The latest Wilbur watch is out of this world.

While the Wilbur LEO is round and rests on the wrist like a traditional watch, its sculptural, multi-part titanium case does not enclose traditional hour, minute and seconds hands. The LEO instead displays the time in an unusual manner on a dial that looks like a satellite tumbling its way around Earths orbit.

The Wilbur LEO

At the center of this 48.5mm by 46mm titanium puzzle the LEO displays the hour prominently and digitally. 

The hour digit that appears in the LEO’s central aperture is actually a mash-up of two otherwise indecipherable symbols that meet once per hour.

One clear sapphire disks and another brushed-black sapphire disk rotate twice a day on either side of the hour display. When they meet, those ‘alien’ symbols form the correct hour digit at the dial’s center. 

To display minutes and seconds, the LEO returns to earth, displaying each at the end of fixed bridges that double as hands.

Wilbur’s other-worldly method of creating the hour digit is put into practice by Swiss movement engineering company Concepto, and is a global premiere.

Jason Wilbur, company founder and chief designer, explains that the LEO took him seven years to finalize. The idea originated from learning about the Roswell, NM, ‘alien’ stories.

Jason Wilbur in his design studio.

“I wanted to create something that sprang from learning in my youth about the Roswell incident with all its alien stuff,” he recalls. 

For the LEO, Wilbur created a type of coded language to feed the unusual jump hour display. 

“No one on Earth who saw those pieces would know what the Roswell symbols mean. So I created my own code. On the watch the hours come together with coded symbols,” he adds.

Limited Editions 

Wilbur will make fifty examples of the LEO in its initial JW 1.1 version, but he plans to eventually build three-hundred LEO watches in a variety of hues and with customized finishes and materials.

The LEO complements WILBUR’s existing lineup, which also includes the EXP watch and the Launch Edition, both of which are square-cased modular watches built with an artful mix of steel, ceramic and silicon components.

“We’ll make those in about 5,000 units per year,” he explains. “Two models are on the website now and two more are coming.” He notes that these modular designs offer him the creative leeway to create some ‘crazy’ Wilbur watches. 

The Wilbur LEO JW1.1 is priced starting at $32,500. 

Specifications: The Wilbur LEO JW1

Case: 48.50mm X 46.00mm X 16.50mm 8-part modular titanium (materials can vary by edition), sapphire crystals w/ anti-reflective coating, 30 meters of water resistance, hand finished , exhibition back.

Movement/Dial: In-house Engine One automatic jump-hour, made in Switzerland by Concepto,, hours displayed on proprietary sapphire & aluminum jump-hour disks shown under central window, minutes on hubless ring disc (fixed pointer on bridge) and seconds on small disc (fixed pointer on bridge). JW1 movement chassis,JW 1 rotor

Strap: Black silicone with Cordura option.

Base price: $32,500. 

At its annual World Presentation of Haute Horologerie (WPHH) a few weeks ago Franck Muller unveiled seventeen new models, including numerous updates to its Curvex CX series of emblematic ‘Curvex’ tonneau-shaped watches.

The new Franck Muller Curvex CX Grand Central Flash Tourbillon, available in a variety of case metals and with colorful markers and straps.

Here we’ll detail the new Curvex CX Grand Central Flash Tourbillon, one of the focus debuts in 2023 for Franck Muller.     

Inspired by futuristic car designs, Franck Muller created the new Curvex CX Grand Central Flash Tourbillon to highlight its hot, award-winning central tourbillon design while also expanding the collection’s case material options.

You may recall that with the existing Grand Central Tourbillon series Franck Muller’s watchmakers found an innovative way to place the hour and second hands around the tourbillon cage, highlighting the large central tourbillon and – for its debut series – a guilloché dial.

Now Franck Muller places the same technical design into a much more contemporary setting, surrounding the skeletonized tourbillon with brightly colored fluorescent indexes set into a deep matte black dial. The series includes models cased in titanium, steel and carbon composites. 

Franck Muller explains that the new design is meant to focus the eye to center of the dial to highlight the Central Tourbillon.

To assist, Franck Muller also added a fluorescent arrow to the tourbillon’s cage bridge to act as the seconds indicator. “This arrow rotates around the Central Tourbillon like an electron around its nucleus,” notes Franck Muller’s in-house description. 

The Curvex CX case is an effective frame for the tourbillon. The watch’s sapphire crystal extends all the way to the bracelet, and the watch’s fairly thin bezel also maintains the focus on the dial, while also can be treated with either a matching or contrasting finish.

Franck Muller maintains a technical mind-set by attaching many of the new watches to colorful textile straps. 

Price: $130,600. 

Other 2023 Curvex CX Debuts

Also new in 2023, Franck Muller adds its Giga Tourbillon to the Curvex CX collection to create the new skeletonized Curvex CX Giga Tourbillon (below).

In addition, Franck Muller expands the Curvex CX collection to include two new sizes, 30mm and 33mm, which makes the collection now available for feminine or smaller wrists.

The new Franck Muller Curvex CX Lady.

Also new in 2023, look for a more subdued model in the collection, the Curvex CX Piano ($9,400 to $18,100), which offers glossy black dial with no markers. This classy model accentuates a stunning black lacquér dial and is offered in a variety of case metals.

The new Franck Muller Curvex CX Piano, available in steel and gold cases.

We’ll have more about these additions to the Curvex CX collection, plus details about the new Skafander watches and a host of new Vanguard watches, in future posts.

A selection of 2023 Franck Muller debuts.

Next week, we’ll start with details on one of those new Vanguard models that includes three variations cased in Damascus steel. In the meantime check the Franck Muller website for details about these all the other WPHH 2023 debuts. 

During Watches and Wonders 2023, IWC revisited its Ingenieur collection by debuting Ingenieur Automatic 40, a new collection of three steel-cased models, while also adding a new titanium version of the watch.

The new IWC Automatic 40 titanium model. Three steel-cases model also debuted at Watches and Wonders.
The back of the IWC Ingenieur Automatic 40 in titanium.

While we’ve seen titanium versions of the post-1976 Gerald Genta-designed Ingenieur in the past, this year’s debut is an all-new ongoing model that, from early notices, seems bound to be a hit for the Schaffhausen-based watchmaker.

With a name meaning ‘engineer in both French and German, the Ingenieur collection has been where IWC placed its most ‘technical’ designs over the years. IWC launched the collection in 1955 to highlight its first automatic movement protected with a soft-iron inner case for magnetic field protection.


This tool-watch focus remains as all the new Ingenieur Automatic 40 references are powered by the IWC-manufactured Caliber 32111, boasting a superior power reserve of 120 hours.

Also, all the new models feature soft-iron inner cases to protect the movements from magnetic fields, and all are water-resistant to 100 meters. 

The latest Ingenieur collection traces its design from the 1970s, more specifically from Gérald Genta’s Ingenieur SL, Reference 1832.

IWC modeled the new collection on the 1970s-era Ingenieur SL Ref. 1832, designed by Gerald Genta.

On each Ingenieur Automatic 40 watch you’ll see five functional, polygonal screws along the bezel to secure the bezel to the case. These echo the Genta design, though on the original model the screws were not always in the same location along the bezel.


Here, a permanent pattern for the screws contributes to the case and bezel design while also enhancing the watch’s integrity.

To create its new, distinctive ‘grid’ pattern dial, IWC’s watchmakers stamp the pattern (small lines offset by 90 degrees to each other) into a soft iron blank, and then galvanize it.

The result is a pleasing texture and design that meshes nicely with the entire watch’s technical nature. A new, slightly curved case enhances the model’s wrist friendliness.

For the steel Ingenieur Automatic 40, IWC offers black, silver and aqua dials, while the titanium model is matched with a nice grey dial, notably darker than the silver-dialed steel model.

The titanium watch (Ref. IW328904 ) is also sand-blasted with polished bevels and brushed sides.


Its sturdy integrated Grade 5 titanium bracelet with butterfly folding clasp maintains the entire watch’s lightness, which also contributes to the watch’s wrist-friendliness. Titanium’s anti-allergy properties are also a plus.

Price: $11,700 (steel) and $14,600 (titanium).

Louis Vuitton extends one of its most dramatic ongoing collections, the Tambour Moon Flying Tourbillon Poinçon de Genève, adding two hard-to-miss new models. 

One of two new Louis Vuitton Tambour Moon Flying Tourbillon models, each cased in fluorescent sapphire.

In addition to the collection’s existing clear, blue- or pink-tinted sapphire-cased models, Louis Vuitton now adds one new watch cased in fluorescent green sapphire and the other in a fluorescent yellow sapphire case.

Touted by Louis Vuitton as “the first watch collection with a sapphire case to bear Geneva Seal,” the new The Tambour Moon Flying Tourbillon “Poinçon de Genève” debuts are brilliant in their new color.

Created by heating aluminum oxide at temperatures of around 2,000° Celsius, the sapphire cases are each cut from a from a single block of colored synthetic sapphire. 

The material protects Louis Vuitton’s LV90 caliber, a high-performance openwork movement regulated by a flying tourbillon. The hand-wound movement offers a superior power reserve of eighty hours.

Louis Vuitton explains that each case requires 420 hours of complex operations on digitally controlled machines working with diamond tools. “The 10mm thick monobloc part alone, comprising the case middle, the bezel and the glass, requires 100 hours of milling and 150 hours of polishing. The case back needs fifty hours of machining and sixty hours of hand and machine finishing to become fully transparent and ready for assembly. Finally, the transparent bridge bearing the LV logo takes twenty hours of cutting and forty hours of manual finishing,” according to the manufacturer.

Louis Vuitton attaches the case to a leather strap using black PVD-treated titanium lugs, attached by screws. The watch’s indexes and brand-name lettering are lacquered in white for the green sapphire version, and black for the yellow sapphire model. The 42.5mm by 9.9mm case is water-resistant to 30 meters thanks to a transparent gasket.

Created in a limited production of twenty for each color, each new Tambour Moon Flying Tourbillon Poinçon de Genève watches is priced at 400,000 euros.

More than two decades after releasing the groundbreaking Freak, Ulysse Nardin introduces the Freak One, a version of the flying carrousel movement watch that revives its three signature characteristics: no dial, no hands and no crown.

The new Ulysse Nardin Freak One.

However, the new watch now benefits from the many technical advances Ulysse Nardin devised during the past twenty years (Note that since 2001, Ulysse Nardin has filed more than twenty patents for the Freak).

Thus, the new Freak One is regulated by a silicon hairspring (which Ulysse Nardin introduced in 2008) and is regulated with an escapement treated with the synthetic diamond and silicon plasma treatment called DIAMonSIL, which Ulysse Nardin added to the Freak in 2007.

A more recent technical flourish, the proprietary automatic Grinder system, means the Freak One is much more easily wound.

The system is twice as efficient as a traditional winding system and contributes to the long seventy-two-hour power reserve of the UN-240 manufacture caliber inside.

Aesthetically, the new Freak One combines several favorite Freak designs from the past. These include the notched bezel of the original 2001 Freak, the open gear train seen on the 2013 Freak Cruiser, plus the high-legibility of the 2018 Freak Vision.

As a sort of tribute watch to its original model, the new Freak One glows with beautifully finished rose gold movement components and a rose gold bezel, all contrasting luxuriously with the 44mm black DLC-coated titanium case.

The lightweight metal plus a newly integrated 30% recycled textured rubber strap (one of three included) combine to make the Freak One quite comfortable on the wrist.  

Price: $68,600. 

Specifications: Ulysse Nardin Freak One

Caliber: UN-240 Manufacture automatic movement, 72-hour power reserve, frequency 3 Hz (21,600 V/H) hours, minutes displayed via flying carrousel movement rotating around its own axis. Silicon oversized oscillator and balance spring DIAMonSIL treatment to escapement, Grinder automatic winding system with blades technology, rose-gold bridges with Super-LumiNova, Black engraved sunray pattern on the barrel cover.

Case: 44mm by 12mm black DLC-coated titanium with satin finish, rose gold 5N bezel, black titanium case back with sapphire insert, water-resistant to 30 meters. 

Bracelets: Black rubber ‘ballistic’ textured strap, black matte alligator leather strap and two-tone rubber strap with black DLC-coated titanium deployant buckle. Rubber straps made of 30% recycled rubber from production waste by BIWI, Switzerland.

Price: $68,600.