LIKE AN ALLEGORY OF LIFE
The celebration of El Dia de los Muertos has gone beyond the frontiers of Mexico. Its symbol, the human skull, now adorns a new limited edition watch by Hublot.
It is definitely one of the most popular holidays in Mexico. All generations get together for this internationally unique celebration, which takes place between 31 October and 2 November. El Dia de los Muertos has justifiably been listed as part of humanity’s Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO since 2008. This joyful and colourful tradition celebrates life during a festive procession paying homage to the deceased. Its most famous symbol is the calevera, the human skull, which can be seen both on masks and on the sweets decorating altars during the Day of the Dead. Hublot has borrowed the icon and placed it at the heart of a new limited edition watch, the Big Bang Calaveras. Three models have been produced for the occasion, including 30 black ceramic pieces, 20 made of steel and 10 made of red gold. All feature a skull on the dial – the famous calevera – finely engraved and decorated like embroidery with floral patterns on the bezel. The image is repeated on the leather strap using a stamp technique.
The 44mm-wide cases of all the Big Bang Calaveras watches house the same automatic in-house movement. The Calibre HUB1401 guarantees 42 hours of power reserve and can be seen at work through the sapphire case back, where the watch number is shown with the words “SPECIAL EDITION”.
Price: 14,900 CHF (Ceramic) – 11,900 CHF (Steel) – 31,900 CHF (Red gold)
By Dan Diaconu
KEEPING THE ORIGINAL SPIRIT ALIVE
In the purest tradition of watches from the mid-20th century, the Geneva manufacture has revisited the triple calendar with two new limited-edition watches.
Like all the firm’s watches from the Historiques collection, the watches are stamped with the prestigious Geneva Seal. They come in a limited edition of 200 pieces.
Price: €19,500 (Triple Calendar 1942) – €36,600 (Triple Calendar 1948)
By Dan Diaconu
EXCELLENCE THROUGH INNOVATION
Rarely has a watch been designed with such a precise aim: to provide accuracy without concessions. Richard Mille achieves the aim with complete mastery.
Since 2001, Richard Mille creations have stood out through a unique style underlining the value of fine-watchmaking mechanisms. With the RM 031 Haute Performance, design
and calibre are as one. The aim? To reach the holy grail: ultimate precision. To achieve exceptional performance, the watchmakers have developed a calibre featuring the very latest innovations. The movement has a direct-impulse escapement developed by APR&P for Audemars Piguet. Running at 36,000 VpH and with two balance springs made from Elinvar (unchanging elasticity), a steel-nickel alloy used in making precision chronometer springs, the transmission results are optimised. The result is a time variation of between 0 and 30 seconds a month. The entire mechanism has been improved to guarantee excellent distribution of the energy produced by the pair of fast-rotating barrels (4 hours per revolution instead of 7.5 hours).
This cutting-edge mechanism is housed in an imposing, round, platinum-machined case measuring 50mm. The design of the watch respects a global approach, with each piece of the movement benefitting from a very high-level finish carried out by hand for perfect integration.
The calibre drives the hours, minutes and seconds. It also has a function indicator at 5 o’clock. When the crown is pulled out, the indicator hand show winding (W), hands (H) or neutral (N), somewhat like the gearbox in an automatic car. The RM 031 Haute Performance comes in a limited edition of 10 pieces.
Price: €1,129,500 including VAT richardmille.com
By Dan Diaconu
STICKING WITH THE BEAT
Fifteen years after it was first launched, the Tambour watch is still beating to the rhythm of time at Louis Vuitton with two new versions, dressed in black.
Louis Vuitton took its first steps in watchmaking with the Tambour model in 2002. Since then, and particularly through the acquisition of the Fabrique du Temps in 2011, the famous Parisian luxury brand has continued innovating and has broadened this collection of simple or sophisticated – but always attractive – models. What do they all have in common? A case with the same shape and the 12 letters of “Louis Vuitton” engraved around the circumference, like the 12 hours on the dial. The new Tambour All Black watches have kept this distinctive feature. Dressed in black, they combine a steel case with a black PVD coating and an elegant matt black dial. On the dial, the XXL-size anthracite V is a revised version of the Gaston-Louis Vuitton logo from 1901. The effect is to give the watches a strong sports and masculine feel.
With these two timepieces, worn with an interchangeable coal black alligator strap, Louis Vuitton proclaims the current tendency: sport is the new chic!
Price: €4,050 (Small Second) – €5,850 (Chronograph)
By Dan Diaconu
The practical and easy-to-use T-Race Touch Aluminium will be on hand for all outdoor sports and for work outs in your favourite gym.
The T-Touch collection features timepieces that are as well-equipped as the famous Swiss army knife. Using technology developed by Tissot, these watches have a wide range of features that can be activated with a simple press on the tactile crystal. The T-Race Touch Aluminium has two time counters, two alarms, a perpetual calendar and a second time zone. Activating some of these features also changes the role of the hour and minute hands. So if you are out and about, the two hands can be transformed into a compass, and the minute hand points towards the north magnetic pole. If you are sailing, a tide indicator shows the state of tidal currents with the minute hand, while the hour hand tells you whether the tide is rising or ebbing.
The T-Race Touch Aluminium is worn with a black silicon strap for optimal comfort during your sports activities.
Price: €480 www.tissotwatches.com
By Dan Diaconu
Rado gave six international designers a free hand to imagine a collection of watches adapted to the brand’s vision, style and creations.
The name Rado is inextricably bound up with design, true design, involving ideas about shapes and materials. The brand belonging to the Swatch Group commissioned six talented designers to revisit the True model with a single watchword: to use Rado’s favourite material, high-tech ceramics, for the watch case. The collaborations have resulted in the True Designers collection, a series of limited-edition timepieces.
The six timepieces in the True Designers range are driven by an automatic ETA movement (80 hours of power reserve).
Price: €1,740 (Cyclo) – €2,240 (Face – Blaze – Phospho) – €2,140 € (Stratum – Shadow)
By Dan Diaconu
SIMPLE AND ROBUST
The men’s models in the Link collection have been given a new lease of life for their 30th anniversary with a redesigned case and new dials.
First unveiled in 1987, the Link stood out thanks to a metal strap with rounded S-shaped links. This system was unique at the time and was a guarantee of user-friendliness and comfort on the wrist. This year, Tag Heuer has released new versions of this timepiece with three hands, and they are still just as simple and resistant. You don’t change a winning team. The strap has kept all its attractions and is still perfectly integrated into the case. The alternating finishes, polished and brushed, are repeated on the case The case itself has perceptibly expanded from 39 to 41mm. The bezel now has an elegant and gentle outline thanks to the geometric association of a cushioned base with a circular ring.
The watch has a wide face for optimum readability. The rhodium, polished, faceted hour and minute hands, coated with white SuperLuminova, make their way around steel stick indices that are also coated in luminous material. A discreet date counter is set at 3 o’clock. Three dial colours are available. You might prefer the dynamic satin sunburst blue, the simple opaline black or the silver version.
The Link is driven by the automatic Tag Heuer Calibre 5, providing the timepiece with 38 hours of power reserve. It can be seen at work through the sapphire case back. With its screwed crown, the watch is watertight down to 100 metres.
Price: CHF2,700 tagheuer.com
By Dan Diaconu
FEROCITY ON YOUR WRIST
Hermès, a company that generally brings out watches with a simple, classic design, has let itself go with a wild creation tinged with humour: the Slim d’Hermès GRRRRR!
And with humour that was little suspected on the part of the House of Hermès! Bringing together such an imposing animal as a bear and a timepiece where fine precision and miniature tools are required for the manufacturing and the design does indeed raise a smile. And yet, the result is a wild success. This is the Slim d’Hermès GRRRRR!
The round white gold case on the Slim d’Hermès GRRRRR!, as well as the discreet lines on the white gold dial are now home for the wild animal, which doesn’t look much afraid. Hermès has produced a timepiece filled with humour and successfully tamed by the French brand’s artisan enamellers.
Price: €79,000 hermes.com
By Isabelle Guignet
WHEN WATCHMAKING MOVES UP A GEAR
It took all the genius of Richard Mille to combine cycling and luxury watchmaking in a timepiece equipped with an odometer.
At a period when connected watches are programmed to keep track of all our sporting exploits, Richard Mille has provided an original take on the trend with the new RM 70-01 Tourbillon Alain Prost. The great French racing driver, who has lent his name to the watch, is chiefly famous for his superb career in Formula 1, but he is also well-known for another one of his great passions, cycling. In answer a simple question, namely, how far have I cycled since the start of the season, Richard Mille has provided an original solution by including a unique mechanical odometer in the watch. In concrete terms, you just need to record the distances manually after each ride. A push button at 2 o’clock is used to select one of the 5 odometer rollers on the dial. When the ride is finished, you just need to press the push button at 10 o’clock to display the figure. The only work the user has to do is to add the day’s distance to the number of kilometres already recorded.
The machined TPT carbon case stands out thanks to its asymmetric lines. The original design makes for easy reading, irrespective of your hand’s position on the handlebars. The RM 70-01 Tourbillon Alain Prost is in a limited edition of 30 pieces. Each buyer will also be given a road bike, specially designed by Alain Prost, Richard Mille and the Italian bike-maker Colnago.
Price: €891,960 including VAT richardmille.com
By Dan Diaconu
DESIGN AND DOLCE VITA
For the International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Bulgari has unveiled two Octo Retro Maserati watches featuring retrograde indications and jumping hours.
The fruits of a partnership begun in 2012, the two new Bulgari Octo Retro Maserati watches, the GranSport and the GranLusso, symbolise the excellence of Italian-style luxury products. The two timepieces, one with a sports feel and the other in refined style, combine features from watchmaking and top-of-the-range cars. The point they share? An original way of reading the time. On the black grained or sunburst grey dials, depending on the model, markers run from 0 to 6, recalling the design of an analog rev counter on a GT Maserati. The indication “MIN x10” at the bottom shows the time scale. A large hand points towards the minutes in a retrograde display. When the hand reaches the 6, it instantly returns to zero and begins the process again. In a counter at 3 o’clock, a jumping hours mechanism rounds off the time information. Except for the Bulgari logo, only the Italian luxury carmaker’s famous trident symbol is included in a very simple design.
The GranSport combines a 41.5mm, DLC-coated steel Octo case with a perforated black strap with blue stitching. The more refined GranLusso brings together a rose gold case with a brown leather strap.
Price: €12,500 (Octo Gransport) – €29,900 (Octo Granlusso)
By Dan Diaconu