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This year more than fifty watchmakers have created timepieces for the Only Watch charity auction, which commences Saturday, November 6, in Geneva. Christie’s will auction these incredible watches to raise funds that benefit research in the battle against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

While you may have seen a few of the watches set for auction earlier this year when Only Watch announced them, we thought you’d enjoy seeing many of these inspired designed again just ahead of the event.

The watches will tour the globe starting September 22 in Monaco, and can then be seen in exhibitions in Dubai (September 30 to October 3), Tokyo (October 8 to 10), Singapore (October 15 to 20), Hong Kong (October 25 to 27), Macau (October 28) and finally back in Geneva on November 4-6. Click here for details about the Only Watch world tour.

Today, we highlight the offering from H. Moser & Cie., which has placed its much-acclaimed Cylindrical Tourbillon made in partnership with MB&F last year into the exceptional 40mm H. Moser Streamliner steel case.

To review, the caliber here is designed as sculptural work of art and is topped with a domed sapphire crystal. It features a one-minute flying tourbillon equipped with H. Moser’s cylindrical hairspring, produced by Precision Engineering AG, H. Moser & Cie.’s sister company.

And with the case and bracelet, with its articulated links and brushed and polished finishing, also weighing in as functional eye-candy, we expect this watch to exceed its auction estimate.

Only Watch Auction Estimate: CHF 60,000 – CHF 80,000.

By Laurent Martinez

I would like to share with you a recent conversation I had with John Demsey, executive group president at the Estée Lauder Companies.

Demsey is well-versed in beauty, luxury, and creativity, so it may not come as a surprise that John is a watch guy too, with a love of timepieces that stretches back to his childhood.

At six years old, Demsey got his first watch, which was a Timex, and as he recalls it, a big deal. He came into possession of his second watch as a teenager during a trip to Japan when he picked up a special edition Seiko watch made for the Osaka Expo 1970 world fair.

As LED became the fashionable watch technology of the decade, John’s father then gave him a futuristic Pulsar timepiece.

However, what came next was Demsey’s “first real watch,” and it’s what most of us will agree is an absolute grail-worthy piece.

On his sixteenth birthday, Demsey’s father gifted him a Royal Oak, the very one that Gerald Genta designed for Audemars Piguet. Not only did John get a first-generation Royal Oak, but his dad bought himself a matching one too.

On his sixteenth birthday, Demsey’s father gifted him a Royal Oak.

Hearing John tell the story, you can feel the emotion that surrounds this special occasion. It’s a memory that is as vivid and clear as if it happened yesterday. I love hearing about fathers and sons owning identical watches; I find it to be a beautiful and symbolic expression of tight familial bonds and being connected by time. For John, watches represent a continuation of life when special pieces are handed down from generation to generation.

Design appreciation

Watches are, of course, a combination of beautiful art and industrial techniques, which parallels Demsey’s upbringing with a mother who was a painter and a father who ran a steel processing plant. His appreciation for design and beauty goes far beyond timepieces, as John is also an avid collector of art, photography and furniture.

For Demsey, watches are one of the few objects that men can wear to signify personal style. He learned from an early age about the subtle cues a watch could tell another person. It can speak volumes about who the wearer is, what he finds stylish, how he regards time, and what his passions are. On a recent trip to Japan for example, Demsey observed the frequent pairing of designer jeans and Rolex Sea-Dweller watches.

Demsey also associates watches with certain periods of life, especially with milestone events like graduation, career achievements, and so on. Buying a special watch is a way to give added significance to an event and it can also be a meaningful way to memorialize certain places, experiences and people. 

Similar to other collectors, John Demsey’s collecting journey has ebbed and flowed according to changing personal tastes and preferences. His focus has always been on the design of the watch, whether the color, bracelet, or style, rather than movements or timekeeping.

For example, he went through a period of collecting every single rendition of Andy Warhol Piaget watches—in seven colors. He found the design so special that he even custom-ordered dials, which is telling of John’s appreciation for timepieces with unique style.

Demsey’s Andy Warhol Piaget watches, plus a Patek Philippe Ellipse.

The Classics

But that’s not to say he doesn’t appreciate the classic icons either. He’s a big fan of Rolex, especially Daytona “Paul Newman” chronographs, and given his early discovery of Audemars Piguet’s famed sports watch, he’s also a fan of Gerald Genta hits like the Royal Oak and the Nautilus.

Up close on an ‘Andy Warhol’ Piaget.

He enjoys the hunt of finding a special watch that few have. His decisions are not random but purposeful, as he takes the time to stay up-to-date with the watch market. He follows auction houses, reads Hodinkee and IW Magazine, and his social media feed includes watch brands and watch influencers. A good watch purchase for John is a mix of an emotional connection, a striking aesthetic, and topnotch quality.

While he used to stick to the “one in, one out” rule when collecting watches to ensure that they all got good wrist time. While the guideline has changed slightly to “three in, one out,” Demsey still believes that watches should be worn and not locked away in a safe. He doesn’t buy them for a future return on investment but simply because he loves them. He purchases watches using a variety of sources, including auctions, dealers, boutiques, online platforms, and can sometimes get an insider’s tip on an available piece via a phone call too. However, he says that his best watches were found during trips to Milan and Rome.

Three very special Rolexes.

When I asked Demsey how he feels about luxury watch brands selling their timepieces online, he doesn’t think anything can replace the experience of an in-boutique purchase. Trying on watches in a store or discovering a hidden timepiece in the back of the shop is all part of the excitement of in-person watch shopping. Yes, you can certainly find and buy watches easier online and the Internet can help you locate a seldom-seen reference, but the sense of discovery and anticipation can also be lost.

However, the online watch world is a great place to get educated about watches. For example, if Demsey finds something he likes, he does his research online first to make sure prices and other details are in order before pulling the trigger.

It’s no secret that watch buying and collecting has flourished over the last fifteen years or so. Demsey believes that this phenomenon is fueled in part by people seeking objects that are timeless in design and built to last. We’re bombarded with so many disposable items today that grounding ourselves with beautiful and long-lasting pieces like art, furniture or watches can give immense pleasure.

Independents

The watch market is certainly not immune to fleeting trends; we’ve witnessed so many watch styles over the decades, from the understated and restrained to the opulent and oversized. Gold metals moved aside for white metals, only to come back again in full force. Demsey believes that there will be a rebirth of the aerodynamic designs that were prevalent in the 1970s joined by the smaller Art Deco-inspired pieces that gained prominence in the 1930s.

Demsey also admires exclusive independent watchmakers like F.P. Journe that find their voice and produce small batches of high-quality timepieces for an enthusiastic following. In fact, during these past eighteen months, Demsey became even more interested in watches. This is despite being tethered to his at-home computer screen where the time is always on display and he has fewer occasions to wear his watches out in the world. Yet, he discovered new watch brands and models, just like the H. Moser & Cie piece strapped around his wrist during our interview. He clicked with the brand, just like he did with Urban Jürgensen and Ressence.

Demsey’s H. Moser & Cie Streamliner.

After hearing John speak during our interview, I have a sense that his appreciation of art, love of collecting, and emotional connection to beautiful objects were rooted at a young age and have become an integral part of his life. His enthusiasm for watches is one way in which he expresses his passion for great style and it was a pleasure to learn about his story.

 

Laurent Martinez is the proprietor of Laurent Fine Watches in Greenwich, Connecticut. Read more by him at blog.laurentfinewatches.com or visit his store’s site at www.laurentfinewatches.com

 

 

Greubel Forsey today unveils a new GMT Earth sporting a contemporary blackened titanium case, a black dial and black bridges.

The dark titanium Greubel Forsey GMT Earth.

A limited edition of eleven pieces, the newly darkened GMT Earth is Greubel Forsey’s third and final interpretation of the groundbreaking watch. When it first appeared in 2011 it featured a partial view of its dial-set titanium globe, which displays time around the world. Seven years later, in 2018, Greubel Forsey set the orb within a clear sapphire frame, which allowed unobstructed views of the laser-engraved globe.

The GMT collection has expanded in the years since that debut and now also includes the GMT Sport, the GMT Quadruple Tourbillon and the GMT.

This latest and final GMT Earth, with its titanium case, is the lightest of the trio (at 117 grams) when compared to the earlier white gold and platinum-cased editions. Titanium also brings with it full non-magnetic and hypoallergenic properties.

Darkest yet

The dial here is the darkest we’ve seen in the GMT collection. Underscoring its black theme, Greubel Forsey uses a black treatment to darken the globe, all the frosted bridges, the mainplate and the sectorial subdials. Even the natural rubber strap is black.

As a reminder, the GMT Earth features four primary displays on its dial side. These include the off-center hours, minutes and seconds display, the red-handed GMT indicator, the power reserve indicator (near the crown) and of course the globe.

 

Situated between 7 o’clock and 9 o’clock, the Earth, which rotates once every 24 hours, features an engraved sapphire ring around the equator that acts as a day/night indication. This means you can quickly determine which hemisphere is in the daytime and which is at night.

 

A peek through the side of the case reveals the globe’s equator. And of course a wearer can enjoy the whirling Tourbillon 24 Secondes, positioned just below the power reserve display, which contributes to the watch’s high level of precision. Price: CHF 590,000.

Specifications: Greubel Forsey GMT Earth


(Limited edition of 11 pieces)

Movement: Greubel Forsey GMT with Tourbillon inclined at a 25 angle 1 rotation in 24 seconds. 72-hour power reserve, 21,600-vph frequency

Case: 45.50mm
 by 16.18mm titanium with titanium plates, engraved, hand-finished with text, screwed to the caseband, three-dimensional, asymmetrical, synthetic sapphire crystal bezel, water resistant to 30 meters.

Dial: Multi-level hour-ring in synthetic sapphire, galvanic growth hour indexes, engraved and lacquered minutes and small seconds, power-reserve and GMT indicators in gold, engraved and lacquered, circular-grained with black treatment.  Rotating globe with day-and-night UTC indicator in synthetic sapphire, engraved and lacquered. Indications: GMT, 2nd time zone, rotating globe with universal time and day-and-night, complete and global view from northern to southern hemisphere, universal time on 24 time zones, summer and winter time, cities observing summer time, hours and minutes, small seconds, power-reserve.

Strap: Rubber or hand-sewn alligator and titanium folding clasp, engraved with the GF logo.

Price: CHF 590,000.

By Michael Thompson

With this edition of BackStory we’re flipping the column’s conceit on its head.

The Marco Lang Zweigesicht-1 (the watch’s name means ‘two-faced’ in German) allows the wearer to easily flip the watch as desired. Below, you’re looking at the watch’s handcrafted movement. While this view of the watch can remain pressed against your wrist to instead expose a beautiful, classic three-hand dial, Marco Lang understands that many enthusiasts prefer to gaze at their watch’s caliber.

The Marco Lang Zweigesicht-1, in steel.

Lang’s very clever system means the watch’s owner can pull both sides of the strap away from the case, vertically flip the case (keeping the crown at the right side) and snap it back into place.

As you can see, Lang’s movement also includes a dial with a Grand Feu enamel minute hand and hour hand on a skeletonized silver dial. This sits atop dual barrels, a stunning gold-hued mainplate and three steel floating bridges that define the movement’s layout and essentially tie together all the necessary components. Lang plays with his materials, alternating polished, ground or blued steel with red rubies and wheels made of a solid 14-karat gold alloy.

The movement, showing the traditional back view.

Unusual Indicator

Among these nicely finished components, note the ‘four-legged’ balance shaped to resemble a Gothic church window. If you missed this flourish at first glance, perhaps you’re eyes first lit on the odd series of blued hands at the movement’s 9 o’clock position. 

This component is a shock indicator. Any impacts on the watch are essentially recorded and displayed with the quite visible handspring mechanism loaded with four blue hands. A small weight ensures the deflection of two forks, which in turn move two hands each. These are held in their deflected position at their tips by exposed teeth, which lock the hands into place. The wearer can reset the system at any time using a corrector.

A view of the watch’s shock indicator components.

This unusual invention means the wearer can note physical shocks to the movement and then adjust his actions as needed or desired.

This is just one example of Lang’s vow to personalize his designs to each Zweigesicht-1 owner. He offers the watch is any of three case materials (steel, rose gold and platinum) and will customize the shapes and materials of the hands, the engravings in the movement and case, and will even offer a choice of polishes.

The Marco Lang Zweigesicht-1, showing traditional dial view, rose gold edition

The Essentials:

Case: 40mm by 12.5mm steel, rose gold or platinum, sapphire crystals, device to remove the strap and wear the watch movement side up.

Movement: Marco Lang Caliber ml-01, 34mm by 4.4mm, 21,600 bph, 70-hour power reserve, set with 27 rubies and 1 diamond. Balance/escapement: Free four-leg balance with ex-center regulation, blued Breguet hairspring, lever escapement (20.5) with one-armed balance lever, second hand stop, and resettable shock indication in 4 directions. Plate can be engraved as requested.

Price: Starting at 50,000 euros, or about $58,000.

 

Seiko’s partnership with the U.S.-based sports clothing and accessories brand Rowing Blazers, announced earlier this summer, resulted in three colorful automatic Seiko 5 Sports watch designs. Two of the watches are limited editions and one model is an ongoing ‘special edition.’

The Seiko 5 Sport-Rowing Blazers trio.

The collaboration offers three distinctive bezels on a 42.5mm steel case with a black Seiko 5 Sports day-date dial with its crown at 4 o’clock. The collaboration includes an unusual red and white seconds hand alongside the Seiko 5’s characteristic wide hour and minute hands.

Also new here is the Rowing Blazers logo on the dial. Inside Seiko fits its ultra-reliable automatic Caliber 4R36 with 41-hour power reserve.

The collection, developed in collaboration with Rowing Blazers founder and creative director Jack Carlson and Seiko’s product development team, features three unidirectional bezel designs: a checkered rally pattern (SRPG49), a red zigzag Rowing Blazers motif (SRPG51) and a four-color red, blue, yellow and green design (SRPG53).

(See our interview with Carlson below for insight into how and why he designed the Seiko-Rowing Blazers collection.)

The latter design is on the special edition model that is not limited in number. Seiko includes a rainbow, green or black nylon strap with each steel bracelet watch.

“Collaborating with Seiko is a dream come true,” says Rowing Blazers founder Jack Carlson. “I have a small collection of both new and vintage Seikos, and I’m obsessed with the brand. This is our first real foray into the world of watches — though we often sell vintage Seikos on our site — and I couldn’t imagine a better partnership.”

As a bonus, each watch is emblazoned on its caseback with a skeleton as a reminder that time flies (a memento mori). Price: $495.

 

Seiko’s Seismic Shift

By James Henderson

By the time you will read this, what has been perhaps one of the most seismic shifts in the ever-growing watch subculture that is the Seiko 5 Sport series will have already happened. In fairness, there have been and will continue to be Seiko 5 Sports models put out in limited edition series. That being said, the majority of them are targeted to a decidedly wider, easier to sell-to demographic.

More to the point, Rowing Blazers has built its fan base (I am a proud member) by decidedly swimming against the current of the obvious. So while it would have been easy to take a basic watch and throw the Rowing Blazers name on it, the Rowing Blazers Seiko 5 capsule did something more.

Rowing Blazers founder Jack Carlson and vintage watch expert Eric Wind rolled up their sleeves and came up with not one, not two, but three unique watches that got watch fans in North America and beyond so worked up that they sold out faster than Wonka bars when everyone was looking for golden tickets.

Although your best chance to get one of these nifty time machines is to scour the various secondary market places, the powers that be here at Isochron Media thought you might enjoy a bit of background on what has proven to be the Seiko 5 equivalent of what happened when the guy said “What if we sliced the bread before we sold it?”

Not unlike when Smith met Wesson, you and Eric Wind have a bit of a story. How did you two meet?

Jack Carlson – Eric and I met on the first day of our freshman year in college, at Georgetown in 2005. We became fast friends. I even persuaded Eric to try out for the rowing team. Eric’s rowing career was brief, but we remained great friends. We were both in the School of Foreign Service; Eric was studying Farsi, and I was studying Chinese.

After Georgetown, I did a PhD at Oxford in archaeology, and while I was there, Eric popped over for a year to do a one-year MBA. I was honored to be the best man at Eric’s wedding to his amazing wife Christine. Aside from being a great friend, Eric has also been my watch consigliere and a great supporter of the Rowing Blazers brand since we launched four years ago. Eric sources and curates many of the vintage watches we sell at Rowing Blazers, and, of course, we also worked together on the Seiko collaboration!

What was the inspiration for the capsule?

I love Seiko, and I’ve been a vintage Seiko collector for a while now. So, it was an honor to have the opportunity to work together. I wanted everything we created to feel timeless, classic, and wearable. But I also wanted them to be fun, a little unexpected, and a little irreverent.

Color and pattern are very important to Rowing Blazers as a brand; and I wanted the capsule to reflect that. The four-color bezel was just something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. It’s so simple, but also fun and unique. It’s a very ‘90s vibe, very nostalgic, like a lot of what we do at Rowing Blazers.

The Rally bezel is inspired by some of my favorite vintage Seikos. Whenever we collaborate with a brand with a rich history and heritage like Seiko, I always try to tap into that history, and to bring some aspects of it that might not be getting a lot of love or attention currently to the surface. And the zig-zag artillery stripe is one of our brand codes. We’ve never rendered it in a circular format before, but it came out brilliantly.

Why the Seiko 5?

The Seiko 5 Sports are a great canvas to work on. We can do a lot of fun things, and the result is still classic, wearable, and a relatively accessible price point, which I think is great for our first watch collaboration.

Are there possible future collaborations?

Yes! Several exciting things in the works! Stay tuned!

 

Specifications: Seiko 5 Sports Rowing Blazers

(Limited Edition of 500 pieces (SRPG49/SRPG51) and Special Edition (SRPG53)

Movement: Automatic Caliber 4R36, 21,600 vph, power reserve of approximately 41 hours.

Case: 42.5mm steel with limited edition screw-down see-through caseback, water-resistant to 100 meters.

Dial: Black with day-date, LumiBrite hands and markers, red-striped seconds hand, limited edition screw down see-through caseback.

Bracelet and strap: Stainless steel with tri-fold push-button release clasp. Additional green nylon strap included with SRPG49, additional multi-color nylon strap included with SRPG53 and additional black nylon strap included with SRPG53.

Price: $495

(Editor note: Benrus has discontinued selling this watch. “Unfortunately there was a question around the movement and its authenticity,” according to a Benrus publicist. “Out of an abundance of caution Benrus has removed this product and is conducting further research.”)

Mechanical alarm watches combine a truly useful timekeeping function with the collector’s love of automatic or manual-wind movements. This week the recently revived watchmaker Benrus, founded in New York in 1921, debuts a superb retro-inspired alarm watch that offers these enticements, but also adds another compelling component: a vintage movement.

Inside the Benrus Wrist Alarm you’ll find a fully rebuilt A. Schild manual-wind movement from the 1970s.Thus, inside the new Benrus Wrist Alarm you’ll find a fully rebuilt A. Schild 1931 manual-wind movement from the 1970s. Benrus is utilizing movements that were never used and have been carefully disassembled and fully serviced in Switzerland to assure they are operating as if they were new. More than 330,000 original AS 1931 movements were sold between 1970 and 1974, according to Benrus, which offers more details about the history of the original movement on its website.

The new 38mm steel Benrus Wrist Alarm allows the wearer to set the alarm hand as desired using the crown at the 2 o’clock position. After winding the alarm with the same crown, the user can expect a fairly loud buzz for about ten seconds at the chosen time.

The watch itself echoes the look of a Benrus alarm watch circa 1956. Within its steel case you’ll see an off-white linen patterned dial, applied polished stainless steel numerals and markers and domed sapphire crystal.

Benrus sets the Wrist Alarm with a dark blue genuine leather strap with deployant buckle. The watch is water resistant to 50 meters and has an enhanced 50-hour power reserve. Benrus will make 500 Wrist Alarms. Price: $1,295.

(Please see note at the top of this story regarding the availability of this watch.) 

 

Watchmakers have been multiplying their automotive and motorsports collaborations in recent years. In this four-part series, we review a few of the most prominent timekeeping/racing alliances.

 

By Y-Jean Mun-DelSalle

For many connoisseurs, the love for watches and cars often go hand in hand. The similarities are endless: Performance, precision, complex engines, material innovation, new technologies, stunning design and the pursuit of excellence. Horological brands are rarely without a carmaker or racing team by their side.

This is not a new phenomenon. The watch and automobile industries have a long history of collaboration.

Starting out of necessity, watchmakers began working with car manufacturers to supply dashboard clocks. Horological brands then started partnering with motor racing teams as official timekeepers, from recording lap times to race times, and automotive timepieces have become an accepted part of watch companies’ marketing strategies.

Today, watchmakers are creating timepieces to pay tribute to a specific car model, race, racing driver or event. In this special three-part series, we’ll take a closer look at the automotive alliances forged by Bell & Ross, B.R.M Chronographes, Casio, Ernst Benz, Girard-Perregaux, Richard Mille and TAG Heuer.

This week, we highlight Bell & Ross and B.R.M Chronographes.

 

Bell & Ross 

Since 2016, Bell & Ross has partnered with the Renault F1 Team – rebranded the Alpine F1 Team after the famous racing cars. This year Bell & Ross has become its official timekeeper, releasing ultra-sporty watches every racing season.

The Bell & Ross BR X1 Tourbillon RS 17, cased in forged carbon.

Launching the Alpine F1 Team collection this year, Bell & Ross welcomes a sixth generation of Renault timepieces. The three A521 chronographs – referencing the current Alpine A521 single-seater – echo Alpine’s visual identity, especially the constructor’s blue, black and white color codes and the advanced materials tested on F1 cars.

Common features may be found on the vintage round BR V3-94 and the square BR 03-94 timekeepers, both in steel: two stopwatch counters reflect the racing car’s wheel rims, the counterweight of the central second hand adopts Alpine’s stylized “A” and a tiny red, white and blue flag at six o’clock recalls Alpine’s French origins.

One of three Bell & Ross A521 chronographs, all referencing the current Alpine A521 single-seater.

In a limited edition of fifty pieces, the more sophisticated BR-X1 in titanium, ceramic and rubber showcases ergonomic toggle push-buttons reminiscent of the paddles on a F1 racing car steering wheel, while a rubber shell protects the case from impacts. The open-worked dial offers a glimpse inside the skeleton mechanism that features a symbolic X-shaped central bridge. Alpine F1 Team members will wear these watches throughout 2021.

Side view of the Bell & Ross BR-X1 RS19 chronograph, showing Renault colors.

Last November, Bell & Ross initiated a collaboration with Bollinger Motors, an American electric vehicle maker founded in 2014 by Robert Bollinger. Bell & Ross paired the BR 03-92 Black Matte timepiece with the off-road Bollinger B1 SUV, both taking the square shape, functionality and minimalism to the extreme.

Bell & Ross has paired the BR 03-92 Black Matte timepiece with the off-road Bollinger B1 SUV.

“If the BR 03 were a car, it would be this one,” says Bruno Belamich, Bell & Ross creative director and co-founder. “The Bollinger B1 is to the automobile what the BR 03 is to watchmaking: a 100% utility object designed by engineers for extreme thrill-seekers.”

The Bollinger B1 SUV.

 

B.R.M Chronographes

As a French watch brand with multiple motorsports collaborations, B.R.M keeps strengthening its competitive pedigree and producing timepieces fully embracing the racing spirit so dear to its founder and CEO Bernard Richards. He notes that even during the past year B.R.M hadn’t ceased developing new collaborations and exclusive models.

This year, B.R.M. is still signing partnerships while gradually finding its way back to racetracks and a full calendar of events worldwide. This is an encouraging signal for the future of the independent, family-run manufacture.

The BRM V12 44 is the result of a partnership with DS Techeetah.

Perhaps the most significant news this year for B.R.M. is official timing partnership with DS Techeetah, the most successful Formula E team. For the deal, B.R.M has created a three-hand watch and a chronograph in the colors of the Chinese racing team, each limited to twenty-one pieces.

In North America, B.R.M’s involvement in racing started in 2009 as official timekeeper of the Atlantic Championship. Since then it has participated in pretty much every series in the United States. B.R.M is present at IndyCar with Colton Herta and Steinbrenner Racing, and in Nascar with Santino Ferrucci.

The BRM V12-GT James Hinchcliffe.

IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe signed on with B.R.M. this year, as did Nascar driver Corey LaJoie. Both drivers co-designed and now wear a special B.R.M watch.

The BRM V6-SA made for Nascar driver Corey Lajoie.

B.R.M also joined forces with Derek DeBoer of the TRG team in SRO GT racing and just released a new watch collection with the Skip Barber Racing School, America’s premier racing school. DeBoer is a brand ambassador for the school.

This 44mm B.R.M (model V644NAGSB) features a black PVD carbon fiber dial with the Skip Barber Driving School logo.

B.R.M has also collaborated with Corvette and Corvette Racing since 2015, launching multiple timepieces. For the Historic Sportscar Racing series, with which it has partnered since 2014, B.R.M sponsors the Endurance Challenge.

The BRM R6-46 Corvette VGS.

And finally, since 2017, B.R.M has produced numerous models with Martini Racing, whose dials are adorned with the Italian brand’s famous blue and red stripes, matched with B.R.M’s trademark drilled holes on the hands, crown, pushers and strap.

Next Week: Casio and Ernst Benz 

 

Y-Jean Mun-DelSalle is a freelance journalist and editorial consultant who has lived on three different continents. She meets with inspirational individuals in pursuit of excellence: emerging and established artists, designers and craftsmen, engaging entrepreneurs and philanthropists, and the movers and shakers of the world today. She contributes regularly to regional and international titles such as Artsy, Asia Tatler, Design Anthology, Forbes, Portfolio, Robb Report, Shawati’ and Vogue, shining a spotlight in particular on art, architecture, design, horology and jewelry.

Alongside the many new dome clocks and pocket watches Patek Philippe is debuting during its wide-ranging Rare Handcrafts 2020-2021 exhibition in Geneva this month, the manufacture is also presenting six ongoing-collection wristwatches re-interpreted with new artisanal craftsmanship.

These debuts include a Ref. 6002R-001 Sky Moon Tourbillon, a diamond-set minute repeater with retrograde perpetual calendar (Ref. 5304/301R-001), a minute repeater with perpetual calendar (Ref. 5374-001), the Ref. 7040/250G-001 Minute Repeater for Ladies, a richly decorated Golden Ellipse (Ref. 5738/51G-001), and a white gold Nautilus set with diamonds. Prices for all these models are on request.

The Ref. 6002R-001 Sky Moon Tourbillon Haut Artisanat.

The Ref. 6002R-001 Sky Moon Tourbillon Haut Artisanat

Patek Philippe has given this ultra-complex watch (with twelve complications) a stunning hand-engraved rose-gold case with a brown dial in grand feu champlevé and cloisonné enamel.

Patek Philippe’s engravers spent more than 100 hours creating the ‘volutes and arabesques’ case, crown and repeater slide. As Patek Philippe’s second most complicated model, the Sky Moon Tourbillon combines a tourbillon and a minute repeater that strikes on cathedral gongs, a perpetual calendar with a retrograde date, a moon-phase display and the leap year cycle.

The reverse side of the Patek Philippe The Ref. 6002R-001 Sky Moon Tourbillon Haut Artisanat.

From the back, you’ll see a celestial chart showing the apparent motion of the moon and the stars. Patek Philippe will deliver the new Ref. 6002R-001 Sky Moon Tourbillon with hand-engraved cufflinks in rose gold. It replaces the Ref. 6002G-010 in white gold with a black grand feu enamel dial.

The new Ref. 5374G-001 Minute Repeater with a perpetual calendar.

The Ref. 5374G-001 Minute Repeater with a perpetual calendar

Initially available in platinum, this chiming watch with cathedral gongs now boasts a white-gold case with a glossy blue grand feu enamel dial. Also new are the slightly larger perpetual calendar (day, date, month, leap year cycle) displays, placed on slightly enlarged subsidiary dials. In addition, the white gold hands are now highly luminous, while the  moonphase aperture is made using the champlevé enamel technique and then framed in white gold (see below).

Up close on the Patek Philippe Ref. 5374G-001 Minute Repeater with a perpetual calendar.

Ref. 7040/250G-001 Rare Handcrafts Minute Repeater for ladies

This groundbreaking minute repeater is now extra luxurious with a blue grand feu flinqué enamel dial and a bezel with a Flamme diamond setting. The new model is slightly larger (36m) than the earlier models, and also boasts a diamond-set bezel.

The stunning Ref. 7040/250G-001 Rare Handcrafts Minute Repeater for ladies.

If you recall the dial on the Patek Philippe “Siamese Fighting Fish” pocket watch from 2019, you’ll see a similarity with this new model. Artisans fully guilloche the dial’s gold plate and then coat it with transparent blue enamel that allows the underlying decor to shine through. This method is an old technique called flinqué enameling. Patek Philippe insures that this watch remains thin (5.05mm) by using its self-winding caliber R 27 PS, powered by a 22-karat gold eccentric mini-rotor.

The new Patek Philippe Ref. 5738/51G-001 Golden Ellipse Haut Artisanat.

Ref. 5738/51G-001 Golden Ellipse Haut Artisanat

This new design takes full advantage of one of Patek Philippe’s most classic case shapes. Here in white gold, the Ellipse boasts a stunning champlevé enamel dial that has been manually engraved. The watch’s curly-cue decor, known technically as ‘volutes and arabesques,’ nicely complements the oval case shape of the Golden Ellipse.

Inside Patek Philippe places its famed automatic Caliber 240 powered by an off-center recessed mini-rotor in 22-karat gold. The thin (6.58mm) watch joins the current Golden Ellipse collection, which also includes Ref. 5738P-001 in platinum with a blue sunburst dial and the Ref. 5738R-001 in rose gold with an ebony black sunburst dial.

The new high-glitter Patek Philippe Ref. 7118/1450G Nautilus Haute Joaillerie.

Ref. 7118/1450G Nautilus Haute Joaillerie

Released in rose gold just a few months ago, this newest highly reflective diamond-set Nautilus can now be had in a white gold case. Set with a random pavé setting (also called snow setting), the watch’s case, dial, bezel, and the bracelet are decorated with nearly 13 carats of diamonds. Still, despite the glitter, the blackened white gold hands remain visible thanks in part to a generous coating of luminous material.

The watch’s blackened white gold hands remain visible thanks in part to a generous coating of luminous material.

This 32.5mm white-gold case is fitted with the automatic Caliber 324 S movement that has been elaborately finished and visible through the sapphire-crystal case back. Sunglasses please.

The Ref. 5304/301R-001 Minute Repeater with a retrograde perpetual calendar
 is now framed in baguette diamonds.

Ref. 5304/301R-001 Minute Repeater with a retrograde perpetual calendar


Now in a 43mm rose-gold case set with eighty baguette diamonds, this grand complication was first launched in 2006 in a platinum case. Its new diamond frame boasts 6.22 carats of diamonds on its bezel, lugs and clasp, dramatizing Patek Philippe’s seriously complicated system for clearly displaying the day, month, and leap year cycle with transparent sapphire-crystal disks. To add subplots to the drama, Patek Philippe has also added white-gold inlays with engraved leaf motifs in the case flanks and the repeater slide.

The back offers its own window into the architecture of the self-winding caliber R 27 PS QR LU movement, most notably the minute repeater mechanism with two gongs. The viewer can also watch the whirring of the centrifugal governor during chiming. Finally, Patek Philippe artisans re-imagined the finished here with a leaf motif now visible on the rose gold mini-rotor. Patek Philippe has built so many stunning technical and artisanal highlights into this watch, we highly recommend you view the brands’ own visual tour, available here.

A clear view into Patek Philippe’s R 27 PS QR LU movement, showing the minute repeater mechanism with two gongs.

 

The dial on the latest elegant Grand Seiko Spring Drive watch beautifully mimics the undulations of lake Suwa when its surface is frozen, a natural phenomenon called Omiwatari.

Grand Seiko says its watchmakers and dial designers were inspired by the lake to create the ice-blue dial on the new SBGY007, a 38.5mm steel watch.

The new Grand Seiko SBGY007.

To make the dial, Grand Seiko artisans at the Shinshu Watch Studio near Lake Suwa hammered the dial’s mold to create the visible edges and the round shape, then polished the indexes and sharpened the hands.

Thanks to these angles and colors, light glimmers across the hands and dial, a result said to reflect Grand Seiko’s Nature of Time design philosophy.

Grand Seiko powers the watch with its own hybrid, super-precise Spring Drive Caliber 9R31, with dual barrels that deliver a power reserve of 72 hours when fully wound. Turning the watch over, viewers can eye the nicely finished Spring Drive movement, beautifully flecked with tempered blue screws and its power reserve indicator.

Grand Seiko Spring Drive Caliber 9R31

Grand Seiko expects this new SBGY007 to be made available in early July at Grand Seiko Boutiques and retail partners. Price: $8,300.

Specifications: Grand Seiko Elegance Collection SBGY007

Movement: Manual-winding Spring Drive Caliber 9R31. 
Driving system: Spring Drive with accuracy: ±1 second per day / ±15 seconds per month (average) power reserve: 72 Hours.  

Dial: Hand-hammered ice blue, polished and faceted hands and markers.

Case: 38.5mm by 10.2mm steel, water resistant to 30 meters.

Strap: Black crocodile with blue stitching.

Price: $8,300.

De Bethune’s new diver, introduced late last year and affectionately called the Yellow Submarine, brings a whole new look to the dive genre. While the DB28GSVY embraces the warmer tones of gold, amber and orange, its case and components are not crafted in gold but are actually made from heat-treated titanium and steel.

Mounted on De Bethune’s articulated case/lug platform, the Yellow Submarine embodies the past and future of watchmaking in a single case. Space-age design and materials are married to traditional watchmaking solutions and then taken to the next level.

The De Bethune DB28 Grand Sport ‘Yellow Submarine.”

Powering the watch is the DeBethune manual-wind caliber DB2080, which is comprised of 400 individual components, including 51 jewels. Power reserve is stretched to five days thanks to a dual-barrel system as well as the fine-tuned escapement, with its titanium balance, white gold inserts and a profile designed to minimize fluid friction. The balance wheel cycles at 28,800 beats per hour.

Releasing power to the unique balance is an escape wheel crafted in silicon. The entire escapement assembly is protected by a triple Pare-Chute system developed in-house by De Bethune. Other unique aspects to this particular timepiece include that it eschews the normal practice of slathering luminous paint everywhere to read the time. Only the hands have slim strips of lume while an amazing electro-mechanical system creates light via a micro-dynamo and LED lighting system activated by the push of the actuator at 6 o’clock.

Push the button and watch the repeater-like regulator spin while four LED sources cast light across the dial. Since this is technically a dive watch it also incorporates a rotating bezel, but in this case the outer coin-edge grip actually rotates an inner rehaute with pierced cutouts showing beautiful blue numerals. The 44mm case mounts the crown at 12 o’clock. Each example of the twenty-five in this very limited edition is priced at $110,000.