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SINGAPORE’S PREmIER wAtch PERIOdIcAL #47 festive 2017

Peddling influence
Ambassadors shaping brand DNA

Time dilaTion
Racing HistoRy
Montblanc timeWalker Chronograph Rally timer Counter
travel backwards through 2017 in
12 steps
easTern Promises - Special reports on Cartier Tank and
10 watches getting the jump on Casio G-Shock anniversaries
Chinese New Year - Best dive watches of 2017
M A R I N A B AY S A N D S , U N I T B 2 - 2 0 0
DEFY I El Primero 21
1/100th of a second chronograph
# 0 1 - 1 2 TA K A S H I M AYA S . C .
# 0 2 - 1 7/ 1 8 T H E S H O P P I N G G A L L E R Y

The Patek Philippe 5208T For Only
Watch 2017 sold for a whopping CHF
20 WOW Team 30 Raging Bull 6.2 million
We get front row seats to a
22 WOW demonstration of raging mechanics Field Tested
Contributors at the Beijing launch of the Roger Tudor announces unprecedented
Dubuis Excalibur Aventador S partnership with rugby
24 Editor’s Note
31 Richemont 33 Horn of Singapore
26 Cover Watch Reverberations Explorer Mike Horn makes landfall
New realities continue to present in Singapore as he continues on his
208 Listings themselves for the group’s most Pole2Pole expedition
211 Subscribe senior executives
Art Direction Ashok Soman 224 Finishing Chronoswiss Goes Crypto
Photography GPS The watchmaker becomes the first
Watch Montblanc TimeWalker ERRATUM
In issue 45, we referred to the Rolex to articulate an official position on
Chronograph Rally Timer Datejust as the DateJust, it should read cryptocurrencies
Counter Rolex Datejust
«Some watches
tell time.
Some tell
a story «

For nearly three centuries, Jaquet Droz

has placed time under the banner of
Tourbillon Boutique by Swatch Group - Marina Bay Sands - (65) 6688 7291 astonishment, excellence and constantly
Time Wise by Cortina Watch - Wisma Atria - (65) 6836 9659 renewed creativity.
L’Atelier by The Hour Glass - ION (65) 6509 9268
Swiss Watch Gallery by Valiram - Resort World Sentosa (65) 6723 8022 Grande Seconde Moon Ivory Enamel

REPORTS 54 Record Rebirth
The Defy El Primero 21 Chronograph is a fine
return to form for Zenith and hints at more
36 Stairway to Sweetness to come with Jean-Claude Biver and Julien 88 Talk the Talk:
Jaeger-LeCoultre isn’t called the Tornare pushing the brand to the forefront Shingo Ishizaka
Grande Maison for no reason, as The chief engineer for Casio MR-G hints to a
we discover on this eventful tour of 60 Shock and Awe surprising but necessary update to the iconic
the manufacture at Le Sentier… The G-Shock turns 35 in 2018 but continues G-Shock line
to remain relevant – and popular
42 First of Its Name 89 Op-Ed: Socially Awkward
A thousand years of astronomy
and mathematics paved the path to
66 The End is the Beginning In the era of the social media influencer, we
Love it or loathe it, 2017 had more than its must be wary of phantom menaces…
ingenious Patek Philippe perpetual
fair share of action on the horological front.
calendar wristwatches 90 Education: Guide to
We provide a rundown and try to get a
48 In the Tank
preview of 2018 Watch Hands
The second part of this continuing series
Cartier packs more than 100 years of history
in its Tank watches, bridging the birth of
78 Rally Point looks at some very identifiable styles
Montblanc moves forward and backwards in
the Art Deco era and the contemporary
time while using its contemporary timepieces
manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds
to anchor it in the present


+65 6933 9020 | AUDEMARSPIGUET.COM




HIGHLIGHTS 102 On a Roll Again
The new Breitling for Bentley watch
110 Flight to Eden
Handcrafted and available in a limited
goes into uncharted territory with production of eight, Jaquet Droz’s new Bird
94 Handmade Tale the Bentley GT “Dark Sapphire” Repeater is inspired by tropical environments
Given that the A. Lange & Söhne
1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar
Handwerkskunst is already a long enough
104 Private Matter 112 Double Time
Like many of the finer things in life, the Roger Dubuis and Lamborghini join forces
name, one can understand why the brand
L.U.C watches from Chopard are all about in the limited edition Excalibur Aventador S,
didn’t include a prefix of Höhe
discerning sophistication which features a brand new movement…
96 Icing on Cake 106 Visual Spectacle 114 Save the Date
Following the success of the women’s Royal
It is clear what the Franck Muller Vanguard The best-selling Rolex model just got a little
Oak Frosted Gold model, the Le Brassus
Skeleton Sapphire manages to achieve more accessible – the Datejust 41 is now
manufacture returns with an Audemars
with the clarity of its case – showcasing the available in steel
Piguet Royal Oak Frosted Gold 41mm for men
spectacle of its large tourbillon
98 Frame of Reference 116 Supersize Me
Once again, Bell & Ross combines its love for
108 Re-Engineered Tudor gives us a 41mm Heritage Black Bay
The IWC Ingenieur chronograph while keeping the timepiece true to its legacy
speed and time in a watch with a distinctive
recalls the original Ingenieur from of understated class
colour scheme and a name that requires
the 1950s, adding a dash of vintage
some explanation
character to an (new) old favourite
100 Class of Its Own
How does one make a classic like the Breguet
Classique 7147 even better? A facelift
Limited edition of 88 pieces
Powered by Raging Mechanics

Roger Dubuis Boutique, Marina Bay Sands +65 6636 9522

Sincere Fine Watches Boutique, Takashimaya S.C. +65 6733 0618 - The Shopping Gallery at Hilton +65 6738 9971
Paragon Grey by The Hour Glass, Paragon +65 6235 0200 - L’Atelier by The Hour Glass, ION Orchard +65 6509 9268
Swiss Watch Gallery, Resorts World Sentosa +65 6723 8022

118 Hybrid Aspirations
One can only look in wonder at the myriad
ideas and elements in the Citizen Campanola
Mechanical collection

120 Eye on Tradition

Longines introduces a retro-styled pilot
watch, this time with everyday wearability

122 Mysterious Ways

The Luminox watches made for the US Navy
SEALs is a reflection of the relationship
between the operators and the brand

124 Commanding Presence

An all-time Mido staple is kept relevant with
an updated movement while retaining its
characteristic look

126 Kampai!
Seiko enriches the all-mechanical Presage
range with watches that invite you to have a
good drink

128 Raise the Red Lantern

Artisanal craftsmanship in timekeeping gets a
distinctly oriental twist

142 Diplomatic Community
A study of the human faces and places that
shape a deeper understanding of brand
association beyond the superficialities

154 Time Objectified

As a new year begins, we supersize
our love of watches with this
selection of 13 table clocks

166 Dive Time

Short of issuing remakes, many watchmakers
find inspiration for their current novelties from

the past

178 Hometime
Our watches find themselves in unusual
situations at home all the time, especially
before and after a good New Year’s Eve party…

Slim d’Hermès, L’heure impatiente

For the moments to come.

Sincere showcases 100 A. Lange & Söhne
watches for Singapore collectors
190 Playful and Practical 200 Living It Up
La Montre Hermès CEO Laurent Dordet holds The second edition of the Singapore
court on the playful and practical visions of RendezVous is bigger and better
206 Rev Your Engines
Patrick Dempsey thrills the crowd at TAG
time embodied in Hermès timepieces
Heuer’s Orchard Road party
202 Play Time
194 Higher Ground Hermès showcases its fantastic take on
With three awards (two for watchmaking and watchmaking with an exhibition
one for wine), 2017 has been a bumper crop
year for Chopard CEO Karl-Friedrich Scheufele 204 Aqua Terra
Watch lovers gather in Langkawi for the
198 Future Ready Omega Seamaster launch
Patek Philippe’s president, Thierry Stern,
speaks to us about his role and how he sees
the market today and tomorrow
eDItOrIal aDVertISING MaNaGeMeNt


WorldOfWatchesSG @ watchwow

Other eDItIONS

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WOW is a publication of Heart Media Group. MCI(P)101/12/2017 & ISSN 2010-0272 Printed by Fabulous Printers Pte Ltd. No part of WOW may be reproduced in any form
or by any means without prior written consent from Heart Media Group.
IMPORTANT NOTE All prices (SGD) quoted in WOW serve only as a guide. They may be changed at the total discretion of retailers, distributors, brand principals and manufacturers without prior notice

Greenplasticsoldiers Ruckdee Chotjinda

PhotograPhEr Editor/watCh CollECtor
Photography has taken this jovial Currently a staff member of WOW Thailand,
shutterbug to more places than he cares Ruckdee refused to write about watches
to remember, but Singapore’s best watch until a few years ago, when he became
and lifestyle photographer still prefers sure that he could expound the subject
the comfort of his own home. The proud of his passion with absolute objectivity
father of three enjoys nothing more than and integrity. He is always excited by
spending quality time with his wife and watches with reserved designs and flawless
children, who are the darling subjects of symmetries, and has a soft spot for moon
all of his cameras from DSLRs to Polaroids phase watches, which form a sizeable part
and iPhones. of his collection.

Joshua Yap Roger Valberg

Contributing Editor writEr

Joshua admittedly wasn’t inducted into the Roger Valberg can’t tell the difference
world of watches (pun not intended) by choice, between gears. Writing about watches
but he was smitten by its mechanical wonders or cars, the idea of mechanical harmony
in no time. Although he personally favours puts him in a Zen like state. Unfortunately,
modestly sized, no-nonsense timepieces, he operating the watch website watchlistasia.
sometimes misses the outrageous mind- com has him spinning around like a triple-
bogglers of the pre-Credit Crunch years. As he axis tourbillon!
dreams of owning a modern haute horlogerie
watch one day, he’s currently content scouring
the Internet for vintage value buys.

The BR-X1 Black Titanium Chronograph is the perfect synthesis of Bell & Ross’ expertise in the world of aviation watches and
master watchmaking: an instrument with an innovative design, produced in a limited edition of only 250 pieces. Lightweight and
resistant, the grade 5 titanium case of the BR-X1 is protected by a high-tech ceramic bezel with a rubber strap. Ergonomic and
innovative, the push buttons allow the chronograph functions to be used easily and efficiently. Sophisticated and reliable, the
skeleton chronograph movement of the BR-X1 is truly exceptional and combines haute horlogerie finishes with extreme lightness.
Bell & Ross Singapore: 6884 6471 · Boutique: 333A Orchard Road #01-15 Mandarin Gallery Singapore 238897 ·
editor’s note

All Good ThinGs…

s far as watchmaking goes, it is tempting to live by the other measures bear the hallmarks of contemporary standards,
calendar of the watch fairs. In writing about watches so including the presence of ceramic in the case of the newest models.
extensively, we also face this temptation. It goes without If nothing else, the collection shows us how important muses
saying that this is a pretty terrible idea and subjects us all to what are, and this informs a couple of our pieces within the issue. Our
the late Luigi Macaluso (formerly of Girard-Perregaux) called the feature story on official and unofficial brand ambassadors in
tyranny of novelty. The world of watches is not only about the the watch trade shows just how influential these relationships
newest timepieces on offer, and WOW is certainly not all about can be, with both Rolex and Cartier demonstrating that even
engaging in the sport of trendspotting. historical events can shape the public’s perception of a brand.
On that note, what can we say about the year that was, As a counterpoint, one of our columnists presents his views on
and the year that is to come? Is it even necessary or useful the dangers of the contemporary brand ambassador – the social
to say anything at all? Over the years, I’ve concluded that we media influencer.
can’t tell how significant a year is until it is well behind us. Take Elsewhere, we do not forget that this is traditionally our
the example of Bitcoin, which has seen a more than 900 per Festive or celebratory issue, given that we won’t have another
cent increase in value this year. We have also learnt that at issue out until after Chinese New Year. Our Raise the Red
least one watch brand is officially accepting cryptocurrencies Lantern and Home Time spreads, as well as in-depth report
– not just Bitcoin – but not here in Singapore though. Some on the anniversary of the Cartier Tank, take care of us on this
observers have taken this action to mean that we are well and point. Finally, even though we have been making the point that
truly in the age of cryptocurrencies, and – by extension – the one should not rush to judge, in life and as far as watches are
blockchain. I think it is too early to tell, and I’ve been interested concerned, we nevertheless put together a sweeping record of
in the blockchain since 2009. 2017. Frankly, we did this because we really do think that this year
As far as watches go, we see plenty of parallels in years will be recognised in the years to come as a watershed moment,
past of great watches – and sometimes even great technical leaps hopefully for the better.
– that today seem like sure-fire winners but were, in fact, total
gambles. To cite just one example, the watch trade was filled with
naysayers on silicon and the potential of new materials in fine
watchmaking in particular. Today, many of those pundits have
either come around, grudgingly, or have become enthusiastic
converts. I think it is still too early to tell, and I’ve been a proponent
of high technology in haute horlogerie since 2005.
Watch brands have already settled on incorporating 21st-
century manufacturing techniques, while preserving ancient
traditions, as we see once more in the Montblanc TimeWalker
collection, which is the focus of our cover story this issue. The
finishing remains resolutely old school while quality control and Ashok soman, managing editor

cov er watch

Racing HistoRy
Montblanc is a frequent star on our cover, and it’s the TimeWalker Chronograph
Rally Timer Counter’s turn this issue Words asHok soman

ome watches keep clamouring for our attention, turning our made up their minds. Happily, so have we, and we’re sticking to it.
attention to them again and again. The watch you see on our If we didn’t bring a photographer and a big enough team for
cover this issue, the Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph rally full coverage, we would not have gotten the cover shot we are using.
Timer Counter, is such a piece. We first encountered it at the salon Indeed, the photographs we shoot at the fairs – both the sIHH and
International de la Haute Horlogerie 2017 so, with that fair around the BaselWorld – are used throughout the year, and this is incredibly
corner once more, it is perhaps fitting that we revisit it because the valuable to us and, in this case, to Montblanc as well. As we wrote
TimeWalker collection will be a big one for Montblanc moving forward. before, and again in our cover story, this is a special watch that heralds
Now, we are particularly proud of ourselves with this watch, big things for the brand – yes, the 50mm size is a real boon here.
and this image. The rally Timer Counter made a big impression on our cover story is actually about the TimeWalker collection
us when we saw it, so we just had to properly shoot it. The image you as a whole, and the rally Timer Counter proves a great symbol. The
see on our cover was actually shot at the sIHH, within the Montblanc collection really does showcase how Montblanc is using both its own
booth. Every year, we traipse up to Geneva with a complement of legacy as well as that of Minerva, and if you want to see how that
writers, editors, and photographers. The singapore edition makes it a works in just one watch, this is it. It is worth noting also that this watch
point to always bring a photographer, and this has led, over the years, is a real transformer; it can go from pocket watch to a table clock to
to others asking if it is really worth it. Judging from how many titles – dashboard clock and back to being a regular wristwatch. There’s really
specialist titles even – do not bring a photographer, they have already more than meets the eye here…

First launches, exclusive insights, and leading stories
on the world of watches

Photo Cartier


Raging Bull
We get front row seats to a demonstration
of raging mechanics at the Roger Dubuis
Excalibur Aventador S launch in Beijing
Roger Dubuis’s Excalibur Aventador S

n an upcoming interview, Roger Dubuis CEO Jean-
Marc Pontroué opines: “A brand collaboration is
like a marriage. If you have to explain why you
love a woman, it wouldn’t last. This collaboration with
Lamborghini doesn’t need to be explained. We don’t
even need to show the brand on the dial”.
The Excalibur Aventador S takes well-established
engineering principles and re-applies them in the most
innovative ways, much as Ferruccio Lamborghini himself
once did. He reportedly was driven by “rage” directed
towards Enzo Ferrari…the dispute between these two
legends powered the “raging bull” of Lamborghini.
These “raging mechanics” were on full display
as this author was taken through the paces of a full-
throttle experience in a souped-up Lamborghini GT at
the Goldenport Park Circuit in Beijing. We have more on
this at, as well as in the Highlights section
of this issue (page 112).


New realities continue to present themselves for
the group’s most senior executives

y now, everyone is well aware of the dust-ups at Richemont,
the massive luxury group that includes Cartier, Montblanc, and
IWC. Perhaps the only certainty is that there is no certainty.
There remains no new CEO, nor is there a group head of watchmaking.
What we have instead is the appointment of Jérôme Lambert as the
COO of Richemont, and Carole Forestier in a new, as yet defined
role, also at the group level. Both Lambert and Forestier are well-
established figures in fine watchmaking and hardly controversial ones,
but commenting on Forestier, in particular, is premature since there is
no official news. We do know that Cartier has appointed a new head
of watchmaking and that Cartier CEO Cyrille Vigneron is quite keen
on returning to the brand’s design-driven DNA. No doubt, there will be
other changes driven by the personalities in power at the top, and we
will learn more at the SIHH 2018.

Chronoswiss Goes
The watchmaker becomes the first to articulate an
official position on cryptocurrencies

atchmaker Chronoswiss has the distinction of being the
first luxury watch brand to accept cryptocurrencies,
providing yet another sign that the future of e-commerce
for luxury brands may lie in blockchain-powered applications. When
the news broke online, a little over a month ago, via Hodinkee and
Watchuseek, it resulted in a swell of interest in the online watch
collecting community, with more than a few commentators expressing
disbelief. Nevertheless, Chronoswiss is today the first luxury watch
brand to officially accept cryptocurrency, and the forward-thinking
leadership at the brand deserves credit. Chronoswiss is a relatively
young brand, and that means it is a little bolder than others. It had
already ventured into e-commerce in 2015, which might be no great
shakes overall, but one must remember that watch brands like IWC
only ventured into selling online this year.


Field Tested
Tudor announces unprecedented partnership
with rugby

hile Tudor’s association with rugby is not a new thing –
see the All Blacks and Beauden Barrett – but the latest
initiative announced in November takes the partnership
to all-new heights. The Swiss watchmaker is now a partner to the
World Rugby Awards, Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018, Rugby World
Cup, and the World Rugby Hall of Fame. The “Born to Dare” brand
calls this sweeping arrangement a “multi-layered partnership”, and it
promises to feature prominent opportunities across a variety of events
for men and women, as well as the under 20s. This indicates a much
deeper relationship than just the four named events, and we look
forward to learning more about this in 2018.

Only Awe
The Patek Philippe 5208T For Only Watch 2017
sold for a whopping CHF 6.2 million

he Only Watch auction, a charitable event of the watch
industry that benefits the fight against muscular dystrophy
often announces eye-popping results. Case in point: the
top-selling watch in 2015 was a Patek Philippe classic repeater watch
that sold for CHF 7.3 million. This year, Patek Philippe made headlines
once again for its Ref. 5208T triple complication where the winning
bid of CHF 6.2 million eclipsed a similar yet materially (titanium vs
platinum) different 5208T owned by Vladimir Putin (final bid CHF 1.05
million, not much more than its sticker price).


Horn of Singapore
Explorer Mike Horn makes landfall in Singapore
as he continues on his Pole2Pole expedition

amed explorer Mike Horn descended on Singapore to
announce the renewal of his partnership with Officine Panerai
for the Pole2Pole expedition. As you might be able to guess,
the expedition proposes sending Horn to circumnavigate the globe,
from the South Pole to the North Pole, via the rest of the world. Horn
was in town after completing the Antarctica leg, so he’s halfway done.
As he explained, in a presentation organised by Panerai, he’s never
really finished exploring and is always pushing himself to go further.
Listening to Horn tell of how it sometimes takes half an hour to cross
300m of ice on the open seas, and how he has to drill holes into his
toes to relieve the pressure of water retention once he’s trekking
across dismal Antarctica, it is difficult to reconcile these extremes.
You might recall Horn from previous ventures with Panerai, including
Arktos (2002 to 2004), the North Pole Winter Expedition (2006), and
Pangaea (2008 to 2012). On his current adventure, the Pangaea yacht
continues to accompany him, as does the new Luminor Submersible
1950 3 Days GMT Automatic Titanio 47mm (a special edition of 500).
His mission this time is to share and document his adventures, in the
hopes of helping people understand the world they live in, and maybe
even inspiring them to get out there themselves.

r eports

Stairway to SweetneSS
Jaeger-LeCoultre isn’t called the Grande Maison for no reason, as we discover on this
eventful tour of the manufacture at Le Sentier…
Words Ashok somAn

isiting a watchmaker is the best way to understand First of all, the stairs were featured in other stories about the
what making a timepiece is all about. Brands organise Le sentier facilities of Jaeger-LeCoultre. Well, there are lots of
such excursions regularly, for press, retailers, and them, and you will find yourself going up and down many flights
collectors – the carefully managed experiences are perhaps a of stairs. Word to the wise: do not bring elaborate photographic
little different for each group, but the educational purpose remains paraphernalia here, unless you are training for the Ironman
a constant. In other words, comparing it with school field trips is triathlon or something.
not unwarranted. obviously, such affairs can be dull, especially The bees are even easier to get through. If you are ever
when you repeat the process, and the challenge for the brands is in town, take a moment to observe the beehives outside the
in keeping things fresh. manufacture. There are 10 of these hives if memory serves
The WoW team has been up in the mountains of correctly. Much as Chopard does in Fleurier, Jaeger-LeCoultre
switzerland, traipsing through the hallowed halls of the also manages its own honeybees and gets some delightful
watchmakers, so many times that there is no accurate count, and honey for its efforts.
we can be safely accused of abusing the word “hallowed”. Indeed, Now, we zoom in on these two things because they
manufacture visits do all begin to bleed into one another, but just genuinely stood out on this trip; however, both bees and
as a round watch from Jaeger-LeCoultre may look very much like stairs make for apt metaphors in watchmaking, and that got
a round watch from any other maison, it is the details that stand us thinking. It was certainly not Jaeger-LeCoultre’s intent
out and matter. Well, this happens to be a (re)visit to the Jaeger- that we take this particular message away, but it is what we
LeCoultre manufacture at Le sentier, so perhaps starting with a got. Especially with regards to the stairs, our minders must
reference to round watches is disingenuous. have been churlish indeed to make us go through that effort
on this occasion, there are two standouts worth mentioning, (significantly difficult after lunch) just to emphasise a point, and
the bees and the stairs, and we can get it done in just a few words. we choose not to believe that.

r eports

The magnificent view from the manufacture does not

distract the watchmakers from their work

r eports

speaking of 1953, there was another event this year that

thrust the manufacture into the limelight, which we must address
before returning to Le sentier’s stairways to sweetness. Queen
Elizabeth II was crowned at Westminster Abbey, invested with
the powers of the monarchy in what was likely the first televised
coronation ceremony. For a timepiece, she wore her 2 Ligne
wristwatch, a watch that boasts the world’s smallest mechanical
calibre. It is a form movement, rectangular in shape (14mm x
4.8mm x 3.4mm) that debuted in 1929, and is known today as
Calibre 101. The story of this famous movement, which powers
many jewellery watches from the biggest names, is certainly
preserved in the maison.

A Minor Digression
Just as a quick aside, Jaeger-LeCoultre was very lovely about
finding exciting things for us to do, including organising a tour of
Charlie Chaplin’s Manoir de Ban. Jaeger-LeCoultre is a partner
of the Chaplin’s World showcase at his former home in Corsier-
sur-Vevey, not too far from the manufacture itself. While this was
certainly a fine outing that took up most of one afternoon, I had
almost forgotten it – except, of course, to note my surprise that
Chaplin owned a 1953 Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox. The firm has
restored the watch, and it is displayed at Manoir de Ban.
For most Jaeger-LeCoultre enthusiasts though, 1953 is more
closely associated with the Futurematic, one of the first production
models of the automatic wristwatch (that’s not an oyster
Perpetual). The JLC Calibre 497 was an alternative to existing
self-winding mechanisms, with the watchmakers proposing a
mainspring with built-in set-up power; the rotor only needed to
move a little to get the watch going. Its unique appeal lies in its
pure lines – the manufacture did not know if people would want
to use a crown to set the time since using the crown to wind the
watch was unnecessary. Jaeger-LeCoultre’s decision to relegate
the crown to the back of the watch, where it could be used to set
the time, makes this a delightful oddity of timekeeping. so yes,
this is a crown-less watch that we were looking out for at the Charlie Chaplin’s restored 1953 Memovox

manufacture, only because it debuted in 1953.

No other manufacture can casually hand over a bunch of working prototypes
for the most complicated watches that it has made over the last 10 years or so

Calibre 101

stAirwAy to HeritAge with the business of producing close to 100,000 timepieces a

It is this sense of living history that you hope to encounter in the year. Just as any of the departments here deserve a closer look
halls of a watch manufacture. The marketing and communications and their own dedicated articles, the numbers too deserve some
team doesn’t trot out the brand’s most famous greyhairs or looking into.
anything quite so undignified, of course, but you can imagine for When former CEo Jérôme Lambert used to talk up what’s
yourself the inventor of Calibre 101 walking these halls (or at least called the Grande Maison, he always made the point that this
the part that existed in the 1920s), climbing the same stairs that was one of the few places in switzerland that gathered all sorts
the current generation of watchmakers navigate. of expertise under one roof. Before he and richemont entered the
Before we get to the various steps in watchmaking that picture (Lambert is now Coo of richemont), Jaeger-LeCoultre
accompanied this stairmaster of an event, the building itself was a little less industrious, reporting in 1996 that fewer than
deserves a special mention. The manufacture is massive, and 20,000 completed watches left the manufacture. Well, there
it looks the part of an industrial wonderland. When I was here was less activity under the banner of Jaeger-LeCoultre, but
previously, visiting another manufacture in nearby Le Brassus, I we hear that the facilities at Le sentier were still abuzz with
came over to look at the façade. There’s just something magical activity. No doubt, the manufacture was at that time still engaged
about looking at this building, which is really not that attractive. strongly as a supporting partner for a variety of brands, just as
The entire 25,000-sq m complex sort of rose organically over ETA and Vaucher are today.
the years, since Antoine LeCoultre got his start here in 1833. At one time or another, every major name in swiss
Technically, this is not the same building the founder worked at watchmaking – from Cartier to Patek Philippe, from Vacheron
because the oldest parts of the current edifice date back to 1866. Constantin to Audemars Piguet – were supplied by none other
Le sentier is not a large town, and the Jaeger-LeCoultre than Jaeger-LeCoultre. This forms a nice line through both spaces
manufacture is a signature part of it, employing as it does more – stretching from Paris, going through Geneva, and then right
than 1,000 people right here. Indeed, we saw a great many of through the Vallée de Joux – as well as time, with the relationships
these folks buzzing about the place as they busied themselves dominating the 20th century, essentially.

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tHe grAnDe MAison the parts of the manufacture where the robots are in action. If you
All this simply adds credibility to the Jaeger-LeCoultre story of ever get the chance to visit, you can see it from outside, at the
vertical integration, which has indeed been the case for most basement level.
of its existence. What it did not have, even at the dawn of the Back inside, it follows, of course, that you have to go
reverso in the 1930s, was a tradition of selling its own brand some ways upstairs to get in on the high complication action,
name watches, but it had an interesting option at around that which is really what people come to Le sentier to see. The
time. Before the stern family took over at Patek Philippe in manufacture organises a session for us to hear about all the great
1932, the Le sentier manufacture was in the running to take complications, which is really the sort of opportunity that you
over there. such was the manufacture’s reputation that no less can only get here. With our labcoats on – standard fare at every
than the late Nicholas Hayek is reputed to have been fuming manufacture, and it is not optional – we get handed a tray laden
that he did not manage to make a deal for it, back in the days with some of the most significant horological treats that Jaeger-
before richemont entered the picture. Lecoultre has produced.
Now, industrial capacity is not sexy to visitors like us or Truly, no other manufacture can casually hand over a
indeed to collectors. You need only search the Internet for news bunch of working prototypes for the most complicated watches
on manufactures like the Jaeger-LeCoultre one in Le sentier to that it has made over the last 10 years or so. Included on
discover how much information has been published in just the one tray are the duomètre sphérotourbillon, Master Grande
last 10 years. Just considering WoW, we have covered Cartier, Tradition Grande Complication, reverso Gyrotoubillon 2, and
omega, Jaquet droz, and Longines in just the last five issues or Master Grande Tradition Tourbillon Cylindrique à Quantième
so. Contrast that with how little is known of the ETA facilities… An Perpétuel – we have it on good authority that the manufacture
interesting parallel here is that Jaeger-LeCoultre does not make had also shown the Hybris Mechanica à Grande sonnerie and
much Pr hay of its own industrial capacity, hardly ever showing the reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon at other sessions.

Placing the Gyrotourbillon into the calibre of the Reverso

Tribute Gyrotourbillon

Design is still about the human touch as this shot of the
Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon as a work in progress shows

This is obviously a show of force by Jaeger-LeCoultre, a also spends some time talking up the virtues of its Master 1000
literal evocation of its advertising message some years ago: “Have Hours test. We already ran a piece on that, which we reproduce
You Ever Worn a real Watch?” The manufacture no longer uses here for convenience. We bow out this time with a note about the
these words, but one cannot help but feel the implications of the Atmos clocks, which we discuss on page 161. The manufacture
question when faced with all these great watches. Given that a few brought us to a room full of Atmos clocks that were in for servicing,
of these complications, the sphérotourbillon and the Cylindrique the first time we have ever seen the servicing of clocks during a
specifically, use specially crafted hairsprings, the manufacture press tour. It was a literal wall of Atmos clocks, from all manner
also shows off how such tourbillons are assembled here. Like of eras… Although no photography was allowed, due to privacy
the presentation of the prototypes, it is a display that few other concerns for the owners, this is the sort of display that sends the
manufactures can equal. right message – that Jaeger-LeCoultre not only offers real watches
Finally, for we have run out of space here, the manufacture but also a lifetime of real value, via real servicing prowess.

JAeger-LeCouLtre MAster 1000 Hours

despite the respect earned from watch enthusiasts around
the world, Jaeger-LeCoultre found it necessary to provide
such customers with concrete assurances, resulting in the
establishment of the Master 1000 Hours programme of
rigorous testing. Assembled watches are put in a machine,
which moves and subject them to small shocks, not unlike
when the watches are worn, to ensure that the watch
components are firmly in place and to test the tension of
the mainspring. The next tests concern balance spring
adjustment, power reserve, and reaction to swiss room
temperature (22 degrees Celsius), a lower one at 4 degrees
Celsius, and a higher temperature at 40 degrees Celsius.
Test watches are then left on the cyclotest machine
for three weeks to simulate wrist movements, both in
motion and in repose. The entire test period of 1,000 hours
is sufficient to serve as the run-in period. A technical glitch,
if any, should manifest already and can be corrected
while at the manufacture. And as a result, customer
dissatisfaction is minimised.

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First oF its Name

A thousand years of astronomy and mathematics paved the path to
ingenious Patek Philippe perpetual calendar wristwatches
Words Jonathan ho

n May 1902, an object uncovered by archaeologists cast arithmetically into gears, wheels, and other innovative horological
some light on mankind’s historical grasp of horology and components (like snail cams for leap years). Perpetual calendars
our ability to use algorithms to compute the day of the week we know today are derived from the aforementioned 14 th-century
for any given year, month, and day of month. What we take for mechanical clocks. Thus, while the underlying principles of
granted today on our wrists was a mechanical marvel and feat ancient analogue computers and mechanical clockwork may be
of ingenuity for the makers of what came to be known as the similar, their developmental paths are entirely different.
Antikythera device. That said, the devices in question are able to reckon the
The ancient Greek “computer” was able to predict the days, months, and years in figurative perpetuity (most perpetual
motion of celestial bodies and eclipses for calendar and calendars are accurate to a hundred years before requiring
astrological purposes. Make no mistake, it was a computer; adjustment), hence the name perpetual calendar.
what we do today with silicon wafers and microchips was While Patek Philippe can lay claim to the creation of the
computed with gears like those of a clock and uniquely shaped first perpetual calendar wristwatch, it was an English watchmaker
components with teeth reminiscent of radian-scale protractors, named Thomas Mudge who invented it in the 18th-century
likely used to translate mechanical instructions for the perpetual calendar pocket watch. The 1762 Mudge timepiece
“operating system”. tracked and indicated different measures of time such as day,
To early 20th-century eyes, the purpose of the device was month (lunar month), and length of year.
obscure – nothing at this level of technology had been discovered The ingenuity of men such as Mudge and the
in antiquity. As we approached the 21st century, the advent of watchmakers at Patek Philippe allowed them to devise minute
advanced imaging technology revealed that intricate gear trains gears and springs to compute relatively complex arithmetic
within the device operated at least six indicators displaying all into an easily understood display. Patek Philippe’s first serially
manner of celestial time: the sun, the Moon, and the five closest produced perpetual calendar wristwatch spanned 34mm and
planets which men of the era could perceive – Mercury, Venus, featured an instantaneous retrograde date display, day and
Mars, Jupiter, and saturn. And we haven’t even discussed the month indications, and a moon phase indicator. Though the
three-dimensional moon phases and the twin-dial system that Geneva manufacture would sell its first perpetual calendar
displayed the calendar information, and the stars that “rose” and wristwatch to an American collector named Thomas Emery in
“set” on any given date. 1927, they would only begin serial production of hand-wound
Believed to have been designed and constructed by Greek perpetual calendar wristwatches 14 years later, beginning with
scientists as far back as 205 BC, the Antikythera mechanism the famed ref. 1526.
(named after the island coast where the object was discovered) By 1962, we would see the first hand-wound perpetual
was possessed of technological and engineering features lost to calendar references, predecessors of the contemporary self-
Europe until the development of the first mechanical astronomical winding perpetual calendar wristwatches. This new age was
clocks in the 14 th century. heralded by the ref. 3448 and has since been perpetuated (pun
As it was then and as it is now, these analogue computers intended) by the legacy of contemporary Patek Philippe Perpetual
essentially take complex tables and calculations and render them Calendar references.

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Ref. 5320G
As discussed in Issue 46, we wrote that “the
most astounding thing to note about ref. 5320G
perpetual calendar is that Patek Philippe calls it
‘contemporary vintage’ and ‘retro-modernistic’;
with its deliberate references to the 1940s and
50s in the display style of the perpetual calendar
and the tiered style of the case and lugs (after the
fashion of ref. 2405 more than 60 years ago).”
despite its retro aesthetic, the ref. 5320G is
an entirely new watch that has never existed before.
Consider just that box sapphire crystal over the
lacquered dial – in older models, this would have
been acrylic as synthetic sapphire couldn’t take
that shape. obviously, no watch from 60 years ago
had a sapphire case back (Patek Philippe does offer
a closed case back for ref. 5320G, as an option).
And then, there is the movement, the now-familiar
calibre 324 s Q, which features a Gyromax balance
alongside a spiromax hairspring; such innovations
belong properly in this century.

2003 Ref. 5136 2006 Ref. 5140G 2007 Ref. 5159G

2008 Ref. 5139G 2011 Ref. 5496P 2012 Ref. 5940J

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2003 - Ref. 5136/1 There’s a lot to see, but nothing distracts you from the centre
It is the educated opinion of seasoned watch collectors that of the action because all functions are easily read by looking
the ref. 3940 is the quintessential Patek Philippe perpetual at the central hands and then widening your glance outwards.
calendar. Launched in 1985, a modern descendent would not Incidentally, it is also one of the few Patek Philippe perpetual
be found till 2003 when the ref. 5136/1 was first introduced. calendars with sweep seconds hand.
Measuring 36mm with 10.5 mm thickness, it was considered to
be the successor of the ref. 3940 and an aesthetic update of the 2008 - Ref. 5139
previous ref. 3945. Its larger case and a steeper bezel give it an First presented in 2008, the ref. 5139 Perpetual Calendar features
elegant yet masculine countenance. Introduced in white gold a perfectly symmetrical dial with baton indexes framed by the
and yellow gold, it was discontinued in 2008 and is one of the iconic “Clous de Paris” hobnail decorated bezel. sleek leaf-shaped
rarer models and immediately distinctive thanks to its gorgeously hands and thin baton hour markers in white gold create graceful
thick (matching) gold bracelet. A silvery white dial with applied contrasts that play up the Geneva manufacture’s deft approach
hour indexes and dauphine hands set the stage for sub-dials towards high complication watchmaking and skilful design – the
indicating month and leap year, with moon phase and date focus is clearly on rendering the many indications in the most
sharing a counter at six, and day and 24-hour indicator at nine. In legible way. Though the sub-dial at six with moon phase and date
the driver’s seat is the automatic Calibre 240 Q, with 46 hours of is aesthetically larger to create practical emphasis for the most-
power reserve, and bearing the Geneva seal. used feature, the analogue displays are also driven by the familiar
Calibre 240 Q. At 8.7mm thick, it has one of the slimmest profiles
2006 - Ref. 5140 for a perpetual calendar from Patek Philippe.
Also a direct descendant of the landmark ref. 3940, the Patek
Philippe ref. 5140 differentiates itself from its vintage predecessor 2011 - Ref. 5496
and slightly older relative through a larger case and updated dial referencing the sleek silhouette and timeless aesthetics of the
design. Though it debuted in 2006 with a cream dial (pictured famous ref. 96 Calatrava, a watch which is often emblematic of
here), three years after the ref. 5136, the ref. 5140 was itself only the maison, the 2011 ref. 5496 tips its hat to 1930s aesthetics
updated 10 years on with a platinum case and matched with a while maintaining the heart of the contemporary perpetual
sophisticated charcoal grey sunburst dial with applied point-baton calendar, Calibre 324 s Qr. What results is a perpetual
gold hour markers. By 2017, the perfect fusion of high horology calendar with retrograde date hand that has become one of
and purist beauty was updated with an ebony black sunburst dial the manufacture’s legendary models. In 2016, an edition with
and diamond hour markers. If not readily apparently, the sub-dial a new silvery dial and vertical satin finishing with applied
positions should telegraph the presence of the legendary Calibre rose gold date numerals entered the picture, adding to the
240 Q driving the indications beneath the surface – the same sophistication of the series.
calibre also powered ref. 3940.
2012 - Ref. 5940
2007 - Ref. 5159 Who can forget the inimitable “cushion-shaped case”, more
Featuring the Calibre 324 s Qr, the ref. 5159 launched in 2007 commonly associated with one of Patek Philippe’s minute repeater
bridged a 14-year period when Patek Philippe first attempted a references (and one belonging to Henry Graves no less)? In 2012,
perpetual calendar with central indications and windows rather the masion brought the glamorous Art deco style to its family
than sub-dials. It was a highly legible and contemporary design of perpetual calendar timepieces with the ultra-thin ref. 5940.
with classical overtones thanks to its hand-guillochéd dial Gently cambered flanks and a svelte form make this one of the
and retrograde date display. Identifiable thanks to its straight most recognisable perpetual calendar references, just by virtue of
lugs and “turban-style” crown, the officer-style timepiece – not being round. The applied Breguet numerals in gold add further
with day, month and leap year displays in apertures – offers distinction to a collection usually marked via hour baton markers
balanced symmetry throughout the entire face of the watch. or standard roman numerals.

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2016 - Ref. 5160/500 2016 - Ref. 5327

2017 - Ref. 7140

2016 - Ref. 5160/500

Presented in 2016, the ref. 5160/500 was a showcase of the
brand’s equally formidable skills in rare handcrafts. The officer-
style case in white gold with hinged cover was entirely hand-
engraved – from lugs and clasp to the crown – with arabesque
decorations inspired by a vintage pocket watch from the Patek
Philippe Museum in Geneva. A silvery opaline dial with filigreed
central engraving hides our old friend, the Calibre 324.

2016 - Ref. 5327

That same year, the ref. 5327 updated the classical perpetual
calendar aesthetic and rather than use baton hour indexes,
introduced Breguet numerals; the famed round Calatrava case
remains in place, with gently fluted and laterally pierced lugs.
There are two dial variants: the royal blue sunburst dial carried
an air of serious luxury with its reflective white gold case while
the ivory lacquered dial editions (accompanying yellow and
rose gold models) enhanced the vintage appeal of one of Patek
Philippe’s latest perpetual calendar references. But the best was
yet to come.

2017 - Ref. 7140

dressed with a bezel of flawless Wesselton diamonds (68
diamonds totalling approximately 0.68 carats, and a clasp
bearing 27 diamonds totalling 0.20 carats, approximately), one
wonders about the necessity of a “women’s” perpetual calendar
when literally all the references aren’t that much bigger than the
35.1mm ref. 7140. That said, Patek Philippe introduced a silvery
sunburst face and dainty gold applied numerals with this model. It
was purpose-designed and built for women, and the brand wants
onlookers to know it.

Why is adjustment needed every 100 years? The pioneering 1925
reference adapted
Mudge invented the mechanism only 10 years after the from a ladies’ pocket
Gregorian calendar was officially adopted in England, his watch calibre for a
perpetual calendar
home. His mechanical perpetual calendar interprets the wristwatch sold to
Thomas Emery
Gregorian calendar and its 400-year cycle comprising 303
common years and 97 leap years totalling 146,097 days
into an engineered series of analogue components and
wheels. Each of these moves in concert to display the precise
day, date, and month (even their varying lengths) without
additional adjustments even for leap years. Why then do our
contemporary perpetual calendars still need adjustment after
a 100-year period? Then as now, a cycle is a 100-year period
with 25 leap years and in some instances, a 100-year period
with 24 leap years, but at its core, all calendars begin with three
essential movements of Earth (and its satellite, the moon) – our
axial rotation, with which we calculate hours in a day; orbit
of the moon, with which we calculate month; and how long it
takes for the Earth to orbit the sun, 364.25 days or one year.

Thomas Mudge
perpetual calendar
pocket watch

Did you know that the “simpler” Annual Calendar (invented

by Patek Philippe) actually has more parts as well?
An annual calendar has about 40 more parts than a perpetual
calendar due to the fact that it is using a system of gear trains
compared with the perpetual calendar’s system of levers.
so an annual calendar has more parts but ironically, is
more accessible than a perpetual calendar as the gear train
construction is still simpler to assemble and fine-tune than the
levers of the high complication. one of the main complexities
of perpetual calendar is in adjusting that one big lever that
activates simultaneously various parts of the movement.

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In the tank
Cartier packs more than 100 years of history in its Tank watches, bridging the
birth of the Art Deco era early last century with the contemporary manufacture in
La Chaux-de-Fonds Words Ashok somAn

General John Pershing, commander of the American
forces in WWI was offered one of the first Tank models

ven a historical story about Cartier watchmaking feels aeroplane and the tank shows just how much the contemporary
strikingly contemporary. This is also evident in the world influenced design at the maison, even in the early
distinctive Parisian brand’s swiss watchmaking facilities 20th century. Perhaps the visionary Louis Cartier understood that
– it is one of those brilliant new structures that seem more like a the contemporary age was truly both the best and the worst of
sculpture than a place where people work. Located in La Chaux- times, to paraphrase dickens, at least as far as the inspirations it
de-Fonds, it might resemble the glass pyramid within the Louvre, provides. As a Parisian, he had to have been struck by the sheer
except, of course, that many watchmaking firms have similarly horror of the tank as a mobile machine of armoured death, just
contemporary workplaces. But where other watchmaking names rolling down the streets. Louis was also a non-commissioned
seem like they build these structures to remind the world (and officer in the red Cross at the time, so he would have been familiar
themselves) that they are well and truly in a new age, Cartier is with the waking nightmare that was World War 1.
eternally contemporary. At the same time, these machines have a certain magnetism
obviously, we are reminded of this because 2017 is the that can be felt even today – World of Tanks, anyone? It is difficult
100th anniversary of the Tank watch, as we mentioned briefly to imagine how people who saw the early tanks felt about them;
in Issue 46. Few, if any, contemporary wristwatch can claim to at that time, even the automobile was relatively novel. In a way, it
have existed in more or less the same form for a century, as the must be akin to seeing a Tesla truck rolling down the ECP, if said
Tank watch does. Intriguingly, the Tank watch forms a big part of truck was also an autonomous mobile railgun.
Cartier’s legend, but the brand has never been keen to maximise of course, it is the 100th anniversary of Louis Cartier’s
its sales here. According to Michael Balfour’s Cult Watches, the creation, although purists may complain that the first real Tank
total number of Tank watches sold from 1919 to 1962 was just watches only appeared in 1919. Even more interesting is the date
2,092, which is remarkable. sales figures in the post family- given for Louis’s inspiration for those watches that would appear
owned era are not so easily obtained, but we surmise that current in the Paris store – december, 1916. This was when Louis made
corporate bosses in richemont have been pushing much harder on his first sketch of what would become the Tank, shortly after he
this iconic model. presumably saw the very first actual tanks – British Marks – to be
Looking back, the situation of the brand with both the deployed in World War 1.

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in swing. He couldn’t have known that the Tank and his

own vision at Cartier overall would become definitive of
that very age, which was taking off just before WW1.
Indeed, the Tank – and Cartier jewellery, of course
– benefitted from Art deco’s tendency to prioritise
colours and geometric shapes, as well as the use of
ever more varied precious materials. Though the Tank
would indeed see many iterations over the years – there
are six families of Tank watches available today, with
multiple references in each family – the basic shape that
recalled both a stretcher and a tank remained intact. This
consistency helps the contemporary Tank retain its roots
in the birth of the Art deco era, just as it speaks to the
considerable vitality of the design movement. Just take
a look at the new Tank Americaine and the Tank Cintrée
Art Deco Forever skeleton for the proof of the pudding here.
In fact, the word “tank” was entirely new at that time, with the Paris
press only learning it in september of that same year. It is entirely French designer Jean-Charles de
Castelbajac, whose illustrations decorate
possible that the original design Louis drew up was inspired by a these pages, created these for French
stretcher, which might have been the dominant image of the time weekly Madame Figaro with the following
message: If all Tanks were made by Cartier,
for him. Well, a watch named the stretcher just doesn’t have the we would have time to live in peace!
same kick as the Tank, and the ambitious Louis surely knew this.
Imagine once more the shock that greeted Parisians when they
opened the papers and saw images of the first tanks, only to later
see the renault Le Tigre in the city itself. Now imagine their reaction
to seeing a watch named the Tank, inspired by the first tanks, from
the King of Jewellers, as Cartier is still known. To use contemporary
phrasing, minds must have melted…
design-wise, the Tank solved for Cartier the problem of
unwieldy lugs that plagued the santos in the early going and
seemed to offer a way forward for the wristwatch. This last bit would
have been particularly sanguine to Louis, a firm and fast believer
in the wristwatch as the future of the watchmaking trade. He had
already told his father that he wanted to develop this vision of his
(having developed the deployant buckle in 1910), despite the fact
that wristwatches wouldn’t take off till the Art deco age was fully

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curveD AnD ShApeD left). In the Tank Louis Cartier in particular, the manual-winding
For our part, we find the reappearance of the Cintrée, in Calibre 8971 MC is based on the Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 846,
particular, to be exciting, especially because Cartier itself had which is certainly worth noting given the aforementioned
deemed the lusciously curved watch to be past its sell-by relationship between these storied names in watchmaking.
date (it was introduced in 1921) in the 1930s, retiring it for a of a totally different nature, and sitting atop the pyramid
time – other Tank watches took over on the front lines of retail of new Tank watches, is the Cintrée skeleton, which features
at that point. In the present moment, the new Tank Cintrée a purpose-built in-house Cartier movement. The manual-
is the only mechanical watch with a curved and shaped winding Calibre 9917 MC is actually slightly curved to match
movement in the world. That is no small matter as even the shape of the case. Historically, some Tank watches were
Cartier primarily uses round movements in its collections of slightly curved, which presumably made for a better fit on the
shaped watches. wrist; this curvature wasn’t merely aesthetic as it extended
To help make his wristwatch dreams come true, Louis to the movement as well. This Tank Cintrée skeleton is the
Cartier needed able support as Cartier didn’t make watch or clock first totally curved watch from Cartier to feature a matching
movements. one of his most famous collaborators was French curved in-house movement – it is probably the first such watch
watchmaker Edmond Jaeger, who had already established from Cartier in living memory, leaving aside quartz models.
his own links with swiss manufacture LeCoultre. By 1903, somewhat unusually for a Tank watch, this model skips out on
Cartier was already Jaeger’s principal client, and he used the the roman numerals.
services of the LeCoultre manufacture to make it happen. In all, By way of contrast, the Tank Americaine and Tank
the partnership between this trio lasted more than 30 years, Française are the most accessible models for 2017, with
and thus represents the foundation of watchmaking at Cartier. standard quartz and vanilla automatic movements. Hodinkee
Nevertheless, Cartier imposed its vision on the partnership from reports that the Tank Americaine is a pleasure to wear, and
the start, meaning that while Jaeger and LeCoultre continued that its automatic calibre is an ETA 2671 movement, which is
developing form movements, Cartier had settled on using round possibly the same calibre that powers the Tank solo XL watch.
movements in form cases. Another candidate for the mystery movements here, as far as
Cutting ahead to present times, Cartier has chosen the calibres go, is the good old ETA 2892. The Tank solo watch
watches for the 100th anniversary of the Tank to revise this has a date display at six o’clock but so does another variant of
matter a little, introducing form movements for both the Tank the Tank Americaine. In any case, both ETA 2671 and 2892
Cintrée skeleton (above, right) and the Tank Louis Cartier (above, movements support date display…

tAnk iS A tAnk iS A tAnk
As mentioned, there are four new Tank watch iterations released specifically in commemoration of the 100th anniversary, the
Tank Cintrée skeleton, Tank Americaine, Tank Française, and Tank Louis Cartier, sometimes simply called the Tank LC. Each is
available in a variety of versions, as summarised below.

Tank Americaine: stainless steel, in three sizes: large (45.1mm Tank Cintrée Skeleton: Pink gold and platinum
x 26.6mm), medium (41.6mm x 22.6mm), and small (34.8mm x models, both limited to 100 pieces, in one size:
19mm). All with automatic movements except the small model, 46.3mm x 23mm. The watches are not
which is quartz-powered. Water resistant to 30m. water resistant.

Tank Française: stainless steel, in two sizes, with Tank Louis Cartier: Pink gold and white gold, with and without
diamonds: medium (30.4mm x 25.05mm) and diamonds, in two sizes: large (33.7mm x 25.5mm) and small
small (25.35mm x 20.25mm). Both versions are (29.5mm x 22mm). Water resistant to 30m.
quartz-powered. Water resistant to 30m.

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RecoRd RebiRth
The Defy El Primero 21 Chronograph is a fine return to form
for Zenith and hints at more to come with Jean-Claude Biver and
Julien Tornare pushing the brand to the forefront
Words Jason kwong photography Long Fei art direction stephanie Lim

f Zenith had set out to impress contemporary watch
aficionados this year, it triumphed as early as BaselWorld. it
also exceeded expectations with novelties that will push the
wow factor just a little further for the competition. case in point –
38mm faithful reproductions of the chronomaster el primero to
go along with full open versions as teasers of something new. this
has been brewing for the brand since Jean-claude Biver took over
as interim ceo in January this year. necessity is the mother of
invention and – in horology – truly innovative industrial designs.
it was a rebirth of sorts as the brand unveiled the defy
el primero 21 chronograph at BaselWorld 2017, and Biver’s
horological street cred was proudly on display as he doubled
down on what made the el primero such a revered exemplar of
precision watchmaking. “one-hundredth of a second accuracy
in a chronograph could not have existed back then (when the
el primero debuted),” he says. “i always have my doubts when
presented with something new (like the defy el primero 21). it
wakes me up in the middle of the night, and i would double-check
on everything that i’m apprehensive about. this is why i only hire
people who are smarter than me; i’m essentially a coach who
makes sure that, as a team, we deliver something that has not
been seen before (that will) amaze collectors.”
Biver eventually brought in Julien tornare as the new
ceo of the company in april. tornare had been with Vacheron
constantin for close to two decades and indicated he hopes to
instil a “genuine start-up spirit and to reconnect the brand with
innovation”, which he considers “the driving force for growth since
(Zenith’s) founding 152 years ago.” there’s no doubt that tornare
is off to a rocking start, having been entrusted with both the defy
21 and the new defy Lab (about which, you can find out more on
page 74).

Science Friction parts into contact with stationary ones without the expectation
Modern efficiencies have allowed Zenith to reduce the number of some inertial resistance to overcome.
of components in the el primero down to 203 from 278, the mainspring of the running time automatic movement has
allowing the manufacture to even throw in two independent a respectable 50 hours of power reserve while the chronograph
gear trains in the new defy el primero 21. the use of can soldier on continuously for 50 minutes before manual
carbon nanotubes in these two separate transmissions is a winding is needed. the fluted crown accommodates this, while
fundamental attribute of the new chronometer-certified 9004 also allowing adjustments for time telling. closer inspection will
movement: one for the steadfast 5hz base movement; and a lead one to notice silicon escape wheels and anchors on two
separate escapement for a brisk one-hundredth of a second autonomous balance wheels, with hairsprings in carbon-Matrix
chronograph mechanism, where the balance oscillates at 50hz carbon nanotube. this reduces friction and will prove resilient to
(or 360,000vph). this means that the sweep seconds hand temperature fluctuations and magnetic waves exceeding 15,000
makes one full rotation around the dial per second, making it 10 gauss, thereby guaranteeing precision in most conditions of use.
times faster and more accurate than its illustrious predecessor. other than mechanical innovation, what warrants attention
of course, it is also a nice visual treat. is the ability to demonstrate a good sense of aesthetics, which is
as a bonus, the dual gear trains negate the need for not an easy task considering there are no less than three counters
a coupling clutch of any sort, but that requires some extra here keeping track of the seconds, or fractions of a second. some
exposition. in the typical chronograph, like the original el might say that it resembles the Lightweight striking 10th, but this
primero, for example, there is only one power source and one is a different beast with an openworked dial (there is a proper dial
gear train. this means that the chronograph components sit too, which does make reading the indications easier, especially for
apart from the rest of the calibre and can’t function on their the running seconds sub-dial at nine o’clock).
own, which is fine because the chronograph is an on-demand nevertheless, the openworked version showcases the
sort of mechanism. the downside is that once it is activated, intricate inner workings, as if it was some sort of contemporary
these elapsed time components have to be brought into living sculpture framed in a 44mm titanium or ceramic-aluminium
contact with the running time components in order to fulfil their composite case. these case materials enhance the futuristic
function. that’s where the clutches come into play, as well as inclinations of the watch and make it more than just an el primero
the main wear-and-tear issues because you can’t bring moving sport on steroids.

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rogue two
if you are a watch collector who has always been fascinated with
the mechanics of how things work, then you’re likely to have a soft
spot for the el primero movement. conceptualisation started in
1962, with the goal being to create the first automatic chronograph
in time for the centenary of the manufacture in 1965. it would be
a fully integrated calibre, with no tacked-on chronograph module,
while also accommodating a date ring.
there was also a now-famous competition between Zenith
and several others, notably featuring the seiko 6139 and the
chronomatic calibres. Watch history buffs will recognise the latter
as the calibre that was funded by the consortium of heuer, dubois
dépraz, hamilton-Buren, and Breitling. you might also know it as
calibre 11. Both of these calibres might have had customer-ready
watches before Zenith in 1969, yet only the el primero soldiers on
as the lone high-beat survivor in series production.

Jean-Claude Biver and Julien Tornare

able to track elapsed time down to 1/10th of a second

accuracy, the el primero (which means “the first” in esperanto)
chronograph was assembled around a column wheel mechanism,
a vertical clutch system, and a central rotor mounted on ball
bearings. a year later, an el primero model survived being
attached to the undercarriage of an air France Boeing 707
flight from paris to new york; this was no accident but instead
a deliberate move on the part of the brand. other parts of the
calibre’s long-lasting appeal are not so deliberate, and could not
have been predicted or tested.
aside from quartz calibres, the el primero was the
most accurate wrist chronograph for decades and the 5hz (or
36,000vph) movement within has a smoother pusher action
when compared to the cam-actuated variants, which is only to be
expected from a column wheel-actuated movement. the higher
frequency also meant that the sweep of both seconds hands made
for a gliding motion that seemed effortless. its reputation on the
Zenith a386 not only earned it international acclaim but provided
a strong base for its eventual adoption by other brands seeking a
reliable chronograph movement.
yet, we are fully aware that there is also emotion attached to
the irreproachable precision that Zenith always had in its history,
even before the first el primero cal. 3019phc chronograph with
date and cal. 3019 phF for chronograph with triple date and
moon phase. the firm has won no less than 2,333 chronometry
prizes to date, including five consecutive neuchâtel observatory
prizes in the 1950s. as a testament to its staying power, the el
primero stratos Flyback striking 10th took best “sports Watch” at
the grand prix d’horlogerie de genève in 2013, while last year,
the el primero 36,000vph was once again nominated in the
“chronograph” category. today, Zenith is asserting its bragging
rights again, and the defy el primero 21 is only the beginning.

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Second coming manufacture at Le Locle in 1865. this was unusual at the time
the future did not always look so bright, mind you. despite because the standard practice in switzerland was to source for
moderate commercial success, the Zenith watch company the best components from specialist suppliers. today, we might
was sold off to the Zenith radio corporation in 1971. in 1975, be so bold as to add Biver’s name to Favre-Jacot and Vermont,
to focus on producing watches with quartz movements, but we’re not quite done with the history lesson yet.
machinery used for the production of the el primero were after the Quartz crisis of the late 1970s, the revival of
relegated to be sold off as scrap metal. however, what bean mechanical watchmaking was never more evident than when
counters didn’t count on was a senior engineer named charles Zenith returned to the forefront. First, there was ebel, which
Vermont. this now-famous rebel had been with the company intermittently procured movements, and then rolex, when the
since the birth of the el primero, and he wasn’t consigning company decided that the daytona was in need of an improved
the historic calibre to the scrap heap. Vermont kept fastidious chronograph movement. Under yet another new ownership
records on the movement and, most importantly, shifted group, Zenith began supplying rolex’s new daytonas with
production equipment to cold storage in an attic within the el primero movements that were reversed engineered – and
manufacture for safekeeping. modified to 28,000vph – from manuals and fabrication
his heist film-like escapades that extended beyond the machinery that Vermont had wisely chosen to ensure would be
confines of his workbench remind us that there are real heroes available when required, in the 1980s.
in watchmaking, and at Zenith, that goes all the way back to the Various charles Vermont limited editions of the el primero
founder. Vermont’s actions in his day reflected an ingenuity that pay tribute to his contributions towards ensuring that the legacy of
recalls georges Favre-Jacot vertically integrating disparate the el primero lived on as the most acclaimed and precise series-
watchmaking proficiencies to create the first full-fledged made chronograph with numerous accolades to its name.

The first El Primero Calibre 3019 PHC movement is now arguably the most
famous chronograph movement in the world and was assembled around a
column wheel and a vertical clutch with a central rotor mounted on ball bearings

Defy El Primero 21
Chronograph Only Watch
Edition that will be
auctioned off for charity

now and then

Luxury conglomerate LVMh acquired Zenith in 1999, and it was
at this time that the seeds for the current incarnations of the el
primero timepieces were sown. to give the brand a boost and to
further cement his repute as the man with the horological Midas
touch, Biver implemented cross-pollination of expertise from
tag heuer and hublot. From his perception of its core strengths,
Biver understood from the get-go that the only way to reinvigorate
Zenith was to truly create a new el primero deserving of a place
not only in history but also in the future.
“By tapping into specific know-how from sister brands,
we are able to make breakthroughs and produce complicated
movements internally while pushing the boundaries of
watchmaking. From my understanding, Zenith does not repeat
tradition. We will not be referencing the past but rather will be
referenced in the future for our innovations in the present. this
means that Zenith will always be the future of traditional swiss

this is evident in the facetted hour markers and

luminescent baton-type hands that are throwback nods to defy
el primero 21’s predecessors even as it is a sportier rendition of
what has come before. as noted, there is also a non-skeletonised
version for those who fancy a dressier approach, while a
diamond-set swizz Beatz limited edition in white gold and
orange accents will make for a splashy entrance the way the el
primero chronomaster for the rolling stones never could. and
as the model of choice for this year’s only Watch charity auction,
we’re looking at a bona fide piece of future watchmaking history
that will continue to impress loyalists.
coupled with the new defy Lab winning this year’s grand
prix d’horlogerie de genève “innovation prize” award because
of an in-house mechanical calibre Zo 342 that oscillates at an
unheard of 15hz, we can expect another victory lap for Zenith
that started with the landmark accomplishments of the iconic
el primero from 1969. it is also a summation of a timepiece’s
enduring appeal that straddles old-school industrial elegance
with a forward-thinking approach.

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Kikuo Ibe showing the next evolution of the G-Shock –

one encased in sapphire

Shock And Awe

The G-Shock turns 35 in 2018 but continues to remain relevant – and popular
Words jamie tan

MRG-G2000CB, the latest in a line of

premium G-Shocks

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Designer and graphic artist Eric Haze, who has

collaborated with G-Shock for over 20 years

s a young engineer throwing prototypes out of a third- of course, the passage of time doesn’t just affect the watch.
storey bathroom window to test their shock resistance, Fans of the G-shock collection are maturing as well, and a new
Kikuo Ibe probably never imagined that the G-shock generation of them are joining the scene. As designer and long-
watch he was developing would achieve such phenomenal time collaborator Eric Haze puts it, “Both the G-shock and its
success. Then again, nobody did. Who would’ve thought that the wearers have grown up, and universal appeal is a point I need
original G-shock, conceived as a functional, shockproof timepiece, to keep in mind when designing new editions of the watch – the
would spawn hundreds of models and become a cultural icon that final product must be something a 15-year-old can wear, yet also
defined a generation? something a 55-year-old will like.” To that end, premium-range
The G-shock today is less a watch model per se, and more G-shocks with prices comparable to luxury watches have been
a product segment unto itself, with several collections spanning introduced, including limited runs showcasing Japanese metiers
different styles, functions, and price points. From the perennially d’art techniques.
popular basic digital models such as the iconic dW-5600 to the The G-shock’s story is still being written. With 2018 being
female-centric Baby-G line and the premium Mr-G collection, the 35th anniversary of the G-shock, Casio started the party
there’s a G-shock timepiece to suit everyone. The single point early by kicking things off with an event in New York City in
uniting these diverse offerings from Casio is their common raison November. There was much to celebrate, including the delivery
d’être of shock resistance. Indeed, Ibe – who is affectionately of the 100 millionth G-shock just two months prior. The watch
called the Father of the G-shock by fans – attributes the continued was a limited edition Mr-G timepiece, which was finished with a
popularity of the range to this; by maintaining its core identity of commemorative case back after rolling off the production line in
shock resistance while evolving in terms of style and functions, the Yamagata. New offerings abound – as they have for the past 35
G-shock has remained relevant to its fans, even after more than years – including a G-shock cased entirely in sapphire that will be
three decades. unveiled next year.

A brief history of timekeeping with the g-shock
The path of the G-shock’s development is paved with numerous models. Here are some highlights

1981: Genesis
The idea for creating a shockproof timepiece was first seeded in Kikuo Ibe’s mind
when he dropped – and broke – the mechanical watch his parents had given to
him after he passed his high school entrance exam. It is an oft-told story, but
ironically one that he’s never discussed personally with his parents, even after
more than three decades.

1983: DW-5000C
After two years and more than 200 prototypes, Ibe finally created a shockproof
watch that shrugged off impacts – the dW-5000C. This timepiece wasn’t just the
first-ever G-shock, but also the original proof-of-concept that laid down many
technical principles still being followed today. For instance, the watch’s module
“floated” within a hollow case structure with only a few points of contact, which
helped to reduce shock transmission. A layer of urethane over the steel case also
dampened any forces experienced by the watch. (The successor to this watch,
the dW-5600C, was released in 1987 with changes such as an all-plastic case. It
went on to become a bestseller that remains in production today.)

1990: DW-5900C
The G-shock first became popular overseas, especially in the United states,
after a 1984 advertisement showed an ice hockey player shooting a goal with a
G-shock in lieu of a puck. In a reversal of today’s situation (with Japan domestic
Market exclusives), the dW-5900C was only available outside Japan. As American
street fashion took off in Japan from the early 1990s, however, the watch was
imported back into the country to meet the demands of the fashion-forward youth.
This timepiece was thus the bellwether that marked the growing appreciation for
the G-shock in Japan; the number of G-shocks shipped in Japan exploded from
10,000 in 1990 to 700,000 by 1995.

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2017: MRG-G1000B-1A4
The 100 millionth G-shock to roll off Casio’s production lines was the MrG-
G1000B-1A4, which was completed at the brand’s Yamagata facility in Japan. To
mark this milestone, a specially engraved case back was fitted to the watch in a
ceremony at the Yamagata facility.

2017: GPW-2000
The latest iterative improvement by Casio sees the debut of its Connected Engine
3-Way module in the GPW-2000. The watch can sync its time to terrestrial
radio waves, GPs signals, and also connect to a smartphone to access time
information from mobile service providers – the first time all these channels have
been combined in a single module.

2002: GW-300
Following a peak in 1997, G-shock shipments began to decline. Casio responded
with a “back-to-basics” approach by refocusing on tough watches with high
performance and introduced several new technologies, such as radio-controlled
timekeeping in the GW-100. other examples included time calibration via
terrestrial radio waves in 2008 (GW-9200), and smartphone connectivity in 2012
(GB-6900). Combinations of these technologies also took place over the years.
The GW-300 shown here, for instance, was the first solar-powered G-shock with
radio-controlled timekeeping.

1996: MRG-100
The MrG-100 was the first all-metal G-shock and started out as a side project by
Casio’s engineers. Having an external case rendered entirely in steel and titanium
was a significant technical hurdle, as the dampening provided by the resins and
plastics used in previous G-shock designs was absent. To overcome this, the
case was re-engineered, with components isolated from each other using shock
absorbent materials placed within it instead. Ibe still considers the success of
this watch to be his proudest moment, alongside the development of the original
G-shock. In retrospect, the MrG-100’s higher price point and classier design also
heralded the premium segment that Casio would later develop.

future proofing the business
Kazuhiro Kashio, Casio’s president and chief operating officer,
weighs in on the G-shock, his priorities as the second-generation
leader of the business, and the company’s other business segments.

Congratulations on the 35th anniversary of the G-Shock. What, for

you, were some significant moments in this watch’s history?
Looking back, it was really the debut of the G-shock. The first
G-shock was completely original and led to the development of
a culture around it, which elevated it to become more than just a
watch. This was unprecedented and something significant for us.
The other milestone that bookends the legacy of the G-shock –
so far – is the shipment of an accumulated 100 million G-shock
timepieces in september 2017.

Do you see potential in using the technology that Casio has

developed for the G-Shock elsewhere?
Yes, definitely. of course, the G-shock will continue to be
refreshed and updated – we have launched new models annually
for the last 35 years and will continue to do so. one of our
novelties next year, for example, will be a G-shock with a sapphire
case that retains the shockproof properties of a typical G-shock.
Beyond the G-shock, we also want to use our technology in
fashion watches, as well as specialised timepieces like the Pro
Trek. The challenges in developing each one will be different since
fashion watches are largely chosen based on their aesthetics,
while the Pro Trek series is assessed based on its functions. The
G-shock will continue to be unique to Casio, while these two new
Kazuhiro Kashio
segments will be expanded.

What about smartwatches?

We haven’t decided if we will make a smartwatch under the
G-shock branding. I think the fundamentals are still important –
Casio’s purpose is to contribute to society, and it’s crucial for any
smartwatch that it makes to be used by its wearer constantly. For
the moment, the smartwatches that are available in the market do
not necessarily have important functions, apart from a link to the
wearer’s smartphone. I’m not sure if people will use it on a daily
basis because of this, especially when considering the need to
charge the battery daily. our take on the smartwatch has a specific
focus, like the Pro Trek that’s primarily for outdoor usage. It has a
battery life of two to three days, and remains functional without
needing to be paired with a smartphone – that’s a lot more useful
for the wearer.

On a personal level, what have been your challenges since you

assumed the presidency?
I took over as the president of Casio in June 2015, with a
mission to continue running the businesses that have been
established. our timepiece and education businesses have been
growing steadily, but other divisions such as projectors, musical
instruments, and cameras aren’t expanding as they should be.
My challenge is to address this, in order to strengthen the overall
Pro Trek WSD-F20S
corporate portfolio.

64 64
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What do you want to build and leave behind for your successor? What prompted you to introduce these changes?
This is the 60th anniversary of Casio, and I want to lay the our current situation isn’t unique to us – many major Japanese
foundation for the company’s success in the next 60 years. our companies are, in my opinion, afflicted with the same “large
corporate creed is “creativity and contribution”, which means we company sickness” that makes them somewhat unwieldy. To
don’t copy what’s already been done, but produce something new, put things into perspective, we actually underwent a round of
and contribute to society by doing so. This philosophy must be restructuring around a decade ago, when we sold off unprofitable
passed down to the next generation of leaders. However, we also business units such as our mobile phone division. structural reforms
need to have a system to enable such creativity. The organisation this time, however, refers to internal organisation and how we do
has become a bit rigid, so perhaps things need to change. I’ve been things. It’s not about laying people off or downsizing, but about
introducing structural reforms for the past two years in areas such changing how the business is run as a whole. It’s important to us,
as our evaluation systems. our founding generation of engineers and for major companies like us, to have smaller headquarters, in
are geniuses, but I think we should have a system to enable the order to be more flexible and adaptable, and that’s what I’m working
creation of new products in the future after their retirement. to achieve.

The G’z Eye, the latest camera

offering from Casio, is aimed at
action camera users who need a
shockproof device

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The end is The

Love it or loathe it, 2017 had more than its fair share of action on the horological
front. We provide a rundown and try to get a preview of 2018 Words Ashok somAn

year in watchmaking is hardly a blip – it rushes by and year will live on, perhaps for eternity.
then it is gone, destined to be yet another step in the Although not included in our list overleaf, the WoW team
inexorable forward march of timekeeping. Well, that’s would like to take a moment to acknowledge a few key things.
the optimistic view. A darker view might be echoed in the words of First off, we tried to think of a way to include the new Cyclops lens
shakespeare from Macbeth: “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor on the rolex sea-dweller, but it lost out to the Cellini Moonphase.
player/ That struts and frets his hour upon the stage/ And then is Perhaps more significantly, we also could not make space on the
heard no more”. list for the roger dubuis Excalibur spider Carbon skeleton Flying
Though rapidly fading into the distance, 2017 was Tourbillon, but not because the name is too long! It is the first
remarkable, for better and for worse. We did not even get to cover Geneva watch with a carbon case and carbon movement to earn
all of it with our four issues, and even online, with, it the Poinçon de Genève certification. Unfortunately, the passing of
was still impossible to get into everything. Well, this little rundown Mr roger dubuis overtook this news…
addresses some of those issues – we’re obviously ignoring still, we owe the Geneva manufacture an apology for
december and most of November here. truncating the lovely name of the Excalibur spider Carbon
We won’t know for a few years if 2017 was particularly skeleton Flying Tourbillon in our Geneva report (Issue 44).
significant or not, however, we might have felt about it as it Consider this a correction. 
unfolded. Pessimists will certainly find much to despair over, With that, we invite you to take a trip back in time with us as
but the antidote is a lesson from the development teams in we zoom in on 12 highlights from 2017. Yes, that’s nominally one for
watchmaking. Every year is planned for perhaps five years in each month but the list is in no particular order, and we are certain
advance if the comments of any number of CEos can be taken at that not every month of 2017 saw a major happening. Actually, most
face value. Certainly, for richer or poorer, every year is heard from of the big news coalesced around the sIHH and BaselWorld, but
again. Indeed, if the year was a good one, then the watches of that you’ll allow us some shakespearean poetic license with this.

And Silicon for All…
It is 2017, and very surprising indeed, that silicon is still on its
headlining tour through all levels of watchmaking. Even here,
at WoW, we dutifully cover it every year, and sometimes every
issue. What began life as an experiment by the swatch Group,
Patek Philippe, rolex, and (independently) Ulysse Nardin is now
making its presence felt on countless wrists across the world.
swatch Group made this happen by making silicon hairsprings
a reality for Tissot and Mido. We look forward to seeing this
technology in swatch watches.
As always, where silicon goes, there follows controversy.
This latest chapter in the silicon story has produced situations
where marketers can no longer talk about the mere use
of this material as an exclusive innovation. As we
noted in Issue 46, it makes no logical sense for
hairspring materials to be selling points, so
if any brands or retailers are doing this,
perhaps it’s time to adjust and adapt…
Here’s a reminder of why
adapting is a good idea: there
is nothing particularly special
about silicon, being the eighth
most common element in the
universe. It is, in fact, used in
all manner of industries and
has been used in steel refining
and aluminium casting for some
time. Most obviously, it is used
extensively in the microchip
industry. Getting silicon to
exhibit good isochronism is,
of course, a challenge, but
now that this process has been
industrialised, it is possible to
make hairsprings and even the new
Zenith oscillator in batches of virtually
unlimited numbers.

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collAborAting in time
Even at the level of the big groups in watchmaking, it is a rare
thing for individual brands to use work obviously developed for
another brand. When brands use third-party movements, you
can be sure that they will play this down. This year, Breitling and
Tudor stunned the watchmaking world by moving in a totally
different direction. Basically, the two brands are now using
each other’s movements in a move that puts us in mind of
that time when rolex began using Zenith’s El Primero
movements in the daytona.
We reported on this development in Issue
45 in looking at the Tudor Heritage Black Bay
Chronograph (top right), which uses the automatic
Calibre MT5813 that’s actually a riff on Breitling’s
self-winding B01 chronograph movement.
Tudor is using its own regulating organ (a silicon
hairspring and the signature Tudor balance
wheel) and chronograph registers, but otherwise,
MT5813 is the B01 calibre. But this isn’t the story
of just one calibre because Breitling can now count
on Tudor to supply movements for its superocean
Heritage II. In that watch, Calibre B20 is Breitling’s
version of the Tudor MT5612.
Both Tudor and Breitling are going their own way
as far as aesthetics are concerned, which is only to be
expected. The movements display this as the finishing is
different for all versions of the calibres in question. The world
will be watching carefully to see how this partnership evolves,
especially given that other changes have taken hold at Breitling…

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grAnd Strike in Japan, where it is much more established (alongside Credor, but
At long last, seiko decided to give its Grand seiko imprint its that’s another matter).
own distinctive brand identity. This decision was announced at In practical terms, this means the “Grand seiko” words and the
BaselWorld this year, generating all sorts of buzz, and possibly “Gs” letters will occupy pride-of-place on the dial at 12 o’clock. our
making collectors everywhere salivate. To be honest though, ever own coverage of seiko this year has been so preoccupied with this
since the reintroduction of Grand seiko in 2010, the name itself has change that we’ve neglected standard offerings from seiko, such as
carried a weight that made it a wholly different proposition to the the Presage (an error of omission that we’ve addressed in this very
other ranges carried by seiko. For example, the name Grand seiko issue). Having said that, it isn’t every day that watch lovers get a gift
is well known to watch geeks, and beloved by the same, especially like Grand seiko, so you’ll forgive us our enthusiasm this year!

cArbon futureS
Carbon nanotubes have been appearing everywhere in
watchmaking it seems, but nowhere with more regularity
than at the LVMH brands. over at horological hothouse
Zenith, the material moves from case to movement in the
defy El Primero 21 (left). Carbon is an amazingly flexible
material, and it is used here as something called a
Carbon-Matrix Carbon Nanotube composite to fashion
the two hairsprings of the chronograph movement. We
expect that this means it has good isochronism, like
Invar and the silicon used by other brands.
Most unexpectedly, we also find this material
used over at Bulgari, in the octo Tourbillon sapphire.
Here though, we don’t see it in the form of a composite
as Zenith has used it. Instead, it forms the bridges
of the BVL206 movement (along with ITr2), making
it a functional, structural component (bottom left). We
suppose this means its properties are suited for this purpose
too – no doubt this magic is the result of the work of Guy
semon, chief of the LVMH science Institute.
outside the LVMH group, we see can also find carbon
nanotubes in richard Mille cases. It is a bit of a hallmark of
the brand, in fact, and doesn’t really represent the cutting
edge of innovation for it. Certainly, carbon nanotubes are
nothing new, but if you look ahead to the section on the
Zenith oscillator, perhaps the Carbon-Matrix Carbon
Nanotube composite might be the right fit.
After all, it has already demonstrated the
appropriate isochronism.

over the moon
It may seem strange to include a mere moon phase
complication in a list such as this one but, as we mentioned
previously in Issues 45 and 46, it is a rolex complication. rolex
has not had a moon phase model, well, in more than 70 years,
and many younger enthusiasts and collectors may not even
realise that there ever was one! The rolex Cellini Moonphase
is effectively the reference model for this complication as far
as the brand-that-wears-the-crown is concerned, making this
watch something like the daytona. If that is not significant
enough to warrant inclusion here, we don’t know what is.
As far as introductions go, this watch is impressively
idiosyncratic, especially given that it is a rolex. on the other
hand, watches such as the Yacht-Master II and the sky-dweller
tell us that rolex is more than capable of pulling left-field
manoeuvres. Unlike most moon phase displays, the full moon
and new moon are always visible, with an indicator at 12 o’clock
on the sub-dial marking the synodic period. We think rolex will
revise this display in the years to come, but for the moment, this is
definitely the most significant moon phase watch of the year.

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Speedy SAleS The addition of graphene here is credited to the brand’s

The Internet poses a strong challenge to the brands, but a working relationship with McLaren, who is using it for its racing cars,
demonstration by omega earlier this year made everyone and allows richard Mille to say that it is now using a material that
sit up and take notice. The incredible success of speedy is “six times lighter than steel but 200 times more resistant”. The
Tuesday dominated talk at BaselWorld and may have raised entire watch, strap included, weighs a mere 38g, which is lighter
expectations. To clarify, omega did Us$13 million in business than a Cd and only a little heavier than an AA battery. obviously,
in just four hours, from selling 2,012 pieces. Plenty of observers this is the first time the wonder material graphene is making an
(us included) thought every other brand might be tempted to appearance in the watch trade, but it certainly won’t be the last.
follow suit, but this hasn’t happened.
It remains unclear how a brand might replicate the success
of speedy Tuesday, and even omega might not know how to do it.
The fact of the matter is that speedy Tuesday was a success not
four hours in the making but five years. This all began with robert-
Jan Broer and Fratello Watches in 2012, in a way that was never
meant to sell any watches. This is the kind of authenticity that
short-term tactical advertising can never replicate. In other words,
the foundations for the next speedy Tuesday are out there, already
circulating somewhere in the untamed swirls of the Internet.

Lightweight watches are usually anathema to luxury
watchmaking, but the likes of richard Mille, Hublot, and roger
dubuis have made a virtue of what was once unthinkable (at
least at the price points commanded by those brands). In 2017,
richard Mille upped the ante yet again by introducing what might
be the world’s lightest chronograph, the richard Mille rM50-03,
by using graphene in the case. To be more precise, the material
richard Mille cites for the case is Graph TPT, which is basically
Thin Ply Technology that incorporates graphene into carbon.

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defying trAdition
The appearance of a new regulator in swiss watchmaking is quite
unprecedented, so when Jean-Claude Biver teased that Zenith
would officially debut working watches with a never-before-seen
escapement, it gave the trade press pause. We published a brief
report on it online ( and followed up when Zenith made
its big reveal in september. From what you see here, and what we
have learnt from Biver and the LVMH science Institute chief, Guy
semon, the regulator is indeed completely new and as different to
the swiss anchor system as the turbojet is to the turboprop.
To be a little clearer than that metaphor though, this is a
mechanical system that relies on the same oscillation logic that
drives everything from the swiss anchor to pendulums and quartz

Jean-Claude Biver

The Zenith Oscillator combines the

functions of the hairspring, anchor, and
balance wheel into a single piece that is
the width of the entire movement
crystals. What semon has engineered here for Zenith is Calibre
Zo 342, which is equipped with an oscillator that is effectively the
same width as the entire movement. Called the Zenith oscillator
(what else would you expect!), it combines the functions of the
hairspring, anchor, and balance wheel into a single piece. This
single piece is carved out of a silicon wafer via drIE (see Issue
46), so it has the same sort of regularity that you would expect of a
hairspring machined the same way.
While this is certainly not the place to get into any detail, we
are reliably told by semon, Biver, and Zenith CEo, Julien Tornare
that Zenith will be producing variations on this theme in the future,
including versions where the Zenith oscillator will be smaller and
possibly in materials other than silicon.

record-breAking wife Joanne Woodward in 1968 and, even if you don’t look at
Even as watchmaking brands face extraordinary pressure, or at the watch, you know that the year signifies that it is a manual-
least talk of such pressure, on pricing, a rolex oyster Perpetual winding affair (powered by a Valjoux 722 calibre according
Cosmograph daytona raised the bar for wristwatches at auctions. to various rolex forums). Lest collectors and enthusiasts get
It sold for the record price of Us$17.8 million at a Phillips auction caught up in a stampede for such Newman daytonas, it is
in the UsA. of course, saying this is a record is something of an worth remembering the context here – Phillips sold a watch
understatement because the previous record for a wristwatch that was actually owned by Paul Newman, not one that looks
was Us$11.1 million, according to Bloomberg, and was held like it. Indeed, The Guardian reported Newman wore the watch
by a Patek Philippe model. Indeed, it was likely a surprise to every day for 15 years, and it bore an engraving from his wife
Phillips too as the initial estimate for the daytona in question was addressed to him. In addition, part of the proceeds from the sale
laughably low at just Us$1 million. goes to benefit Newman’s charitable foundation… In other words,
once owned by Paul Newman, this is one of those mythical don’t rush to judge that the auction market is hot once more for
Newman-type daytonas in steel. It was given to him by his vintage daytonas.
White pAper
Tools to help consumers figure out the watch brands are
occasionally bandied about, mostly by new technology
enthusiasts who see a gap that needs to be filled. Well, the old
standard-keepers have known about this gap for decades but
have never been able to issue any official guidelines. Enter the
Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) and its white paper on
establishing fine watchmaking guidelines (as noted in my Editor’s
Note in Issue 46).
While magazines like this one often do go on about what
makes a brand worth noticing, and how to evaluate the different
brands, it is quite another thing for an organisation such as the FHH
to try to do the same. For one thing, even independent publications
don’t attempt to classify the brands or arrange them by some sort of
hierarchy. such a thing would be unthinkable. We can only imagine
the kind of ruckus the FHH white paper caused, and hope that a
productive discourse would emerge from the continuing chaos.

neW king in toWn

It was only late last year that richemont announced that
longtime IWC boss, Georges Kern, was taking on a more
prominent role at richemont, becoming head of watchmaking,
marketing and digital for the group. This move was so new (it
took effect in April) that we were not actually sure what his title
was before things changed even more dramatically. In the middle
of the year, as we were pressing richemont for a one-on-one
with Kern (as a watch magazine like this is wont to do), it was
announced that Kern was leaving richemont. Johann rupert,
richemont boss, says in a statement that Kern had “been offered
an interesting opportunity to become an entrepreneur”. We learnt
shortly after that the opportunity in question was at Breitling,
where CVC Capital Partners had just taken an 80 per cent stake.
To date, Breitling, CVC, and Kern have issued no comments, but
the press has announced that Kern is indeed in CEo position at
the Grenchen-based watchmaker.

r eports

in memoriAm: WAlter lAnge And

roger dubuiS
Watchmaking suffered a double blow this year as the trade
lost both Walter Lange and roger dubuis. Lange’s passing was
announced at the sIHH in January while dubuis passed on
more recently, in october. The fact that both these legends were
associated with richemont brands is not lost on most observers,
but they were really very different individuals, just as A. Lange &
söhne and roger dubuis are vastly different. They do share one
thing, and that is how late in life they came to public prominence.
Lange was 92 years old and is chiefly remembered and
revered today for his role in reviving A. Lange & söhne, the brand
his grandfather Ferdinand Adolph Lange founded. He also brought
richemont into the picture after the reunification of Germany,
to secure the future of the company. Lange was 66 when the
contemporary A. Lange & söhne took shape. As for dubuis, he
was 80 years old and a proper watchmaker who started his career
at Longines in the 1950s. He also spent a good 14 years at Patek
Philippe, working on high complications, but it was when he turned
to repairing and restoring clocks in his own shop that his story truly
began. Not only did dubuis begin working on his own watches
but he also caught the eye of future partner Carlos diaz. With
diaz, he established what would become the roger dubuis watch
company; he was 57 at the time.

Montblanc moves forward and backwards in time, while using its contemporary
timepieces to anchor it in the present
Words ashok soman

trictly speaking, time is the ultimate luxury, and was perhaps defence, the world of watches sees all manner of experiments in
considered inflexible and inexorable in the past. Indeed, in timekeeping – and brand history, as we’ll see – so the subject of
some cultures, people consider there to be an equivalence relativity will recur.
between time and money, hence the phrase time is money. Weirdly, The Montblanc TimeWalker rally Timer Counter on our cover
this cheapens time because unlike currency and even all other this issue brought us to this line of thinking, mainly because we shot
classes of capital, time cannot be traded. This is perhaps the reason this image at the salon International de la Haute Horlogerie earlier
time hasn’t been shanghaied into functioning as a commodity; this year. We had no inclination to feature this watch in such a
nevertheless, this has not stopped us from coming up with ideas like prominent way at that time, or to explore the TimeWalker collection
paying people for their time, or “buying time”, so to speak. in depth; we covered the 2017 1858 novelties from Montblanc in
on the other hand, we know from Albert Einstein and other Issue 43, and did not get into the rally Timer until after the sIHH.
physicists that time is hardly inflexible, which is a part of what Having said that, the watch seemed a little too important to contain
General and special relativity get into. our own lives may be within our sIHH report (Issue 44).
bound up by space-time to move in a limited way but our passions In addition, Montblanc is a name we associate automatically
and imaginations can move in any direction. science fiction writer with Einstein, thanks to a tribute pen the company issued in 2013,
Ted Chiang suggested as much in his tale, The Story of Your Life and the curiously close dates linking the birth of the Montblanc
(adapted by Hollywood as The Arrival). At this point, we must company and the publication of Einstein’s most famous works. It
apologise to regular readers who have already been exposed is, of course, purely coincidence that Montblanc was established in
to our musings on this subject, issue after issue this year. In our 1906, a year after Einstein had what was called his “miracle year.”
Cover story | R EPORTS

R EPORTS | Cover story

Racing FoRwaRd, Looking Back a bigger watch, given that this is already a 50mm whopper. Actually,
As we wrote in our Issue 43 cover story, Montblanc actually has we can perhaps use this watch to set the stage for the sIHH to come,
two faces – one that is turned towards historic and traditional as well for the years to come. Now, we don’t mean that one should
watchmaking, and one facing up to the challenges of watchmaking always be on the lookout for giant wristwatches from Montblanc
in the 21st century. of course, this analogy was an oblique way of because the rally Timer does have other important virtues.
referring to both the manufactures at Le Locle and Villeret. While As we noted in our sIHH report, what we find most intriguing
pertinent, this literary device might have obscured how richemont about the rally Timer is the way it merges the skills and know-
and Montblanc are using contemporary branding to preserve how of both Le Locle and Villeret in one watch. The TimeWalker
traditional know-how. collection is Montblanc, through and through, but the heritage
In some quarters, there is an idea that Montblanc the watch references comes entirely via Minerva. To quote from
watches come in two varieties – those collections originating that earlier piece, the rally Timer transforms Montblanc watches,
with the Montblanc brand and those from the Minerva era. turning them into “Montblanc-Minerva hybrids with 21st-century
It has been 10 years since richemont acquired Minerva and cachet.” It is certainly audacious to quote one’s own observation but
merged it with Montblanc, and 20 years since Montblanc we feel justified given that no one else has come right out and said it.
began selling watches under its own name, so it seems silly to on a final note about this watch, it is, in fact, all about
carry on about two distinct styles of watchmaking, operating transformation because it has three forms – a wristwatch, a
under two distinct roofs, while bearing just the one name. table clock, and a pocket watch. one might throw in a fourth
If nothing else, the Montblanc TimeWalker rally Timer here, which is a dashboard clock, provided one has the suitable
Counter confronts these ideas and blows right past them. For one, vehicle for it (this would not be a great idea in a proper classic
the watch was a standout at the sIHH and, now that the fair is car, for example). This transformational property also makes
coming up again, it remains interesting enough that we are curious it ripe for more relativity observations because time passes
to see how Montblanc will top this. The firm certainly won’t do it with differently for observers travelling at different speeds…

R EPORTS | Cover story

To this day, Montblanc is one of the few brands that produces its own hairsprings,
and that is thanks to the Villeret manufacture’s unusual proficiency in this area

BaLancing act second more than 100 years ago, back in 1916, which means that
The theme of transformations continues with the Montblanc they were equipped with traditional swiss lever escapements
TimeWalker Chronograph 1000, although this immensely oscillating at 360,000vph! After Montblanc rode to the rescue
complicated chronograph has just one form – a wristwatch. This is this century, the extremely precise mechanical chronograph
a bit of shame, really, because the name Chronograph 1000 makes finally came to the wristwatch.
us think of the amorphous shape-changing robotic killing machine What’s new with this watch is the styling of the TimeWalker
of Terminator: Judgment Day. Like the rally Timer, the Chronograph collection. This is an aesthetic sensibility belonging exclusively to
1000 takes the spirit of Minerva into the 21st century, as a watch with Montblanc, being developed and executed by the brand at both the
its own distinct identity. Le Locle and Villeret facilities, as it happens.
Like the TimeWalker ExoTourbillon, this limited edition Like similar affairs from Montblanc, via the Villeret collection,
watch (just 1,000 pieces will be made) plays a part adapted it is a hefty piece of work, coming in at 46.4mm wide and 17mm
for Montblanc that it once did for Minerva. Just as the Villeret thick. Unlike the old-school styling of the Villeret watches, however,
manufacture pioneered the ExoTourbillon and made advances this is a ticker built for rough wear – the case is in grade 2 titanium
with escapements, it also made waves with extremely precise and is dLC treated to obtain the black satin finish. The polished look
stopwatches in the early 20 th century. comes from the fixed ceramic bezel, which also imparts a certain
Briefly, these instruments sleekness to the watch.
were able to track Connoisseurs may object to the water resistance of
elapsed time the 1000, being only 30m. It really does seem like the
down to watch should be tougher than this, but this is a limited
1/100 th of a edition, so it should not be mistaken for a daily
beater. In any case, it shares the same water
resistance as its ExoTourbillon sibling.
It may be that Montblanc is planning
on revealing all-new even tougher
versions in the years to come.
Toughness aside though, this is
exactly the sort of movement
that will please collectors. You
might recall that Montblanc
had a similar watch some
years ago, powered by an
in-house calibre, called the
TimeWriter II Chronographe
Bi-Fréquence 1000. Well, the
manual-winding MB M66.26
calibre (left) is back in action
in the new TimeWalker model
revealing its magnificent 488-
part structure via the exhibition
case back. With all the fine finishing
you would expect of the Minerva
manufacture, the delicacy of this dual-
balance movement is only to be expected –
like the finely calibrated engine of a Ferrari daytona
needs to be taken care of, so too does Calibre MB M66.26.

HeaRt oF tHe MoveMent have come to light without Montblanc’s direct involvement.
speaking of tourbillons and the ExoTourbillon in particular, it In the current versions, it also comes with a stop-tourbillon
would not be a proper story about Le Locle and mechanism, which works by putting the brakes on the
Villeret without one. Enter the ExoTourbillon Minute balance wheel.
Chronograph (right), which combines both of the of course, the patented ExoTourbillon mechanism
Villeret manufacture’s signatures, the monopusher was a useful showcase not only of the Villeret
chronograph and the tourbillon. The Montblanc manufacture’s core competency but also shone the
TimeWalker ExoTourbillon Minute Chronograph spotlight on something else…
Limited Edition sports the self-winding MB To this day, Montblanc is one of the few
r230 movement, which is not new but brands that produces its own hairsprings, and
receives a strongly contemporary look that is thanks to the Villeret manufacture’s
here. Besides this, it is the first time this unusual proficiency in this area. Montblanc
particular calibre has found its way into has completely absorbed this facet of
the TimeWalker collection. We’ll come the Villeret manufacture, with the
back to this shortly as it goes a long ExoTourbillon now firmly a part of
way to establishing the hybridisation of the most Montblanc of collections,
watchmaking at Montblanc. the TimeWalker. Previously, the
Longtime followers of both ExoTourbillon Minute Chronograph was
Montblanc and Minerva will recognise part of the Heritage Chronométrie collection,
the ExoTourbillon as a very special sort a decidedly dressier family of watches. To
of mechanism. In a normal tourbillon, play its part properly in the TimeWalker family,
all the components of the escapement are Montblanc cased the watch in dLC-treated
locked up in the tourbillon cage, protected titanium and selected a full black graine dial. Not
against errors in rate provoked by the satisfied with this, the firm went the extra mile to
influence of gravity. The Villeret watchmakers blacken the movement plates and bridges, including
fearlessly introduced their own proposition in the tourbillon bridge.
2010, with an oversized balance wheel that To finish with this watch, it too is subjected to the
is positioned outside the tourbillon cage. The Montblanc Laboratory Test 500, rubbishing any notion
development work on this began before richemont that tourbillon watches are delicate affairs. In other
bought Minerva in 2007, but such a project would not words, the watch is as resilient as it looks.

R EPORTS | Cover story

The Rally Timer transforms Montblanc watches, turning them

into Montblanc-Minerva hybrids with 21st-century cachet

Red goLd Joy

The adventure continues apace at the close of 2017 with the
TimeWalker Automatic Chronograph. This watch is not entirely new,
by any means. We got acquainted with the standard-issue model
at the sIHH; this new one introduces red gold and brown ceramic
into the dynamic mix of materials for the case. We have actually
not featured this watch at all, so we can remedy that. overall,
this model shifts gears to a more reasonable pace, after the pure
muscle power of the rally Timer, and the intellectual delights of the
Chronograph 1000 and the ExoTourbillon.
Where the larger-than-life rally Timer is obviously drawing
its inspiration from the aforementioned Minerva stopwatches, the
Automatic Chronograph is banking on interpreting that heritage for
the 21st century. With this watch, Montblanc clearly has its sights
on the “modern performer,” or so the press release says. The proof
of this lies in whether one feels that the design of the watch truly
brings to mind the classical age of motor racing.
Before we get to that, we have to deal with all the
things this version shares with its sibling Automatic
Chronographs. obviously, the automatic Calibre MB 25.07
is at play here, meaning the power reserve is rated for 46
hours. Likewise, the chronograph records elapsed seconds
via a central hand, while elapsed minutes and hours are tracked
by counters at 12 (30 minutes) and six o’clock (12 hours). some
collectors may have been expecting something closer to the
in-house Calibre MB16.29 rather than the sellita-derived MB
25.07, given that this Automatic Chronograph, in particular,
is cased in red gold. overall though, considering that the look
and feel of all the Automatic Chronographs are the same, why
would a different engine be needed?
on that note, the new red gold model also shares the
knurled case flanks and crown, just like the other Automatic
Chronographs and the rally Timer. This knurled finishing is
clearly meant to create links between these cousins, as are the
dauphine hands. For the red gold model, the hands are plated
rather than solid gold. We certainly look forward to seeing how
the evolution and development of the TimeWalker line will
continue to play up some commonalities.

caLiBRe MB M16.29
Much has been written about the virtuous Montblanc Calibre
MB M16.29, including right here in WoW, over the years. In
a way, this calibre is a standard bearer for Montblanc, and
a surefire way to indicate the involvement of the Villeret
manufacture. In fact, the M of M16.29 signifies Minerva,
which collectors will surely appreciate. We single it out
here because this horizontally coupled column wheel
chronograph movement powers more than a few
watches this year, and we’ll surely see it next
year too. The fine hand finishing standards
of the Villeret manufacture exhibit
themselves on every component you
see here – and some that no one
but the watchmakers, bevellers and
polishers ever will. study the steel
chronograph levers and you will find
nothing wanting in the bevelling.
It is worth remembering that every
stroke of the beveller’s file must be
perfectly identical to the one that
preceded it to produce such smooth
uniformity as seen here. It is not at all
surprising that just one chronograph lever
can require hours of work. This is much easier
to see on the V-shaped chronograph bridge and
arrow-shaped component, signatures of the Minerva
manufacture. of course, bevelling is just one stage in
finishing a movement, and we have not even gotten into the
laborious business of polishing and satin-finishing, which at
Villeret are done by hand.

MontBLanc LaBoRatoRy teSt 500 of the test. For the first four hours, cased watches are tested for
Having made a name with luxury products other than assembly quality and winding performance. This is followed
watches, Montblanc had quite the task convincing traditional by 80 hours of continuous accuracy control, 336 hours of
brand-conscious buyers of its timepiece’s technical virtues. functions control, and 80 hours of general performance
one of the means used is the introduction of the Montblanc testing. In this process, daily wear and various environmental
Laboratory Test 500. This comprehensive test programme in conditions are simulated by machines. The final test is two
a dedicated laboratory sees that each Montblanc watch to be hours of immersion in water to ensure perfect resistance.
released from the manufacture in Le Locle and Villeret meets
strict quality criteria, such that it can offer as long a service
life as expected by the buyer. This section was first published in Issue 44, under the title
several procedures are carried out during the 500 hours Ultimate Assurance by Ruckdee Chotjinda

Cover story | R EPORTS

Writing time
Montblanc’s TimeWalker collection shares an identity with the brand’s
starwalker collection. Here’s what you need to know

he story of Montblanc’s first collection of timepieces in dauphine hands and radial Arabic numerals mark
1997 is well known. The Meisterstück watch was meant the watches further and establish their dual traditional and
to be an extension of the Meisterstück pen, perhaps the contemporary character. Fans of the starwalker pens will
most recognisable of all Montblanc writing instruments. Much have already noted the absence of one of the collection’s
less is written about the Montblanc TimeWalker collection but signature elements: the acrylic dome over the Montblanc logo.
not, we speculate, as a result of neglect. It certainly seems like Nevertheless, this is perhaps one design element that that
TimeWalker watches are being defined right now, as an on-going would struggle in the watches.
process that will eventually see the collection referencing both returning to that bit about texture, the knurled parts of the
Montblanc and Minerva history. TimeWalker are key to what the manufacture uses to draw links
To begin with Montblanc itself, the TimeWalker between the watches and classic cars – Montblanc calls the
collection has a very similar story to the Meisterstück TimeWalker collection of watches a tribute to the world of vintage
collection that preceded it. The TimeWalker family of racing. The knurled pattern is a design cue shared by both pens
watches arose from the identity of the starwalker collection and watches, and in the rally Timer of 2017, which even manages
of pens, which Montblanc created to embody a completely to draw Minerva into the action. Montblanc says that the knurled
contemporary look and feel. The starwalker itself debuted design helps with grip, which it does for the bezel and crown. It
in 2003 when Montblanc’s foray into watchmaking was well fulfils a similar role in the writing instruments, of course.
underway. This makes one wonder if the idea behind both Contrasting strongly with this tool-like feel, as far as the
pens and watches came from the same place. watches are concerned, is the polished bezel, almost always in
obviously, pens and watches are very different beasts, but a forward-leaning material like ceramic. Indeed, the TimeWalker
if you look at a starwalker pen and a TimeWalker watch, you collection features a mix of many different materials – one
can’t fail to notice certain similarities, right down to the texture. distinctive touch here is the use of gold-plated hands in the sole
Both ranges are defined by clean lines and the sort of formal red gold model, for example. In the red gold model, it must be
appearance you might expect from a contemporary tuxedo. further noted that the deployant buckle, chronograph pushers,
Indeed, one commentator called the pens “sleek and futuristic”, and crown are also in red gold. The crown may seem to be in
which must be a reference to the fact that pens look quite a steel, but that’s merely because it is dLC-treated.
bit like rocket ships! on the watch – which pointedly does not Clearly, not all TimeWalkers are created equal, and this
resemble a spacecraft – these cues make their presence felt in extends to the movement. some models are equipped with
the skeletonised lugs and the “architecturally inspired contours”, Villeret in-house movements while others sport the more prosaic
as the book Montblanc Writing Time by Franco Cologni, Gisbert sellita-derived calibres. regardless, all TimeWalkers are CosC-
Brunner, and reinhard Meis puts it. certified and go through the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500.

agenda | Talk The Talk

Shingo iShizaka
The chief engineer for Casio MR-G hints to
a surprising but necessary update to the iconic
G-Shock line
Words Jonathan ho

studied design and served as a Casio designer where I
created the first G-Shock Frogman. It’s a milestone in my
career, and my design of the original DW5600 G-Shock
will always be special to me.
“The G-Shock philosophy is centred on extreme functionality
– it is something which mechanical watches are limited in
exploring. My purpose is to make the functions visible on the wrists
of the users. Watch design can only be good if there’s clarity of
what functionality is being indicated.
“There are two roads – the smartwatch path and MR-G.
There’s some crossover right now, but the biggest factor separating
the two is the issue of battery life. Currently, smartwatch
technology is limited to one- to two-day battery life. But the MR-G
is actually a watch, and if it requires daily charging, it ceases
to be a watch. For MR-G to incorporate more functionality, it
would depend on the evolution of batteries and low-consumption
“The key feature of the MR-G is functionality, and the
technology driving it develops day by day. The MR-G will
definitely evolve as it develops, but the style (outlook) will remain
the same even if the computer inside is different. Basically, the

customer needs to buy (a watch) every year to keep up to date.

“I look at the watch from two perspectives – the design
materials and the functions. Regarding decoration like the kasumi-
tsuchime hammering technique and materials, the titanium, DLC
coating, and sapphire crystal have the potential to last forever
much like a mechanical watch; combined with solar charging, it is
a watch designed to function and last forever. But when it comes to
its computing components, if a customer wants to keep updated,
he has little choice. Emotionally, I feel conflicted to have something
permanent on something so impermanent.
“At the Casio Research and Development in Tokyo, there
are plans to introduce replaceable G-Shock computer modules.
This is currently in a concept stage, but eventually, there will be
a new generation of G-Shock watches that you can potentially
keep forever.
“The biggest difference between MR-G and the Protrek
is that the latter is focused on sensors to give indications for
barometer and altitude. The MR-G does not have this.
“In designing the MR-G, I refer to many luxury and fashion
watch brands but take no specific inspiration from any of them. I
have no comment on a favourite mechanical watch, but there’s a
reason the MR-G looks the way it looks.”

Op ED | AgendA

Socially awkward
In the era of the social media influencer, we must be wary of phantom menaces…
WORDS akShay khanna

h, the sweet scent of social media, where the Watch brands have an interesting, and largely
comments are like an open sewer... It should unintended, relationship with online communities. The
surprise exactly no one that something built growth of forum groups in the late 1990s – the oldest
by humans has failed to surpass our own limitations. and most prominent, Timezone, was founded in 1995
Believe it or not, there was once a rather high-minded and – certainly helped to mould watchmaking in the 21st
hopelessly optimistic idea that the Internet and the World century. The ability of relatively small groups of collectors
Wide Web would represent a great leap forward in human on the Internet to inform the public, shape opinion, drive
communications, elevating discourse everywhere it spread. sales, and influence watch brands is well known. Sadly,
In the era of endless arguing, anonymous shaming, the industry as a whole missed the chance to apply the
and pointless pontification, social media remains a lessons learnt in the early days to the current bubble of
potent and relevant channel for watch firms. When the social media (mis)information.
editor told me he was preparing a major story on how Panerai, to name just one watchmaker, used
ambassadorships – intentional and otherwise – have the goodwill of its own community of collectors to
shaped watchmaking, it immediately struck me that there drive markets everywhere into a frenzy. This was both
was a missing piece of the puzzle – the social media masterful and frightening, illustrating just how powerful
influencer. After all, what else is such an influencer these collectors could be. Brands would do well to
but a member of an unofficial diplomatic corps, forever remember that such loyalists are entirely self-interested.
attempting to shape conversations to their liking? I find it difficult to believe that they have a care for the
Sometimes though, these relationships are properly business interests of the brands, or the desires of the
formalised, with payments in cash or kind. watch-buying public in general. A case in point here is the
irascible scoundrel known on Instagram by the handle
@shameonwrist. Such personalities demonstrate that
while it is difficult to build up watches via social media
influencers, it is all too easy to lob meme bombs at them.
A specific example will serve my purposes here, but
one that is relatively neutral: the Roger Dubuis Excalibur
Quatuor Cobalt MicroMelt. The watch features new
materials and an intensely complex engine in its RD101
calibre, neither of which really shine on social media.
Tweets, IG Stories, and Facebook Live cannot do justice
to this mechanical delight, or communicate its emotional
story except in the most casual ways. Such a watch is not
ephemeral in any way, needing instead many years to
gestate in the minds of collectors. Just looking at images
of the MicroMelt on Instagram can’t communicate the
salient points about the watch, including why the sublime
shine of the case is so notable. An unkind caption or a
wicked meme, on the other hand, can do a world of harm.
One can only hope that brands, collectors, and
journalists will engage in fruitful discourse instead of
talking at or past each other. Challenging the brands to do
better is, to my mind, more useful than taking potshots at
products and people. I will end on this note: We all know
that the brands are in it to sell watches and make a profit.
What’s in it for the social media influencers though…


a r row baton

Commonly used for all manner of sports watches, This style is very common and applies to hour
sometimes just the hour hand has the trademark markers as well. The distinguishing factor is the
arrowhead shape. In the world of high complications, thickness of the hands and their lack of any tapering
Greubel Forsey is a notable proponent of this style. or points.


Probably evolving from cathedral-style hands, one The paddle shape here resembles a cricket bat, but
watch brand, in particular, made this idiosyncratic there is no record of watch designers referencing
vision a staple: Rolex. Interestingly, only Rolex this most British of sports. This style is not to be
collectors use this name. confused with the special style Mondaine uses.

m erce de s pa ddle

F leu r-de-lis l a nce

A very uncommon interpretation, this was the go-to We are combining Alpha and Lance shapes here
style in the pocket watch era, especially for ornate because the difference really is only the thickness of
pieces. Today, the revived Czapek & Cie. has brought the hands. Basically, Alpha hands are thicker while
it into the era of the wristwatch. Lance hands are thinner.

Our continuing series on the styles of watch hands moves into its second instalment, with a few very
identifiable examples... Words ASHOK SOMAN

This is easy enough to understand because it is not Entire articles have been dedicated to this shape,
actually a shape. Instead, it is a treatment that can arising as it did from Tudor’s relationship with the
be applied to most types of hands. The hands are French Navy, or Marine Nationale (MN). They first
simply hollowed out. appeared in 1974, by request of the MN.

sk ele ton snow F l a k e

the hOUR
Presenting the latest novelties, greatest innovations, and
the most desirable timepieces
Photo Roger Dubuis

Handmade Tale
Given that the A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual
Calendar Handwerkskunst is already a long enough name, one
can understand why the brand didn’t include a prefix of Höhe
to describe “high craftsmanship” WoRdS Jonathan ho

he rather difficult to say “Handwerkskunst” (for non- of Lange’s horological expertise. We could recite the well-
German speakers) is a descriptive adjective ascribed to known technical accomplishments of having this combination
only the finest of watches from A. Lange & Söhne, which of high horology ad infinitum, but perhaps it would be better
seems a tad excessive. The manufacture is widely reputed to to call attention to the sublime German silver train bridge with
spend the same amount of time in decorating and finishing each granular finishing reminiscent of heritage pocket watches.
collection, even the more approachable Saxonia range. Besides Relief and tremblage engraving on the operating lever and the
that, the Glashütte-based firm is known to pay strict attention chronograph bridges as well as on the rattrapante and balance
to hand-finishing in all things, so the term “Handwerkskunst” cocks are all emblematic of the superlative finissage that we
beggars an explanation. have all come to recognise from the Saxony watchmaker, and
The 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar Handwerkskunst this is even before you close the hinged case back depicting
represents the pinnacle of A. Lange & Söhne watchmaking, Roman goddess Luna.
combining the high arts of engraving and enamelling, a first for The medallion mirrors the tremblage techniques
the brand. The exclusive timepiece demonstrates the virtuosity of demonstrated beneath the cover but to a higher degree of difficulty
the brand’s artisanal expertise through a dial of blue enamelled – found between the spaces of Luna’s hair, toga and veil, the
white gold with exquisite relief engravings and special decorative artisan has to work with extreme care to not mar her visage; while
techniques. This artisanal display tops off the technical savvy the encircling star and cloud relief in deep blue champlevé enamel
shown off here in the split-seconds chronograph, perpetual frame the medallion to dramatic effect.
calendar and moon phase complications. In some ways, this is fine It is an artistry matched by the buttery smooth actuation of
watchmaking at its finest. the split-seconds chronograph controlled by two column wheels.
Limited to just 20 pieces, the timepiece is dominated by Activated by the chronograph pusher at 10 o’clock, the timepiece
a face of stars in twilight blue vitreous enamel resting on a bed measures lap times and consecutive times; its functional
of white gold, a play of aesthetics that complements the moon practicality is complemented with the perpetual calendar
phase display. Champlevé enamelling augments and dresses the mechanism, which displays correct durations of each month and
bed of the relief engraved stars, visually playing up the contrast leap year in technical perpetuity but realistically till 2100 where it
of the four recessed argenté-coloured sub-dials that respectively needs to be calibrated once again. The moon phase is accurate till
display day/date, minute totaliser/power reserve, month/leap 2139 or 122.6 years.
year, and running seconds/moon phase. The Arabic numerals
are themselves flush with the enamel and harmonised with the
rhodiumed white gold lance hands, while the chronograph hand
stands alone in distinctive gold-plated steel. Framed by an argenté MoveMent Manual-winding Lange manufacture Calibre L101.1 with
flange ring with minute rail-track, your eyes are pulled directly 42-hour power reserve
into the most attractive aspect of the 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Case 41.9mm white gold with hinged cuvette; water resistant to 10m
Calendar’s countenance. strap Hand-stitched blue-grey alligator leather
Beneath the surface resides a technically ambitious and priCe € 290,000
mechanically complicated engine representative of the calibre



IcIng on cake
Following the success of the women’s Royal Oak Frosted Gold model,
the Le Brassus manufacture returns with an Audemars Piguet
Royal Oak Frosted Gold 41mm for men Words Jonathan ho

he Audemars Piguet royal oak Frosted Gold was hammering technique. Known as the Florentine Finish, this ancient
originally introduced at sIHH 2017 in 33m and 37mm, technique was used to create a textured surface decoration on
white and rose gold cases. While many considered the precious metal accessories and jewellery by beating the gold with
case proportions to be better suited for women, considering a diamond-tipped tool and creating an all-encompassing tapestry
the original royal oak watches were 39mm, some gents were of glittering surfaces through countless tiny indentations, giving
harbouring daydreams that a 37mm royal oak Frosted Gold might rise to a shimmering effect similar to that of diamond dust. The
suffice. Thankfully, the Le Brassus manufacture deigns to make Audemars Piguet royal oak Frosted Gold simply sparkles as it
real the prototype CEo François-Henry Bennahmias was wearing catches glints of light, however faint.
on his wrist during the watch fair. While the original 33mm and 37mm royal oak Frosted
Available in a limited run of 200 pieces, the new men’s 41mm Gold were available in a choice of white gold and yellow gold with
royal oak Frosted Gold boasts the same elegant features which silvery dial, the new 41mm iteration comes in white gold only with
made the smaller predecessor such a mega hit: white gold case a blue dial. Beneath its shimmering visage, it is powered by the
and bracelet, gorgeous blue “Grande Tapisserie” dial, and the manufacture Calibre 3120 with 60-hour power reserve.
iconic royal oak hands, which light the face of the watch with a
glow in the twilight hours.
The appearance of frosted gold can be achieved MoveMent self-winding manufacture Calibre 3120, 60-hour power
through galvanic techniques as in the case of the baseplate reserve
in Max Büsser’s latest (and last) MB&F Legacy Machine split Case 41mm white gold with Florentine Finish; water resistant to 50m
Escapement, but on the dazzling royal oak Frosted Gold strap White gold integrated bracelet with Florentine Finish
collection, Audemars Piguet works in collaboration with jewellery priCe $ 77,200 (limited to 200 pieces)
designer Carolina Bucci. Here, she applies her heritage artisanal


FRAME OF REFERENCE Once again, Bell & Ross combines its love for speed and
time in a watch with a distinctive colour scheme and a
name that requires some explanation

ollowing its two forays into concept vehicle design with
the B-Rocket motorcycle in 2014 and Aero GT supercar in
2016, Bell & Ross most recently proposed the Bellytanker
– a distinctively retro race car with a unique anecdote to write
home about. A belly tank or a drop tank is a product of military
aviation engineering. It was devised just before World War II to
increase the range of operation for fighter planes. After the war, an
American veteran thought to use one of these highly aerodynamic
tanks as the chassis for a new breed of race cars…
Bell & Ross picked up on this historical development and
delivered its version of just such a car, with tinted glass over the
cockpit like vintage aviation goggles, a black nose over a metallic
body, and copper wheel trims. And from the basis of this colour
scheme, from this frame of reference, the BR V2-94 Bellytanker
is born.
Measuring 41mm in diameter, the satin-brushed stainless
steel case houses a dial whose shade resembles that of the race
car’s wheel trim. This copper tone sets the mood for nostalgia
before the panda effect is achieved with the use of two sub-dials,
one for the 30-minute chronograph totaliser and the other for
the continuous seconds hand. A black ring encircles the dial,
considerably enhancing the legibility of the white minute chapters
and the metallic hour markers. A voluptuous ultra-curved sapphire
crystal with anti-reflective coating goes over everything.
The counterweight of the second hand is in the shape of an
aircraft – a new stylistic signature of the Bell & Ross Vintage family
of round watches, now in their third generation. Compared with the
second generation, watches in this latest iteration feature slimmer
cases for wearability, reworked lugs for a slender profile, and the
addition of crown guards for enhanced protection. This watch is
water resistant to a depth of 100m, thanks to the use of screw-
down crown and pushers.
The Bell & Ross BR V2-94 Bellytanker is produced as a
limited edition of 500 watches. It comes with either a stainless
steel bracelet for optimal functionality or a brown calfskin leather
strap for unrestrained vintage appeal. It is driven by the self-
winding BR-CAL.301 movement, which is the standard power MoveMent Self-winding BR-CAL.301 with 42-hour power reserve
horse, based on the ETA 2894-2 calibre, used in many Bell Case 41mm stainless steel; water resistant to 100m
& Ross models. Let’s admit it: the look already seals the deal strap Brown calfskin leather or steel bracelet
for a potential buyer. Any other property such as movement or priCe $6,400 (leather strap); $6,900 (steel bracelet)
provenance may follow as a secondary consideration. No?


Class of Its own

How does one make a classic like the Breguet Classique
7147 even better? A facelift WoRDS Jonathan ho

hen it comes to Breguet, you can’t do better for a denote the five-minute marks, in place of Roman numerals,
classical gent’s watch than the Classique 7147. The Breguet numerals are found on the new Breguet Classique 7147.
combination of asymmetry, thanks to its off-centre Though not readily apparent, another happy surprise awaits you
seconds sub-dial and engine-turned hobnail dial, takes what when you discover the slightly recessed seconds sub-dial.
otherwise might have been a thoroughly traditional dress watch The heat blued Breguet hands are driven by the Calibre
and imbues it with a little off-kilter aesthetic. It is not diminutive 502.3SD with the ultra-slim movement itself bearing another
like other dress watches either – the 40mm Classique 7147 might interesting hallmark – rather than a micro rotor or peripheral
be larger than its brethren, but at 6.1mm thin, it holds its own winding rotor, the modified Frederic Piguet Calibre 71 is wound by
hiding appreciably under a sleeve. a rarely seen off-centre rotor. It is a classical watch with a modern
For BaselWorld 2017, the solid gold, silver-plated hobnail heart by way of silicon hairspring and pallet fork.
dial is eschewed, and in its place is a gorgeously sublime grand
feu enamel dial. It is this feat of aesthetic simplicity which elevates
what was once an eminently capable dress watch into the perfect
gentleman’s timepiece. The svelte case with its coin edge detail MoveMent Self-winding Calibre 502.3SD; 45-hour power reserve
returns, framing the glossy white vitreous dial to exquisite effect. Case 40mm white gold; water-resistant to 30m
There’s little to distract you from the spartan details with good strap Alligator leather with white gold pin buckle
reason – from a distance, what appears to be minute track dots priCe $30,900
are actually 48 tiny stars. The other 12 are unique symbols which


On a ROll again
The new Breitling for Bentley goes into uncharted territory
with the Bentley GT “Dark Sapphire”
WOrDS RogeR valbeRg

s far as car and watch tie-ups are concerned, one of the other car-watch tie-ups – it really does look like it belongs in the
longest-running would be Breitling’s association with car. But looks aside, the timepiece can hold its own when you
Bentley. The longevity is mainly due to the nature of consider that it runs on the exceptional Breitling B06 calibre,
both companies espousing precision engineering as their core, which is officially chronometer-certified by the COSC. This
but producing it in a luxury range certainly helps. The Breitling movement was entirely developed and produced in the Breitling
for Bentley line has certainly lived up to expectations when Chronométrie workshops.
juxtaposed against the various Bentley cars. And with the launch It is distinguished by its ingenious “30-second
of a new Continental GT comes the Bentley GT “Dark Sapphire”. If chronograph” system, inspired by a 1926 Breitling patent, with a
you’ve seen other variants of this collection, you’d be aware that central hand completing a full sweep of the dial in half a minute –
most of the pieces are cheerfully bright. Not in this case though! thus ensuring extremely accurate readings of time to the nearest
The “Dark Sapphire” captures a far more sombre yet eighth of a second. This world-exclusive feature is highlighted
mysterious mood. There’s nary a sapphire to be found aside on the dial by the blue “30-second chronograph” inscription and
from the dome, which has anti-reflective coating on both sides. measuring scale, picking up the subtle shade of the case. All in
But you do get the sapphire blue numerals on the dial, which all, both car and watch are equally matched. And you’d be hard-
somehow works well with the signature diamond hobnail- pressed to get the car or watch if you don’t hurry as Breitling will
patterned bezel. This sits on the 48mm case made from Breitlight be making only 500 pieces of this edition.
– the carbon composite that has been combined with ultra-hard
plastic. The result is a super light and durable case that was first
seen at BaselWorld 2016 in the Avenger Hurricane. The diamond
motif continues onto the strap, and it is only then that you see MoveMent Self-winding manufacture Calibre B06, chronometer-
the direct correlation with the Bentley Continental GT. certified by the COSC; 70-hour power reserve
The car interior is covered with the same pattern. And Case 48mm in Breitlight; water resistant to 100m
why not, with a 6.0L W12 TSI engine that kicks out an absurd strap Bentley GT rubber
626bhp and 900Nm of torque, you might as well be sitting in a priCe $14,150
diamond. This is where the “Dark Sapphire” differs from many


Private Matter
Like many of the finer things in life, the L.U.C watches from
Chopard are all about discerning sophistication

here are watches that scream at you with blatant engraving of Chopard’s historic beehive emblem. This symbol
fanfare, Robert Plant-style, and there are others of industriousness was first used by Louis-Ulysse Chopard
that choose to take a quieter approach, more like himself when the brand was established back in 1860. In
Roy Orbison. Most Chopard L.U.C watches fall into this a secretly playful way, Chopard engravers make sure the
second category of reserved but powerful vocalists. They are number and position of bees around the hive on all 100 watch
infinitely sophisticated but never loud about it. case backs are not the same.
This observation makes itself felt in the case of the Under the protection of sapphire crystal on the other
L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer: an interesting choice for assured side is the ultra-thin L.U.C 96.01-L movement. Its slim
gentlemen who appreciate the art of subtlety. This begins 3.3mm measurement is made possible by the use of a micro
with the use of white gold as the noble yet inconspicuous rotor to reduce thickness. Crafted in 22K gold for maximum
material of choice for the 40mm case. The dial is made weight, this engraved oscillating mass delivers maximum
of gold as well, but it has been subjected to a galvanic efficiency when winding the double barrels for a combined
treatment to give it a silverish appearance. Its defining power reserve of 65 hours. This exquisitely finished and
character is the guilloché engraving in a honeycomb motif constructed movement (and the case too) is both a COSC-
(more on this later) that fills the central space on the dial. certified chronometer and Poinçon de Genève certified.
The same honeycomb motif engraving is repeated on If you manage to get your hands on one of the L.U.C XPS
the case back of the watch. By this time, if one is not familiar 1860 Officers, chances are you may not receive compliments
with the history of Chopard, the meaning might have already from friends or strangers when you wear it. However, that
been lost. This is easily corrected by one press of the crown. is not the reason you buy it in the first place! Once again,
The integrated pusher will free the hinged officer-type case Chopard has reminded the world of its finesse in the business
back, which will then pivot exactly 90 degrees to reveal an of contemporary watchmaking.

MoveMent Self-winding Calibre L.U.C 96.01-L; 65-hour power
Case 40mm white gold with hinged case back; water resistant to
strap Hand-sewn brown alligator leather
priCe $40,420

Visual spectacle
It is clear what the Franck Muller Vanguard Skeleton Sapphire
manages to achieve with the clarity of its case – showcasing the
spectacle of its large tourbillon
WorDS Jonathan ho

ny time a decision needs to be taken on working with Franck Muller reports that four months are required to
crystal, in particular, shaped sapphire, one has to weigh create, craft, and mill the tonneau-shaped case – including
skills and cost concerns – does the manufacture have the bezel and case back – from a single block of sapphire
the necessary technical savvy to make it competently and crystal. Another two are required for machining the case, and
does it have the stomach for wastage and damage? No matter what results is suitably spectacular: a home of crystal for the
the skill level, the latter part is inevitable when attempting the manufacture hand-wound Calibre FM 2001 with skeleton flying
artistic challenge of machining sapphire from a single block into tourbillon. The visual spectacle is further enhanced by the
the desired shape. It is akin to Michelangelo “chipping away additional two months focused on polishing and finishing the
everything that doesn’t look like David”, except that modern watch to perfection.
machinery and materials are involved. This was the conundrum The transparency of the case reveals the strong
facing Franck Muller as it embarked on making the Vanguard architectural lines and openworked bridges of the hand-wound
Skeleton Sapphire. calibre, topped off by an expertly skeletonised, hand-chamfered
The material hardness of sapphire, coupled with its and finished white PVD dial. The minimalist approach to the
propensity to crack as a result of an errant or misapplied new Vanguard Skeleton Sapphire is a departure from the usual
diamond-tipped tool, makes machining it an endeavour boisterous Franck Muller Vanguard, enhancing its versatility as a
that requires the full understanding of the material and the weekend watch and a dressy formal timepiece.
appropriate techniques to work with it. Nevertheless, compared
with steel or other materials, sapphire’s excellent optical
properties make it a compelling choice regardless of cost and MoveMent Manual-winding Calibre FM 2001; 60-hour power reserve
challenge. After all, what is a sapphire case if not a complete Case 44mm in monobloc tonneau sapphire; water-resistant to 30 m
extension of what makes a crystal case back so appealing? It strap Alligator leather
serves to highlight the entirety of the gear works that drive the priCe $481,586
timepiece itself.



The IWC Ingenieur chronograph recalls the original
Ingenieur from the 1950s, adding a dash of vintage
character to an (new) old favourite
WORDS Jonathan ho

ate last year, and at the SIHH this year, IWC unveiled especially for the new collection.
a revamped Da Vinci collection that harkened back The Ingenieur Chronograph is driven by the manufacture
to its 1985 round case shape. The new IWC Ingenieur Calibre 69375, a self-winding movement with date. The
collection, revealed quietly after the SIHH, must have travelled transparent sapphire case back provides a view of the
a similar path, recalling the 1950s first-generation Ingenieur movement in all models including the two exclusive special
and resurrecting the nostalgic vintage character with an elegant editions: a 250-piece limited edition Ingenieur Chronograph
classical appearance. Sport Edition “50 th Anniversary of Mercedes-AMG”, and
As an homage to the classic 36mm IWC Ingenieur Ref. a 77-piece limited edition Ingenieur Chronograph Edition
666A, the design cues of the new Ingenieur are unmistakeable. “Cancellara” paying tribute to the Swiss racing cyclist and
The original Ingenieur is also known fondly by watch collectors double Olympic champion Fabian Cancellara.
as the “pre-Genta” Ingenieur, referencing the hyper-masculine
angular re-design of the 1976 Ingenieur. The 2017 collection
eschews Genta’s “design update” to embrace the classic aesthetic
with tapered baton indices and dots marking the dial. The new MoveMent Self-winding Calibre 69375; 42-hour power reserve
Ingenieur DNA, however, differs slightly with design choices – Case 42mm stainless steel; water resistant to 120m
fewer dots and thicker hands and indexes – that enhance the strap Stainless steel
masculine appeal of the chronograph. This is further accentuated priCe $12,000
by the newly developed stainless steel bracelets, which are made


Flight to EdEn
Handcrafted and available in a limited production of
eight, Jaquet Droz’s new Bird Repeater is inspired by
tropical environments WoRDS RUCKDEE CHOTJINDA

aquet Droz has a centuries-long passion for nature, shrubbery punctuated by bursts of vermilion birds of paradise.
animals, and animatronics. Recalling the Age of Accompanying the bird in this verdant grassland stands
Enlightenment, the manufacture further deepens its love for another hand-engraved, hand-painted spectacle: a lifelike
animated birds by combining automata with heritage decorative peacock, spreading its plumage while a toucan indulges in a
arts from that glorious intellectual and inventive period of playful session of peek-a-boo from behind palm leaves, opening
human history. its beak as if to utter the titular phrase of the game. As dusk
Somewhat anachronistically, the artistic techniques are falls, our birds in paradise are accompanied by a flight of Super-
reminiscent of Gauguin, an experimental painter from the 19 th LumiNova-coated glowing dragonflies, adding to the illusion of
century, famed for his use of colour and Synthetist style that an idyllic nirvana.
were distinctly different from Impressionism, which preceded Powering the grand complication is the new Jaquet Droz
it. Nevertheless, the legacy of Pierre Jaquet-Droz is carried RMA89 movement, a calibre which enjoys an extended 60-hour
competently on the wings of its latest novelty, the Tropical run time as opposed to the previous 48 hours. In part, this is made
Bird Repeater. possible because the maison has given the hummingbird wings of
Limited to only eight pieces worldwide, the dial of the thin brass, thus not unduly taxing the power reserve. Technically,
Tropical Bird Repeater sets the scene in a lush, Eden-esque oasis innovations like new rack springs allow the watch to execute
on mother-of-pearl. Three-dimensional elements, hand-carved, smooth strikes at the quarter hours, covering four semitones.
engraved and then painted, breathe life into the exotic flora and
fauna that bequeath the timepiece with not just flamboyance
but raison d’être. The birds rest in metaphorical paradise, taking MoveMent Manual-winding Jaquet Droz RMA89 minute repeater;
respite from the waters, which have been masterfully rendered 60-hour power reserve
into a visual feast of perpetual motion. Each artisanal technique Case Engraved red gold
sets the stage for its primary star – a hummingbird, brought to strap Rolled-edge handmade dark green alligator leather
life by the hands of the maison’s master craftsmen, fluttering its priCe on Application
wings up to 40 times each second, as its returns to its home – a

Double time
Roger Dubuis and Lamborghini join forces in the limited edition
Excalibur Aventador S, which features a brand new movement…
WORDS Jonathan ho

temming from a shared focus on aesthetics in their Aventador S with the Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo
respective R&D driven approaches, Roger Dubuis and starts with the signature engine strut bars (much like the ones
Lamborghini Squadra Corse announced a significant visible beneath the Aventador’s glass-covered rear hood). The
partnership this year, the manufacture’s second motoring watchmakers achieved this by revisiting the architecture of the
initiative after the Pirelli venture (Issues 45 and 46). The resulting iconic Roger Dubuis Astral Skeleton and incorporating the exposed
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Aventador S combines the design skills “engine module,” now doubling as the power reserve indicator (at
of Manufacture Roger Dubuis and the legendary Centro Stile two o’clock) of the RD103SQ calibre with double spring balances.
R&D department of Lamborghini. This limited edition Excalibur In terms of functionality, the new Excalibur Aventador S is no
watch combines haute horlogerie with high material technology, mere three-hand time-only timepiece. The latest Excalibur comes
including the multi-layered carbon and C-SMC carbon, used for with a nifty “jumping seconds” or dead seconds complication,
Lamborghini supercars. which is both notoriously difficult to do and largely unfashionable
In terms of styling, the challenge to create a sophisticated for mechanical watches today – all quartz tickers display seconds
and sporty aesthetic fell to the engineers and designers (the in this way, by default. The double balance wheel is inclined at an
raging mechanics of the press kit, we imagine) to jointly create angle, supported and highlighted by holders shaped like triangular
what amounts to a kinetic representation of the exposed engine wheel suspension assemblies of supercars like the Lamborghini.
compartment of the Aventador. This is basically a 6,498cc The new Excalibur Aventador S is available in two limited
naturally aspirated V12 engine with 700 horsepower delivered at edition interpretations epitomising the “Dare to be rare” concept: an
8,250rpm. If ever there was a high-performance visual synonym 88-piece collection bearing the Lamborghini “Giallo Orion” yellow
between watchmaking and engine manufacturing, this is it – colourways and a super-exclusive eight-piece orange-liveried Roger
well, until the next one because this is only the beginning of the Dubuis Excalibur Aventador S, which is already sold out.
relationship between Roger Dubuis and Lamborghini.
The Roger Dubuis Excalibur Aventador S has its own MoveMent Manual-winding Calibre RD103SQ with twin spring
outstanding “engine” in the shape of the specially developed balances; 42-hour power reserve

Duotor calibre – enthusiasts may recognise this as an evolution of Case 45mm multi-layer carbon with titanium container moulded with
rubber; water resistant to 50m
the four-balance Quatuor. The Duotor is a Lamborghini-exclusive
strap Bi-material with black rubber base and black rubber-tech inlay
Roger Dubuis movement, embodying an ongoing evolution of the and matching stitching
Maison’s expertise and budding relationship with the automaker.
priCe $279,000
Tying the relational aesthetics of the Limited Edition Excalibur


Save the Date

The best-selling Rolex model just got a little more accessible –
the Datejust 41 is now available in steel WORDS Jonathan ho

Sea-Dweller with a single line of red text might have metaphorical lady in the streets and devil in the sheets. The steel
captured the hearts of Rolex fans the world over but Datejust 41 comes with the new in-house chronometer certified
another model, much like the allegorical Cinderella, has Calibre 3235 with 70-hour power reserve.
gone largely unnoticed. In this case, an amazing new price point Now, the Datejust 41 has a smaller companion called the
for the brand’s best-selling model deserves some attention before Datejust 28, and we have duly covered that piece in the recent
we turn to the 2018 novelties. That’s right, while the Submariner issue of WOW Jewellery. Yes, the old 36mm model has not been
might be Rolex’s most widely known model, the Datejust is its relegated to feminine duty and looks to be out of the collection
most commercially successful, which is remarkable considering altogether. Perversely, this might increase its street cred among
that it was only available in gold. collectors… With that, we leave you to resume your previously
Yes, previous editions of the Datejust had indeed featured a scheduled programming, with perhaps another feature about
silvery hue, but it has always been in white gold. Available with the diving watches, in this very issue…
distinctive white gold fluted bezel or a smooth steel bezel, the new
Datejust 41 complements the 36mm model, which at introduction
in 1945 was just about the right size for male wrists (and tastes)
of the era. Like the bezels, the steel Datejust 41 also comes with MoveMent Self-winding Rolex Calibre 3235 with date; 70-hour
two bracelet options – the period-referencing Jubilee bracelet like power reserve
those from the 1940s or the standard Oyster one. Case 41 mm White Rolesor (combination of 904L steel and white gold)
or full 904L steel; water resistant to 100m
Myriad attractive dial choices encompassing black, blue,
strap 904L steel Jubilee or Oyster bracelet with folding Oysterclasp
grey, and white, are cases in point of how the Datejust is about and patented Easylink rapid extension system
to become the world’s most popular daily beater all over again.
priCe From $9,900
This is certainly a dressy watch with tool watch robustness – a


supersize me
Tudor gives us a 41mm Heritage Black Bay while keeping the timepiece true to
its legacy of understated class WoRdS ROGER VALBERG

ou can make the Tudor Heritage Black Bay 36 do pretty how enticing it is for watch brands who move editions up in size
much everything. As a dress watch, no problem; as a to embellish the piece. There are no such goings on here as the
daily piece, no sweat; as an outdoor companion; easy! dial is identical with the 36. The snowflake hands are kept as well
Which is perhaps why there were a few raised eyebrows when as the lettering “Self-Winding Rotor”. A reimagining of Tudor dive
the brand released a 41mm beast of a piece. Was this an aesthetic watches from the 1950s and 1960s; it is water resistant to 150m.
decision or was Tudor looking for new markets for an old favourite? Subtly, Tudor has stretched out the 41 so that it keeps its
The answer though was very much with fans of the 36 who gave understated quality. Unlike the rest of the collection, which uses
plenty of feedback asking for a larger Heritage Black Bay. domed sapphire crystal, the Heritage Black Bay 41 has a flat crystal.
But going up a size or two always proves tricky for a fan Along with the slimmer case, it gives fans of the older 36 the same
favourite, let alone going up a whole five millimetres! The seat of feel with a larger face. The stainless steel case comes with either
the piece has to be identical to its predecessor even if it’s larger, a steel bracelet or brown leather strap. You’re also given a fabric
the lugs can’t overpower the wearer, and with the extra real jacquard strap which is a signature feature of this line. All of which
estate, the dial is always in danger of becoming ostentatious. means that this piece can go to a dinner party, be won daily or taken
So kudos to Tudor for retaining the elegance and class of the outdoors with no problems at all.
smaller piece in this move into a larger case. And one of the keys
to this achievement is the retention of the venerable ETA 2824
movement. In recent times, the Heritage Black Bay collection
has seen a move to the in-house Calibre MT5612, which can also MoveMent Self-winding Calibre 2824; 38-hour power reserve
display only the time or add a date function. You can see this on Case 41 mm steel with polished and satin finish, water resistant to
the Heritage Black Bay Steel or the even bigger Heritage Black
strap Steel or leather with folding clasp and safety catch; additional
Bay Bronze (43mm) that are overtly dive watches. camouflage fabric strap with buckle
Using the ETA 2824 keeps things simple, which then
priCe Unavailable
translates into merely resizing the dial. It cannot be overstated

Hybrid AspirAtions
One can only look in wonder at the myriad ideas and elements
in the Citizen Campanola Mechanical collection
Words roger valberg

here’s a kind of magical weirdness that the Citizen drops dramatically, and on several versions, the sub-dials
Campanola exudes. The bones of the timepiece are do so likewise. All of this gives the dial a certain amount of
classic, but the end result is avant-garde! The journey three-dimensional appearance. Like an orchestra playing a
from one point to another takes watch lovers from the mountains symphony, the Campanola has plenty going on in the centre.
of Japan all the way to the swiss Alps. From the first viewing, order and calm are then left to the case; the sleekness
you’ll see that the dial is an urushi (lacquered) one, hand-painted of the Campanola case gives the various elements context.
by craftsmen from Aizu of Fukushima prefecture. Thus, you are rather than a hodgepodge of different ideas, the case makes it a
immediately dealing with high artistry rather than machine-tooled proper modernistic luxury mechanical timepiece. of note is the
decorations. And then, there is the movement, which is made by sweep of the lugs and the dominance of the crown on the case.
La Joux-Perret in La Chaux-de-Fonds, switzerland. There are no shrinking violets here as the design team corrals
Citizen acquired this company a few years ago to try to the individual parts and puts in its proper place. As far as the
move out of the quartz-only camp. Indeed, the Campanola Campanola goes, the Mechanical collection is the top tier with
collection is well known for having quartz movements the other collections being driven by quartz movements. But
(Eco-drive in many cases), but with items like hands that for now, Citizen is happy with the urushi dial and mechanical
are completely hand-finished by craftsmen. With the new movement to give the collection its value. only stainless steel
Mechanical collection, the case back is now open, and we cases are available in the foreseeable future – albeit a case and
can view the beating heart of the watches with elaborate contents that are a bit magically mixed.
decorations. But the aforementioned magic comes in the
combination of the dial and movement via the multi-body
construction of the case. MoveMent self-winding Cal.Y513 with 42-hour power reserve
To begin with, there is the trivet ring locked in with four Case 42mm steel with; water resistant to 30m
screws that signify the astronomy of the sky and the orbits
strap Black crocodile leather
of celestial bodies. Next, the sides are like the walls of the
priCe $ 481,586
orchestra pit. rather than a gentle bowl, the centre of the dial



eye on TRADITIon
Longines introduces a retro-styled pilot watch, this time with
everyday wearability WordS RUCKDEE CHOTJINDA

he heritage of Longines is inextricably linked with the This chronograph is powered by the Calibre L688.2 with
early days of aviation when things were grittier and much 54 hours of power reserve. Produced exclusively for Longines
more dangerous. Without computers and electronics, it by ETA, this self-winding movement benefits from the column
was also a little more heroic, if you will. We previously delved into wheel mechanism for smooth and precise manipulation.
the subject in Issue 44, where a remake of the Avigation Watch Speaking of which, also note how the push buttons are slightly
Type A-7 with rotated dial graced the cover. It was soon followed oversized for ease of use and historical accuracy. Back in the
by the anticipated Lindbergh Hour Angle Watch 90th Anniversary day, the pilot or crew would have been wearing gloves and
in titanium at BaselWorld itself. However, if the former is too thick jackets, which would have reduced dexterity where small
peculiar and the latter is simply too big or too period-looking for items were concerned.
your liking, Longines has another pilot’s watch you can wear in a Elsewhere on the watch, the specifications note “several
more practical style, as a daily beater as they say. layers of anti-reflective treatment” on the domed sapphire crystal,
At 41mm, the stainless steel Longines Avigation BigEye so that should translate to superior efficiency in most lighting
watch is a straightforward pilot’s chronograph watch. The situations. Legibility in the dark is ensured by the use of Super-
“Avigation” part of the name is a portmanteau of “aviation” and LumiNova on the sandblasted and rhodium-plated hands, as well
“navigation”, just as it was in the aforementioned earlier version. as those nine Arabic numerals on the semi-glossy black dial.
Meanwhile, it gets the “BigEye” title from having the minute The Longines Avigation BigEye will be at home either in
totaliser in a larger size than the other two sub-dials. the sky or under it. Just avoid the water because the light brown
Longines designers have successfully transferred the calfskin leather strap will not find it agreeable.
necessary codes from a certain 1930s timepiece into a modern-
day wrist companion. And quite luckily for the purists, no one
tried to be too function-oriented and include the date display!
Indeed, the lack of date here is deliberate because Calibre MoveMent Self-winding Calibre L688.2; 54-hour power reserve
L688.2 has the date function built into it. If you absolutely must Case 41mm stainless steel; water resistant to 30m
wear a watch with a date indicator, this is the time to stop reading strap Brown calfskin leather
and have a look at other options from Longines or an equivalent priCe $3,980
brand instead.

mysteriOus ways
The Luminox watches made for the US Navy SEALs is a reflection of the
relationship between the operators and the brand WOrdS roger valberg

ne of the great mysteries of the horological world is are durable and lightweight. Unlike the earlier series, Luminox
the bond between the US Navy SEALs and Luminox. maintained the natural colour of the carbon compound, giving
On the face of it, the brand makes watches that the the case a matt black treatment with a tinge of grey for a superior
special operators would wear on missions. In that sense, it is finish. The crown now comes enhanced with the Luminox logo
like most of the product endorsements you see on TV or read engraved compared with the cleaner versions in the past. The case
about on websites and magazines. But the US Navy SEALs are back is now in stainless steel for enhanced water resistance and
not considered the most lethal and high-profile special forces in etched with the Navy SEAL logo.
the world for no good reason. With America almost perennially A lightweight and tough carbon compound bracelet
at odds with someone or other in the world, what we never see further improves durability for the Navy SEALs in the harshest
publicised are the many classified missions performed by this environments. When grasped from the top, the rotating bezel has
specially trained group. more grip, which makes handling it while wearing gloves less of a
The variety of missions always require precision timing. This chore. The hour and minute hands are wider, and together with the
is why in 1994, Barry Cohen (CEO of Luminox) built the first bridge cleaner dial and larger fonts, any operator can have a quick glance
with the unit. At that time, the operators themselves thought well at the time in any extreme conditions. And just to debunk a myth
of the watch. It must be said that a Navy SEAL can wear any watch – the Luminox Light Technology used does not give away their
he chooses as long as it has Navy clearance. And that’s where position. It is only visible within a couple of feet, in other words,
Luminox earns its stripes; despite the open competition and with only the operator can read it. This is perhaps the only mystery we
changes in personnel over a two-decade period, the Swiss-made can clear up for you.
American brand is still the chosen partner for the SEALs. And with
the 2017 iteration of the Navy SEAL 3500, the military men have MoveMent Quartz with date
become an integral part of the design process. Case 45mm Carbon Compound; water resistant to 200 m
The new watch stays true to the Luminox heritage using Light strap PU/Carbon Compound
Technology and the Luminox iconic “turtle-shape” case. Made priCe $695.50
in carbon compound, the 45mm case and uni-directional bezel



COMMANDING PRESENCE An all-time Mido staple is kept relevant with an updated movement
while retaining its characteristic look WORDS RUCKDEE CHOTJINDA

riting about Mido for Singaporean readers requires a of dynamism as it plays with the light from underneath the domed
very different approach from the intended audience sapphire crystal. Meanwhile, the applied hour markers echo the
in Thailand (Ruckdee is the editor of WOW Thailand flat, diamond-cut design of the main hands and are similarly
– Ed). This is because Mido might not have the same sort of coated with white Super-LumiNova for legibility in the dark.
resonance in Singapore as it has in Thailand, where we grew up Completing the vintage look is the mesh or Milanese bracelet,
seeing Mido, particularly the Commander, on the wrist of middle- which is integrated into the case. This stainless steel band is
class men unless they chose the Rado DiaStar instead or could supple and adjustable for a comfortable fit, thanks to the use of a
afford a Rolex Datejust. I remember my grandfather wearing a sliding clasp.
Mido Commander now and again for many years, placing it each Having spoken about the dated design, it must be said
night on his abacus (no kidding) by the phone on his work desk. that the Commander Icône is cutting edge when it comes to its
It was the kind of no-frills timepiece on which a working man movement. Beating inside is the Mido Calibre 80 Si, developed on
could depend. I did not give the watch much thought though until I the basis of ETA C07.821. The key advantages of this self-winding
entered the world of watches – pun intended, of course. movement are the useful 80-hour power reserve and the silicon
The Mido Commander was first introduced in 1959. balance spring (both noted in the model name). It is a COSC-
Impressively, according to Mido, its production has never stopped certified chronometer.
since, nor has its aesthetics diverted to the point where it is While not a cult watch nor a timepiece of great horological
unrecognisable. Throughout the decades, it did not look like significance, the Mido Commander Icône is a valid reflection of
another watch or try to be another watch, which is commendable an era and a relatively affordable change of wrist wear in this
in and of itself. The Commander’s sole objective from the age when watch aficionados are almost obliged to go retro
beginning was to be a functional and water-resistant watch for every once in a while.
everyday wear. The overall design is pushing 60 years, and it does
look the part. However, that very same aged personality lends the MoveMent Self-winding Calibre 80 Si; 80-hour power reserve
appeal necessary to propose it as a fun and legitimate retro watch. Case 42mm stainless steel; water-resistant to 50m
This latest version, the Mido Commander Icône, measures strap Steel Milanese mesh bracelet
42mm in diameter, which is entirely contemporary. Its dial in sober priCe $1,900
anthracite has received a sun-ray finish to exhibit a certain level


Seiko enriches the all-mechanical Presage range with watches that
invite you to have a good drink WoRDS RUCKDEE CHOTJINDA

ot everyone is familiar with the original “cocktail” winding, but with a date hand within a sub-dial at six o’clock and a
watches Seiko produced for the Japanese market in centrally mounted hand that indicates the level of power reserve
2010. We honestly did not, until we were told about them across the arch from the top of the dial to the four o’clock position.
at BaselWorld 2017. Inspired by the light and colour of cocktail The remaining three are the SSA343J1 Sky Diving, which is a near
bars, Seiko sought collaboration with a prominent Japanese identical twin with the time and date model of the same name; the
bartender to create three watches. Needless to say, the set classical SSA346J1 Side Car model with gentle pink gold hue; and
became a hit, spurring greater interest in collecting them. the dark grey SSA345J1 Espresso Martini that is simultaneously
Responding to this demand, Seiko has created a series of new mysterious and inviting.
watches on the basis of the original (no specs are provided here Similar to the first time and date set, there is one model with
because there are too many watches to list! - Ed). The simple case bracelet, and in this case, it is the SSA341J1 Martini. According
measures 40.5mm and is fitted with a box-shaped hardlex crystal. to Seiko, if you look hard enough on this largely monochromic
All eight variations feature the unique dial of the pressed sunray timepiece, the power reserve hand may start to look a little bit like
pattern that distinguished the original cocktail models from the other an olive with its stem in a real Martini glass.
offerings. Seven layers of gloss finishing ensure that the shimmering It should be noted though that none of the cocktails
effect is as pronounced as possible, regardless of dial colour. proposed is of Japanese influence. There is no sake or umeshu-
Four of the eight models use the self-winding 4R35 based cocktail, for example, but that is no matter, given the
movement with a date window. This ranges from the sober-looking international reputation Japanese bartenders have earned for
SRPB43J1 Sky Diving with an ice blue dial and the sparkling their fastidiousness. It is fun to imagine the Seiko marketers in
SRPB44J1 Margarita with a champagne gold dial to the more Tokyo touring the bars after work on a Friday, looking at how
intense SRPB46J1 Manhattan with a gradient brown dial. For to further expand this range within the Presage family of all
practical reasons, one stainless steel bracelet option is included mechanical timepieces. Perhaps something for the ladies next?
in the first subset of four watches. That is found on the SRPB41J1 We recommend the Cosmopolitan if anyone from Seiko is paying
Blue Moon model with a gradient dark blue dial. attention. In any case, we raise our glasses to them in gratitude for
The next four watches employ Calibre 4R57, also self- bringing us fun watches that hardly hurt the wallet.

Artisanal craftsmanship in timekeeping gets a distinctly oriental twist
PhotogrAPhy Long Fei
Art direction STephanie Lim
StyLing evon chng
Franck muLLer
Infinity Dragon in
steel with full-set
case, $61,000
chopard L.U.C
XP Urushi in rose
gold with alligator
leather strap, price
upon application
Tudor Clair de Rose
in steel with diamond
hour markers, $2,500
paTek phiLippe Calatrava
Skeleton in rose gold,
price upon application
BvLgari Bulgari Bulgari Parrot
Tourbillon in white gold with
alligator leather strap, $168,260
BoveT Amadeo Fleurier
in red gold with enamel
miniature painting
and alligator leather
strap, $145,850
panerai Luminor
1950 Sealand 3 Days
Automatic PAM852 in
steel with calf leather
strap, $33,900
BeLL & roSS Vintage BR
V1-91 in steel, $3,200
ciTizen Campanola
Ryuga in steel with
crocodile leather
strap, $10,860.50

Location Jiu zhuang

carTier Drive de
Cartier Panther Décor
in yellow gold with
alligator leather strap,
price upon application
Reflections on essential themes, core values, and key market trends
Photo Rolex

Diplomatic community
A study of the human faces and places that shape a deeper understanding of
brand association beyond the superficialities
Words Jonathan ho and ashok soman

fe atur es

n the pre-dawn hours of 7 october 1927, accomplished British Wilsdorf, could have predicted the impact Gleitze would
swimmer Mercedes Gleitze took tentative steps across have as a de facto ambassador for the brand. since that
the foggy shore off Cape Gris Nez, France before time, many brands have tried to replicate this success,
plunging into the icy waters of the English channel. with decidedly mixed results. That said, sometimes,
This wasn’t her first attempt at swimming the straits, well-meaning corporate decisions result in the accrual
it was her eighth, and this time she made it. But, a of unorchestrated brand associations as well.
pretender to her record-breaking feat forced her For a case in point, we turn once more to rolex
to do the unthinkable – swim the Channel once and Wilsdorf, this time for their indirect involvement
more to end all rumours and conjectures. In this in The Great Escape, which was immortalised in
fresh attempt, she had a partner, a rolex oyster the 1963 film by John sturges. In part, the true
(much like the 1926 model pictured right). story was the result of rolex’s World War 2 policy
As cold as her successful swim was, the of sending replacements for the confiscated
ninth crossing was simply too cold to handle. watches of Allied officers held as prisoners of war.
Nevertheless, her persistence and endurance Among the replacement watches for PoWs,
not only proved her naysayers wrong, but it was was one sent to a camp called stalag Luft III. In 1944,
also a spectacle that serves rolex well to this day. The a rolex 3525, renowned for its precision, reliability, and
waterproof rolex oyster debuted the summer before more importantly, night visibility (thanks to radium lume)
Gleitze’s successful crossing, but the company was still supported the escape committee of military officers. While
struggling to gain awareness. With Gleitze’s “vindication most of the PoWs were recaptured and executed, the legacy
swim”, the testimony of the determined amateur of their heroics survived and even grew. By extension, so too
swimmer catapulted rolex and its qualities of elegant did the reputation of the brand that wears the crown…
durability into public consciousness. rolex founder Hans Ultimately, rolex might not have pioneered the idea
Wilsdorf followed up her front page testimony with a front of the brand ambassador because, arguably, Cartier might have
page advert in The daily Mail a month later (top), featuring Gleitze been first (albeit unintentionally) in 1904 with the help of Brazilian
and her rolex, and the story has lived in the public eye ever since. aviator Alberto santos-dumont. Both Cartier (as we’ll see later)
It is almost certain that no one, not even the legendary and rolex demonstrate the value the right sort of partnership

fe atur es

Mother of Monsters or older. Most crucially, they are solidly upper middle income, with the
We might as well begin this one with a question mark because the upper five per cent earning $150,000 or more. objectively, Tudor must
watch world was somewhat perplexed when the Tudor-Lady Gaga be banking on this slice of the Lady Gaga audience…
partnership was announced. However, this is such a leftfield move that More than mere figures though, Lady Gaga embodies a visual
it might just be genius. When david Beckham put his image in service style beyond fashion and music, extending into social commentary.
of Tudor, his talents combined with acute media savvy made him the on a more substantive level, her activism and outreach towards
obvious choice. With more than 54 million fans on Facebook and close her causes set her apart from other brand ambassadors. In a sense,
to 21 million on Instagram, his obvious skill with half-line goal shots, she literally exemplifies the Tudor “Born to dare” ethos by being
sartorial flair, and a myriad of interesting hairstyles made him the “Born this Way”, and it was the sort of differentiation that the brand
quintessence of the phrase “women want him; men went to be him”. needs – this is certainly not something big brother rolex would do.
Thus, the choice of the unpredictable, contentious and undeniably bold From the Fastrider ceramic chronographs to the game-changing
spectacle that is Lady Gaga was considered gutsy relative to that of Pelagos, Tudor is a brand consistently on the forefront of practical
the English footballer. According to research firm Networked Insights, innovation and yet expertly respectful of its own heritage. similarly,
its social Intelligence report collated reaction data on Mother Monster Lady Gaga is known for being on the bleeding edge of artistic
and found that about 32 per cent were positive… so, what gives, you expression, with a rare sense of empathy for her people, so to
might ask? drilling deeper into the data, one finds that 52 per cent are speak. Will this be a partnership for the ages, or is this a passing fad?
women and 48 per cent are men and that despite her reputation for Well, if you bet against either Tudor or Lady Gaga in the early going,
being popular among teens, the largest percentage of her fans are 35 you would have lost…

Lady Gaga with her Tudor Glamour Date

The Breitling D C-3 flying over Niagara Falls

Let It sLIde
It is little wonder that Breitling, maker of the Navitimer (the cult
model among aviation enthusiasts and professionals) and other
“instruments for professionals”, is so inextricably linked with aviation.
When we got aboard Breitling’s dC-3 HB-IrJ in singapore, we had
to wonder why the brand cares so much about this, given that it has
little relevance to contemporary air travel. Helpfully, the answer lies
in the slide rule that made the Navitimer so famous in the first place.
In 1934, Willy Breitling, mindful of the company’s history
with the United states Airforce, asked mathematician Marcel
robert to create a slide rule bezel that could perform complex
logarithmic calculations. The slide rule bezel is used to calculate
complicated operations required for flight, and the Navitimer
became the first watch to incorporate that functionality. It is an
on-the-wrist calculator if you will, able to compute the three
most important units for pilots: sTAT for standard mileage, KM for
kilometres, and NAUT for nautical miles. Basically, this allows pilots
to calculate fuel consumption, average speeds or climbing speed.
despite being replaced by modern computing power, pilots are
still trained in the use of slide rules – if nothing else, these devices
are not prone to electrical failure! As well as it works on the wrist
though, the slide rule does not tell its own story. For that, Breitling
has a partner that closely matches the history and prominence of
the slide rule – one with an emotional appeal.
The dC-3 or douglas Commercial 3 revolutionised and
eventually popularised air travel due to its greatly expanded range
and speed. More importantly, the iconic aircraft was involved in a
remarkable joint human endeavour, the turning point of World War
II with the Allied invasion at Normandy. during WW II, many civilian
dC-3s were drafted and just over 10,000 Us military versions of
the dC-3 were built, forever altering the face of the airline industry,
making it one of the most significant transport aircrafts ever made.
Close to 2,000 dC-3 variants (slightly less than 150 original-
condition dC-3 planes including the Breitling dC-3 still function) are
still in operation today, a testament to not just the durability of the
Breitling Navitimer models from 1952 design but its endurance as a symbol of aviation.

fe atur es

“I told her ‘Sorry for the wait,’ I value her time like an Audemars
Piguet” – Lil Wayne, 2011’s Marvin’s Room (Freestyle)

Audemars Piguet Royal

Oak Frosted Gold 41mm

rappers deLIght watchmakers themselves as “inspirational muses”, the hip hop-

Few, if any, watch brands can claim to be authentic socio-cultural horology association is so tight that producer swizz Beatz was even
forces – perhaps only the classy Audemars Piguet can claim to have invited by the manufacture to not just design watches for them but
earned this entirely on merit. As a brand, it is lyrically evident that hip in a rare treat, also to meet olivier Audemars, the great grandson of
hoppers and rappers embrace Audemars Piguet as an integral part Audemars Piguet co-founder, Edward-Auguste Piguet.
of their lives (or maybe some brand names are just harder to rhyme). What does the scion of the family make of all this hot fuss?
With everyone from rick ross to Wiz Khalifa dropping Audemars “We’re not making instruments to tell the time, we’re making unique,
Piguet mentions, no less than Vibe magazine did a rundown of handcrafted pieces that actually talk to and mean something to
rap lyrics citing the Le Brassus brand. Most famously, Jay-Z often people,” says olivier Audemars, in a bit of sage wisdom.
cites the brand on his tracks, and in 2006, the artist-entrepreneur In that sense, the association between Audemars Piguet and
released a collaboration in the shape of the 100-piece Audemars hip hop culture transcends the physical icon of iced (that is to say,
Piguet royal oak offshore “Jay-Z” 10th Anniversary Limited Edition “blinged” out) versions of the royal oak offshore and embodies
with his autograph emblazoned in the case back. Celebrating the something deeper. In collaborating with rappers such as Beatz, a watch
star’s 10th anniversary in the music industry, the Arabic numeral 10 collector and lover of Audemars Piguet, the manufacture was officially
was set in diamonds to draw attention to the anniversary, creating co-opting the idea that an “Audemars” was a watch for men who
an unmistakably iconic face for the offshore. As icing on cake, each “break the rules”… oK, from a timeline perspective, hip hop has been
10th Anniversary Limited Edition box came with its own 40GB iPod saying hooray to Audemars Piguet for longer than the manufacture
(packed with the entire discography of his music) and was engraved has been rocking that tagline. on the other hand, even now that the
with a signature and a quote from Jay-Z. While official brand tides of hip hop have moved past any one watch brand, the impact of
ambassadors rarely indulge in watch designing beyond serving the music will be felt in perhaps unexpected ways in Le Brassus.

fIve hot MInutes Acquired by richemont in 2000, A. Lange & söhne has always
Watchmaking has many regional accents, none stronger than the harboured a special affection for dresden, particularly The royal
particular strain of German watchmaking that calls Glashütte, saxony Cabinet, home to an eminent historical scientific collection. “I am
home. We covered this phenomenon extensively in Issue 46 but particularly delighted, that the historical dimension in the exhibition
we’d like to focus here on a different town, also in saxony, dresden. concept comes to the fore with new showpieces, filling gaps in the
one man and the brand he founded have turned dresden into far timeline from the early periods in dresden’s history to saxony’s
more than the city you have to pass through to get to Glashütte. present-day precision watchmaking stature,” says A. Lange & söhne
one needs to look no further than the five-minute clock in the CEo Wilhelm schmid.
dresden semper opera House to recognise the links between the There are more than 400 exhibits at the royal Cabinet,
city and the brand. Built 175 years ago, the dial layout here should be including clocks and watches, automata, telescopes, and globes in the
familiar to everyone who appreciates A. Lange & söhne watches. The collection. As Glashütte’s best-equipped observatory, it became the
now-iconic oversized double-date display of A. Lange & söhne was highest authority for all time-related matters in the late 18th century,
clearly inspired by the five-minute clock. Properly called the Fünf- attracting the young Ferdinand A. Lange to its grounds more than 180
Minuten-Uhr, it was the creation of Johann Christian Friedrich Gutkaes, years ago. It is here that the young watchmaker conceived of his vision
his mentor Johann Heinrich seyffert, and Gutkaes’s apprentice, to craft the world’s finest watches in saxony. As far as artistic flourishes
Ferdinand Lange. The work and history of this trio is the reason why go, the prominent Glashütte style arose from the dresden native’s
early Glashütte watches bore the name dresden on the dials. To be mind, but both Glashütte and dresden are more neutral touchstones
fair, dresden is still far better known than little Glashütte. for Glashütte brands than the founder of A. Lange & söhne.

Two views (below, and right) of the A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1, set
against the Dresden Opera House

HYT H1 Alinghi Edition

fe atur es

fLuId dynaMIcs
HYT has made a name for itself in fine watchmaking,
pioneering an off-kilter offshoot genre known as hydro-
mechanical watchmaking. striking up a partnership with
Alinghi, switzerland’s America’s Cup darlings is quite clever.
Both HYT and Alinghi make their fortunes on the waves, but
both also use extreme technology to get the results that they
need. For HYT, this involves getting liquids (a natural enemy
to mechanical components) to work in traditional calibres;
for Alinghi, extreme yacht racing involves a wide spectrum of
technology, from building of the boats to sailing them while
guided by some of the most sophisticated technology.
The easiest way to understand Alinghi is to think of it
as a Formula 1 team, except in the water. Take, for example,
just the design of the boat, which is optimised for best
performance. To process the data required to make design
improvements, 3,000 inputs from 300 sensors are collected
during each test run the boat makes. during races, 200
gigabytes of video are recorded and then analysed every day.
Adjustments are then made, as necessary. Just processing all
this data is mind-boggling, never mind the rest of what goes
into the entire effort. All this just goes to show that the Alinghi
team makes a superhuman effort, one that is rooted in pure
hard work.
In light of this, it becomes completely understandable
why HYT finds the Alinghi relationship useful, and we have not
even gone into the whole business of both HYT and Alinghi
needing to deploy an understanding of fluid dynamics that
is second to none. Well, HYT really has no one to come in
second to, but this brand is all the way out on the ocean by
itself. Whether others follow will depend on how skillful the
watchmakers, technicians, and marketers are.

fe atur es

Bulgari Serpenti with Tubogas bracelet

“The only Italian Elizabeth knows, star power

is Bulgari.” - Richard Burton Given that many brands use some kind of animal motif as a calling
card, singling out Bulgari may seem out of order but, because this
is a watch magazine and Bulgari makes the world’s most famous
serpent-themed watch, it certainly feels like the brand has more
than earned the association. The serpent defines Bulgari as much
as the brand defines expressions of the serpent. The brand may find
its home in rome, but founder sotirio finds his roots in Greece. As
such, when one considers its Greco-roman heritage, there’s more
snaking mythology to reference than one can shake a stick at…
Bulgari’s many interpretations are potent but none quite as powerful
as the association with Cleopatra, and that of her celebrity portrayer
– Elizabeth Taylor.
The historical Cleopatra presented herself as the reincarnation
of Isis, a goddess worshipped from Alexandria to rome, and one for
whom the serpent was an important symbol. These were reportedly
signature accessories of the queen, although most people who
think of these will recall Taylor’s costume in the 1963 film,
Cleopatra. This look, a sort of Cleopatra-as-portrayed-by-Taylor,
caught on just as Bulgari caught on with Taylor. The brand paid
tribute to the legendary actor and – by design or by accident – the
serpent motif became Bulgari’s own.
From the 1940s onwards, the serpent had been part of the
Bulgari collection, most notably in the form of the Tubogas style.
Bulgari was just one of many brands using this motif and the Tubogas
technique, but that all changed with the 1963 Taylor pic. When Taylor
flaunted Bulgari snake bracelets in a publicity photograph taken on the
rome set of Cleopatra, it ignited the fervour for snake-form accessories
for decades to come. since that time, the serpent has been entwined
around the brand identity.

wrItten In the sky New York Times, the “changed status of the wristwatch” was
Cartier is famed for the panther, which it gleefully deploys in all already noted, attributed at that time to the realities of modern
manner of guises, and some will fault us for not making this our warfare. World War 1 had demonstrated the need for officers
focus. Like rolex though, Cartier has a more interesting story, one and soldiers to tell the time in an efficient manner, and the only
that is not entirely deliberate, yet it comes from a place of proper practical way forward appeared to be a watch that could be worn
historical authenticity. For our purposes here, we want to direct the on the wrist. It is, of course, tempting to think that Louis Cartier
spotlight onto the automatic Calibre MC1904. This number is not at had succeeded in making the wristwatch a mainstream affair,
all random because it references something very specific, namely even before he sketched the first design for the Tank watch. In
the year 1904. Basically, Brazilian aviator Alberto santos-dumont truth, it was only in the 1920s and 1930s that the wristwatch took
needed a watch and his friend Louis Cartier obliged. obviously, flight, and stayed in the air. Every time you look at a Cartier watch
said watch was a wristwatch rather than a pocket watch, and it though, remember that two visionary gentlemen had given wings to
is for this reason that Cartier is forever remembered as a pioneer the wristwatch long before it was fashionable to do so.
in making wristwatches. Perhaps few people today remember Both the santos watch and santos-dumont the aviator were
santos-dumont or even Louis Cartier, but the story of the in-house famous, with an adoring public intrigued by both man and his wrist-
manufacture Calibre MC1904 quietly remembers these legends in worn “machine”. Aided by dumont’s fame, Cartier became forever
every wristwatch it powers. linked with the genre of watches they popularised, starting with the
As evidenced by an op-ed in the 9 July 1916 issue of The commercial models of the santos wristwatch in 1908.

Cartier Santos 100 Carbon (left) and a modern interpretation of the now-lost Cartier watch worn by Santos-Dumont

Longines Lindbergh Hour Angle watch

wInged tIMe Atlantic crossing by sticking to the bare essentials required,

Long before the celebrity endorsement took hold in marketing even opting to forgo radio and parachute. Indeed, the spectacle
watches, Longines found itself in a pioneering position, with of such a daredevil attempt was a delight to early 20th century
the world’s biggest aviation star coming to the watchmaker audiences, quite possibly appealing to contemporary palates
of his own accord. Like rolex and Cartier, it is a true story too. We covered this journey extensively in Issue 44 as well
that even today acts as the wind beneath Longines’s famous as online on, and we recommend you check out
wings. The story goes like this, more or less… In 1927, Charles those stories for more on the triumph and ultimate tragedy of
Lindbergh completed the most celebrated solo crossing of Lindbergh and his fame.
the Atlantic by air. After touching down outside Paris, and As far as pioneering aviation watches go, the Longines
sparking what might have been the world’s first traffic jam, Lindbergh Hour Angle watch was the first to be a dependable
he drew up the designs for what would eventually become pilot’s companion, designed as it was by a pilot. Able to
a watch that would carry his fame into the 21st century, the precisely calculate longitude and thus determine an exact
Longines Lindbergh Hour Angle. geographical position, the watch became an essential
Faced with less than ideal weather conditions for his navigation tool for an entire generation of pilots and
flight, Lindbergh chose to lighten the spirit of st. Louis for his navigators to tame new frontiers.

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Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Ballerine Enchantee

dancIng hours in this dark time, the bejewelled dancer became a symbol of joy and
our appreciation of Van Cleef & Arpels is perhaps unusual, given hope to the maison’s clientele. over time, the fluid, graceful aesthetic
that this is a watch magazine. It seems entirely unclear how exactly of the brand’s designs became synonymous with the ballet, so much
a jeweller became the standard bearer of poetic complications and so that in the 1960s, Claude Arpels, third-generation descendant
the dance of time – indeed Van Cleef & Arpels even coined the term of the Arpels family, became fast friends with the legendary
“poetic complication”. It is in the poetic complication that we find the choreographer, George Balanchine. Balanchine conceptualised
very specific symbol that is associated with Van Cleef & Arpels – the Jewels, a choreographed three-chapter work of dance inspired
ballerina. Then again, the dance theme can even be seen in such by Van Cleef & Arpels’s three most precious stones: emeralds,
complications as the Planétarium, redefined in that watch to reflect rubies, and diamonds. Perhaps the choreographer recognised the
the dance of heavenly bodies. This link with the performing arts is a connection between watches and ballet too, considering that his art
very real one, and unintentionally paved the wave for the jeweller to references the hands of watches to direct and guide the dancers.
pirouette into the world of watches in the 21st century. More than 70 over time, Van Cleef & Arpels has supported dance festivals
years ago, Louis Arpels joined the family business and infused it with and ballet troupes the world over. Most famously, they sponsored
his love for the ballet, inspired by evenings at the opera Garner, which renowned French choreographer and dancer Benjamin Millepied,
was just 10 minutes on foot from the firm’s Place Vendôme address. widely known for his work in Black Swan. We look forward to dance
Louis eventually convinced his brothers to create an entire performances that are created specifically for Van Cleef & Arpels,
collection inspired by ballet, the 1941 danseuse Espagnole ballerina which may intersect with its complications. Perhaps, A Midsummer
clip. The date is important as Paris was occupied by the Nazis, and Night’s Dream?

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Time ObjecTified
As a new year begins, we supersize our love of watches
with this selection of 13 table clocks
Words Ruckdee chotjinda & ashok soman

he 24 hours of one day can be marked with various
mechanical and electronic devices. Most of us have multiple
devices tracking the passage of time, and indeed, we may
be surrounded by such instruments. Being the watch lover that you
are, we presume you may be somewhat more aware of this fact,
and you might also want to privilege some of your own instruments.
In other words, you will want to celebrate time with a purpose-
built device that brings joy to your life. Normally, this is where you
would expect us to start advocating for wearing multiple watches
or boosting your collection. As it happens, you would be wrong!
our december issue is typically a more fun and laidback affair
than, say, the Fall issue. After all, we’ve seen and presented all
the important watches of the year, within the constraints that limit
us. We even face a paucity of novelties to cover in fact, because
some brands such as rolex and Tudor don’t reveal new watches
year-round. Happily, this means we are able to turn our attention
to more playful matters in this issue, and the next one too.
spending time at home is a persistent idea running through
this issue, not just to entertain, recuperate or reflect, but also to
make time to enjoy time. With this in mind, we wanted to go
beyond simply admiring wristwatches at home and look at objects
that are more rooted and subtle, ideally matching the decorative
elements in your home. of course, these clocks will also make
astounding talking pieces in any office, if you are so inclined.
This article features everything we can find pictures of, from the
classically inclined to some space-age affairs. All items presented
on the following pages are recent or current creations, but many are
one-offs and have since found their way into private collections.

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Glas Chrono
Here’s yet another piece that illustrates that the art
of making timepieces is sometimes just for personal
pleasure. Weighing in at a hefty 55kg, the Glas
Chrono is clearly a proper kinetic sculpture,
albeit one that also skilfully plays with light.
Measuring 46cm in diameter, the Glas Chrono
is the handiwork of German clockmaker
Erwin sattler and Czech artist Jan Frydrych.
For the record here, Frydrych is well known
for his marine chronometer sculptures,
some which weigh up to 70kg, so the Glas
Chrono is not especially heavy in this context.
What it is, though, is so completely out of the
commercial sphere for sattler in particular that it
isn’t even mentioned on his website anymore (in
English, there remains a section in German). The
Financial Times even calls this a glass sculpture of
a chronometer. The saucer-like body is created by
hand with top quality optical glass. Its clock unit is a
15-day, high-precision movement with a fusée-and-
chain mechanism, world time sub-dial and power
reserve indicator. This is suspended in the same
manner as a marine chronometer in a gimbal.

Patek PhiliPPe ref. 25000

When a Patek Philippe clock is mentioned, most would think of
the manufacture’s dome clock with extensive enamel painting
on the body. What else would you expect from this grand old
name of watchmaking? However, another style of table clock
is, in fact, available, expressing the Bauhaus style, of all
things. Known as ref. 25000, this product is in the form
of an inverted bowl, and measures 12.6 cm in diameter
and 5.3 cm in height. It features a dial at the top, facing
upwards. Look closely to appreciate the minute details of
the guilloché patterns underneath the translucence of the
flinqué enamel in lilac (shown), golden yellow or blue.
This is a deliciously idiosyncratic style from the Geneva
watchmaker, entirely surprising in its form. Perhaps ref.
25000 is to the regular ornate clocks what the Nautilus is to
the Calatrava… The clock is powered by a traditional calibre
though, some 38.65mm in diameter, with a 50-hour power
reserve. It is finished to the exacting standards of the Patek Philippe
seal, which is the very same standard that the manufacture applies
to its wristwatches. This, along with that flinqué enamel no doubt
explains why the clock is part of the rare Handcrafts section.

ChoPard VintaGe raCinG
Here, we have something a little more attainable
(and you will not have to contact a brand to recreate). Very
little information accompanies the clock products from Chopard
– beyond the design inspiration, it is not even made very clear if
these are all quartz or otherwise. Come to think of it, most people
are not even aware of the existence of Chopard table clocks. We
could have chosen one that looks almost like the L.U.C Lunar
one, or others that take reference from the L.U.C range, but there
is something intriguing about this Vintage racing Table Clock.
For those who enjoy pondering the paradoxes of time, having
what looks like a dashboard clock transposed to an entirely
still environment will be fascinating. If you have one of those
engine block coffee table or wine racks, this is the sort of
tabletop clock that might pique your interest. The
quartz timepiece is two-handed and measures
13.9 cm tall. It will go well with your other
automobile inspired furniture items with colour
choices in red, yellow, green, blue, and white.

roGer dubuis exCalibur sPider
PoCket time instrument
Introduced to the world at Watches & Wonders 2015, the
roger dubuis Excalibur spider Pocket Time Instrument
is powered by the highly characteristic Calibre rd101.
We were reminded of this watch by our extended
conversation with roger dubuis CEo Jean-Marc
Pontroué earlier this year, and the strength of the spider
theme this year, and the continuing dominance of the
Quatuor movement. It so happens that this table clock is
powered by none other than the Quatuor movement!
In fact, the Quatuor movement with four opposing inclined
balance wheels is made more relevant by default now that
the watch is not worn on the wrist. What qualifies this 60mm
titanium pocket watch for inclusion in this article though is the
architectural stand that enhances the grandeur by several factors.
In this particular configuration, it is easy to understand the
significance of the word “spider” in Excalibur spider. We
happen to think the Pocket Time Instrument looks like it
is being held aloft against the will of gravity by a spider
web! This roger dubuis is limited to 28 pieces.

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Panerai table CloCk Pam581

This 65mm sphere of mineral glass is not your usual Panerai watch,
which the spherical form should immediately signify. In fact, it is
the PAM581 table clock, which is simply called the Table Clock for
Panerai has no other such clocks in its stable of offerings. so, our
first take on this is that it looks like a Panerai watch got trapped in a
snow globe of some type. scanning the specs here, we do not find
any indication that shaking the clock will reveal a wintery scenario, so
we’ll just chalk up this impression to our own whimsical natures (one
of the writers of this piece is more whimsical than the other – Ed).
True to Panerai’s maritime heritage, the stirrup at the top is in
the shape of the shackle of a sailing yacht. The two hands on the
sandwich dial are driven by the hand-winding P.5000 movement,
Panerai is to be commended for using its standard sandwich dial for
this clock, as well as choosing a design that allowed its manufacture
P.5000 movement to make a strong statement. Thanks to this
calibre, the clock has a power reserve of eight days. Two other
references come with California and s.L.C. dials, just in case you want
something different. obviously, these are still in the sandwich style.

Cartier royal h1000009

Just as we went with an unusual choice for Patek Philippe, we
find ourselves doing something similar with Cartier. Cartier makes
fantastic, elegant clocks with interesting mechanical or jewellery
twists (or both). Their mysterious watches, for example, are based
on the technique used earlier in their mysterious clocks. once upon
a time, the mysterious clock was a Cartier signature, but Cartier had
been making table clocks since the late 19th century. This particular
piece we selected is from another branch of the brand’s storied
past, but interesting nonetheless. The inspiration comes from the
Maurice Couet clock of the 1920s, which was reintroduced into the
contemporary offering in 2010 at the Biennale des Antiquaires.
Classified as a high jewellery clock under the Cartier royal
collection, this magnetic clock with reference number H1000009 uses
one 7.32-carat, cabochon-cut crystal opal to indicate the passage of
time. The use of the opal here is significant because Cartier is quite
enamoured of this stone. Its precise orbit is governed by the magnetic
system of the hand-winding movement with eight days of power
reserve. Now, you might think that the magnetic system is some 21st-
century innovation, but it really did debut in the 1920s. Purists should
note that of the various clocks that Cartier produced and sold, this one
features clockwork that was developed and manufactured in-house.

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Van Cleef & arPels automate fée ondine

A piece unique, the Van Cleef & Arpels Automate Fée ondine
commanded the attention of journalists at the sIHH 2017
like no other product. Honestly, it blew our minds, and went
way past the ability of the brand people to explain it. Not
that something so beautiful requires any explanation at all.
Bearing that in mind, we’re still going to attempt to describe
it, briefly. When the automaton comes to life, the water lily
blooms to reveal a twirling butterfly. At the same time, the
fairy turns her head to have a look while flapping her wings
before resuming her original resting position at the end of the
sequence, which is made more ethereal with what appears
to be a wobbling green leaf. Almost incidentally, a ladybird
indicates the approximate time on a 12-hour scale below.
As Van Cleef & Arpels always reminds us, to its credit,
it is not a watchmaking house, so this piece is the result
of a collaboration with automaton maker François Junod.
obviously, there is a lot of artisanal jewellery craft on
show here, and the artisans of the maison clearly applied
their expertise there. There’s actually more happening
jewellery-wise than you can shake a stick at, and providing
a list seems too prosaic. It is worth saying though that
Van Cleef & Arpels never meant for this kinetic sculpture
to be a commercial product; hence it is a piece unique.
Nevertheless, we are reliably informed that it has been sold.

ParmiGiani hiPPoloGia
Many people do not know that Parmigiani produces table
clocks from time to time, but of course, they do! Like its
wristwatches, most of these clocks are exceptional. This
is the awe-inspiring, eight-day Parmigiani Hippologia
clock that indicates the hour and the minute through
an oval porthole in front. A pair of mare and foal
automatons comes to life, dancing around their track
at the pre-set time or as manually triggered. In its notes
on this creation, the Fleurier-based manufacture says
the idea of including horses here is to represent the wild
and free nature of time. Unlike horses, time can never
be tamed, but the manufacture is certainly geared to
finding and presenting all manner of ways to admire
and appreciate time. This objet d’art is obviously one
such example. The glass cabinet by Lalique represents
the desert and the dunes, hinting that the horses are of
Arabian origin. Needless to say, this is a piece unique.
When we published news about this
clock on the Luxuo Facebook page (via a video
Parmigiani made), the response was nothing
short of amazing. If nothing else, this proves that
traditional clockwork can still move people!

JaeGer-leCoultre atmos marqueterie Céleste
obviously, no story about clocks could ever exclude Jaeger-
LeCoultre, maker of the world-famous Atmos. As a matter of
fact, the Grand Maison made clock movements for all sorts of big
names, including Cartier, so if this list left the brand out, you ought
to dismiss it out of hand. Anyway, what’s the big deal about the
Atmos you ask? Jaeger-LeCoultre Atmos clocks are wondrous
mechanical creations that do not require any kind of winding, ever.
The casual observer might even mistake them for perpetual motion
Unlike horses, time can never be machines, although such machines are of course impossible. The
tamed but, Parmigiani is certainly secret here lies in how the mechanism tracks the temperature.
Natural changes in temperature cause the special gas mixture
geared to finding and presenting all inside a canister to contract and expand, thus winding the barrel.
sorts of ways to appreciate time This Atmos Marqueterie Céleste is a special version with
a regulator-style display, mother-of-pearl dial rings, Tahitian
mother-of-pearl markers, and a sliding outer cabinet of blue straw
marquetry. Jaeger-LeCoultre has a quite a poetic description
of this particular Atmos clock, referencing the night sky and the
universe. This means we missed an opportunity in our last issue,
when we went big on the celestial theme. In our defence though,
we were only covering wristwatches… The small production
run for this clock only encompasses eight units, which is still
better than some of the piece unique propositions on this list.

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harry Winston emerald time

Words cannot even begin to describe the splendid details of the
Harry Winston Emerald Time, which should especially appeal to
the ladies. Having said that, we did devote a couple of pages on this
very special objet d’art in WoW Jewellery because, well, look at it!
This is a pivoting white gold quartz clock on a white gold base, but it
may be a bit hard to find that white gold as aventurine and diamonds
cover so much of the surface! Flip this breathtaking creation to the
back to get the mirror plus more baguette-cut diamonds. Putting the
finishing touch on your makeup has never been a more resplendent
experience! Take care that your reflection does not blind you…
The glamorous design has a distinctly Art deco feel to it, which
is unsurprising given that is a deliberate reference to the year
1932 when the American jewellery house was founded in
New York City. Indeed, the name of the clock refers to the
founder’s favourite diamond cut, which he believed
to be the most flattering and elegant. And so,
that very technique has been employed to
create a series of overlapping octagonal
shapes, which in turn lend a
dynamic, architectural feel
to the piece’s otherwise
gentle, feminine curves. As
you might have guessed,
this is a piece unique.

mb&f and l’ePée destination moon
Perhaps no clocks have struck us recently as much as the
collaborations between MB&F and L’Epée, so the inclusion of this
piece will be no surprise. We saw this at BaselWorld this year, and
we had mixed feelings about the presentation. As a watch magazine
that deals primarily with wristwatches of all kinds, devoting an
entire appointment at the fair to looking at one piece that was
not a wristwatch was tough to stomach – especially on an empty
stomach! Coming back to it for this feature is a pleasant redemption
of that experience. In any case, this clock won’t sate your hunger,
but it will feed your imagination, as MB&F pieces typically do.
This destination Moon clock by MB&F and L’Epée will sit
comfortably in the headquarters of Men in Black, or perhaps on
the cover of an Isaac Asimov book. There is no doubt about that,
what with the destination Moon’s 1960-esque sci-fi outline and
all. The shape itself might put you in mind of the cover of one of
the Tintin books, which is also called Destination Moon. Like a
real-life rocket that is powered by the boosters below, the hour and
minute rings at the upper part of destination Moon are driven by
the eight-day movement whose regulator assembly is visible just
underneath the time indicator itself. destination Moon is produced
in four 50-piece editions of black, green, blue, and silver.

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We wanted to go beyond simply admiring wristwatches at home,

and instead look at objects that are more rooted and subtle

the nixie maChine ii Nixie Machine used actual new-old-stock Z568M Nixie tubes from
As you might have guessed, we are now well and truly in the realm the Cold War era. Briefly, the Nixie tube is a cold cathode neon
of the fantastical! We came to know of the Nixie Machine II as it readout tube that displays numerals when a current is supplied.
was on display at the MB&F M.A.d. Gallery in Geneva, through The steampunk aesthetic of this 1.2m wide table clock
which it is sold. This is, however, not an MB&F product at all. In fact, is a close match for the original, but it gets a biomorphic touch
it was created by German sculptor Frank Buchwald and engineer in the cables and metal base. It is indeed period-looking, but
dalibor Farny. You might very well wonder what is going on here one might also see the influence of futuristic design here, if one
because that is precisely what we did! Indeed, Hodinkee called the thinks of the replicators of Stargate (not to be confused with
clock “bonkers”, and one may be well justified in that observation. the replicators of Star Trek). The Nixie Machine II is actually
Well, Buchwald and Farny used six vintage-inspired Nixie tubes connected to the Internet for precise timekeeping and ease of
for the six digits of the hours, minutes, and seconds; the original programming. only 12 units of this clock have been produced.

qloCktWo which are 180 x 180cm in size. despite the larger format, the
Unique displays of time are endlessly fascinating to us, which minimalistic stance is very well preserved. The main difference,
is how we got to know about Qlocktwo. The German company of course, is that this is now effectively a piece of art for the home.
made its name by creating wristwatches without hands. To Honestly, this option is probably the most fascinating one to display
tell the time, certain letters on the crossword-like array are in an office – we have visions of a waiting room in some dentist’s
lit up to spell out approximate times in words to the nearest office sporting this clock. Language choices are added over the
five minutes. In this format, Qlocktwo has scaled things up years, and it appears to be up to 20 now; alas, for our friends in
tremendously, and perhaps fulfilled its original vision. Thailand, the Thai language is not among them (and probably
In fact, this Qlocktwo 180 gets its name from its dimensions, will not be due to the obvious typographical complications).

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Working under
Dive watches are no longer just professional instruments but
very much a part of the global watch market and for good reason  
Words RogeR ValbeRg

t is a matter of great curiosity that opinion on a professional
instrument such as a dive watch is very much shaped by
one’s own experience. For instance, those who have dived
(either in scuba, free or technical) will have a different perspective
on a dive watch. Conversely, those who have not gone into the
wild blue yonder have their own take. There is no right or wrong
opinion of course (although there are standards), so watchmakers
constantly ask the question – what makes for a dive watch?
A typical dive begins with a rather inconspicuous clockwise
turn of the bezel to indicate the time to resurface. This is a
requirement for a dive watch under Iso 6425. You are told that
it can track your dive time, but it doesn’t actually. The problem
here is that your consumption of air when diving is very much
dependant on your breathing pattern. small shallow breaths
and you stay under longer, while deep long breaths will see
you done before your timer says so. still, owning a dive watch
with the survivalist tendencies of a goblin shark does have its
merits as an indicator of a masculine add-on to any ensemble.
That kind of association is priceless for both watchmaking
brands and the watch-buying public. And don’t think for a minute that
it is a macho derivative made for the knuckle draggers of the world. A
tough watch built to withstand pressure can say a lot about a person
without saying anything at all. Thus, from an entry-level Mido ocean
star or Victorinox I.N.o.X. Professional diver to the more serious
rolex or Panerai, to luxury tickers like Blancpain’s Bathyscaphe
or the Calibre de Cartier diver, timepieces made for going under
water have a function of practicality that is supplemented by style.

Panerai Luminor Submersible
1950 Amagnetic 3 Days
Automatic Titanio PAM1389

Military divers indirectly drove the
development of dive watches with
requirements based on their missions

Tech SpecS parts and even cases to create watches for the Italian marine special
Going back to the question of what makes for a dive watch, forces. And today, we know that brand as officine Panerai. one of
watchmakers are able to explore two paths, and both are dictated the early innovations of the brand was to use radium for lume to the
by their own Iso. For a pure dive watch, the Iso 6425 is in effect point that they named a collection radiomir Panerai. This was long
and offers rather strict guidelines and tests to guarantee a level of before the consequences of the radioactive nature of radium and its
reliability. Likewise, water-resistant watches are dictated by Iso effects were known. The brand has moved on to much better (and
22810. Though it has minimal requirements, most of the standards safer) innovations and is today never without a proper dive watch,
and levels are set by the brands themselves. It really is up to the such as the Luminor submersible 1950 Amagnetic 3 days Automatic
brand on how far they wish to push their watches when it comes to Titanio PAM1389. But more on that later…
testing. Then, there is the question of sample testing or piece testing. All of these early pieces for divers were water resistant to
Iso 6425 requires some tests to be done on every piece and others approximately 30m. It was only after World War II, in peacetime
done over a sample based on the production run size. The Iso 22810 and with the creation of the Aqua-Lung by Jacques-Yves Cousteau
doesn’t have this requirement, and it is up to the brand to decide. in 1942, that saw demand for better water-resistant watches arrive.
Clearly, with two such different standards in mind, brands have The French marine special forces actually sketched a watch and
a choice as to how they make their watches. But does that mean a its requirements based on their missions and went looking for a
100m water-resistant watch is less water resistant than a dive watch watchmaker build it. only Blancpain said yes, and it created the
with a similar rating? off the shelf – no. But given time, wear, and Fifty Fathoms. In many ways, the Fifty Fathoms was the first real
tear, and the odds for the water-resistant watch maintaining its seal dive watch as it could go down to fifty fathoms, which is about
becomes longer with each passing year. In other words, reliability 90m. The watch was pretty much compliant with Iso 6425
under pressure and stress comes with an Iso 6425 rating. This although predating it by four decades!
rating includes temperature and anti-magnetism tests as well as the Having mentioned that, do you really need a dive watch
expected overpressure tests. All this is well and good for consumers to back roll into the deep? The answer is, unfortunately, no. The
of today, of course, but what watches should you be looking at? Quartz Crisis was equally unkind on mechanical dive watches
And here’s where horological legacies with experimentation, during the 1980s. Quartz and semiconductor technology have
exploration, and discovery from over a century ago are still relevant. combined to create dive computers, and these do all sorts of nifty
A company called rolex, founded by Hans Wilsdorf, created the things. You can always use the mechanical machine on your wrist
first water-resistant watch. Built on that early success are the as a backup or to time other important sections of a dive that the
submariners and sea-dwellers; almost the industry standard. The computer can’t. But for nearly 30 years now, a dive watch has not
company also worked with Guido Panerai in the 1930s, supplying been a necessity for a dive.

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The Seamaster Diver 300m “Commander’s Watch”

Limited Edition is a great example of a long diving
legacy is paired with celebrity appeal

Big Three endorsements annually, the brand is highly visible. For divers
Having a dive watch links you to explorers and divers past. And that though, the watch is very much about accuracy. Though it has quartz
is part of the marketing allure that the brands try to reinforce. But variants, mechanical seamasters are all about co-axial movements
diver or non-diver, there are plenty of rugged, good-looking pieces these days.
that could make you look less deskbound paper pusher and more When it comes to Blancpain, it arguably positions itself as
adventure-driven world explorer. And none more so than the rolex more luxurious than practical if you read the marketing these
oyster Perpetual sea-dweller. Evidently, its tool watch demeanour days. It wasn’t always like that though. The company was one
did not detract from its desirability even as 50 years have gone of many small watchmakers in switzerland, having begun
by since the first model was introduced in 1967. And while many operations in the 18th century. By the beginning of the 20th
clamoured to own a submariner when starting their collection due century, the last Blancpain family member sold the company
to a more favourable price point (and a liquid secondary market), its to the staff, and in the 1950s, the fateful deal to create the Fifty
over-engineered cousin is long overdue for some fun in the sun, but Fathoms helped push the company. It was churning out 100,000
more on that extreme rollie later. pieces by the end of that decade and to ensure growth, it joined
Another brand with a long legacy for diving in modern times the same stable as omega and Tissot, in a firm called ssIH that
has been omega. The omega seamaster is a mainstay whose was the forerunner of the swatch Group. so while ownership may
popularity has already been given a shot in the arm this year as have changed, and the brand even had Jean-Claude Biver as CEo
part of the 1957 Trilogy limited editions. But the collection itself in the early 1980s, the brand is still very much known for its Fifty
goes all the way back to 1948, and with more than a few celebrity Fathoms and its various commitments to marine conservation.

Deep Thrill
If rolex and Blancpain are a just out of reach, then the Tudor
Heritage Black Bay steel may be of interest. Considering the tough
expeditions it has seen in recent times, the Black Bay steel is no
pushover. At 41mm in diameter and water resistance of up to 200m,
as indicated by the one-liner etching on the dial – take that sea-
dweller as a throwback to certain Tudor 7923 references from 1955
– this stainless steel diver is powered by the CosC-certified Calibre
MT5612 to accommodate the date display. The movement has the
bonus of a silicon hairspring that renders it resistant to magnetic
interference. Those super-LumiNova filled, angular snowflake hands
are a constant, as is the stark black dial.
The watch features a steel insert rotating bezel with a circular
satin-brushed finish and a red inverted triangle at 12. Interesting
details here are the black lacquered Tudor rose on the crown and
the domed sapphire crystal. Another nice touch is the folding riveted
steel bracelet. You can see the heads of the rivets on the sides where
the links are connected. With good looks, impeccable pedigree, and
high-quality manufacture calibre, the Heritage Black Bay steel is as
good as it gets if one’s end goal is to acquire a timepiece that ticks off
a checklist of dive watch criteria, at a sensible price point. If you’ve
always wanted a credible diver, this is your gateway watch.
(Top) Bell & Ross BR 03-92
Another piece that might get you instant recognition in the (Bottom) Breitling Superocean Héritage II
workplace is the Breitling superocean Héritage II. This is a worthy
descendant that also offers a veritable bounty of options for modern Take your pick from dials that are black, blue, or bronze. If they
gents. Breitling has redesigned the superocean Héritage that’s seem subtly sophisticated, then the straps are approximately showy
celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. First launched in 1957, with micro-adjustment mechanisms. For example, the bronze model
it was a professional dive watch that has gone on to become a has a thick leather strap with rubber backing and contrasting stitching
rarefied classic. The affiliation continues with this year’s vintage alongside conventional rubber ones. design elements retained are
reissues. Breitling’s reintroductions are presented in two executions: triangular hour and lozenge-like minute hands. other utilitarian
an option of a 42mm or slightly more robust 46mm stainless steel signatures include cone-shaped hour markers that reinforce ties with
case. Touting a new steel bezel with a high-tech ceramic ring that is the original model. Legibility is assured in low light conditions and
scratch proof and shock resistant, the elimination of the metal ring the date window in white provides the right contrast.
surrounding the minute circle means that the bezel appears to form a one cool fact to note here is that the superocean Héritage II
seamless whole with an array of matching coloured dials. is powered by the manufacture Calibre B20, which is derived from
Tudor’s MT5612 movement found in Pelagos (and now Heritage Black
Bay) variants. The noticeable modifications include Geneva stripes
on the bridges and the use of a conventional balance spring instead
of silicon. It is CosC-certified and boasts 70 hours of power reserve.
Mechanical prowess aside, this exchange represents the cooperation
between the two brands that are now pooling their expertise in the
development and production of select mechanical movements.
Now though, we move into the happily middle-class
neighbourhood of dive watches, price-wise. The very popular Bell &
ross Br 03-92 has been the hit for the brand this year. Who says
that you can’t fit a round peg into a square hole? And after Hydromax
and Br 02, it will likely be another decade before another dive watch
resurfaces. It also meets the rather stringent Iso 6425 to be certified
a true blue diver while not trying to one-up its ancestors in the tech
specs department. There is also a reworked guard to protect against
impacts and rubber inserts for improved ergonomics. The movement
Tudor Heritage Black is swiss made and is also protected by an anti-magnetic soft iron
Bay Steel
inner case.

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Seiko Prospex Diver SLA017

eaSTern promiSeS diving line is also the only range that we know of to be associated
so far, I’ve resisted talking about dive watches from Japan mainly with PAdI (Professional Association of diving Instructors), and a
because the Japanese do things in a very different way. The special edition PAdI samurai is what seiko collectors will be keeping
divergence from swiss methods is such that there are, in fact, two an eye on. Enthusiasts understand that they are not cosmetic
distinct markets and watch fans for each. The quartz watch market is copycats, as demonstrated by the design language of Japanese dive
comfortably held by Citizen and Casio. The G-shock especially does watches such as the higher-end Prospex Marinemaster Professional.
well and is likely seen in almost every dive boat around the planet! Another level up is the Marinemaster 300 sBdX001 that has
This year though, Casio has made an effort to add stylish luxe to a monobloc case and an 8L35 movement that is considered by
its G-shock due to the 35th anniversary of the collection. so that’s some to be the equivalent of an unregulated Grand seiko. There
become an option for the more Casio inclined. But the brand most are those who argue that with its hefty price tag, many other
associated to diving in Japan is, by far, seiko. swiss options may be available instead. We’d like to disagree
A browse through social media for dive watches is likely to turn as the watch is superb value for money, and if your decision-
up more than a few seiko followers. This is in part due to the functional making process isn’t clouded by bias, a side-by-side comparison
nature of the Japanese society and its global influence. If your first dive of technical specifications and build quality will render the
watch is a seiko Prospex, for instance, you’d immediately notice that discussion a short one.
there are things going on that many of the swiss divers do not usually Likewise, the Grand seiko is an even more formidable antagonist
have. The brand has amassed cult followers who have bestowed against the perception that acquiring swiss-made watches is the only
affectionate nicknames on other dive variants down the line such as way to procure time-telling competency and exquisite craftsmanship.
“sumo”, “Tuna”, “shogun”, “Monster”, and the beloved “Turtle”, Far from being atomic bombs that obliterate superlative chronometric
which has since been reissued to much fanfare with special PAdI and conventions, Grand seiko watches have demonstrated a steadfast
Zimbe limited editions. pledge towards the rudiments of watchmaking since 1960. Yet, there
Many are also quietly obsessing over the new “samurais” are sporty facelifts to placate detractors who denounce the sparse,
launched in 2017. Among them is the hyped orange samurai that sterile ecosystem in which Grand seiko models subsist on. As
references the 2005 version with subtle changes. seiko’s Prospex mentioned earlier on, the Japanese do things very differently!

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Two Timing
speaking of being different, one of the more modern
developments in the last century hasn’t been quite horological
but gender-related. In this day and age, women wear a dive
watch for the same aesthetic as men. Where once it was
forbidden to have women on board seafaring vessels, it is now
rare that a dive boat or even a commercial diving team is bereft
of women. The ladies are now able to give the gents a run for
their money with myriad brands and pieces, but Chopard’s
Happy ocean timepieces do the job and look good doing it.
Not only does it even the playing field with 300m of water
resistance in a sizeable 40mm stainless steel or white gold
case, it also heaps on the bling with a flotsam of five free-
floating diamonds on the dial. did we also mention that the boys
Chopard Happy Ocean is probably the only
would likely be raising a white flag at the mention of Chopard’s dive watch in the world rated at 300m to
impressive 01.01-C automatic movement housed within? have bobbing bits in the dial, albeit diamond
bobbing bits

(From left) Rado Captain
Cook, Eterna KonTiki Bronze
Manufacture 044, Oris Aquis
Clipperton Limited Edition,
Victorinox I.N.O.X. Carbon

a mixeD Bag boasts 65 hours of power reserve. That nice patina will develop over
The ladies dive watch market though is supplemented by a curious time, while a textured dial and large studded luminous triangle at 12
reality – the mid-range dive watches almost always offer sizes o’clock are nice details.
below 40mm. With this, both men and women get to enjoy a Another great brand in the mid-range that you could fancy
rather splendid spectrum of watches made for going underwater. It is oris. It has been making dive watches since the 1940s, and its
should be mentioned though, that once you leave the confines of bestseller for 2017 is the Aquis. You can find several versions of this
dive watches, you go into Iso 22810 territory and as mentioned, now with collaborations and tie-ups with several personalities and
the testing requirements are quite up to the manufacturer. But even charities. There also the divers sixty-Five, which is another popular
minus the “dive watch” moniker, we get some established gems. piece from the brand. The pieces either use sellita or in-house
There is the rado Captain Cook, and it’s rare that rado modified sellita movements and are considered ultra-reliable.
produces a diver. However, it’s an homage to rado’s 1962 original Certainly, with the collaborations in effect, there is a lot of media on
with modern updates such as a high-tech ceramic insert in the bezel the web with divers using oris.
and an ETA movement that has an impressive 80 hours of power Finally, you have the entry-level dive watches for those
reserve; we’re sold. There are only 1,962 pieces of this re-issue who may want to get a piece but may not like some of the prices
available, and the lack of a screw-down crown probably explains why associated with the pieces above. Take the Victorinox swiss
water resistance is only a paltry 100m. But we’re not complaining Army I.N.o.X. Professional diver, for instance. This pieces is Iso
given its groovy, retro good looks. 6425-certified and has undergone rigorous other tests to celebrate
Going even further back in the history books is the voyage of the brand’s 130th anniversary. There are several variants, but as ever
Thor Heyerdahl. It has been 70 years since Norwegian adventurer with Victorinox, the practicability of the piece is beyond question. You
Heyerdahl made his voyage across the Pacific ocean in 1947 can even get a para-cord strap that can double as a piece of twine
aboard the Kon-Tiki raft. Limited to 300 pieces, the KonTiki Bronze in emergencies! Another entry-level piece is the Mido ocean star
Manufacture 044 is a very accessible bronze diver by Eterna. It also Calibre 80 Titanium. Working on an ETA engine, it holds 80 hours of
has a ceramic bezel to go along with an in-house movement that power reserve while having 200m water resistance.

TrenDing legacy watch became the talk of the watchmaking grapevine.
As you can see, dive watches have developed and evolved over The technical requirements of the watch as we laid out were
the last century. Most of it has been in touch with technological exacting. And brands had plenty of skilled staff to make those
advances for ocean exploration like the invention of the Aqua- pieces after some companies were forced into redundancies. on
Lung. But 2017 was an anomaly of sorts with many brands the buying side, the allure of dive watches was hard to resist. For
converging on the dive watch market. It was a perfect storm non-divers, the array of watches that could stand up to pressure,
of several factors, of course, unless BaselWorld conspiracy temperature and humidity changes was fascinating. And they’ve
theorists are to be believed! Maybe there really are secret been voting with their credit cards! A number of brand reps along
meetings after the press has gone home to decide what the with first-time buyers have been saying that the dive watch has
coming year’s watch theme will be? Back on planet Earth become the daily watch. And why not? Many pieces come with
though, the brakes had been pulled on the huge momentum day and date displays, changes in strap, and cool packaging that
of the swiss watch economy. Xi Jinping took over in China in often include branded premiums.
2013, and decadence was suddenly passé. Almost overnight, At the end of the day though, if you set aside the Isos, the
the swiss manufactures were dealing with an oversupply of brand names, and the price tags, having a dive watch is very
expensive watches. much about experiencing life. There is so much to see and do
so, we saw some effort put into stainless steel watches, and experience, it is how that piece on your wrist evolved from
but the forms were criticised. For a while, it seemed that swiss a protected pocket watch into a rugged mechanical beast. The
watchmakers from the top brands had forgotten how to make good looks and great functionalities of the watch are just half of
affordable, high-quality watches. This appears to be why the dive it. doing something with it is very much where the fun is at.

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Do you uSe iT?

Unidirectional Bezel
This is a requirement for a dive watch under Iso 6425. It is
supposed to track your dive time, but it doesn’t actually. The
problem here is that your consumption of air when diving is very
much dependant on your breathing pattern. Keep an eye on that
pressure gauge connected to your tank instead!

Fluorescent Colours
on land, yes. In the sea, not so much. You lose colour the
deeper you go beginning with red! Luminescence helps, of
course, but legibility is an issue the deeper you go. A simple
black and white dial with big hands and numerals will do better
than most fluorescent colours.

Helium Valves
The deeper you go, the more helium build-up your watch will
have. If you need to release the helium while wearing the watch
underwater, you are likely to be at a depth that submarines
would respect. or just plain dead! This engineered feature is
handy for over 200m dives, but that’s a world that belongs to
just a handful of human beings.

Pressure Gauge
some mechanical watches come with a pressure gauge. This
allows divers to track their depth while diving. The trouble starts
when it comes to going back up. You absolutely need to know
what your deepest depth was and then calculate your ascent
from there with stops along the way to equalise the pressure.
Not doing so could result in your death.

Accordion Straps
This is a dive watch marvel. The deeper you go, the more
pressure your body deals with. so your wetsuit and wrist will
shrink. A conventional strap will become looser as a result.
seiko invented the accordion strap that allows you to tightly
strap the watch in. This flattens out the accordion but as you go
deeper, it pulls back into the accordion wave, and your watch
stays tight on your wrist.

All water-resistant watches have gaskets. It’s the technology that
took the longest to create due to the limitations in materials and
machining. But it still stands as the most important component
for water resistance. Gasket failure turns your prized watch into
a mini water bottle! The gaskets of an Iso 6425 piece will likely
last longer than an Iso 22810 piece, so you’re safe for at least a
decade with a dive watch.

highlighTS from 2017

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller

so what was the kerfuffle in March last year all about? simply
put, rolex dared to make changes to its iconic sea-dweller.
Minor changes, but still changes. Imagine that. Though most
rolex enthusiasts would have come to accept the tweaks made
to the new rolex oyster Perpetual sea-dweller by now. The
waiting list for this 126600 reference stretches around the block.
Making a deliberated return is the red one-liner (instead of two
lines) “sea-dweller” etching on the glossy dial. And we’re
not going to argue about the introduction of the cyclops date
magnifier. If it makes seeing the date easier with Chromalight,
we’re on board. It is also worth mentioning that it is equipped
with an in-house Calibre 3235, which datejust 41 owners will be
familiar with.

Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Professional Diver

This is a watch made from a purely utilitarian stance where
bells and whistles that detract from functionality are discarded.
A behemoth at 52.5mm, it is the first Citizen watch to pair
Eco-drive capabilities with a saturation-diving package. The
solar-powered J210 Eco-drive quartz movement will function
for more than two years after a full charge under the sun. A
power indicator will signal when it’s necessary to resurface.
The sports-oriented will like the crisp, clear legibility and
exaggerated proportions that spells street cred for industrial
diving professionals. designed with feedback from JAMsTEC
(Japan Agency for Marine-Earth science and Technology),
the super titanium alloy case has the look of a horned turban
shell replete with jagged edges, and an earlier prototype was
fastened to the shinkai 6500 submersible. only 35 units are
assembled daily at dust-proof cleanrooms at Citizen.

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Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 Amagnetic 3 Days

Automatic Titanio PAM1389
This is the new submersible PAM1389 which succeeds the
PAM389. The devil is in the details, and if you’re not one for
Panerai, all you need to know about the watch is in the model
name! Its submersible, which is helpful for a dive watch and
the piece is good to 300m. The case is a Luminor 1950 which
is the reason why the brand says the piece is a combination
of tradition and innovation. The innovation comes in the form
of the amagnetic case which can withstand magnetic fields
of 40,000 A/m or 500 Gauss. This has been achieved by
an inner lining of soft iron inside the 47mm case of brushed
titanium. This essentially turns the case into a mini-Faraday
cage. It is fitted with the automatic Calibre P.9010, which is
entirely developed and created in the Panerai Manufacture in
Neuchâtel. A nifty feature of this engine is that it allows you
to set the hour hand independent of the minute hand, which
frequent flyers would appreciate.

Blancpain Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC

Back when Captain robert Maloubier and Lieutenant Claude
riffaud were bigwigs at the French Navy’s combat swimmer’s
corps, a chance meeting with Jean-Jacques Fiechter led to
the creation of the watch you see here along with the familiar
circular water resistance indicator at six o’clock unique to
Blancpain. It signalled that trouble was brewing akin to how a
litmus paper would. This year’s faithful re-issue brings back this
feature that changes colour when water seeps into the case.
of course, it’s very unlikely that this would be necessary with
today’s irreproachable built quality. Nevertheless, it’s a unique
add-on and collectors can expect more than just a cosmetic
change. The rotating bezel looks to be fitted with sturdy scratch-
proof sapphire that protects the super-LumiNova indicators. The
watch delivers a whopping four days of power reserve courtesy
of two mainspring barrels and has a silicon balance spring
in addition to a platinum alloy-coated gold rotor that can be
viewed through the exhibition case back.

home time
Our watches find themselves in unusual situations at home all the time,
especially before and after a good New Year’s Eve party…
PhOtOgraPhY Long Fei
art dirEctiON aNd StYLiNg TiTien Wang
StYLiNg aSSiStaNt BeLda Chung
CarTier Calibre
de Cartier Diver in
pink gold with rubber
strap, $37,200
PaTek PhiLiPPe
Ref. 5168G-001
Aquanaut in white
gold with “Tropical”
composite strap,
price on request
ChoPard Mille
Miglia GTS Chrono
in steel with rubber
strap, $9,470
BreiTLing Navitimer
Rattrapante in steel
with leather strap,
BuLgari Diagono
Scuba in steel with
rubber strap, $3,900

RAY-BAN Glasses
Panerai Luminor
Submersible 1950 3 Days
Chrono Flyback Automatic
PAM614 in titanium with
rubber strap, $22,100
Tudor Pelagos
in titanium and
steel with rubber
strap, $6,048
audemars PigueT
Royal Oak Offshore
Tourbillon Chronograph
in yellow gold with rubber
strap, CHF270,000

Whisky and tumbler
edox Chronorally
Limited Edition
Sauber F1 Team
in titanium with
rubber strap,
Engaging with the movers and shakers of the watch industry

Photo Hermès


Practical and Playful

La Montre Hermès CEO Laurent Dordet holds court on the playful and practical visions of
time embodied in Hermes timepieces Words & INTErVIEW ashok soman

t has been awhile since we caught up with La Montre Hermès available in the brand’s own boutiques, for example.
CEO Laurent Dordet, who was in Singapore for the Time, A As a total outsider in the world of watchmaking, Dordet
Hermès Object exhibition recently. He had previously (Issue relied on personal history to help him move Hermès watchmaking
41) been candid with us about business prospects in 2016, and forward. His chief executive role may be his highest profile position
remains refreshingly on-point about this year and the year ahead. at the rarefied brand, but he has occupied various high-level
We had a lot of questions for Dordet about where the watchmaking positions here since 1995. With success so intricately tied to
business is heading for Hermès, but first, a little refresher. Hermès’s values, it is unsurprising that Dordet strengthened that
Dordet became CEO of La Montre Hermès in February bond to weather the storm and emerge stronger.
2015, the beginning of an extremely challenging period for Although Dordet does not come right out and say it, growth
watchmaking as a whole. As he himself told us, being part of remains positive at La Montre Hermès. At the same time, he
the larger Hermès brand universe has unique benefits for the remains steadfast that watchmaking at Hermès will stay resolutely
watchmaking business, with some 70 per cent of business Hermès, meaning the brand doesn’t aim to “surpass Patek
happening in the brand’s own stores, as opposed to working Philippe”, as he puts it. We speak with him yet again to find out the
with retailers. In Singapore, Hermès timepieces are only secrets of his success.

We figured out that lightness and playfulness were not only about our men’s
complications. It could be about style, unexpected colours or a look

How is the Arceau doing for you?

It was quite successful for us, from day one, with both men
and women. The first year, it was already almost 10 per
cent of our business, and it remains so. We introduce new
complications most years, starting with moon phase, a
chronograph, and, of course, the Temps Suspendu. Step by
step, we build up the line, and there will, of course, be more
and more new things.

Referring to that gender split, Hermès watches mainly

appealed to women. How has this changed, if at all?
We remain at this share, with 80 per cent (of our watches
appealing to) women. We have seen good growth here, but
even better with men’s watches.

We’ve just come from an event at your store that reminded

me of the philosophy of Hermès, which is taking the time to
enjoy time...
Ah good, I don’t need to explain the exhibition to you then!
This is exactly what our message (at Hermès) and the event is
all about. (The event was Time, A Hermès Object, and it was
held at Hermès Takashimaya and the Ngee Ann City Atrium
from 27 October to 5 November - Ed)

Arceau Chrono Titane

Time, A Hermès object exhibition at
Takashimaya, Ngee Ann City

And this type of playfulness in Hermès watches surprises us watchmaking), this might be related to the technical elements,
because we don’t see it very often in watchmaking. Tell us more but for us, it is in the fantasy we provide. It can be provided by
about it. our own movements, of course, or a specific complication (like
When we started to address mechanical watches and manufacture the Temps Suspendu) but also by our style, generally speaking,
movements, we immediately thought about expressing specific throughout our collection.
complications about fun…about taking the time to enjoy time… So for example, a woman wearing one of our watches
Basically expressing lightness and a fantasy about time. At first, it might be feeling like she has a unique object, not because of the
was mainly about movements. movement, but because of our unique style. It is a style that is not
Last year, we decided to communicate more about watches formal at all, that is very different from what is available in stores –
as a different area for Hermès. In relation to this, we figured out I find most ladies’ watches to be very homogenous and largely just
that this lightness and playfulness was not only about our men’s smaller versions of men’s models. Originality is not very common
complications. It could be about style, unexpected colours or a here, and that is what we try to do with our watches.
look – like the Grrrrr! watch. Take the Hermès Cape Cod Shadow,
which you might expect for men only, but we offer it for women in As far as originality goes, one option could be form watches.
what might be an unexpected shape and size, at least for Hermès. What’s your perspective on this, especially given the prevailing
What happened was we decided to speak about Hermès sentiment that round watches are what the market wants?
time, time as a Hermès object not only for men’s watches but Two years ago, our bestseller was H-Heure – it still is, in fact. It
really for everything. We created advertising campaigns all is a key model for us worldwide. We had another great model
centred around this idea, and communicating this idea. We think successful in America and Europe that we never emphasised in
all our watches can communicate the ideas of freedom and fun. Asia much. This is the Cape Cod. There was no real reason for
The emotion (of our timepieces) is very linked to the this, other than the (continuing) success of other models here.
feeling of being unique; to have something that not everyone We renewed totally this collection and proposed this renewed
has – something that is discreet, discreet even on your own collection, and then proposed it all over the world. We were
watch that only you know about. For other brands (in fine astonished by how big a success it was, especially in Asia.


This means that all the advice we got to launch a round The last time WOW spoke with you, we talked about the
watch for Asia, well, we were lucky not to follow it! There is a troubles and challenges facing the watch business, but I
fantastic buzz around Cape Cod, an emblematic shape for us, and I wanted to get into what sort of crisis you think we are in? After
would say that H-Heure is still big, but Cape Cod could be bigger. all, this business today is better than what it was 10 years ago,
Probably, form watches are roughly 80 per cent for us. for example.
You know, when we entered this business 40 years ago, the Overproduction was the problem and remains the problem.
first (objective) was to be at the best level, technique-wise, Overcapacity too. When you look at the figures, everyone had
immediately. The second point was to work with our own Hermès three or four crazy years, due to one single factor: China. For
design (team), not watch designers! (The reason was) we were not a good part of this boom, the watchmaking industry thought
in this trade to offer what (watchmaking brands) have been offering this boom was the new reality, and they invested in increasing
for hundreds of years – we are here to bring fresh air, fresh style… production. For me, the problem was that when (the boom
In other words, (we meant to offer) Hermès style – you can like or ended), everyone did not take the courageous step of scaling
not, but at least it is original. back production. A lot of brands privileged selling first (because
Hermès is all about design and know-how. This we have in of excess stock and overcapacity), and as a result, you started
the leather goods, in silk, and so on. We wanted to bring this to getting discounts offered everywhere, more and more pieces in
watchmaking – this was the ambition 40 years ago and remains the grey market, and this destroyed the confidence of the retail
our ambition. customer. This is because if the retail price doesn’t mean anything
anymore – and some brands had more than doubled their prices
In the current climate, but also for the future, where do you see – this impairs the trust of the customer.
growth for the Hermès watch segment? For us, this is not an issue, even though some journalists
There are two areas – first of all, we open new markets, but key do ask me about whether we will reduce our prices. We continue
markets are most important, and that is China, the USA, France, to have (acceptable) prices, meaning for our entry-level pieces,
South Korea, and Singapore (to name just a few). Second, we and this did not change over the last few years. As I said, we have
extend our lines upwards – we keep our simple and quartz been offering more (expensive) pieces (in search of growth), but we
watches, but expand to more mechanical pieces, more precious never moved away from our original price points.
lines for women. This is very successful right now, so in doing this, Getting back to your question; overproduction is still here,
we can reach (new) clientele. So, there is geographical growth as the grey market pieces are still there. Discounts are everywhere.
well as growth in (value). Let’s face it. So, the crisis is not over yet, in my opinion.

Cape Cod shadow (left), Grrrrr! (right)


HigHer ground
With three awards (two for watchmaking and one for wine), 2017 has been a bumper crop
year for Chopard CEO Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, and he shares how he has quietly carved a
place in history for his brands in two highly competitive industries
Words & INTErVIEW JonatHan Ho

Curiously, Louis Ulysse Chopard is a name that goes back to
1860, but here you’re celebrating your 20th anniversary…
We had a celebration for the 150 years, but 20 years ago was the
true renaissance of the manufacture and it is as important because
we added a foundation to the Chopard world, which made us much
stronger as an entity and much more complete when compared to
what we were before.

Would it be right to infer that there’s a certain humility or respect

for the craft, which is why unlike some other brands, you don’t lay
claim to centuries of watchmaking history?
Well, in the very beginning, there was a time where Chopard
bought movements and so, you’re right to say that there’s a
humility and a respect for reality because we cannot claim to be
a manufacture for 150 years. We’ve always been very truthful,
and this is part of our philosophy. I find it amusing when one infers
uninterrupted production.

You’re big as Chopard but small within the scope of L.U.C

watches, so how has that affected your business model in relation
to market conditions?
We were tempted at one stage to have L.U.C as a sub-brand, but
then we decided that this wasn’t the road we would take. Out of
1,000 Chopard retailers worldwide, only 350 points of sale carry
L.U.C watches, and this includes our own boutiques. This approach
served to differentiate L.U.C watches from the general Chopard
collection. L.U.C doesn’t have the ambition to make 10,000
pieces; our ambition is to focus solely on quality and innovation
rather than think about how many watches we can sell tomorrow.
It’s supposed to remain exclusive and represent the pinnacle of
Chopard in terms of watchmaking expertise.

peaking with Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, co-owner and
co-president of Chopard, and as of 2012, owner of the So with the new XPS collection, are you appealing to new
100-hectare Château Monestier La Tour wine estate, one demographics?
gets the sense that 2017 couldn’t be ending on a much higher The new XPS line is meant to attract younger gentlemen, ones
note. After all, Scheufele was speaking to us as a winner of recent who appreciate high watchmaking and seek to acquire (pieces)
top honours in watchmaking, with the L.U.C Full Strike taking at a much more reasonable price. If we did not address the needs
the GPHG 2017 “Aiguille D’or” Grand Prix and the Chopard Lotus of this audience today, we would be potentially losing them
Blanc taking the jewellery watch prize. It is especially poignant tomorrow. Those who buy the XPS in steel will probably consider
considering that just last year, his “project” with the Chronométrie a more complicated L.U.C watch once they complete their studies
Ferdinand Berthoud had also achieved the “Aiguille D’or”. or get promoted to a senior position.
“It’s been a great year,” he says as he offers a firm
handshake while we take our seats at the dining table in his suite In terms of new demographics, with regard to fine watchmaking,
at the Waldorf Astoria Beijing. “Yes, we noticed the gold medal what are your plans to reach out to more women, or would you
sticker on the bottles of Bergerac Château Monestier La Tour,” still concentrate on the design aspect?
we counter. A twinkle in his eye, he offers a joke, “There’s always I noticed more women attending our exhibitions and events around
appetite for more awards.” the world, and they have begun to ask specific questions about
With his own brand of wine winning the gold medal at the what’s inside the watch. Somehow, they’ve been influenced or
Concours des Vins du Sud-ouest in 2017, one gets the sense the have discovered this by means of the press, but it’s definitely
Scheufele has been hitting the right notes with expressions of a trend that they’re no longer considering just the aesthetics,
artisanal perfection in almost every product category he touches. but taking a holistic approach to the product. On average, your
But what does it all mean for a man who should be rightfully Asian consumer is a more sophisticated watch buyer than even
feeling a master of his domain? We find out. European ones.

L.U.C is naturally geared to please modern consumers who have passed
the first phase of merely buying brands and are now looking deeper into
refinement. For them, L.U.C is an interesting choice

I have noticed in terms of Chopard communications, there always

seems to be a hint of a “social mission”, be it Fairmined or ethical
production, was this a conscious effort to appeal to women or a
general statement that as leaders of the luxury industry, one has
to set the tone of being socially aware?
First, it is a personal conviction of the family and certainly myself.
Otherwise, we wouldn’t be credible. It’s not a mere marketing
message. It carries through even to Château Monestier La Tour. A
year after we purchased the wine estate, we decided to scrap all
synthetic materials and processes such as chemical fertilisers in
order to go fully organic. I was convinced that this was the only
way to make our wine – it’s not the easy way, but it’s the right way.
Next year, we will be certified organic and personal conviction is the
driving force. I have but one exception – I still love petrol engine cars.
Second, we observed from our own children that there is
growing recognition of the environment and for social justice
among the younger generation. It became clear to us that this was
one of the subjects they cared deeply about because they had
been talking about this at school.
Finally, the added value in terms of marketing is that a L.U.C Perpetual T spirit of the Chinese Zodiac. This is
growing number of the population appreciate this. a unique piece

The Chopard L.U.C Time Traveler one Beijing Edition was also
launched during the Beijing event. This is a limited edition of
eight pieces. This is the first worldtimer in the L.U.C range With regards to the younger consumer and how they’re more
discerning, and even their attraction to social responsibility, does
that mean any luxury brand would have to change the way they
appeal to the next generation of consumers?
I think we have to carefully consider how we speak to them or
how we communicate with them. That’s the biggest difference.
They don’t read the same things as our generation; they don’t
communicate the same way. I read the papers; my children go
online. They’re on social media more, and I barely touch it. They’re
quite discerning in their approach to things, and they’re not easily
won over. My son is constantly on the lookout for products that
don’t carry mass appeal; he’s always looking for something edgy
and distinctive in some way.

There are different modes of operation when it comes to dealing

with family and dealing with business, but Chopard happens to be
both. What secrets can you share on how you can be a family unit
but still run a business?
We have two complementary divisions, the watchmaking
side and the jewellery side. Our parents showed us that
working together can not only be fun but if done in a spirit of
togetherness, can take you very far. My mother has always
been a part of the business, and while she didn’t always have
the same opinion as my father, it was important that they had a
common goal and followed relatively simple rules. In the event
of intense debates, they always resolved the differences. My
sister and I have complementary skillsets, and it all works in
the right way.


When it comes to L.U.C watches, do you have a distinct

China strategy?
I won’t call it a strategy. L.U.C is naturally geared to please modern
Chinese consumers who have passed the first phase of merely
buying brands and are now looking deeper into refinement and
for them, an L.U.C watch is an interesting choice. China is slightly
different from Asia in the way that it is very fast moving and
catching up in terms of sophistication. The most sophisticated
market in the region is Singapore.

We saw for the first time, the L.U.C Perpetual T – Spirit of the
Chinese zodiac piece unique. It is emblematic of the history and
culture of China and should appeal to the Chinese market. How do
you appeal to Singaporean collectors?
I think with this particular piece, we’d be surprised as to who will
make the final purchase. We definitely made it with China in mind,
but if you consider the Urushi collection, it’s been popular all over
Asia except Japan, and we designed it with Japan in mind!

Would you say the level of sophistication makes selling watches

to Singaporeans just that much harder?
L.U.C calibre 02.15-L which powers the L.U.C Perpetual T Well, Singaporeans have seen so many exceptional pieces over
spirit of the Chinese Zodiac the years, and that is the reason why it is also the biggest market
for Ferdinand Berthoud today.

L.U.C PerPetUaL t SPirit of the ChineSe

zodiaC PieCe UniqUe
Paying tribute to more than a 1,000 years of culture, artisans
from L.U.C Chopard hand-engraved all 12 animal motifs of the
Chinese zodiac on the pink gold case middle, honouring the
milestones of high horology and traditional Chinese arts in one
piece unique. It is the natural culmination of the annual L.U.C
XP Urushi, which pays tribute to each zodiac year. Here, the 12
signs are individually represented using champlevé engraving,
where minute cavities are made then filled with black patina
to accentuate the motifs symbolising the Chinese calendar in
chronological order. The bezel and solid gold dial of the L.U.C
Perpetual T are also decorated with hand-engraved Chinese
iconography, with the black and gold timepiece paying
homage to the foundations of Chinese cosmology and belief.
Within beats the chronometer-certified L.U.C Calibre
02.15-L, which plays home to Chopard’s finest watchmaking
expressions – the perpetual calendar, tourbillon, and its
innovative Quattro system that ensures one-week (eight
days, actually) of power reserve.
Everything from movement development, finished
product design, gold foundry work, case stamping and
machining, movement components, traditional hand-
The tiger’s head is perched on
engravings and decorations, surface treatments, polishing, the crown of the L.U.C Perpetual
T while his body fits the case.
assembly, adjustments to quality controls are performed The dragon and snake are coiled
in-house at Chopard’s Meyrin and Fleurier facilities. between the lugs.

Ev Ents

living it up
The second edition of the Singapore
RendezVous is bigger and better

he second edition of the Singapore RendezVous
showcased key luxury lifestyle components
in early October: yachts, properties, classic
cars, supercars, fashion, art, fine F&B, music, and DJ
parties. It was also the occasion of the 20th-anniversary
party for our friends at Men’s Folio Singapore, which
actually flagged off Singapore RendezVous 2017. Invited
guests enjoyed the four-day affair, which was open to
families, collectors, and luxury lifestyle enthusiasts.
More than 6,000 visitors turned up, despite the adverse
weather conditions, to enjoy carefully curated brands,
products, and experiences with educational activities and
conferences on the sidelines. Boating-wise, the line-up of
close to 20 yachts from Boat Lagoon Yachting (Princess
Yachts) and ProMarine Yacht Sales attracted plenty of
interest. Raffles Marina, completely transformed with
lights, art displays, and photo opportunities, played host
to this event.

Ev Ents

play time
Hermès showcases its fantastic take in
watchmaking with an exhibition

ime, a Hermès Object makes a stop in Singapore
to showcase the Maison’s whimsical timepieces.
Guests were invited to explore the scenographic
exhibition at the Ngee Ann City atrium, before heading
in-store to view the watches. In a light-hearted game of
anticipation, London-based Gandini Juggling troupe put
on a series of short performances that led up to a final act
at the end of exactly one hour.

Ev Ents

aqua terra
Watch lovers gather in Langkawi for the
Omega Seamaster launch

mega shipped out a new generation of
Seamasters with a major bash at The St. Regis
Langkawi, flying in guests from Kuala Lumpur
and Singapore. Country manager of Omega Singapore &
Malaysia, Jose de Cardoso, played host, while head of
product management, Gregory Kissling, demonstrated
the anti-magnetic properties of the collection, now
equipped with Co-Axial Master Chronometer calibres. The
evening also featured live music from jazz singer Evelyn
Feroza and pianist Sharon Chong.

Ev Ents

the 100
Sincere showcases 100 A. Lange & Söhne
watches for Singapore collectors

eeing more than a dozen or so watches from A.
Lange & Söhne is an unusual experience for all
but the most seasoned – or lucky – collectors.
When Sincere Fine Watches announced an event at its
Ngee Ann City boutique showcasing 100 watches from
the Glashütte brand, it raised more than a few eyebrows,
but the retailer pulled it off. Obviously, it was no ordinary
event, with even brand employees confessing that they
had never seen so many A. Lange & Söhne watches
outside the manufacture. The beauty of the whole affair is
that Sincere managed to sell quite a number of the pieces,
which is always good news.

Ev Ents

rev your
Patrick Dempsey thrills the crowd at
TAG Heuer’s Orchard Road party

he Heuer Globetrotter initiative kicked off during
the Singapore F1 season, and TAG Heuer’s
Wisma Atria boutique was one of 10 worldwide to
participate. Actor Patrick Dempsey was on hand to unveil
the exhibition, which included museum pieces and those
loaned from local collectors. The party then proceeded to
the outdoor atrium, where a 500-strong crowd cheered
on Dempsey and F1 driver Max Verstappen as they took
on the #DontCrackUnderPressure challenge.


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Leisure Park Tel: 6794 5801
Phone: 65 6348 2998 parkway parade marINa Bay SaNdS ceNtre
#B1-92 #B1-86/87 vIvOcIty taNG pLaza #01-06
#01-25 GrOuNd fLOOr the ShOppeS at
peOpLe'S park Tel: 6348 1870 Tel: 6688 7290 Tel: 6276 6884
Tel: 6278 1698 Tel: 6235 7198 marINa Bay SaNdS
cOmpLex #B2-K7

1 Park Road, #02-45 rAymond WeiL taNGLIN maLL
marINa Square Sincere hAute takaShImaya S.c. Tel: 6688 7423
ShOppING maLL horLogerie 391 Orchard Road Tel: 6733 3074
BrIGhtIme By hILtON ShOppING Ngee Ann City #01-02 vIvOcIty
champIONtIme officine #02-133A #02-05
Tel: 6338 9819 GaLLery Singapore 238872 WAtch pALAce
Lucky Plaza, 304 Orchard pAnerAi #02-17/18 Tel: (65) 6734 2420 Tel: 6376 8210
Road, #01-37 ION Orchard Lucky pLaza
wISma atrIa Tel: 6738 9971 #01-01

Phone: 6737 2616 #01-18 paraGON
Tel: 1800 429 8361 #03-31 Tel: 6735 5151
Tel: 6736 0213 SWAtch 290 Orchard Road
BrIGhtIme By BuGIS JuNctION #01-28A to 29
champIONtIme omegA WAtcheS of
red Army #01-105 Tel: (65) 6235 0200 u-BoAt SWitzerLAnd
THE BENCOOLEN ION Orchard Tel: 6337 8353 raffLeS cIty
#01-70 #01-11 WAtcheS ONe raffLeS pLace paraGON ShOppING
atrIx ShOppING ceNtre ceNtre
Phone: 6338 6368 Tel: 6509 9712 chaNGI aIrpOrt 1 Raffles Place #01-07/08 #01-36C
#06-06 Tel: (65) 6534 5855 #01-19
Tel: 6532 7780 termINaL 3 Tel: 6333 5833 Tel: 6732 9793
cOrtINa raffLeS cIty #B2-30
Chinatown Point ShOppING ceNtre Tel: 6247 5530 vIvOcIty BezeL
#01-08/09 #01-37 mILLeNIa waLk 1 HarbourFront Walk tampINeS maLL
#01-78 11 Unity Street #01-48
Phone: 65 6702 0061 Tel: 6338 3676 ck taNGS LeveL 3 #01-24 to 27 #01-33 Robertson Walk
Tel: 6341 9007 Tel: (65) 6250 9830 Tel: 6783 6535
Tel: 6732 0794 Tel: 65 6738 1221
de tIme reSOrtS wOrLd
#01-37 wISma atrIa vIvOcIty

SeNtOSa – GaLLerIa ION Orchard parkway parade
Phone: 6221 1788 #02-103 #03-02 80 Marine Parade Road #01-66
Tel: 6732 6043 #B2-37 Tel: 6376 9727
Tel: 6723 8004 Tel: 6509 8835 #01-47 to 52
Tel: (65) 6348 9869
Luxury koncept the ShOppeS at richArd miLLe VAcheron WAtch StAtion
deLfI Orchard marINa Bay SaNdS GraNd hyatt conStAntin internAtionAL
#01-07 #B1-122/125 Hotel Shop 1 Unit 1 ION Orchard 313 @ SOmerSet
Tel: 6339 3508 L’AteLier By
Tel: 6735 5200 Tel: 6225 2393 Tel: 6733 1313 #02-07 #02-22
the hour gLASS Tel: 6509 8800
JuNctION 8 ION Orchard Tel: 6884 6012

80 aIrpOrt reSOrtS wOrLd
#01-13 #03-06
BOuLevard  SeNtOSa the ShOppeS at Imm
Tel: 6258 8355 Tel: 6509 9268
302-60 Changi Airport Hotel Michael #02-102 marINa Bay SaNdS #01-65
Terminal 1 Tel: 6659 1313 #B2-238 Tel: 6899 1226
mASterpiece JurONG pOINt mALmAiSon By Tel: 6688 7000
time & JeWeLS Departure/Transit
the ShOppeS at
ShOppING the hour gLASS the ShOppeS at
wISma atrIa 819642 Singapore Centre #01-60
marINa Bay SaNdS kNIGhtSBrIdGe VAn cLeef & marINa Bay SaNdS
#02-04/05 T. +65 621 49 101 Tel: 6795 7309
Hotel Tower #01-08 #01-01 ArpeLS #B2-93/94
Tel: 6887 4747 Tel: 6336 1313 Tel: 6884 8484
oriS Nex NGee aNN cIty Tel: 6688 7168
pLaza SINGapura #01-79 #02-07/08
mAuBouSSin roger duBuiS more pASSion By Tel: 6235 1455 WorLd time
#01-30A Tel: 6634 2515
takaShImaya LeveL 1
Tel: 6338 6551 the ShOppeS at the hour gLASS Orchard ceNtraL
Tel: 6734 4748 marINa Bay SaNdS paraGON ShOppING the ShOppeS at
Orchard Gateway #03-02

#B2-241 #01-01 marINa Bay SaNdS Tel: 6509 8801
taNGS Orchard Tel: 6636 9522 #01-24/25 #B2-210
Level 2 Tel: 6702 4457

Tel: 6735 6466 Tel: 6688 7858
pASSionS roLex pLaza SINGapura
mAy mAy WAtch ION Orchard pArAgon grey ION Orchard
deALerS fuNaN the It maLL #B1-27
#01-02 By the hour #01-26
the BeNcOOLeN #02-20 Tel: 6334 8042 yuen Loong
Tel: 6509 9282 gLASS +65 6509 8128
#01-77 Tel: 6334 2221 paraGON WAtch
Tel: 6338 3464 raffLeS cIty marINa Square
pAtek phiLippe
raffLeS hOteL Shopping Centre #01-28A/29 Vincent WAtch #02-254A/255A
ShOppING arcade #01-41 Tel: 6235 0200 cauSeway pOINt
megA WAtch ION Orchard Tel: 6338 7542
#01-13 Tel: 6334 5951 #01-10
whIte SaNdS #02-03 Tel: 6334 3241 the minute Tel: 6894 2143 parkway parade
#01-27 Tel: 6509 9238
SuNtec cIty maLL And Second #03-L1

Tel: 6585 0518 harBOurfrONt cOmpaSS pOINt
the ShOppeS at #01-322 Tel: 6447 3194
Tel: 6338 7522 ceNtre #02-13
montBLAnc marINa Bay SaNdS
#01-11 Tel: 6388 2609
chaNGI aIrpOrt #B1-10
SArcAr takaShImaya LeveL 1 Tel: 6274 6788
termINaL 2 Tel: 6688 7008
maSterpIece tIme & Tel: 6235 2139 JurONG pOINt
#026-100-02 Jem #01-13
phiLip Stein JeweLS pte Ltd
Tel: 6542 4139 #B1-28 Tel: 6793 5513
ION Orchard Wisma Atria tampINeS maLL
#02-04/05 WiSMA ATRiA #01-K3 Tel: 6734 8465
chaNGI aIrpOrt #B1-10 tampINeS maLL
Tel: 6634 7407 TEL: (65) 6887 4747 Tel: 6588 3060
termINaL 3 time cLuB #01-07
#02-20 BuGIS JuNctION Tel: 6784 1868
Tel: 6214 0996 SuNtec cIty maLL See toi WAtcheS the ShOppeS at
BLk 4a wOOdLaNdS marINa Bay SaNdS #01-22
#01-435 taNJONG katONG
ceNtre rOad #B2-105 Tel: 6337 8602
maNdarIN GaLLery Tel: 6835 7188 cOmpLex
#01-05/06 Tel: 6224 6753
#01-01, #02-01 JurONG pOINt #01-16
Tel: 6836 3190 piAget Tel: 6269 4128
ShOppING ceNtre Tel: 6748 6271
NGee aNN cIty #01-50
Tower B #02-12A Tel: 6794 6513
Tel: 6732 6831


Alain Silberstein Arbutus Bering Breitling corum oris

carl f. Bucherer claude Bernard pandora meLcherS tIme cOrum (S) pte Ltd OrIS (S) pte Ltd
de Bethune columbia philip Stein 435 Orchard Road, 211 Henderson Road, 371 Beach Road,
girard-perregaux edox rosendahl #22-04/06, #10-04, Henderson #14-05, Keypoint
h.moser & cie elle time timberland Wisma Atria Building Tel: 6296 1904
Tel: 6732 6347 Tel: 6272 9429
harry Winston guy Laroche NOrBreeze pte Ltd
patek philippe
hublot katherine hamnett 2 Alexandra Road, Bulgari custos
ikepod Luminox #03-01D, Delta House patek phILIppe SaLeS
Tel: 6221 2126 the BuLGarI de grisogono aNd ServIce ceNtre
kari Voutilainen Soleus
BOutIque f.p. Journe 501 Orchard Road,
mB & f cryStaL tIme
Blancpain Tel: 6830 8100 franck muller #16-01, Wheelock
parmigiani fleurier 16 Tannery Lane, Place
Breguet SINcere fINe
philippe dufour #01-00 carven Tel: 6732 1506
Tel: 6747 8888 certina watcheS
romain gauthier Leonard
ck Watches 3 Temasek Boulevard
roger Smith Sarcar #23-03 Suntec City raymond Weil
Audemars piguet glashütte original
Sinn Tower 3 c meLcherS GmBh
hamilton LeONG pOh kee pte
ulysse nardin 14 Kung Chong Road, Tel: 6317 2959 & cO
Jaquet droz Ltd
urwerk #04-01 Lum Chang 101 Thomson Road,
289 Beach Road,
Building Longines epos #24-01/05,
Vianney halter #01-02
Tel: 6238 6678 mido United Square
Tel: 6292 5155 titoni
the hOur GLaSS Tel: 6355 9272
BOutIqueS Azimuth atG watch ServIce
Tel: 6787 2288 pierre Balmain charriol ceNtre
richard mille
52 Taman Warna rado 151 Chin Swee Road,
the charrIOL
Tel: 6557 0057 Swatch #02-03, Manhattan rIchard mILLe
Alexander Shorokhoff BOutIque
tissot House BOutIque
Atop 10 Bayfront Avenue
Ball #B2-45, Tel: 6633 3193 1 Bayfront Avenue,
Alessandro Baldieri the Swatch GrOup #01-08 Marina Bay
72 Bendemeer Road, The Shoppes at
Azimuth cuStOmer ServIce Aviator Sands Hotel Tower
#05-31, Luzerne Marina Bay Sands
Buran ceNtre Tel: 6336 1313
Tel: 6235 1811 Tel: 6688 7417 Braun
1 Harbourfront Avenue,
hirsch candino
#06-01/02 rolex
itay noy chronoswiss Keppel Bay Tower chaumet ingersoll
Junkers christian dior tudor
concord Tel: 6275 6388 titan
Lip ebel fendi Vivienne Westwood rOLex SINGapOre
moscow classic gucci Bovet tAg heuer Wenger
302 Orchard Road,
nauticfish davidoff #01-01, Tong Building
milus zenith Westar Tel: 6830 5100
poljot international montre royale glycine
Lvmh watch & chrONOSOft pte Ltd
rSW ferragamo JeweLLery
pacIfIc tIme 205 Henderson Road Seiko
Schaumburg Watch maurice Lacroix 391B Orchard Road #03-01, Henderson
391 Orchard Road, Alba
Sevenfriday #18-06 West end Watch #11-08, Ngee Ann City Building
Sturmanskie Tower B Tel: 6339 3700 thONG SIa cO (S) pte
Ngee Ann City Tower B dkSh (Sea) pte Ltd Tel: 6701 8888 Ltd
Vostok europe Tel: 6271 9600 625 Lorong 50 Kallang Avenue,
zeppelin 4 Toa Payoh, krieger
citizen #06-03,
Bell & ross #03-00 u-Boat Tel: 6737 6122
red army watcheS
gc Tel: 6222 0322 Vagary
ServIce ceNtre independent
82 Lorong 23 Geylang frederique constant Welder
guess Boxy cItIzeN ServIce
#06-06, Atrix BezeL ServIce
Tel: 6532 7780 marc ecko fortis ceNtre
nautica momo design 60 Albert Street,
11 Unity Street
Welder #17-08, OG Albert
Victorinox Swiss fOrte Luxury #01-33 Robertson Walk
318 Tanglin Road, Tel: 6738 1221
BrIGhtIme By Army Tel: 6334 4576
champION tIme #01-64/65, Blk D
fJ BeNJamIN – Phoenix Park Office
180 Bencoolen Street,
tImepIeceS ServIce Campus
#01-70,The Bencoolen
ceNtre Tel: 6459 2208
Tel: 6338 6368
230 Orchard Road,
#04-230, Faber House
Tel: 6736 3933


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A R T | P R O P E R T I E S | W A T C H E S

04.01.2018 - 07.01.2018

For four days, Royal Phuket Marina will be transformed into
a bustling marine hub for all things luxury lifestyle,
from yachts to high-end properties, watches to supercars,
fashion to fine food and wine



w w w . t h e p h u k e t r e n d e z v o u s . c o m
10 – 13 May 2018
StraitS Quay MariNa | PeNaNg | MaLaySia
RSVP at:
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mensfoliosg @mensfolio

pHoTograpHY raYMond / CapSULe prodUCTion
STYLing ToK Wei LUn

spring 2016
wow spring 2016

speake - Marin Velsheda:

Tale of legends DESIRED

PHP 325
ISSN 2449-3406
Classical dials meet lavish


Kiệt tác sihh 2016 - những ma thuật +PLUS

trên mặt số tuyệt phẩm thời gian của cartier • 10 years of the Breguet Tradition
• Top picks from Watches & Wonders 2015 Franck Muller Vanguard Cobra

Singapore indoneSia MaLaYSia Hong Kong THaiLand VieTnaM pHiLippineS MiddLe eaST
singapore | kuala lumpur | jakarta
| hong kong | shanghai

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Geneva CallinG
With the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie coming up, how well do you know your Geneva
watchmaking and watchmakers?

1. What did Geneva jewellers do when a Calvinist ruling in 6. What’s the name of the most famous Geneva watchmaker
1556 prohibited the production of jewellery? not showing its novelties at the SIHH?
2. The Poinçon de Genève is also known, in English, as… 7. What were the first Geneva watchmaking workshops in the
3. Where is the watchmaking manufacture of Roger Dubuis? 18th-century called?

4. When did the Poinçon de Genève attain legal status? 8. The Poinçon de Genève was recently bestowed on what
watch that is made from a composite material?
5. Which Geneva-based brand bears the Poinçon de Genève
and two other certifications, on the same watch? 9. What is the key emphasis of the Poinçon de Genève?

Spider Carbon Skeleton Flying Tourbillon; 9. Provenance: the watch must have been assembled in the Geneva Canton
of Geneva; 4. 1886; 5. Chopard, in its triple-certification watch; 6. Patek Philippe; 7. Cabinets; 8. Roger Dubuis Excalibur
Answers: 1. They turned to making watches; 2. The Geneva Seal, or Hallmark of Geneva; 3. Meyrin, on the outskirts