MECHANICAL HAUTE COUTURE
Modestly named the Breguet Classique Tourbillon Quantième Perpétuel 3795, this timepiece is an ode to Breguet’s mechanical skills, the apotheosis of finely mastered watchmaking art.
Since its beginnings in 1775, Breguet has designed a large number of timepieces equipped with a perpetual calendar, all of them as fascinating as they are complex. And the brand likes to focus on existing elements to rework them, always with the aim of striking innovation. This is particularly the case with the Breguet Classique Tourbillon Quantième Perpétuel 3795, a version of the 3797, which is itself filled with interesting mechanic ingenuity.
This new version highlights aesthetic elements, somewhat like a haute-couture garment that is attractive both for its individual parts and for the final result. Here, the dial is withdrawn to give way to a watch skeleton, revealing all the magic of the movement’s construction at its heart. The manually wound movement drives two complications: the tourbillon and the perpetual date. Placed at 6 o’clock, the tourbillon is held in place by an angled bridge and crowned by a triple hand marking the seconds. The perpetual calendar, meanwhile, is at 12 o’clock. It is set back in a semi-circle above the sapphire disc, and decorated with Roman numerals showing the hours and minutes. The day counter is at 9 o’clock, and the month counter at 3 o’clock, with a blue sun in its centre to show the leap years.
The Breguet Classique Tourbillon Quantième Perpétuel is available in rose gold or silvered 18-carat platinum, with a 41 mm-wide case, and is adorned with blue steel hands, as well as the secret signature identifying the brand. Between the skeleton design and hand-made guilloché pattern, the Breguet is attractive both for the complexity of its mechanism on display and for the global aesthetic appeal to the eyes.
Price: Platinum: CHF249,000 / Rose gold: CHF235,000 breguet.com
By Isabelle Guignet
BLACK IS BLACK
A Chronomaster featuring the El Primero movement, a skeleton dial and a black ceramic case. Zenith joins the dark side of the mechanical force!
As Yves Saint Laurent said, “There is no such thing as black, only different kinds of black”. This is what comes to mind when you see the new Chronomaster El Primero Skeleton. With its single-tone style, its chiselled dial and three-dimensional display, the timepiece made by Zenith will leave no one indifferent. Inside the generous 45mm-wide case, made entirely of black ceramics, is the self-winding El Primero 400 B, with its legendary frequency of 36,000 VpH (5Hz), its 1/10th of a second display and its 50 hours of power reserve. And while the 326 components are all dedicated to chronometric precision, a fair number of them also play a role in the watch’s aesthetic appearance. The open-work counters on the chronograph provide an original vision of the movement’s workings. In a decor made up of tones of grey, only the date at 6 o’clock and the tip of the central hand of the chronograph add a touch of (deep red) colour.
For the time functions, the hour and minute hands are blackened with ruthenium and have a luminous coating, and point towards indices with the same features. The chronograph elements are displayed with a central hand, a 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock and a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock.
The Chronomaster El Primero Skeleton is worn with a black rubber strap with a carbon fibre coating and a triple folding clasp made of titanium and black PVD, underlining the original personality of the watch.
Price: €10,900 zenith.com
By Dan Diaconu
THE ELEGANCE OF TRADITION
Making luxury accessible: this is what is on offer from Tissot with their steel or gold watches in classic and timeless style, made in Switzerland.
The T-Classic collection is based on a timepiece combining elements from the impressive heritage and skills of the watchmakers, Tissot. The epitome of a classic watch, the Tradition Automatic Small Second, with a design inspired by a 1950s model, quite logically finds its place in the series. It comes in several different versions to suit all tastes and for all occasions. So for the 40mm case and the hands, you can choose between steel, yellow gold or rose gold. Whatever the colour of the matching dial (anthracite, black or silver), all have the same layout in terms of time information, combining simplicity and elegance. All versions also feature the same self-winding mechanical movement, ETA 2825-2 (38 hours of power reserve), to be seen at work through the sapphire case back.
Two sword-shaped hands show the hours and minutes, represented by a Roman numeral 12 and long, slim indices. A discreet date counter is set at 3 o’clock. A small second hand at 6 o’clock is used to make sure the watch calibre is working. The whole watch is crowned with a curved sapphire crystal. The Tradition Automatic Small Second is worn, depending on the model, with a strap with a leather push-button butterfly clasp or one made from the same material as the case.
Another strong point, and not the least important, is the price for the timepieces in this collection. Luxury watches have seldom been sold at such accessible prices!
Price: from €660 (Steel – leather strap) www.tissotwatches.com
By Dan Diaconu
A PASSION FOR CARS
The Carrera has been constantly brought up to date, while maintaining its sports design. Among the different versions available, the model with a titanium case is in pole position.
Since 1963, with the first model developed by Jack Heuer, Carrera chronographs have been linked to motor racing. The Carrera Calibre 1887 Automatic Chronograph is continuing this prestigious heritage. For the 50th anniversary of the watch, TAG Heuer gave it a virtually scratch-proof ceramic bezel with a tachymetric scale. More recently, the watchmakers released an even more modern version with a 43-mm wide case, which was watertight down to 100 metres and made of Grade 2 titanium with a black titanium carbide coating. Together with the deep black dial, the materials give a more modern sports feel to the timepiece.
The watch is still powered by a self-winding mechanical movement, the calibre 1887. Some of its components, such as the column wheel and the rotor, can be seen through the sapphire case back. The power reserve runs between 50 and 40 hours when the chronograph is working. Times are still measured using the two monopushers on the outside of the case. Seconds are displayed with a long, slim red hand, while the minutes and hours are shown with the blued totalisers placed at 12 and 6 o’clock, respectively.
The Carrera Calibre 1887 Automatic Chronograph comes with a black alligator strap with red stitching and a pattern recalling the hands of the chronograph. A titanium folding clasp keeps the watch perfectly attached to the wrist with safety push buttons.
Price: €4,900 tagheuer.com
By Dan Diaconu
A BEAUTIFUL BLEND OF COMPLICATIONS
“Grandes complications” are one of the renowned Genevan brand Patek Philippe’s specialities. This year the Grand Complication 5316P-001 has grabbed our attention!
One of Patek Philippe’s strengths is its signature classic watch designs and there’s no denying that the independent Genevan watch brand also specialises in designing “grandes complications”. The Grand Complications 5316P-001 is no different and captures both these features.
Just some of the complications in this timepiece are the minute repeater, tourbillon, alarm with two gongs (trigger mechanism built into the case), perpetual calendar with retrograde date hand, moon phase, small seconds hand and a display for the days at 9, months at 3 and leap years at 12. We should mention that leap years appear with the Roman numeral IV or Arabic 4.
The square-scaled alligator strap is hand-sewn and its glossy black hue is one that we’re not used to seeing on our wrists but fits in beautifully with the lugs and case on the Grande Complication 5316P-001. The black enamel dial with gold applied markers is hugged by a 40.2mm case whose 18 carat gold plaque makes the timepiece shine even brighter. It houses a mechanical manual-wind movement that’s 8.61mm thick and beats at 21,600 vph. It is honoured by the brand as it is engraved with the Patek Philippe seal.
Price: on request patek.com
By Isabelle Guignet
TRAVEL IN TOTAL FREEDOM
Easy to use, fantastic readability and seriously contemporary style…the travel watch in the TimeWalker collection has everything it needs to make it a must-have.
Like the other watches in the TimeWalker collection by Montblanc, the Chronograph UTC pairs a masculine style with useful functions for day-to-day wear. The chronograph tells the time in 3 separate time zones with the help of its self-winding mechanical MB 25.03 movement (46-hour power reserve). That should keep the most demanding globetrotters happy! Wide hands track local time. Home time is easy to see with the SuperLuminova-coated red-tipped central hand. You set the time using the crown. It’s simple and easy as the date at 3 is synchronised with local time. You can see the third time zone by turning the unidirectional ceramic rotating bezel and basing it on where the 24-hour hand is.
Everything about the chronometer measurements is traditional. The chronograph’s red central seconds hand stands out for its baton-shape hand and Minerva tip. The two large minute and hour counters lie vertically like the other chronographs in the collection.
The TimeWalker Chronograph UTC’s 43mm satin-finish case in matt black DLC is stylishly linked to a perforated black rubber strap with a deployment clasp. The piece creates a look that’s both urban and sporty so you can wear the watch whatever the occasion.
By Dan Diaconu
Just like the other models in the Parisian brand’s collection, the masculine chronograph’s design rides the waves of fashion. Maybe that’s surfing a trend…
Like the ship of the same name, the Clipper has sailed through times and trends since it was first designed by the talented artistic director Henri d’Origny in 1981. Hermès brought out a sporty take on the model in 2010. The curvaceous design reminiscent of the famous sailboat’s porthole was given a sturdy but lightweight 44mm titanium case. Its new gear made the timepiece ready to face a summery sea of suntan lotion and autumn gusts in the city alike. A variety of models have since adorned sporty and stylish wrists. One pairs a grey dial with the Parisian brand’s signature orange strap whilst another is awash with blue that instantly brings the oceans to mind. The time information couldn’t be easier to read on the macho dial. The chronograph’s screwdown pushers bring to life the central seconds hand, minute and hour counters whilst the date appears in a display at 3.
The hour and minute hands and the chronograph function are as easy to handle as a sailboat on the Clipper TGM 44mm and fuelled by a benchmark self-winding mechanical movement: the Valjoux 7750. It provides a 46-hour power reserve and you can see the calibre through the caseback along with the rotor bearing the famous H logo.
The chronograph is water-resistant to depths of 200m and equally skilled at measuring short time on land as it is at exploring the deep sea depths. The Clipper is a real diving watch and fitted with a rotating bezel so you can see how much dive time you have left.
Price: CHF6,350 hermes.com
By Dan Diaconu
A WATCH REVOLUTION IS UNDER WAY!
What’s new on the market? The Defy Lab by Zenith is exceeding expectations and revolutionising watchmaking with an oscillator that’s set to challenge the foundations of watchmaking mechanics.
Three centuries! For 342 years the principle of regulating time with a balance spring formed the foundation as you can see in any mechanical watch past and present. The concept was presented in 1675 by the Dutch astronomer, mathematician and physician Christian Huygens but has never been challenged until Zenith decided to do things differently.
Zenith, the renowned champion of the high frequency chronograph, has treated the Defy Lab to an oscillator that isn’t affected by magnetic fields, gravity or temperature. The ZO 342 calibre has been given an update and the Le Locle-based brand has proudly revolutionised Christian Huygens’ fundamental principle with ten unique pieces that were unveiled at the launch.
Price: CHF29,900 zenith.com
By Isabelle Guignet
A SACRED STONE SENT FROM SPACE
Like countless watchmakers, Frédérique Constant is supporting Only Watch on its quest to overcome muscular dystrophy with a unique timepiece that will be auctioned off in Geneva on November 11th.
Taking part in the Only Watch auction (held every 2 years to raise funds to combat Duchenne muscular dystrophy) has become a natural reflex for most watch brands. One of the fifty-odd unique pieces up for auction on November 11th in Geneva is a model by Frédérique Constant: Manufacture Quantième Perpétuel Only Watch 2017.
The 42mm rose gold Manufacture Quantième Perpétuel Only Watch 2017 case houses the self-winding FC-775 calibre with a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) and 38-hour power reserve.
Estimate unknown frederiqueconstant.com
By Sharmila Bertin
SUMMER TIME FOR THE ROYAL OAK
The Royal Oak Offshore collection has switched to summer time with a new sun-kissed model and all its signature features: a stylish and sporty design.
This summer saw Audemars Piguet unveil a new pair of limited edition watches to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the brand’s partner, Hôtel Byblos, in style: the Royal Oak Offshore Summer Edition. A model for women, alongside its mechanical counterpart for men, has launched in sun-kissed hues. The Brassus-based brand has focused heavily on art de vivre and joined forces with the legendary luxury hotel to put their passion and sophistication into this watch.
Three blue-rimmed counters stand out on the 44mm dial and give the watch a racy look. The white rubber bracelet and rose gold deployment clasp give the rose gold case an extra glow and also comes in blue to give the Royale Oak Offshore Summer Edition a real summer feel.
Price: CHF 46,500
By Isabelle Guignet