THE AS­TRO­NOM­I­CALLY IN­SPIRED

Robb Report (Malaysia) - - Sihh - March - 2018

It makes per­fect sense for Mont­blanc, a lux­ury brand named af­ter Europe’s high­est peak, to ded­i­cate one of its watches to moun­taineer­ing. The 1858 Geo­sphere comes with a new man­u­fac­ture move­ment Cal­i­bre MB29.25 de­vel­oped at Mont­blanc’s en­gi­neers in Min­erva Villeret, and is in­dis­putably one of the best new time­pieces of SIHH 2018. Two halves of the globe dom­i­nate the dial, ro­tat­ing 360 de­grees in 24 hours and func­tion­ing as a world time in­di­ca­tor.

Look more closely at the globes and you’ll be able to lo­cate the world’s Seven Sum­mits marked out in red dots. On the case­back, an en­grav­ing of Mont Blanc, a compass and two pick­axes re­in­force the watch’s moun­taineer­ing spirit. In ei­ther steel or bronze, the watch has a bi-di­rec­tional ro­tat­ing black ce­ramic bezel with the four car­di­nal points and fluted edges.

Vin­tage throw­backs like the cathe­dral hands, the 1930s-style Mont­blanc logo and the rail­way minute track pay trib­ute to the his­tor­i­cal Min­erva time­pieces. This is one of the few lux­ury watches that of­fer a wide choice of straps. Op­tions in­clude a black NATO strap, a co­gnac- coloured aged calf­skin strap with beige stitch­ing and the moun­tain-ready brown Sfu­mato aged calf leather bund strap. www.mont­blanc.com

Vacheron Con­stantin has just made its first in-house self- wind­ing tour­bil­lon move­ment. Cal­i­bre 2160 is a 131/

2 ligne move­ment, beau­ti­fully fin­ished and Geneva Seal-cer­ti­fied.

In de­sign­ing and pro­duc­ing this au­to­matic move­ment, the es­teemed man­u­fac­ture es­chewed the con­ven­tional os­cil­lat­ing weight, mak­ing a bee­line in­stead for the more in­con­spic­u­ous pe­riph­eral ro­tor.

A move­ment as beau­ti­fully fin­ished as this one de­serves a pe­riph­eral ro­tor be­cause it winds the main­spring from the edges rather than the cen­tral pin­ion.

And since it os­cil­lates on the pe­riph­ery, the move­ment only gains in width, not height, so at just 5.65mm thick, Cal­i­bre 2160 can be con­sid­ered an ul­tra­thin move­ment.

Yet in spite of its thin­ness and the use of a pe­riph­eral ro­tor, this cal­i­bre com­pro­mises nei­ther power nor per­for­mance. Its bar­rel very ably stores 80 hours of power re­serve wound very ef­fi­ciently by a 22-carat gold os­cil­lat­ing weight.

The 2.5Hz bal­ance fre­quency isn’t the fastest on the mar­ket, but it does al­low for beau­ti­ful views of the os­cil­la­tor as it ro­tates within the tour­bil­lon car­riage.

Shaped in the form of the Mal­tese cross, the car­riage sits di­rectly un­der the tour­bil­lon bridge, a com­po­nent which took al­most 12 hours to bevel by hand.

One of the great­est sur­prises at SIHH came from Baume & Mercier, which un­veiled its first in-house move­ment since the days of Ce­lestin and Louis-vic­tor Baume. The Bau­matic de­rived its name from a her­itage dress watch made in the 1960s, but its in­ter­nal me­chan­ics are de­cid­edly new age. De­vel­oped in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Richemont R& D team and pro­duced by the Valfleurier Man­u­fac­ture, Bau­matic is a self- wind­ing 121/ ligne move­ment with

2 a host of mod­ern fea­tures.

It of­fers a 120-hour power re­serve via an op­ti­mised al­loy for the bar­rel. In ad­di­tion, the es­cape­ment with Pow­er­scape tech­nol­ogy and Twin­spir sil­i­con hair­spring max­imises en­ergy ef­fi­ciency and in­creases chrono­met­ric pre­ci­sion. In­deed, this is the first Baume & Mercier move­ment with sil­i­con tech­nol­ogy. All th­ese add up to a rate vari­a­tion of be­tween four sec­onds slow and six sec­onds fast per day – just like any Cosc-cer­ti­fied chronome­ter.

The Bau­matic also ben­e­fits from lu­bri­ca­tion us­ing new types of oils that can with­stand greater vari­a­tions in tem­per­a­ture. It also uses parts that are largely am­ag­netic (to 1,500 Gauss) so the watch is pro­tected from ra­di­a­tion lev­els 25 times higher than reg­u­lar time­pieces and move­ments.

Com­plet­ing its as­sort­ment of man­u­fac­ture core move­ments, Pan­erai in­tro­duces the Cal­i­bre P.6000, a hand-wound move­ment with a three- day power re­serve. Mea­sur­ing 151/ lignes, it is

2 slightly smaller than Pan­erai’s other man­u­ally wound three­day move­ment, Cal­i­bre P.3000, which stands at 161/ lignes. Poised

2 to re­place the ex­ter­nally sourced Uni­tas Cal­i­bre 6497, it pre­miered in the new Lu­mi­nor Base Logo and Lu­mi­nor Ma­rina Logo mod­els. None of th­ese watches, how­ever, come with ex­hi­bi­tion case­backs.

The bal­ance os­cil­lates at 21,600vph which is an av­er­age speed and it is se­curely fixed by a bridge with twin sup­ports, rather than a can­tilevered bal­ance bridge which is typ­i­cally the case in clas­si­cal move­ment ar­chi­tec­ture. Pan­erai of­fers a stop-sec­onds device in this move­ment which kicks in once the crown is pulled out, al­low­ing for greater pre­ci­sion when ad­just­ing the time. www.pan­erai.com

An eques­trian spirit en­velops the Arceau Chrono­graphe, a re­newal of the clas­sic 1978 Henri d’origny de­sign. Be­yond the asym­met­ri­cal lugs fash­ioned af­ter stir­rups, sad­dle stitch­ing on the Bare­nia calf­skin also con­nects one to the leather-mak­ing prove­nance of the mai­son. This year’s rhap­sody on the Arceau by La Mon­tre Her­mes adds that sportive edge with chrono­graph func­tions, a 41mm bead-blasted ti­ta­nium case and slop­ing nu­mer­als rem­i­nis­cent of a play­ful breeze on a sum­mer day.

The pa­rade of high­lights f r om IWC Schaffhausen’s ju­bilee year also in­cludes the Pi­lot col­lec­tion which of­fers, for the first time, a Big Pi­lot with a date dis­play. Adding the date dis­play com­pli­ca­tion meant that the power re­serve would be po­si­tioned on the reverse, keep­ing the pure un­clut­tered style of dial within the 46.2mm stain­less steel case. A soft­iron cage fit­ted within the case ups its sporty cre­den­tials, con­fer­ring height­ened re­sis­tance against mag­netic fields. Two vari­a­tions – a blue dial with rhodium-plated hands and white dial with blued hands – are avail­able, limited to 100 pieces per vari­ant. www.iwc.com

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