage cars. The crown is inspired by fuel caps from days gone by. The perforated leather or rubber strap mirrors the gloves worn by the famous drivers. The markers’ font on the black dial matches the dashboard counters. The dauphine-shape hour and minute hands glide over the dial with the seconds hand bearing a Minerva tip.
There’s no need to pop the hood to see what’s fuelling the watch. The 41mm matt satin steel case has a smoky sapphire back so you can see the self-winding MB24.17 movement in action (38-hour power reserve).
The black ceramic unidirectional rotating bezel isn’t just for show; it brings you a second time zone. Simply position the 12 on the bezel at the time you want then look at the hour hand on the bezel’s scale. The same goes for the minutes.
By Dan Diaconu
A DIVE INTO THE PAST
The original version of the diver chronograph has finally resurfaced! Panerai has had the bright idea of holding onto the Mediterranean design and mechanism.
1993: Panerai added a new diver watch with a chronograph complication to its catalogue. A major first! 50 years earlier there may well have been a model with a hearty 50mm case but it never got past the prototype stage. This year, the brand has dived back into its archives to update a much sought-after piece: the new Mare Nostrum Acciaio (PAM00716) has the same design features and technical aspects as the original. The intense blue dial bears the chronograph minute counter at 9 and the small seconds at 3. The chronograph seconds are tracked by the large central hand. Two luminescent hands glide over markers coated in beige Super-LumiNova® for improved timekeeping.
In keeping with the first edition, Panerai has kept the same manual-wind mechanical movement. The satin steel case houses the OP XXXIII calibre that’s been tailor-made on an ETA 2801-2 base and a Dubois-Dépraz chronograph module. Once wound up it provides the Mare Nostrum Acciaio with a 42-hour power reserve.
The timepiece comes in an elegant wooden box in which collectors will be delighted to find a miniature reproduction of the Italian Navy’s destroyer, the Durand De La Penne. The Mare Nostrum was unveiled on this ship in 1993. This special edition (1000 available) by Panerai comes on a blue leather strap.
By Dan Diaconu
CHRONOGRAPH SEQUENCE SHOT
With a never-before-seen movement designed specifically for the chronograph, the Memoris Red Eclipse is no summer blockbuster; it’s an arthouse epic.
A complication is often overshadowed by the hours and minutes on the dial. The supporting role means it’s rarely in the spotlight despite the inherent difficulty in making it. With the Memoris Red Eclipse, Louis Moinet gives the chronograph the leading role and the hours and minutes are accessories. The stage is set with mastery. The skeleton dial gives glimpses solely of the complication’s cogs. The script began on a blank page to design a movement whose chronograph part wouldn’t be your usual additional module. It took 302 components to make the LM54 (4 Hz) calibre function perfectly. They’re not all bit parts! Just over 60 of them were designed for the chronograph to perform on its own plate forming the main set. Stars illuminate this translucent blue stage like spotlights on a Hollywood film set at night.
By Dan Diaconu
DELICATE EMBROIDERY AND DAZZLING DIAMONDS
With its “Chanel to death” look as Karl Lagerfeld would say, this watch on a diamond-covered black cuff by Maison Lesage will be up for auction at 2017’s Only Watch.
Fifty-odd unique pieces by the best watchmakers all for one cause: to raise funds to help research Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a genetic degenerative muscle disease. Only Watch puts on an auction to raise funds to make progress in science every two years. One of the brands involved is Chanel that’s unveiling the result of its watch department’s collaboration with Maison Lesage, the famous artisan embroidery studio owned by the Chanel group. Like most of the timepieces by the Parisian brand, the J12 XS Only Watch 2017 is both a watch and a piece of jewellery.
The mini J12 sits on a hand-sewn cuff embellished with little black glass beads all bevelled with a silver calfskin rim. Two glossy black leather straps wrap around the cuff and the black ceramic case. The small 19mm case is topped by a notched bezel whose inner rim glitters with 24 baguette-cut diamonds (0.52 carat); the crown is also paved by a diamond (0.05 carat).
The J12 XS Only Watch 2017 black onyx dial features two white gold hands tracking the hours and minutes.
A white gold buckle clasp and two loops glittering with 9 and 10 baguette-cut diamonds respectively (0.14 and 0.2 carat) secure this unique piece by Chanel to the wrist.
Estimate: €35,000 onlywatch.com
By Sharmila Bertin
Harrods has put the spotlight on exclusive rereleases with Hublot unveiling a Classic Fusion trio based on shades of grey.
Harrods has been a go-to London address in the luxury world since 1856 and last year the Fine Watch Room, a space devoted to premium timepieces, transformed to present a cutting-edge selection of watches based on a specific theme in summer. 2016 paid tribute to craftsmanship and this year collectors will be pleased to see it’s all about limited edition rereleases! Hublot has unveiled three Classic Fusion Harrods Special Edition timepieces for Harrods’ theme. What do they all have in common? A sunburst “racing grey” dial designed in partnership with the department store blending the ultimate in contemporary British style with a more international feel. They all house a self-winding movement with a 42-hour power reserve in a polished-satin finished titanium case.
There are two 45mm limited edition watches: a 3 hand-date Classic Fusion and a chronograph (20 and 40 available). The third watch stands out for its 38mm case and bezel glittering with 36 diamonds (20 available).
Hublot has blended a black rubber strap with grey leather to match the case and dial on the Classic Fusion Harrods Special Edition. There you have it; you need attitude to nail British style!
Price: €9,000 (Classic) – €12,000 (Diamond Classic) – €12,000 (Chronograph)
By Dan Diaconu
FOR A CHARITY DIVE
On 11 November 2017, the Only Watch sale will give philanthropist collectors the chance to purchase a unique edition specially made for the occasion by Blancpain.
Blancpain was one of the first watchmakers to support the Association Monégasque contre les Myopathies (Monaco Association against Myopathies, AMM) in 2001. So it was perfectly logical that they should take part in the Only Watch auction 2017, with a chance for bidders to own a unique piece, the Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC Only Watch 2017. All funds raised during the charity event will go to the AMM. Like the model unveiled at Baselworld 2017, this new diver’s watch borrows features from the Fifty Fathoms of 1953, but with one major visual difference. The indices, hands and date are all a bright yellow colour, resulting from a luminous coating. The contrast with the black dial provides excellent readability.
A watertightness indicator at 6 o’clock is another specific element of the Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC Only Watch 2017. As a result, a diver can check at any moment that the watch is watertight. Should any water get inside the watch, the indicator colour changes from white to red. For even more safety, the unidirectional revolving bezel is covered in a scratch-proof sapphire ring, protecting the luminous indicators from wear and tear.
Inside the 40.30mm case, which is watertight down to 300m, is housed the Blancpain automatic calibre 1151. The 210 components and the two barrels included as standard keep time and provide the watch with four days of power reserve. The specially engraved rotor with the words “Only Watch” can be seen through the sapphire case back. onlywatch.com
Estimation: CHF10,000 –CHF17,000 blancpain.com
By Dan Diaconu
PUT PEDAL TO THE METAL!
The new limited edition timepiece from Oris celebrates three anniversaries: 40 years of Williams Racing, 14 years of its partnership with the British team and 47 years of the Chronoris model.
There are three milestone dates to remember about Oris and its involvement in the world of motor racing: 1970, 1977 and 2003. The first is when the first Chronoris model launched. The second is when Frank Williams (born in 1942) co-founded the British motor racing team Williams Racing that’s celebrating its 40th anniversary. The third and final date is when Williams formed a partnership with Oris. Put them all together and these three anniversaries give you a new limited edition watch (1000 available): Williams 40th Anniversary Chronoris Limited Edition.
The new timepiece has the same quirky Chronoris case dating from 1970 with a round 40mm case whose shafts and lugs fuse together to blend into the strap making the watch look oval. Unlike its big brother though, the Williams 40th Anniversary Chronoris Limited Edition is fuelled by a self-winding movement: the Oris 673 calibre on an ETA 7750 base.
To epitomise its partnership with Williams Racing, Oris has drawn on the team’s signature blue to adorn the Williams 40th Anniversary Chronoris Limited Edition’s black dial. The vibrant hue coats the white-tipped chronograph seconds hand and three quarters of the tachymeter scale on the chapter ring. The hours and minutes are tracked by a pair of luminescent baton-shape hands in the centre that glide over the applied markers. The chronograph counters lie vertically with the minutes at 12 and hours at 6 whilst the date stands at 3.
Price: 3,500 CHF (leather or rubber) – 3,800 CHF (steel)
By Sharmila Bertin
AN EXPLORER AT HEART
Rolex is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its professional diver’s watch with an evolution incorporating the latest innovations for the ultimate in safety.
So as to fit any wrist and be worn easily over a wetsuit, even a very thick one, the Sea-Dweller comes on a strap with two handy systems. Glidelock enables you to extend it by up to 20mm whilst the Fliplock links give you up to 26mm extra!
By Dan Diaconu
GEOMETRY AT THE SERVICE OF TIME
Before celebrating its 100th anniversary next year, Mido has expanded its collections with three new watches inspired by a model from the 1940s.
“Architecture is the precise, magnificent and learned interplay of volumes brought together in the light.” Like Le Corbusier, Mido develops its timepieces by playing with rigour and intelligence on geometric forms and technical innovations. So, while the Multifort Escape stands out with its classical simplicity as a three-handed date watch, a few details still help give it a very distinct personality. The wide 44mm case has an original finish, since the steel has been given an aged black and sanded PVD coating. The result? Every single case is unique!
The dial is available in three colours: black, anthracite grey and khaki. They all have a large, vertical “Geneva Waves” pattern, providing a subtle interplay of light and contrast. Above them turn the wide, black enamelled hands, coated in SuperLumiNova®, and with a shape inspired by the Mido pilot’s watch worn by the entrepreneur and aviator Milton Reynolds during his round-the-world flight in 1947.
While the design is inspired by a vintage model, the Multifort Escape is equipped with one of the Swatch Group’s most recent and efficient movements, with a high-tech spiral and spring. The automatic mechanism with its finely decorated rotor can be seen through the sapphire glass, and provides a very generous power reserve of three and a half days.
The Multifort Escape comes with a calf’s leather strap with a natural look and a texture matching the case finish to perfection.
By Dan Diaconu