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Each year we take a moment to note the anniversary of the first tourbillon, the whirling regulation device Abraham-Louis Breguet patented on June 26, 1801. Breguet’s invention helped make pocket watches more precise by counteracting many of the negative effects of gravity on timekeeping precision.

Abraham-Louis Breguet

As is the case each year, Montres Breguet has provided us with a few visual reminders of how Breguet’s invention eventually started more than two centuries of tourbillon development by watchmakers.

A Breguet tourbillon

That development, however, was surprisingly slow. Found primarily in pocket watches and the occasional clock, the tourbillon wasn’t adopted for serially produced wristwatches until the 1980s, though a few prototype wristwatches with tourbillons were developed by Omega in 1947 and even earlier by special order at other Swiss manufacturers and by the French maker LIP.

Breguet Tourbillon N°1188

Breguet also reminds us that Abraham-Louis Breguet created only thirty-five tourbillon watches, with fewer than ten known to survive (including the No. 1188, pictured above).

The Breguet N°2567

The House of Breguet possesses several additional historical tourbillon pocket watches, including No. 1176 sold by Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1809, and No. 2567 sold in 1812, along with original records that list every single Breguet historical creation.

Many original Breguet tourbillons can be found in the Breguet Boutique & Museum in Place Vendome, Paris.

Here are just a few recent Breguet tourbillon watches that bear witness to the legacy of the man who devised the device, and whose name is on the building.

For 2020, Breguet adorns the dial of its Extra-Thin Self-Winding Tourbillon with a touch of deep blue, by using the traditional grand feu enamel technique.
Engraved caseback of the newest Breguet Extra-Thin Self-Winding Tourbillon.
Breguet this year offers its Marine Tourbillon Équation Marchante 5887 with a rose gold case with a gold dial.
The eye-catching engraved caseback of the Breguet Marine Tourbillon Équation Marchante 5887.

In time to be considered as a Father’s Day gift (or self-purchase), Bell & Ross introduces two handsome additions to its BR 05 collection of rounded-square watches with integrated bracelet, which the watchmaker introduced last year. One new model features a newly blue sapphire crystal while a second new BR 05 recalls the two-tone gold and steel case watch designs of decades past.

The new Bell & Ross BR 05 Skeleton Blue.
The new Bell & Ross Black, Steel and Gold, here on a rubber strap.

You might recall that the BR 05 collection debuted as Bell & Ross’s ode to the groundbreaking integrated steel watches of the 1970s.

Essentially an evolution of its cockpit-inspired BR 03, the BR 05 has Bell & Ross placing its very identifiable 12-6-9 dial numerals (though not on the skeleton models) and four bezel screws exactly where you’d expect them on a Bell & Ross aviation watch. Bell & Ross then frames all these well-known elements with a new curved, polished round bezel and a soft-cornered 40mm square case. Bell & Ross then nicely integrates the new, rounded square case directly into a new steel bracelet.

Blue window

One new BR 05 model blues the sapphire crystal of the existing BR05 Automatic Skeleton, offering a full view of the openwork caliber. With satin-finishes and polished beveling, the skeletonized caliber both reflects and catches light, which on this new model is filtered blue.

While reading the time can be a challenge with some skeleton watches, Bell & Ross avoids this by removing the large numerals and adding hard-to-miss metal appliqué indices and SuperLuminova-filled hands onto the new watch’s blue dial.

As with the first BR 05 automatic skeleton, Bell & Ross also utilizes an open-worked, Sellita-based Caliber BR-321 to create the Caliber BR-322 inside the new watch, which is then finished with satin and polished surfaces.

From the back of the watch, you’ll find a clear view of the caliber and its unusual 360° blue-coated, open-worked oscillating weight. Bell & Ross is offering the watch as a limited edition of 500 on either a flexible steel bracelet or a ribbed blue rubber strap.

Price: $6,400 on blue rubber strap; $6,900 on a satin-polished steel bracelet

Two-tone case

The second new model, the BR 05 Black Steel and Gold, introduces a slightly ritzier look to the collection with its 1980s-style two-tone dress. Bell & Ross combines satin finishing, polished steel and 18-karat rose gold to create the somewhat retro style, further enhanced with a black dial.

Bell & Ross accents the watch’s black dial with a lovely satin-finished rose gold bezel and rose gold applique numerals, rose-gold-outlined indices and SuperLuminova-set skeletonized hour and minute hands. All the satin-finished rose gold here nicely offsets the polished case and bracelet accents.

The look of this new collection, particularly with its gold-framed numerals and indices, is somewhat more luxurious than its ‘two-tone’ description would indicate.

The new model reaches perhaps the halfway mark to the luxuriousness of the $32,500 all-gold BR 05 that Bell & Ross included within the collection’s launch last year. And while I haven’t had the opportunity to feel the new watches, I’d guess the rose gold here would also add a bit of heft when compared to the all-steel BR 05 models.   

Echoing all the BR 05 models, this Black Steel and Gold model features a clear caseback exposing a 360° rotor, which on this new model is coated with ruthenium.

Prices: $6,500 on black rubber strap; $10,900 on a rose gold and steel bracelet

 

iW Interview:

When Bell & Ross debuted the BR 05 collection last summer, we spoke to Carlos Rosillo, CEO and co-founder of Bell & Ross about the collection. In light of the newest additions to the BR 05 collection during the past month, we’ve reprised his responses to our questions below. 

Bell & Ross co-founders Carlos Rosillo (left) and Bruno Belamich.

Why create the entirely new collection BR 05? What was your goal?

The goal was to develop an intermediate model between the square – our utilitarian icon – and the round – which is universal and generic. With this new line in mind, we did not want to create a city watch, but a Bell & Ross watch made for the city. The BR05 is the subtly square watch for the city.

 

In what ways does the BR 05 design fit in with the Bell & Ross approach to watchmaking?

The inspiration comes from our iconic model, the BR03, which takes essence from the aeronautical cockpits. As a complementary collection and thus still very Bell & Ross, we are keeping our core codes that are the iconic case with a circle in a square, the iconic graphics on the dial with its 12-6-9 figures and the four screws. It is what I consider an evolution of this icon. In the BR05 DNA, there is a piece of dashboard.

 

Who are you appealing to with the new design?

It is a modern watch. So we can easily imagine a young urban man who works in a suit and rides a bike appreciating items with a singular design. It is the ideal timepiece for the man-about-town eager to face the challenges of modern life and in control of time and his destiny.

 

What were the primary challenges you discovered when creating the collection?

The main challenge is to maintain the brand’s fundamentals while innovating constantly. We are evolving in a market where novelty is necessary. The difficulty lay in respecting the proportions and volumes: to design a 40mm case with a mechanical movement and open the dial to emphasize readability.

Why such a distinctive bracelet?

The new BR05 is a perfect blend between our iconic square model and a type of watch in which the case merges with the bracelet to create a compact and harmonious whole. The arc of the curve allow the components to be perfectly aligned and ensures the bracelet can adapt seamlessly to any wrist. All of this makes the BR 05 a jewel.

 

Will BR 05 replace any existing collection?

No, it is indeed the missing link between our two existing collections and case shapes. The round shape is inspired by the history of aviation and the past, and the square for its radical form and for professional use.

We wanted to create a watch with the iconic Bell & Ross case and to merge it with a steel bracelet. The idea was to move from the professional world of the extreme to the urban landscape, a transition from the off-road to the on-road.

 

 

Specifications: Bell & Ross BR 05 Skeleton Blue  

Movement: Automatic Sellita-based Caliber BR-CAL. 322.

Case: 40mm satin-polished steel, sapphire crystal and caseback, 100-meters water resistance.

Dial: Skeletonized with blue crystal, applique indices filled with SuperLuminova, metal skeletonized SuperLuminova-filled hour and minute hands.

Strap: Blue rubber or satin-polished steel with folding satin-polished steel buckle.

Price: $6,400 on blue rubber strap; $6,900 on a satin-polished steel bracelet

 

Specifications: Bell & Ross BR 05 Black Steel & Gold

Movement: Automatic Sellita-based Caliber BR-CAL. 321.

Case: 40mm rose gold and satin-polished steel with sapphire crystal and caseback. Water resistance to 100 meters.

Dial: Black sunray with rose-gold-gilded applique numerals and indices filled with SuperLuminova; rose-gold-gilded skeletonized hour and minute hands filled with SuperLuminova.

Strap: Black rubber or bi-material rose gold and satin-finished and polished steel. Satin-finished and polished folding steel buckle. 

Prices: $6,500 on black rubber strap; $10,900 on a rose gold and steel bracelet 

 

Torgoen has partnered with Miracle Flights to raise funds for the charity, which transports critically ill children to specialized medical care far from home.

With every purchase made through Torgoen’s ecommerce site, a portion of proceeds will go to support Miracle Flights and help more children reach the life-changing medical treatment they need.

“Now more than ever, we’ve felt compelled to give back through our online platform,” says Torgoen brand manager Ziv Emmet.

 

“As a brand devoted to pilots and aviation enthusiasts, we immediately connected to the Miracle Flights mission. Together with our customers, we know we can make a positive impact on this organization and the thousands of families it serves.”

Founded in June 1985, Miracle Flights is the nation’s leading medical flight charity, providing thousands of free commercial flights each year to families across the country.

“We’re grateful to Torgoen – not only for their generous financial support but also for giving us such an elegant and memorable way to commemorate our 35 years,” says Miracle Flights CEO Mark E. Brown.

To learn more about Miracle Flights and its partnership with Torgoen, visit miracleflights.org.

The Torgoen T-16

Among its early 2020 debuts, Frederique Constant this week adds karat gold to its Classic Worldtimer Manufacture and adds sportier dials to its Flyback Chronograph Manufacture, both among the Geneva-based brand’s best-known collections that also happen to be made with in-house-designed movements.

Additional 2020 debuts (to be detailed in future posts) include new Art Deco-style watches for women and an updated smartwatch called Vitality. 

Flyback Chronograph Manufacture

This watch has earned accolades as possibly the best-value flyback chronograph watch on the market with a manufacture movement (FC-760). The 42mm watch debuted in 2017 priced less than $4,000, and still might one of the few such flyback chronographs available at such an attractive price  ($4,295 and $4,595 for the current offering).

With the flyback, the chronograph’s hand can be stopped, reset to zero, and restarted with one push of a button. The function allows for timing an elapsed interval of events during races. Frederique Constant spent six years developing the caliber prior to its debut, when the brand touted the modular design as one of the most efficient available as it requires only 96 of its 233 components to be dedicated to the flyback function. 

The Flyback Chronograph Manufacture is powered by the in-house FC-760 flyback chronograph movement.

   

But it’s not simply the watch’s ultra-efficient star-shaped column-wheel flyback chronograph caliber that draws enthusiasts. The Frederique Constant Flyback Chronograph Manufacture’s retro-inspired dial and case design also plays a role in advancing the watch’s popularity.

New dials

Initially offered with a more classical Roman numeral dial, the watch is now being offered with its first two-tone dial variations, though still retaining the applied, beveled hour markers we’ve seen on this watch in recent years.

Frederique Constant is unveiling the two new options with silvered counters and darker (blue or brown) surrounding dials, echoing the contrasts seen on many chronographs of the 1960s and 1970s.

The sportier treatment sets the dial’s three-counters (date, 30-minute counter and small seconds) in stronger contrast to the dial, which also features baton indices and luminous hands.  

On the gold-plated version, the three counters are set against a chocolate-colored dial with a 42mm rose-gold-plated case. The second model features a blue dial with a stainless-steel case. All are fitted with an alligator strap with a deployant clasp. Price: $4,295 (steel case) and $4,595 (rose-gold-plated steel case).

Gold Worldtimer 

Available for the first time with a rose gold case, Frederique Constant’s Classic Worldtimer Manufacture is also now offered with a new blue, grey and red dial. This newest edition (limited to eighty-eight watches) still reveals a familiar world map on its dial with world city times indicated via two separate discs.

In its steel-cased edition, the Classic Worldtimer Manufacture remains among the most affordable (at $3,995) full-featured Swiss-made world-time watches available. 

The watch’s functions are just as useful now as they were ten years ago when Frederique Constant released the very first Classic Worldtimer. On the dial, twenty-four world time zones, indicated by cities, rotate around nicely detailed continents and oceans seen in the center of the dial.

For this special limited-edition karat gold version, the watchmaker has colored the twelve daytime hours in red while the nighttime hours appear in grey. Frederique Constant continues to nicely decorate the date counter at 6 o’clock with a particularly fetching sunray guilloché pattern.

Frederique Constant has designed its FC-718 movement to be quickly and easily adjusted via the crown, thus requiring no additional pushbuttons on the case. Price: $14,995.

 

Specifications: 

Frederique Constant Flyback Chronograph Manufacture, rose-gold-plated steel (FC-760CHC4H4)

Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, flyback chronograph, date adjustable by hand, tachymeter

Movement: FC-760 Manufacture caliber, automatic, flyback chronograph with date adjustable by the crown, perlage & circular Côtes de Genève decoration on the movement, 32 jewels, 38-hour power reserve, 28,800 vph

Case: 42mm rose-gold-plated, polished and satined stainless steel three-part case, glass box sapphire crystal, see-through case-back. Water-resistant to 50 meters

Dial: Brown with applied rose-gold-plated indexes, hand-polished rose-gold-plated hands

Strap: Dark brown alligator leather strap

 

Frederique Constant Flyback Chronograph Manufacture, steel case  (FC-760NS4H6)

Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, flyback chronograph, date adjustable by hand, tachymeter

Movement: FC-760 Manufacture caliber, automatic, flyback chronograph with date adjustable by the crown. Perlage and circular Côtes de Genève decoration, 38-hour power reserve, 28,800 vph

Case: 42mm polished and satined stainless steel three-part, glass box sapphire crystal, see-through case-back. Water-resistant to 50 meters

Dial: Navy with applied silver indexes, hand-polished silver hands

Strap: Blue alligator leather

 

Specifications: Frederique Constant Rose Gold Classic Worldtimer Manufacture, (FC-718NRWM4H9)

Movement: FC-718 Manufacture caliber, automatic with all functions (time and world timer) adjustable by the crown, perlage & circular Côtes de Genève decoration on the movement, 38-hour power reserve, 28,800 vph

Case: 42mm polished 18-karat rose gold with convex sapphire crystal, see-through caseback, water-resistant to 30 meters

Dial: Navy blue color dial with grey world map in the center and luminous indexes, hand-polished rose-gold-plated hands with white luminous treatment; date counter at 6 o’clock, 24 hour disc with day (red) & night (grey) indication, city disc with 24 cities

Strap: Navy blue alligator leather strap with off-white stitches

 

Frank Sinatra is once again announcing “it’s Bulova time.” 

The famed late singer is the star of a new series of ten Bulova watches named after well-known Frank Sinatra songs. The brand’s new Frank Sinatra Collection is dedicated to Sinatra – who was known for wearing Bulova watches – and features watches with cases and dials inspired by designs from the 1950s and 1960s.

A Fly Me to the Moon model from the new Bulova Frank Sinatra Collection.

Sinatra connection

Bulova’s connection to Frank Sinatra began in the 1950s during The Frank Sinatra Show television program for which the brand was the sponsor.

A pioneering advertiser known for extensive early radio and television campaigns, Bulova has in recent years renewed its connection to the music industry with partnerships with the Recording Academy, the Latin Recording Academy as well as through initiatives like Tune of Time or with non-profit partner, Windows of Hip Hop. Bulova has also teamed with the GRAMMY Awards to create a series of watches. Frank Sinatra took home nine GRAMMY awards during his long career.

“Our commitment to music includes many talents, many genres, many voices. Who better than ‘The Voice’ himself, Frank Sinatra, to continue to showcase our dedication and appreciation for the art of music and its ability to transcend time,” says Jeffrey Cohen, President of Citizen Watch America, which includes Bulova within its corporate umbrella.

Frank Sinatra and Tina Sinatra

“No one respected time more than my father, he never liked to keep an audience waiting, adds Frank Sinatra’s daughter Tina Sinatra. “He often said, ‘If you’re not early, you’re late.’ Dad’s association with Bulova spans over six decades and we are proud to continue the relationship into the 21st Century.”

The watches

The new Bulova Frank Sinatra Collection includes manual-wind, automatic or quartz timepieces made in a square, rectangular, round and tonneau case shapes and named for some of the best-known Sinatra songs, including “My Way,” “The Best is Yet to Come” and “Fly Me to the Moon.”

My Way

The watches are cased in either stainless steel or gold-toned steel and are powered by a Sellita or Miyota automatic or manual-wind caliber, or by a Miyota quartz caliber. Many feature gold-toned hands and indexes and are offered in steel or leather straps. Prices range from $495 to $1,350.

In addition, Bulova pays tribute to Sinatra by placing an image of the singer’s Fedora hat on the crown and by imprinting song titles on the inside of the straps and on the caseback of each watch. Frank Sinatra’s signature is also seen on each dial.

My Way, showing engraved caseback.

The first series in Bulova’s Frank Sinatra Collection includes:

My Way is a tank-style stainless steel or gold-tone steel watch with a silvery white or black dial and a Miyota quartz movement. Prices: $495 and $525.

My Way, with black dial.

The Best is Yet To Come is an assortment of 40mm round case watches in either stainless steel or gold-toned steel with an exhibition caseback showcasing a manual-wind Sellita SW215 movement. Prices: $1,150 to $1,350.

The Best is Yet to Come is a 40mm manual-wind watch offered with various dials.
The Best is Yet to Come, with a steel bracelet.

Three pieces under the name Fly Me To The Moon feature 39mm round steel or gold-tone steel cases and powered by a Miyota Caliber 8215 automatic movement seen through an exhibition caseback. Prices: $750 to $825.

Fly Me to the Moon

The Young At Heart includes a selection of timepieces in a gold-tone stainless steel tonneau-shaped case. One of the novelties is presented with a brown sunray brush dial inspired by Sinatra’s Whiskey partnership complete with a brown calf strap.

The Young At Heart, brown sunray dial.

The other is seen with a silver white sunray dial with a black calf strap. A Miyota Caliber 8215 automatic movement powers both pieces. Price: $695.

The Young At Heart includes a selection of timepieces in a gold-tone stainless steel tonneau-shaped case.

Bulova will sell each watch with a package that mimics a vinyl album box set. It will also include lyrics from Sinatra songs and incorporate various vintage images.

The Frank Sinatra collection will be available later this year on Bulova.com and at other Bulova official retailers.

 

By Gary Girdvainis

The story of Waldan Watches is an inspiring one.  I’ve followed the progress of the company since the early days of International Watch, and with the re-birth of Waldan Watches underway, led by its new-generation leader Andrew Waldan, it’s time to review the Waldan story and introduce its latest collection. 

Founding Era

The groundwork that laid the foundation for the Waldan International watch brand goes back to the late 1970s during a period when founder Oscar Waldan supplied retailers in the United States with in-house-branded timepieces.

Andrew Waldan and his father Oscar Waldan, the founder of Waldan International. Andrew took over as CEO of the Waldan brand when his father passed away in January 2018.

A polish immigrant, Waldan arrived in the U.S. in 1946 as a rare survivor of not one, but two separate German concentration camps – thanks in large part to his ability to service and repair wristwatches. The decades between Oscar’s arrival in the U.S. in 1946 and the launch of his own brand in 1979 saw Oscar working in various positions in the U.S. offices of Tissot, Universal Genève, Van Cleef & Arpels, Tiffany & Co., and others.

Three decades after his arrival in the U.S., Oscar took the leap to start his own brand in 1979. He designed his own series of mechanical watches featuring exquisite dials, including chronographs, chronometers, world timers, alarms, and more.

A original Waldan Chrono 38, made in an 18-karat rose gold case.

These were all mechanical watches and all would carry the Waldan trademark on the dial.

Bear in-mind that this was in an era long before the cookie-cutter options that make it simpler for anyone to buy an off-the-shelf “made in China” watch. Back then, you really had to know what you were doing to have any chance to bring a watch brand together – especially when you were one of the few members of the industry that still believed the mechanical watch had a future in the newly minted quartz era. These early Waldan watches remain collector’s favorites and embody what a fine luxury wristwatch should be; mechanical complications with top-quality components inside and out, and a design that will never go out of style.

That said, these were, and are, out of the reach of most consumers. They were crafted exclusively in precious gold and platinum with mechanical Swiss Made chronographs and other complicated movements within, and their prices reflected those components.

But while Oscar’s early Waldans were worth more than he charged, they still called for a substantial investment in the thousands of dollars to acquire.

Next Generation

It’s no surprise that the founding father of Waldan Watches would bring his son Andrew into the family business.

At a very young age, Andrew was often found at the New York headquarters of Waldan International. There, with his father and the staff of assistants and watchmakers, Andrew grew into a young man surrounded by all things watches. All the while Andrew was developing an insider’s perspective on an industry about to experience a renaissance that his father had never actually abandoned.  

Guided by his father’s indelible principles, Andrew combined an understanding of current market trends with his own experiences when he was called on to take over the company due to his father’s failing health in 2017. Having actively worked with his father at Waldan International since 2013, Andrew was well prepared to take the lead as the CEO of the Waldan brand when his father passed away in January 2018.

Andrew had decided it was time to evolve the brand. During this rebirth process he came to the conclusion that making the classic Waldan design available to a much wider audience might make sense.

So in a daring departure from the established path, he decided to build a watch in the United States, not in Switzerland, using the newly minted Ameriquartz movement inside.

Watches from the all-new Waldan Heritage collection are cased in 40mm steel and feature Ameriquartz movements.

Crafted in steel, the watches are targeting a retail price of under $500 each with a goal of expanding the potential reach for his father’s design(s) by an order of magnitude.

Working with his team, Andrew has now brought to life a watch collection that embraces the design cues of a Waldan watch, including the Waldan font, hands, color palette, fine leather straps, and, most critically, the iconic curves of the stepped case and lugs, all at a retail price will appeal to anyone at a modest $299.99.

More than skin deep

In making watches, the devil really is in the details. It’s easy to make a cheap handsome (or pretty) watch that won’t last until the first battery dies. Making one that will last a lifetime and beyond calls for a different approach.

Applied numerals and markers on the entire new Waldan Heritage collection are mechanically attached for durability.

Here’s where Andrew and his team – including his chief technical advisor – came together over the course of more than a year to examine and approve every component and every detail to finally put together a watch that passed muster for both esthetics and durability.

Andrew also chose to source American suppliers where possible to continue his father’s own goal in building a legitimate watch brand in the U.S.  Waldan is currently the only brand authorized to use the Ameriquartz trademark on the dial of their watches.

Waldan is currently the only brand authorized to use the Ameriquartz trademark on the dial of their watches.

Ameriquartz

Those unfamiliar with Ameriquartz movements should note that they are jeweled all-metal movements built in at a state-of-the-art facility in Fountain Hills, Arizona, to the highest standards.

As both a founding advisor to the company and as its sales manager, I can tell you that each movement is built using a combination of modern and traditional engineering to bring the quartz movement to its zenith with regards to accuracy and reliability, and each one is individually tested and certified when manufactured.

The Ameriquartz movement, used inside all the new Waldan watches.

Each movement also carries a manufacturer’s five-year warranty against manufacturing defects.

The Collection

Waldan’s new collection is presented in an easy-to-wear 40mm diameter case with a slim 8.6mm profile.  Crafted in 316L stainless steel, they are water resistant to 50 meters with a flat sapphire crystal protecting each of six variations on the theme. 

Waldan is introducing Heritage Professional series with dials in four colors, including black, white, off-white and green.

These join two Waldan Heritage Sportline versions with oil-pressed linear-patterned dials in black and silver, which rounds out the initial launch of the Waldan Heritage collection.

An oil-pressed dial imparts a more rugged look to the Waldan Heritage Sportline Collection.

Although not limited to a specific numbered series, each Waldan Heritage is hand built in the U.S. using a proprietary ATAC (assess, test, assemble, certify) Zero-Defect protocol and will be limited by production capacity and likely to be a hot commodity when it releases in mid July.

Custom leaf (feuille) hands, seen on the new Heritage Professional Series, are a Waldan trademark.

To stay up to speed with new releases and details check in at the Waldan web-site (www.waldanwatches.com) which is currently being updated and modernized to better meet the preferences of today’s consumers.

 

Parmigiani Fleurier launches two slate-dialed complicated watches as part of its Watches & Wonders 2020 debut lineup. Each model includes a thin tourbillon and each is also being made as part of a very limited edition.

The new Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Tourbillon Slate.

On the new Toric Tourbillon Slate, Parmigiani Fleurier integrates its extra-thin flying tourbillon into the movement’s main plate, which helps to maintain the watch’s thinness. Parmigiani Fleurier places the tourbillon here at the 7 o’clock position as a nod to the brand’s founder, Michel Parmigiani, who was born at 7:08 am on December 2, 1950.

That tourbillon, the focus of the brand’s ultra-thin PF517 movement, is powered by a platinum micro-rotor. Its bridges have been decorated with côtes de Genève.  

The Parmigiani Fleurier ultra-thin PF517 inside the Toric Tourbillon Slate features a platinum micro-rotor.

And while the tourbillon itself is a focus, so is the handcrafted barley grain guilloché pattern on the slate-colored dial.

The Toric collection is possibly Parmigiani Fleurier’s most classically styled collection, and this model underscores that history with its rose gold case inspired by Greek Doric columns. You might recall that the Toric was Michel Parmigiani’s first case, which debuted in 1996 when the master watchmaker launched his watch brand following many years restoring watches and clocks.

Parmigiani Fleurier will make the watch, which comes with a Hermès Havane leather strap, as a limited edition of twenty-five pieces. Price: $130,000.

Tondagraph Tourbillon

Parmigiani Fleurier also debuted this Tondagraph Rose Gold Slate as part of its Watches & Wonders 2020 collection.

The Tondagraph Rose Gold Slate

The Tondagraph represents a more contemporary styling within the brand’s multi-complication collections, though this model is a bit more classical (with its rich guilloché dial) than earlier examples within the collection. The Tondagraph’s teardrop lugs, round case and prominent displays are slightly muted when compared to earlier examples thanks to the addition this year of the rich guilloché dial, which here echoes the watchmaker’s now-characteristic slate hue.

The 43mm watch shows its thin tourbillon and prominent bridge at the bottom of the dial while the counter at 3 o’clock shows chronograph minutes. Nicely balancing those displays you’ll see the small seconds at 9 o’clock and the power reserve at the top of the dial.

This display also differs from previous incarnations with its fully skeletonized delta-shaped hour and minute hands and its switch from large Arabic hour markers to more subtle minutes track with two gold appliques at 3 and 9.

Parmigiani Fleurier’s handsome PF354 manually wound mechanical caliber is a treat to view through the clear sapphire caseback.

Inside Parmigiani Fleurier’s beautifully designed PF354 manually wound mechanical caliber is a treat to view through the clear sapphire caseback. It offers a power reserve of 65 hours. Price: $199,000, with limited production.

 

Specifications: Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Tourbillon Slate

Movement: Automatic PF517, extra-thin flying tourbillon displaying hours, minutes, seconds, tourbillon (60 seconds), 48-hour power reserve, 
21,600 vph frequency, Côtes de Genève décor, beveled bridges, platinum micro-rotor with “Grain d’Orge” guilloché

Dial: Slate finishing with guilloché Grain de Riz Indexes in 18-karat rose gold

Hands: Javelin-shaped with luminescent coating

Case: 42.8mm by 9.45mm polished red gold. Caseback: Engraving w/individual number and EDITION LIMITEE XX/25

Strap: Hermès Havana alligator strap with 18-karat gold pin buckle.

 

Specifications: Parmigiani Fleurier Tondagraph Rose Gold Slate

Movement: PF354 
manual winding, 21,600 vph frequency, 65-hour power reserve

Functions: Hours, minutes, small second, tourbillon, chronograph, power reserve

Case: 43mm
 by 13.4mm
 rose gold with 
30 meters water resistance, sapphire crystal  

Dial: Slate
 with rose-gold-plated appliques, “Guilloché Grain de riz” Skeleton Delta-shaped hands

Strap: Hermès Alligator Havana with pin buckle 18-karat rose gold

 

As if ported through a wormhole, MB&F’s Starfleet Explorer arrives to earth just as time itself seems to have stalled. The new desk-sized steel clock displays hours and minutes atop a skeletonized steel frame that supports an engaging, palladium-treated eight-day L’Epée 1839 movement.

Essentially a compact version of the 2014 Starfleet Machine (the first clock co-created by MB&F and L’Epée 1839), this new co-created skeletonized ‘space station’ utilizes its smaller frame wisely with a topside display showing the hours and minutes. Two darkened rotating discs at the top of the clock perform this task with clarity.

The Starfleet Explorer can be displayed in two different poses: on its three massive curved steel legs or turned sideways with its open-end resting on the desk.

At the very peak you’ll see the minutes, shown digitally in five-minute intervals, as they rotate and appear within a curved, green, blue or red metallic window (or aperture, in tech speak). The Starfleet Explorer indicates the hours using a (matching) colorful hand along a ring just below the minutes.

But, as with so many of its creations, MB&F provides an extra treat within the clock’s steel skeleton. Below the two darkened time-telling discs MB&F has designed (and L’Epée has realized) three colorful ‘spacecraft’ that rotate around the center of the clock in a fanciful table-side five-minute ‘orbit.’

Three colorful ‘spacecraft’ that rotate around the center of the clock.

Eight-day movement

Just below all the time displays and fantastical spacecraft you’ll see that the L’Epée 1839 in-house eight-day movement is placed horizontally despite the vertically positioned escapement. This means viewers can easily eye the to-and-fro of the balance wheel, escape wheel and pallet-lever.

With a vertically set escapement, viewers can easily eye the to-and-fro of the balance wheel, escape wheel and pallet-lever.

All the gearing (steel or palladium-treated brass) is also quite visible just beyond the regulation mechanism, in large part thanks to the C-shaped steel frame.  

MB&F was kind enough to design the Starfleet Explorer so that it can be displayed in two different poses: on its three massive curved steel legs or turned sideways with its open-end resting on the desk. Of course, the clock can also be turned upside down if desired, a feature that helps when winding or setting time on the clock.

MB&F is launching the Starfleet Explorer as three limited editions of 99 pieces each in blue, green and red.

Price: CHF 9,900 (approximately $ 10,200)

Specifications: MB&F/L’Epée Starfleet Explorer

Display:

–Minutes: indicated by a fixed curved aperture on the mobile upper dome, performing a complete rotation every 60 minutes. The minutes aperture and the hour hand are satin-brushed and anodized, in blue, green or red.

–Hours: indicated by a mobile hand, performing a complete rotation every 12 hours on a fixed disc. The hour dome and the minutes disc are satin-brushed and feature MB&F’s signature numerals.

Main structure: Height: approx. 11cm (4.3 inches) by 16.5cm (6.5 inches), 19 parts

Materials: stainless steel for the main structure, hand-lacquered polymer for the three ‘spacecraft.’

Movement: L’Epée 1839 in-house designed and manufactured movement, 18,000 vph frequency, one barrel, eight-day power reserve, Incabloc shock protection system, manual-winding: double-ended key to set time and wind the movement; Mechanism and mainplate in palladium-treated brass

 

The MCH Group, which organizes Baselworld each year, announced earlier this week that it will cancel Baselworld 2021. That show, which MCH scheduled for January 28 to February 2, 2021, was initially announced in late February this year after the MCH Group canceled Baselworld 2020, originally slated to begin April 30, in response to a Swiss government ban on large events due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The cancellation of the 2021 event comes after a host of major watch companies, including Rolex, Patek Philippe, Chopard and others, left the 2020 event to start a Geneva-based event alongside Watches & Wonders next January. That move was followed by the departure of three LVMH brands (Hublot, Zenith and TAG Heuer. Bulgari announced its departure earlier in the year).

According to the MCH Group press statement, the cancellation was agreed on in collaboration with the Swiss Exhibitors’ Committee, and also “unanimously approved by the Comité Consultatif and also supported by industry associations.”

“I welcome the constructive attitude of the representatives of the MCH Group, which has enabled us to find a balanced solution”, says Hubert J. du Plessix, President of the Swiss Exhibitors’ Committee. “I would also like to thank Patek Philippe, Rolex, Tudor, Chanel, Chopard, Hublot, Zenith and TAG Heuer, who, in a spirit of solidarity with the sector as a whole, have agreed to a lower refund so that the other exhibitors can benefit from better conditions.”

“We are pleased to have worked together and, in just a short time, found a solution that is acceptable to everyone. In the light of the large loss of revenue due to COVID-19 and our responsibility to all our stakeholder groups, this solution marks the limit of what is possible for us, said Bernd Stadlwieser, CEO of the MCH Group. “With the amicable settlement for Baselworld 2020, we can now concentrate fully on the future.”

Ever since its 1992 debut, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control collection has been the source of many of the watchmaker’s most classically styled complicated watches. At the recent (virtual) Watches & Wonders 2020, Jaeger-LeCoultre refreshed that well-rounded collection with new movements, more contemporary styling and more impressive technical specifications.

The newest Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Calendar.

To do this, the watchmaker has incorporated design cues from many of its most important collections over many decades, most notably the Futurematic, PowerMatic and Memovox designs of the 1950s.

A few of the overall updates and Master Control enhancements include:

— A new 40mm case design that includes models with a new pink gold alloy called Le Grand Rose gold.

–New movements with increased power reserves (up to 70 hours in many of the new calibers). Most prominently, Jaeger-LeCoultre has re-engineered Calibre 899, a pillar of the Master Control collection. The improvements (also incorporated into the entire range of Master Control calibers) include a silicon escapement, a redesigned barrel and various energy-saving enhancements.

The new Caliber 899 inside the latest Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Date now features a silicon escapement and pallets made using a slightly modified shape.

–On the dials, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s designers place sunray brushing on a silvery-white background, a blue central seconds hand on some models and blued subdial hands.

— All case-sides will be satin-brushed and complemented by a polished bezel, crowns and lugs. On the back you’ll find bas-relief engravings and a sapphire crystal caseback.

— The collection will now include soft, tan matte-finish Novonappa calf leather straps, made in France through a vegetable-based tanning process. The new straps can be changed without the need for a tool.

Like all Jaeger-LeCoultre timepieces, the Master Control watches carry an eight-year warranty in addition to the 1,000 Hours Control certification.

Master Control Chronograph Calendar

At the top of the new Master Control lineup is this model, set with a newly developed movement, Calibre 759, that combines a chronograph with a triple calendar display and a moonphase display. The new movement features a column-wheel chronograph with a vertical clutch, a moon-phase indicator and a 65-hour power reserve.

The new Jaeger-LeCoutre Master Control Chronograph Calendar, here in a new Le Grand Rose gold case.
Up close on the dial of the Master Control Chronograph Calendar.

A central chronograph seconds hand anchors the watch’s triple calendar, bi-compax display, while a pulsometric scale is marked around the dial flange. Jaeger-LeCoultre also adds rectangular chronograph pushers to the case, which is offered in steel ($14,500) or the new Le Grand Rose gold alloy ($26,000).

Note the new rectangular pushers on the Master Control Chronograph Calendar.
Caseback view of the Master Control Chronograph Calendar, showing Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 759 with a 65-hour power reserve.
Note the pulsometric scale around the dial flange of the Master Control Chronograph Calendar.

Master Control Date

With a thin 8.78mm case and a clean design, this model is directed by the new caliber Calibre 899, which now features a silicon escapement and pallets made using a slightly modified shape. Jaeger-LeCoultre says it has also remade the central-seconds wheel to eliminate shaking while also utilizing titanium for the fixing screws of the oscillating wheel.

The new Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Date.

In order to increase the watch’s power reserve to seventy hours, Jaeger-LeCoultre redesigned the barrel to accommodate a stronger and longer mainspring without increasing the 3.3mm height of the movement. Price: $6,700.

Master Control Calendar

Here Jaeger-LeCoultre retains the model’s classical layout with the dates marked around the edge and indicated by a red-tipped hand, the days and months displayed in the upper part of the dial, and the moon-phase set within the small seconds subdial. But now there’s an all-new jumping complication.

Moonphase display on the new Master Control Calendar.

Every month, the date hand makes a 90-degree leap from the 15th to the 16th, which means the hand never obscures the moon-phase display. Available in rose gold ($22,500) and steel ($11,000).

The Master Control Calendar

Master Control Geographic

Now powered by the new-generation Calibre 939 (with a full 70-hour power reserve) the Master Control Geographic retains its familiar layout, with timezone displays balanced by a date subdial and a power reserve indicator. But now Jaeger-LeCoultre has brushed the entire dial in a brushed sunray pattern and added elongated triangular indexes.

The Master Control Geographic retains its familiar layout.

The watch’s unusual world time indication displays the city name relating to the zone, which gives travellers the option of setting the second time by location, rather than needing to calculate the time difference. The new edition is available in a choice of steel ($12,200) or Le Grand Rose gold case ($23,700).

The Master Control Geographic, showing power reserve indicator.

Specifications:

MASTER CONTROL CHRONOGRAPH CALENDAR

Caliber: Automatic Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 759 with a 65-hour power reserve

Functions: Hours/minutes, small seconds, calendar with date, day and month indications, moon phases, chronograph

Case: 40mm x 12.05mm stainless steel or Le Grand Rose gold, satin and polished finishes, sapphire crystal case-back, water-resistance to 50 meters

Dial: Silver sunray finish, applied indexes

Strap: Novonappa calf or alligator

Reference: Q4138420 (stainless steel), Q4132520 (rose gold)

 

MASTER CONTROL DATE

Caliber: Automatic Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 899 (new generation), 70 hours power reserve

Functions: hours/minutes/seconds, date

Case: 40mm x 8.78mm stainless steel, satin and polished finishes, sapphire crystal case-back with 50-meter water resistance

Dial: Silver sunray finish, applied indexes

Strap: Novonappa calf

Reference: Q4018420

 

MASTER CONTROL CALENDAR

Caliber: Automatic mechanical movement, Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 866 (new generation)

Functions: hours/minutes, small seconds, day, jumping date, month, moon phases

Power reserve: 70 hours

Case: 40mm x 10.95mm stainless steel or Le Grand Rose gold, satin and polished finishes, sapphire crystal case-back, 50-meters of water resistance

Dial: Silver sunray finish, applied indexes

Strap: Novonappa calf or alligator

Reference: Q4148420 (stainless steel), Q4142520 (rose gold)

 

MASTER CONTROL GEOGRAPHIC

Caliber: automatic mechanical movement, Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 939 (new generation), power reserve of 70 hours

Functions: Hours/minutes/seconds, date, second time zone, 24-hour display, 24 time zones, power reserve indication

Case: 40mm x 10.96mm stainless steel or Le Grand Rose gold, satin and polished finishes, sapphire crystal case-back, Water-resistance to 50 meters

Dial: Silver sunray finish, applied indexes

Strap: Novonappa calf or alligator

Reference: Q4128420 (stainless steel), Q4122520 (rose gold)