Whimsy, frivolity, playfulness: these are not adjectives one often hears used to describe haute horlogerie. And yet these words accurately describe many watches or clocks built over the centuries. Take a journey with me now to discover my favorite modern whimsical masterpieces.
The monkey is the ninth sign of the 12-year zodiac cycle. According to Chinese astrology, monkeys are quick-witted and innovative, but also mischievous. The sign’s lucky colors are white, gold, and blue – all colors featured on these interesting timepieces except that last one we present. Check out these artistic beauties!
It will come as no surprise to anyone who has read my pieces in the past that I like a good jump hour mechanism. Actually, I love a good jump hour mechanism. There is just something about that instantaneous change driven entirely by mechanical means that fascinates me. And yet not all “digital” watches require the use of jump hours and minutes; some don’t even use a jump at all yet still read digitally. So today I want to break down a list of my seven (plus change) favorite “digital” watches.
By now, pretty much everyone who follows horological news has heard about and likely seen images of the Harry Winston Opus 14. Much of the hard data – the 1066 component parts, four separate stacked dials including three interchangeable ones, the formidable 54.7 mm diameter – is already well known. But how does this immensely complicated watch “stack up” after a bit of reflection?
The Harry Winston Opus 14 was introduced at a celebrity-studded event in Baden-Baden, Germany. The real star of the event for watch enthusiasts in attendance, of course, was the watch itself: the new Opus 14 with a second hidden time zone designed by Franck Orny and Johnny Girardin, the same movement geniuses behind the Montblanc Metamorphosis. Watch Marc Hayek demonstrate the Opus 14’s big trick: revealing and hiding the second time zone and displaying a “Route 66” style American star.
I’m glad to see secret watches making a bit of a comeback since I find them to be seductive anachronisms that are very feminine and very functional. Very much in vogue in the 1930s, ҆40s, and ҆50s, “secret watches” kept the time confidential by hiding the watch dial behind a decorative hinged or swiveling cover. Following are five examples introduced earlier this year.
Welcome to the 2015 edition of Quill & Pad’s early Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) predictions in which we pick our favorites and explain why. The six pre-selected finalists in the Sports category are the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Tourbillon Chronograph, Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe, the Harry Winston Project Z9, Seiko’s Prospex Marinemaster Professional Diver’s 1000m Hi-Beat 36000, the Tudor Pelagos, and the Zenith El Primero Sport.
The Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) has just published the list of 2015’s pre-selected watches in the run-up to the big red carpet event in Geneva on October 29. The pre-selected watches will go on a world tour that includes stops in Hong Kong, Seoul, Dubai, Geneva, and London in October and November. But enough preamble, let’s have a look at the watches that are now in serious contention to take home big prizes this year.
The Opus 5 by Felix Baumgartner/Urwerk for Harry Winston is one of the best of this series of exceptional timepieces. But, as this drawing by Urwerk designer Martin Frei from June of 2003 shows, one of the original ideas behind Urwerk’s Opus 5 was a digital display in a model christened with the working title “Time Bandit.”
Following the Swatch Group’s takeover of Harry Winston, a continuation of the Opus series with an Opus 14 seemed in doubt to me, though at Baselworld 2015 Dr. Nayla Hayek, chair of the Swatch Group’s board of directors and CEO of Harry Winston, quietly let it be known that a Harry Winston Opus 14 is forthcoming. What better reason to take a look back at the history-making timepieces of the Opus series.