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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Out of the Gate, 10 Luxury Watches for 2015

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda 1950 Squelette Ladies Watch

The new year isn’t even a month old and the Swiss watch industry started issuing releases of its new watches. In fact, the parade of new 2015 products began before 2014 ended. 

Out of the many new releases, I am going to focus on some of the brands that will be exhibiting at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, better known as SIHH, being held January 19 till 23. It’s also known as the Richemont show because the majority of the luxury brands exhibiting are owned by Switzerland-based luxury goods holding company, Compagnie Financière Richemont. It is the first major watch tradeshow of the year and it is also considered by many to be the most exclusive and luxurious of them all. 

A total of 16 brands will be exhibiting and out of that group are introductions from 10 of the companies. 


A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia, Saxonia Automatic and Saxonia Dual Time
The German watch brand is introducing three new models to its popular Saxonia collection. The solid-gold applied hour markers have been moved toward the periphery of the dial and are executed as double baton appliqués at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock; along with slightly extended black graduations of the minute scale. For the Automatic and Dual Time models, the seconds subdial is marked by numerals every 10 seconds. The company said all modifications were made in the interest of improved legibility. The new design resulted in a slightly smaller case for the two models. The Saxonia is powered with the in-house manual wind caliber L941.1, the Automatic uses the in-house L086.1 caliber, and the Dual Time uses the in-house automatic L086.2 caliber.


Greubel Forsey Black GMT
The 43.5 mm case is made of titanium treated with vacuum deposited amorphous diamond-like carbon (ADLC), a black coating that displays some of the properties of diamond. It is harder than natural titanium. The movement's main plate and bridges also have a black finish. Greubel Forsey says this helps to bring out the contrast between the different textures and surface finishes of each component. The case houses a GF05 in house movement with a 24-second tourbillon inclined at a 25 degree angle GMT function, three-dimensional globe for day and night indication, a rotating disc with 24 different time zones, daylight savings indication and a 72 hour power reserve. The watch is limited to a production of 22.


IWC Portugieser Annual Calendar
Located at 12 o’clock on the dial, the annual calendar shows the month, date and day in three separate, semicircular windows. The switching mechanism automatically takes into account the differing lengths of individual months. However, unlike a perpetual calendar, the annual calendar cannot factor the differing lengths of the month of February or the leap years. So once a year, at the end of February, it requires manual adjustment with a built-in “corrector.” Its 44.2mm case, grooved bezel, classic railway-track-style chapter ring, slim feuille hands and Arabic numerals, the Portugieser Annual Calendar resembles the original Portugieser of 1939. The small seconds subdial is positioned at 9 o’clock. The subdial on the opposite side serves as the power reserve display. The automatic in-house 52850 caliber movement has a seven-day power reserve. 


Montblanc Heritage Spirit Orbis Terrarum
The name Orbis Terrarum, is the Latin term for “globe,” “earth,” and “world.” The in-house complication of the MB29.20 automatic caliber displays 24 time zones in a practical and intuitive way. The dial, constructed in multi-layers, displays the continents and oceans as viewed from the North Pole. Under the main dial is a disc showing day and night, which rotates with the movement of the 24-hour mechanism on the outermost layer on the dial. The names of 24 cities circle the central image surrounded by their respective time zones on the 24-hour mechanism. The disc with the cities can rotate separately from the 24-hour disc with the aid of the pusher located at 8 o’clock. To adjust the time the desired home city needs to be positioned with its corresponding time at 6 o’clock. 


Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda 1950 Squelette - Men
The bridge and main plate of the automatic PF705 caliber skeleton watch for men and ladies (ladies watch pictured in top photo) features a hand-crafted openwork display. The revealed skeleton movement compliments the extra-thin construction (7.8mm for me and 8.4mm for ladies). The platinum micro-rotor is visible on the surface of the watch. The pattern consists of the company’s iconic lugs. The dial is made of sapphire, giving it the impression of being invisible. Only the rim is metalized, which hides the points of attachment between the movement and the case. The dial on the men’s model is polished and transparent, while the ladies’ model features a subtly frosted dial that resembles a veil. 

Piaget Black Tie Vintage Inspiration

Piaget Black Tie Traditional Oval

Piaget Black Tie 'Vintage Inspiration' and ‘Traditional Oval’
The new models reflect the heritage of Piaget’s unusual-shaped watches. The cushion-shaped Black Tie Vintage Inspiration has a slimmer profile thanks to the automatic Piaget 534P movement. The white gold bezel creates a contrast with the intense blackness of the onyx dial for a contemporary masculine look. The Black Tie Traditional Oval for ladies features an oval case housing a silver dial with the bezel and bracelet in white gold or yellow gold. In addition, the bezel is topped with 24 brilliant cut diamonds. It’s powered by P56 quartz movement.


Ralph Lauren Automotive Chronograph
Inspired by the instrument panel of Ralph Lauren’s 1938 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic Coupe, its curved case horns and chronograph pushers echo the lines of the automobile’s body. The handmade wooden dial element—crafted from loupe d’orme, or elm burl wood—reflects the interior trim of the Type 57 SC’s cockpit. In order to give the dial the same visual detail and impact as the automobile’s instrument panel, only veneers with the right concentration of knots and grains were chosen. Ralph Lauren partnered with Jaeger-LeCoultre to create the RL751A/1 automatic caliber, with a 65-hour power reserve. 


Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Skeleton Flying Tourbillon
The company has taken the skeleton theme beyond the movement, extending it to encompass the 45mm skeletonized titanium case, flange and hands to resemble a spider’s web. It has the signature features of Roger Dubuis skeleton watches, such as the star-shaped design, the tourbillon carriage shaped like a Celtic cross and the high-end finishes—including a circular-grained plate. It is powered by the mechanical hand-wound RD505SQ caliber, which features a flying tourbillon at 7:30 (one rotation per minute) and a 60-hour power-reserve.


Richard Mille RM 33-01 Automatic
The skeletonized RMXP3 caliber that powers the RM 33-01 has an off-center platinum micro rotor. This architecture reveals the grade 5 titanium movement, which is wet sandblasted and electroplasmatreated, the surfaces microblasted, drawn and satin-finished with the anglage entirely worked by hand. The taut lines of the sport-inspired design combine the curvature of the brand’s tonneau cases with the construction characteristic of its round watches. The graphic style of the numerals with their outsized dimensions provides better readability. The tripartite case, with a diameter of 45.70 mm and a thickness of 9.20 mm, is mounted on a rubber strap secured with a folding clasp in grade 5 titanium. The result, according to Richard Mille, is a chic design with a sporty feel.


Van Cleef & Arpels Cadenas
The luxury house is reintroducing the Cadenas watch, first created in 1935, said to have been inspired by the zip necklace worn by the Duchess of Windsor. It’s known for its unashamedly modern design with large double hoop-shaped curves attached to a straight-lined watch case. The new collection consists of nine models, powered by a quartz movement. The Cadenas is available in unadorned yellow or white gold. The Cadenas Sertie, also in yellow or white gold, has touches of diamonds on the upper surface of the case and the alligator strap attachment. The Cadenas Pavée highlights the jewelry aspect of the watch with princess cut diamonds on the upper surface of the case and round diamonds on the case, clasp and dial; paired with a white-gold snake chain bracelet. The Cadenas Pavée is in pink gold with pink sapphires and diamonds. Diamonds and a gradation of pink sapphires adorn the case and the clasp of the Cadenas Pavée Saphirs Roses.

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