Armin Strom this week introduces Lady Beat, the independent Swiss watchmaker’s first watch designed with feminine customers in mind. And while the new collection aesthetically echoes Armin Strom’s existing Gravity Equal Force collection, with its open-dial three-bridge design, Armin Strom has built an all-new, less-complicated caliber and has placed it within a fairly thin new 38mm case, a first for the brand.
Armin Strom explains that the Lady Beat was designed in concert with female design consultants, who sought to answer the question: “What does a woman desire on her wrist?”
Thus, the new Lady Beat features an off-center dial that displays only a minute and hour hand with no markers except the company logo at 12 o’clock. This contrasts with the classic three-hand display with small seconds found on the Gravity Equal Force.
And, instead of powering the watch with a visible micro rotor (as on the Gravity Equal Force) Armin Strom has developed a full-sized central rotor and placed it on the back of the new Caliber ALA20.
And while the wearer can still eye the movement’s vibrating balance directly on the front of the Lady Beat, Armin Strom has removed the stop-works declutch system and novel ‘equal force’ motor barrel from the new caliber. This allowed Armin Strom to create a caliber for Lady Beat that is thinner than the movement inside the existing Gravity Equal Force.
Also contributing to the Lady Beat’s “soft shapes” design brief, Armin Strom replaced classic lugs in favor of an integrated strap. Circles and semi-circles replaced the earlier design’s angular shapes throughout.
“These soft, moon-like shapes fill the optics of this watch,” explains Armin Strom co-founder Claude Greisler. “Look closely and you will see a half-moon-shaped plate sharing the watch’s lower level with the mechanical elements, while a full moon-shaped subdial sits atop it.”
Conclusion: Armin Strom succeeds on its own terms with its first feminine watch as it avoids the all-too common watch design trap of simply adding gemstones to a smaller version of an existing model.
Armin Strom offers two Lady Beat models. One with a white dial and the other with a black dial.
Price: 16,900 CHF (about $18,600)
Specifications: Armin Strom Lady Beat
Movement: Automatic caliber ALA20, high-quality décor, 25,200 vph, seventy-hours of power reserve.
Case: 38mm by 11.65mm steel, sapphire crystal and case back with anti-reflective treatment. Water-resistance to 30 meters.
Dial: Offset in white or black with hand-finished steel hands.
Strap: Delivered with a bi-material rubber and Alcantara in satin white or black, and double-fold clasp in stainless steel.
Parmigiani Fleurier earlier this year underscored its technical mettle by adding the Tondagraph GT to its Tonda GT collection. That limited-edition chronograph features a large date display and, unusually, an annual calendar, all placed into a case inspired by the highly acclaimed Tonda Chronor Anniversaire watch, for which the Manufacture received the Chronograph Watch Prize from the GPHG in 2017.
For Fall 2020 Parmigiani Fleurier revisits that same fluted-bezel case, but makes it in rose gold and fits it with an impressive integrated chronograph built on the foundation of that award-winning Chronor Anniversaire.
The brand’s new Tondagraph GT Rose Gold Blue, houses Parmigiani Fleurier’s new PF071 movement, a COSC-certified, automatic chronograph with large date, that boasts all the specifications you’d expect from a high-end in-house integrated chronograph – the brand’s third – with such pedigree.
Thus, the new high-frequency (36,000 bph) caliber is built with a column wheel instead of a cam, utilizes a vertical clutch instead of the more common horizontal clutch, and secures its balance using a double-attached cross-through bridge rather than a single-point bridge.
Parmigiani Fleurier explains that this type of bridge attachment “minimizes the effect of impacts to the balance with gold inertia blocks and has been designed so that its height can be adjusted and adapted precisely to the rest of the movement.”
With its high frequency chronograph caliber, which is accurate to the nearest 10th of a second, Parmigiani Fleurier has added two additional markers and hands within the subdial at 6 o’clock for the tenths-of-a-second timing display.
Parmigiani Fleurier has also integrated the big date aperture directly into the movement rather than adding it as a module, which the brand says enhances its reliability.
On the dial the watchmaker blues its traditional hobnail-style “clou triangulaire” guilloche, while the back reveals the high-end finish it applies throughout the new caliber PF071. The clear sapphire on the back exposes the movement’s sunray satin pattern finish and the 22-karat gold oscillating weight with eye-catching “angel wing” bridges.
Parmigiani Fleurier is making the Tondagraph GT Rose Gold Blue as a limited edition of twenty-five pieces each on a blue rubber strap ($41,000) and also on a gold bracelet ($65,500).
Chronoswiss whets a chocolate-lover’s appetite with the latest edition of its Open Gear ReSec, a watch that boasts an interesting retrograde seconds display within an already unusual skeletonized regulator dial layout.
Not only does the Lucerne-based watchmaker dip the watch’s 44mm steel case in a chocolate-colored PVD coating, but it then sprinkles the ‘dial’ with a chili-colored textured red varnish – enhancing its attraction to the horological taste buds.
Unlike previous iterations of this Chronoswiss best seller, the new Open Gear ReSec Chocolate minimizes distractions with only a very small set of numbers on the dial at the retrograde seconds display. Hours and minutes are displayed more simply with (luminous) markers.
As Maik Panziera, Chronoswiss head of design, explains, the tasty chili and cranberry red dial is actually the watch’s mainplate. “The fine-grained, powdery appearance is achieved by sandblasting a red varnish mixed with a see-through pigment.”
Named for its premier function (ReSec stands for Retrograde Seconds), the watch’s jumping seconds hand operates in a half-circle, leaping from the thirty seconds position back to start its arc to complete counting each minute.
Chronoswiss places blackened bridges on the dial around the namesake retrograde seconds display. These bridges, which stand out clearly amid the chili red color, support the automatic Chronoswiss caliber C. 301 skeletonized open gear train wheels, which power the regulator hands. In regulator style (where minutes are the focus) the large minute hand circumnavigates the dial while the smaller hour hand is positioned at the 12 o’clock position.
In addition to the regulator layout, the Open Gear ReSec Chocolate features all the expected Chronoswiss design codes, including a three-dimensional dial, onion crown and fluted bezel.
For collectors not sold on this latest horological nugget from Chronoswiss, the watchmaker adds another tasty bonus: Every customer who buys this watch, and also registers for the Chronoswiss three-year international warranty, will also receive a one-year (quarterly) chocolate subscription from Max Chocolatier, the Lucerne shop that inspired the watchmaker’s latest design. Price: $9,900.
Case: 44mm x 13.35mm 17-piece stainless steel case with brown PVD coating and satin finish. Bezel sand-blasted matte with partial knurling and curved, double-coated anti-reflective sapphire crystal, screw-down case back with satin finish and sapphire crystal, onion crown, water resistance up to 100 meters, strap holders screwed down with patented Autobloc system.
Movement: Chronoswiss caliber C. 301, automatic, with stop seconds, skeletonized and galvanic-black-plated with Côtes de Genève and ball bearing, polished pallet lever, escape wheel and screws; bridges and plates with perlage.
Dial: Elaborate 42-part construction on two levels: bottom level red varnish, upper level featuring screwed-on skeletonized train wheel bridges and funnel-like construction for hour display, as well as a retrograde seconds display and cylinder-shaped SuperLuminova indexes. Off-center hours at 12, central minutes, retrograde seconds at 6.
Strap: Calf leather, hand-sewn.
The Open Gear ReSec Chocolate is limited to fifty timepieces. Price: $9,900.
In its annual ode to the Italian boat maker Riva, and its sporty wood Runabout, Frederique Constant this year re-introduces a chronograph to the collection. The new Runabout RHS Chronograph Automatic celebrates the partnership between Riva and Frederique Constant and will be made as two limited series each composed of 2,888 pieces. The limited editions will feature a tri-compax chronograph dial layout (12 o’clock – 6 o’clock – 9 o’clock) powered by Geneva watchmaker’s ETA Valjoux-based automatic FC-392 chronograph caliber.
Two new 42mm steel-cased Runabout RHS Chronograph Automatic models will share all their specifications internally, but will differ by dial hue, seconds hand coloring and a matching strap.
One model will offer a guilloché anthracite grey dial with grey strap while the second model will feature silvered guilloché dial and blue strap. Similarly, the grey-dialed model will sport a large central seconds hand in light blue steel while the silvered dial model will offer a seconds hand in dark blue.
Frederique Constant has always been careful to treat its limited editions with traditionalmarkings expected by collectors. That’s why it marks each case with its individual serial as well as the total production number (2,888).
But in addition to these markings, collectors will find original imprint representing the official Riva Historical Society flag on the sapphire crystal of the watch.
The Geneva-based watchmaker says that the choice to revisit the chronograph with this year’s special edition Riva collaboration is meant to echo that fact that starting in 1962 Riva produced certain boats with a powerful dual-motor (2 x 185 bhp) outfitted to enjoy water sports on Lake Iseo, birthplace of the Riva.
Frederique Constant will present each watch in a special case with a miniature replica of the legendary Riva moored alongside it.
Parmigiani Fleurier introduces a sportier Tonda with the release of its new Tondagraph GT, a steel-cased chronograph inspired by the excellent Tonda Chronor, which won the Chronograph Watch Prize from the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in 2017.
The watchmaker also adds the Tonda GT, a three-hand version of the new model, a more leisurely design to be made as a limited edition in both a steel and a rose gold case.
Both the chronograph and three-hand model (with date) measure 42mm in diameter and feature a distinctive Parmigiani Fleurier “clou triangulaire” guilloché dial, a three-dimensional hobnail-type pattern that serves to nicely separate each dial display.
Parmigiani Fleurier powers its new sporty chronograph with the in-house PF043 automatic caliber that features a chronograph with, unusually, an annual calendar. As a reminder, an annual calendar shows the correct date and day all year, with only one correction required (on February 29). Combining these features places the watch among only a few high-end Swiss Made watches available with both these features.
Two subdials are dedicated to the chronograph display; the display at 3 o’clock is shared by the month aperture and the running seconds.
Parmigiani Fleurier has accented the large date and month displays with an orange color to both highlight and separate that function visually from the time and the chronograph timing. In fact, ‘annual calendar’ appears – in orange –within the subdial to visually tie the function together.
The case itself, designed by Dino Modolo, reprises the fluted bezel seen on the brand’s Toric models and on at least one model of the limited edition Tonda Chronor, but with smoother curved lugs that perfectly integrate the case with the new steel bracelet.
The dial features delta-shaped hands with a black luminescent coating. Water resistant to 100 meters, the Tondagraph GT also offers a screw-down crown and a 45-hour power reserve.
Parmigiani Fleurier’s PF043 automatic movement, with a power reserve of forty-five hours, powers the watch and is finished with Côtes de Genève stripes visible through the open caseback. Price: $18,500 (on an integrated rubber strap) and $19,500 (bracelet). The Tondagraph GT is limited to 200 pieces.
The Tonda GT offers a cleaner guilloche dial finished with the same pattern as the chronograph, but here the dial underscores a simple hour and minute hands display with a large date at 12 o’clock and a small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock. Parmigiani Fleurier’s PF044 automatic movement, with a power reserve of forty-five hours, powers the watch.
Unlike the chronograph, the Tonda GT will be made in both steel and rose gold. The latter precious metal model further differentiates itself with a stunning blue dial and can be had with either a gold bracelet or a sporty blue rubber strap matching the dial. The Tonda GT Steel, likewise, is available with a steel bracelet or a black rubber strap.
The Tonda GT Rose Gold Blue is limited to 150 pieces, while the steel model is limited to 250 pieces. Prices: $13,500 (Tonda GT Steel on rubber strap), $14,500 (Tonda GT Steel on bracelet), $49,500 (Tonda GT, blue dial on a rose gold bracelet, and $24,900 (Tonda GT, blue dial in gold case on rubber). Availability: Pre-order now with delivery in August (Tonda GT with bracelet only in September).
I would like to share a hopeful story with you about an American Master Watchmaker working to achieve his lifelong dream.
For the past forty-five years, Don Loke has enjoyed a long and successful career as a professional master watchmaker and most recently has launched D Loke, his eponymous bespoke watch collection.
Loke’s deep watchmaking training and industry history has prepared him well for this most recent venture.
Don Loke graduated in 1978 from the Bowman Technical School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and then worked with a master watchmaker in Meriden, Connecticut.
After this experience, he went back to Bowman and took clock making courses to finally finish in 1984. After Lancaster, Loke attended WOSTEP, the Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Educational Program, in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, where he graduated first in his class.
Learning from Masters
While he was at school he met Michel Parmigiani and Philippe Dufour—two master watchmakers and renowned personalities in the Swiss luxury watch industry.
This was just the beginning. Post-graduation, he was invited by Breguet and Jaeger-LeCoultre for training in Switzerland and became the official after-sale person for Breguet in the U.S. when it was still owned by Chaumet. He also worked for two years with Master Watchmaker Dennis Harmon, in Waterbury, Connecticut, after which he became Technical Director of movement maker ETA for the American market. Loke soon joined UTAC Americas (which distributed Audemars Piguet, Breguet, Bertolucci, and Girard-Perregaux) as its technical director.
During this time, Loke also learned from Master Watchmaker Daniel Roth in Switzerland, who taught him the ins-and-outs of the highly complex tourbillon mechanism. By the mid-1990s, Loke worked with prominent companies such as Sotheby’s, Christie’s, Gerald Genta, and Daniel Roth.
When Loke found out that Michel Parmigiani was striking out on his own, Loke reached out to his old friend and eventually became the U.S. representative for Parmigiani Fleurier for more than six years. Don even interacted with legendary horologist George Daniels, discussing his new escapement and the double-wheel escapement Loke eventually developed. After seven years, he turned the escapement into a Solidworks program.
When Don Loke is not working on his own bespoke projects, he services incredible watches, ranging from minute repeaters to chronographs. He also restores intricate timepieces that require special attention, recreating parts from scratch to make identical versions of the original components. At the same time, he currently is in charge of the North American Service Center for Louis Moinet—a brand that makes exceptional watches that range between $80,000 and $350,000.
As you can see, Loke’s specialty is working on high-complication timepieces and his passion for watches and watchmaking has only augmented over the decades.
Own brand: D Loke
After all these years of dedicating his time to other brands and watches, Don Loke recently began to make eponymous bespoke watches. He established two shops. One is the “clean room” to house machinery for fine turnings, cuttings, wheel making, and pinion producing. He has a microscope for measuring, a guilloché machine with forty-two discs for dial decorating, and an oven for enameling.
This room is also where Don Loke stores his sketches, drawing, layouts, and 3D modeling. The other is the “dirty room” for more heavy type work. Prototyping takes place at his shops and production models are executed with CNC technology.
The first D Loke watch model is a chronograph dress watch—an idea Don Loke stored in the back of his mind for decades—where the chronograph pushers are hidden from sight.
Inside the 5 ATM water-resistant titanium case is a dial with asymmetric sub-dials and ornately cut center hands resembling blades. The rich blue details on the dial change color depending on the light, and there’s a crown at 9 o’clock to rotate the inner timing bezel.
The limited edition D Loke dress chronographs run on chronometer-rated Concepto calibers, a hybrid Swiss movement based on the ETA Valjoux 7750.
The watches took six months from design to manufacturing, and while the watch is made in Switzerland, the quality control and finishing are done in the U.S. There are twenty-five examples of the white-dial version, twenty-five examples of the white dial (with a blue bezel) version, and 300 examples of the blue dial version.
Although the watches are currently only available for purchase directly from Don Loke, his goal is to be in stores like Manfredi Jewels or Betteridge.
Loke is already working on his second watch model and is currently completing the prototype of a new lever escapement. At the heart of the watch will be a 100% proprietary movement, based on Don Loke’s design and technical drawings – his very own invention.
Loke says he will source handmade gold dials from J.N. Shapiro in California. As a result, this will be a handmade watch made entirely in the United States. Don expects to manufacture five prototypes in the first year and he will become the first American watchmaker to make his own high-end watch powered by his own movement. The aim is to present this timepiece to the U.S. market by the end of 2020 with a price tag of $65,000 to $75,000.
The third D Loke watch model will be a model with a double pivoted and spring detente escapement—invented by Don Loke based on conversations he had with George Daniels.
Yet again, this is his invention, with designs and technical drawings built from scratch. With already twenty-five orders in the books for this upcoming watch model, the American market should see it by the second quarter of 2021 with a price tag of $175,000.
Ultimately, it is Don’s dream to have his own watch on his wrist. Another goal of his is to bring his three children into the business. All are highly skilled engineers.
With all of these ideas and designs, including a future tourbillon piece, Loke is going to need plenty of talent and skill.
I love this spirit of entrepreneurship, and I wish Don Loke the very best and abundant success with his new company. Stay tuned for the end of the year when he unveils his new watches.
Laurent Martinez is the proprietor of Laurent Fine Watches Greenwich, Connecticut. Read more by him at blog.laurentfinewatches.com (where this article first appeared) or visit his store’s site at www.laurentfinewatches.com
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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
For many years Precision Engineering AG, a sister company of H. Moser & Cie., has been making balance springs for MB&F. These two high-profile independent watchmakers today expand their ties well beyond sharing component-makers by each launching a watch with functions and designs originally found on watches from both companies.
Thus, on the new Endeavour Cylindrical Tourbillon H. Moser × MB&F the wearer sees a cylindrical tourbillon and tilted dial that immediately recalls the MB&F LM Thunderdome or its Flying-T.
Likewise, on the new LM101 MB&F × H. Moser we see the highly recognizable MB&F suspended balance flying above a trademark H. Moser fumé dial with minimalized H. Moser hands indicating both time and power reserve.
Both companies have jointly created these two new watches and will make them available in several versions with each issued in a fifteen-piece limited series. Fifteen signifies the 15th anniversary of MB&F and the fifteenth anniversary of H. Moser & Cie.’s re-launch.
Endeavour Cylindrical Tourbillon H. Moser × MB&F
For this 42mm model, H. Moser & Cie. takes the MB&F concept of three-dimensional movements to another technical level with a one-minute flying tourbillon (with the aforementioned cylindrical balance) popping out of an aperture at 12 o’clock.
Down at 6 o’clock we see a 40-degree tilted dial, lifted directly from MB&F’s LM Thunderdome or Flying –T.Rather than the white lacquer dial used by MB&F, here we find clear sapphire marked only by the H. Moser name, two hands and the twelve hour markers.
H. Moser CEO Edouard Meylan explains that his company has “Moserized the MB&F universe by developing a sapphire subdial, which melts into the background so as to highlight the beauty of our fumé dials.”
H. Moser will make the watch available in five different versions cased in steel and with a selection of favorite H. Moser fumé dials: Funky Blue, Cosmic Green, Burgundy, Off-White or Ice Blue.
LM101 MB&F × H. Moser
For its part in the cooperative venture, MB&F has outfitted its Legacy Machine 101 with distinctive H. Moser elements.
MB&F has retained the watch’s suspended flying balance, but has removed its own logo as well as the LM101’s white domed subdials, replacing them with an H. Moser fumé dial and three H. Moser hands showing hours, minutes power reserve.
MB&F chose four fumé dials to illustrate the watch’s cooperative nature: Red, Cosmic Green, Aqua Blue and Funky Blue. MB&F also retained the 40mm by 16mm steel case and domed sapphire crystal.
MB&F has also redesigned the LM101’s large suspended balance wheel by adding a Straumann double balance spring produced by Precision Engineering AG, the component maker that shares ownership with H. Moser. MB&F says the new spring actually improves the movement’s precision and isochronism while also reducing friction.
And there’s more ‘Mosering’ visible on this new LM101 MB&F × H. Moser. Rather than using a Kari Voutilainen finish, MB&F has supplied a contemporary NAC treatment to the movement, which is visible from the clear sapphire caseback.
Moser CEO Edouard Meylan and MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser compare their new creations to a “duet recital in the form of an exceptional concerto for devotees of fine watchmaking.”
Clearly, the two independent watchmakers are making beautiful music together.
The two models are available in several versions, each issued in a fifteen-piece limited series. Prices: $79,000 (Endeavour Cylindrical Tourbillon H. Moser × MB&F) and $52,000 (LM101 MB&F × H. Moser).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.