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Frederique Constant refreshes its Classics Heart Beat Moonphase Date with a new model that boasts a rich blue dial emphasizing the watch’s mostly contemporary design.

The Frederique Constant Classics Heart Beat Moonphase Date, now with a rich blue dial.

In this handsome update, the light blue classic moonphase display nicely balances the very modern open Heart Beat aperture exposing a portion of the movement – a long-time Frederique Constant signature.

This pleasing symmetry is just one of many pleasures Frederique Constant reliably (and affordably) delivers with this refreshed design, which the Geneva-based manufacturer first debuted with lighter dials eight years ago.

The 40mm steel watch allows the wearer to read the current moonphase, the time and the date while also gazing at a portion of the balance wheel within the Heart Beat aperture beating at 28,800 vibrations per hour. On display is the watch’s Sellita-based automatic FC-335 movement, which is also visible through the sapphire back.

The watch’s Sellita-based automatic FC-335 movement is visible through the clear sapphire back.

To maintain its visual balance, the watch features no third aperture to display the date. Instead, a fourth hand with its own arrow tip points towards the date, shown in a circle on the flange.

The watch’s winding, hours, minutes, date and moon phases are all adjusted with the single crown. Its four positions allow for full control of the displays. The first position winds the movement, while the fourth adjusts the time. In an unsurprisingly display of technical fluency, the wearer can change the date in the second position and the moon phases in the third, as long as the hands are first positioned at 10:10. This protects the mechanism from being damaged.

As is often the case with Frederique Constant’s Classic models, the dial here is decorated with Clou de Paris guilloche.

Price: $2,095

  

Specifications: Frederique Constant Classics Heart Beat Moonphase Date

(Ref. FC-335MCNW4P26)

Movement: Automatic FC-335 caliber (Sellita-based), 38-hour power reserve, 28,800 vph.

Case: 40mm by 10mm polished stainless steel, two-part, scratch-resistant convex sapphire crystal, see-through case back. Water-resistant to 60 meters.

Dial: Navy blue with clous de Paris guilloché in the center. Printed white Roman numerals
, date graduation on outer ring, white hour, minute, second and date hands. Heart Beat opening at 12 o’clock, moonphase display.

Strap: Navy blue calf leather with off-white stitching, steel pin buckle.

Price: $2,095

Leading with a newly designed Travel Time watch that now includes an annual calendar, Patek Philippe at Watches and Wonders 2022 debuted twelve new watches, including three models designed with a feminine focus.

The new Patek Philippe new Ref. 5326G-001 Annual Calendar Travel Time.

But first, another debut

Perhaps to give the new Annual Calendar Travel Time its own spotlight, Patek Philippe waited until just after the Geneva show to launch a splashier technical innovation: the new 41mm platinum-cased Patek Philippe Ref. 5470P-001, a 1/10-of-a-second monopusher chronograph.

Patek Philippe Ref. 5470P-001, a 1/10-of-a-second monopusher chronograph.

To engineer its first high-frequency chronograph Patek Philippe started with its existing CH 29- 535 PS caliber from 2009. Watchmakers amped the frequency from 4 Hz to 5 Hz (36,000 vibrations per hour, or ten steps per second) and then equipped the movement with an additional 1/10th of a second chronograph mechanism.

As Patek Philippe explains, the designers provided the caliber CH 29-535 PS 1/10 with two independent and synchronized chronograph mechanisms, each of them driving a different central hand. The hand that performs a complete revolution per minute shows the stopped seconds in the traditional manner. The other hand (in red lacquered Silinvar) performs one revolution per twelve seconds.

We’ll have more details about the new Cal. 5470P in a future post. For details and a video, see the Patek Philippe website.

 

Travel time

The totally new Ref. 5326G-001 Annual Calendar Travel Time arrives in a new 41mm white gold Calatrava case with a terrific hobnailed case-side treatment meant to recall the hobnail bezels that have long characterized Patek Philippe’s traditional Calatrava collection.

The watch will also draw stares to its light-refracting textured charcoal gray dial that darkens to black toward its minute track. Vintage-styled applied numerals and white gold hour and minute hands are coated with an equally retro beige luminescence.

(This same dial, case, hand and marker layout is also found on another 2022 debut, the less complex Cal. 5226G, a three-hand 40mm white gold Calatrava with date–see below.)

The new Cal. 5226G, a three-hand 40mm white gold Calatrava with date, sports the same dial treatment as the new Annual Calendar Travel Time.

Patek Philippe’s watchmakers designed a new self-winding caliber (new 31-260 PS QA LU FUS 24H) for the new Annual Calendar Travel Time in which the Travel Time mechanism controls the Annual Calendar.

A view of Caliber 31-260 PS QA LU FUS 24H from the case back of the new Annual Calendar Travel Time.

The unusual setup, in which the watch’s date display is synchronized with local time, allows forwards and backwards date correction.

And to better retain the dressy Calatrava style, Patek Philippe resisted the need to install two pushers to control the two hour hands (a solid hand for local time and a skeletonized hand for home time). Instead, the wearer can correct the local time via the crown. Calendar indications can be adjusted via small case-side correctors located near their respective functions: day at 10, month at 2, date at 4 and moon phases at 8 o’clock. 

For this debut, Patek Philippe also updated its legendary Annual Calendar, which the brand essentially invented for the wristwatch in 1996.  And, Patek Philippe’s engineers shortened the Annual Calendar’s changeover time. Thanks to a new cam system, the changing dates and move to local time is five times faster (eighteen minutes) than the same actions in earlier annual calendars.

This change is among many that Patek Philippe has cited in eight patent applications for the new caliber. 

Patek Philippe delivers its Ref. 5326G-001 Annual Calendar Travel Time with two interchangeable straps, one beige calfskin with nubuck texture. The second black calfskin strap has embossed textile finish and beige decorative stitching. Price: $76,882. 

Additional highlights among the twelve 2022 Watches and Wonders debuts for Patek Philippe include:

Patek Philippe Ref. 5320G-011.

Cal. 5320G-011 Perpetual Calendar, an eye-catching new version of the contemporary vintage Patek Philippe perpetual calendar in 40mm white gold with a stunning rose-gilt opaline dial. With its three-tiered lugs, this debut recalls a Patek Philippe model from 1945. Price: $94,624.

Patek Philippe Ref. 5172G-010.

Cal. 5172G-010 Chronograph, a new version of the manually wound Manufacture chronograph in 40mm white gold, also features a rose-gilt opaline dial (above). You might recall this model from 2019 with a blue dial. $80,431. 

Patek Philippe also added a trio of olive green-dialed models and one green lacquered watch during Watches and Wonders 2022.

Patek Philippe Ref. 4910/1200A-011

The trio includes Ref. 4910/1200A-011 Twenty-4 manchette quartz watch in steel with a sunburst dial ($15,377 (above), Ref. 7130R-014 Ladies’ World Time watch in rose gold ($57,957) and a Ref. 5205R annual Calendar with moon phases ($55,592).

Ref. 7130R-014 Ladies’ World Time.
Ref. 5205R annual Calendar with moon phases.

For a new platinum Ref. 5270P-014 Chronograph with a perpetual calendar ($211,271), Patek Philippe applies a green lacquered dial with a black gradation (below).

The new platinum Ref. 5270P-014 Chronograph with a perpetual calendar.

 

We’ll have more reporting about the remaining Patek Philippe 2022 debuts in future posts. These debuts include several artisanal updates to the firm’s Worldtimer plus new gem set options for the platinum-cased Ref. 5374/300P Grand Complication with a minute repeater and a perpetual calendar and the Ref. 7121 Ladies’ Moon Phases watch. 

Jaeger-LeCoultre introduces a perpetual calendar to its Polaris series, adding a classical calendar complication to the refined sporty collection. The debut anchors a wide-ranging set of Watches and Wonders 2022 debuts that reference the brand’s “Stellar Odyssey” theme for the year’s new releases.

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Perpetual Calendar, in steel.

Other debuts include a pair of new Atmos models, two impressive grand complications and two glittering additions to the Rendez-Vous collection.

You might recall that in 2018 Jaeger-LeCoultre revived the Polaris name, adding the collection named for the famed Memovox Polaris dive series of 1968.

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Perpetual Calendar, in pink gold.

With the new Polaris Perpetual Calendar, Jaeger-LeCoultre introduces Caliber 868AA, a new version of its existing perpetual calendar movement (first seen in 2013), here upgraded to create a retrograde display of Southern Hemisphere moon phases. The update also increases the caliber’s power reserve to a full seventy hours. Fewer power lapses makes any calendar watch is all the more practical.

Jaeger-LeCoultre colors the dial on the 42mm steel or pink gold Polaris Perpetual Calendar in a deep gradient-blue hue to suggest the transition from day to night.

Caliber 868AA powers the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Perpetual Calendar.

To reference the origins of calendars within astronomical events, Jaeger-LeCoultre places the moon phases here at 6 o’clock, with a retrograde display for the Southern Hemisphere framing the display for its Northern counterpart. New skeleton hands allow greater visibility of the dial displays –and to maintain Polaris design codes.

All the Polaris codes are here, including a glass-box crystal, a mix of brushed and polished surfaces, and a top crown that rotates the inner bezel. The lower crown is for setting the time and winding the watch while calendar settings are adjusted via a single pusher.

Prices: $29,600 (steel) and $44,300 (pink gold).

 

Specifications : Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Perpetual Calendar

Case: 42mm x 11.97mm steel or pink gold.

Movement: Automatic Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 868AA. Functions: hours, minutes, seconds, perpetual calendar with moon phases in two hemispheres and red security zone, inner rotating bezel. Power reserve is 70 hours, water resistance to 100 meters.

Dial: Lacquered blue gradient.

Strap: Ref. Q9088480 (steel) interchangeable steel bracelet and rubber strap.

Ref. Q9082480 (pink gold) interchangeable rubber strap and alligator leather strap.

 

Additional Highlights from Jaeger-LeCoultre at Watches and Wonders 2022

Master Hybris Artistica Calibre 945 Galaxia in pink gold (above) and Master Hybris Artistica Calibre 945 Atomium in white gold. Each offered in a limited edition of five pieces. Prices: $535,000 (white gold) and $515,000 (pink gold).

The Master Grande Tradition Calibre 948, with universal flying tourbillon, world-time display with 24-hour indication. A limited edition of twenty. Price: $227,000.

The new Atmos Tellurium with Zodiac calendar (above). A limited edition of ten pieces: Price: $570,000.

The Atmos Infinite, with the ‘almost-perpetual’ Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 570 (above). Price: $15,100.

Two additions to the Rendez-Vous collection call Rendez-Vous Star and Rendez-Vous Dazzling Star (pictured above).  In pink gold or white gold, the 36mm diamond-set watch hosts a unique complication in which a diamond-set ‘shooting star’ moves across the top of the dial at random moments during the day, typically four to six times per hour. The shooting star can also be activated on demand with several turns of the crown. Prices: $75,500 (Dazzling Star only).

Greubel Forsey continues to expand its Convexe collection, a relatively new series of watches characterized by a convex bezel and crystal that showcases the multi-level, multi-dimensional nature of its complicated movements.

The new Greubel Forsey Double Balancier Convexe.

The newest addition, the Double Balancier Convexe, finds the watchmaker’s existing Double Balancier movement (in its latest 2016 iteration) presented in a convex titanium case with a dramatic curved layout displaying the caliber’s openworked gears, wheels and bridges.

Within the undulating bezel, which Greubel Forsey first presented in 2019, we see the watch’s gear train in all its multi-level, highly finished splendor just below a semicircular black-treated titanium bridge. The skeletal hour and minute hands are set atop the gilded, stacked gear train, rotating well above the small seconds display. The seconds remain quite visible despite the display’s location deep within the movement.

The small seconds hand (lower right) is polished and blued steel, as is the four-minute hand (set between the two balances) that shows the rotational speed of the spherical differential.

Flanking each corner are the watch’s namesake two balance wheels, each inclined at 30° and separated by a constant spherical differential that ‘calculates’ their average timing rate.

The watch also gets its name from the convex profile of its 43.5 mm titanium case and bezel. The contemporary polished and brushed bezel frames the movement with undulating lines that are higher on the sides and lower at the 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock positions.

Greubel Forsey explains that it constructs each hand for this watch (and for many watches in its collection) with individual geometry, finish and color. Thus, the hour hand and the minute hand are curved and filled with SuperLuminova to complement the hour indexes.

The small seconds hand is polished and blued steel, as is the four-minute hand (set between the two balances) that shows the rotational speed of the spherical differential. Finally, the power reserve hand is polished, open-worked and tipped with red.

The Convexe collection is meant to be this high-end maker’s contemporary ‘daily wear’ collection. You’ll see none of the Greubel Forsey foundational phrases engraved on the dial or bezel within this collection. And, with 100 meters of water resistance and fully integrated lugs, the watch fits snugly on the wrist for wearing comfort rain or shine.

Greubel Forsey offers the new Double Balancier Convexe on either a textured rubber strap or titanium bracelet. The manufacturer will make twenty-two per year between 2022 and 2024 for a total of sixty-six pieces overall.

Prices: $340,000 (strap) and $385,000 (bracelet).

 

Specifications: Greubel Forsey Double Balancier Convexe


Movement: Hand-wound movement with two patents and high-end, hand-applied finishes throughout. These include frosted, polished beveling and countersinks, 
black treatment, multi-level, open-worked center bridge, black 
treatment, polished beveling and countersinks. Also, flat black polished steel differential bridge, gold plate with engraved limitation number, 
circular-grained, polished beveling and countersinks, straight-grained flanks, escapement platform inclined at a 30° angle, open-worked steel balance wheel bridges. Displays: hours and minutes, small seconds, 4-minutes spherical constant differential rotation, power-reserve (of 72 hours). Frequency: 21,600 vibrations/hour.

Case: 43.5mm by 13.75mm titanium with curved synthetic sapphire crystal, Three-dimensional, variable geometry-shaped bezel, hand-polished with hand-finished straight graining
, raised engraving “Double Balancier” and “Greubel Forsey.” Water resistant to 100 meters.

Dial: Three-dimensional, variable geometry hour ring with engraved and lacquered minute circle, black treatment, power-reserve indicator, engraved and lacquered.

Strap: Non-animal material, rubber with texture in relief, titanium folding clasp, engraved GF logo. On demand:
 3-row metal bracelet in titanium, folding clasp with integrated fine adjustment, engraved GF logo.

 

With the new Excellence Guilloché Main II, independent Swiss watchmaker Louis Erard adds a second watch with a hand crafted guilloché dial to its expanding series of limited edition models.

The new Louis Erard Excellence Guilloché Main II.

The new watch, featuring a stunning diamond pattern dial, follows last year’s Excellence Guilloché Main that features an equally dazzling three-dimensional check pattern guilloché dial. And while the newest watch in the series also spotlights its hand-wrought dial, it also marks the debut of a fully original Louis Erard design that has been realized by artisanal dial-maker Fehr in La Chaux-de-Fonds.

Unlike the earlier Excellence Guilloche Main, the newer edition focuses all attention to the dial pattern in part without displaying the Louis Erard name on the dial, a choice that echoes the 2021 Excellence piece the Le Regulator Louis Erard x atelier oi.

A Fehr artisan creates the dial using guilloché, a decorative art that originated in the sixteenth century. The artisan guides a chisel by hand to repeat patterns determined with a manual lathe cam. For this dial the pattern depicts an opened-up diamond with black flat spaces framed by a black track of minutes/seconds markers.

Louis Erard notes that this second Excellence Guilloché Main watch was designed according to Louis Erard board member and watch industry veteran Manuel Emch’s request that the design is fully original, and to “enhance and modernize traditional guilloché.”

Indeed, Louis Erard customized the watch’s dial production from scratch, inventing and manufacturing new cams and finishing the dial “from the first black varnishing to the final rhodium plating after the guilloché,” according to the brand.

A limited series of 99 pieces, the Louis Erard Excellence Guilloché Main II also features blued steel hands, a polished 42mm steel case with a clear sapphire caseback and water resistance to fifty meters. Inside Louis Erard fits a Sellita SW261-1 automatic movement.

With its Excellence series and ongoing, highly successful partnerships with watchmakers (including Vianney Halter and Alain Silberstein) and designers, this small Le Noirmont watchmaker continues to raise its profile among collectors in search of relatively affordable watches with truly original, eye-catching designs.

Price: CHF 3,900, or approximately $4,200.

 

Specifications: Louis Erard Excellence Guilloché Main II

Movement: Automatic Sellita SW261-1 caliber, 28,800 VpH (4Hz), élaboré grade movement, meticulously decorated, special openworked oscillating weight with black lacquered Louis Erard symbol, approx. 38 hours of power reserve.

Case: 42mm x 12.25mm polished stainless steel, 3 pieces, domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides, movement visible through the transparent caseback, water resistant up to a pressure of 50 meters, signature fir tree crown, caseback engraved with “Limited Edition 1 of 99”.

Dial: Matte black varnish, open diamond made by hand guilloché in the traditional way by Fehr & Cie SA (La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland), “Swiss Guilloché Main” transferred in powdered silver, signature fir tree hands in blued steel.

Strap: Black grained calf leather with tone-on-tone stitching, blue grained calf leather lining, polished stainless steel pin buckle, functional catch spring bars enabling the strap to be changed quickly.

Price: CHF 3,900, or approximately $4,200.