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MB&F has joined forces with Bulgari to create the new Legacy Machine FlyingT Allegra, a dramatic colored-gem-set iteration of the LM FlyingT, MB&F’s first venture into feminine-focused design.

You may recall that the LM FlyingT was quite a success upon its launch in 2019. Customers clamored for it, and the industry awarded it the prize for Best Ladies’ Complication at the 2019 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. The 39.5mm by 20mm watch displays hours and minutes on a 50° vertically tilted dial with two serpentine hands regulated by a dramatically raised flying tourbillon at the center.

Just last year MB&F added a limited edition guilloché-dialed LM FlyingT series cased in red gold and platinum. More recently, the watchmaker launched an eye-catching Lapis Lazuli LM FlyingT model. MB&F noted at the time that it expected to announce at least one new gemstone-set edition annually.

The new MB&F x Bulgari LM FlyingT Allegra, here in a pink gold case.

For the newest edition, the MB&F x Bulgari LM FlyingT Allegra, Bulgari’s well-established gemstone expertise merges with the LM FlyingT’s existing diamond-set dial plate to create a terrific counterbalance the technical center of the dial.

Prominent single stones of tourmaline, tsavorite, diamonds, rubellite, amethyst, tanzanite and topaz flank the watch’s diamond-set flying tourbillon and the balance at the center.

Bulgari opts for a cabochon cut for each stone, a choice that not only makes the stones all the more prominent above the dial, but that also perfectly matches the FlyingT Allegra’s round case.

On the back of the watch MB&F again creates a sun-shaped oscillating weight with gold rays rotating on a ruthenium disc above a platinum counterweight.

The caseback reveals the sun-shaped oscillating weight.

MB&F will offer twenty MB&F x Bulgari LM FlyingT Allegra watches, cased in either pink gold or white gold. Each is set with fully diamond-set dial plates and adorned with Bulgari’s fine gemstones. Price: $185,000.

 

Specifications: MB&F x Bulgari Legacy Machine FlyingT Allegra

Movement: FlyingT featuring three-dimensional vertical architecture, automatic winding, conceived and developed in-house, central flying 60-second tourbillon, balance frequency of 18,000 (2.5 Hz), power reserve of 100 hours, three-dimensional sun winding rotor in 18k 5N+ red gold, titanium and platinum.

Dial: Hours and minutes displayed on a 50° vertically tilted dial with two serpentine hands. White gold version set with diamonds, tsavorite, topaz, amethyst, tanzanite and tourmaline. Pink gold version set with diamonds, tsavorite, tourmaline, tanzanite, amethyst and rubellite.

Case: 39mm x 20mm white gold or pink gold, set with diamonds. High domed sapphire crystal on top with anti-reflective coating on both sides, sapphire crystal on back. Two crowns: winding on left and time-setting on right. Water resistance to 30 meters.

Strap: Alligator leather strap with white or pink gold pin buckle matching the case.

Price: $185,000.

Frederique Constant adds a tourbillon to its perpetual calendar to create the new Highlife Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Manufacture, a handsome 41mm complication available in a steel case or a rose gold case. And to underscore the Geneva-based watchmaker’s long-held mission to offer affordably priced fine Swiss watches, the steel model is priced just under $23,000.

The new Frederique Constant Highlife Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Manufacture, in steel.

For years Frederique Constant’s complicated watches, such as its flyback chronograph, in-house perpetual calendar and its manufacture tourbillon, have attracted collectors in search of affordably priced, classically styled Swiss watchmaking. Few (if any) Swiss in-house manufacturing watchmakers can boast a collection with a comparable set of complicated watches at the same price levels.

The new Frederique Constant Highlife Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Manufacture, with gold case.

The new Highlife Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Manufacture combines the brand’s existing know-how as found in its own manufacture tourbillon and stand-alone perpetual calendar. The new watch displays the date, day and month in three subdials along the top of the dial, echoing the existing Highlife Perpetual Calendar.

Frederique Constant replaces that model’s moonphase indicator with its manufacture tourbillon at the subdial located at 6 o’clock. I especially like the subdial at 12 o’clock that displays the month with the large hand and the leap year indication with a smaller hand. To balance this somewhat top-heavy design, Frederique Constant deftly places its own tourbillon with silicon escapement (the escape wheel and the lever) to add symmetry to the dial. The tourbillon displays seconds with its central hand.

Frederique Constant offers two blue-accented versions of the new watch, one more luxurious in a rose gold case and the other framed in steel. Both allow the wearer to enjoy a view into the FC-975 Manufacture caliber and its blued screws, perlage and Côtes de Genève finishes. If you look closer at the dial on either watch, you’ll see another nicely executed design detail: anti-reflective recessed perpetual calendar displays that ensure a quicker, more enjoyable read.

Frederique Constant notes that it offers collectors options to customize the individually numbered steel and rose gold editions of the new watch. Each one comes with two interchangeable straps. The rose gold version comes with a topstitched alligator leather strap and a second rubber strap. The same rubber strap also comes with the steel watch, which arrives on a bracelet with a three-link design and a folding buckle.

Prices: $39,995 (rose gold case) and $22,995 (steel case and bracelet).

 

Specifications: Frederique Constant Highlife Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Manufacture

(Steel-cased model, reference FC-975N4NH6B, limited to 88 pieces)

Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, day, month, leap year.

Movement: FC-975 caliber, automatic, tourbillon, perpetual calendar perlage, drafted marks and Côtes de Genève decorations, 38-hour power reserve, 28,800 vph, silicon escapement wheel and anchor.

Case: 41mm by 12.65mm brushed and polished stainless steel 3-part. Front convex sapphire crystal, see-through case back, water-resistant to 30 meters.

Dial: Skeleton with
Navy blue outer ring with white printed second markers.
Hand-polished silvered color with white luminous treatment hour and minute hands.
Navy blue day counter at 9 o’clock with hand-polished silvered color hand. Navy blue month and year counter at 12 o’clock with hand-polished silvered color hands.
Navy blue date counter at 3 o’clock with hand-polished silvered color hand. Open tourbillon cage at 6 o’clock with hand-polished silvered color second hand.

Strap: Brushed and polished stainless steel 3-link bracelet including an additional navy blue rubber strap.

Price: $22,995

 

Specifications: Frederique Constant Highlife Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Manufacture

(Rose gold edition, reference FC-975N4NH9, limited to 30 pieces)

Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, day, month, leap year.

Movement: FC-975 caliber, automatic, tourbillon, perpetual calendar perlage, drafted marks and Côtes de Genève decorations, 38-hour power reserve, 28,800 vph, silicon escapement wheel and anchor.

Case: 41mm by 12.65mm brushed and polished rose gold three-part. Front convex sapphire crystal, see-through case back, water-resistant to 30 meters.

Dial: Skeleton with Navy blue outer ring with white printed second markers.
Hand-polished rose gold-plated with white luminous treatment hour and minute hands.
Navy blue day counter at 9 o’clock with hand-polished rose gold-plated hand. Navy blue month and year counter at 12 o’clock with hand-polished rose gold-plated hands. Navy blue date counter at 3 o’clock with hand-polished rose gold-plated hand. Open tourbillon’s cage at 6 o’clock with hand-polished rose gold-plated seconds hand.

Strap: Navy blue alligator leather strap with nubuck finishing including an additional navy blue rubber strap

Price: $39,995

 

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.

 

Watchmakers have been multiplying their automotive and motorsports collaborations in recent years. Here, we review a few prominent timekeeping/racing alliances.

By Y-Jean Mun-DelSalle

In this final installment of our series outlining automotive-wristwatch partnerships, we highlight Girard-Perregaux and Richard Mille. 

 

Girard-Perregaux

Girard-Perregaux has signed a multi-year agreement as the official watch partner of British automotive manufacturer Aston Martin Lagonda and the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula 1 team. Both brands are commemorating milestones this year: founded in 1791, the Swiss watchmaker is one of the oldest fine watchmaking manufactures still in operation and celebrates its 230th anniversary, while Aston Martin marks its return to Formula 1 after a hiatus of over sixty years.

For the 2021 F1 season, Girard-Perregaux branding appears on Aston Martin F1 car rear-view mirrors and team uniforms. Girard-Perregaux’s and Aston Martin’s design teams have participated in high-level discussions on movements, esthetics, functionality, material usage and ergonomics.

Several limited-edition timepieces will be unveiled, the first of which was released last June.

The Girard-Perregaux Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges Aston Martin Edition.

Revisiting a Girard-Perregaux legend, the Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges Aston Martin Edition is an 18-piece skeletonized high-end timekeeper with no dial or bezel. Three black PVD-treated titanium bridges appear to float between panes of sapphire crystal.

Back view of the Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges Aston Martin Edition.

The lightweight, 79-component tourbillon cage weighs in at only 0.25 grams, thereby reducing energy consumption, while the micro-rotor’s vertical flank is etched with the Aston Martin name filled with white luminescence.

In a world first, Girard-Perregaux introduces an innovative material never used before in watchmaking on its calf leather strap: a central insert in rubber injected with white gold.

“Rarely do we work with others to reinterpret the Three Bridges, explains CEO Patrick Pruniaux. “However, on this occasion, we have made an exception, mindful of Aston Martin’s prowess for design.”

Later in 2021, a second timepiece will be launched, from another of the manufacture’s iconic collections. We can also expect to see Girard-Perregaux clocks in Aston Martin road cars.

Girard-Perregaux has a long history of collaborations with the automotive universe. During the mid-1990s, then owner and car enthusiast Luigi Macaluso began a ten-year partnership with Ferrari, and together they produced the highly-successful Ferrari watches.

“Girard-Perregaux has had strong ties to the automotive world in the past, which we were keen to reactivate in a stronger way,” notes Clémence Dubois, Girard-Perregaux’s chief marketing and product officer.

 

Richard Mille

Calling its timepieces ‘racing machines on the wrist,’ Richard Mille is no stranger to the automotive world, with friends and partners like Jean Todt, Alain Prost, Felipe Massa, Sébastien Loeb and the Venturi Formula E team. The brand even owns an all-women LMP2 racing team.

After discussions for Richard Mille’s collaboration with both Ferrari’s racing and road car divisions were initiated last summer, this year it is partnering two F1 teams – Scuderia Ferrari and McLaren Racing – while continuing personal relationships with F1 drivers Fernando Alonso and Mick Schumacher.

The Ferrari F1 SF21 is Scuderia’s 2021 Formula 1 race car.

The new multi-year tie-up extends from Formula 1, WEC endurance programs and Competizioni GT to the renowned Ferrari Challenge single-model championship for gentlemen drivers worldwide as well as for the Ferrari Driver Academy. Starting in 2022 Richard Mille will launch a series of watches bearing the famous Ferrari Prancing Horse logo, developed by Richard Mille’s team in Switzerland and Ferrari’s designers and engineers.

Ferrari F1 Racer Charles Leclerc, wearing the RM 67-02.

“Richard Mille has since its inception been viewed as the Formula 1 of watchmaking,” says Tim Malachard, Richard Mille’s marketing director. “The inspiration of materials and technology found in F1 being applied to produce extremely technical, ergonomic and light timepieces. It is also not a secret that those who like cars and motor racing are also fans of watches. Ferrari and Richard Mille share many common values, and many of our customers are owners of either brand, so another good reason to collaborate over the next few years.”

The RM 40-01 Automatic Tourbillon McLaren Speedtail.

To mark its fifth year of partnership with McLaren Automotive, Richard Mille launched the RM 40-01 Automatic Tourbillon McLaren Speedtail last May in tribute to the fastest road-going car the British carmaker has ever built, with a top speed of 250 mph. The watch is available in a limited edition of 106 timepieces to match the exclusivity of the 106 Speedtail hypercars.

The platinum and red gold winding rotor on the RM 40-01 is inspired by the Speedtail’s hood.

“There are many similarities between the way that Richard Mille and McLaren approach common design and engineering challenges, such as saving weight, reducing vibrational impact and minimizing resistance,” says Rob Melville, McLaren automotive’s design director.

The Speedtail is a streamlined hypercar that is the fourth car in McLaren’s Utimate range.

The watch’s lines mimic the car’s teardrop shape – significantly wider at 12 o’clock than at 6 o’clock – and its bezel indentations evoke bonnet openings while its pushers recall air outlets behind the front wheels.

The watch also debuts numerous firsts in a Richard Mille-manufactured automatic tourbillon: in-house power reserve display, oversize date and function selector complications. Richard Mille’s casing department required an unprecedented 2,800 hours over eighteen months to perfect the contours of the titanium and Carbon TPT case, with the conception of five prototypes before the optimum shape was reached.

As the case tapers between the bezel and caseback, Richard Mille developed an innovative upper crystal glass featuring a “triple contour” to protect the movement.

 

Y-Jean Mun-DelSalle is a freelance journalist and editorial consultant who has lived on three different continents. She meets with inspirational individuals in pursuit of excellence: emerging and established artists, designers and craftsmen, engaging entrepreneurs and philanthropists, and the movers and shakers of the world today. She contributes regularly to regional and international titles such as Artsy, Asia Tatler, Design Anthology, Forbes, Portfolio, Robb Report, Shawati’ and Vogue, shining a spotlight in particular on art, architecture, design, horology and jewelry.

Among the four summer A. Lange & Söhne debuts launched last week, the German watchmaker’s new Cabaret Tourbillon Handwerkskunst certainly stirred the most interest.

While all the previous six deeply artisanal Handwerkskunst models are horological works of both art and technique, this latest example may be the first to also revive (if only for this debut) a retired collection, the rectangular-cased Cabaret.

The new A. Lange & Söhne Cabaret Tourbillon Handwerkskunst, cased in platinum.

The limited-edition (of thirty pieces) watch is a special, possibly one-off version of a Cabaret that, in 2008, was the first mechanical wristwatch with tourbillon stop seconds.

The new Cabaret Tourbillon Handwerkskunst re-introduces (with updates) the still unusual rectangular-shaped movement A. Lange & Söhne used in earlier Cabaret Tourbillon models. But in addition to that already intriguing launch, the debut heightens the watch’s eye-appeal with an impressive applied enamel lozenge-patterned dial.

The watch features a hand-engraved dial in the ‘lozenge’ design style.
In comparison with the 2008 Cabaret tourbillon caliber, this version (Cal. L042.1, seen from the back) has a new indexless oscillation system with a Lange balance spring.

Each section of the dial has been separated with a decorated thin line, which also creates a dramatic three-dimensional aspect. Then A. Lange & Söhne coats the dial with a semi-transparent enamel layer that adds even more depth and showcases the dial’s metallic shades of grey. Price: 315,000 euros.

 

Here are the other debuts from A. Lange & Söhne for Summer 2021.

The newest Langematik Perpetual is available with a blue dial and in two limited editions, one in pink gold and one in white gold.

Langematik Perpetual

A.Lange & Söhne celebrates the twentieth anniversary of its famed Langematik Perpetual with two models, both with a blue dial. Look for it in both pink gold and white gold.

This is the watchmaker’s first self-winding watch with a perpetual calendar and the Lange outsize date. It features a zero reset mechanism and a primary corrector that simultaneously advances all calendar displays. Both models are made as limited editions of fifty pieces. Price: $91,800.

The newest A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Thin is cased in pink gold in a limited edition of 50 watches. On the solid-silver dial coated with blue gold flux, tiny copper-colored particles create sparkling highlights.

Saxonia Thin

The fourth debut is a newly gold-cased Saxonia Thin with an arresting gold-flux-coated blue dial. The glittering manual-wind watch, a favorite (at least at iW) since its debut several years ago in white gold, measures 40mm by 6.2mm and really sparkles in any light to emulate a starry night sky. The secret: Thousands of copper oxide crystals embedded in the deep blue dial. In its all-new pink gold case, the watch comes in a limited edition of fifty watches. Technically, the watch offers the Cal. L093.1 movement with a superior 72 hours of power reserve. Price: $27,100.

 

Specifications: The A. Lange & Söhne Cabaret Tourbillon Handwerkskunst (Limited Edition of 30)

 

Case: 29.5mm × 39.2mm × 10.3mm
 platinum

Dial: 18-karat white gold, grey with hand-engraved lozenge pattern, semi-transparent enameling.

Functions: Time indicated in hours, minutes, and subsidiary seconds; one-minute tourbillon with stop seconds; Up/Down power-reserve indicator; large date.

Movement:  Lange manufacture Caliber L042.1, manually wound, decorated and assembled twice by hand; precision-adjusted in five positions; three-quarter plate made of untreated German silver; tourbillon and intermediate wheel cocks engraved by hand.

Strap: Hand-stitched black leather with grey seam, deployant buckle in 950 platinum.

Price: 315,000 euros.

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.

 

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.

One of three base models of Bulgari’s Octo Roma Naturalia, showing malachite version in a rose gold case.

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.   

This version of the customizable Bulgari Octo Roma Naturalia shows a black titanium case with onyx.

 

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).

The customizable Bulgari Octo Roma Naturalia, with lapis lazuli and diamonds set within a platinum and gold case.

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.

The new Franck Muller Grand Central Cintrée Curvex, available in a variety of dial colors and case metal options.

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.

The watch’s caliber (FM CX 40T-CTR) is visible through the sapphire caseback, showing the traditional decorations, including Côte de Genève and sunray brushing.

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 Central Cintrée 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.

Dial: Stamped guilloché
, 20 layers of translucent lacquer (various colors), hand-applied Arabic numerals. 

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.

Prices: From $124,400 to $134,400.

 

By Nancy Olson

Gucci is celebrating its centenary with the launch of a high watchmaking collection, ramped up by the introduction of its first movement by parent company Kering. The in-house automatic Caliber GG727.25 makes its debut in the Gucci 25H, an ultra-slim timepiece collection available in stainless steel or precious metal.

The new Gucci 25H Automatic Steel, powered by Gucci’s first in-house automatic caliber.

The Paris-based Kering, which also claims Ulysse Nardin and Girard-Perregaux among its portfolio of luxury brands, designed and developed the movement, which is a product of Kering’s own manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds. And at just 3.70mm thick, the new movement is the perfect pairing for the 25H’s own slender profile, measuring a mere 7.2mm.

The new Gucci 25H Automatic Diamonds, cased in steel.

Two tourbillon versions are also part of the new collection, and their cases measure slightly thicker, at 8mm. The self-winding 24-jewel movement, visible through the caseback, features sixty hours of power reserve, and it runs at 21,600 bph, or 3Hz.

Two tourbillon watches are also part of the new Gucci 25H collection. This model is cased in platinum.

Steel to platinum

The 40mm timepiece, designed by Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele, seamlessly morphs from sporty status in steel to a more formal designation when dressed in yellow gold or platinum, as in the tourbillon versions. The minimalist dial of the 25H marks the hours with simple indices, while skeletonized hands—dotted with luminescence—traverse the satin-brushed lined décor.

Here, too, the movement is given its proper due, with GG727.25 prominently displayed front and center, along with Gucci’s double-G logo at 12 o’clock.

The in-house automatic Caliber GG727.25 makes its debut in the Gucci 25H.

The tourbillon variations are marked GG727.25.T. Not so incidentally, even the movement identifications have significance: Michele considers the numerical designation talismanic.

The Caliber Gucci GG727.25 is visible through the sapphire-crystal caseback of the Gucci 25H Automatic Steel.

Second skin

The watch’s precision-crafted bezel obscures the crown, making it nearly invisible, and this unique architecture lends a seamless quality to the overall design, while also enhancing the fit. The five-link bracelet is both comfortable and handsome, and augments Gucci’s goal of making the timepiece “like a second skin on the wrist.”

The Gucci 25H includes several variations. The tourbillon in yellow gold with and an 18-karat bracelet is priced at $129,000, while the tourbillon in platinum with a platinum bracelet is $183,000. The 25H automatic in stainless steel with a steel bracelet is priced at $9,500; the stainless steel version with a diamond-set bezel is $12,200.

The new Gucci 25H Tourbillon Yellow Gold.

 

TAG Heuer this week expands its offerings within the Carrera Heuer 02T collection with a new limited edition cased in polished titanium and sporting a blue sunray dial.

The new TAG Heuer Carrera Caliber Heuer 02T COSC.

Where previous Carrera Heuer 02T models feature darkened, skeletonized dials, sometimes with gold accents, this latest design is lighter-toned and with a sportier solid dial and – for the first time – a titanium bracelet.

You may recall that five years ago TAG Heuer launched the flying tourbillon chronograph movement inside this watch as the brand’s serialized ‘affordable’ tourbillon chronograph watch, priced around $16,000.

Now powering this newest watch, the Caliber Heuer 02T is still TAG Heuer’s primary tourbillon caliber and retains all its high-end technical features, notably an ultra-light carbon and titanium tourbillon cage and integration with a column-wheel chronograph. TAG Heuer is likely the sole Swiss watchmaker to offer this combination of chronograph, flying tourbillon and COSC-chronometer precision within the full collection’s price range, now starting at around $17,000.    

 

Here TAG Heuer has blued not only the full dial, but also the bridges of the tourbillon cage, the rubber that protects the crown and the pushers. Even the ceramic tachymeter bezel and the rotor (visible from the back of the case) are finished in blue.

 

With this watch TAG Heuer for the first time connects one of its Caliber 02T models to a bracelet. Where earlier models sported rubber straps or alligator sewn on black rubber, the new Carrera Heuer 02T features the watchmaker’s own titanium H-shape bracelet with a steel/titanium safety clasp.

The TAG Heuer Caliber Heuer 02T features an ultra-light carbon and titanium tourbillon cage.

Price: $21,500 and limited to 250 examples.

 

Specifications: TAG Heuer 
Carrera Caliber Heuer 02T COSC

(Reference CAR5A8C.BF0707)

Movement: Caliber Heuer 02T COSC with carbon and titanium tourbillon cage, column-wheel chronograph.

Case: 45mm polished and brushed titanium, ceramic blue polished tachymeter fixed bezel, 
domed, beveled sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment, water resistant to 100 meters. Crown with blue rubber and titanium, titanium pushers, titanium screwed sapphire case back with special engraving, limited numbered xxx/250.

Dial: Blue sunray brushed with three rhodium-plated and polished counters, white SuperLuminova Rhodium-plated polished hour and minute hands.

Strap: Titanium grade 2 H-shape bracelet, titanium and steel folding clasp with double safety push buttons; TAG Heuer shield.

Price: $21,500.

The new TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 02T features a titanium H-shape bracelet with a steel/titanium safety clasp.