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Dawn of a New Time: A Prelude to SIHH 2019


 


CARTIER


Specially curated for collectors and connoisseurs, Cartier Privé celebrates the different shapes of men’s watches through the maison’s iconic models. This year, Cartier shines the spotlight on one of its oldest wristwatch designs, the Cartier Tonneau watch. Revealed in 1906, after the Santos in 1904, the watch was considered an oddity, but its shape – on the cusp between a rectangle and an oval – was both strong and pure. Cartier coated it in platinum to emphasise its avant-garde aesthetics in an era when many watches were made of gold. This year, Cartier celebrates this legendary watch shape with a redesigned two-hand, time-only model and a skeleton dual time zone model.

Available in platinum or pink gold, the first version stays true to the original 1906 model, featuring Roman numerals, a rail-track, a cabochon on the winding crown and leather strap, all of which have been reworked to fulfil modern-day demands, such as water-resistance. The bezel is formed from one block, with its contours and lugs seemingly melting into the watchcase. Polished, rhodium-plated numerals stand out against the dial background – champagne-coloured on the pink gold version, silvered on the platinum model. Issued as a limited edition of 100 pieces, all models are fitted with the new 1917 MC manufacture calibre.

CARTIER Tonneau Watch in Pink Gold (left); CARTIER Tonneau skeleton dual time XL model in pink gold

With the new Cartier Tonneau Skeleton Dual Time Zone watch, Cartier pays tribute to the Tonneau XL dual time zone model in the CPCP collection, which initially had two separate mechanisms for the home time and the second time zone. Two complex feats were required in order to remain true to the original shape. Firstly, all the wheels of the gear train had to be aligned between 12 and 6 o’clock. Then the shape of the movement underwent modification, being made to curve so it fits within the curved contours of the Tonneau watch case. Lastly, in the pursuit of aesthetics, the two time zones were linked to create an impressive display combining the useful with the pleasurable: the time is easy to read on the skeleton bridges, and the second time zone is set by pressing on the crown at 4 o’clock and by one-hour jumps.

Cartier adds its own watchmaking signature by skeletonising the movement, bringing lightness and nobility to a traditional complication. The pink gold and platinum versions come in a limited, numbered series of 100 pieces, while 20 numbered pieces are available in the baguette-cut diamond-set platinum series.

 


AUDEMARS PIGUET


Audemars Piguet gave a glimpse of what’s to come from its 2019 Royal Oak Offshore collection in Dubai earlier in November. This included three new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronographs in camouflage colours. Since its first launch, the Royal Oak Offshore has always been associated with new materials. The tradition continues this year with these new 44mm chronographs, which combine ceramic bezel, push-pieces, screwlocked crown, Méga-Tapisserie dial and robust rubber strap.

While the blue and green ceramic models feature a stainless steel case, the brown version – a first for Audemitiars Piguet – is endowed with a pink gold case that nicely sets off the bezel. Harder than steel, ceramic withstands high temperatures, thermal shock, scratches and, most importantly, the passing years. Colouring ceramic requires a complex research stage to find the right pigments, as well as a long and delicate manufacturing process, all of which is captured vividly in the new Royal Oak Offshore Chronographs. Together, they mark an exciting start to 2019 for Audemars Piguet.

 


HERMÈS


In 1978, Henri d’Origny ‘unbridled’ aesthetic codes by combining a round case with asymmetrical lugs inspired by stirrups, and a sloping font evoking a horse’s gallop. Ever since its creation, Arceau by Hermès has played with different styles, a natural privilege afforded by its understated design and its deliberately simple lines. The Hermès Arceau 78 captured the understated and elegant allure of a timeless object paradoxically in tune with its time, featuring a round case in mirror-polished stainless steel, topped by a bead-blasted bezel in matt-brushed stainless steel and distinctive equestrian-inspired asymmetrical lugs reflecting the origins of the maison founded on the Faubourg Saint-Honoré.

Bearing hours, minutes and 6 o’clock date displays, the finely grained anthracite dial is punctuated by slender cream-coloured luminescent hands and Arabic numerals. This delicate contrast accentuates the characteristic design of its sloping numerals. This Very Large Model in stainless steel with a 40mm diameter is fitted with a natural Barenia calf leather strap crafted in the Hermès Horloger workshops, as indeed are the case and dial.

 


JAEGER-LECOULTRE


Jaeger-LeCoultre has made precision an art form in its own right, where technical precision is matched by the precision and artistry of the workmanship. At the heart of the maison’s Rare Handcrafts (Metiers Rares) expertise are age-old skills like guilloche, engraving, gem-setting, and enamelling. Here, designs are brought to life by the hands of dedicated craftsmen who never cease to hone their skills.

The new Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon Enamel, limited to 100 pieces, charms any watch-enthusiast with its extremely thin (10.04mm) round case (39mm) and captivating dial, featuring hand-guilloche and enamelling, two of the manufacture’s signature Metiers Rares, completely executed by hand, along with a deep, royal blue palette, against which the relief effect of the guilloche, new hour-markers, a new polished moon and engraved counter shine.

The new moon phase setting has been redesigned with painstaking attention to detail. When the moon is full, its perfectly round and polished white disk comes to rest on an exquisite stellar background. The new hour-markers are
longer and split into two at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. The counter that houses the polished moon phase has been engraved, a way of bringing out the numerals depicting the date. Visually, the effect is one that combines presence and discretion.

Read also: Transcending Time with Jaeger-LeCoultre Ambassador Benedict Cumberbatch

 


IWC SCHAFFHAUSEN


IWC SCHAFFHAUSEN Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Spitfire

For over 80 years, IWC’s Pilot’s Watches have been bringing the magic of flight to all those who wear them, with their characteristic instrument design that dates back to iconic navigation watches like the Mark 11. In conjunction with the announcement of its partnership with Goodwood Aviation as the main sponsor of the upcoming “Silver Spitfire – The Longest Flight” expedition, the first round-the-world flight in a Spitfire by the Boultbee Flight Academy at Goodwood’s historic aerodrome, IWC will be ushering in 2019 at the SIHH with an exciting fleet of Pilot’s Watches, including a new Spitfire line fitted with in-house calibres to celebrate the unique engineering of the British fighter aircraft, and a new Top Gun line featuring IWC’s first ever jet black Pilot’s Watch made of the manufacture’s exclusive Ceratanium.

The Pilot’s Watch Spitfire line, designed by Reginald J. Mitchell, is one of the most sophisticated developments in the history of aviation. The iconic shape of the legendary British fighter aircraft is the result of a perfectly functional design; its elliptical wings not only make the propeller plane extraordinarily agile and easy to manoeuvre, they also give it its unique silhouette. Just like the Spitfire, the IWC watch collection of the same name also perfectly combines form and function, with a design inspired by its historic Mark 11 navigation watch.

IWC SCHAFFHAUSEN Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Spitfire Edition “The Longest Flight”

A particular highlight of the new collection is the IWC Schaffhausen Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Spitfire Edition “The Longest Flight”. For the first time ever at IWC, it combines the patented Timezoner mechanism with an entirely automatic IWC-manufactured movement and is limited to just 250 watches. This special edition is dedicated to the “Silver Spitfire – The Longest Flight” project. It has been specially developed for pilots Steve Boultbee Brooks and Matt Jones to coincide with their flight around the world in a Spitfire.

The colour scheme, with its stainless steel case, black dial and green textile strap, is reminiscent of the cockpit of a Spitfire. The watch can be set to a different time zone by means of a simple rotational movement of the bezel. The hour hand, the 24-hour display and the date rotate automatically at the same time. The 24-hour display has been designed as a rotating disc beneath the dial. This means that the dial moves closer to the front glass, making it easier to read. The newly developed 82760 IWC-manufactured calibre has a Pellaton winding with components made from wear-resistant ceramic and boasts a power reserve of 60 hours.

IWC SCHAFFHAUSEN Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Spitfire

The backbone of the new Spitfire line is the IWC Schaffhausen Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Spitfire. IWC is presenting its first Pilot’s Chronograph with a movement from the 69000 Calibre family, one of the manufacture’s most important in-house developments, and a reduced case diameter of just 41mm. The 69380 IWC-manufactured calibre is a robust, reliable and high-precision chronograph movement with a classic column wheel design. The stopped hours and minutes are displayed on the two subdials at “9 o’clock” and “12 o’clock”. It also features a date and day display. The pawl-winding system, which winds up on both sides, boasts a power reserve of 46 hours. The bronze case, the olive green dial and the brown calf leather strap give this chronograph a distinctively vintage character.

IWC SCHAFFHAUSEN Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph Top Gun Ceratanium

The Top Gun watches, which IWC has been producing since 2007, take their name from the Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor Program in the US Navy, which provides the best Navy pilots with flying and tactical training. Naval aviation requires extreme skill. When manoeuvring in tight curves, for example, both pilot and aircraft are subjected to maximum acceleration forces. As a result the watches are specially designed with robust materials, such as ceramic and titanium, to meet the specific requirements of elite jet pilots and to withstand extreme conditions and G Forces.

The new Top Gun line sees IWC make use of the innovative new material Ceratanium for the first time in a Pilot’s Watch, in the form of the IWC Schaffhausen Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph Top Gun Ceratanium, which also marks the company’s first ever Pilot’s Watch in completely jet black. Developed by IWC, Ceratanium combines the advantages of titanium and ceramic in a ground-breaking new composition. The patented material is as lightweight and unbreakable as titanium and at the same time as hard and scratch-resistant as ceramic. It is also characterised by its excellent skin compatibility that has enabled IWC to create its first completely black design without a coating.

The double chronograph has an integrated split-seconds hand mechanism for simultaneously measuring short periods of time. It is powered by the 79230 self-winding calibre that boasts a power reserve of 44 hours and fitted securely to a rubber strap with textile inlay.

Read also: IWC Unveils 150th Anniversary Exhibition

 


MONTBLANC


The Montblanc Star Legacy collection takes its inspiration from Montblanc’s Minerva manufacture’s heritage and the company’s pocket watches from the late 19th and early 20th century. These timepieces featured a patented crown system, leading the company to an early and immediate global success. In the spirit of formal elegance, the Star Legacy collection showcases classic design codes such as round, pebble-shaped cases; horns with steps on the side; onion-shaped crowns with the recognisable Montblanc emblem; and eye-catching dials featuring the iconic exploding star guilloché.

Following last year’s launch of the Montblanc Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph in stainless steel with a silvery-white dial, Montblanc presents two new versions – one is a combination of a red gold and anthracite aesthetic, while the other comes in stainless steel with an anthracite dial, both equipped with matching anthracite Sfumato alligator straps made in Florence, Italy, at the Montblanc Pelletteria. These timepieces pay tribute to the French watchmaker Nicolas Rieussec who invented the first inking chronograph that was patented in 1821.

The new Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph incorporates the very recognisable two rotating, horizontally-aligned discs on the watch’s dial – one for the chronograph’s 60-second counter and the other for the 30-minute counter – which turn below a fixed double index, like on the original device. Both the counters and the off-centred hours and minutes ring are domed to give an eye-catching three-dimensional effect. A ring with the Nicolas Rieussec inscription has also been applied on the outer part of the dial, further paying tribute to the chronograph’s famous inventor.

The timepieces are powered by the iconic MB R200 monopusher chronograph in-house movement with automatic winding and column-wheel mechanism, with two barrels which store enough energy for 72 hours of operation.

Read also: In The Spirit Of Exploration, Montblanc & August Man Present Avid Travellers Ismael Ma & Michael Helfman

 


GIRARD-PERREGAUX


Designed by a Milanese architect in the 1970s, Laureato was revived in 2016 and has been further enriched today. Its metallic bracelet with alternating polished and satin finishing; its case featuring lugs seamlessly integrated into its design; its octagonal polished bezel inscribed in a circle – everything about this model reveals a quest for pleasing proportions and ergonomics.

At the heart of the Girard-Perregaux Laureato Perpetual Calendar beats a new in-house movement, specifically created to equip this watch, Calibre GP01800-0033. In addition to the hours and minutes, it indicates the day, date, month and nature of the current year, whether leap or not. The perpetual calendar is indeed able to follow the irregular cycle that governs the length of months, whether they last 28 or 29 days in the case of February, 30 or 31 days for the other eleven months. It requires only one manual correction every 100 years.

Instead of the usual configuration, which provides each calendar indication with a separate corrector, the Laureato Perpetual Calendar uses a single pushbutton, located at 8 o’clock, which controls the day cycle. The setting of the date, month and type of year (leap or non-leap year) is directly accessible by the crown and operates in both directions, thereby ensuring exceptional user friendliness.

One of the technical challenges of this astronomical complication lies in its asymmetrical dial layout. The days are shown at 9 o’clock and the pointer-type date display between 2 and 3 o’clock, while the month appears through a large window at 6 o’clock, marked by an off-centred pointer at 5 o’clock. The balance prevailing on this dial is determined by a layout based on harmoniously offset indications. Through this break with tradition, Girard-Perregaux signals the uniqueness of Laureato.

Fully attired in steel, the 42mm timepiece is capable of adapting to every situation, whether dressy, casual or informal, offering sporty-chic versatility.

 


PIAGET


Ultra-thin watchmaking and rare stones form the key theme of Piaget’s pre-SIHH 2019 collection. Among the new Altiplano offerings is a limited edition featuring a grey meteorite dial in pink gold, limited to just 300 pieces. The distinctive pattern on the surface of the meteorite is known as the Widmanstätten, typical of the crystallised nickeliron structures found within iron meteorites. This type of meteorite is speculated to date from the very beginnings of the cataclysmic events that result in the creation of solar systems. Just as diamonds are crystallised records of conditions deep within the earth, meteorites are crystallised records of the birth of galaxies.

A watch that embodies the purest expressions of Piaget’s elegance, the 40mm Altiplano with grey meteorite dial boasts a minimalist look, allowing the simple distillation of time told in hours and minutes, with a date window at three o’clock. The simple design fully showcases the subtle nuances of the meteorite as a material.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Piaget was acclaimed for its bold use of hard stones in dials. This was enabled by the manufacture’s considerable savoir-faire in ultra-thin watchmaking, since hard stone dials as a rule are significantly thicker than conventional metal dials. In keeping with that period’s watch design conventions of slimness and elegance, watches with hard stone dials were paired only with thin movements. This tradition lives on in the new Piaget Altiplano Meteorite, thanks to the self-winding 1203P movement that is just 3mm thick, an example of Piaget’s excellence in fine watchmaking, artistic craftsmanship and outstanding design.

 


VACHERON CONSTANTIN


Since the 18th century, Vacheron Constantin has perpetuated the tradition of the “Cabinotiers”, the name given to the long-standing watchmakers who worked in workshops located on the top floors of Geneva’s buildings. The expertise of these accomplished masters was backed by vast scientific knowledge, fired by a curiosity for new ideas. Their deft hands crafted exceptional timepieces of rare complexity, inspired by astronomy, science and the arts.

Vacheron Constantin continues to take on these highly technical and creative challenges within its Les Cabinotiers department, which gives rise to one-of-a-kind models and bespoke timepieces, as seen in the new one-of-a kind Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Grand Complication Phoenix. A symbol of immortality, the fabled bird inspired the watch, which also defies time with its 15 complications.

The intricacies that go into the making of the VACHERON CONSTANTIN Les Cabinotiers Grand Complication Phoenix

Visible on both sides of the watch, an array of indications – including perpetual calendar, equation of time, sunrise and sunset, sky chart, seasons, signs of the zodiac, age and phase of the moon, solstices, sidereal hours and minute endow it with nobility and prestige. A minute repeater and a tourbillon complete this exceptional list of functions, all within the limited space of the 47mm pink gold case.

This exceptional model also pays tribute to a pair of engraving techniques that few artisans still master: pounced ornament, or bas-relief, for the case-band; and fine line engraving for the bezel and case-back, both of which require at least 10 years to perfect. The process involving 300 hours of patient craftsmanship makes the wings on the case-band appear to be literally ready to unfurl.

 


ROGER DUBUIS


Every day is a competition for Roger Dubuis. Like its motorsport partner Lamborghini Squadra Corse, the maison is firmly committed to cutting-edge performance, ferocious ground-breaking technology and super-sleek aesthetics. Inspired by Lamborghini Squadra Corse and its unique automobile aesthetic showcased in the Huracán Performante last year, the watchmakers of Roger Dubuis have built this exclusive timepiece brimming with racing design codes on its iconic Excalibur model.

One of the most striking features of the aggressive Roger Dubuis Excalibur Huracán Performante is its brand-new ‘engine’, developed specifically for the partnership with Lamborghini Squadra Corse: the RD630 movement with its 12-degree inclined balance wheel representing the calibre signature associated with Lamborghini. Taking strong visual cues from the shapes on which the supercar is based, the watch notably gives pride of place to the hexagon. A versatile geometrical figure used to construct the volume of the supercar, it appears throughout the timepiece in various guises and is reproduced to symbolise strut bars. The stand-out half hexagon appearing on the louvered air intakes of the Huracán Performante car are repeated as miniature versions visible through the openwork dial.

Other special decorations include a twin-barrel ‘energy tank’ and a multi-material ‘spoiler’, used for the decorative openworked bridges. Even the complete circular weight of the automatic movement emulates the design of the wheel rims of the Huracán family. Offering the same blend of performance, lightness and security as its namesake supercar, the Excalibur Huracán Performante sports distinctive “Technical Titan Grey” livery complete with signature bright yellow accents.

Ensuring a perfect hold on your wrist, the watch is equipped with a stylish bi-material strap by Lamborghini’s tyre partner Pirelli made up of a black rubber base and grey Alcantara inlay featuring the Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tyre pattern. Because nothing is as powerful as real-life experiences, the 88 privileged owners of this stunning 45mm titanium timepiece can look forward to life on the fast lane with a ride in the Super Trofeo.

 


PANERAI


French free-diving champion Guillaume Nery, who, with just one breath, can reach down to 126m below the water’s surface, is known internationally for the world records he has broken and for his astonishing underwater photographs. Ahead of SIHH 2019, Panerai presented a new professional diving watch inspired by the aquatic brand ambassador, namely the Panerai Submersible Chrono Guillaume Nery Edition, a timepiece that combines technical performance and a remarkably powerful sporty appearance.

Water-resistant to a depth of 300m and fitted with a unidirectional rotating bezel, which accurately displays the duration of the dive, the watch features luminous white markers, which stand out strongly against the dial’s shark grey, textured background. Engraved on the screw back are the champion’s signature and the depths of his final awe-inspiring record: 126m, achieved with a single breath.

Sexy and light, it comes in a titanium case which integrates perfectly with the blue of the ceramic bezel, hands and rubber strap. It is also a precision chronograph, with fly-back function and the mechanism for zeroing the seconds hand to enable perfect synchronisation with a reference signal. The movement, equipped with a power reserve of three days, was entirely developed in Panerai’s high quality watchmaking Manufacture in Neuchâtel, in the Laboratorio di Idee where the originality and precision of Panerai watches transform every design into a creation of indomitable character and excellent technical performance.

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