Lange & Söhne’s Grand Complication includes not only a minute repeater, but also a full-on grand et petit sonnerie (grand and small striking of the hour and quarters en passant, with hours, quarters, and minutes striking on demand via the repeater; the sonnerie can operate in grand strike, small strike, or silent mode.) Also present and correct is the rattrapante chronograph, operated by a single push piece; the chronograph, in addition to having the traditional, central elapsed seconds chronograph hand and overlapping split time hand, is also fitted with a 1/5th second foudroyante (sometimes referred to as a jumping, or lightning, seconds hand) which advances in 1/5 second jumps. The foudroyante hand resides in the lowest of four sub-dials, along with the display of the age and phase of the moon, and, finally, the watch contains a perpetual calendar which is designed to advance all indications simultaneously at midnight. The balance vibrates at 18,000 beats per hour –a classic, pocket-watch cadence, and the escapement is a variation on the lever known as the “Glashütte lever,” –the escape wheel and lever are made of hardened 18 carat gold. The fired enamel dial is made of five separately manufactured and decorated parts –a work of art in itself. Each of the components in the movement –calibre L1902 –is, of course, hand-finished to the highest standard. The price of this watch naturally reflects its complexity and the extremely high level of skill necessary to manufacture, assemble, and adjust its components, but for a certain breed of connoisseur –and you already know who you are –it will be an indispensable addition (if you can reserve one; only six, in all, will be made.) The A. Lange & Söhne Grand Complication is offered in pink gold only; case, 50×20.3mm. Perpetual calendar, grand and small strike with silent mode; minute repeater; split seconds chronograph with 1/5 second foudroyante hand; display of the age and phase of the moon. Price available upon request to A. Lange & Söhne; availability limited to a total of six pieces worldwide.
The Rolex Yacht-Master II is also the most recently introduced major new model from Rolex, having debuted in 2007 as the second member of the Yacht-Master family. (The original Yacht-Master, which does not feature any complications, was introduced in 1992.) While the original Yacht-Master does appeal to the luxury water sports enthusiast with its 100 meter water resistance and rotating timing bezel, the Yacht-Master II is tailored made to suit the needs of the hard core sailor. It’s nothing less than a programmable countdown timer, designed specifically for the most critical minutes of a sports sailor’s life: the countdown to the start of a regatta or yacht race. According to the rules governing yacht racing, the start of a race is indicated by two signals. At the first, the competitors start maneuvering for position near the starting line; at the second, they may actually cross it. Crossing early incurs a penalty while crossing late means losing the lead position. The Yacht-Master II has a minutes countdown hand that can be set to start counting down anything from a 1 to 10 minute starting interval, and when it’s re-set, it will return to the pre-programmed starting position. It’s highly complicated inside, but easy to use and read, and for 2011 Rolex introduces it in Rolesor (18k rose gold –Rolex uses its own alloy, called “Everose” a combination of gold and platinum that won’t fade) with a scratchproof, brilliant blue ceramic “Cerachrom” bezel. It’s the ultimate luxury sports watch for the ultimate luxury sport.
The Dressage by Hermes features the H1837 self-winding movement developed exclusively for Hermes by Vaucher in Fleurier. The 18k pink gold case measures 40.5mm and features a glare proof sapphire crystal and case back showcasing the adorned movement decorated with Hermes’ “H symbols”. The attention to detail is reminiscent of the Hermes brand. The Dressage limited edition rose gold piece features a dark graphite gray dial with a vertical stamped motif in the center. Rose gold raised hour markers and numerals are used along with the open-worked dauphine hands to measure the hours and minutes. A small seconds dial is visible at the six o’clock position. Hermes’ Dressage Rose Gold piece is shown on a luxurious matte black alligator strap with a rose gold folding clasp. This timepiece is water-resistant to 50m and is limited to only 175 pieces and priced at $32,750.00.
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