Wrist takers: Top luxury watch trends of 2020
August 12, 2020
If you’re counting the hours until social distancing measures are relaxed again, why not focus on recalibrating your style armoury? Truly, there has never been a better time to invest in a new watch to perk up your wrist and your wardrobe’s accessory department, since there are so many great deals to be had right now. From Parmigiani to Cartier, and from Audemars Piguet to Ulysse Nardin, the world’s top watchmaking houses have dutifully prepared an awe-inspiring array of novelties to satisfy even the most selective of horological aficionados.
Though the year started off with a deluge of setbacks – particularly with all the major watch gatherings cancelled, including Baselworld and Watches & Wonders ( formerly known as the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, or SIHH) – the maisons have since successfully revved up interest in their 2020 offerings via online events. Even the most internet-resistant brands have jumped on the bandwagon. The result: more information on hand for any model that takes your fancy. This guide quickly brings the watch aficionado up to speed with the year’s trends – and if you end up discovering a timepiece that suits your requirements, we’ll consider it mission accomplished.
Blast From The Past
Maisons bring the cool, vintage aesthetics of the past into the present with modern design flourishes and technology updates.
With only 307 units produced between 1930 and 1950, the vintage chronograph watches from Audemars Piguet are among the rarest in the world – and almost impossible to find now. The watchmaking team decided that this was the year to revive a Second World War-era design from 1943 in a limited edition series of 500. Called the [Re]master01 Selfwinding Chronograph, the timepiece features the same round case and lugs in stainless steel; the bezel, olive-shaped pushers and chamfered crown in 18K pink gold; and the champagne dial with art deco-inspired numerals of the original version. Instead of the more familiar Audemars Piguet logo, the original Audemars, Piguet & Co Genève from the original watch has been retained, as has the watch’s 4/5 indication inside the 30-minute counter at 9 o’clock that allows the wearer to record up to 45 minutes. This function was first requested by third-generation founder Jacques-Louis Audemars, because he loved football and 45 minutes marked each half. However, certain features have been “remastered” – including rearranged chronograph counters and a larger 40mm diameter, both for better readability. The watch also runs on Audemars Piguet’s newest generation of automatic chronograph movements: the calibre 4409, which is an integrated chronograph with a column wheel and flyback function. This version also features a sapphire crystal caseback to appreciate the movement and its pink gold oscillating weight.
Superocean Heritage ’57 Capsule Collection
Imagine it’s 1957 and you’re in Southern California, basking in the sun, the surf and sand. There’s great music playing on the radio by the Beach Boys and the Ventures, and you’re ready to hit the waves again. This is the laid-back summer atmosphere that Breitling wants to relive with its Breitling Superocean Heritage ’57 Capsule Collection, with each watch a modern interpretation of a classic diver’s watch from the 1950s. Among the standout design features of the Superocean are its concave bidirectional bezel, made of scratch-resistant ceramic and steel, as well as the large luminescent indices (including a big dot at 12 o’clock), which are also used for the Superocean Heritage ’57. Powered by the COSC-certified Breitling Calibre 10 with 42 hours of reserve power, the watches are water-resistant up to 10 bar (100 metres). With two main dial options in classic black or blue, the watches feature vintage-looking leather straps or integrated Ocean Classic Milanese bracelets. There’s also a two-tone version with a bezel in 18K red gold matched with a black ceramic ring and black dial, which comes with a gold-brown leather strap, and a limited edition of 250 units with graduated markers and hands in rainbow colours, which provides an option of purchasing an Outerknown Econyl yarn NATO Strap, available in six shades.
Villeret Quantième Complet
Blancpain brings back a unique complication it first created in 1983, the “complete calendar”, with the Villeret Quantième Complet. Apart from the time, date and month, the complete calendar shows the moonphases and star cycles. The new 38mm version’s dial has been reworked slightly to feature slimmer hour-markers and leaf-shaped hands that match the colour of the dial. The moonphase has also been tweaked for ease of reading. The case has been rounded, with a double-stepped bezel for a sleeker profile. Housed within the watch is Blancpain’s proprietary self-winding 6763 movement that offers a four-day power reserve and uses a silicon balance-spring, which improves accuracy and resistance to magnetic interference and thermal fluctuations. The watch comes in steel with a white dial; in red gold with an opaline dial; in gem-set versions; and with an option for an alligator strap or a handcrafted Mille Mailles bracelet in the corresponding case material.
1858 Monopusher Chronograph Limited Edition
Montblanc is well-known for its monopusher chronograph – yes, those watches that have just one button to start, stop and reset the chronograph function – and this year, it has chosen to revisit a heritage piece from the 1930s. As on the original timepiece, the 1858 Monopusher Chronograph has a black dial with a beige railway track, a Montblanc logo from the 1930s, a telemeter scale, beige numerals and cathedral-shaped hands. For better legibility, the watchmakers at Montblanc have created striking colour contrasts on the dials and hands, and have used SuperLumiNova for wearers to see the time even in low-light situations. Apart from the dial design, what gives this timepiece that ultra-cool retro feel is the use of a special bronze alloy for the 42mm case that forms a patina over time, coupled with a handmade NATO strap made in France by a 150-year-old artisanal weaving house. Powered by the MB 25.12 calibre, the watch is finished with “Spirit of Mountain Exploration” engraved on the caseback. While the bronze alloy and NATO strap version is limited, two models are more widely available in stainless steel: one with a matching link bracelet and the other with a cognac-coloured calfskin strap.
Watches where wearers can see all the moving parts have always been fascinating, allowing one to peek into the intricacies of the movement. This year, skeletonised watches are as trendy as ever, with highly technical materials and challenging complications at the forefront of innovation.
With a double-faced timepiece in a patented case that allows the wearer to convert it from a reversible watch to a pocket watch, and then to an elegant desk clock via what the maison calls the Amadeo case, the Virtuoso VII is certainly a versatile piece. Built with a perpetual calendar movement that offers five days of reserve power, one side of the timepiece displays the time, date, day of the week, month and leap year cycle, with the workings of the movement clearly seen through sapphire glass. On the other side, it shows the hours, minutes and seconds. A power reserve indicator is displayed on both dials. The plate and bridges showing the functions of the perpetual calendar are fully hand-engraved. The 2020 Virtuoso VII comes in a limited edition of 800 pieces, in red or white gold with a green guilloché dial featuring a prismatic lotus flower pattern: the symbol of the House of Bovet since 1822.
Laureato Absolute Light
The result of precision engineering, Girard-Perregaux’s latest addition to its Laureato Absolute collection, which was launched in 2019 with the aim of reinventing its most iconic watches, plays with the concept of light. The timepiece comes in an octagonal 44mm case with anti-reflective sapphire and lightweight titanium, making it appear see-through, and offering the wearer and any nearby admirers a full view of its skeletonised, self-winding GP01800 movement (featuring hours, seconds and small seconds) from all angles. Each bridge and mainplate has been beautifully finished and NAC-treated, as well as the ring with 12 curved sections between mirror-polished triangles that function as the hour markers. The timepiece comes with a seamlessly integrated rubber strap with a micro-adjustment system for increased comfort. This watch comes in a limited edition of 88 pieces.
Yohan Blake RM61-01
The first version of the Yohan Blake tourbillon watch, which was designed for the record-breaking Jamaican sprinter, was first released in 2014. (Those who’ve been following the brand should remember it for its bold green and yellow design, in an ode to the Jamaican flag.) The watch was a work of tech genius since it was aerodynamic, ergonomic and made of incredibly light material that met all the requirements of a world champion sprinter of Blake’s calibre. The watch was so successful that Richard Mille decided to produce several iterations over the last six years. This latest – and the last of its kind – is what the watchmaker calls the “Ultimate Edition” or RM 61-01. It shows off a highly skeletonised movement in Grade 5 titanium, which is impact-resistant up to 5,000Gs. This watch now also features a bezel and caseback in carbon TPT and quartz TPT, tech materials that the watchmaker has developed with partner company NTPT. The last three letters, TPT, stand for thin ply technology, which makes materials like carbon fibre and quartz ultra-lightweight yet super strong because they’ve been reinforced with a resin. According to Richard Mille, carbon TPT decreases stressor breakage by 25 per cent and micro-cracks by 200 per cent when compared to regular carbon fibre. The weight reduction is also a big plus, especially for high-performance watches for athletes like Blake. The RM 61-01 is limited to 150 pieces.
Excalibur Diabolus in Machina
Not a lot of watchmakers have the ability to create minute repeaters, let alone ones so intriguing that they play a tritone, a chord banned in the Middle Ages for allegedly being the “devil in music” (in Latin: diabolus in machina). Add a flying tourbillon and all the futuristic elements of Roger Dubuis’ Excalibur watches and you’ve got this visionary/historic wonder of a timepiece that begs to be seen and heard. It features the Neostar, looking like deconstructed criss-crossing Xs to form the skeletonised case, as well as the use of a tech alloy called CarTech Micro-Melt BioDur CCMTM, which is more durable and scratch-resistant than stainless steel. The workings of the Roger Dubuis Excalibur Diabolus in Machina’s in-house RD0107 automatic minute repeater and single flying tourbillon movement are clear from its skeletonised 45mm case. A lever between 3 and 4 o’clock lets the wearer know whether the watch is set to the manual winding or time-setting position, which is extremely helpful so as not to damage the minute repeater movement.
Overseas QP Ultra-Thin Skeleton
The overseas should be familiar to Vacheron Constantin fans as one of the most wearable watches of its collections; it’s great for travel and sporty enough to be used every day. Through the years, the watchmaker has released quite a number of iterations, from world timers and chronographs to tourbillons. What these designs all have in common are their sleek lines, their Maltese cross-inspired bezels and their convenient strap/bracelet one-touch changing system. This year, the maison takes it up a notch with its latest Overseas: the Perpetual Calendar (Quantième Perpétuel) Ultra-Thin Skeleton. In this new gold version, a sapphire dial invites the wearer to see the workings of an extremely thin perpetual calendar movement – the self-winding Calibre 1120, at just 4.05mm and with more than 270 parts. For the first time in the collection, the back is also openworked, showcasing the great trains and NAC-treated oscillating weight in 22K gold that’s also shaped like a Maltese cross. A truly impressive timepiece, the Overseas QP Ultra-Thin Skeleton boasts beauty and functionality alike, as the perpetual calendar won’t require any adjustment until March 1, 2100 for its calendar indications and moonphases.
Whether it’s for sparkle, artisanal craftsmanship or intricate details, these precious timepieces will earn a place on your wrist and in your jewellery box.
Reine de Naples 8918
During her reign, the Queen of Naples, Caroline Murat (Napoleon Bonaparte’s younger sister) would ask watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet to create more than 30 timepieces for her, one of which was to be worn on the wrist. This signalled the birth of the oval-shaped Reine de Naples watch, which continues its storied legacy today with the 8918, a version with a bright white grand feu enamel dial with numerals in celestial shades. This delicate timepiece comes in a white gold case with finely fluted sides decorated with 117 diamonds around the bezel and the dial flange. Housed within is the calibre 537/3, an automatic movement that offers reserve power of up to 45 hours. Time is read easily via Breguet’s signature hands of blued steel, off-centre hours, diamond-shaped markers and fleur-de-lis, accented by a pear-shaped diamond at 6 o’clock. If you hold the timepiece up to the light, the reflection will give you a glimpse of Breguet’s secret signature, which is at 3 o’clock. A sapphire-crystal caseback showcases the movement and each watch is engraved with a unique number. According to Breguet, the owner can opt to be part of history if they wish, as the house can record their name with the number of their watch in the archives, which have been kept by the watchmaker since the 18th century.
Maillon de Cartier
An extremely wearable and stylish new ladies’ watch from Cartier, the Maillon de Cartier’s key design feature is in its rectangular chain bracelet links that have a helical effect, combined with a hexagonal dial and bevelled brancards. Fitted with a quartz movement, the timepiece, which measures 16mm by 17mm, comes in seven versions: yellow gold; rose gold; white gold; rose gold with 400 brilliant-cut diamonds on the bezel and bracelet; fully pavéd with 486 diamonds in white gold; a 50-piece limited edition in yellow gold with diamonds and a black lacquer dial; and a 20-piece limited edition in white gold set with diamonds, tsavorites and green lacquer.
Celebrating 20 years since the creation of its J12 watch, Chanel releases a limited edition model in white ceramic and steel called J12∙20, featuring rhodium-plated motifs spread over its white lacquered dial. The motifs show 20 iconic symbols of the maison, including a camellia, a bottle of No. 5 perfume, the 2.55 bag and a tweed jacket. For a bit of sparkle, 12 brilliant-cut diamonds have been scattered across the dial as well. The timepiece comes in 38mm or 33mm versions, each produced in a limited series of 2,020 pieces, with the words “20 Years Limited to 2020” engraved on the caseback. The J12 watch, first released in 2000, was one of the first watches to use scratch-resistant ceramic on its cases and feature a unidirectional rotating steel bezel. Through the years, it has become a Chanel signature.
Grand Bal Masqué
“It was the most beautiful evening ball I have seen or ever will see,” wrote Christian Dior of Charles de Beistegui’s ball, held at the Palazzo Labia in Venice in 1951, which was touted as the Ball of the Century. In fact, it was so memorable that it left a lasting fascination and went on to inform the designer’s work. As an ode to these grand soirees, the maison has released a one-of-a-kind series called Dior Grand Bal Masqué, which features three unique masks on each dial, created with precious metals, coloured gemstones and feathers. Dior Grand Bal Masqué No. 1 has a red and gold theme, with the elaborate mask rendered in white and yellow gold, platinum, diamonds, pink quartz, spinel, pink sapphires, rubies and feathers; Dior Grand Bal Masqué No. 2’s mask features a pastel theme and is rendered in pink quartz, emeralds, pink sapphires, Malaya garnet, yellow sapphires and feathers; and Dior Grand Bal Masqué No. 3’s mask comes in a green theme rendered with lapis lazuli, amethysts, tsavorite garnets and feathers. All three unique pieces are equipped with an automatic movement – the Dior Inversé 11 1/2 calibre, featuring a functional oscillating weight on the topside of the dial that moves like the swirl of a ball gown. The timepieces come in 36mm white gold cases pavéd with snow-set and baguette-cut diamonds, with either lapis lazuli or pink quartz casebacks.
Michel Parmigiani brings his love of Japanese culture and beautiful timepieces together with the Parmigiani Toric Fleur. Inspired by hanami (the Japanese tradition of admiring flowers) and combining this with Swiss elements, the watch features a delicate lace carpet of gold marguerites on its mother-of-pearl dial. In the spring, marguerites can be seen across Switzerland’s Jura region, just as the cherry blossoms come into full bloom across Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. The Toric Fleur is driven by the automatic in-house calibre PF310 and is housed in a 33.7mm rose gold case. Leaf-shaped hands indicate the hours and minutes, while a small seconds hand appears at six o’clock. The open caseback features Côtes de Gen.ve bridges shaped like a fan, while the gold rotor is delicately engraved with a barley-grain motif.
Limelight Gala Precious Sapphire Gradient
Limelight Gala Precious Sapphire Gradient inspired by a timepiece created in 1973 – during an era when celebrities and artists like Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Kennedy, Andy Warhol, Cary Grant and Salvador Dali were friends of the maison and would come together for glamorous soirees – Piaget presents a collection of Limelight Gala watches inspired by movement, gold, colour and light. Called the Piaget Limelight Gala Precious Sapphire Gradient, the timepiece features a handmade gold bracelet using a motif called Palace Décor; Piaget is one of the few remaining watchmakers that can still produce these patterns. The case is adorned with 20 diamonds and 22 diffusing blue sapphires, all set using the serti descendu technique for maximum brilliance. The dial comes in translucent blue grand feu enamel, while a version with a mother-of-pearl dial and a dark-blue alligator strap is in a limited run of 88 pieces.
There’s much to appreciate in these hardy, full-on sporty watches that result from partnerships and collaborations with some of the world’s top sporting events.
Seamaster Planet Ocean 36th America’s Cup Limited Edition
In May, Omega announced its role as Official Timekeeper of the America’s Cup, a historic sailing competition that dates back to 1851, making it the oldest trophy in international sport. The 36th America’s Cup is taking place in March 2021, with competitors sailing in AC75 monohulls across Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour in New Zealand. Omega also announced that it’s continuing its partnership with the race’s current champions: Emirates Team New Zealand. To celebrate the momentous occasion, the watchmaker has released the Seamaster Planet Ocean 36th America’s Cup Limited Edition, powered by the Omega Master Chronometer Calibre 8900, with a power reserve of 60 hours, housed in a 43.5mm stainless steel case that’s water-resistant to 600 metres. A blue ceramic diving bezel boasts a five-minute countdown for racing. The America’s Cup logo has been placed on the dial, on the counterweight of the seconds hand and on the sapphire crystal caseback. The watch is limited to 2,021 pieces.
Luminor Luna Rossa GMT 44mm
Panerai celebrates its partnership with the Luna Rossa sailing team – the challengers for the 36th America’s Cup – with a special edition watch of its own: the Luminor Luna Rossa GMT 44mm (PAM01036). Like the Luna Rossa itself, Panerai has chosen to use titanium for lightness and corrosion resistance. The timepiece comes in a 44mm titanium case that features black DLC coating for increased wear resistance. On the screwed dodecagonal caseback, one can appreciate the Luna Rossa logo, the AC75 monohull (the boat itself) and an engraving of the America’s Cup trophy. The most attractive feature of the watch, however, is the dial itself, which uses a thin layer of technical fabric from the Luna Rossa AC75 monohull. The timepiece is powered by the Calibre P.9010/ GMT, a dual-barrel movement that offers three days of reserve power, and a GMT function – which is crucial for the sailors of the Luna Rossa, whose home base is Italy. The watch is water-resistant up to 300 metres, and comes with a Ponte Vecchio calfskin strap and an additional black rubber strap.
Mille Miglia GTS Azzurro
Chopard, the main sponsor and official timekeeper of the Mille Miglia classic car rally since 1988, continues its partnership with the event, starting with the release of two limited edition racing-inspired models. The Mille Miglia GTS Azurro Chrono, limited to 750 pieces, comes in stainless steel and features a trio of sub-dials reminiscent of classic car dashboards, while the Mille Miglia GTS Azurro Power Control, an automatic time and date watch, is limited to 500 pieces in stainless steel and 18K rose gold, with a cool power-reserve indicator that looks like an automotive fuel gauge. Both models were designed with striking blue Azzurro dials, contrasted by Mille Miglia red that’s used for other accents, including the “1000 Miglia” direction arrow that frames the date window. Both watches carry even more details from the track: the sides of the cases are grooved like an engine’s piston and the oversized winding crown resembles race-style fuel fillers. The straps look like they come from the motoring world, too, designed in perforated leather similar to the ones used by the racecar drivers of the 1950s, and with a rubber lining that looks like the tread pattern of a Dunlop racing tire.
Diver Chronograph 44mm Hammerhead Shark Limited Edition
Ulysse Nardin has just released three new bold chronographs, the hero of which is the Diver Chronograph 44mm Hammerhead Shark, limited to 300 pieces. The watch comes in a titanium case, matched with a blue and white dial. It’s accented with touches of red in the bezel joining, the chronograph seconds hand, the chronograph pushers and the rubber strap, which shows a red hammerhead shark sculpted in the rubber. The watch runs via the in-house Calibre UN-140 automatic chronograph, with hours, minutes and a small seconds counter at 9 o’clock. This in-house movement boasts a friction-resistant silicium escapement and 48 hours of power reserve. The full-on hammerhead shark engraved on the caseback is also worth a second look.
True To Form
Boasting functions including calendar, moonphase and a host of other features, these stainless steel and white gold watches are extremely useful – but also carry an understated elegance.
A. Lange & Söhne
The Odysseus, launched last year, was A. Lange & Söhne’s first full-production stainless steel watch. It’s the first Lange with a screw-down crown and is water-resistant to 120 metres, hinting at its sporty functionality. Due to its popularity, the watchmaker launches a white gold version this year, which comes in a 40.5mm case with a grey dial. Powered by the L55.1 Datomatic calibre, the watch has two pushers on the right side of the case for adjusting the big date and day-of-the-week display. Compared to its older brother, the new Odysseus is definitely a lot more gorgeous, with a grey dial featuring an embossed groove structure under the hour markers and a subsidiary seconds scale to offer depth and texture. White gold hands and notched baton appliqués make the time easy to read against the background, and like the minute hands, the hour markers are luminous. The watch comes with integrated straps in hand-stitched leather or black rubber, with the latter constructed with air ducts for increased comfort when worn on hot days.
Master Control Calendar
Jaeger-LeCoultre first introduced its Master Control collection in 1992 – aptly named because this was the first batch of watches to go through the watchmaker’s internal 1,000 Hour Control certification, which is a rigid quality and performance check that includes waterproofing, chronometric testing and robustness to shocks and magnetic fields. Hence, timepieces from this collection have been proven to be highly reliable. This year, the watchmaker presents a new addition to the line: the Master Control Calendar, which features a triple calendar moonphase movement that indicates hours and minutes, small seconds, day, month and phases of the moon. The use of an updated automatic Calibre 866 allows for a fun watch trick, too – the jumping date, where the date hand makes a 90-degree leap from the 15th to the 16th to make sure that the moon phase display isn’t obstructed. The dial, though offering a lot of information, is kept neat and organised, with a silver sunray finish that matches the 40mm case in stainless steel. The model is also offered in Jaeger-LeCoultre’s new pink gold alloy, La Grand Rose Gold, which is mixed with palladium to improve resistance to oxidation.
Ref. 6007A-001 Calatrava
Continuing its tradition of creating a limited edition, commemorative watch to celebrate company milestones, Patek Philippe has launched the Ref. 6007A-001 Calatrava, which marks the completion of the watchmaker’s new Geneva facility, which officially opened in June. This unusually designed version of this 40mm Calatrava is sure to be a hit with collectors, since its case and bezel have been made with polished stainless steel, a material rarely used by the brand. The dial is in a greyish blue, contrasted with white applied numerals and white lacquered hands in white gold, which match the steel perfectly. Highlights include a railway track scale of the hour circle with triangular markers, pierced baton hands for the hours and minutes, and an aperture date at 3 o’clock, courtesy of the self-winding 324 S C calibre. In the centre of the dial is a block pattern that Patek Philippe describes as a “carbon-style texture that refers to the world of high-tech”. This commemorative piece comes with a calfskin strap that matches the dial colour. It’s limited to 1,000 pieces. On each sapphire crystal caseback, specially marked with a Calatrava cross, are the words “New Manufacture 2019”, marking the year that the first of Patek Philippe’s teams moved into the new production facilities.
There’s something about the marriage of black and rose gold that makes these timepieces stand out from the pack.
Grande Seconde Off-Centered Black Jade
The Grande Seconde, designed by Pierre Jaquet-Droz as a pocket watch almost three centuries ago, is one of the watchmaker’s most recognisable designs – especially in Asia, with that figure-eight staring you in the face. There have been numerous iterations of the design, but this year, the maison uses a striking combination of red gold and black jade for a 43mm timepiece that features the hours and minutes display and the large seconds display off-centred on a slightly slanted axis from 1 o’clock to 7 o’clock. The gorgeous dial is made of black jade, or amphibolite, which comes from Australia. The material is not only beautiful, it is extremely hard and requires hours of polishing to show the small, silvery inclusions that give it added depth and distinguish it from onyx. Considered as a symbol of nobility in China, black jade has been used in protection amulets and is believed to have talismanic properties. The watch is powered by the Jaquet Droz 2663A.P self-winding mechanical movement with a silicon balance spring and an 18K red gold oscillating weight visible from the sapphire crystal caseback. Red gold is used for the case, displays and hands. The watch is limited to 88 pieces.
Bvlgari Cities Special Edition 2020
Since so many of us will miss travelling to our favourite spots this summer, Bvlgari brings memories of nine key cities around the world to our wrists in the Cities Special Edition collection. Each watch is designed around a place that has hosted the brand in the past – Rome, Tokyo, Dubai, Paris, London, Ibiza, Milan, Mexico City and New York – and comes with a set of 12 art prints created by nine talented young artists who were invited by the maison to collaborate on the project. A watch for urbanites, it features a 41mm steel case treated with black DLC. The bezel is engraved with the maison’s logo on the top and the name of one of nine cities along the bottom. The timepiece is powered by the in-house BVL 191 automatic calibre, and comes with both a brown calf leather strap and a black rubber strap, plus a black grained leather travel pouch.
Make a strong style statement with timepieces that emerge from a heady combination of artistic skill and watchmaking creativity.
Arceau Cheval Cosmique
A silhouette of a horse and waves in engraved gold, set against an aventurine or mother-of-pearl backdrop, are the latest additions to the Hermès Arceau’s decorative dials. This model has featured many works of art in the past, including reliefs and miniature-painted animals and flowers, but the horse is a common and well-loved motif used by Hermès, given its legacy as a saddle maker. This particularly striking design is a rendering of contemporary Italian artist Gianpaolo Pagni’s Cheval Cosmique; to create this miniature relief, artisans worked for almost a week on a gold plate less than 0.5cm thick. The watch is powered by the Manufacture Hermès H1837 mechanical self-winding movement with a power reserve of 50 hours. The 41mm white gold case is paired with a blue or Chantilly alligator strap, and is limited to 24 pieces each of the aventurine and mother-of-pearl versions.
Big Bang One Click Marc Ferrero
Hublot collaborates with contemporary French artist Marc Ferrero for this truly memorable Big Bang: the One Click 39mm. The maison uses one of Ferrero’s most recognisable works, Lipstick, on the dial, case and strap design, where the focal point is a sunglasses-clad femme fatale with bold red lipstick. The artist describes the abstract piece as an ode to the 21st-century woman who can do anything. Hublot has rendered the artwork on two designs: one in satin-finished polished steel and resin, with a lacquered dial in all white, and the other in black ceramic with a lacquered dial in black. The timepiece is engraved with “Limited Edition” and numbered on the caseback. This is Hublot’s second artistic collaboration and the models are limited to 100 pieces per design. There’s also a version set with diamonds.
Tambour Curve Flying Tourbillon Poinçon de Genève
The tambour case, with its upward-narrowing case band, is iconic for Louis Vuitton. This year, the brand enriches the range with the Tambour Curve Flying Tourbillon Poinçon de Genève – a massive watch measuring 46mm at the base and 42mm at the bezel, but made sturdy and ultra-lightweight via the use of CarboStratum, a composite material developed exclusively for the maison that is produced by layering multiple sheets of carbon and compressing them at a controlled temperature, then milling to the desired shape. The CarboStratum acts as a sleeve to cover the watch’s grade 5 titanium base, which is also used for the caseback. The nature of CarboStratum gives the case gorgeous ellipse patterns, which incidentally also makes each timepiece unique. The timepiece is fitted with the LV 108 Calibre, whose bridges create the big and bold L and V shape on the dial. The hand-wound movement, developed and assembled by La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton, features a skeletonised flying tourbillon at 9 o’clock in the shape of the monogram flower. The Tambour Curve Flying Tourbillon Poinçon de Genève comes with a black rubber strap, or a choice of mixed-media black or blue alligator and rubber straps. Each timepiece is delivered with a Louis Vuitton fine watchmaking trunk.
Van Cleef & Arpels
Midnight Pont des Amoureux
Pont des Amoureux is one of Van Cleef & Arpels’ most romantic watches. It depicts two lovers meeting on a bridge, where the lady moves forward to denote the hour, while the gentleman crosses his half of the bridge to denote the minutes. At noon and midnight, they meet in the middle and kiss. What makes this romantic gesture work is a unique self-winding mechanical movement with a retrograde and on-demand animation function that was developed exclusively for Van Cleef & Arpels, and was first used in the ladies’ version of the watch: the Lady Arpels. Now the maison presents the Pont des Amoureux in a gentleman’s model, with the movement adjusted to fit its Midnight watch’s 42mm white gold case. The grisaille enamel and gold scenery on the dial has been reworked with more detail, including the roofs and paved stones of Paris in the background, complete with the starry sky and moon. The characters are also slightly larger than on the women’s versions. Like the other models, the watch has a button that can be pressed to show the lovers kissing anytime the wearer wishes.
Bright Side Of The Moon
Planning on becoming one of the next SpaceX passengers? Get your journey started by appreciating the moon phase displays and more on these dapper timepieces.
Baume & Mercier
Clifton Baumatic Day-Date & Moon-Phase Automatic
For this year’s offerings, Baume & Mercier debuts three new additions to its Clifton Baumatic Collection, the highlight of which is the Clifton Baumatic Day-Date & Moon-Phase Automatic. Among the benefits of owning a Baume & Mercier is that they’re reliable and easy on the eyes – and the wallet. Offered in rose gold or polished and satin-finished stainless steel, the Clifton Baumatic Day-Date & Moon-Phase Automatic measures 42mm in diameter and features a gradient grey lacquered dial, matched with contrasting gold-toned or rhodium-plated trapezoid-shaped indices and hands. A sub-dial at 12 o’clock indicates the day of the week, while a moonphase indicator is set against a starry- sky background at six o’clock. The timepiece is powered by the Baumatic BM14 1975 AC2, an in-house self-winding movement that offers a whopping 120 hours (five days) of reserve power. The watch comes with a two-tone alligator strap in blue and burgundy.
Another unique moonphase watch for the year is the Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar, which comes in an intense green dial with a special diffusing effect. Glashütte Original’s watchmakers say that the green was inspired by looking at the Ore Mountains from their watchmaking facility in Pforzheim, Germany. This bold shade is contrasted nicely by the 40mm stainless steel case and the silver-coloured moon phase display and white gold hands with Super-LumiNova. An example of exacting German watchmaking design, all the elements of this watch have been carefully placed using a very precise calculation inspired by the golden ratio, which is said to be the number that denotes beauty or perfect proportions in nature. The PanoMaticLunar shows two off-centred dials positioned on the left side – one for the hours and minutes, and another for the running seconds – while on the right side is the brand’s signature Panorama Date indication, which displays the date on two non-overlapping discs, as well as a moonphase indicator framed by an “age of the moon” track.
Portugieser Yacht Club Moon & Tide
The latest addition to IWC’s Portugieser line is the gorgeous Yacht Club Moon & Tide, which combines a 44.6mm red gold case with a shiny blue dial and a matching rubber strap. What makes this timepiece truly interesting isn’t just how it looks, though – it’s powered by a newly developed Calibre 82835 movement that boasts a dual- hemisphere moon phase display used in many of its perpetual calendar models, seen at 12 o’clock, and a tide-following complication, which allows the wearer to determine the strength of the tides (high or low) via a tidal disc display at 6 o’clock. There’s symmetry in the design, not to mention the two complications complement each other, since tides occur because of the moon’s gravitational pull. Red gold-plated luminescent hands, flange and numerals and a colour- matched date indicator offer contrasting accents on the navy-inspired dial.