It is a big year for A. Lange & Söhne, following the death of the founder’s great-grandson Walter Lange in 2017. In tribute, the German watchmaker released a unique, soon-to-be-auctioned 1815 “Homage to Walter Lange” cased in a rarely seen stainless steel. Though the watch offered an interesting complication with two different seconds hands, the spotlight shines on the new Saxonia Triple Split chronograph, a new creation ahead of its time.
Why we love it? It’s a world premier – a triple rattrapante chronograph (or triple split chronograph) that can measure and compare up to 12 hours’ worth of two simultaneous events. The impressive new watch adopts features from its predecessor, the Double Split, including a flyback chronograph, with the added ability to “split” hours, minutes, and also seconds. Also part of the Saxonia collection, the Double Split was on a league of its own when it first debuted in 2004, featuring the world’s first double split-seconds mechanism that can compare up to 30 minutes worth of two individual runs of seconds. Thanks to the flyback function on all three hand pairs, the new Triple Split Chronograph can be reset and instantly restarted via the lower chronograph pusher, even during an ongoing measurement. The watch is driven by a new manufacture caliber L132.1, a complex, hand-wound 567-part movement equipped with a proprietary adjustable mass balance. Though the Triple Split is an extension of the Double split, its movement differentiates itself from the Double Split’s caliber L001.1, with the power reserve shifted down to six o’clock in the new expression to highlight the additional rattrapante hour counter at 12 o o’clock. Despite the power-packed update, the watch manages to keep its case at 43mm – just like its predecessor, thanks to an ingenious integration of its additional components. The Triple Split Chronograph is only available in white gold and limited to 100 pieces.
Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon
Audemars Piguet finally launches the first Royal Oak Concept watch for ladies since the collection’s inception in 2002. This is also the brand’s first watch to premiere a flying tourbillon. Offered in two 38.5mm variants, the greatest challenge was to fit the movement within the elegant confines of these ladies timepieces.
Why we love it? This launch follows in the footsteps of other creative Audemars Piguet ladies pieces such as the Royal Oak Frosted Gold, the Diamond Punk and Diamond Outrage watches. It is designed with distinctive feminine features such as a snowflake-shaped openworked barrel at 11 o’clock as well as a frame of diamond-set “icicles”. Ensuring that the watch sits beautifully on the most svelte of wrists are shaped lugs. The watch is powered by the new calibre 2951, which features a flying tourbillon at six o’clock.
Offering excellent value at a hard to beat price is this new watch from Baume & Mercier that is powered by the brand’s first inhouse mechanical movement, the calibre BM12-1975A. It is developed in collaboration with the ValFleurier Manufacture and the R&D team at the Richemont Group and is the first movement from the Richemont-owned brands to sport a silicon escapement.
Why we love it? The movement and its importance to the brand’s future developments. The watch is equipped with a generous five-day power reserve generated by a single barrel, thanks to the use of an optimised alloy used for the barrel, the escapement with Powerscape™ technology, and the Twinspir™ silicon hairspring. These same elements help ensure an accuracy of between four seconds slow and six seconds fast per day. The use of amagnetic materials also increases the watch’s durability in everyday conditions as well as minimises the need for maintenance services.
Santos de Cartier
Last year, Cartier celebrated its 100th anniversary of the Cartier Tank, and also reintroduced its Panthère de Cartier collection. This year, the French maison returns with another major revival. Following the revamp of the Tank and Panthére collections, the Santos is another classic that is finally receiving its due update. The Santos collections are named after Brazilian aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont, for whom Louis Cartier created a wristwatch in 1904 so that he could tell time easily while flying. Santos-Dumont had expressed that it was cumbersome to check the time from his pocket watch during flight, and is hence often attributed with wearing one of the very first wristwatches in modern history.
Why we love it? The updated Santos de Cartier now shows off a lighter, thinner body and more streamlined aesthetic, but that’s just the icing on top. New QuickSwitch straps allow for effortless alternating between leather and steel straps while adjusting your steel strap size has been made far more convenient with the patent pending SmartLinks, so you can do away with untimely visits to the boutique. All the watches in the collection, which come in medium and large sizes, are powered by the automatic caliber 1847 MC, a brand new amagnetic movement crafted entirely in-house. Only the large models, which are further embellished with a date display, are additionally available in a skeletonised version of pink gold or stainless steel.
Neo-Tourbillon With Three Bridges Skeleton
If this year’s fair taught us anything, it is that monumental creations can be made even more impressive. Adding to this year’s pattern of elaborately revamped pieces is the Girard-Perregaux Neo-Tourbillon with Three Bridges Skeleton, which poses yet another update to the Swiss watchmaker’s signature tourbillon with three golden bridges, a patented design first introduced in 1867.
Why we love it? Like its name suggests, the original Neo-Tourbillon was a modern day interpretation of a one-and-a-half century old classic. Fast forward to 2018 and the Girard-Perregaux Neo-Tourbillon with Three Bridges Skeleton now sports an open-worked finish. Arched titanium bridges replaced the iconic straight, flat golden bridges, with a matching diamond-like carbon (DLC) coated titanium case, but the update is more than visual. In this iteration, the automatic GP 09400-0011 has been exposed by way of the reduced base plate, replaced by two titanium bridges which each hold the gear train and tourbillon respectively. Also featured is a Tourbillon cage, driven by an unidirectional automatic winding system with a white gold micro rotor. The delicately pierced and hand-finished movement is vertically arranged, with the barrel, gear train and tourbillon below each of the three PVD-treated titanium bridges in respective fashion. The watch also features a domed crystal, just like its predecessor, to further highlight the beauty of the movement.
Protected by three patents, the latest offering from Greubel Forsey offers a 360 deg view of the earth from the North to South Pole. To achieve this feat, the movement’s architecture had to be designed around the case shape and its dimensions.
Why we love it? While the GMT watch is not a new launch from Greubel Forsey, this latest iteration, the GMT Earth, features a sophisticated high-domed sapphire crystal bezel comprising one solid piece of sapphire crystal. This is complemented by a caseband with the characteristic lateral plates bearing engraved inscriptions of Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey’s key values. The watch allows you to read off the time on three time zones simultaneously to within a quarter of an hour on the dial side, while on the movement side, the 24 time zones are displayed with the summer and winter times. Located next to the three-dimensional globe is the 24-second inclined tourbillon (Tourbillon 24 Secondes) which ensures that the regulating organs are never in any of the most geometrically extreme positions.
Leading this year’s novelties at Hermes, first timers at SIHH, is the Carré H that was first introduced in 2010. Sporting a slightly enlarged, sportier look this time round, the watch’s circle within a square format and its other aesthetic features artfully show off the brand’s mastery over geometry and design.
Why we love it? It’s all about design: From the contrast between the polished and microbead finishes on the case to the typeface used for the numerals. On the latter, zero was added to single digit numerals to ensure that the dial is harmoniously proportioned. Other details that contribute to the watch’s modern aesthetics include the right-angled guilloche work on the dial, which offers an interesting depth of field, as well as the bright yellow seconds hand which echoes the shape of the oscillating weight.
IWC Tribute to Pallweber Edition “150 years”
In tribute to its 150th anniversary this year, IWC Schaffhausen has released the new Jubilee collection, featuring limited edition variations of its best-selling lines, including the Pilot’s Watches and Da Vinci collections. Of course, the 27-model commemorative collection is not without the highly anticipated IWC Tribute to Pallweber Edition “150 Years”.
Why we love it? Limited to just 250 pieces, the special edition in an 18k gold case pays homage to Austrian watchmaker Josef Pallweber’s patented pocket watches from the 1880s, in this modern wristwatch expression. The commemorative watch takes after 19th century pocket watch, though simplified with minimised letterings and a more streamlined finish on its glossy, white lacquered dial. Time is told through its jumping hour and minutes display and a subsidiary seconds, the former first seen in the original Pallweber pocket watches and considered a groundbreaking feature in its era. The new watch, driven by the brand new in-house IWC 94200 calibre, beats at 28,800 vph and is further equipped with a 60-hour power reserve – no mean feat considering the energy-draining jumping time complications. Two additional variants have been announced at the fair: a platinum edition also with white lacquer dial and a stainless steel edition with a blue lacquer dial, limited to 25 pieces each.
Polaris Memovox Limited Edition
Looks like the “see-now, buy-now” model that rocked the fashion world is starting to hit the watch industry, most recently with Jaeger-LeCoultre’s newly updated Polaris Memovox. The contemporary update is part of the new range of complications, which celebrates the original Polaris from 1968.
Why we love it? The 50th anniversary special will be the only one in the revamped Polaris collection made available online immediately following its debut at the SIHH 2018. The elegant sports watches offer a modern take on the brand’s eponymous diver’s alarm watch first launched in 1968, with a three-finish black dial and an inner rotating bezel. Visually, the Memovox recalls its predecessor, with vanilla super-luminova luminescent numerals and bâton à facette shaped hands for a vintage touch. Powering this piece is an in-house caliber 956, a 268-part alarm watch movement which beats at 28,800vph. Limited to just 1000 pieces, the Polaris Memovox is part of a new five-model range of watches for land and air, and marks Jaeger-LeCoultre’s significant expansion into the sports watch category.
Minerva turns 160 years old this year. As a tribute to its heritage of professional and military watches, Montblanc adds five new watches to the 1858 Collection line. Inspired by the spirit of mountaineering and exploration is the 1858 Geosphere that runs on the manufacture self-winding worldtime complication, the calibre MB 29.25.
Why we love it? The watch offers a refreshing take on the world timer. Two domed globes, each respectively depicting the Northern and Southern hemispheres, rotate in opposite directions. A 24-hour scale, as well as a day/night indication in contrasting colours surrounds each globe, while a luminescent white line highlights the longitude reference meridian for both hemispheres. Additional features such as a second time zone display, date, and the marked locations of seven of the highest mountains of each continent can also be found on the dial. The summits’ names are also imprinted on the caseback as a tribute to the Seven Summit mountaineering challenge, the world’s most difficult mountaineering quest. There are two variants offered: One with a stainless steel case and a limited edition one with bronze case.
L’Astronomo Luminor 1950 Tourbillon Moon Phases Equation of Time GMT Titanio
The new L’Astronomo Luminor 1950 Tourbillon Moon Phases Equation of Time GMT Titanio is a power-packed beauty, featuring the watchmaker’s rare moonphase complication in a brushed titanium case.
Why we love it? Panerai‘s skeletonised watch updates the 2010 L’Astronomo with a personalised location setting, the GMT, and of course, a spanking new moonphase visible on the caseback. To keep with its skeletonised look, the watch uses a patent pending polarised date system. In this system, the numbers on the borosilicate glass date disc will be virtually invisible on the dial unless it is aligned in date window. Like its predecessor, the new expression also features a tourbillon, a calendar, an equation-of-time indication and a sunrise/sunset display. Along with the hand-wound manufacture P.2005/GLS caliber (which stands for Galileo Luna Scheletrato), the patented Panerai Tourbillon escapement is also visible from the dial and caseback. The updated L’Astronomo is also fully customisable and made-to-order only, to ensure that each watch is designed to suit the owner’s geographic location.
Fleurier Kalpa Chronor
It’s a year for exciting updates, and Parmigiani has revealed the new Fleurier Kalpa Chronor, limited to just 50 pieces, featuring a brand new chronograph movement in solid rose gold. The new expression is part of the brand’s revamp of its signature, tonneau-shaped Kalpa watches, first introduced in 2001.
Why we love it: Manufactured completely in-house, the Fleurier Kalpa Chronor’s COSC-certified automatic PF365 oscillates at an impressively high frequency of 5Hz and is housed in a stylish rose gold tonneau case. The hand-decorated chronograph movement, also tonneau-shaped, is further lavished with a 22 karat gold oscillating weight, and both can be admired from the sapphire caseback. A black opaline dial lies over an 18k gold base with snailed chronograph counters. Visually, the spanking new watch is an update of the more traditionally cased Tonda Chronor Anniversaire from 2017, and now flaunts a striking barrel case, stunning black and gold aesthetic and lustrous black alligator strap by Hermès.
Piaget Altiplano Ultimate 910p
Mention Piaget and ultra-thin watches surely come to mind, and its reputation for creating ultra-thin watches and movements is not without merit. This time, the masters of ultra-thin watches have done it again, pulling the covers off two world records, the Piaget Altiplano Ultimate 910P and the Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Watch. The concept piece is a test bid for new inventions and is not for sale, but the world’s thinnest automatic watch, the Piaget Altiplano Ultimate 910P, is.
Why we love it? The Piaget Altiplano Ultimate 910P manages a wafer thin 4.30mm frame by scaling down its inner workings, creating a meticulous fusion of movement, main-plate and case, affixed with 219 ultra-thin components. The exposed movement lies alongside the off-centred dial, the latter being directly on the main-plate, showing off the ingenious integration of the 910P. The watch is driven by an all-new mechanical automatic Calibre 910P, equipped with a black PVD-coated 22k gold peripheral oscillating weight which further cuts down the thickness of the watch.
RM 53-01 Tourbillon Pablo Mac Donough
6 years after debuting the space-age RM053 Pablo MacDonogh for the namesake Argentinian polo star, Richard Mille has returned with the more traditional-Mille looking RM 53-01. The new watch may be a long time coming, but the original RM053 has managed to endure over half a decade of hard knocks and shocking impacts with barely a few scratches and its entire case completely intact, according to MacDonogh himself.
Why we love it? There is nothing like a brand new edition. In the new RM 53-01, the movement now takes centre stage. Created in partnership with the MacDonogh, the unique watch is cased in the ultra-light but extremely robust Carbon TPT, to keep with its functional, sporty intention. Its uniquely laminated sapphire glass is designed to withstand punishing impacts – like a hard hit from a polo mallet. Estimated to withstand up to 5000Gs, the lamination will hold any broken shards in place, in the unlikely scenario that the watch was dealt a force hard enough to crack it. While the RM053 adopts a strategically-angled, minimized time display surrounded by an armour of titanium carbide to tolerate extreme shocks, the RM 53-01 flaunts an openworked, suspended caliber RM 53-01 in full display. Technically, the movement is an extension of other RMs, most notably from the fully sapphire-cased RM 56-02 and the RM 27-01 for Rafael Nadal, which both feature a complex cable and pulley suspension system that protects the movement.
Excalibur Spider Pirelli – Automatic Skeleton
2017 was a year Roger Dubuis established its presence in the world of fast cars, with its partnerships with Lamborghini Squadra Corsa and Milan-based tyre manufacturer Pirelli, the exclusive supplier to the Formula One championship. To mark the significant collaborations, Roger Dubuis released a range of specially designed watches, including the Excalibur Spider Pirelli – Automatic Skeleton, seen here in an ultra-cool shade of black titanium and white accents.
Why we love it? The watch shows off a timeless monochromatic vibe, following the original Excalibur Spider Pirelli collection, launched in 2017 with more sporty versions in blue, red or yellow. Of course, what is a tribute to a partnership with one of the world’s most significant tyre makers without a racetrack tarmac-evoking aesthetic? From its black DLC titanium case and white highlights (like markings on a road), to its overmolded black DLC crown with white rubber coating, the 88-piece limited edition is made for the motorhead. The watch also sports a bi-material strap made of actual Pirelli tyre rubber on the exterior, and a softer rubber with a tread pattern seen on Pirelli tyres. The skeletonised watch uses an automatic RD820SQ calibre, which is powered by a micro-rotor and is lavished with a Poinçon de Genève finishing. The 166-part hand-finished movement, which also has NAC-coated plates and bridges, is also equipped with a 60-hour power reserve.
Best to avert your eyes if you’re the prim and proper sort because Ulysse Nardin just launched its naughtiest watch yet. The Classic Voyeur is a Jaquemart minute repeater that depicts characters engaged in flagrante delicto to the tune of the minute repeater’s chimes.
Why we love it? It’s completely #NSFW but a great conversation starter at any party. Shocking animation aside, great attention to detail has been lavished on the four characters to make them look as lively as possible — leaving nothing to the imagination. Offered in pink gold or platinum and in 18 pieces each, this provocative creation combines Ulysse Nardin’s repeater technology with its love for automatons. It is powered by the manual-winding Calibre UN-73 that offers 36 hours of power reserve.
The FiftySix Complete Calendar
The new FiftySix collection may be vintage-inspired (the three-model family pays tribute to the Ref 6073 from 1956, one of the Vacheron Constantin’s first models with an automatic movement), but the watches are every bit contemporary. The brand new range to Vacheron Constantin also introduces its most accessible watch thus far in the FiftySix Self-Winding, its base model, but the star of the new trio of watches is undoubtedly the FiftySix Complete Calendar.
Why we love it? Aesthetically, the new expression updates its predecessor’s Maltese Cross-inspired lugs with a more streamlined finish, and sports a blue moonphase in its dual-toned dial (opaline center, sunburst exterior). The FiftySix Complete Calendar is powered by the same Vacheron Constantin 2460QCL/1 caliber found in the Harmony and Traditionelle Complete Calendar models. Lavished with the Hallmark of Geneva, the automatic movement features a triple calendar layout, with the day, date, month and precision moon phase, the latter requiring adjustment only every 122 years. The watch, which beats at a frequency of 4Hz, is available in rose gold or stainless steel.
Lady Arpels Planetarium
There’s just something about Van Cleef & Arpels’s poetic creations that never fail to tug at our heartstrings. This year, among the plethora of watches that showed off the Maison’s watchmaking and artistic virtuoso, the stand-out piece is the Lady Arpels Planetarium that is inspired by the cosmos. While it bears a similar façade to the 2014 Midnight Planetarium and also features a planetary module developed in collaboration with Christiaan van der Klaauw, this is a new creation that took three years to develop.
Why we love it? Featured on the sparkly 38mm aventurine dial are the sun, conspicuously located right in the centre of the dial made of gold; the three planets closest to the bright star: Mercury, Venus and Earth (represented by spherical orbs made of pink mother of pearl, enamel and turquoise respectively); and the moon, depicted as a twinkling diamond orbiting around earth. Echoing the actual speed of each astronomical body, Mercury orbits the dial in 88 days, Venus in 224 days and Earth, in 365 days. They rotate at their respective speeds because of the dial construction, made up of concentric circles rotating at varying speeds. The moon, an innovative addition seen on this watch (and not on the Midnight Planetarium), does a balletic performance on the dial, around Earth, once in 29.5 days. Time is indicated on the dial via a shooting star while the back shows the day, month and year indications. A beautifully decorated oscillating weight showing a turquoise circle embracing a diamond-set crescent winds the barrel to reliably dispense 40 hours of power.