THE ASTRONOMICALLY INSPIRED
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