Haute Time has seen some incredible pieces this year, from the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie to Baselworld and more. With stunning new debuts from manufactures like Audemars Piguet, Ulysse Nardin, Richard Mille and many more, Seth and I picked our favorites from amongst my Haute Time Watch of the Day feature.
The Constant Escapement is an authentic solution to the problem of waning power encountered in traditional mechanical watches. This piece features constant power delivery to the oscillator. That means constant amplitude and constant rate. The energy is supplied by two barrels coupled in parallel (a new patented design): the cover and the ratchet are a single piece to maximize the thickness available and each drum contains two springs stacked in series. The movement takes its place in a round 48mm diameter case in white gold, completed by a black hand-sewn alligator strap with a white gold folding clasp.
As a tribute to the famous navigator Christopher Columbus, Zenith has created this amazing timepiece, which showcases the finest artistry in enameling, micro-painting and engraving, along with Zenith’s horological technologies. The Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane Grand Voyage features a 45mm 18K rose gold case, which houses an El Primero 8805, hand-wound movement with a 50-hour power reserve. The dial consists of 3 enameled gold dials with black lacquered hour markers and blued steel hands. Functions of the timepiece include off-centered hours and minutes at 12 o’clock on the dial, a gravity control, self-regulating module which can be seen at the 6 o’clock position on the dial, small seconds at 9 o’clock, power reserve indication at 3 o’clock and a fusee chain transmission below the hours and minutes dial. Fitted with a brown alligator leather strap with a rose gold triple folding clasp, this watch is part of a Limited Collection of 10 timepieces available by Zenith.
Inspired by the SR-71 aircraft, known as the Blackbird, the BR 126 Blackbird is a contemporary timepiece modeled after a vintage design, part of the Bell & Ross Vintage Collection. The BR 126 features a 43mm stainless steel case with black PVD finish. Housing a flyback chronograph movement, the case is the perfect combination of a classic style with a modern edge. The black dial features easy to read hour and minute hands and numerals, covered with luminescent coating. A tachymeter scale, along with an AM/PM indicator at 9 o’clock, a small seconds subdial at 3 o’clock and a date display at 5 o’clock complete the look, feel and functionality of this model. Fitted with an orange canvas strap and a black rubber strap, the BR 126 Blackbird Flyback is part of a limited collection of 500 pieces.
The H2 is the newest release by the team known as “hydro mechanical horologists” – this amazing timepiece is the next example of what incorporating fluidics into watchmaking means. The H2 features a 48.8mm black DLC titanium case with micro-blasted and satin finishes. The case houses an exclusive HYT calibre mechanical with manual winding movement and an 8-day Power Reserve. The H2 functions include retrograde fluidic hours, minutes with a jumping hand at 30 minutes, crown position indicator as well as a temperature indicator. This watch is presented on a rubberized anthracite alligator strap with a black DLC titanium pin buckle. The newest introduction by the HYT team, the H2 is part of a limited collection of 50 pieces.
The Openworked Extra-Thin Tourbillon is part of the Royal Oak Collection by Audemars Piguet. This piece features a Calibre 2924 Openworked Manufacture, hand-wound, tourbillon movement housed in a 41mm 950 platinum case. The beautiful openworked slate grey dial features white gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating. This special timepiece by Audemars Piguet also features a glare-proof sapphire crystal caseback, with the power reserve indicator on the back, boasting 70 hours of power reserve. Fitted with a 950 platinum bracelet with an AP folding clasp, the Audemars Piguet Openworked Extra-Thin Tourbillon is water-resistant to 50 meters.
As the name describes, the case is done in 18K polished oro rosso – red gold – along with an 18K red gold bezel. The Radiomir 10 Days GMT is powered by a Panerai P.2003 calibre movement created entirely by Officine Panerai, with an impressive 10 day power reserve. The brown dial features Arabic numerals and luminous dots, luminous numbers at 12 and 6 o’clock, and a linear power reserve indicator at 6 o’clock. Sapphire crystal, formed from corundum, protects the dial and case back. This timepiece is water-resistant to 50 meters and comes fitted with a personalized Panerai alligator strap, with an adjustable 18K polished red gold buckle. The Radiomir 10 Days GMT Oro Rosso is part of a Unique Collection of 250 pieces offered by Officine Panerai.
The Villeret Squelette 8 Jours is a perfect combination of Blancpain’s watchmaking history and the hand-finishing techniques in which the brand takes great pride. This beautiful timepiece displays its skeletonized, openworked movement, which features incredible detail and engraving on the bridges, mainplates, and every piece of the movement visible through the sapphire crystal and case back. The Squelette 8 Jours features a white gold 38mm case which houses a manufacture Calibre 1333SQ movement, with an 8 day power reserve (as the name states). This timepiece is water resistant to 30 meters and is shown here on a black Mississippi alligator leather strap.
Powered by a Maurice Lacroix ML 107-7 Caliber movement, this timepiece measures short time intervals while exemplifying an appealing avant-garde design. With a 45mm case done in steel with a combination of polished sunray surfaces and a domed sapphire crystal and case back, this creation by Maurice Lacroix features an openworked dial that is amazing to look at. On the dial, a slate gray metal-coated treatment gives depth to double counters and chronograph function, along with white SuperLumiNova counters and second tracks. The bridges are plated in black gold and feature ML wheel design matching the hands and discs which come alive with each beat. Fitted with a black hand-stitched porous crocodile-skin strap with black calfskin lining and red stitching, the Masterpiece Le Chronograph Squelette is part of a limited edition collection of 188 pieces offered by Maurice Lacroix.
This breathtaking tourbillon is 18K white gold with a case measuring 49mm. It is set with 136 baguette cut diamonds (totaling about 9.9 carats) and 875 brilliant cut diamonds (totaling 6.1 carats). The dial shines with 107 brilliant cut diamonds, while the crown is detailed with a brilliant cut diamond and 8 baguettes. The bracelet is decorated with another 732 baguette cut diamonds that amount to 26.1 carats. At the heart of this beautiful timepiece is the Manufacture Piaget 1270P automatic ultra-thin tourbillon, mechanical movement. The caseback is sapphire crystal and the piece is water resistant to 3 ATM. The Emperador Coussin XL Exceptional is part of a limited series of luxury timepieces created by Piaget, and this is a unique piece offered to one very special admirer of Piaget artistry.
The original 1976 Nautilus model, Ref. 3700/1, was done in steel. Now a haute horlogerie classic, the Ref. 5980/1R is done completely in rose gold. The Patek Philippe self-winding, column-wheel controlled caliber 28-520 C chronograph movement is housed in a 40.5mm Nautilus case. The caliber features an instant-change date in the aperture at 3 o’clock: it takes only one-tenth of a second to switch. Functions include hours and minutes, as well as a number of interesting chronograph functions. Thanks to a virtually friction-free coupling, the chronograph hand with the flyback feature doubles as a constantly running sweep seconds hand. On three concentric scales, the monocounter in the lower part of the dial keeps track of the minutes and hours that have elapsed in short-time measurements.
This platinum 950 Legacy Machine No. 2 is part of a limited edition of just 18 pieces. The LM2 features dual flying balances, which are suspended above the sky blue dial from four arced arms. The dial is actually the top plate of the movement, and it features a white lacquer sub dial at 12 o’clock with blued gold hour and minute hands. The raised planetary differential at 6 o’clock is a true example of MB&F’s famous micro-engineering.
The Historical Anniversary Tourbillon by F.P. Journe commemorates Mr. Francois-Paul Journes’ first pocket watch which was completed in 1983 and marks the 30th Anniversary of F.P. Journes’ watch making history. The Historical Anniversary Tourbillon features a Calibre 1412 manual-winding tourbillon chronometer movement created in brass. The movement features beautiful engravings and graining similar to that of the original piece created in 1983. The 40 mm case is 18k gold and silver guilloche and features a double back sapphire crystal. The dial of The Historical Anniversary Tourbillon is grained silver. The numbers and hour circle are engraved and filled and accented by the blued steel Abraham-Louis Breguet hands. The Anniversary Tourbillon is fitted with a leather strap with matching buckle. The F.P. Journe Historical Anniversary Tourbillon is part of a limited collection of 99 pieces, just unveiled by Mr. Journe at the F.P. Journe boutique in Tokyo. The celebrations continue to New York and then the official opening of the brands Los Angeles boutique in November. Happy 30th Anniversary F.P. Journe!
This 20-piece limited edition captures our whole solar system on the wrist. The GEO.GRAHAM features the Moon, Earth, Mars and the Sun, based on a 300-year calendar. The Sun is represented by an 18K pink gold hand-engraved tourbillon bridge with two Phoenix heads. The year counter on the caseback enables the wearer to identify and make the corrections for the planets (Moon: 7 years, Earth: 1156 years, Mars: 25 years). The price tag is $330,000, but considering it will be functional for the next 300 years, it’s a good deal!
The Freak Phantom uses silicium in its patented hairspring (Si 1.1.1.) and throughout the majority of its escapement. The entire movement, including the oscillator, is produced in house by Ulysse Nardin and boasts an 8 day power reserve. The flying tourbillon indicates the minutes with a tourbillon carrousel that does one complete rotation around the center in 60 minutes. An arrow on the cage indicates the seconds on a transparent half-circle, rotating in one minute on itself, with the zero position holding steady on the axis of the minute indicator. The Freak Phantom is limited to 99 pieces.
The ‘inventeurs horlogers’ Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey have created an original method to visualize world time using a three-dimensional globe which rotates, along with a second time zone indication and inclined tourbillon. The case is 43.5mm and created in 18K white or rose gold, with a window giving a perfect view of the globe. On the back of the timepiece is a world time ring listing cities from each of the 24 time zones, along with a gold sun indicating noon. Powered by the Calibre GF05 movement, the GMT features many functions, including hours, minutes, small seconds, power reserve indicator and day/night indicator on the dial, in addition to the time zones, which are all accessible via the GMT on the watch’s side. The Greubel Forsey GMT is fitted with an alligator leather strap.
The brainchild of independent watchmaker Ludovic Ballouard, the Opus XIII is a moving masterpiece. This 44.25mm mechanical watch features an astounding fifty-nine pivoting minutes hands, with eleven rotating triangles for the hours, and a sliding trapdoor wherein minutes and hours appear or vanish. The minutes accumulate around a track – each five minutes in red – withdrawing in unison when they complete the circle of the hour. Silver triangles spring from the faceted dome at the center of the dial to show the hours, rotating back when their duty’s done. Every twelve hours, Harry Winston’s logo is revealed on the dial, only to vanish sixty minutes later. The fifty-nine minutes hands of the Opus XIII pivot on a ring of as many steel shafts, each held between two ruby bearings. No other timepiece ever made has as many functional jewels – the Opus XIII features 242. From the transparent sapphire crystal caseback the wearer can glimpse the blades that look like they could be from a jet engine. This component is comprised of fifty-nine jumper springs (one for each minutes hand) carved from a single piece of steel. The Opus XIII is limited to 130 pieces.
The Classique Tourbillon 5377 is a self-winding extra-thin tourbillon with a Caliber 581DR movement and a 90 hour power reserve. The 18K rose gold case measures 42mm and features a beautiful 18K dial, decorated with four different patterns, Roman numerals to mark the hours, Breguet polished blue steel hands and small seconds on the tourbillon. The Classique Tourbillon 5377 is water resistant to 30 meters and features sapphire crystal and caseback revealing the movement. Fitted with a brown leather strap with a triple-blade folding clasp, the Classique Tourbillon 5337 is a wonderful new addition to the collection. Each piece will be signed and numbered by Breguet.
This timepiece celebrates the original Daytona that was launched in 1963 – marking the 50th anniversary this year. This new timepiece features an Oyster 40mm platinum case with a chestnut brown bezel and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. Powered by a Perpetual, mechanical chronograph, self-winding, 4130 Rolex Manufacture movement, the new Cosmograph Daytona fits right into this impressive collection. The beautiful ice blue dial features chestnut brown laquer counters along with Chromalight appliques and hands. The Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona is shown on an Oyster, platinum bracelet complete with a folding Oysterlock safety clasp and comfort extension link.
Electro Mechanical Control, or EMC, is a high-end mechanical timepiece which can report changes in position, temperature, shocks and more, at the touch of a button. This allows the wearer to know the precise condition of the timepiece and adjust to your own personal rhythm. The 43mm case is constructed of titanium and steel with satin finish, and features a coated sapphire crystal, pressure tested to 3 ATM. This smart watch, is powered by a UR-EMC caliber, manual-winding movement developed and manufactured by Urwerk with an 80 hour power reserve. The EMC is capable of reporting the information needed to maintain the utmost precision using a Maxon® generator with a manual winding super capacitor along with the EMC system, an optical sensor controlled by a circuit board. The dial indications include hours, minutes, seconds, precision delta and power reserve indicator and is finished with the Cotés de Geneve design. A fascinating timepiece created by Urwerk.
The IWC Ingenieur Constant-Force Tourbillon is an example of IWC’s dedication to haute horlogerie featuring a constant-force mechanism which guarantees maximum precision. The platinum and ceramic case measures 46 mm and houses a Calibre 94800 mechanical hand-wound movement with a 96-hour power reserve, which gains its inspiration from the engine block of a race car. The black dial of The Ingenieur Constant Force Tourbillon boasts a power reserve display, perpetual moon phases for the northern and southern hemispheres, a countdown display showing phases until the next full moon in addition to the tourbillon with an integrated constant-force mechanism. The sapphire flat crystal features anti-reflective coating on both sides and the timepiece is water-resistant to 12 bar and fitted with a black alligator leather strap.