A stock of around thirty perfectly functional original Minerva calibers has enabled the Hamburg brand to design a very exclusive edition with a rather retro style, especially thanks to its salmon-colored dial.
With the new Heritage Small Seconds Limited Edition 38, Montblanc unveils both a beautiful story and an exclusive watch of which only 38 pieces are available. Indeed, the Hamburg brand discovered a batch of 38 perfectly functional Minerva calibers dating from 2003. These hand-wound movements, more than 15 years old, called MB M62.00, are modernized versions of the N°48 Pythagoras caliber produced by the Villeret manufacture in the 1940s, which gave rise to 5 models, including the reference A481-AR, which resembles the Heritage Small Seconds Limited Edition 38.
Like the old version, this new Montblanc model has a curved, sunny, salmon pink lacquered dial with a granulated ring on which the hour circle rests and a blue counter for the seconds that “eats” the upper part of the 6. The applied pea and number markers are filled with white Super-LumiNova® as well as the line that highlights the curved dolphin-style hour and minute hands. This very retro set is curved with a blue timer (except for the 30 and 60 in red) under which the name Minerva discreetly appears between 4 and 5 o’clock.
Hours, minutes and seconds are thus punctuated by the famous MB M62.00 caliber, which beats at the soft frequency of 2.5hz and delivers 50 hours. This motor is housed in a 39mm diameter and 9.45mm thick steel case and is visible through the sapphire crystal back.
The Heritage Small Seconds Limited Edition 38 is worn on a Sfumato gray alligator leather strap with a steel folding clasp.
Price: 20,100 CHF
By Sharmila Bertin.
INSPIRATION FROM THE PAST
The watchmaker from Saint-Imier has expanded its collection of reissued timepieces with a new limited edition inspired by a military watch produced before World War II.
Founded in 1832, Longines has a long watchmaking tradition and notably a rich heritage enabling it to draw on the treasures of the past to design new watches grouped together in the Heritage collection, like the Heritage Military 1938 which, as its name suggests, is inspired by a military watch produced toward the end of the 1930s, before the start of World War II. For this kind of timepiece, certain conditions are required: it must be easy to handle, time information must be practically instantaneous and its robustness must hold up under all conditions. The latest model from the Saint-Imier watchmaker meets all three of these conditions.
Protected by a sapphire crystal dome, the dial is coated in matte black on which the Arabic numerals of the hours and the minute track stand out, both decorated with vanilla beige Super-LumiNova®. This same hue, which stands out perfectly from the dark dial, also colors the scale and the numbers on the small second counter at 6 o’clock. The rhodium-plated baton-type hour and minute hands in the middle are also coated with a luminescent material.
The Longines Heritage Military 1938 comes with two watchbands, one in aged anthracite leather and the other in reddish-brown fabric, easily interchangeable with the tools supplied.
Price: 2’300 CHF
By Sharmila Bertin
The Parisian brand’s latest novelty in matte black ceramic has two dials, a daytime dial in beige and a nighttime dial glowing in the same bright green luminescence as the rubber watchband.
Luminescence has a long, rich history in watchmaking, sometimes glazed with substances that are now controversial and have been replaced by materials that are not harmful to human health. Its primary role is to provide optimal time reading under all possible lighting conditions, from the simplest shade to the nearly gloomy darkness of the ocean depths, for example. Usually, the markers and hands are coated in these materials, but with the new BR 03-92 Full Lum, Bell & Ross flies in the face of tradition.
The time functions are powered by the automatic BR-CAL.302 movement housed in a 42-mm machined case in matte black ceramic.
Price: 3’800 CHF
By Sharmila Bertin
With this diver’s watch, the past of the German manufacturer resurfaces. Robust, this vintage style watch meets today’s rigorous quality standards.
While Glashütte Original is renowned for producing exceptional classic and elegant timepieces, in the 1960s the manufacture familiarized itself with the world of sports, notably, water sports. This little-known chapter of its history is now highlighted in a brand-new collection called Spezialist. A flagship model, the SeaQ invites us to explore the underwater world. Its design is inspired by a watch created in 1969 for scuba diving. A 39.5mm diameter steel case with a satin-polished finish protects a black dial with oversized numerals and hour-markers covered in beige Super-LumiNova®. These are pointed by large needles coated with the same luminescent material. The time information is completed by a date displayed in its window positioned at 3 o’clock. The whole is surrounded by a unidirectional bezel, allowing excursions to unfold in total silence. Each watch is subjected to a battery of tests over a period of 24 days. A certificate issued attests to the successful completion of all tests.
The SeaQ is worn on a rubber strap with a pin buckle that makes it as comfortable to wear at sea as it is on land. An all-steel option is also available.
Price: 8,500 EUR
By Dan Diaconu
Expected since its announcement at the beginning of the year, this new limited series is positioned in the firmament of the American singer’s creative spirit and Richard Mille’s advanced mechanics.
A producer and composer, the artist is also a singer, which is he made himself known to the general public in 2013 with a song included in the soundtrack of the animated film Despicable Me. Since then, this ultra-creative jack of all trades has continued to collaborate in the world of music and fashion. At the end of the year, he signed his very first watchmaking contribution with the Richard Mille RM 52-05 Tourbillon Pharrell Williams, only 30 of which were created. His universe thus takes place on the dial. We thought it was musical, it catches us off guard by transporting us into space.
The open-worked rocket-shaped hour and minute hands are powered by a hand-wound movement equipped with a tourbillon (42-hour power reserve). Its unique architecture contributes to the aesthetics of the watch. The lock thus integrates inserts in aventurine blue tinted glass whose sparkles project us into the cosmos.
Price: Upon request richardmille.com
By Dan Diaconu
LIFE THROUGH BLUE-COLORED GLASSES
Combining the useful with the pleasant—this is the Geneva manufacturer’s mission with this model dressed in this year’s standout color, blue. Balanced composition and readability await.
The last of the Vacheron Constantin collections, FiftySix is filling out this year with new references. What do they have in common? All have a sublime petroleum blue dial with an opaline finish in the center and a sunny periphery! On the FiftySix Calendrier Complet presented at the last Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, the date is read off with a central hand, the day and the month in their respective windows. In an indicator housed at 6 o’clock, the Moon phases are displayed accurately for 122 years without needing correction. The hour and minute hands, enhanced with luminescent material, point to white gold hour markers and Arabic numerals. Everything is then topped by a “box”-type glass that lends the timepiece a vintage touch.
Price: 22,600 EUR vacheron-constantin.com
By Dan Diaconu
HIGH FREQUENCY, BIG ATTRACTION
The Le Locle manufacture is firmly anchored in its century. The evidence is found in the aesthetic and mechanical advantages of this chronograph, which is able to measure time to the nearest 1/100th of a second.
Must we still talk about futuristic design? Carbon definitively marks the watchmaking industry with its footprint. The heterogeneous streaks of the composite fibers used to machine the cases create a design that is now clearly identifiable and linked to our times. The Defy El Primero 21 Carbon presents this singularity thanks to a relevant use of the material. Not only does it reinforce the masculine style of the timepiece, but it also enhances its mechanical architecture, which can be seen through the openwork dial. On this 44mm diameter monochrome composition, the time information is revealed by black Super-LumiNova® SLN on the hour and minute hands and indexes.
To reinforce its sporty personality, the Defy El Primero 21 Carbon comes with a textured black rubber strap, finished with a carbon and titanium folding clasp.
Price: 18,900 CHF zenith.com
By Dan Diaconu
GETTING BACK TO BASICS
The blue wave hit the vast majority of dials this year. This version takes full advantage of it to bolster its power to seduce gentlemen.
While the watches in Chopard’s L.U.C. collection embody the philosophy of the manufacture through refined style combined with mechanical components assembled in the tradition of fine watchmaking, the XP model captures its quintessence. No date, no second disturbs its refined dial, dressed in a blue satin texture. This is only touched on by the hour and minute hands which point to a timer on which numbers and indices alternate. All these elements are enhanced by the warm hue of pink gold. Elegant in its style, this timepiece is equally elegant in its shape, housed in a 40mm diameter steel case only 7.20mm thick. This finesse makes the XP a distinctive model that allows it to perfectly match all the pieces of a sophisticated men’s locker room.
Chopard supplies the owner with a choice of two bracelets. The first is sure to seduce demanding dandies by combining a blue merino wool with a brown alligator lining. The second, just as chic, is made of cognac-colored leather. Both are closed with a pin buckle.
Price: 8,350 EUR chopard.com
By Dan Diaconu
THE LATEST MUST HAVE
Less is more, as you will understand at first glance when you see the composition of the dial on these new watches from the manufactory. Another major selling point is their very affordable price!
If you only had one watch in your wardrobe, the new Gentleman Powermatic 80 Silicium could well be the one, given its many assets. On a silver, black or luminous blue dial, the dauphine-style hour and minute hands, enhanced by a luminescent white material, point to the beveled markers. A discreet central second hand traces its revolutions. This sleek composition includes a date display at 3 o’clock, accompanied by time information. The versatile esthetics of this timepiece produced by Tissot means it can be worn in a professional environment as well as when enjoying good times with friends.
Last but not least, the Gentleman Powermatic 80 Silicium is powered by a Powermatic caliber. This self-winding movement provides a comfortable power reserve exceeding 3 days when fully wound (80 hours). It also has a robust silicium balance wheel that is insensitive to magnetic fields. The owner of this watch can also view some of the components in this modern mechanical architecture, as well as the decorated oscillating weight, through the sapphire crystal back.
Price: 810 EUR (stainless steel) – 750 EUR (leather) www.tissotwatches.com
By Dan Diaconu
This new limited series with its large power reserve is a concentration of the spirit of the watchmaker from Nyon. The movement and the choice of materials contribute to this timepiece’s powerful design.
Once again, the art of fusion so dear to Hublot brilliantly comes to life with the Spirit of Big Bang Tourbillon Carbon Blue. This timepiece thus combines mechanical excellence and sophisticated esthetics obtained through the use of high-tech materials, a colored carbon fiber in this case. The 42-mm tonneau-shaped case is dressed in unique blue and black motifs. It protects the striking architecture of the movement, highlighted by the total absence of a dial. The straight lines and the curves of the movement’s components come together to create a living sculpture upon which the hour and minute hands come to life on an off-centered disc at 3 o’clock. A power reserve indicator at 8 o’clock balances out the composition. At 6 o’clock, the regulating organ magnifies the whole, making a complete rotation on itself in its cage in one minute.
For the first time, the Spirit of Big Bang Tourbillon Carbon Blue also has the One-Click quick release system that lets you easily change the watchband supplied, which is made of structured blue-lined rubber with a titanium and ceramic folding buckle.
Price: 90’000 CHF www.hublot.com
By Dan Diaconu