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MB&F is now widening the reach of its LM Split Escapement EVO, which debuted originally last year as a limited edition for the UAE’s 50th anniversary.

MB&F’s new Legacy Machine Split Escapement EVO.

Launched during Geneva Watch Days, the new Legacy Machine Split Escapement EVO version offers two modifications from existing models. One is the dial color, now a cool, icy light blue with grey subdials. The second change is that MB&F has rotated the entire mechanism clockwise by 30 degrees, creating a new sense of asymmetry to the LM Split Escapement dial.

The watch’s new EVO designation means MB&F has dedicated its sporty, bezel-free 44mm EVO case to house the spectacular movement, which, as it name implies, separates or ‘splits’ its escapement into two halves. Earlier LM Split Escapement models were housed in the MB&F’s dressier 44mm gold or titanium case.

Designed by Northern Irish master watchmaker Stephen McDonnell, the movement features the world’s longest balance staff. Traveling through the entire movement, the 12mm-long staff connects the large balance wheel (hovering over the dial) to the remaining parts of the escapement – anchor and escape wheel – on the opposite side of the movement.

The new model will be joined by a second, limited edition of the watch, available only at a new MB&F LAB store to be opened in Beverly Hills with long-time MB&F retail partner Westime.

The MB&F Legacy Machine Split Escapement EVO, Beverly Hills Edition.

That model, limited to twenty-five units, comes with a black base plate, metallic blue dial and open counters. It will be the only MB&F LAB edition released this year.

MB&F is offering the Legacy Machine Split Escapement EVO in two versions:

Titanium version: Grade 5 titanium case with pastel blue baseplate and dark grey dials.

Beverly Hills edition: Limited edition of 25 pieces in grade 5 titanium case with black baseplate and blue dials. Price for either model: $80,000.

Alpina relaunches its Extreme Regulator, first seen in 2005, with a new dial and a smaller cushion-shaped case.

Alpina’s new Alpiner Extreme Regulator.

The new model, which debuts this week at Geneva Watch Days, is called the Alpiner Extreme Regulator and is now set in a more widely appealing 41mm steel case, considerably smaller than the 48mm case of the initial model and the 45mm size of more recent examples.

The Regulator was considered a flagship model when Alpina launched it as the Avalanche Extreme Regulator seventeen years ago. But even with a new size, the latest model evokes a similar assertive, modern appeal. 

Behinds its regulator display of separate hours, minutes and seconds hands, the new Alpiner Extreme Regulator maintains its adventure-focused mission with a thick screw-in crown and caseback, and a strong 200-meter water resistance rating.

Strong Dial

Likewise, the dial projects strength. Alpina’s triangle logo is employed as a grid across the dial, symbolizing Alpine peaks. The grey pattern captures light, creating a more visually compelling dial than the initial models, on which the logo decorated only the center of the dial. Alpina adds even more visual texture with the case finish, which is nicely brushed, with polished corners.

Atop the grey ‘peaks,’ Alpina places highly luminescent hands in an almost typical regulator layout, with a large central minutes hand and separate hour and seconds subdial.

The hour subdial on regulator clock dials is classically positioned along the central axis at the top or bottom. Alpina however positions the hour subdial between the 9 o’clock and 11 o’clock positions, focusing the eye more clearly toward the minutes hand.   

Inside the Alpiner Extreme Regulator Automatic Alpina retains its time-tested automatic ETA-based AL-650 caliber, the movement that powered the 2005 Regulator.

Alpina’s choice to host a regulator dial within its bedrock collection has long set the Geneva brand apart from many watchmakers offering affordably priced Swiss sports watches.

The choice to revive the regulator is equally courageous, especially given the regulator’s niche appeal among collectors, especially at this price range. But at first glance, Alpina’s update, with its appealing new case size and terrific dial design, offers more than enough well-considered change to meet that challenge. 

Alpina is limiting the Alpiner Extreme Regulator Automatic to 888 pieces. Price: $2,195.  

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.  

Greubel Forsey moves its titanium globe to the center of its new GMT Balancier Convexe, altering the watchmaker’s long-standing dial-borne universe in the process.

The new Greubel Forsey GMT Balancier Convexe.

The globe, an eye-catching component of the watchmaker’s GMT, GMT Earth, GMT Quadruple Tourbillon and GMT Sport, appears at the heart of the new 46.5mm titanium watch, which debuts this week at Geneva Watch Days. In those earlier GMT models, the globe was positioned along the edge of the case.

The new GMT Balancier Convexe joins six existing models within the independent watchmaker’s relatively new Convexe collection.  

As Greubel Forsey centers the globe on the new watch, the orb becomes a more visible component. The new design “replaces all previous GMT models and features,” according to Greubel Forsey.

Set within what appears to be an amphitheater just under the sapphire crystal, the globe rotates once per day as it plays a key role in the watch’s contemporary depiction of universal time.

GMT Balancier Convexe, showing inclined balance in foreground.

Three rings frame the amphitheater. These denote local time hours and minutes, as well as universal time. Helpfully, Greubel Forsey darkens the background when the time indicates night and brightens it when the time is during the day.

 

Greubel Forsey explains that its finishers have polished the inside of the case “so that it mirrors the escapement platform, the Terrestrial globe, and nearly every element visible on the dial side, thus adding incredible depth to this new construction.”

Inclined Balance

The centrally located globe isn’t the only premiere here. For the first time within a GMT model, the watchmaker’s signature 30-degree inclined balance wheel vibrates nearby, held by a flat black-polished and barrel-polished steel balance wheel bridge on polished steel pillars. Adjacent to this, note the small seconds, displayed with a blue gold hand.

Where the dial-side of the new watch is impressively redesigned, the back of the watch retains Greubel Forsey’s signature disc with 24 time zones indicating the UTC time. The only variation here is a minor one:  the UTC of Paris has been replaced by La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, home for Greubel Forsey.

All this drama is framed by Greubel Forsey’s unusual convex case, with its curved geometry and undulating lines that, along the top, are higher on the sides and lower at the 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock positions. The case itself is also asymmetric, with a diameter of 46.5mm around the bezel and 43.5mm around the case band. This means it nicely hugs the curve of the wrist.

Greubel Forsey will make sixty-six GMT Balancier Convexe timepieces at the rate of twenty-two per year between 2022 and 2024. Each is available on either a titanium bracelet or a textured rubber strap. Price: CHF 350,000.

 

Specifications: Greubel Forsey GMT Balancier Convexe

Displays: Hours and minutes, small seconds, 2nd time zone GMT, rotating globe with universal time, day-and-night, 24 time zones universal time, summer time, winter time.

Movement: Manual-wind with 423 parts, including 59 in the escapement. Two coaxial series-coupled fast-rotating barrels (1 turn in 3.2 hours), equipped with a fixed mainspring-bridle. Bridges and main plates in titanium with frosted, polished beveling and countersinks, straight-grained flank. Escapement is inclined at a 30° angle, flat black polished steel, polished beveling and countersinks, straight-grained flanks, polished steel pillars, flat black-polished.

Case: Caseband diameter 43.50mm, bezel diameter: 46.50mm, case height: 13.75 mm, height on sapphire crystals: 17.40 mm. Titanium case with curved sapphire crystal, three-dimensional, variable geometry-shaped bezel, hand-polished, profiled lugs, screwed fixing, transparent back with curved and high domed synthetic sapphire crystal, engraved GMT pusher, titanium security screws, raised engravings. 

Dial: Terrestrial globe in titanium, relief-engraved continents, ocean blue treatment, day-and-night UTC indicator in titanium, engraved and lacquered, GMT indicator in gold, amphitheater hour-ring with engraved and lacquered minute-circle, small seconds indicator in gold.

Hands: Hours and minutes with SuperLumiNova, red triangles, 2nd time zone GMT indicator, blue triangle, small seconds in polished blued steel, flat black-polished head.

Strap: Non-animal material, rubber with text in relief, titanium folding clasp, engraved GF logo. Also upon request: 3-row metal bracelet in titanium, folding clasp with integrated fine adjustment, engraved GF logo.

Price: CHF 350,000.