TIME PIECES WITH TALES TO TELL ; SMART WATCHES

The Pullman Magazine - - Contents - 74 TEXT IS­ABELLE DUPONT

THEY WERE COURA­GEOUS MEN, CON­QUERORS,

WAR HE­ROES AND CEL­E­BRATED MER­CHANTS. MEN WHOSE EPIC AD­VEN­TURES HAVE BEEN PLAYED OUT TIME AND TIME AGAIN ON PAPER, FILM AND CAN­VAS, PAY­ING FIT­TING TRIB­UTE TO THEIR AS­PI­RA­TIONS

AND ACHIEVE­MENTS. YET THEIR AL­READY MA­JES­TIC HER­ITAGE IS HON­OURED STILL FUR­THER THROUGH THE SAVOIR-FAIRE OF HAUTE HORLOGERIE. WEL­COME TO A WORLD WHERE SIM­PLE TIMEKEEPING MAKES WAY FOR HIGH-PRE­CI­SION DI­ALS AND MESMERIZING SO­PHIS­TI­CA­TION.

Ev­ery watch­maker has its own unique his­tory, its own savoir-faire, its own pre­cious archives its crafts­men can dip into for in­for­ma­tion or in­spi­ra­tion. We cast our eyes over a se­lec­tion of time­pieces all in­ex­tri­ca­bly im­bued with the legacy of the past …

ANTIQUITY

In 218 BC, Han­ni­bal headed off to con­quer Rome, marching over the Alps with his army. This epic jour­ney is por­trayed in Ulysse Nardin’s “Répéti­tion Min­utes Han­ni­bal”, played out on a gen­uine Alpine gran­ite dial set above a Tour­bil­lon mech­a­nism and housed in a 43mm plat­inum case. The time can be seen or heard at will, with the 8 o’clock push-piece trig­ger­ing a West­min­ster Car­il­lon chime. As the hours chime in Sol, the min­utes in Mi and the quar­ter hours in three dif­fer­ent se­quences, the Jaque­marts or mech­a­nized fig­ures, carved from white gold, spring to life and dance.

HEROIC

This Roger Dubuis cre­ation boasts 12 7mm hand-carved rose gold knights in guise of hour mark­ers, each one clutch­ing an out­stretched sword as though poised to take an oath. Cel­e­brat­ing the leg­end of King Arthur, the Ex­cal­ibur Ta­ble Ronde time­piece, with its im­pos­ing 45mm rose gold case, ex­tols the val­ues of "val­our and gen­eros­ity” cham­pi­oned by XIIth cen­tury knights.

ORI­EN­TAL

The Marco Polo watch from the Vacheron Con­stantin Métiers d'Art Trib­ute to Great Ex­plor­ers col­lec­tion whisks us off to the Ori­ent in the Vene­tian merchant’s wake. The two-part gold dial is em­bel­lished with Grand Feu enam­el­work, whose multi-lay­ered colours have been metic­u­lously fired and then care­fully sanded down be­tween each ap­pli­ca­tion. The map fea­tures a fine blood-red line trac­ing out the jour­ney the iconic ex­plorer made from Cen­tral Asia to the bor­ders of China be­tween 1271 and 1295.

AMERINDIAN

In 1492 when Christo­pher Colum­bus was be­tween two con­ti­nents, he was con­vinced he was head­ing for In­dian shores. But the many riches of the New World were what he was ac­tu­ally set to dis­cover, a scene that is played out in mi­cro-en­grav­ings and mi­cro-paint­ings on the re­verse side of the Hur­ri­cane Grand Voy­age II watch. Vis­i­ble from both sides, the gy­ro­scopic Grav­ity Con­trol mod­ule is in­spired by the kind of gim­bal sus­pen­sion sys­tem used in marine chronome­ters to counter the ship’s move­ments, thereby op­ti­miz­ing the time­piece’s ac­cu­racy.

IM­PE­RIAL

An­other con­quest, an­other Napoleonic vic­tory. When a col­lec­tion of im­pe­rial mem­o­ra­bilia was put up for auction in 2014, Jérôme De Witt, a di­rect de­scen­dant of the em­peror’s youngest brother and founder of the epony­mous Geneva-based watch­mak­ing firm, ac­quired 2 lots con­tain­ing strands of Napoleon’s hair. Mi­cro-strands of that hair have since been sealed be­neath the glass of sev­eral watch faces along­side an ef­figy of the em­peror, pro­tected by a spe­cial var­nish.

These leg­endary men con­tinue to gar­ner ad­mi­ra­tion sev­eral cen­turies later. Now the time has come to show our ad­mi­ra­tion for the out­stand­ing work ac­com­plished by the mas­ter watch­mak­ers, enam­ellers and en­gravers, cel­e­brat­ing the beauty of their art.

ROGER DUBUIS Ex­cal­ibur Ta­ble Ronde VACHERON CON­STANTIN

Marco Polo

ZENITH Christophe Colomb Hur­ri­cane

Grand Voy­age II

DEWITT Academia Grande Date ADN

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