Jump Shot

New ret­ro­grade watches mes­merise with their im­pres­sive tech­nique and avant-garde dis­plays

Hong Kong Tatler - - Style -

et­ro­grade watches, with their lin­ear or arc dis­plays, which dif­fer with ev­ery watch­maker, and hands that act like levers, seem­ingly jump­ing from one point to the next, are in­trigu­ing me­chan­i­cal in­ven­tions. There were many great ex­am­ples at the watch shows in Geneva and Basel this year.

In­spired by Abra­ham-louis Breguet, the French­man who first pro­duced sim­i­lar time­pieces in 1796, Breguet’s Tra­di­tion Au­toma­tique Se­conde Rétro­grade 7097 boasts an open dial where the wheels, es­cape­ment, bar­rel and other usu­ally-hid­den com­po­nents of the move­ment are the fo­cal points, exquisitely dec­o­rated and high­lighted by a ret­ro­grade sec­onds dis­play at 10 o’clock and the hours and min­utes dis­play at 12 o’clock.

Harry Win­ston’s Mid­night Ret­ro­grade Sec­ond Au­to­matic cre­ates a fas­ci­nat­ing vis­ual with its large ret­ro­grade small sec­onds dis­play on the outer left side of the dial, com­ple­mented by the con­trast­ing hours and min­utes dis­play on the up­per right. The time­piece is the lat­est mem­ber of the brand’s Mid­night col­lec­tion, which car­ries the de­sign codes of Harry Win­ston’s Fifth Av­enue sa­lon.

Meta­mor­pho­sis II is one of the most com­plex move­ments de­vel­oped by Mont­blanc. Its most strik­ing fea­ture is an “over­laid dial” that opens like a cur­tain to change from a time dis­play to a chrono­graph. An hour counter at 12 o’clock, a ret­ro­grade minute hand and cen­tral sec­onds are for time­keep­ing, while cen­tral chrono­graph sec­onds and a 30-minute ro­tat­ing disc counter at 6 o’clock are for the chrono­graph.

Equipped with a dou­ble ret­ro­grade dis­play for the day and date, Vacheron Con­stantin’s Pat­ri­mony Ret­ro­grade Day-date is a great ex­am­ple of tech­ni­cal ex­per­tise matched with clean aes­thetics, in a case of pink gold matched with a slate-coloured opa­line dial.

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