THE UNIQUE RADIANCE OF THE MOON
Just a few weeks away from BaselWorld, the brand with two stars has released an interpretation of the queen of the night that is both intense and poetic, and engraved on a black Grand Feu enamel dial.
Jaquet Droz has captured the moon, that luminous body that comes out at night to inspire the poets, and placed it on the dial of its flagship model, the Grande Seconde. And to throw greater relief on the moon, the watchmakers have coated the dial with black enamel, creating a strong contrast of colours. The russet moon is magnified by the strikingly deep black on the Grande Seconde Moon Black Enamel.
True to the aesthetic style of Jaquet Droz, this model features the famous 8 on the dial, with the silhouette drawn by the interlacing of two counters. The hour rim near 12 o’clock is the upper loop of the brand’s favourite number, while the moon phase embodies the lower loop. The hours and minutes are displayed with the help of two small lancine-style hands, while the second hand features a “moon” tip counterweight. A red-varnish tipped hand indicates the date on a polished pink gold ring at 6 o’clock. The moon phase is shown by an engraved pink gold moon on a disc of black onyx along with a shower of stars.
The watch is powered by the automatic calibre 2660QL3, providing 68 hours of autonomy and housed in a 43mm-wide pink gold case.
Price: 29,700 CHF jaquet-droz.com
By Sharmila Bertin
The latest, transparent model in the Big Bang One Click collection lays bare its mechanism, while highlighting Hublot’s technical and aesthetic skills.
In a little under ten years, Hublot’s flagship model has become an essential feature of contemporary watchmaking. The Big Bang is a vast area of expression, not only in creative, but also in technical terms. Many versions have been made since it was first launched, as befits a true style ambassador. But in this early period of the year, the most prized watch of the brand based in Nyon, between Geneva and Lausanne, has decided to reveal all and has opted for transparent apparel: the Big Bang One Click Sapphire.
Available in three colours – neutral, pink or blue – as translucent and soft as candy, the watch is 39mm wide and features a bezel covered with 42 brilliant-cut diamonds. On the dial, also made of sapphire glass, the hour rim, featuring indices and Arabic numerals coated in luminous pink, blue or white, seems to float above the self-winding movement (the calibre HUB 1710). This mechanism runs at a frequency of 4Hz (28,800 vibrations an hour) and provides the watch with a power reserve of 50 hours.
Two partially openwork hands – also phosphorescent – display the hours and minutes, while the date is shown against a white background at 6 o’clock.
Price: 50,000 CHF (sapphire) – 65,000 CHF (pink sapphire) – 75,000 CHF (blue sapphire)
By Sharmila Bertin
Cartier has caused a sensation with this new model, based on the idea of the hourglass, and with a thousand golden balls on either side of the dial that flow down to form the stylised head of the brand’s favourite animal, the panther
The first time a panther appeared in the Cartier collections was in 1914. Since then, the feline has become the symbol of the Parisian brand and its creative, velvet paw can be found practically everywhere, with jewellery and watchmaking being particularly favourite hunting grounds. So, it is no surprise to see it at the SIHH among the new models introduced by Cartier, particularly on a much talked about piece: Révélation d’une Panthère.
While at first sight this model – a pink gold Ronde Louis Cartier watch – seems to have no special features, the magic occurs when you move its black lacquer dial towards you, by gently turning your wrist. A thousand little golden balls “fall” from the upper part of the dial like a shower of jewels and run from all directions towards the lower part of the dial. In the process, the tiny spheres gather together to form the stylised head of the famous panther, while unveiling the hour and minute display in the background. While they are “falling”, two curved Breguet “moon” tip hands made of pink gold appear on the dial.
This ephemeral picture arising from a modern reinterpretation of the hourglass is the result of a technique imagined, designed and patented by Cartier.
The 37mm-wide case is topped with a bezel set with 45 diamonds and containing a pearled crown, also set with a diamond. It houses the calibre 430 MC, a manual winding movement driving the hour and minute hands.
Révélation d’une Panthère also exists in a green or red version, in two limited editions of 100 pieces each.
Price: 108,000 EUR or 111,000 CHF
By Sharmila Bertin
THE SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE
Montblanc brings out the explorer in you with a new watch equipped with universal time and a dial designed for the highest summits.
1858 is the vintage-look collection by Montblanc. Previously focusing on military-style watches with oversized numerals and hands for optimum readability, it has now moved to a new theme suited to our present-day society, closer to nature and searching for authenticity. The aesthetic style of the timepieces is now focused on mountain exploration, as in the Geosphere. On the dial, two hemispheres stand out. They are there not only for aesthetic but also for practical reasons. Both are encircled by a scale of 24 time zones with a day/night indicator. While the North turns anti-clockwise, the South runs in the same direction as the hands, and travellers always know what time it is, no matter where they happen to be on Earth. A second time zone at 9 o’clock and a date counter at 3 o’clock round off the time information. The watch is driven by the automatic MB 29.25 movement.
On the globes, seven red points attract the eye. These are the seven highest summits on our planet, which have inspired and still inspire large numbers of explorers. The continents, like the indices, Arabic numerals and hands, are coated in Super-LumiNova® to increase visibility, even in the dark.
Two versions of the Montblanc Geosphere are available, one made of steel and the other – an edition limited to 1858 pieces – made of bronze. Both can be worn, depending on your taste, with a NATO strap, a Cognac-coloured leather model or a brand-new Bund-style aged Sfumato brown leather strap.
Price: 5,190 EUR (steel) – 5,890 EUR (bronze)
By Dan Diaconu
ON THE PODIUM
To celebrate the 29th Olympic Games, where Omega is the official timekeeper, the brand has released a collection in the Olympic ring colours.
Black, yellow, green, blue and red. These five colours are displayed on the interlaced rings of the Olympic flag, representing the five continents of the participating athletes. This universalism is what Omega seeks to highlight with an original collection in a limited edition: the Seamaster Olympic Games. Each colour appears on the logo, the second hand and the strap. The design of the timepieces in the collection is inspired by different models from the brand’s history. The result? On the curved dial, all the time information stands out clearly, guaranteeing optimal readability. Sports-style hands point towards large indices on a white minute track around the outside of the dial. The numerals of the hours with their remarkable typography ideally contrast with the deep black central disc. A pulsometer in the form of coloured edging surrounds the dial. It is divided into three intervals of 20 seconds each and can be used to count the number of heart beats per minute after you run the 100 metres or any other physical exercise.
The 39.5 cm steel case contains the Master Chronometer 8800 movement. The officially certified chronometer calibre provides the Seamaster with 55 hours of power reserve.
Omega will be the official Olympic timekeepers until 2032. This figure was chosen for the number of pieces made in each colour. On an anodised ring on the back of the watch are engraved all the host cities that have been part of Omega’s Olympic history from 1932 to 2028.
Price: 5,000 CHF
By Dan Diaconu
The Chronograph is the most sports-oriented watch in the new Polaris collection and stands out with a dial that is ideally designed to display all the elements in a readable way.
While the chronograph is one of the most practical complications for measuring short time intervals, it can also give a stylish boost to all our outfits. The new Polaris Chronograph made by Jaeger-LeCoultre ideally achieves this aim thanks to an excellent dial design. Two oversized figures at 12 and 6 o’clock provide a perfectly symmetrical axis separating the two bicompax sub-dials for the second and minute totalisers. Large triangular indices in a very contemporary spirit provide easy reading of the time elements. A bezel equipped with a tachymetric scale encircles the dial. The Super-LumiNova® coating guarantees excellent readability, even in low light. It’s worth noting that the manufacture had the good idea to omit a date counter, which would have overloaded the design. Good thinking!
The Polaris Chronograph comes in two versions. The steel version can be worn with a machined strap made of the same metal or a leather model. The dial is black or deep navy blue. The second version is more exclusive and made of rose gold, with an anthracite dial featuring a sunburst, grained and opaline treatment for that extra refined touch. The model is worn with an elegant strap made of brown leather.
Price: 8,200 EUR (steel) – 9,900 EUR (rose gold) www.jaeger-lecoultre.com
By Dan Diaconu
Want to become part of your era? Over 100 years after it was launched, the Santos has achieved this feat thanks to an ingenious system of easily interchangeable watch straps.
Created in 1904 for the aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, the Santos de Cartier watch has glided through time thanks to its timeless design. So, for the brand, any change to this iconic model must steer clear of revolution. Modifications must be subtle, so as not to disfigure the pure style of the square case. So, the new pieces from the 2018 collection introduced at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva have preserved the spirit of the original watch. Only the bezel has been redesigned, becoming slimmer, and thus adding dynamism to the overall appearance of a timepiece available in large (39.8 x 47.5mm) and medium (35.1 x 41.9 mm) formats.
The major new element is the strap, and more precisely the patented bracelet system, QuickSwitch. A press on a mechanism under the strap releases it from the case. Depending on your mood or your outfit, you can swap the steel or gold strap with the leather strap sold with the watch. And for even more ease of use, “Smartlink” links have been added to the metal straps. You can use them to adjust the length of the strap without having to use a special tool. You can do this yourself using a button on the link. When you press it, the spring bar is released, and you can then easily add or remove a link.
The Santos de Cartier houses a new automatic movement. The calibre 1847 MC stands out through the presence of non-magnetic components made of phosphorus nickel, as well as a paramagnetic shield inside the case. The calibre provides the watch with 42 hours of power reserve.
Price: 5,000 EUR (steel)
By Dan Diaconu
THE SHOCK OF THE ENCOUNTER
The new RM 53-01 concentrates technical innovations to guarantee uncompromising resistance to the most violent impacts during a polo match.
The calibre of the RM 53-01 will resist impacts of over 5,000g, while ensuring a power reserve of 70 hours.
Price: €941,500 richardmille.com
By Dan Diaconu
SQUARING THE CIRCLE
Much more than a watch, the Carré H is a designer object, playing with geometric shapes and finishes. The new version gains in elegance and personality.
Have you heard of Marc Berthier? A talented French architect and designer, he is well known for his simple, but striking creations, in particular the famous Tykho radio. Another one of his works has been brought up to date this year by Hermès: the Carré H watch, first launched in 2010. Its name comes from its square (carré in French) shape, measuring 38mm on each side, and featuring a steel case with a polished and shot-peened finish that is now a few millimetres bigger. The angles have been rounded to give the timepiece a more casual style. On the anthracite or black dial, the designer plays on shapes and finishes to add more light. This elegant piece of geometry features two circles. The opaline centre with a guilloché pattern is encircle by a grained hour rim. The outer surface is adorned with a sunburst or opaline finish. A new central second hand with a curved yellow or red counterweight, depending on the version, keeps track of time. The hour and minute hands have been redesigned, while the Arabic numerals display an exclusive typography. This stylised composition provides the watch with a new personality and excellent readability.
The Carré H model is also now driven by an automatic movement made in the workshops of the Vaucher Manufacture. The calibre H1912 generates a healthy power reserve of 50 hours.
Like all watches made by Hermes, the Carré H is worn with an elegant strap made of natural or black Barenia calfskin with a tang buckle.
Price: €5,900 hermes.com
By Dan Diaconu