The third week of January has become known as Watch Week in Geneva, not only because of the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, but because of several salons in the city, where elite watchmakers debut their latest collections.
Here are five of our favorites…
The unusual display of the Digitale melds a jumping hour with retrograde minutes and a spherical moonphase display surrounded by a star-studded sky. It is all set against the backdrop of traditional barleycorn guilloché. The phase of the moon is tracked with a degree of precision corresponding to a difference of just one lunar day every 1,112 years. The case is ultra-light polished titanium. De Bethune signature innovations include a self-regulating twin barrel, a circular balance wheel made of white gold and silicon, and a balance-spring with a flat end curve.
Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 GMT 1903
The latest of this brand’s Pilot watches named for famous aviators is a tribute to the Wright Brothers. It will be introduced in a limited edition of 1,903 pieces, in honor of the date that Wilbur and Orville Wright achieved the first powered flight in history on Kitty Hawk Beach. The individual number of each piece appears on a special plate screwed to the side of the case, resembling an aircraft rivet, while a depiction of the Wright Brothers’ plane appears on the caseback. The case is black DLC-coated titanium that is ultra-light, and it contains the automatic elite Caliber 693.
This is the last in a trilogy of gaming watches made by Christophe Claret (the collection also includes the 21 BlackJack and the Baccara). The Poker is an automaton watch that plays a complete 52-card game following the rules of Texas hold ’em poker. It can deal 32,768 combination possibilities for each of three players, with odds calculated to give each the same chances of winning. Various pushbuttons shuffle and deal the cards. The Caliber PCK05 is an original automatic in-house movement with 655 components and two mainspring barrels for a 72-hour power reserve. The rotor on the caseback is designed as an operable mini roulette wheel.
Big Bang Unico “All Black”
Hublot launched its in-house chronograph caliber, the Unico, in the Big Bang Carbon Fiber last year. Now it features in an all-black micro-blasted ceramic version, limited to 500 pieces. The dial is all about 3D volume, with hands that are faceted, and numerals and indexes that have been hollowed out. All are coated in black Super-Luminova. The six H-shaped screws on the bezel are given both a polished and matte finish, adding more depth. The rubber strap is new, as are the pushbuttons, which are round for the first time on a Big Bang. The Unico movement, also used in King Power and Ferrari models, is openworked, show- ing the column wheel on the dial side.
The highlight of this electro-mechanical watch is a motion detector, visible between 4 and 5 o’clock on the dial. When the watch is not worn, it stops after about 30 minutes. In standby mode, the microprocessor continues to keep time, while the mechanical parts – gears, rotors and hands – stop moving in order to save energy. When the Élégante is picked up and worn again, it automatically sets itself to the correct time, taking the shortest path – either clockwise or counterclockwise. The case is titanium, rose gold or platinum, and there is also a jewelry version.