VACHERON CONSTANTIN OVERSEAS DUAL TIME
This year’s addition to the Overseas collection of 2016 is the muchwelcomed Overseas Dual Time. The implementation of this most useful of complications within a new mechanical selfwinding movement – the Caliber 5100 DT – also comes with 60 hours of power reserve and a 41mm case which is water resistant to 150m. A choice of stainless steel or 18-carat pink gold are offered as case material, while strap options run the gamut of bracelets, alligator leather and rubber straps.
It’s been 17 years since Ulysse Nardin introduced Freak and this watch is still as freaky as ever. This year’s rendition, named Freak Vision, is the first in the collection to be made with a selfwinding movement. Ulysse Nardin premiered the concept in its 2017 concept watch, Freak Innovision 2. Because Freak doesn’t have a crown, its mainspring is made to be wound by the bezel. The self-winding version uses the patented Grinder Automatic Winding System that comprises a frame containing four arms, each of which flexes in tune with the wearer’s wrist movements. Each time the arms flex, they wind the mainspring – according to Ulysse Nardin, it’s like having four pedals on a bike instead of two. Also, it is regulated by the in-house manufactured Ulysse Nardin Anchor Escapement also based on the principle of flexible mechanisms, as it exploits the elasticity of flat springs. This is a constant force escapement made entirely of silicon and has a circular frame with a pallet fork that moves without friction.
This high-tech Freak might even appeal to watch nerds as much as sailing enthusiasts as its movement design comes from a boat’s hull, linking it inexorably back to Ulysse Nardin’s strong maritime heritage.
Definitely one of the most esoteric creations by the German watch manufacture in a long time, the 1815 Homage to Walter Lange comes with not one but two seconds hands. According to A Lange & Sohne’s technical director Anthony de Haas, the idea for this watch originated from its fourth generation company founder, Walter Lange, who passed away in 2017. Lange had always been drawn to the jumping seconds complication, in particular, the one patented by his great-grandfather FA Lange in 1867.
The 1815 Homage to Walter Lange operates on the same principle as Lange’s invention, scaled down to wristwatch proportions, which must have been a huge challenge for the watchmakers. Skipping one second at a time, the central seconds hand may be started and stopped by the two o’clock pusher thus functioning as a simple timekeeper while the running seconds at the six o’clock sub- dial tracks its own steady passage. This 40.5mm watch has a new movement Calibre L1924 in reference to Walter Lange’s birth year. www.alange-soehne.com
With the new L’astronomo PAM920, Panerai officially has a moon phase complication to call its own. Dedicated to Galileo Galilei, this massive watch with a 50mm Luminor 1950 case in brushed titanium is a made-to- order piece personalised to the coordinates of the owner’s home city. This is so that the moon phase indication is always accurate to his or her view of the sky, likewise with the sunset/ sunrise indicator, and is always in sync with the GMT hand. At six o’clock the watch provides a linear equation of time display showing the difference between mean solar time and apparent solar time.
Its moon phase display doubles up as a day/night indicator where a photorealistic moon waxes and wanes beneath a midnight blue aperture dotted with stars, while a golden sun dominates the other half of the sphere. The movement, Calibre P. 2005/GLS, is fully skeletonised and contains a new polarised crystal date display that reveals the numerals only when it comes under the date window. This patent-pending invention comprises a borosilicate glass ring with laser engraved numerals and a date window also made of polarised crystal. The calibre’s tourbillon rotates perpendicular to the balance and completes one full rotation in 30 seconds. www.panerai.com
It’s hard to forget a watch like Lady Arpels Planetarium, especially when it gives you all the time in the universe. Following in the footsteps of the 2014 Midnight Planetarium watch, this elegant woman’s watch isn’t simply a downscaled version of that piece. In fact, it has a surprise of its own.
This watch partially displays our solar system beginning with the sun in pink gold positioned dead centre, Mercury in pink motherof-pearl, Venus in green enamel and the Earth in beautiful blue turquoise. Like the first version, its aventurine dial is made of rotating rings (five for the planets and one for the time-telling comet) and was developed in collaboration with independent watchmaker, Christiaan van der Klaauw.
Unique to this piece is a diamond solitaire moon connected to and orbiting the Earth as it in turn orbits the sun – if you need reminding – once every 365 days. Venus does the same in 224 days and Mercury, 88.
The movement is bedecked in precious materials even on the back, where an aventurine disc functions as a legend (of sorts) and the oscillating weight made of turquoise and snow-paved diamonds. www.vancleefarpels.com
As far as world timers go, this is one that you can admire from any angle. Through the front, GMT Earth provides a stunning view of the multi-level movement architecture including an off-centred 24-second tourbillon inclined at 25 degrees, the hourminute display, GMT display, a power reserve indicator and a three-dimensional globe.
Accommodating the latter feature necessitated an unusual crystal glass which is practically a hallmark of many Greubel Forsey timepieces. Front, back and lateral views of the globe are possible through the watch’s unique structure. Through the caseback is a prominent display of the world’s 24 time zones in both summer and winter, which is a first for the luxury watch industry.
GMT Earth is not a small watch and, since it’s cased in white gold, will be pretty hefty on the wrist. But all that mass only means more space for Greubel Forsey’s signature hand-finishing and decoration, which takes no fewer than 450 hours to complete. The lateral plates too bear engraved inscriptions that encapsulate the key values of founders Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey.