Delivering a snapshot from our worldwide markets, our local Singapore-based editor, Pooja Agarwal, recaps Singapore’s hottest watch news.
THE HOUR GLASS CELEBRATES CHINESE NEW YEAR
In celebration of Chinese New Year, watch collectors and enthusiasts gathered at Malmaison by The Hour Glass on Knightsbridge to see a rendition of the traditional Chinese lion and dragon dances. During the festivities, performers inside a large lion costume mimicked the animal’s movement to the delight of the crowd. Meanwhile, the traditional dragon dance saw multiple artists holding a dragon figure by poles and performing throughout the beautiful Malmaison, treating everyone to a luxurious cultural experience. It’s traditionally believed that the longer the Chinese dragon is, the more luck it brings to the people around it. In this case, the lengthy dragon that snaked through the halls of the boutique is sure to bring loads of fortune. Malmaison is a one-of-a-kind, 8,000-square-foot luxury boutique in the heart of Singapore’s main shopping district that sells exceptional luxury items. Its two opulent floors were transformed for the Chinese New Year celebrations. When they first enter, visitors are greeted by a lavish window display of Hublot, Panerai, IWC and Cartier pieces. Bespoke shoe and tie brands are also on display in the store. The festive celebration was attended by friends of The Hour Glass and regional brand representatives from Rolex, Piaget, Cartier, Chopard and Patek Philippe, to name a few.
BLANCPAIN LAUNCHES SAINT VALENTINE’S 2016 WATCH
“A time to say I love you.” In February, Blancpain celebrated the launch of its latest timepiece, the Ladybird Ultraplate Saint-Valentin 2016, with a deeply romantic celebration in Singapore. Watch collectors, friends of the brand and Blancpain owners were treated to a surprise performance featuring seven unacquainted gentlemen showing their love for their partners through a soulful a-cappella rendition of the love ballad “Stand By Me.” The haute event took place at the newly opened ilLido at The Cliff. Part of Blancpain’s Women’s Collection, the Ladybird Saint Valentine’s 2016 model has a 21.5mm white gold case and a diamond-set bezel. The watch is powered by one of the smallest movements in the world. The automatic calibre 6150 measures 15.70 mm in diameter, and is now equipped with a silicon balance-spring that can be admired through the watch’s sapphire crystal case-back. The 3.90 mm thick movement comes with a power reserve of 40 hours. Limited to 99 pieces worldwide, the timepiece features a mother-of-pearl dial and a marquetry heart design glitters in diamonds and rubies, providing an apt last touch to the watch face. Dangling just below 6 o’clock, a delicate white gold charm made of a ruby heart pierced by an arrow symbolizes love at first sight.
THE CHANGING FACE OF HUBLOT
Hublot’s first stand-alone boutique in Singapore received a face litf — a revamped store with a new exterior, the largest in South East Asia. “2015 has been a tremendous year for Hublot,” said the brand’s CEO, Ricardo Guadalupe. “We celebrated 10 years of Big Bang, Hublot’s award-winning and iconic timepiece, which is the perfect illustration of the Fusion concept so dear to the brand. We are extremely honored to have found such a dedicated partner in The Hour Glass (THG) who has continued to keep our presence strong in the region for the last 30 years. They remain instrumental in cultivating the burgeoning watch market in Singapore.” Hublot is displaying a brand-new image at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore’s luxury mall. Michael Tay, Group Managing Director of THG added, “The launch of the improved Hublot boutique succeeds our recent colossal project, The World’s Largest Pop- Up Store . These ventures evinces our continued efforts to enrich this long-standing relationship we have had with Hublot since the beginning.” The impressive new storefront extends the showroom’s overall exterior height to a spectacular 17-metres. Not only does the boutique pay tribute to Hublot timepieces, but it is the only space dedicated to showcasing other parts of the brand’s universe, which includes specially crafted artisanal products such as cufflinks, writing instruments, sunglasses, desk clocks, belts and more.
TOP 5 YEAR OF THE MONKEY WATCHES
As the “Year of the Goat” came to an end, and the “Year of the Monkey” began, we took a look at the top five new pieces that celebrate the Chinese New Year, which started on February 8. One of the 12 symbols of the Chinese zodiac calendar, the monkey is a symbol of intelligence, curiosity and knowledge. Those born on the “Year of the Monkey” are also said to be cultivated, inventive and creative…
1. Blancpain Calendrier Chinois Traditionnel – Year of Monkey
On this watch’s intriguing dial, the hours, minutes and the Gregorian calendar rub shoulders with the main indications of the Chinese calendar. The piece features traditional double-hour indication, day and month with indication for leap months. The piece also features the signs of the zodiac, as well as the five elements and the 10 celestial stems.
2. Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Monkey
Inspired by the traditional Chinese iconography of a monkey gathering eight peaches, this visually fascinating wristwatch is handcrafted in Japan. Master lacquer artist Minori Koizumi was commissioned to depict this popular scene that is believed to bring good luck.
3. Ulysse Nardin Classico “Year of the Monkey”
This watch’s dial is designed in a comic strip-like style to best capture the mischievous nature of the monkey, which appears to leap through a brush of palm fronds. The unique champlevé method of enameling further brings the artist’s sketch to life.
4. Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art La Légende du Zodiaque Chinois
This latest creation combines the technical excellence of Caliber 2460 G4 with the magnificence of the Swiss watchmaker’s artistic craftsmanship skills, thanks to master engravers and enamellers.
5. Harry Winston Premier Monkey Automatic 36MM
Adding to its Premier Collection, Harry Winston launched this new ladies wristwatch where a monkey in yellow gold is seen suspended from an emerald-cut diamond against a dial backdrop made from shimmering mother-of-pearl.
DE BETHUNE PRESENTS THE DB27 DIGITALE POLO EDITION
At The Hour Glass, Alessandro Zanetta, sales director of De Bethune, unveiled the DB27 Digitale Polo edition. Why Polo? “We sponsor a polo tournament in Liechtenstein and our retailer asked us to do a limited edition of pieces that can be really resistant to play polo with,” he answered. Alessandro succeeds his father David Zanetta, co- founder of De Bethune together with Denis Flageollet in 2002. “The watch has a black DLC case, but [he takes a coin and starts scratching on the case] nothing happened to it because we have found a solution which comes from the stainless steel used in Formula 1 (cars) engines. It’s a nearly uncrushable watch,” explains Alessandro. The shiny polished effect is enriched by a pink gold medallion hand-engraved with two mallets and inlaid with a hand- polished white gold ball. The watch is limited to only 10 pieces. The digital jumping hours display and the minutes indicator make it possible for the player to read the time instantly even during chukkas, as the apertures are protected. The DB27 Digitale Polo edition has its crown at 12 o’clock and short floating lugs, making the 43mm round case even more comfortable on the wrist, and has a power reserve of five days.