For seventeen summers Frederique Constant has released a new Vintage Rally limited edition series, which the Geneva-based watchmaker dedicates to collectors of classic Austin-Healey vintage automobiles. The annual debut rarely disappoints, and this year’s releases are no exception.
This year’s highlight is an all-grey Vintage Rally Healey Automatic Small Seconds, with a range of the contemporary color on its dial, strap, steel case, index hour markers and hands.
The dressy 40mm watch sports the original Healey logo on the dial, just adjacent to the off-center small seconds hand at 9 o’clock. Around the decidedly matte dial is the flange displaying the sixty-minute scale. Frederique Constant has engraved each watch’s caseback with a Healey automobile in action. (See below for additional technical details).
Frederique Constant will make 888 examples of the grey-dialed Vintage Rally Healey Automatic Small Seconds, with each arriving in a gift set alongside a miniature replica of a vintage Austin-Healy automobile.
For buyers outside the United States, or by special order in the United States, two additional Vintage Rally watches are also available.
For these ‘international models” Frederique Constant offers a green dial and a blue dial, both colors that allude to the Austin-Healey company. One model features British racing green while the other offers a dial in navy blue within a rose gold-plated case. This model’s hour markers, hands and crown are also navy blue, which is hinted on the leather strap as well.
Only the grey model ($1,595) is available in the United States. As noted, the two “international” models are available here only by special order. Prices: $2,175 (Blue dial/rose-gold plated case) and $1,957 (Green dial, steel case).
Specifications: Frederique Constant Vintage Rally Healey Automatic Small Seconds (Limited edition of 888.)
Movement: ETA-based FC-345 automatic caliber with 38-hour power reserve.
Case: 40mm by 11.15mm polished steel, two-part case, convex sapphire crystal, engraved case-back with Healey Noj 393 vintage car. Water resistant to 50 meters.
Dial: Grey with matte finishing, white inner ring with printed seconds graduation , silver color applied indexes with white luminous treatment, hand-polished silver color hour and minute hands with white luminous treatment, small seconds counter at 9 o’clock w/red hand , date window at 3 o’clock.
Strap: Grey calf leather with light grey stitching.
iW recently spoke with Ferruccio Lamborghini, the son of Tonino Lamborghini, who founded Lamborghini’s industrial design company in 1981. As the third generation leading a Lamborghini business, Ferruccio not only inherited his famous name from his father and grandfather, he also enjoys his family’s passion for motorcycles and high speed. His years of racing led to several championship titles in Italian motorcycle racing.
In our wide-ranging discussion, we learned more about brand’s latest lineup of Tonino Lamborghini Swiss Watches, especially the Spyder, Spyderleggero Chrono and Cuscinetto (Italian for ball bearing) collections. These collections are at the core of the brand’s timepiece offerings, and Ferruccio has redesigned them for 2021. The shield of the brand’s logo with its Miura raging bull, inspired the Spyder, which debuted in 2007. Lamborghini debuted its first Cuscinetto collections in 1983.
In our interview with Ferruccio Lamborghini, since 2018 the CEO of the Tonino Lamborghini luxury lifestyle and design powerhouse, he tells us more about how he views the company’s generational change, and details the importance of the watches within the future of the Lamborghini enterprise.
iW: Can you describe what it is like to take over the family brand at such a young age? The challenges, the experience, and any surprises that you discovered along the way?
Ferruccio Lamborghini: I am proud of it and of the generational change process my father and I experience together every day. The challenges have been changing through the years and they are mostly linked to the different dynamics related to our wide products portfolio: each product and sector deserve a special attention and a dedicated strategy.
In the last five years I have worked hard to understand all the company’s processes to set the actual vision and define a strong re-organization of the business strategies.
As a lifestyle brand, Tonino Lamborghini offers a variety of products. How do you determine when it makes sense to apply the TL ethos and bring a new product on-board?
Our family’s DNA is characterized by great curiosity and resourcefulness, which has always stimulated our creativity and made Tonino Lamborghini a consistent lifestyle brand. Through the decades the company and customers’ needs have changed, therefore in the nowadays scenario we have a new approach towards the developments of new products: they have to perfectly fit in a coherent and consistent Tonino Lamborghini ecosystem.
We have branded accessories, furnishing and interior products, real estate and hospitality projects, food and beverages. It is a comprehensive Tonino Lamborghini lifestyle that you can wear, live, experience and drink.
How important are the wristwatches among the stable of Tonino Lamborghini products?
Watches are our core product. They represent the best combination of our family mechanical heritage with the lifestyle approach my father had since the foundation of his company. Today it is the same, considering that the recent strategy related to our new line of Swiss watches is the one for which I have recently invested most of my energy.
Do you intend to expand the watch lines in the near future?
Yes, of course I do. Next autumn I will announce new models, which will increase the Tonino Lamborghini Swiss Watches collection selection for both quartz and automatic movements. I also would like to highlight that, among the new models, a lady’s watch is coming.
What are the key elements and/or identifiers customers can expect in a Tonino Lamborghini timepiece?
Our customers choose our accessories to be out of the ordinary because they look for something new to experience and love and to feel part of the Tonino Lamborghini lifestyle, an approach that we always follow when we develop our ideas and new products.
When breaking into new markets around the world, what strategies do you employ to promote your brand to the industrial members as well as the end consumers aware of your watches?
In such a competitive business field where the major brands have a years-long established presence, the key is to share a clear vision and the core values of the brand/products.
From an industry point of view, we still believe in the importance of the exhibitions, physical or digital, and I personally love to meet the press and explain my watches or strategies. Besides, regarding the distributors, we directly support our partners, and we always are open to define jointly the strategy in accordance with each market demand/request and its related customers behaviors.
From a consumers’ point of view, we are still investing in the press both nationally and internationally, but we are every year more digitally oriented. In the digital world it is easier to target a specific prospect and make him feel part of an exclusive club of people that share the same attitude and lifestyle.
Do you co-brand with any other companies?
It happened in the past and it is still happening nowadays for some niche accessories, like a co-branded line of massagers in collaboration with the Chinese company Breo Technology or the recent capsule with the Italian Venini for high-end art glasses and chandeliers. Soon something new will be announced.
What is your own opinion on the dynamic between traditional third-party retailers (brick and mortar and e shops) versus the direct-to-consumer sales from your own site or those of your distributors? Do you have any type of hybrid strategy to maximize the potential for both platforms?
It is common sense now to affirm that the post pandemic outcome in sales will force every brand to reinforce their direct-to-consumer strategies and presence.
Nevertheless, consumer habits are very different globally and brick and mortar business will probably maintain a central role in showcasing the products especially for those active in the luxury field where purchase is driven not only by clicks and discounts, but mainly by one-to-one sales pitch and consistent evaluation from the consumer.
Our strategy includes both aspects. While we are building up a direct-to-consumer presence with the direct activation of flagship stores in the major marketplaces, we are now also finalizing the opening of mono-brand and corner stores thanks to local distributors and retailers.
By maintaining a direct control over D2C we also avoid prices conflicts locally with such third parties like retailers and we can moreover control the brand marketing investments strategies. This way we maximize both channels and we directly and carefully develop the brand identity.
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
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.
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 Ref. 5374G-001 Minute Repeaterwith 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 themoonphase aperture is made using the champlevé enamel technique and then framed in white gold (see below).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Parmigiani Fleurier embraces its inner panda with the new Tondagraph GT Steel Silver Black and the Tondagraph GT Rose Gold Silver Black, both now with ‘panda style’ sporty bi-color dials.
The 42mm Tondagraph GT Steel Silver Blackis both a chronograph and annual calendar, and as with all annual calendars, this indicator requires adjustment only once per year, from February to March.
The back of the steel model allows the owner to see the movement’s 22-karat gold rotor through a sapphire case back. You’ll also see a host of decorative finishes, including the circular côtes de Genève pattern on the bridges.
In comparison to its black-dialed predecessor, which utilized orange numerals and details, this new model displays higher-contrast elements in white, panda style.
“With this new model we wanted to exalt the contrast between the counters and the silver dial,” says Parmigiani Fleurier CEO Guido Terreni. “Taking out the orange indicators of the first edition helped us obtain a pure and long-lasting aesthetic.”
The 42mm Tondagraph GT Rose Gold Silver Black is a follow up to last year’s Tondagraph GT Rose Gold Blue, and like that model is powered by PF071, a 36,000-bph integrated chronograph caliber. This is a COSC chronometer-certified movement based on Parmigiani’s GPHG award-winning Caliber PF361. It offers 65-hours of power reserve.
The integrated chronograph function uses a smooth column wheel rather than a cam, and a vertical clutch rather than a horizontal one. These are said to increase accuracy by enabling the chronograph to start without an initial jolt.
As you might expect from this brand, the movement is expertly finished by hand. You’ll find chamfering and polishing, sandblasted surfaces, a sunray pattern on the 22-karat gold oscillating weight and beautifully hand-finished bridges.
De Bethune bills its new DB25 GMT Starry Varius as the smaller (42mm) alternative to the 45mm DB25 World Traveller, which debuted in 2016. For the most part, that’s true, though you won’t find a series of city names positioned around the dial on this new dual-time model to quickly display global times.
The new watch, however, adds a GMT function to the displays, which smartly retains the original model’s multi-level, concentric spheres and its unusual miniature gold and blued-steel orb, dubbed the ‘microsphere.’
In its smaller guise (42mm by 11.8mm), the new watch also retains other characteristics De Bethune builds into its entire DB25 Starry Varius collection. These include a polished grade-5 titanium case, a starry sky accompanied by its Milky Way and De Bethune’s characteristic integrated, open-worked lugs.
Reading the dial
With the date visible in the central disc visa a jumping hand, the two time zones can be discerned with a check of the blued central hands (local time) and the mysteriously circling dual-metal orb (second ‘home’ time). You’ll even know whether it’s daytime or nighttime at home thanks to the orb’s two halves: one blue (evening) and the other pink gold (daytime). For added realistic affect, the slow-rotating microsphere very gradually reveals both sunrise and sunset.
To add an even more poetic display to the dial, De Bethune places a polished pink gold sun in the dial’s center, just across from the beautifully blued and polished titanium miniature night sky dotted with white gold ‘star’ pins.
De Bethune powers its new DB25 GMT Starry Varius with its hand-wound Caliber DB2507, the independent watchmaker’s twenty-ninth movement.
Visible through the watch’s sapphire caseback, the movement operates by drawing on an extensive list of advanced features, all of which again underscore De Bethune’s well-earned reputation for technical mastery.
Just a partial list of these features includes: A titanium balance with white gold inlays, a balance spring with a De Bethune flat terminal curve, an escape-wheel made of silicon and a regulator held in place by a triple pare-chute system which combines a titanium bridge held in place by a leaf-spring system. The movement’s two barrels, which are partially visible from the caseback, boast an impressive five-day power reserve. Price: $110,000.
Through a new in-store digital application, Bulgari watch customers can now design their own Bulgari Octo Roma Naturalia, a 44mm manual-wind watch with a tourbillon and eye-catching stone-set bridges and mainplate.
The Bulgari app, called Maestria, allows the budding watch designer/owner to choose from three decorative natural stones: onyx, lapis lazuli and malachite. Any of these three stones can be placed onto the Octo Roma Naturalia’s skeletonized bridges/markers and on the mainplate within a rose gold, titanium or platinum case.
Available since April at Bulgari boutiques, and planned for the brand’s high-jewelry events in the future, the Maestria process starts when a Bulgari salesperson logs on and leads the customer through a series of steps that offer the customer a choice of stone, case material, case setting (including diamonds) and any engraving on the back.
Bulgari explains that once the design is chosen, its watchmakers will select the customer’s favored stone, which will then be hand cut and polished. When this step is complete, watchmakers will then insert thin slices of the same stone onto the skeletonized components as both markers and as the watch’s mainplate.
An additional slice of the chosen stone will also be inserted into the movement itself. All watches will be set with the Bulgari manual-wind caliber BVL206 with flying tourbillon.
In all, Maestria will offer the customer thirty customizable variations of the Octo Roma Naturalia. Base prices: $89,000 (onyx in titanium), $129,000 (malachite in rose gold) and $243,000 (lapis lazuli in platinum with diamonds).
To celebrate the tenth anniversary of its line of Golden Bridge automatic watches, Corum launches the Corum 10th Anniversary Golden Bridge Automatic Collection. And with the new collection, Corum treats the wearer to a more expansive view of the watch’s unusual baguette-shaped in-line movement.
Developed as a manual-wind movement in the 1970s by Vincent Calabrese, who patented the design in 1977, Corum debuted the minimalist caliber within its collection in 1980 as the Golden Bridge, with movement parts made of gold.
The watch was a hit, and Corum created an impressive range of Golden Bridge iterations in the years after 1980. Then, in 2011 and after four years of research, Corum developed an automatic version, wisely showcasing the watch’s floating linear movement by creating an oscillating weight on rails to power the new automatic Golden Bridge.
New tonneau cases
Now, ten years after that debut, Corum celebrates with four new tonneau-shaped Golden Bridge models that frame the movement, which again features main plates and bridges made from 18-karat gold.
This precious-metal caliber is now both protected by and clearly visible through a large panoramic sapphire crystal and caseback. Corum cut the new crystal from a single piece of sapphire, extending it from the top crystal to the sides of the watch to allow for a 360-degree view of the movement.
Corum sets the sapphire in either a titanium or gold case measuring 37.2mm by 51.8mm, larger than we’ve seen for previous Golden Bridge automatic models. The new case size effectively creates a larger stage for the star of the watch, the movement, which is set vertically from the 12 o’clock position to the 6 o’clock position, where you’ll find the crown.
For the dial, Corum created another unusual visual treat: a ‘floating harness’ system to display its hand-applied indexes. Corum notes that “because there is no dial to affix the indexes to, the harness system links to the movement base so that the markers seem to be floating in space.”
For yet another unusual view, turn the watch over. From the back Corum shows off its Caliber C0313 through a smoke-hued sapphire crystal. The movement boasts forty hours of power reserve, a variable inertia balance wheel, a miniaturized barrel and main plate and even more precious metal: the linear oscillating weight is made from platinum.
Corum is making its 10th Anniversary Golden Bridge Automatic Collection with four distinct editions: a blackened titanium and 18-karat gold model in a limited edition of 150 pieces, and a full blackened titanium version in an edition of fifty pieces. Two more models echo these cases, but are set with diamonds and are offered in more limited numbers. Corum will make 100 pieces of the diamond-set titanium-and-gold version and only twenty-five of the diamond-set titanium watch.
Prices start at $29,000 and rise to $41,900 for the rose gold model with diamonds.
A small watchmaking venture started as an experiment continues to design watches that offer simple solutions and unorthodox displays for complex timekeeping functions.
By James Henderson
This year marks the fifteenth anniversary of one of the longest running experiments in the watch business. Back in 2006, Ludwig Oechslin (of Ulysse Nardin fame and until 2014 curator of the Musée International d’Horlogerie (MIH) in La Chaux-de-Fonds) and his fellow Ochs und Junior co-founders asked the watch world a contrary question – if you could buy a watch with complications that were distilled down to their most basic level, would you?
Then they took it a few steps further. What if the case was not polished, but somewhat, well, basic?
In other words, what if you could buy a watch conceived by one of the most famous watch creators of recent times, one that possessed marvelous complications that apart from the dial of the watch, remained hidden away beneath a solid caseback?
In a world where watches are meant to be highly polished and eerily similar in look and feel, what if you went a different way?
Fast-forward to 2021. While the experiment continues, it appears to be a resounding success with Ludwig Oechslin and Ochs und Junior continuing to swim against the mainstream. Here’s a short, three-part history of the idiosyncratic watchmaker.
This period involves Ludwig Oechslin, Beat Weinmann and Kurt König (the owner of Embassy, the Lucerne-based jewelry store that Beat Weinmann was working for at the time). Ochs und Junior produced a very small number of esoteric watches. These were known to a small group of collectors.
The Growth Period
This was when Ulysse Nardin was brought in as a partner and Ochs und Junior set up shop in a studio space, a little bit off the beaten path in Lucerne.
The Ochs Period
In 2019, after a lot of thought and consultation within the family, Kornelia Imesch and Ludwig Oechslin bought all the shares of Ochs und Junior. But it is important to note that this was only done once it was clear that some of the “Junior Ochs” would join the company.And to that end, it has been agreed that two of the younger Oechslins will be joining the team, which is now based in La Chaux-de-Fonds.
Ochs und Junior today is a family company, led by Dr. Ludwig Oechslin. The rest of the band includes Christian Gafner, who is head of brand and design, Violaine Baudouin, the marketing chief, and Louise Krank (a junior), communication designer. The company’s watchmakers are Jost Schlatter and Masaki Kanazawa, who is a Master Watchmaker for Ludwig Oechslin’s special projects.
Ludwig Oechslin’s ideas will continue to set the tone moving forward, which is really what has made Ochs und Junior what it is today. As the company evolves, it continues to grow through experimentation. Below are some of Ochs und Junior’s most recent designs.
This 100-year calendar, designed by Ludwig Oechslin, features a dial with indication of hours, minutes and seconds in addition to correct date, month, leap or non-leap year. The 40mm watch is titanium and is powered by a Ulysse Nardin UN-320 automatic movement. The Arabic character or indices with hour/minute hands are coated with SuperLuminova.
Here’s how it shows the time and date:
The dates (28, 29, 30 or 31 days of any month) are visible for 100 years, without needing correction for the length of any month (including February in leap years), and are displayed via a traveling, rectangular dot on the date spiral.
The month and leap years are on a central rotating disk. The leap year and the three following years are displayed on a decentralized disc, rotating together with the position of the month-display. Finally, the central hour and minutes with the seconds rotating are seen on a small disk at 6 o’clock.
Prices begin at CHF 15,230 (approximately $16,600).
This watch is designed to help savor a favorite day of the week, allowing the wearer to set six “standard” days and one “extra special” one. It colorfully indicates hours, minutes and seconds, and all seven weekdays by clockwise rotating dot between 1 o’clock and 7 o’clock.
The titanium-cased Settimama measures 36mm in diameter and is powered by a Sellita SW 200-1 automatic movement. The watch is available in three limited color versions of 11 pieces each. Prices start at CHF 3,046, or approximately $3,300.
Option one features a black galvanized dial and red lacquer-coated moon disk with red markers and hands with a case of black PVD-coated titanium. Another option has a red lacquer-coated dial with black galvanized moon disk, black markers and hands in a titanium case. Option number three has an emerald-green lacquer-coated dial with black galvanized moon disk, and gold colored markers and hands. This emerald green watch will feature a jade sun at the 12 o’clock position. The straps are made from red or black textile with a titanium buckle. Prices: CHF 7,400, or approximately $8,100.
And there are more interesting developments to come, but suffice it to say after fifteen years Ochs und Junior is here to stay.
For its new Grand Central Cintree Curvex, Franck Muller watchmakers found an innovative way to place the hour and second hands around the tourbillon cage, highlighting the large central tourbillon and a stunning guilloché dial.
That tourbillon (while large, the tourbillon here is not the brand’s largest) is housed in a redesigned Cintrée Curvex case with a separate bezel, allowing the crystal to reach the strap. Furthermore, Franck Muller has separated the bezel from the case, allowing for a series of impressive two-tone treatments.
This design totally changes the aspect of the original Cintrée Curvex and fully highlights the curves of this newly shaped watch.
And, in an unusual move, Franck Muller powers the new Grand Central Cintrée Curvex with an automatic movement. Many traditional tourbillon watches rely on manual-wind calibers.
Franck Muller wisely allows a clear view of the caliber (FM CX 40T-CTR) through a sapphire caseback, showing the traditional decorations, including Côte de Genève and sunray brushing. Prices: From $124,400 to $134,400.
Specifications: Franck Muller Grand CentralCintrée Curvex
Case: 58.70mm x 40.16 mm x 7.73 mm (various metals) with stainless steel internal bezel. Sapphire crystal. Water resistant up to 30 meters. Functions: Hours, minutes and seconds on the central tourbillon.
Movement: FM CX 40T-CTR Self-winding mechanical movement with bidirectional rotor system. Power reserve is 4 days. Balance wheel frequency set at 18,000 alternations per hour.
Décor: Côte de Genève on bridges, sunray brushing on the rotor and barrel cover, spotting on the bottom plate. Chamfering on the bridges and rotor board. Rhodium plating and 24-kt. gold finish on textual engravings.
Bracelet: Hand-sewn alligator strap with gold folding buckle.
Following his apprenticeship with the late George Daniels, Roger Smith has taken up the totem as the British master nonpareil. Devoting such exquisite attention to detail for every component of every watch, Smith’s timepieces are a rarity and among the most sought-after among wealthy collectors.
His most recent watch, an instantaneous triple calendar, here represents only the one-hundredth individual watch made at his Isle of Man atelier over the course of twenty years. Smith’s watches embrace an ethos of subtle complexity and understated ingenuity and finesse. Supremely elegant and easy to read, Smith’s latest creation houses his own manual-wind movement with the updated monobloc co-axial escape wheel.
The entire movement is finished with exquisite fillagree and frosting in gold with components held securely with screws authentically heat-treated to a variegated blue and purple hue.
On the dial-side more sophisticated aficionados will note the elegant solution to the day-of-the-month display. Rather than the typical date pointer with a hand that reaches out from the central post, Smith has deftly incorporated a system that uses a bracket that circles the perimeter of the dial and frames the current day of the month, leaving the view of the other displays uninterrupted by an additional hand emanating from the center.
This absolutely stunning timepiece, the first of Smith’s Series 4 collection, can be customized to some extent and is only available by individual consignment for patient collectors. Although the atelier does not advertise prices, you can figure on a starting point in the neighborhood of $300,000.