Sporty elegance, retro chic, symmetry and a touch of artsy glamour are undying trends as far as watches are concerned. The best international brands fly the flag for these trends by developing new technologies, digging into their archives and coming up with revolutionary designs that showcase style and innovation. Here’s a sneak peek of what has been going on in luxury watches.
Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak has been synonymous with sporty elegance ever since Gerald Genta debuted the daring design back in 1972. The octagonal shape was then taken to a new level in 1993 with the launch of the Royal Oak Offshore collection. This year the 25-year-young design is celebrated with new anniversary references: a fresh interpretation of the very first Royal Oak Offshore Self-winding Chronograph, and a newly researched-and-developed Tourbillon Chronograph in either stainless steel or 18k pink gold, limited to 50 pieces each.
Launched in 1990, Breguet’s Marine collection combines two of Abraham-Louis Breguet’s best-known achievements as a master watchmaker in the 19th century: his chronological inventions and his appointment as the French Navy’s official chronometer maker. The Marine Chronographe Ref. 5527 carries on the best of these traditions, with the mechanical self-winding movement 582QA that boasts 48 hours of power reserve and water resistance of up to 10 bar.
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Prestige with a pop of colour? Absolutely. Patek Philippe launches the Aquanaut collection’s first-ever chronograph in 2018, Ref. 5968A. The new calibre CH28-520C is an innovative self-winding chronograph movement: the chronograph hand doubles as a running seconds hand, and the flyback function allows you to start a new timing while the chronograph hand is running. The orange chronograph hand, railway track-style scale and 60-minute counter are all clearly legible against the black dial.
Contemporary watchmaking is as much about upholding great traditions as keeping up with the times. Independent brand from Dresden, Lang & Heyne’s Anton watch features a huge flying-minute tourbillon – 11.1mm in diameter –in a very wearable 40 by 32mm rectangular case, beautifully indicating the seconds with the tip of the lyre-shaped cage. The stunning Lang & Heyne Calibre IX can be seen on the back of the watch.
Located in the same building as the renowned Minerva factory in Villeret, Switzerland, Montblanc’s watch movement and innovation excellence centre literally took the tourbillon concept out of the box when it launched the Exo Tourbillon in 2010. This year, you will see this patented complication in three new references of the Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie collection. The Exo Tourbillon Slim watch – just 4.5mm thick – is as unique as it is pure.
Related article: Horological Highlights from SIHH 2018
The world’s oldest watch manufacturer in continuous operation since 1755, Vacheron Constantin distills its heritage in the Historiques range, and has turned to its calendars from the 1940s for the Historiques Triple Calendrier collection. In particular, the Historiques Triple Calendrier 1948 not only combines a high-precision lunar cycle display with small seconds at the six o’clock position, but is also crafted in 18K 4N pink gold to closely resemble the tone of the original piece.
While ladies’ watches with mechanical movements are becoming increasingly important, timepieces spotlighting gemstones or precious metal bracelets have always been a staple. Piaget’s new Extremely Lady collection puts a twist on its goldsmith heritage. Painstaking handmade techniques adorn 18k pink and white gold bracelets with fur, frost and wood textures.
Chanel’s new take on femininity is as fresh as ever with the Mademoiselle Privé Camélia Skeleton watch. Showcased at the three o’clock position, the camellia-shaped movement, Calibre 2.1, has been developed in-house. The diamond-set bridges and upper plate are entirely set with brilliant-cut diamonds. For a strong and stylish woman.
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