Zenith’s ever-so-limited Defy El Primero 21 Porto Cervo edition, a chronograph boasting the emblematic colours of the Mediterranean, gives your wrist a summertime twist.
During the peak time of the year, towns and villages along the shores of the Deep Blue become the absolute place-to-be. Saint Tropez is one of them, Porto Cervo, in Sardinia, another. It is in this blue-sky-, blue-sea-kissed beach resort that Zenith dropped anchor and set up an ephemeral pop-up store, open until 8 September, which accompanies the launch of a 25-piece, aquatic-toned limited series. The Defy El Primero 21 Porto Cervo bedazzles with a 44 mm-diameter titanium case inspired by the one found in the original 1970s El Primero models. An ever-so pure white ceramic bezel encircles a skeleton dial-enhanced scenography. Delicate touches of blue on the crown, the indexes and the hands boost its wondrous summery style. The power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock, the discreet small seconds at 9 o’clock and the chronograph totalizers play with the axes of symmetry and harmoniously balance this open-worked composition which centre stages the mechanical craftsmanship.
The time displays and the 1/100th of a second short-cycle time measurement are driven by an El Primero self-winding movement. Loyal descendant of the calibre from 1969, the 9004 is equipped with a dual escapement and offers over 50 hours’ power reserve.
Flaunt the Defy El Primero 21 Porto Cervo with its white rubber strap covered with blue alligator at café terraces, cocktail parties, summer galas…
Price: EUR12,600 zenith.com
By Dan Diaconu
HONOURING THE DRESS CODE
The slimmest timepiece of the manufacture’s current collections, dazzling with its most exquisite finery, is set to become the must-have beguilingly-glamorous masculine accessory.
The 5738 model has been gloriously celebrated in the world of watchmaking for some 50 years now standing out with the ever-so unique oval shape of its case. Unveiled in 1968 by Patek Philippe in a fusion marrying a yellow gold case and a blue dial, the watch epitomized the then standards of luxury. It was then proposed over the years in a myriad of material and colour compositions. A Jumbo-sized 34.5×39.5 mm platinum version, presented for the model’s 40th anniversary, imposed and impressed on the wrist. This year, the 5738 is showcased with the same format but this time round adorns rose gold and an ebony-black sunburst-finished dial. The dial is delicately brushed by baton-style hour and minute hands fashioned in the same material as the case. This 5738R-001 model exemplifies pure elegance down to the very last detail. The crown is set with a black onyx cabochon. And only the presence of delicate indexes accentuates this incredibly-understated harmony.
The fine 5.9 mm-thick timepiece is driven by an ultra-slim self-winding mechanical movement. The calibre 240 offers the piece at least 48 hours’ power reserve.
To heighten its graceful style even more, the Golden Ellipse 5738R-001 is paired with a glossy-black alligator strap. And, to ensure the immaculateness of evening attire, Patek Philippe proposes cuff links featuring the same dashing black and rose gold which will add the final touch to your favourite dinner jacket.
Price: EUR27,980 patek.com
By Dan Diaconu
Display the essence of time data with precision and style: this is exactly what the Swatch Group brand proposes with this brand-new chronometric-precise model.
Rado’s production is regularly renowned for its timepieces created using high-tech materials like ceramic and centre staged with daring design. And, it’s actually become the brand’s mantra. The DiaMaster Petite Seconde Automatic COSC embodies this axiom impeccably. A 43 mm-diameter plasma high-tech ceramic mono-block case embraces a silvered dial where leaf-shaped rose gold hands tick over the hours and minutes. This space, devoted to displaying time data is perfectly harmonious, void of numerals. A small calendar at 3 o’clock and meticulously-designed concave small seconds counter accompany the fine rose old coloured indexes. This ever-so streamlined, elegant layout offers unique readability.
Inside the case, a high-performance self-winding mechanical movement reigns supreme. It breathes life and rhythm into the DiaMaster for 80 hours without faltering. Moreover, it has been granted chronometric precision certification by the COSC, mainly as a result of its magnetic-field-resistant and impervious silicon hairspring. The ETA C07.881 calibre underwent stringent testing in every position possible to ensure that it does not deviate more than -4 to +6 seconds over a 24-hour period.
A second version sets itself apart from the first with its sublime intense-blue dial over which hover a set of rhodium-plated hands. Both versions are paired with a black leather strap to be worn anywhere, anytime, any style.
By Dan Diaconu
The Aquaracer by TAG Heuer, an essential player in the world of sports watches, welcomes four new women’s models to the collection, all featuring an automatic movement.
First launched in 2003, the Aquaracer is now a firm fixture in the world of contemporary sports watches and is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. TAG Heuer has seized on this occasion to release four new women’s versions of a watch cut out for action on land and sea. The new models have a similar look to the other members of the Aquaracer family, particularly the angular revolving bezel made up of 12 segments set off by six polished rectangular lugs and a 60-minute diving scale.
The steel case is 32mm wide and features a crown and screwed back. The back is decorated with a deep-sea diver’s mask, an engraving to highlight the seafaring character of the Aquaracer and the fact that it is watertight down to 300m. This metal setting contains the calibre 9, a self-winding mechanical movement running at 28,800 vibrations an hour and providing a power reserve of about 40 hours. This reliable mechanism powers the hour, minute and central seconds, as well as the date.
The dial is made of black or white mother-of-pearl and is encircled by a slender minute track and criss-crossed by horizontal lines, like a marinière shirt, with silver, luminous stick-shaped hands turning above the rhodium or diamond hour markers, depending on the version chosen. The second hand has a phosphorescent red tip, recalling the shape of a harpoon. At 3 o’clock, the date is displayed in black against a white background and the counter is crowned by a magnifying glass for easier reading.
Rounding off the dynamic identity of the Aquaracer, TAG Heuer has supplied it with a strap made up of three rows of steel links and a folding clasp with two safety buttons.
Price: 1,900 CHF (mother-of-pearl dial) – 2’450 CHF (mother-of-pearl and diamond dial) tagheuer.com
By Sharmila Bertin
UNION OF LEATHER AND TITANIUM
Two crafts in the LVMH group, based on leather goods and watchmaking, have come together to create an original, ocean-blue watch, available in just 250 pieces.
The famous boot/leather goods maker Berluti, founded in Paris in 1895 and part of the LVMH group since 1993, has been identified with prestige and creativity for 123 years now. But it had a particularly fruitful period in the 1980s, when Olga Berluti designed the Venezia, a full-grain calf leather made with an exclusive tanning and buffing process that produces the same effect as Japanese lacquer. The result is as supple, fine and glossy as silk. This living material is also made in a “Venezia Scritto” version, engraved with calligraphic writing, and now a signature element of the shoemakers’ style. The feature prompted Hublot, another LVMH brand, to design a limited edition of 250 pieces: the Classic Fusion Chronograph Berluti Scritto Ocean Blue.
As its name implies, the watch features the deep blue colour of the oceans on the leather medallion adorning the dial and on the two parts of the strap. The embossed hour markers appear discreetly so as not to spoil the overall effect, especially of the calligraphic inscriptions. Two wide, silvered hands show the hours and minutes in the centre, while the seconds are displayed at 3 o’clock in one of the hollow, blue-lacquered counters. With the stylised H for Hublot at its tip, a large hand counts down the seconds on the chronograph, which are then totted up in the minute totaliser at 9 o’clock.
At the heart of the 45mm-wide case of the Classic Fusion Chronograph Berluti Scritto Ocean Blue is the calibre HUB1143, a self-winding movement driving the different features and providing 42 hours of power reserve.
Price: 14,900 CHF www.hublot.com
By Sharmila Bertin
Although gold has always been the cherished ‘must’ material for the manufacture’s complication timepieces, the latest FiftySix models are now also fashioned in stainless steel.
Pride of place in Vacheron Constantin’s newly-created collection and unveiled during the last edition of the Salon de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) in Geneva, its FiftySix Complete Calendar which consolidates the manufacture’s mechanical craftsmanship and its mastery of exquisite design. All the displays are harmoniously set out on the monochrome dial embracing a dual finish… sunburst exterior and opaline centre. Two rectangular apertures nestling at 12 o’clock display the day and the month. The date is read on a discreet scale which caresses the edge of this beautifully-understated composition, which is brushed gently by a fine blue-coloured hand. At 6 o’clock, a carved opening offers the white gold moon a poetic scenescape to unveil its phases with utmost precision because, once set, it only requires adjustment every 122 years. To ensure hours and minutes can be read perfectly well, even in dusky light, the white gold hands and indexes are covered with a white luminescent coating.
Price: EUR22,600 vacheron-constantin.com
By Dan Diaconu
A WONDERFUL WORLD
To celebrate its 280th anniversary, the watchmaker-magician from La Chaux-de-Fonds has brought together all the skills to be found in its workshops to create a unique piece with a precious and delicate illustration of a family of parrots.
The art of enchantment has undeniably been the main talent of Jaquet Droz for the past 280 years. The brand with headquarters in La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland rose to fame thanks to the genius of its founder Pierre Jaquet-Droz (1721-1790) and particularly to his work on automata in the 1730s and 1740s – above all, the famous trio of the Writer, the Draughtsman and the Musician in 1774. Above and beyond the technical skills involved in each item produced by the company, the driving force behind Jaquet Droz is something simple and sincere: emotion. From the small workshop opened by Pierre Jaquet-Droz in 1738 to the firm we know today, the aim has been a wish to surprise, to enchant, to speak directly to the heart, like in the masterpiece made for the 280th anniversary, the Parrot Repeater Pocket Watch.
The 56mm-wide red-gold case made up of two covers has been sculpted, painted, covered in “Grand Feu” enamel and coated in a rainbow of precious stones (yellow diamonds, rubies, emeralds and pink, yellow and blue sapphires). It houses the calibre RMA88, a hand-wound mechanical movement driving the hours and minutes on the off-centred mother-of-pearl dial and providing 48 hours of power reserve. The double minute repeater that rings on the hour, quarter of an hour and each minute, and the automata bringing life to the family of parrots, is activated using a pull-out piece placed at 9 o’clock on the side of the case.
Single piece jaquet-droz.com
By Sharmila Bertin
GO FOR CAMO
The ever-up-to-the-minute military spirit continues to inspire the style codes of our watches. Rediscover it on the model which equipped generations of GIs and flaunt it on your wrist.
To make sure you stand out from the crowd, boast a camouflage design! Although soldiers wear clothes to conceal themselves in any zone of combat, the world of fashion has appropriated these well-known prints to provoke exactly the contrary. Watchmaking is no exception to this trend as showcased through the Khaki Field Camouflage models which Hamilton unveils this summer. This collection’s watches, which already stand out with their adventurous look and their rugged, rock-solid reliability underscored by their 42 mm-diameter stainless steel case, water-resistant to 100 metres, are perfectly attired to adapt to all environments of your everyday life. A myriad of combinations can be created with the dials proposed in khaki, clay-grey and black and the ardillon-buckle straps which come in khaki, camouflage green or sand camouflage textile. These timepieces can also be married with a stainless steel strap with folding clasp.
To ensure optimal time data legibility even during dusk-to-dawn celebrations, the large hour and minute hands are coated with white Super-LumiNova® and point to XL-size numerals. A double aperture at 3 o’clock displays the days and dates and complements this organization which is as sharp and shrewd as any commando.
These features are driven by the high performing H-30 calibre. This self-winding mechanical movement will enhance your style anytime, anywhere, thanks to its desirable 80-hour power reserve. The Khaki Field Camouflage will be your faithful wrist-companion.
Price: 745 EUR
By Dan Diaconu
FINE WATCHMAKING AT ITS HEIGHT
How do you improve on the exceptional? The watchmakers at the German manufacture have thrown themselves into the challenge with this limited edition whose mechanics are as impressive as its aesthetics.
A. Lange & Söhne has spent the last 25 years defying gravity with its exceptional watches fitted with a tourbillon mechanism, the complication designed by the ingenious Abraham-Louis Breguet over 200 years ago. The German brand are still striving for excellence and in 2016 they unveiled the first model that pairs the tourbillon’s stop-seconds with its Zero-Reset mechanism. The incorporation of these two patented mechanisms meant the 1815 Tourbillon could be set with the ultimate accuracy using the crown and synchronised to a reference watch with ease. This year the model has been given some new assets. The hundred numbered watches in this limited series pair a 39.5mm platinum case with a smooth white enamelled dial that’s the height of purity. There are no fewer than thirty steps required to achieve this unique result. The blue steel hands glide above a classic hour rim. A minute track surrounds the Arabic numerals that stand out for a red 12 that’s engraved and fired separately. The end result is a clean and simple layout that showcases the look of the regulator mechanism and its small seconds at 6.
This sophisticated luxury watch comes with a black alligator leather strap and platinum deployment clasp.
Price: 198,000 EUR
By Dan Diaconu
ORIGINS OF THE ROSE
1926 was a landmark year in the history of Tudor. The brand pays homage to this important date with a new collection of automatic steel timepieces at a reasonable price.
Almost one century ago, in 1926, “The Tudor“ brand was registered in the name of Hans Wildorf (1881-1960), the founder of Rolex. In 1936 Rolex took over the brand and founded the Tudor Watch company in 1946. The brief for this new brand of watches was very clear: to design products of an equally high quality as Rolex models, but at more affordable prices. A promise that has been kept over time, as can be seen in the 1926 collection launched at Baselworld last March.
This new family, named after Tudor’s launch year, is aimed at both men and women. It also caters for both slender and very robust wrists with four different steel case sizes (28, 36, 39 and 41mm). Some models adopt the two-colour trend that has been back in fashion for a few years now, dressing the bezel, crown and features such as the leaf-shaped hands and hour markers in rose gold. The dial is available in three fairly traditional colours: black, opaline and silver. At the centre there is an embossed pattern, a kind of counter-relief check, encircled by the smooth ring containing the minute track. The hour markers also vary in shape (Arabic numerals for the even numbers with triangular markers or brilliant-cut diamonds) and in colour (golden, silver or blue).
Two self-winding movements drive the time functions (hours, minutes, seconds in the centre) and the calendar (date at 3 o’clock) in the 1926 watches: the calibre 2824 for the 36, 39 and 41mm models and the 2671 for the smallest version, supplying a power reserve of 38 hours.
Price from 1,600 CHF to 2,750 CHF
By Sharmila Bertin