Parmigiani Fleurier earlier this year underscored its technical mettle by adding the Tondagraph GT to its Tonda GT collection. That limited-edition chronograph features a large date display and, unusually, an annual calendar, all placed into a case inspired by the highly acclaimed Tonda Chronor Anniversaire watch, for which the Manufacture received the Chronograph Watch Prize from the GPHG in 2017.
For Fall 2020 Parmigiani Fleurier revisits that same fluted-bezel case, but makes it in rose gold and fits it with an impressive integrated chronograph built on the foundation of that award-winning Chronor Anniversaire.
The brand’s new Tondagraph GT Rose Gold Blue, houses Parmigiani Fleurier’s new PF071 movement, a COSC-certified, automatic chronograph with large date, that boasts all the specifications you’d expect from a high-end in-house integrated chronograph – the brand’s third – with such pedigree.
Thus, the new high-frequency (36,000 bph) caliber is built with a column wheel instead of a cam, utilizes a vertical clutch instead of the more common horizontal clutch, and secures its balance using a double-attached cross-through bridge rather than a single-point bridge.
Parmigiani Fleurier explains that this type of bridge attachment “minimizes the effect of impacts to the balance with gold inertia blocks and has been designed so that its height can be adjusted and adapted precisely to the rest of the movement.”
With its high frequency chronograph caliber, which is accurate to the nearest 10th of a second, Parmigiani Fleurier has added two additional markers and hands within the subdial at 6 o’clock for the tenths-of-a-second timing display.
Parmigiani Fleurier has also integrated the big date aperture directly into the movement rather than adding it as a module, which the brand says enhances its reliability.
On the dial the watchmaker blues its traditional hobnail-style “clou triangulaire” guilloche, while the back reveals the high-end finish it applies throughout the new caliber PF071. The clear sapphire on the back exposes the movement’s sunray satin pattern finish and the 22-karat gold oscillating weight with eye-catching “angel wing” bridges.
Parmigiani Fleurier is making the Tondagraph GT Rose Gold Blue as a limited edition of twenty-five pieces each on a blue rubber strap ($41,000) and also on a gold bracelet ($65,500).
At Watches & Wonders 2020 Baume & Mercier added four Clifton watches with the impressive Baumatic automatic movement, which boasts a five-day power reserve, high efficiency escapement and silicon hairspring. These new models include watches that boast a perpetual calendar, a day-date model with moonphase, a date model with moonphase and a beautiful 39mm COSC-certified date and time-only watch.
And while all deliver the Baumatic movement within a nicely polished and satin-finished steel or rose gold case, we were particularly taken with the high value offered by the Clifton Baumatic Day/Date Moonphase, a 42mm watch that effortlessly combines all the indicators I need in any non-chronograph watch onto a particularly eye-catching gradient lacquered grey dial.
The days at the top of the dial are clearly marked with minimal fuss while the accompanying date makes perfect sense just across the dial. With an easy symmetry, the day and the date are each indicated by a hand of the same shape and color.
Likewise the trapezoid-shaped hour markers perfectly echo the long, alpha-type hands, and both of these indicators are colored to match your choice of pink gold or steel case.
A secondary dial highlight, after the perfectly gradient dial work, is the dual-moonphase display that Baume & Mercier touches up with a somewhat hidden persuader: a grey sapphire wave-shaped aperture that allows the moon to shine according to schedule as the disc rotates.
This grey-tinted sapphire is a defining feature on both the pink gold and steel models, blending seamlessly with the gradation of the dial.
These dial details speak volumes about how Baume & Mercier continues to design thoughtfully considered classic dress watches at a level higher than their selling price might indicate.
Long Power Reserve
Since Baume & Mercier knows that keeping all these indicators on time means keeping the mainspring wound and ticking, the Geneva manufacture supplies the watch (and the entire series of watches) with the aforementioned Baumatic movement built with a helpful five-day power reserve.
And to add another layer of luxury to this affordably priced watch (in steel, it is priced at $4,400), Baume & Mercier nicely decorates the in-house movement with a gilded, open-worked oscillating weight finished with Côtes de Genève and snailing. (Baume & Mercier indicates that the back can also be engraved by special order.)
The entire package, particularly in its steel case, emphasizes Baume & Mercier’s long-time strength as a legacy brand that maintains a high-value collection of Swiss- manufactured watches. Prices: $12,200 (pink gold case) and $4,400 (steel case). Both watches are slated to be delivered in October.
Movement: In-house self-winding Baumatic BM14 1975 AC2. Bridge with circular-grained décor, sandblasted plate with snailed décor, gilt open-worked oscillating weight adorned with “Côtes de Genève” and snailed decors, Baume & Mercier engravings, power reserve of 5 days (120 hours), Frequency of 28,800 vph.
Case: 42mm by 12.95 polished and satin-finished pink gold with antiglare and scratch-resistant domed sapphire crystal, polished 18-karat pink gold crown, open caseback secured with 4 screws
Dial: H/M/S, date-day and moonphase indication. Gradient grey lacquered, gilt riveted trapezoid-shaped indexes, slightly elongated gilt ‘alpha’ hands, grey transparent sapphire aperture at 6 o’clock, polished gilt moon-phase disc with blue lacquered finish
Strap: Interchangeable blue alligator with tone-on-tone stitching on the top and burgundy color on the bottom and bridle points at the buckle; system of curved bars with lug that allows strap change without tools. Polished and satin-finished 18-karat pink gold pin buckle.
Movement: In-house self-winding Baumatic BM14 1975 AC2. Bridge with circular- grained décor, sandblasted plate with snailed décor, gilt open-worked oscillating weight adorned with “Côtes de Genève” and snailed decors, Baume & Mercier engravings, power reserve of 5 days (120 hours), Frequency of 28,800 vph.
Case: 42mm by 13.2mm polished and satin-finished stainless steel, antiglare scratch-resistant domed sapphire crystal, open caseback secured with 4 screws
Dial: H/M/S, day-date, moon-phase indications. Dial is gradient grey lacquered, rhodium-plated riveted trapezoid-shaped slightly elongated indexes, rhodium-plated ‘alpha’ hands, grey transparent sapphire aperture at 6 o’clock, polished rhodium-plated moon-phase disc with blue lacquered finish
Strap: Interchangeable blue alligator with tone-on-tone stitching on the top and burgundy color on the bottom and bridle points at the buckle; system of curved bars with lug that allows strap change without tools; triple folding buckle with security push-pieces
Parmigiani Fleurier launches two slate-dialed complicated watches as part of its Watches & Wonders 2020 debut lineup. Each model includes a thin tourbillon and each is also being made as part of a very limited edition.
On the new Toric Tourbillon Slate, Parmigiani Fleurier integrates its extra-thin flying tourbillon into the movement’s main plate, which helps to maintain the watch’s thinness. Parmigiani Fleurier places the tourbillon here at the 7 o’clock position as a nod to the brand’s founder, Michel Parmigiani, who was born at 7:08 am on December 2, 1950.
That tourbillon, the focus of the brand’s ultra-thin PF517 movement, is powered by a platinum micro-rotor. Its bridges have been decorated with côtes de Genève.
And while the tourbillon itself is a focus, so is the handcrafted barley grain guilloché pattern on the slate-colored dial.
The Toric collection is possibly Parmigiani Fleurier’s most classically styled collection, and this model underscores that history with its rose gold case inspired by Greek Doric columns. You might recall that the Toric was Michel Parmigiani’s first case, which debuted in 1996 when the master watchmaker launched his watch brand following many years restoring watches and clocks.
Parmigiani Fleurier will make the watch, which comes with a Hermès Havane leather strap, as a limited edition of twenty-five pieces. Price: $130,000.
The Tondagraph represents a more contemporary styling within the brand’s multi-complication collections, though this model is a bit more classical (with its rich guilloché dial) than earlier examples within the collection.The Tondagraph’s teardrop lugs, round case and prominent displays are slightly muted when compared to earlier examples thanks to the addition this year of the rich guilloché dial, which here echoes the watchmaker’s now-characteristic slate hue.
The 43mm watch shows its thin tourbillon and prominent bridge at the bottom of the dial while the counter at 3 o’clock shows chronograph minutes. Nicely balancing those displays you’ll see the small seconds at 9 o’clock and the power reserve at the top of the dial.
This display also differs from previous incarnations with its fully skeletonized delta-shaped hour and minute hands and its switch from large Arabic hour markers to more subtle minutes track with two gold appliques at 3 and 9.
Inside Parmigiani Fleurier’s beautifully designed PF354 manually wound mechanical caliber is a treat to view through the clear sapphire caseback. It offers a power reserve of 65 hours. Price: $199,000, with limited production.
Ever since its 1992 debut, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control collection has been the source of many of the watchmaker’s most classically styled complicated watches. At the recent (virtual) Watches & Wonders 2020, Jaeger-LeCoultre refreshed that well-rounded collection with new movements, more contemporary styling and more impressive technical specifications.
To do this, the watchmaker has incorporated design cues from many of its most important collections over many decades, most notably the Futurematic, PowerMatic and Memovox designs of the 1950s.
A few of the overall updates and Master Control enhancements include:
— A new 40mm case design that includes models with a new pink gold alloy called Le Grand Rose gold.
–New movements with increased power reserves (up to 70 hours in many of the new calibers). Most prominently, Jaeger-LeCoultre has re-engineered Calibre 899, a pillar of the Master Control collection. The improvements (also incorporated into the entire range of Master Control calibers) include a silicon escapement, a redesigned barrel and various energy-saving enhancements.
–On the dials, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s designers place sunray brushing on a silvery-white background, a blue central seconds hand on some models and blued subdial hands.
— All case-sides will be satin-brushed and complemented by a polished bezel, crowns and lugs. On the back you’ll find bas-relief engravings and a sapphire crystal caseback.
— The collection will now include soft, tan matte-finish Novonappa calf leather straps, made in France through a vegetable-based tanning process. The new straps can be changed without the need for a tool.
Like all Jaeger-LeCoultre timepieces, the Master Control watches carry an eight-year warranty in addition to the 1,000 Hours Control certification.
Master Control Chronograph Calendar
At the top of the new Master Control lineup is this model, set with a newly developed movement, Calibre 759, that combines a chronograph with a triple calendar display and a moonphase display. The new movement features a column-wheel chronograph with a vertical clutch, a moon-phase indicator and a 65-hour power reserve.
A central chronograph seconds hand anchors the watch’s triple calendar, bi-compax display, while a pulsometric scale is marked around the dial flange. Jaeger-LeCoultre also adds rectangular chronograph pushers to the case, which is offered in steel ($14,500) or the new Le Grand Rose gold alloy ($26,000).
Master Control Date
With a thin 8.78mm case and a clean design, this model is directed by the new caliber Calibre 899, which now features a silicon escapement and pallets made using a slightly modified shape. Jaeger-LeCoultre says it has also remade the central-seconds wheel to eliminate shaking while also utilizing titanium for the fixing screws of the oscillating wheel.
In order to increase the watch’s power reserve to seventy hours, Jaeger-LeCoultre redesigned the barrel to accommodate a stronger and longer mainspring without increasing the 3.3mm height of the movement. Price: $6,700.
Master Control Calendar
Here Jaeger-LeCoultre retains the model’s classical layout with the dates marked around the edge and indicated by a red-tipped hand, the days and months displayed in the upper part of the dial, and the moon-phase set within the small seconds subdial. But now there’s an all-new jumping complication.
Every month, the date hand makes a 90-degree leap from the 15th to the 16th, which means the hand never obscures the moon-phase display. Available in rose gold ($22,500) and steel ($11,000).
Master Control Geographic
Now powered by the new-generation Calibre 939 (with a full 70-hour power reserve) the Master Control Geographic retains its familiar layout, with timezone displays balanced by a date subdial and a power reserve indicator. But now Jaeger-LeCoultre has brushed the entire dial in a brushed sunray pattern and added elongated triangular indexes.
The watch’s unusual world time indication displays the city name relating to the zone, which gives travellers the option of setting the second time by location, rather than needing to calculate the time difference. The new edition is available in a choice of steel ($12,200) or Le Grand Rose gold case ($23,700).
MASTER CONTROL CHRONOGRAPH CALENDAR
Caliber: Automatic Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 759 with a 65-hour power reserve
Functions: Hours/minutes, small seconds, calendar with date, day and month indications, moon phases, chronograph
Case: 40mm x 12.05mm stainless steel or Le Grand Rose gold, satin and polished finishes, sapphire crystal case-back, water-resistance to 50 meters
Reprising the ethereal Arceau de la Lune moon phase watch that was for many a highlight of the 2019 SIHH, Hermès during this past week’s virtual Watches & Wonders 2020 unveiled five new models in the collection.
If you recall, Hermès in 2019 presented the 43mm gold-cased Arceau de la Lune as an alternative to the classic moonphase watch. Instead of a single moon display showing monthly moonphases in the northern hemisphere, the Hermès Arceau de la Lune offers a simultaneous display of moon phases in both northern and southern hemispheres. Two discs, one indicating the date and one showing the hour and minute, rotate around the dial.
As they do, their position above two mother-of-pearl moon discs syncs exactly with the moon’s phase at the time and date indicated.
In an interesting – and appropriately quirky – Hermès touch, the southern hemisphere’s moon is displayed at the top of the dial while the moon as seen in the northern hemisphere rests at the 6 o’clock position.
Jean-Francois Mojon (who has worked with MB&F and Harry Winston, among others) devised the dial’s 59-day lunar dance for Hermès by developing a patent-pending module linked to the Hermès H1837 automatic caliber.
While the first two Arceau de la Lune models in 2019 had the time and date counters floating over an aventurine or a meteorite dial, the new releases extend the celestial exploration. Among the five new models Hermès includes a platinum-cased limited edition (of two) with a green-tinged Martian meteorite dial and two new meteorite models. In addition, Hermès debuts two stunning stone dials, made from Lapis Lazuli and from Blue Pearl stone.
Also found on the dial, within the moon at 12 o’clock, is an image of Pegasus, which links the equestrian origins of Hermès even more tightly to the Arceau de la Lune collection. The second moon at 6 o’clock is a more realistic depiction of the lunar surface.
As you’d expect from Hermès, each watch is matched to he appropriate color matte alligator strap in black, Havana or Veronese green, depending on the Arceau de la Lune versions. Prices begin at $33,200 for these models and rise to $54,100. The price of the platinum-cased model with the Martian dial is available on request. Details are below.
Hermès is also expanding its Slim d’Hermès collection in 2020 with a new Slim d’Hermès GMT, which artfully combines its ultra-thin Manufacture Hermès H1950 movement with a thin GMT module exclusively developed by Agenhor for Hermès. We’ll present more details about this 39.5mm rose gold model in future posts.
Specifications: Hermès Arceau L’heure de la Lune (five models)
CASE: 43mm white gold, rose gold (lapis lazuli) or platinum (green Martian dial), 17 mm width between lugs , sapphire crystal and caseback with anti-glare treatment, water-resistant to 30 meters
DIALS: Black Sahara meteorite with crystal-effect silver lacquered mobile counters (36-piece limited edition, $54,100)
At this year’s virtual Watches & Wonders, A. Lange & Söhne debuted two watches with white gold cases. For each watch, the debuts represent their premier in the precious metal.
One, the Odysseus, was available strictly in its debut metal and is the first steel-cased sports watch for this Glashutte-based luxury watchmaker.The other is the ultra-complex Zeitwerk Minute Repeater, the world’s only watch that combines a mechanical jumping numerals display with a decimal minute repeater, which was previously only sold with a platinum case.
The Odysseus is now available in white gold 40.5mm case (the same diameter as the steel debut) and offered with an all-new integrated rubber strap or leather strap. The sporty-elegant timepiece with the large date and day display features a grey, newly textured dial (instead of the blue dial used for the steel model) within a highly sculptured case. And while the case metal and dial finishing are new, the Odysseus continues to be powered by the L155.1 Datomatic, an automatic movement that boasts fifty hours of power reserve.
Along with the precious metal case, the new strap options present A. Lange & Söhne fans two more options novel for this watchmaker. The rubber bracelet or brown leather strap on this first-ever sporty A. Lange & Söhne watch are both new, and both appear highly integrated with the case. They offer the wearer a lightweight conveyance for the somewhat heavier precious case.
A. Lange & Söhne has a placed luminous white-gold hands and notched baton appliques on the dial, as we saw on the steel model. Alongside the large date and luminous hour markers, these carefully considered design elements ensure that the time and date are both exceedingly legible as viewed against the darker Odysseus dial. A red 60 on the silvered flange ring is a nice accent. Specially sealed, tapered buttons for correcting the date and the day of week are arranged at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock. As you’d expect from this top-tier luxury watchmaker, case and lug finish is superb, with newly brushed and polished surfaces enhancing the dial’s textured appearance.
Those familiar with this high-end maker know that the caliber’s name, Datomatic, stands for the combination of a date mechanism and automatic winding.
From the back of the watch you’ll see the Datomatic’s skeletonized and partially blackened rotor, set with a platinum mass to better assure dependable winding.
Also visible: the German silver plate decorated with Glashütte ribbing, the wave pattern engraved on the balance bridge and the screwed gold chaton above the escape wheel. Price: $40,600.
The Zeitwerk Minute Repeater
When debuted by A. Lange & Söhne in 2015, the platinum-cased Zeitwerk Minute Repeater was the world’s only watch to combine a mechanical jumping numerals display with a decimal minute repeater. In 2020, that still holds true, but now the watch is offered with a white gold case. Five years after the watch’s debut, it now comes in a limited edition of thirty pieces cased in 44.2mm x 14.1mm white gold with a deep-blue dial.
Among its many impressive attributes, the Zeitwerk Minute Repeater features a pusher mechanism rather than a slide for triggering the repeater.
A. Lange & Söhne designed the caliber to deliver its striking power directly from the mainspring barrel, which means there is no need for a slide to wind a separate spring. And since a pusher, unlike a slide, can be sealed, the watch is water-resistant up to 30 meters.
To read much more about the Zeitwerk Minute Repeater, click here. Price: 449,000 Euros. In the U.S., final price upon request.