To mark the upcoming Chinese zodiac cycle for 2018, Chopard has unveiled a limited edition celebrating the Year of the Dog. Enough to start the year under the most favourable auspices!
The Chinese New Year is a chance for watchmaking brands and craftsmen to express their skills on dials designed to celebrate the festivities. For the Year of the Dog, beginning on 16 February 2018, Chopard has chosen to highlight the delicate work of the master craftsman Minori Koizumi, who works for the Japanese imperial family. His work celebrates the age-old art of Urushi-e lacquer work, using resin taken from the tree of the same name. Here, the hand-made creation depicts an Akita Inu dog, a breed from the Land of the Rising Sun. The technique used adds relief to the scene. In a snow-filled decor, flowers and a dragonfly bring touches of bright colour. Numerous layers of lacquer of outstanding finesse are combined with the encasement of tiny iridescent particles to produce a finely nuanced picture. The L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Dog dial has neither indices nor numerals, but dauphine-type hands made of pink gold.
By Dan Diaconu
PAS DE DEUX
Hublot seems to have found a good fit with Berluti. The know-how of the two brands from the LVMH group has come together for a limited series combining superior watchmaking and luxury leather goods.
The art of fusion is not just a slogan, but a contemporary view of watchmaking that has been guiding Hublot for years. Always in search of a prestigious association of materials, the brand signed a partnership deal in 2016 with Berluti. The Parisian shoemakers adorn the feet of elegant men, particularly with shoes made from a kind of leather called Venezia with the Scritto pattern. Its highly unusual patina is combined with lettering inspired by 18th century calligraphy. The lettering can be seen on the straps of the two new limited editions, the Classic Fusion Tourbillon Berluti Scritto King Gold and the Classic Fusion Tourbillon Berluti Scritto All Black. The dial is also covered with the unique leather, where the indices and Hublot logo are embossed.
The two Classic Fusion Tourbillon timepieces are presented in a gift box designed by Berluti together with a complete set of leather polishes for use on the strap as well as the shoes of the lucky collectors.
Price: 85,000 CHF (King Gold) – 75,000 CHF (All Black)
By Dan Diaconu
A BEAUTIFUL BLEND
Innovate and amaze! That could well be a leitmotif at Richard Mille. The new RM 07-01 is no exception with its diamond-paved ceramic case.
The Richard Mille universe may feature countless men’s timepieces but the ladies haven’t been left out with 18 women’s models in the collection. The new RM 07-01 Gem Set Black Ceramic will join the catalogue after being officially unveiled at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva in January 2018. The RM 07-01 isn’t a new piece in itself. Its barrel-shape case has appeared in all sorts of materials blending rose gold with white ceramic or brown ceramic with carbon. The latter stands out for its sparkling diamonds.
Richard Mille wanted the new model to glitter on a high-tech black ceramic case. This is a real first for the model! The material’s resistance makes gem-setting tricky. That was another reason to attempt the challenge. Has it been pulled off? The matt finish enhances the brilliant-cut diamonds’ shine. The dazzling results give the CRMA2 calibre a setting with unique distinction.
The self-winding movement fuels the hour and minute hands gliding over the diamond-paved onyx and red gold dial. The openwork rim surrounds the dial unveiling parts of the cutting-edge movement assembled on bridges and a titanium plate. The sapphire crystal back treats you to a glimpse of the red gold openwork and stylised rotor.
“The more beautiful the diamond, the lighter the setting should be,” said Chamfort, the famous 18th century French poet and journalist. Richard Mille has followed his advice to the letter. The rubber strap only makes wearing the exceptional RM 07-01 Gem Set Black Ceramic even more of a joy.
Price: €111,000 richardmille.com
By Dan Diaconu
A BOND MADE TO LAST
This limited series of the Reverso Tribute Duoface on a cordovan leather strap gives two brands the chance to excel in their respective fields.
What do Prince Charles, the actor Tommy Lee Jones and the great polo player Adolfo Cambioso have in common? They all wear Casa Fagliano footwear. The bond with the equestrian team sport and the reputation for soft and strong leather has meant the brand has been excelling itself since its foundation in 1892. No wonder Jaeger-LeCoultre launched a partnership with the Argentinian company in 2011 that continues in early 2018 with a limited edition Reverso Tribute Duoface Casa Fagliano (100 available) on a two-tone cordovan leather strap. The light and dark brown hues on the handmade strap perfectly match the iconic Art Deco-style rose gold case (49.4 x 29.9mm). The hem and overstitching bring to mind the details on the professional polo players’ boots made by Casa Fagliano.
The recto dial on the Reverso Tribute Duoface Casa Fagliano has a satin-finished slate sunburst finish bearing the hours, minutes and small seconds. The verso side has a guilloché silver Clous de Paris pattern, enables you to set a second time zone and has a 24 hour day/night indicator. The time features are all tracked by dauphine-shape hands fuelled by a manual-wind 852/2 mechanical movement with a 42-hour power reserve.
The Reverso Tribute Duoface Casa Fagliano is only available in Jaeger-LeCoultre stores.
Price on request www.jaeger-lecoultre.com
By Dan Diaconu
The legendary panda dial makes any timepiece trendy. This new chronograph with an in-house calibre has all the makings of a future must-have.
Montblanc freshened up its TimeWalker collection for the SIHH 2017 with timepieces featuring black dials and sporty personalities. The next Salon de la Haute Horlogerie on January 15th 2018 will give us the chance to see the brand new TimeWalker Manufacture Chronograph. In terms of design, the brand has dropped the single hue for a cool “panda” dial with a white background and black counters. The counters and small seconds are classically featured at 3, 6 and 9. This bright layout makes it easier to tell and measure the time. The use of Super-LumiNova® on the minute track and dauphine-shape hour and minute hands enhance the sense of light in the dark. This model has held onto the fixed ceramic bezel with a tachymeter scale from previous pieces.
The dial isn’t all that’s new. The 43mm satin-finish steel case is water-resistant to depths of 100m and now has an in-house self-winding mechanical movement. The MB 25.10 calibre (46-hour power reserve) has a column wheel and a stop-seconds mechanism to ensure accurate time setting.
The TimeWalker Manufacture Chronograph comes on an aged Sfumato brown calfskin strap whose perforations add a chic vintage touch. Sport just got stylish.
By Dan Diaconu
ELEGANCE IS AN ART
As a prelude to Baselworld 2018, Breguet has unveiled a state-of-the-art timepiece embracing a tourbillon and Grand Feu enamel dial nestling in an extra-slim case.
Until today, no watch in Breguet’s Grand Complications collection featured a Grand Feu enamel dial which, it must be said, is one of the manufacture’s stylistic signatures. This century-old decorative technique continues to be the most delicate to fashion. It brings unequalled depth and sublime dazzle, which we will discover in 2018 on the revamped Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Automatique.
This new 5367 reference draws its inspiration from the 5377, revealed in 2013, but unlike the latter, which centre staged highly-traditional decorative features, the newcomer is absolutely minimalistic! The purity of the enamel led to different aesthetic choices. The power reserve indicator has been removed to better enhance the presence of the tourbillon at 5 o’clock. The ever-so famous blue hollow moon-tip hands, which contrast perfectly with the whiteness of the enamel, point at a delicate hour chapter composed on Arabic numerals. This graphical layout provides impeccable legibility, which is somewhat reminiscent of that of Breguet’s pocket watches.
When this 5367 reference timepiece is turned over, we can but admire the richly decorative components of its self-winding mechanical movement through the sapphire-crystal caseback. Bridges, plate and barrel are all hand-engraved. The 581 calibre, integrating a “high-energy” barrel, offers the watch a rather advantageous 80-hour power reserve.
This composition nestles in a 42 mm-diameter, 7 mm-slim rose gold or platinum case.
The Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Automatique attaches to the wrist with an exquisite mahogany-brown or blue alligator strap, finished off with a folding clasp.
Price on request breguet.com
By Dan Diaconu
TOWARDS NEW DESINATIONS
The new Overseas has been introduced prior to the Salon de la Haute Horlogerie de Genève 2018, and joins the the collection of timepieces featuring complications that prove highly practical on a daily basis.
Although lacking the gift of ubiquity, watches can show us the time in two different places on the planet simultaneously using a multiple time-zone display. This is, in fact, what is on offer with the Overseas Dual Time and its brand-new automatic mechanical movement (with 60 hours of power reserve). Like the other models in the collection, this timepiece by Vacheron Constantin includes a useful complication for our working lives and private travel. On the dial, a second hour hand, easily recognisable through its arrow tip, shows a second time zone. The date is synchronised to local time, and displayed in a disc at 6 o’clock. A day/night indicator is also coordinated with the local time. All the functions are set using the screwed crown and screwed monopusher at 4 o’clock.
Last but not least, the new Vacheron Constantin timepieces come with interchangeable straps made of steel, leather and rubber, to dress your wrist in style during your travels on land or sea.
Price: €25,400 (steel) – €40,600 (pink gold)
By Dan Diaconu
THE SUN HAS AN APPOINTMENT WITH THE MOON
The magic of Cartier’s mystery display provides a fascinating scene for a virtuoso ballet between the sun and the moon. Your nights will be as wonderful as your days.
Cartier has placed its mystery movement at the heart of a new men’s watch introduced before the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva. So, for the first time, the brand has brought together its mystery display with an original day/night indication. The two complications were born the same year, in 1912, and were originally clocks with pendulums, the Model A and the “comet” and “planet”. In the Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Day & Night, the stylised sun and moon set out on an impossible chase. The stars show the times of day and night on the upper part of the dial. This heavenly temporal round is set off by some exemplary finishes. A radiant guilloché pattern alternates with a sunburst satin decoration. The progress of the minutes is shown with a retrograde display in the lower half of the watch. The model also features some of the Parisian brand’s distinctive signs, including a blue sapphire cabochon crown and the now secret signature, displayed in the VIII on the dial.
This refined piece comes with a grey alligator leather strap with a pink gold folding clasp. And for those who prefer a silvery tone, Cartier has also released a grey gold model.
Price on request
By Dan Diaconu
With a new collection and many different versions, Tissot has released multipurpose timepieces that can be worn on all wrists, no matter what your style.
While fashion dictates that watches should come in smaller sizes, Tissot has gone in the other direction. Today, a watch has become a vital accessory in the male wardrobe and is meant to be seen. So, you might as well think big! This is what the brand from Le Locle has on offer with its Chrono XL, a watch that stands out through its impressive 45mm-wide steel case. And to give them the cases even more character, they are coated in grey or black PVD and combined with simple or brightly coloured dials. Four large figures at the cardinal points and a railroad track make up the time markings. With their luminous coating, they provide optimum readability even in dim light.
All the models in the collection are driven by Swiss-made quartz chronograph movements. The calibres provide short-time measurements with a traditional display via a central second hand plus minute and hour sub-dials. They also measure “add” and “split” times. A running second and date counter at 4 o’clock round off the traditional design.
The watches come with leather straps available in a wide range of colours and finishes. They all feature a standard buckle, making them comfortable and easy to wear. So, whether you’re a fan of vintage or contemporary design, you’re sure to find the Chrono XL for you!
Price: 330 EUR www.tissotwatches.com
By Dan Diaconu
THE SOUND OF MUSIC
According to Jaquet Droz’s new slogan, some watches tell the time, while others tell a story. The surprising Tropical Bird Repeater belongs to the second category.
In 2012, Jaquet Droz delighted us with an incredible watch combining the brand’s watchmaking talents and its expertise in creative automata. Since then, there have been several limited editions in the same spirit with their shared feature being an animated image on a dial decorated by miniaturist painters and engravers. For the Tropical Bird Repeater, the lush decor recalls illustrations from naturalist encyclopaedias of the 19th century. Plants are bathed in a heavenly light. A waterfall adds a touch of freshness. Animals flourish in this exuberant world, with seven animations lasting up to 12 seconds and with 4 different scenes. A peacock deploys its tail and folds it again. A toucan appears at 3 o’clock and opens its large beak. Dragonflies awaken at 9 o’clock and provide a striking nocturnal show with their wings coated in Super-LumiNova®. The high point is a hummingbird! During its flight, its wings beat up to 40 times a second. The highly realistic display of the hummingbird, like the other animals, is orchestrated by a new mechanical movement.
The Tropical Bird Repeater also displays the hours and minutes on a simple and elegant onyx disc. In any event, just eight collectors will have the chance to enjoy it to the full…
Price on request jaquet-droz.com
By Dan Diaconu