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Frederique Constant unveils a new look for its Classics Heart Beat Manufacture collection, revealing a new dial, new indexes and a retro 39mm case.

The Frederique Constant Classics Heart Beat Manufacture in a 39mm steel case. The new design is also offered with a pink gold case.

Perhaps the most notable change in the new design, which debuts this week during Geneva Watch Days,  is how the Geneva-based watchmaker is exposing the watch’s escapement, or ‘Heart Beat.’

Rather than the ‘comma-shaped’ aperture at the 12 o’clock position that characterized the dial of the Heart Beat collection since 2004, the new collection erases the comma in favor of a true circle that is now positioned at the 6 o’clock position.

The first Frederique Constant Heart Beat models in 1994 quickly became a signature design for what was then a young watchmaking company. The look has been emblematic for the company in the years since, and Frederique Constant has used the design to introduce its FC-910 manual-wind manufacture caliber in 2004, as well as its FC-930, the watchmakers’ first automatic caliber, a few years later.

Original size

The aperture update is only one aspect the Heart Beat’s redesign. A 39mm case size is a return to the original dimension of the Heart Beat Manufacture models, which have been offered in larger sizes in recent years. And the 2022 collection also boasts more classical Roman numerals on the dial, paired with thinner indexes.

Frederique Constant notes that the new, subtler indexes overlay a lacquered white dial and are paired with traditional railway markers, echoing watches of the early 20th century.  Finally, Frederique Constant revives the same hand design it used in 2004, with a slender leaf shape for the minutes and “heart” hand for the hours.

The onion crown on the watch, which will be retained on the new collection, winds an automatic FC-930-3 manufacture caliber, which offers a thirty-eight hour power reserve. Frederique Constant decorates the movement with fine pearling and Côtes de Genève stripes, visible through the open caseback.

Frederique Constant is offering the new Classics Heart Beat Manufacture, in two limited series’. The first is cased in pink gold on a brown alligator strap and limited to 93 pieces ($17,995). The second is made of steel on a black alligator strap and limited to 930 pieces ($4,395).  Availability is in December 2022

 

 

Especially notable among Bulgari’s late 2022 debuts, which premiere this week during Geneva Watch Days, are two special editions created in collaboration with Japanese designers. 

One watch, made with architect Kazuyo Sejima, is a limited edition Octo Finissimo with a mirror-effect dial, while the second is a silver-toned model series made with Japanese artist Sorayama that extends the recently revived Bulgari Aluminum collection.

The Octo Finissimo Sejima Edition stems from a collaboration between Bulgari and the Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima.

Both these special editions arrive as part of an impressive, wide-ranging set of debuts for the Italo-Swiss watchmaker/jeweler.

The new Bulgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic, now in a satin-brushed rose gold case and with a subtle brown-lacquered dial.

The full range of Bulgari debuts, which we’ll detail in future posts, includes several premiere pink- or rose-gold-cased models within the Octo Finissimo collection.

The new Bulgari Octo Finissimo Skeleton 8 Days debuts a new hand-wound manufacture movement, caliber BVL 199 SK, with an 8-day power reserve.

These include new gold watches within the Octo Finissimo Skeleton 8 Days, the Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic  ($35,800) series and the Octo Finissimo Automatic reference.

The back of the new Bulgari Octo Finissimo Skeleton 8 Days exposes the new caliber BVL 199 SK.

One of those debuts, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Skeleton 8 Days ($37,300), marks the launch of a sharp-looking new hand-wound manufacture movement, caliber BVL 199 SK, with an 8-day power reserve.

The new Bulgari Serpenti Seduttori Black.

Bulgari also added newly blackened steel or ceramic cases and bracelets to models within its Serpenti Seduttori, Serpenti Spiga and Bvlgari Bvlgari collections.

The new Bvlgari Bvlgari Black, available in 41mm and 33mm case sizes.
The new Bulgari Serpenti Spiga Ceramic boasts a 35mm black ceramic case and a rose gold bezel set with diamonds.

And finally, look for a new white gold Serpenti Seduttori Tourbillon set with black spinel and diamonds ($185,000).

The new white gold Serpenti Seduttori Tourbillon is set with black spinel and diamonds.

Octo Finissimo Sejima Edition

Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima, who holds the 2010 Pritzker Prize among many other architecture awards, focuses the eye with a mirrored dial under a dot-pattern sapphire crystal on her version of the eight-sided Bulgari Octo Finissimo. The effect is mesmerizing, especially with the entire dial framed in a 36.6mm polished stainless steel case.

According to Bulgari, the idea bring together a “contrast between material and transparency, the visible and the invisible,” which Sejima devised in part to reflect the aesthetic codes apparent in her architectural work.

The architect’’s signature is inscribed on the sapphire crystal caseback, which opens up the  nicely decorated automatic Manufacture movement, BVL Calibre 138 – complete with (surprise!) a platinum micro-rotor. 

Bulgari will make the Octo Finissimo Sejima Edition as a 360-piece limited edition and will delivered it in a special mirrored steel box. Price: $14,100.

Bulgari’s new Aluminum Sorayama Special Edition.

Aluminum Sorayama

The shapes and textures on this Bulgari Aluminum Sorayama Special Edition are meant to recall the aesthetics of automobiles and airplanes of the 1930s and 1940s.

On the dial you’ll find pearlescent swirls, propeller-shaped hour-markers and only one numeral (2), said to be Sorayama’s lucky number. According to the artist, the swirls are inspired by the surface of Spirit of St. Louis, the airplane that Charles Lindbergh flew when he made the first nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean.

The 40mm limited edition (of 1,000) is Bulgari’s third special edition Aluminum model since 2020, when Bulgari revived the 1998 design with automatic movements and updated technical features. Here, you’ll find a rubber bezel, water resistance to 100 meters and a crown and caseback made of reinforced black titanium.

The watch’s rubber strap also includes the watch’s namesake metal, with aluminum links and pin buckle. Inside Bulgari fits Beating inside the case is a mechanical self-winding movement with a 42-hour power reserve. Price: $3,300.  

Arnold & Son expands its much-heralded Perpetual Moon collection with a new edition that features a brilliant blue mother-of-pearl dial shimmering within a new, diamond-set 38mm red gold case. And while this addition to the collection features the Swiss watchmaker’s smallest caliber, it powers one of the larger moonphase displays available.

The new Arnold & Son Perpetual Moon 38 Gold Moonlight.

The new Arnold & Son Perpetual Moon 38 Gold Moonlight features a richly decorated evening sky dial framed with a diamond-set bezel that echoes more diamonds used as hour-markers and on the crown and lugs.

All told, you’ll find 138 diamonds (2.61 carats) glittering on the watch, reflecting light that complements the SuperLuminova-set moon, made more realistic with hand-painted shadows. The Ursa Major and Cassiopeia constellations complete the scene nearby.

The Arnold & Son manual-wind caliber A&S1612 inside the collection is the watchmaker’s smallest, measuring 29.4 mm in diameter so that it perfectly fits the watch’s new 38mm by 10.44mm case.

The beautifully finished manually wound movement, smaller than the A&S1512 found inside the 42mm Perpetual Moon series, still packs a impressive technical punch with a power reserve of ninety hours. And like those larger movements, the new model also boasts accuracy for 122 years – if the watch is kept wound.

Price: $50,300.

 

As a partner and official timekeeper to the Mille Miglia classic car race since 1988, Chopard annually issues a new limited series chronograph inspired by the 1,000-mile tour through Italy (which just completed its fortieth run from Brescia to Rome and back).

The new Chopard Mille Miglia 2022 Race Edition, here in all-steel.

For 2022 Chopard launches two models. One is a steel-cased version made as a 1,000-piece limited edition, while the second is a 250-piece limited edition that features a rose gold crown, pushers and bezel.

The Chopard Mille Miglia 2022 Race Edition, with Ethical gold crown, pushers and bezel.

This year’s edition features a silver-grey dial with handsome light blue hands, hour-markers and bezel inlay (with tachymeter scale). Notable this year, in addition to the color scheme, is the larger date display and a distinctive use of differing of dial finishes to separate the chronograph functions from the day-to-day timekeeping display.

Chopard finishes the chronograph counters (at 6 and 12 o’clock) with a peripheral snailed pattern, which differs from the small seconds at 9 o’clock. These displays also feature red-tipped hands that echo one of the official Mille Miglia colors. The timekeeping hands are quite visible with their broad size, blue rim and a generous helping of luminous material.

Inside both models Chopard fits a COSC-chronometer-certified ETA-based automatic movement. To better utilize this precision instrument during any competition, Chopard also fits solid mushroom-type pushers with a broad surface engraved with a knurled pattern for a sure grip. In the same vein, Chopard’s large and ratcheted crown also ensures easy use.

Racing champion Jacky Ickx wears the Chopard Mille Miglia 2022 Race Edition.

Chopard fits the new Mille Miglia 2022 Race Edition timepiece with a terrific-looking brown perforated calfskin strap lined with rubber. As usual, Chopard patterns this rubber to echo the tread of 1960s Dunlop Racing tires. Prices: $11,400 (with Ethical rose gold) and $7,770 (steel).

Franck Muller is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary with a diamond-flecked nod on the dial of a new Crazy Hours 30th Anniversary, a series of glittery Crazy Hours watches.

As one of the Geneva-based watchmaker’s best-known designs, Crazy Hours features dials with numeral markers set in a clearly untraditional order around the dial.

Muller’s genius was to create a jump-hour movement that has the hour hand jump from one hour to the next in the correct numerical order while the minute hand moves around the dial in its traditional manner. Reading the minute hand, and ignoring the hour hand’s placement on the dial, the wearer sees the correct time.

For this thirtieth anniversary set, Franck Muller combines its own collection of Art Deco-styled dial numerals, set off-center amid another set of decorative ‘hologram’ numerals stamped into a guilloché sun pattern dial. The dial seems effervescent thanks to the twenty layers of translucent lacquer.

Franck Muller specifically celebrates its three decades with a diamond-set ‘30th’ at the top left side of the dial, impishly combining the 3 o’clock marker and the zero from 10 o’clock marker.

All this is set within Franck Muller’s best-known case, its Cintrée Curvex, an extended tonneau design. Franck Muller’s own finely finished MVD FM 2800-CHR
automatic movement with a bi-directional rotor powers the collection.

Franck Muller offers the Crazy Hours 30th in three size options in rose gold, white gold or steel cases with a royal blue dial or the deep burgundy dial. Also look for a white-dialed Crazy Color Dreams version with colorful numerals and a white or red leather strap. All are available with or without a diamond-set bezel.