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Ulysse Nardin focuses on its rich history as a premier manufacturer of marine chronometers as it debuts seven new models within its Marine Torpilleur chronometer collection.

All of the debuts feature in-house calibers with silicon balance spring, and most also feature the brand’s Diamonsil (a silicon and diamond mix) escapement wheel and anchor. Among the offerings are two new movements, and all seven models are offered as numbered and limited editions.

Ulysse Nardin chronometers, new and old.

To signify the LeLocle watchmaker’s 175th anniversary, each model will feature “Chronometry since 1846” printed at 6 o’clock on the small seconds counter.

Marine Torpilleur Panda

For Panda dial enthusiasts Ulysse Nardin adds this variation of its Marine Torpilleur sporting two small dark blue dials. One at the top of the dial displays the power reserve indicator and the other shows the second hand and date. ) The watch is Ulysse Nardin’s first panda-style display.

The new Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Panda.

So-called ‘panda’ displays, which feature solid-colored subdials placed amid a light-colored primary dial, were given their moniker decades ago when early dials with the design were said to recall the face of a panda bear.

Inside Ulysse Nardin fits its own UN-118 movement, a solid caliber made even more precise and efficient with silicon and Diamonsil components. Limited to 300 pieces, the 42mm diameter steel-cased Marine Torpilleur Panda comes with a choice of either a brown or blue leather alligator strap, metal bracelet, a rubber strap or a R-Strap. Price: $8,200.

The new Marine Torpilleur Annual Chronograph.

Marine Torpilleur Annual Chronograph

With a dial design inspired by Ulysse Nardin pocket watch chronometers produced from 1936 to 1980, this eye-catching two-register 44mm steel chronograph also features a second useful function: annual calendar.

Ulysse Nardin is widely known for its mastery of the annual calendar, a function Ludwig Oechslin brought to the brand’s wristwatches within his perpetual calendar from 1996. With all settings adjustable both forward and backward by using the crown, the Ulysse Nardin annual calendar offered easy time-setting capability. This feature, initially found on very few wristwatches, remains a strong selling point throughout Ulysse Nardin’s collections.

Up close on the dial of the Marine Torpilleur Annual Chronograph.

The newest inclusion of that function in this Torpilleur Annual Chronograph finds the date at 6 o’clock with months indicated at 9 o’clock. Powered by the UN-153, an evolution of the earlier UN-150 movement, the debut offers a varnished white or a matte blue dial. Three hundred pieces will be made. Price: $12,100.

The Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Moonphase with a Grand Complication Pocket Watch from 1920.

The Marine Torpilleur Moonphase

As critical to sailors as a precise chronometer, a moonphase indicator can be found on late 19th century Ulysse Nardin timepieces. When used together with a sextant, the lunar indication allowed sailors to devise more detailed navigation. In more recent years, the watchmaker has launched numerous high-profile astronomic-centered watches, notably the Ludwig Oechslin-devised Trilogy of Time series in the 1990s.

While the new Marine Torpilleur Moonphase is hardly as complex as any of those specialty items, the moonphase display reminds collectors of this brand’s deep history of creating astronomical displays, which likely spurred the inclusion of a moonphase model within this 175th anniversary collection. When adding the moonphase function to this watch, Ulysse Nardin creates UN-119, a variation of its UN-118 movement.

This new 42mm steel-cased watch comes with either a blue or white dial and will be offered as a limited edition of 300. Price: $9,900.

Ulysse Nardin chronometers, like this one from 1919, could be found on U.S. Navy ships.
Ulysse Nardin sold deck chronometers until 1980.

Two additional debuts

We’ll feature the remaining two models in the new Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur collection in an upcoming post.

The two models each feature an enamel dial. One is a stunning blue-enamel-dial edition of the power reserve model with the panda dial (noted above) and the Marine Torpilleur Tourbillon Grand Feu. The latter, a rose-gold watch with a black enamel dial, is powered by caliber UN-128 Constant Manufacture with a flying tourbillon that features the technically advanced and patented Ulysse Nardin Escapement.

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.

 

 

Chronoswiss offers multiple shades of black on a new model within its Open Gear ReSec regulator collection. The Lucerne-based independent watchmaker combines a range of technical finishing techniques to create interesting optical effects on the dark new Open Gear ReSec Black Ice.

The new Chronoswiss Open Gear ReSec Black Ice.

The 44mm watch, with a now familiar multi-layer regulator dial, onion crown and fluted bezel, operates on two levels. On one level is the plate for the bridges, screws and wheels. A second, upper level features screwed-on skeletonized train wheel bridges and a fascinating funnel-shaped hour display.

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. The fan-shaped bridge holding the 30-second retrograde function defines the lower half of the dial.

With its all-black canvas, the Open Gear ReSec Black Ice allows all the luminous hour and minute markers to shine especially clearly. Luminous hands rotate over what appears to be coarse, shiny black sand.  

Chronoswiss explains that this eye-catching dial effect requires “heavy metal industrial operations” involving structure-cutting laser beams and a heavy pressure stamping procedure before the solid metal is dunked into a galvanic bath.

“This watch is like fifty shades of black, and the different blacks really contrast each other thanks to the different structures, finishes and coatings,” says Chronoswiss designer Maik Panziera. “Some surfaces are much darker than others; despite the monochrome palette they almost appear like different colors.”

The primary technique Chronoswiss uses here is DLC coating, found on the black matte case and the polished screws securing the bridges. The bridge holding the 30-second retrograde function is sandblasted with a black galvanization. And the subtle contrasts between these two finishes nicely enhance the Black Ice’s multi-level effect.

Chronoswiss also took time to ensure that the back of the watch matched the front. Thus, the rotor of the automatic C.301 movement, visible through the clear caseback, is galvanized black, then skeletonized and finally finished with côtes de Genève.

The rotor of the automatic C.301 movement, visible through the clear caseback, is galvanized black and skeletonized.

As a bonus, Chronoswiss offers the new watch attached to a hand-stitched neoprene strap with a leather base. Chronoswiss will make fifty examples of the Open Gear ReSec Black Ice. Price: $10,600.

 

The watchmakers at Grand Seiko’s Micro Artists Studio once again display their technical and artistic expertise with a new platinum-cased Spring Drive masterpiece.

The new Masterpiece Collection
 Seiko 140th Anniversary Limited Edition is a beautiful example of the brand’s nature-based aesthetic with a dial and engraved case meant to recall the night skies above Achi, a Japanese mountain village famous for its both its remoteness and its clean air.

Grand Seiko’s new Masterpiece Collection Seiko 140th Anniversary Limited Edition.

Grand Seiko artisans use a variety of manufacturing and finishing techniques to create the dial, including stamping, plating and hand painting.  

Artisans use a variety of manufacturing and finishing techniques to create the dial, including stamping, plating and hand painting.

Named to celebrate Seiko’s 140th anniversary, the watch’s stunning and highly engraved 38.5mm platinum case also expresses the natural clarity of Achi’s night skies. Pleasing groups of leaf-like patterns cover the entire case, repeated in varying directions to capture “the exquisite order and ever-changing aspect of Achi’s starry skies,” according to Grand Seiko.

Inside Grand Seiko fits it superb Spring Drive manual-winding caliber 9R02, a movement first seen in 2019 when it marked the 20th anniversary of Spring Drive.  

The movement itself continues Grand Seiko’s ode to natural beauty. For example, the barrel is shaped to echo the bellflower that is the symbol of the Shiojiri region, home to the Micro Artists Studio. Next to the barrel is the power reserve indicator.

The power reserve here is an impressive eighty-four hours, largely thanks to the Caliber 9R02’s Dual Spring Barrel. Not surprisingly, Grand Seiko expertly hand polishes the rims of all the bridges, the holes for the rubies and the screws.

Note the 18-karat yellow gold plaque on the lower bridge. While it is marked with the engraved words “Micro Artist,” Grand Seiko allows the owner of the watch the option to replace these words with a phrase of his or her choice.  Available starting in August, the watch is a limited edition of fifty. Price: $79,000.

Specifications: Grand Seiko Masterpiece Collection 
Seiko 140th Anniversary Limited Edition (Limited edition of 50)

Movement: Caliber 9R02 manual-winding Spring Drive with power reserve of 84 hours. Accuracy: ± 1 second per day (± 15 seconds per month). Dual-Spring Barrel and torque return system, 
power reserve indicator.

Case: 38.5mm by 9.8mm
platinum with clasp, hand-engraved, dual-curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, see-through screw case back. 
Water resistance: 30 meters. Magnetic resistance: 4,800 A/m.

Dial: Blue with sparkles made with stamping, plating and hand painting.

Strap: Crocodile strap with three-fold clasp with push button release.

Price: $79,000.

 

Zenith began celebrating El Primero’s fiftieth anniversary in 2019 with a series of Revival models. These have included the El Primero A386, A384 and A385 Revival models, among others, up to the most recent Chronomaster Revival Safari. With all these releases, the Le Locle-based watchmaker has kept the Revival series dial and case designs largely true to their historic proportions and, often, their original hues.

But as Zenith admits, none of these Revival models filled a void within its collections for a ongoing, steel-cased Chronomaster El Primero A386 model. Remember that the first A386 Revival from 2019 was cased in gold. And while the hot steel-cased  Chronomaster Sport Zenith debuted early in 2021 has seemingly met the demand for a new, sportier Chronomaster El Primero chronograph, customers in search of a steel-cased, dressier El Primero A386 have been waiting since 2019. 

The new 38mm Zenith Chronomaster Original, here with a steel case and bracelet.

Zenith this week launches the Chronomaster Original to fill that void. The five watches in the new collection (four are steel-cased, one is cased in gold) retain the most identifiable aspects of the much-loved El Primero A386 from 1969, including a 38mm round and bezel-free steel case with a domed crystal, pump-style chronograph pushers, faceted lugs, and brushed and polished surfaces.

Zenith however updates several key elements of the now familiar Chronomaster Revival profile.  First, Zenith replaces the retro 1960s ladder bracelet found on the recent Revival models with a new, richly-finished solid-link bracelet.

Practical scale

More notably however Zenith updates the tachymeter scale, replacing the original 1/100th-of-an-hour calculation scale with a 1/10-of-a-second chronograph scale. This allows instantaneous reading of a 10th of a second using the chronograph seconds hand.

Within the case Zenith fits the primary reason for this change of tachymetric scale : the latest version of the El Primero caliber, dubbed the El Primero 3600. Also found powering the new Zenith Chronomaster Sport (and originally seen in an earlier, very limited Chronomaster 2), the caliber of course retains the El Primero’s signature high frequency of 5 Hz (36,000 VpH).

Thus, with a central chronograph seconds hand that rotates once around the dial in exactly ten seconds,  the movement offers a true 1/10th-of-second indication in conjunction with the new scale. And now that the scale frames the dials of both the Chronomaster Sport and this new Chronomaster Original design,  Zenith now offers two ongoing collections with this most practical utililization of its high-speed El Primero caliber.

In addition to its new application, the new El Primero 3600 features a newly blued column wheel and “new architecture” that Zenith says is more efficient than earlier El Primeros. The new efficiency also influences the caliber’s power reserve, which is now rated to sixty hours.

The new El Primero 3600 caliber offers a 1/10th-of-second-display from the 36,000-VpH escapement as well as an extended power reserve of 60 hours.

Zenith is offering the new Chronomaster Original in three models. One model, sold on a steel bracelet or a blue calfskin strap, features the well-known Chronomaster tri-color dial configuration. Another model features a so-called ‘reverse panda’ black dial with silver chronograph registers and is sold on a steel bracelet or a beige calfskin strap. Intrestingly, these two models use a rhodium-plated central seconds hand rather than the red central seconds hand found on the tri-color dial versions. The third model is cased in gold and features the tri-color dial design. The logo on each new model has been updated to the Zenith’s more contemporary script.

Both steel-bracelet models are priced at $9,000 while both strap models are priced at $8,400. The third model ($19,100), cased in rose gold with a silvered dial and tri-color subdials, is offered on a brown calfskin strap.

  

If diving with the eye-catching Reservoir Limited-Edition Hydrosphere Bronze on your wrist isn’t enough of an inducement to buying the technically unique dive watch, perhaps you’ll be enticed by an invitation to dive wearing it alongside renowned diver and photographer Greg Lecoeur.

The Reservoir Hydrosphere Greg Lecoeur Limited Edition.

The new inducement means each buyer of the Hydrosphere Greg Lecoeur Limited Edition will be offered a half-day of diving with Lecoeur in the Port-Cros national park in Hyères, France, during a session in September (not including insurance, accommodation and transportation).

Lecoeur is also a supporter of coral protection, and funds from the sale of each special edition Hydrosphere Bronze will be donated to the replanting of a coral through the Coral Gardeners Association.

Reservoir and Lecoeur have teamed to design and produce the fifty-piece limited edition of the bronze-cased watch. Lecoeur chose a blue sunray dial for the limited edition, and each watch will be delivered with a package of photographs from one of his exploration notebooks, all placed into in a handy waterproof carrying case.

The new fifty-piece limited edition series also features a Greg Lecoeur engraving on the back and his name on the dial.  

Reservoir’s Hydrosphere stands alone as the only single-hand functional dive watch we’ve seen. And while we’ve seen bronze encase more than a few nautically themed watches in recent years, the Hydrosphere’s unusual retrograde minute display and jumping hour module set it apart from traditional dive models while still upholding a diver’s need for highly legible dive timing, unidirectional bezel, helium valve and strong water resistance (here rated to 250 meters).  Price: $4,850.

 

Specifications: Reservoir Hydrosphere Greg Lecoeur Edition (limited edition of fifty pieces)

Case: 45mm bronze with satin finish, unidirectional ceramic rotating bezel with double scale for reading the time at different diving depths before and after the retrograde minute hand’s return, helium valve, stainless steel screwed back, screw-down crown, water resistant to 250 meters.

Dial: Blue with sundial finish, white index, magnifier on the jumping-hour window.
Movement: Automatic with patented proprietary 124-piece module on ETA 2824-2 caliber, with retrograde minutes, jumping hour, power reserve of 37 hours, power reserve indicator.

Strap: Black rubber screwed onto the body, additional blue NATO strap provided, mounted on bronze stirrups.

Price: $4,850.

    

As summer ramps up, Tutima Glashütte launches two brightly colored versions of its appealing M2 Seven Seas titanium dive watch series. The 44mm series now includes a model with a bright orange dial and one with a yellow dial. Both colors are familiar to dive watch enthusiasts, though Tutima seems to utilize somewhat brighter examples of these two high-visibility hues to draw attention to the dials on the new pair.

Tutima’s newest M2 Seven Seas model, here with orange dial and matching inner strap lining and stitching.

Also new here is a special two-component strap made of dial-color-matching rubber inside and black Kevlar exterior lined with yellow or orange stitching. Tutima also offers both watches with its excellent titanium bracelet (priced with a very fair $400 premium).

These new models are the first additions to the German-based Tutima’s M2 Seven Seas collection since 2015, and as such they retain the collection’s full array of dive-ready specifications, including a screwed crown, a threaded caseback and, critically, an extra-thick (three-mm) pane of sapphire crystal protecting the dial.

As is required on a dive watch, the hands and markers here wide and exceptionally easy to read. Tutima enhances that visibility by placing a generous coat of SuperLuminova on the markers, hands and the dot at the 12 o’clock position on the unidirectional rotating bezel.

Tutima’s use of both a screw-in caseback and an extra-thick crystal contribute to the very strong 500-meter water resistance rating for the M2 Seven Seas series. Inside the M2 Seven Seas Tutima places its automatic ETA-based Caliber 330 that exhibits a standard 38-hour power reserve when fully wound. Prices: $1,900 (strap model) and $2,300 (titanium bracelet model).

 

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.