TAG Heuer gives a contemporary face to one of its flagship models. The new design comes with a calibre providing very modern performances. Let’s take a closer look!
“We had the choice between creating a watch with a vintage inspiration or a modern interpretation. We opted for the second…” says Jean-Claude Biver, CEO of TAG Heuer. A mythical watch from the 1960s, the Carrera has been given much more than a rejuvenation. A new, powerful movement, the calibre Heuer 02, is housed in a 43mm-wide modular case that is watertight down to 100 metres. The thirteen versions interplay with the materials to give a contemporary character to this generation of men’s watches. So, steel, carbon and ceramics are combined with metal, rubber and leather straps. The black or blue dial is now skeletoned, revealing the calibre components. Hour and minute hands point to prominent indices with a similar design to provide excellent readability. The chronograph layout is true to the original design, however, with totalisers at 3 and 9 o’clock completed by the running seconds at 6 o’clock. A date counter catches the eye at 4.30. On the bezel, a tachymetric scale underlines the sports style.
The automatic calibre drives all the functions and provides the watch with a healthy power reserve of 80 hours. The calibre Heuer 02 triggers the start, stop and reset functions for split time measurements using a column wheel and a vertical clutch.
The Carrera Heuer 02 is also available in a 45mm-wide version with GMT to delight demanding travellers.
Price from 4,800 EUR tagheuer.com
By Dan Diaconu
FALLING IN LOVE WITH EVERYDAY LIFE AGAIN
In the new FiftySix collection, the Day Date model combines practical complications with an elegant and urban design. Vital in business mode and for evening parties!
Unveiled at the recent Salon de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva in January, the FiftySix automatic is now the gateway into the refined world of Vacheron Constantin. The Day Date is the latest version of this model and displays the day of the week and date on its silver or grey dial. In keeping with the elegant atmosphere of the range, the time information comes alive with the help of two counters in bicompax position. A power reserve indicator at 6 o’clock rounds off the watch, but without unbalancing the aesthetic effect. The collection takes its inspiration from a timepiece made by the brand in the 1950s. The case shape, as well as the hands and the indices – highlighted by white luminescent materials – and the font used for the figures evoke the original design. The dial surface is opaline in the centre and sunburst on the outside, bringing extra light and greater readability to the time data.
The functions on the FiftySix Day Date are driven by a self-winding mechanical movement. The Calibre 2475 SC/2 provides the watch with over 40 hours of power reserve. The stop-second feature is used to precisely set the time.
The watch is housed in a steel or pink gold 40-mm-wide case. Depending on the version, it is worn with a steel strap with a folding clasp or a grey-black alligator leather strap with a tang buckle. This model is certified by the exacting Geneva Seal, a guarantee of quality and reliability.
Price: 17,900 EUR (steel) – 34,400 EUR (pink gold) vacheron-constantin.com
By Dan Diaconu
THE PURITY OF A CLASSIC
Although during the Salon International de Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) 2018, the accent was placed above all on Montblanc’s 1848 collection, the Star Legacy is not lacking in interest – quite the contrary!
The discreet Star Legacy collection is the classic interpretation of time Montblanc-style. For the SIHH in January, a few changes were made to the family of watches’ design, but also some more structural modifications. In honour of the 160th anniversary of Minerva, the collection now includes an exceptional, limited-edition model, the Star Legacy Suspended Exo Tourbillon, and the monopusher chronograph Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph. But we have opted to focus on the Star Legacy Automatic Chronograph model.
Like the other members of the family, the Star Legacy Automatic Chronograph takes some of its features from the pocket watches made by Minerva in the late 19th century and early 20th century: a 42mm-wide, round, curved pebble-shaped case, a ball-type fluted crown with an inlaid Montblanc logo, large Arabic numerals for the hours, mid-way between floral typography and Breguet style, blued leaf-shaped hands, a railroad minute track with black dots and “filet sauté” (rising and falling guilloché lines) around the edge of the dial. But the usual concentric guilloché pattern, similar to flinqué engraving techniques, forming the silhouette of the Montblanc “star” and usually found at the centre of the dial of Star Legacy watches, can be found here at the centre of the hour totaliser. The silvery white dial also features the central hours and minutes, a traditional display of time, completed by a small-second (at 9 o’clock) and a date sub-dial (at 4.30). As for the chronograph indications, triggered by two oblong monopushers on the side of the case, they are shared between the centre (seconds), 3 o’clock (minutes) and 6 o’clock (hours), and all driven by the automatic calibre MB 25.02. The calibre provides 46 hours of power reserve.
The model also comes with a slate-grey dial highlighted by Arabic numerals and silvered hands.
Price: 3,990 EUR
By Sharmila Bertin
THE CAVALCADE OF TIME
The legendary Arceau with its asymmetrical lugs, designed with talent and shrewdness by Henri d’Origny in 1978, is far more than just a round object that can tell you the time. In fact, it is a brilliant form of artistic expression. The proof is found in the many versions made by Hermès featuring the skills of its artists and craftsmen, particularly the Arceau Millefiori, Arceau Lift Chevaux En Camouflage or the Arceau Temari models, to name just a few. This year, the designers at the Parisian brand have opted to highlight mother-of-pearl marquetry and lacquered champlevé engraving in the Arceau Cavales watch.
This new model by Hermès is available in two versions: the first, very trendy, from the dial to strap, is available in two sizes (MM for the medium model and PM for the small model), and the second is deep black and delicately highlighted with diamonds.
All dressed in white, the Arceau Cavales has a steel case measuring 28 or 36 mm and is watertight down to 30m. Encircled by a chapter ring set with some 70 white diamonds, the dial displays a stylised, mother-of-pearl horse’s head. Using the miniature marquetry technique, small iridescent fragments have been placed end to end like a puzzle to produce the “Cavales” pattern. At the centre of this opaline composition, two leaf-shaped, silvery hands point to the hours and minutes.
The second version of the Arceau Cavales has a black lacquer dial. To bring out the animal symbolising Hermès, the craftsmen have used the champlevé technique, which is usually seen in work on enamel, and which consists in digging out the metal material before filling it with colour. On this 28mm-wide steel watch, diamonds have been set on the bezel.
Price: 7,300 CHF (PM mother-of-pearl) – 8,600 CHF (PM lacquer) – 8,800 CHF (MM mother-of-pearl) hermes.com
By Sharmila Bertin
SPEED IN THE VEINS
Almost 50 years after the launch of the Monaco model, TAG Heuer has released a new version dressed in the colours of Gulf Oil International after a new partnership signed with the giant oil company.
While the watchmaking landscape was awash with round wrist watches, Heuer overturned the aesthetic codes of the times on 3 March 1969, almost 50 years ago, with an automatic chronograph housed in a square case. Christened Monaco, in honour of the Grand Prix taking place in the principality, the timepiece with straight angles had a blue dial protected by a layer of curved plexiglass and a crown on the left-hand side. Production of the Monaco model came to an end in the mid-1970s, before being relaunched in 1998 and 2002. 49 years later, in 2018, and once again in March, TAG Heuer has introduced a new model with the dial colours borrowed from Gulf Oil, the brand’s new partner. The watchmakers from La Chaux-de-Fonds and the oil company that is closely linked to motor racing have sealed a collaboration that bears fruit today with the creation of the Monaco Special Edition Gulf 2018.
The case of this new watch is made of steel and measures 39x39mm; the crown is at 9 o’clock and the long pushbuttons used to start, stop and reset the chronograph take up their usual position on the right-hand side. This metal setting contains the Calibre 11, a self-winding mechanical movement running at a frequency of 4Hz (28,800 vibrations an hour) and providing a power reserve of 40 hours.
The dial is coated in a layer of delicately sunburst petrol-blue PVD, with two stripes on the right-hand side, one light blue and the other orange, inspired by the colours of Gulf Oil; the company logo can also be seen at 6 o’clock, just above the date counter. Two counters with rounded angles and a white background stand out in this colourful decor: the running seconds (at 3 o’clock) and the chronograph minute totaliser (at 9 o’clock). The seconds, meanwhile, are at the centre, as are the hour and minute hands.
Price: 5,700 CHF – 5,250 EUR tagheuer.com
By Sharmila Bertin
THE NEW FACE OF A SUPERPOWER
Thanks to four barrels – hence the name “Quattro” – the L.U.C by Chopard provides a power reserve of 9 days and rounds off its super powers with a new design blending silver, gold and blue tones.
The L.U.C collection (based on the initials of the brand’s founder, Louis-Ulysse Chopard) is without doubt the most traditional model made by the Geneva-based watchmaker. But it still has attractions that make it an incredibly contemporary watch. With the new L.U.C Quattro, introduced a few days before the official opening of BaselWorld 2018, Chopard is continuing an aesthetic approach begun with the L.U.C XP and L.U.C XPS models.
This limited edition of just 50 pieces has a dial with a silver disc to provide a delicate, vertical satin effect, and resulting in a subtle interplay of light. Both discreet and dazzling, the dial on the new L.U.C Quattro includes touches of blue scattered over the surface, while the case made of pink gold adds warmth.
The hours and minutes are shown in the centre with a couple of blued, luminescent, “dauphine-fusée” hands. The hands move around an hour rim made up of facetted hour markers and two applied Arabic numerals that are also blue. The colour is echoed by the small second hand, helping it to stand out – since the sub-dial with a blue rim contains two indications at 6 o’clock – from the gold tone used for the date. At 12 o’clock, a fan-shaped counter shows the remaining power reserve, which runs to some 216 hours, or 9 days.
This impressive level of autonomy is provided by the movement’s four barrels, which is why the model is called Quattro. The calibre, meanwhile, the manual-winding L.U.C 98.01-L, is partially visible through the 43mm-wide case back.
Price on request chopard.com
By Sharmila Bertin
Black is an ally of design. It means elegance, modernity and a sports feel – a colour adapted to and enhancing all materials. And here’s the proof!
Its ancestor hit the headlines in 1969, when it became the first wrist watch to include split times down to 1/10th of a second as a standard feature. With the Defy El Primero 21 Black Ceramic, Zenith has raised accuracy to 1/100th of a second with the help of the impressive automatic movement equipped with a double chain and two escapements. One runs at a frequency of 5Hz for the watch, while the second is dedicated to the chronograph and rises to 50Hz – or 360,000 vibrations an hour! This cutting-edge mechanism provides 50 hours of power reserve and is displayed through an open-work dial. The components create a monochrome relief structure that is part of the timepiece’s design.
While the small second counter at 9 o’clock is discreet, a few time indicators provide colour to the Defy El Primero 21 Black Ceramic. The power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock and the central second hand are adorned with a red tip, while the 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock is dressed in blue and the 60-second totaliser at 6 o’clock is grey. The ruthenium hands and hour markers are coated in Super-LumiNova®. They are all designed to provide perfect readability. The design is highlighted by the judicious choice of a 44mm-wide case. Made of black, high-tech polished ceramic, its presence acts on the dial like a tuxedo at an evening party, providing elegance, but discreet enough not to overshadow your partner’s outfit.
The Defy El Primero 21 Black Ceramic is worn with a strap made from the same material as the case or with a rubber strap featuring a double folding clasp made of titanium with black DLC coating.
Price: 12,100 EUR (rubber strap) – 14,900 EUR (ceramic strap) zenith.com
By Dan Diaconu
TIME STARTS NOW!
High-tech materials, a supercharged engine, aerodynamic design – this new partnership hits the track and takes pole position for chronographs.
After an impressive RM 50-03 equipped with a calibre weighing just 7 grams, Richard Mille and McLaren have just unveiled the RM 11-03, the new fruit of their partnership, at the International Motor Show in Geneva! Like the brand’s most recent creations, the watch features high-tech materials from the world of motor racing. Here the orange TPT Quartz evokes the traditional colour of the UK team and is blended with TPT Carbon to form a zebra-style case that is both aesthetic and robust. Other elements take their inspiration from McLaren, too. The chronograph monopushers echo the design of the lights on the 720S supercar, while the crown is inspired by the shape of a car wheel.
The RM 11-03 McLaren comes with an orange rubber strap with the logo of the UK brand. This is a limited edition of 500 pieces available first and foremost to customers of the McLaren Ultimate Series.
Price: 180,000 CHF exc. VAT richardmille.com
By Dan Diaconu