mechanical watch


Greubel Forsey plans to nearly triple the size of its manufacturing facility in La Chaux-de-Fonds with an investment of 20 million Swiss francs. Set to be completed by 2026, the expansion is aimed at strengthening the watchmaker’s research and development, heighten its watchmaking autonomy and gradually increase production capacity.

Expanding from 2,000 square meters to 5,460 square meters, Greubel Forsey intends to build a new building that will encompass the existing structure (which dates from 2009) while retaining the architectural features specific to this site. Work is scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2024, marking the brand’s 20th anniversary.

The underground level of the new facility will include storage areas and an employee wellness room, while the ground floor will house production, logistics, quality control and R&D areas. The upper floors will be dedicated to assembly, hand finishing, clean rooms, laboratories, product development with research and design offices, as well as after-sales service, administration and other related areas.

The adjacent 17th-century farmhouse, a symbol of Greubel Forsey’s traditional roots, will be transformed into a VIP area, a lounge, a museum and a restoration workshop.

The Greubel Forsey GMT Balancier Convexe.

“This new facility will enable us to integrate new skill sets, create new workshops – especially in R&D Innovation – and push the boundaries of hand finishing excellence with a team dedicated solely to hand finishing R&D,” says Greubel Forsey CEO Antonio Calce. He adds that a number of workshops will be set up, including one dedicated solely to mastering the regulating organ (balance spring and balance wheel) and another to making complex cases.

Greubel Forsey’s 30˚ inclined balance wheel, seemingly suspended in mid-air, is held by a beautiful flat black polished and barrel polished steel balance wheel bridge on polished steel pillars.

Greubel Forsey reports that in 2022 it manufactured 260 timepieces, all of which were delivered to collectors and enthusiasts. Look to the watchmaker launching new timepieces and an 8th Fundamental Invention this year.

Source: Greubel Forsey 

Urwerk rebuilds its UR-102, which debuted in 1997, to create UR-102 Reloaded, a round watch that still offers the hands-free wandering-hour display of the original, which was inspired by the Sputnik satellite launch of 1957.

With its familiar semi-circular time track and digital hour marker, the new Urwerk UR-102 updates the pioneering original model with a slightly larger (41mm) case with larger lugs. 

Urwerk has also merged the crown into the case and moved it from the 3 o’clock position to the 4 o’clock position. And instead of the ceramicized aluminum of the original, the new edition is cased in satin-brushed or black titanium.

If you observe our UR-102 Reloaded in its titanium version, you will notice that the minutes track is the same blue,” explains Urwerk’s Martin Frei.

“We redesigned and shifted the crown slightly. The migration of the crown led to a change in the opening for reading the time. No longer a perfect semi-circle, this ‘window’ is wider with sloping edges, giving it a fresher, more dynamic look,” he adds.

Urwerk has also redesigned the font of the hours and minutes markers and added  new information on the dial.

Urwerk offers the UR-102 Reloaded in a boxed set issued as a 25-piece limited edition comprising the titanium and black titanium versions. Later this year the watches will be available individually.  Price: $60,000.

Ralph Lauren expands its square-cased Art Deco 867 collection with four slightly smaller models and also adds precious metal cases and top-notch manual-wind movements to the collection’s offerings.

One of four new watches in the Ralph Lauren 867 collection. This 28mm model is cased in sterling silver.

The new models add two new case sizes to the collection with two 32mm models and two 28mm models. Both are offered in sterling silver or rose gold cases. The collection had previously only offered 35mm square-cased steel models.

These elegant, time-only designs echo Art Deco era glamour with nicely proportioned lacquered white dials made with concentric squares with Arabic and Roman numerals and sleek Breguet-style hands.

All the new models are powered by an extra-flat mechanical manual winding Swiss movement made for Ralph Lauren by Piaget and based on the watchmaker’s legendary Caliber 430. The movements are hand finished with vertical Côtes de Genève stripes and circular graining (perlage).

Ralph Lauren fits each watch with an interchangeable shiny black alligator strap with a sterling silver or 18-karat rose gold pin buckle. 

Prices: $8,250 (28mm silver case), $15,500 (28mm rose gold case), $8,350 (32mm silver case) and $17,000 (32mm rose gold case).

Parmigiani Fleurier has expanded on the work done for last year’s impressive unique-piece La Rose Carrée pocket watch to create the unique-piece La Rosa Celeste, the first minute-repeater wristwatch within a new five-piece Les Roses Carrées collection.

The Parmigiani Fleurier Rosa Celeste.

You may recall that a year ago the luxury watchmaker celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary with the release of the La Rose Carrée pocket watch, a unique minute repeater based on a Louis-Elysée Piguet caliber that had been restored in Parmigiani Fleurier’s workshops.

The new Rosa Celeste offers a 42mm white gold case that is hand-engraved with the same motif found on the 2021 pocket watch, and also includes a hunter’s caseback. The  back and the chiseled dial of the new watch are finished with richly detailed blue grand feu enamel, a painstaking artisanal process that requires multiple high-temperature firings.

The skeletonization of the PF355 caliber is directly inspired by that of the PF361 caliber, known as Chronor.

For the repeater, Parmigiani Fleurier chose to create cathedral gongs. Here, the chime has been optimized by a suspended movement and with the heel of the gongs physically connected to the case. In addition, watchmakers have redesigned the case to create resonance pockets and to lighten the white gold mass.

The outer face of the caseback bears a large square fractal Rose, also hand-engraved and covered with multiple layers of blue enamel.

Unusually, Parmigiani Fleurier watchmakers have also devised a ringing sequence automatically skips dead time. For example, at 3:19, the three chimes for the hour are immediately followed by a double chime for the quarter-hour and again, without silence, by up to four chimes for the minute.

The beautifully skeletonized PF355 caliber also features an unusually long 72-hour power reserve. Parmigiani Fleurier mounts the new La Rosa Celeste on a blue, hand-sewn alligator leather strap.

Price: CHF 600,000. 

Specifications: Parmigiani Fleurier La Rosa Celeste

Movement: PF355 manual wind with minute repeater on cathedral gongs, continuous chiming sequence. Power reserve: 72 hours, 21,600 Vph (3 Hz). Finishings: Côtes de Genève, openworked bridges, hand-beveling and circular graining.

Case: 42mm by 13.39mm white gold, polished and hand-engraved with “La Rose Carrée” pattern, crown topped with cabochon-cut natural sapphire, sapphire crystal and back. The Hunter caseback is white gold, hand-engraved with “La Rose Carée” pattern, Grand feu enamel, interior engraving, “Rosa Celeste”, “PF” seal and Michel Parmigiani’s signature. Caseback engraving serial number, “Parmigiani Fleurier,” Swiss Made, and ‘Pièce unique’. Water resistance: 10 meters.

Dial: Hand-engraved with chiseled pattern, blue “Grand feu” enamel, hand-applied indices, 18-karat gold and rhodium-plated appliques, hours and minutes hands in 18-karat gold, rhodium-plated, skeletonized and delta-shaped.

Bracelet: Blue alligator leather strap, double-sided, hand-stitched with 18-karat white gold pin buckle with hand-engraved “La Rose Carée” pattern.

Price: CHF 600,000. 

New York-based Massena LAB has teamed with independent Swiss watchmaker Raúl Pagès to develop its first proprietary movement, the M660, which will be placed into a new limited edition watch called the Magraph.

The Massena LAB Magraph.

The Bauhaus-inspired manual-wind watch features a geometric-patterned, off-white dial with bright blued hour, minute and seconds hands. Massena LAB frames the dial with a 38.5mm stainless steel case made to echo designs from the 1940s and 1950s.

The M660 movement is a manual-winding 4Hz movement with a power reserve of 48 hours. Pagès has finished the caliber with Côtes de Genève finishing and hand-chamfered plates and bridges, all of which are visible through its sapphire caseback. The watchmaker has hidden his signature flourish, a silhouette of a tortoise, under the balance wheel.

Massena LAB, founded by collector and watch expert William Massena, has attached a special strap to each Magraph. The deep indigo strap is made from sustainably-sourced sturgeon skin and features eye-catching iridescent turquoise accents, designed exclusively for Massena LAB by Jean Rousseau Paris.

Delivery of the Magraph will be on a first-come, first-served basis, starting in December 2022. Massena LAB will produce approximately fifteen to twenty watches produced per month. Each will include a two-year guarantee, box, deerskin travel pouch, papers, and a Massena LAB NFC card. Limited to only 99 examples, the Massena LAB and Raúl Pagès Magraph will be for sale exclusively on MassenaLAB.com.

Price: $8,675.