It’s been said that there have been no real innovations in horology, with master watchmakers having already perfected the art, so to speak, and dealt with its faults in the last century.
Be that as it may, there’s no denying that the last few decades have seen some truly ground-breaking developments especially in terms of design and finding unconventional ways to express time. Here are five of those remarkable timepieces released in the last few months alone:
Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Orange Sapphire
A splash of vibrant hues is precisely what we need right now and Hublot is up to the task. Earlier in the year, Hublot added orange to its already impressive Big Bang Sapphire lineup, which includes transparent, black, yellow, blue and red sapphire. In the case of Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Orange Sapphire watch, Hublot has upped its game with sapphire crystal used not only for the case but also the dial and movement bridge, which doubles as the watch dial.
As if an orange sapphire watch – said to be a first in the watchmaking world – was not amazing enough, this watch is equipped with a completely new tourbillon movement that’s self-winding – a rarity for a tourbillon. The watch also presents an innovative architecture with the micro-rotor visible on the dial side and three sapphire bridges. Sprinkling just a bit more awesomeness, it’s a limited edition with only 50 pieces available.
Jacob & Co Astronomia Solar Planets Jewelry
How would you like having the solar system on your wrist? Leave it to Jacob & Co – a brand with a knack for ridiculously astounding horological displays – to deliver in the form of the Astronomia Solar Planets Jewelry, the latest addition to the brand’s Astonomia calibers and the most compact of the series.
Despite its comparatively leaner form, the watch is no less spectacular, with the planets represented with 288-facet gemstone spheres placed on the rotating platform of the Astronomia Solar calibre. The globe is hand-painted in blue and rotates 60 seconds, while a citrine represents the sun. There are a lot of incredible details to this piece, which treats the wearer and those close by with quite the mesmerising display.
MB&F Horological Machine N°9 ‘Sapphire Vision’
There’s always an element of surprise, and shock – in a good way I should add – to MB&F’s deliciously audacious timepieces, where it’s all about thinking outside the box. Case in point the new Horological Machine N°9 ‘Sapphire Vision’ or HM9-SV, an iteration of the 2018 Horological Machine N°9 (HM9 ‘Flow’ for short) inspired by automotive and aeronautic designs of the 1940s and 50s.
The outer sapphire crystal hull of the case is curved and bubbled, echoing the flowing, aerodynamic lines of that era, and is comprised of three parts that’s sealed with a gasket through a compound bonding process. Turn the piece over and you’ll find twin turbines that spin freely, which is not necessarily functional and instead created for purely visual reasons. There’s much more to say about the intricacies of this piece, but for now, revel at its truly avant-garde design and innovative technical workings.
Urwerk UR 100V T Rex
TRex is the latest, fantastically fierce iteration of Urwerk’s UR 100 line, which features the brand’s signature satellite wandering hours partnered with a new self-winding system and housed in an aesthetic that echoes the ferocious physical qualities of a TRex. To achieve this look, the bronze case went through three process to achieves a delicate patina, form realistic, three-dimensional scales and give a distinct colour.
Its three satellites, each of four hours, rotate on a three-armed carousel and in turn, each satellite, displaying the hour, carries a red pointer along a 60-minute scale. Only 22 pieces will be produced; rare indeed, as it should be.
Ressence Type 3W
Tired of the conventional way of telling time but not quite ready for those extreme timepieces? Ressence’s watches make a compelling proposition for those in between, with its mantra being “challenging the status quo of mechanical watches” but also ensures that their pieces are, well, wearable. A sleek piece for sure is the Ressence Type 3W watch, which is the first oil-filled mechanical watch with a white dial.
The genius behind the watch is in a patented mechanism called the Ressence Orbital Convex System (ROCS), where its gears calculate the hours, day and date— taking only the minute as a reference from the automatic movement—and displayed on a single surface. This new Type 3W was designed with a “waterdrop” dial effect to achieve absolute legibility and this time of a white dial.