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Bulgari artisans illustrate an automatic movement on the dial of the new Octo Finissimo Automatic Sketch, a playful limited edition to be offered in 40mm by 6.4mm steel and rose gold case options.

The new Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Sketch, steel edition.

Inspired by the Italian “schizzo”: sketch, the lacquered dial on the new watch depicts the look of the unusually thin automatic movement (BVL 138 caliber) as seen from the back, complete with an image of the watch’s micro-rotor, escapement, bridges, rubies, and even finishing details like Côtes de Genève and circular graining.

As if sketched in pencil by Bulgari’s master designer and creative director Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, the dial image features hand-drawn lines, arrows, descriptions and fonts that might appear in a technical brief for the thin movement and its components.

(The new watch is the first entry into a Sketch collection. Bulgari is also launching a Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Sketch, a 43mm steel watch with an even more complex dial image that mimics the back of the Bulgari BVL 318 caliber, a GMT chronograph movement.

We’ll show you pictures of that watch as soon as they are available. Above is an image of the Chronograph GMT Sketch dial.) 

On the steel Octo Finissimo Automatic Sketch, the dial offers shades of grey on an off-white background and appears a bit more monochromatic when compared to the gold model. Polished and satin finishes on the case and bracelet, along with the Finissimo’s characteristic sunburst-brushed bezel, offer a metallic edge to the design.

In 18-karat 5N rose gold, the Octo Finissimo Automatic Sketch also features a polished and satin-finished case and bracelet, but with a luxurious touch. Here, the richly colored dial is traversed by grey hands to enhance its subtlety.

Bulgari is offering the Octo Finissimo Automatic Sketch series as two limited editions, with 280 pieces in steel and seventy in rose gold. On each clear sapphire caseback, which offers a view of the dial image source, the watchmaker has etched “EDIZIONE LIMITATA” and “1884 – 2024” to commemorate Bulgari’s 140th anniversary.

Prices: 17,800 euro (steel) and 51,000 euro. U.S. pricing is pending. 

Arnold & Son continues to debut new editions within its impressive Ultrathin Tourbillon Skeleton collection. Two new models display the model’s architectural finesse in new case metals: 5N ‘red’ gold and platinum.

The new Arnold & Son Ultrathin Tourbillon Skeleton Red Gold.

Still built within the same 41.5mm diameter by 8.4mm case size, the new models display this independent maker’s contemporary one-minute tourbillon prominently at the 6 o’clock position, flanked by rose-gold PVD bridges and nicely decorated with radiating Côtes de Genève stripes.

The new Arnold & Son Ultra Thin Tourbillon Skeleton Platinum.

On both models, a white opal dial displays the minutes and hours. The arrowhead on the staff of the tourbillon’s escape wheel serves as the watch’s seconds pointer.

The watchmaker’s 3.3mm-thick A&S8320 caliber movement is one of the thinnest skeleton tourbillons around. Its thinness is enhanced thanks to its lack of an upper bridge, which means the tourbillon is of the ‘flying’ variety. (See additional specifications below).

As with most Arnold & Son calibers, the power reserve of the Ultrathin Tourbillon Skeleton Red Gold and the UltraThin Tourbillon Skeleton Platinum is a spectacular 100 hours. Each model is a limited edition of twenty-eight pieces. 

Prices: Red gold: CHF 74,400, and platinum: CHF 86,200.

 

Specifications: Arnold & Son Ultrathin Tourbillon Skeleton Red Gold and UltraThin Tourbillon Skeleton Platinum

(Red gold: 1UTBR.Z01A.C246R; Platinum: 1UTBX.Z01A.C245X)

Movement: 

Caliber A&S8320, 1-minute flying tourbillon, manual winding, mainplate is skeletonized, rose-gold PVD treatment (4N), Côtes de Genève stripes radiating from the center. Bridges are skeletonized, rose-gold PVD treatment (4N), polished and chamfered by hand, Côtes de Genève stripes radiating from the center. Tourbillon carriage has ‘Arnold & Son’ signature, polished, satin-finished and chamfered by hand. Wheels are circular satin-finished and screws are blued and chamfered with mirror-polished heads. Power reserve is 100 hours. Frequency is 21,600 vph.

Dial: White opal.

Case: 5N red gold or platinum (PT 950) measuring 41.50mm by 8.40mm (with domed sapphire crystal).Case back sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating. Water-resistance to 30 meters.

Strap: Red gold: blue alligator leather, black alligator leather lining, hand-stitched. Platinum: brown alligator leather, black alligator leather lining, hand-stitched. Folding clasp in titanium with cover in red gold or platinum.

Prices: Red gold: CHF 74,400, and platinum: CHF 86,200.

Carl F. Bucherer harnesses its peripheral winding system to power the new Manero Peripheral Perpetual Calendar, one of this Swiss brand’s more complicated designs.

The new Carl F. Bucherer Manero Peripheral Perpetual Calendar.

The watchmaker nicely melds a perpetual calendar and a moon-phase display on the dial of the new watch, which is offered within a luxurious 41.6mm by 11.73mm rose gold case.

In a more traditional style than we typically see from Carl F. Bucherer, the new watch allows easy-to-read displays showing the leap year, date, day, month and moon phase. The latter display is particularly appealing, with hand-engraved rose gold moons on a disc of glittering aventurine.

And thank to this brand’s unusual in-house movement design, the back of the watch offers its own visual pleasures, notably a rotor that spins around the edge of the movement.

On this CFB A2055 caliber, a bidirectional oscillating weight turns on three frictionless ceramic ball-bearings housed in shock-absorbing mountings. 

Such  peripheral oscillating weights are still rare, even among Carl F. Bucherer’s peers in high-end watchmaking, and they always catch my eye when employed as they offer a truly unobstructed view of the finely finished manufacture automatic movement.

Carl F. Bucherer is offering the Manero Peripheral Perpetual Calendar with a choice of black, green and taupe dial hues, each displaying a handsome sunray brushed center and opaline index track.

All feature matching calfskin straps with a ‘Milky Way’ texture, quick release system and an 18-karat rose gold pin-lock folding clasp.

The limited edition model features a rose-hued dial.

A limited edition model (of eight pieces) with a rose-hued dial is also available only at Bucherer 1888 retail locations.

Price: $45,000. 

Frederique Constant celebrates its thirty-fifth anniversary and the fifteenth anniversary of its Manufacture tourbillon with a limited-edition version of its Manufacture Highlife Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar.

The new Frederique Constant Manufacture Highlife Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar.

The Geneva-based watchmaker will release thirty-five examples of the new 41mm by 12.65mm pink gold watch. 

With a contemporary design, the watch melds both of its namesake technical complications within a blue dial, carefully adapting the upper half the tourbillon aperture to fit alongside the calendar displays.

This shape differs from the classically round aperture found within the watchmaker’s existing tourbillon models. 

On the dial you’ll find the day, date and month indications at the 12 o’clock, 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions. Each shows its indication with a hand, though the month/years display (at the 12 o’clock position) requires two hands. In addition to the month hand, another hand indicates leap years.

Frederique Constant’s characteristic Highlife globe pattern subtly underpins the watch’s dial, complete with map-like meridians and parallels. Each dial sector is finished slightly differently in either satin or sunburst patterns to enhance readability.

Frederique Constant’s own tourbillon regulator is fit with the watch’s seconds hand, which rotates just above the balance wheel, a series of blued screws and a gold-finished baseplate. Artisans engrave each plate with the watch’s individual serial number.

The movement here is Frederique Constant’s own FC-975 Manufacture caliber, which the watchmaker decorates with circular grained and Côtes de Genève finishes. The movement boasts a 38-hour power reserve and water resistance to 30 meters. 

Frederique Constant supplies the watch with interchangeable leather and rubber straps, allowing its owner to easily switch between traditional and sportier  looks. 

Price: $48,995. 

Specifications: Frederique Constant Highlife Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Manufacture 

(Limited to 35 pieces, available in January)

Movement: FC-975 in-house automatic caliber, perpetual calendar, tourbillon, 38-hour power reserve, 28,800 alt/h. 

Case: 41mm by 12.65mm brushed and polished rose gold three-part with
scratch-resistant and anti-reflective convex sapphire crystal. See-through case back. Water-resistant to 30 meters. 

Dial: Blue with matte finishing and globe pattern embossed in the center, rose gold plated applied indexes filled with white luminous treatment, rose-gold-plated hour and minute hands filled with white luminous treatment, date counter with rose-gold-plated hand. Heart Beat opening at 6 o’clock with 60-seconds tourbillon, rose-gold-plated seconds hand, day counter at 9 o’clock with rose-gold-plated hand. Month and (leap) year counter at 12 o’clock with rose gold plated hands. 

Strap: Navy blue alligator leather with nubuck finishing. Also included: additional navy blue rubber strap. 

Price: $48,995.

Patek Philippe places a minute repeater within its contemporary Aquanaut Luce collection, launching it within two rose-gold-cased, highly gem-set models. One version on a strap is resplendent in a rainbow of multicolored baguette-cut sapphires while a second model offers an invisible-set baguette-cut-diamond dial and a gem-rich rose gold bracelet.

The new multi-colored Aquanaut Luce Rainbow Minute Repeater Haute Joaillerie (Reference 5260/355R-001).
The new Aquanaut Luce Rainbow Minute Repeater Haute Joaillerie Reference 5260/1455R-001.

While we’ve seen several complications within the Aquanaut since its debut in 1997, including the very recent Annual Calendar (Reference 5261), these debuts, each measuring 38.8mm by 42.5mm, mark the first time the watchmaker has added a minute repeater to the collection.

Patek Philippe has a history of debuting new complicated watches within its collections aimed at feminine watch fans. In 2009 the watchmaker debuted its caliber CH 29-535 PS manually wound chronograph movement in a Ladies First Chronograph model.

And for six years starting in 2011 the Reference 7000 Ladies First Minute Repeater (with the superb caliber R 27 PS) graced the watchmaker’s catalog. Even as far back as 1916, Patek Philippe debuted its first-ever chiming watch as a ladies’ five-minute repeater in a platinum case with a chain bracelet.

 

The new multi-colored Aquanaut Luce “Rainbow” Minute Repeater Haute Joaillerie (Reference 5260/355R-001) shows off the watchmaker’s artisanal prowess set with fifty-two multicolored baguette-cut sapphires, 112 baguette-cut diamonds and 160 brilliant-cut diamonds.

 

Those baguette gemstones are invisibly set, which means each stone is cut with lateral grooves embedded in tiny gold rails that will be invisible once the stone is set.

 

The bracelet model, Aquanaut Luce “Rainbow” Minute Repeater Haute Joaillerie Reference 5260/1455R-001, is set with 130 baguette-cut diamonds on the dial and the outer row of the bezel and 779 multicolored baguette-cut sapphires forming a rainbow on the inner row of the bezel, the flanks of the case, the minute repeater slide-piece and the rose-gold bracelet.

 

Aware that such intense high-carat settings can distract some wearers who deign to check the time, Patek Philippe has been careful to ensure a highly legible dial on each watch. On the bracelet model specifically, twelve multicolored baguette-cut sapphires distinctly mark the hours while the hour hand is set with three baguette rubies and the minute hand is easy to see thanks to five blue sapphires.

Inside both watches, the automatic Caliber R 27 movement chimes on demand on two classic gongs (the hour, quarters and minutes elapsed since the last quarter) when the side-piece is activated. The movement’s off-center 22-karat gold guilloche mini-rotor is visible through a sapphire crystal case back.

For each model, price is on request. 

New Nautilus Models

In addition to debuting the minute repeater in two Aquanaut Luce models, Patek Philippe also debuts three new Nautilus Haute Joaillerie models.

One is cased in white gold set with 1,500 brilliant-cut diamonds with 876 brilliant-cut blue sapphires (6.58 ct, Reference 7118/1451G-001),one offers rubies (Reference 7118/1452G-001) and the third is set with emeralds (Reference 7118/1453G-001) using the “snow setting” technique.

 

With each, the bracelet is equally eye-catching. Diamonds on the outer links of each model contrasts with colored gems on the inner links to better highlight the original construction of the bracelet. Prices on request.

 

And finally, Patek Philippe completes its late-2023 gem-set extravaganza with two new Ladies’ Nautilus models in rose gold with a purple decor.

The new Ladies’ Nautilus Reference 7010R-013.

One, the Ladies’ Nautilus Reference 7010R-013 ($39,624), offers a purple lacquered dial and a matching strap in a composite material, while the second, the Ladies’ Nautilus Reference 7010/1R-013 ($56,183), offers the purple lacquered dial with a rose gold bracelet.