WITH SHINING EYES
There are four models – one with two kinds of strap – in the new Lady 8 Petite collection. Delicate and luminous, these watches by Jaquet Droz borrow the brand’s signature aesthetic features, but without lacking their own personality.
Wonder is an art that the brand from La Chaux-de-Fonds has mastered from its early beginnings in the workshop founded by Pierre Jaquet-Droz (1721-1790) in 1738. Each new piece, many of which are introduced at BaselWorld, is a moment of magic. Whether you are young or old, expert or amateur, the beauty of Jaquet Droz watches is breathtaking – it is hard not to be touched by their charm. This is the case of the Lady 8 Petite watch, inspired by the Lady 8 that was launched some five years back. While this new, smaller watch borrows its predecessor’s features, it has no lack of charisma.
The Lady 8 Petite comes with three different dials, with the hour rim made up of black and white dots: an aventurine and navy blue surface peppered with silvery sequins; a white mother-of-pearl dial with iridescent reflections, highlighted by the brilliance of the diamonds; and the copper-champagne coloured mother-of-pearl version.
On this new Jaquet Droz watch, the straps help towards the overall aesthetic appeal, thanks to the double-looped strands made of black or blue grained veal skin or brown glazed satin alligator leather, first and foremost. Then (and above all!) there are bejewelled straps made of pink gold set with 192 diamonds and Akoya pearls and half-round pearls or jade.
Price from 14,800 CHF (jewelled steel version and mother-of-pearl with leather) to 95,050 CHF (jewelled pink gold and jade version) jaquet-droz.com
By Sharmila Bertin
The new limited editions of the All-In-One watch, first released in 2010, still have as many complications, but now come with a simpler dial, and hour markers have replaced the Roman numerals.
All In! When the players say this in poker, they are staking all their winnings from the game. Risk-takers may be bluffing, while others are sure they are holding the best hand. With the L.U.C All-In-One watch, Chopard are more in the second category, since this model contains almost all of the manufacture’s watchmaking complications. The calibre L.U.C 05.01-L counts a full 14 of them. To guarantee a display that is both simple and elegant, the brand has opted for a generous case, 46mm wide and 18.5mm thick. So there is still plenty of room for all the time features. The dauphine-style hour and minute hands move above a harmonious composition. The tourbillon, running seconds and the date set up a perfectly symmetrical axis, with counters for the day and a 24-hour display, and the month and leap years on either side.
The L.U.C All-In-One is a limited edition of two series of ten pieces. The first combines a platinum case with a gold dial in a grey-blue guilloché pattern. The second combines rose gold with a grey-green tone. Need it be said that this prestigious watch is certified by the COSC and the Geneva Seal?
Price on request chopard.com
By Dan Diaconu
AT THE FRONTIERS OF POSSIBLITY
In their pursuit of ultimate finesse, Bulgari has just taken a new step forward by unveiling an extra-flat, self-winding watch with the world’s thinnest tourbillon.
The extra-flat Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic watch comes in a limited edition of just 50 pieces and is worn with a titanium strap equipped with a folding clasp.
Price: 120,000 CHF
By Dan Diaconu
Going with you on your underwater or urban explorations, Omega’s new version of the Seamaster Diver 300M comes with a more youthful look, while preserving its original personality.
To guarantee more comfort on the wrist, the Seamaster Diver 300M comes with a modified metal strap to make it more user friendly. It features a folding clasp and an extra extension so that it can be adjusted to fit a thick diving suit.
Price: 4,500 EUR (steel strap) – 4,400 EUR (rubber strap) omegawatches.com
By Dan Diaconu
TITANIUM AS A REFERENCE
The manufacture shows off its mechanical talents in 2018 with a modernised design. The Marine Chronographe 5527 also features a titanium case.
Breguet’s Marine range combines watchmaking skill and contemporary design. The Marine Chronographe 5527 was introduced at Baselworld 2018 and includes the new aesthetic elements added to the collection last year, notably in the impressive Equation Marchante 5887. In particular, there is a dial with an attractive guillochage wave pattern. The sub-dials devoted to split-time measurements and a second hand in tri-compax position take nothing away from the delicate, hand-made result. A polished hour rim made up of stylised Roman numerals and luminous markers help to highlight the aesthetic appeal. The time is shown by gold “apple-shaped” Breguet hands. The slender central seconds hand of the chronograph has a counterweight with the symbol M for Marine.
The Marine Chronographe 5527 is driven by an automatic mechanical movement, providing up to 48 hours of power reserve. The presence of silicon means it is unaffected by magnetic fields. The rotor of the calibre 582QA is revealed through the sapphire-crystal back of the 42.3cm-wide case.
Several different versions are available for this sports model. Along with the combination of a white gold case and a blue dial, the brand has come up with a refined pairing of a pink gold case with a dial made of the same material. A more urban version combines a slate-coloured dial with a titanium case. A first for Breguet! They are all worn with a choice of leather or rubber straps.
Price: 22,000 EUR (titanium) – 33,000 EUR (pink gold or white gold) breguet.com
By Dan Diaconu
With an inspired design by Gérald Genta, the Nautilus sails through time without ageing. In fact, it’s just as attractive as ever! And here’s the proof with this first great complication…
In 2016, Patek Philippe celebrated the 40th anniversary of its elegant Nautilus sports watches. The manufacture introduced a series of limited editions that stood out, among other things, for their appealing aesthetic signature – a blue sunburst dial. To the joy of the aficionados, the same colour now adorns the new Nautilus reference 5740/1G-001, unveiled at Baselworld 2018. But this model not only attracts the eye, but is also remarkable because it features the first major complication in the range: the automatic movement is designed to drive a perpetual date display.
The watch owner can read the day and a 24-hour display on a counter at 9 o’clock. In a counter at 3 o’clock are the current month and the cycle of leap years. Rounding off the time information, the counter at 6 o’clock includes the moon phases, with no correction necessary for the next 122 years. The counter is encircled by the date scale.
All these elements are powered by the extra-flat calibre 240 Q, which, when wound, will provide up to 48 hours of power reserve. The mechanism has attracted attention for many years since it was used in cushion-shaped watches and in Calatrava-type watches. To fit it snugly into the unusual design of the Nautilus, the watchmakers had to change the position of the correctors, making them more accessible on the body of the grey-gold case (40mm wide and just 8.42mm thick). The Nautilus reference 5740/1G-001 comes with a strap with a polished, satin finish and a folding clasp made in the same material for unmatchable elegance.
Price: 105,000 CHF patek.com
By Dan Diaconu
THE ART OF TRANSPARENCY
For Baselworld 2018, Jaquet Droz introduced a new skeleton watch made of gold or ceramic in the Grande Seconde collection.
Since it was first launched, the Grande Seconde collection by Jaquet Droz has delighted fans with some high-class timepieces. All the watches share a unique signature design – a graphic representation of the number 8 on two offset discs on the dial, symbolising infinity. For the first time, a skeleton watch has joined the collection, while still respecting the original design feature. So, out goes the traditional dial and in comes an openwork design. At 12 o’clock, the hour and minute hands move above a decor featuring the watch mechanism. They point to elegant Roman and Arabic numerals placed on a rim made of grey gold or ceramic, depending on the version. The second hand makes its way around a sapphire surface. Below, the visible structure of the bridges with black coating weave their web.
The Grande Seconde Skelet One comes with an alligator leather strap and a tang buckle.
Price: 24,700 EUR (ceramic) – 34,300 EUR (red or white gold) jaquet-droz.com
By Dan Diaconu
A CELEBRATION WITH THE SIGN OF THE VIPER
On the eve of its 55th anniversary, the Carrera has donned a midnight blue ceramic coat and includes on the mechanism the prestigious “Tête de Vipère“ (Viper’s Head) seal issued by the Besançon Observatory, a guarantee of precision and high quality.
The Carrera chronograph is the work of one man, Jack Heuer, the great-grandson of the founder of TAG Heuer (the brand was set up in 1860) and a big fan of motor racing. In 1963, five years after joining the firm, Heuer designed a watch adapted to motor racing, and which was worn by a large number of drivers: the Carrera. In 2018, to celebrate the 55th anniversary of a legendary watch that is now a star of the brand’s collectors’ catalogue, TAG Heuer has introduced a contemporary version with a sophisticated mechanism called the Carrera Chronograph Tourbillon Chronometer “Tête de Vipère” in a limited edition of 500 pieces.
Housed in a midnight blue case measuring 45mm wide, the automatic calibre Heuer-02T features other blue elements, such as the tourbillon and rotor. The mechanism runs at 28,800 vibrations an hour (4Hz) and provides a power reserve of up to 65 hours.
The open-work dial has a black chapter ring with a precise minute track. Two silvered, luminescent, stick-shaped hands display the hours and minutes in the centre, while the seconds are driven by a tourbillon at 6 o’clock. Also in the centre is the chronograph second hand; the minutes and hours are shown in two rhodium totalisers at 3 and 9 o’clock, respectively.
Price: 19,900 CHF tagheuer.com
By Sharmila Bertin
BRONZE: A METAL WITH CHARACTER
The brand from Le Locle takes inspiration from its long love story with the sky to design a big chronograph combining bronze and blue, and with the display driven by the legendary El Primero movement.
Since it was founded, Zenith has celebrated the rise of aeronautics by creating measuring instruments specially designed for pilots. When the Frenchman Louis Blériot (1872-1936), on board his Blériot XI, completed the very first flight across the English Channel in 37 minutes on 25 July 1909, he was wearing a wrist watch made by the brand from Le Locle. This long love story between Zenith and aeroplanes is embodied in the Pilot collection, which has just been joined by the Pilot Type 20 Extra Special Chronograph Bronze Blue Dial model, introduced this year at Baselworld.
On the midnight blue matt dial, the time display is perfectly readable at a glance, with its large Arabic figures and the big cathedral-type hands coated in white Super-LumiNova® with green luminescence. The second scale runs discreetly round the outside of the dial. The hour and minute hands are in the centre and the running seconds in a counter at 9 o’clock. The chronograph seconds track the large central second hand and the minutes are counted up in a totaliser at 3 o’clock.
The Type 20 Extra Special Chronograph Bronze Blue Dial is driven by a famous self-winding movement, the calibre El Primero 4069, which runs at 36,000 vibrations an hour (5Hz) and provides a power reserve of 50 hours.
Price: 7,400 CHF zenith.com
By Sharmila Bertin
A VERY URBAN PILOT
While it has all the makings of a vintage pilot’s watch, the Big Crown Pointer Date by Oris brilliantly combines a retro aspect with the look of a contemporary watch that can be worn on a daily basis.
Who said that the retro wave that has been washing over watchmaking for the past few years would be short-lived? Quite the reverse – the vintage inspiration is as popular as ever, for the pleasure of a range of brands, including Oris. Of course, when you have been in business since 1904 and have been making time-measuring instruments specially designed for pilots for over 100 years (a first pocket watch in the 1910s and a first wrist watch in 1917), you have all the legitimacy you need to make this kind of watch. Launched in 1938, the Big Crown has been given a new lease of life this year, particularly with the Big Crown Pointer Date model that is both wonderfully retro and wonderfully fashionable.
This watch designed by Oris and powered by a self-winding movement comes in two different sizes: 36mm for the more slender wrist and 40mm for a perfectly unisex width. On the steel case two of the main features of older pilot’s watches can be seen: a fluted bezel and a large crown. The other aesthetic elements inspired by the archives are the large Arabic numerals coated in Super-LumiNova® and the cathedral hour and minute hands, which are also luminescent.
The dial disc, protected by a curved sapphire glass, features a chemin de fer minute track with pale yellow, triangular markers. The date scale stretches all around the chapter ring, and the current date is shown by a hand tipped with a red crescent moon (or white, depending on the version).
The Big Crown Pointer Date comes with a blue-grey (40mm), almond green (36mm) or black dial for both models, and either a steel-link strap or a black or brown leather strap.
Price: 1,550 CHF (leather strap) – 1,750 CHF (steel strap)
By Sharmila Bertin