An elegant chronograph, the Yacht Club version of the steel Portugieser made by the brand from Schaffhausen gives pride of place to the comfort of rubber and textile, embracing summer with style.
The Portugieser watch was launched in 1939 at the request of two Portuguese businessmen, and is now a classic in the IWC catalogue. While the new versions are adapted to the times, their basic features have keep the same aesthetic style and are easy to identify: a slender bezel providing a lot of space for the dial, two monopushers to start, stop and reset the chronograph function and in a piston shape to underline the elegant overall effect, plus crown protection to avoid involuntary changes.
Housed in a 43.5mm-wide steel case, the self-winding calibre 89361 drives the Portugieser Yacht Club Chonograph and provides a power reserve of 68 hours.
The watch can be worn with a textile rubber strap recalling the colour of the dial or one specially developed for summer made of blue or grey fabric.
Price: 21,500 CHF
By Sharmila Bertin
Ever more resistant to magnetic fields, even more accurate, the Railmaster is also attractive for its minimalist and aesthetic display of the time elements.
Magnetic fields are a natural phenomenon and can also be created by objects in daily life, preventing our favourite timepieces from running in an optimal way. Since 1973, the ISO 764 standard has set out the conditions for antimagnetic watches in everyday use. They must be able to resist a magnetic field of 60 gauss. In the fight against these negative effects, Omega was no latecomer. In 1957, the brand proved to be a pioneer in unveiling a Seamaster Railmaster that could resist magnetism up to 1,000 gauss with the help of an inner case. 60 years later, the models from 2018 introduced at the last Baselworld feature some recent innovations. Thanks to the calibre Master Chronometer 8806 including silicon components, these models can resist magnetic fields of 15,000 gauss, corresponding to an emission from a powerful electro-magnet in a hi-fi speaker. Along with its reliability and resistance to magnetic waves, the self-winding movement provides 55 hours of power reserve.
The watch is housed in a 40mm-wide polished steel case that is watertight down to 150m. All three models feature an attractive satin-grey or black dial, depending on the version, and luminous hour markers in a vintage colour.
The Seamaster Railmasters are worn with a choice of NATO, leather or steel straps.
Price: 4,600 EUR omegawatches.com
By Dan Diaconu
BUILT FOR ENDURANCE
50 years after the Ford GT’s win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in the colours of the giant oil company, TAG Heuer has unveiled a special edition of the chronograph, the Formula 1 Gulf.
Especially since the Carrera chronograph was launched by Jack Heuer in 1963, TAG Heuer has been closely linked to car racing. The love of sport and speed can be seen in Formula 1, a collection first released in 1986, and continuing today with the Formula 1 Gulf Special Edition. Half a century after the Ford GT’s victory at the 24 hours of Le Mans, in the colours of Gulf Oil, the international oil company founded in 1901 and very active in automobile sponsorship, the watchmakers have released a robust, reliable and accurate quartz chronograph in homage to the historic event on 29 September 1968.
The Formula 1 Gulf Special Edition model has an undeniable visual attraction. Even someone who is not a car-racing fanatic will instantly recognise the sponsor’s signature, the two sky blue and orange stripes running down the left-hand side of the dark blue dial. The oceanic tone is repeated on the notched aluminium bezel with the tachymeter – an indispensable element during a race. Another vital tool at sports events, and especially in car racing, is the chronograph split-time measurement. This feature is expressed by an orange lacquer-coated second hand in the centre. Two totalisers, with silvered and azured discs for easy reading, round off the time-measurement tools with the tenths of a second at 6 o’clock and the minutes at 9 o’clock. A third counter at 3 o’clock displays the running seconds, while the “traditional” hours and minutes are counted down by two central dauphine-style hands. The date is shown in a window at 4 o’clock.
To wear this watch with a 43mm-wide steel case, TAG Heuer has supplied a blue leather strap matching the dial and the bezel, with a finely grained appearance reminiscent of the race tarmac.
Price: 1,550 CHF tagheuer.com
By Sharmila Bertin
EXCLUSIVITY IN BLUE
A newcomer to the exclusive Blue Editions collection by Bucherer, the Portugieser Chronograph Classic features an ocean-colour dial highlighting the warmth of the pink gold case.
The family firm Bucherer, founded in 1888, is now 130 years old, and a major specialist in watchmaking and jewellery. It is currently owned by the third generation, and although the headquarters are in Lucerne, Switzerland, its prestige is worldwide. For this essential retailer in the watchmaking world, exclusivity is much more than just a word. The proof is the Blue Editions collection, with 18 exclusive blue watches designed by 11 of the major players in the industry, from Jaeger-LeCoultre to Chopard via Audemars Piguet, to name just a few. IWC is on the list of this “happy few” and has designed a limited edition of 88 pieces: the Portugieser Chronograph Classic Bucherer Blue Editions.
Price: 21,500 CHF or 21,900 EUR
By Sharmila Bertin
THE SECRET OF THE PYRAMID
This is both a watch and a piece of jewellery, where the time is discreet, hidden beneath a metal cabochon in the three new versions of this model by Hermès
Well known for its fun, creative spirit, Hermès likes to give objects a new identify and offer them a form that is far away from their original purpose. This was the case for the pyramid-shaped nails decorating leather hunting dogs’ collars in the early 20th century, which the Parisian brand incorporated into its belts in the 1930s and later into its bracelets. In 1993, the famous rounded stud became a secret watch named Médor, the French equivalent of “Rex” or “Fido”.
To get the summer off to a beautiful start, Hermès has launched three new models of the Médor Rock, still with its pyramid-shaped cover and four delicately curved facets. The cover and the small square 16x16mm case are made of steel and available in polished metal or coated in coloured lacquer, with some versions set off by two interlacing rows of 44 diamonds. A press on the crown produces an “Open Sesame” effect to reveal the dial. The square face comes with triangular hour markers and is dressed in silvered opaline on the polished steel models, but assumes warmer tones for the lacquered versions, together with quite classic colours on the pyramidal dome: white, black, red vermilion and ink blue. The hours and minutes are displayed at the centre with the help of small sword-shaped hands, driven by a quartz movement.
Since Hermès is the great leather specialist – an experience derived from its original profession as saddlemakers – the straps made for these Médor Rock watches complement the spirit of elegance. The triple-tour pieces made of smooth leather (red, etoupe grey, russet, blue, orange), grained leather (white) or Barenia leather (natural, black) are worn on the wrist with a steel tang buckle.
Price: 3,600 CHF (polished steel) – 4,100 CHF (lacquered steel) – 6,000 (lacquered steel and diamonds) hermes.com
By Sharmila Bertin
THE POWER OF THE MECHANISM
Two weeks without having to rewind your watch and still show the time accurately – the promise of this limited edition that will surprise in more than one way.
While our smartphones packed with cutting-edge technology have trouble going beyond 24 hours without a recharge, mechanical watches are known for their stamina. The Big Bang MP-11 by Hublot is one of them! Thanks to a surprising hand-wound movement, the watch has no less than 14 days of power reserve. To achieve this result, the watchmakers had to make use of seven barrels included as standard. The components also contribute to the original aesthetic design of this limited edition. With the watch’s open-work architecture, the lack of a dial puts the workings in the spotlight. The cylinders lined up alongside each other take up the lower part of the watch. At the head of this linear layout, a display roll shows the number of days remaining for the power reserve. In the upper part of the watch, interlacing circles create an animated design. Hours and minutes are displayed by two wide hands in a disc at 12 o’clock. Beside them, the balance wheel moves to and fro, in symmetry with a large helical gear that transmits the energy needed to display the time information.
Price: 77,000 CHF (carbon) – 90,000 CHF (sapphire) www.hublot.com
By Dan Diaconu
CUT OUT FOR SPORT
Grey is the epitome of a neutral colour, providing elegant and peaceful strength. This sense of balance can be found in the brand’s new limited edition. Start her up!
With the Mille Miglia GTS Power Control Grigio Speciale, Chopard has concentrated all the spirit of its collection, named after the Italian vintage car race between Brescia and Rome. The brand has played the monochrome card to highlight a style turned towards competition. The dial displays all the essential elements. The oversized 12 and 6 are the only figures, and the hour and minute hands point towards hour markers. All the matt black elements are coated in Super-LumiNova® for greater readability, even in the dark. At 3 o’clock there is a date counter with a bright-red outline. The same colour can be found on the hand of the power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock and on the tip of the second hand. These design elements give the watch a strong personality and will bring style to your wrist on all occasions.
Price: 7,560 EUR chopard.com
By Dan Diaconu
ESSENTIAL FOR TRAVEL
So you can go from one continent to another with perfect peace of mind and without losing track of time, the brand has brought together two complications to make this watch indispensable.
The Marine collection is like an invitation to pack your bags, weigh anchor and explore a new world. In the pure Breguet spirit, the models in the collection stand out through their elegance and practical features, bringing style to your travel accessories. The 5547 has all the strengths characterising this range of timepieces. On the dial – blue, slate grey or silver, depending on the version – the time display is designed for optimum readability. The watch has a new aesthetic style launched in 2017. The hour rim is made up of Roman numerals and luminous markers, with fine moon-tip hands for the hours and minutes. At 3 o’clock, an eye-catching sub-dial is used to set the alarm. Depending on your needs, it could sound to wake you up or remind you about a meeting. When the alarm rings, a ship’s bell appears in a discreet opening under the brand’s logo at 12 o’clock. At 9 o’clock, in a nicely rounded counter, a small hand shows a second time zone. The time information is completed by the date at 6 o’clock.
The 40mm-wide case of the Marine Alarme Musicale 5547 is made of white gold, pink gold or titanium. The three versions come with a leather or rubber strap.
Price: 27,900 EUR (titanium) – 39,800 EUR (white or pink gold) breguet.com
By Dan Diaconu
PRECIOUS AND TIMELESS
With this new version of a standard in luxury watchmaking, the brand continues its quest for excellence with the inclusion of noble materials.
The 5270P-001 is worn with an alligator leather strap featuring chocolate-coloured, square scales to highlight its aesthetic elegance.
Price: 169,750 EUR patek.com
By Dan Diaconu
A DIVE INTO URBAN STYLE
With this model equipped with a new automatic calibre, the brand has made a timepiece with an impeccable finish and useful features for daily life.
For many years, diver’s watches have been a feature both of our underwater leisure activities and our daily life on dry land. For some, they are a fashion accessory, for others they are practical tools, and for all they are now something essential! Blancpain had the good idea of making a diver’s watch that is even more useful by adding an annual calendar to one of its star models, the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe. So, on the slate grey dial, three sub-dials now complete the traditional display of hours and minutes. The first is at 2 o’clock, showing the day, the second at 3 o’clock for the date and the third at 4 o’clock for the month. The calendar takes into account the varying number of days in each month, but needs to be reset by hand in late February. The sub-dials are easy to read, even when the stick-shaped hands are above them.
The Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantième Annuel provides a generous autonomy of 72 hours with the help of an automatic movement, the calibre 6054.P, a new version of the 1150.
Price: 24,450 EUR (sail-canvas) – 26,850 EUR (steel) blancpain.com
By Dan Diaconu