Monthly News Roundup: Richard Mille, IWC, Vacheron Constantin, MB&F, HYT, Nomos, Jaquet Droz, Fonderie 47, And Moser & Cie
* Richard Mille introduces two new U.S.-only limited editions of 30 pieces each: the RM011 White Ghost and the RM011 Orange Storm, each of which retail for $160,000. Combining high-tech materials and vibrant, stand-out colors, these two new versions are updates of the brand’s “classic” RM011 automatic flyback chronograph, arguably Richard Mille’s most well-known timepiece. The Orange Storm is housed in a black TZP ceramic and NTPT (North Thin Ply Technology) carbon fiber, while the White Ghost is housed in white ATZ ceramic with an NTPT case band. Both timepieces measure 50 x 40 x 16.15 mm.
* Vacheron Constantin’s Excellence Platine collection has been extended by a new model: the Traditionelle Day-Date and Power Reserve. This 39.5 mm watch is housed almost entirely in 950 platinum: case, crown, dial, and folding clasp are all crafted in the precious metal. Even the dark blue alligator-skin strap is hand-sewn using silk-and-platinum thread. This understated model is powered by automatic Caliber 2475, which is beautifully finished to the exacting specifications of the Seal of Geneva. It is strictly limited to 100 individually numbered pieces.
* Fonderie 47 announces a red gold version of its incredible Inversion Principle. Featuring a central three-minute tourbillon, instantaneous jump hours, retrograde minutes and two power reserve displays, this timepiece all by itself is more than noteworthy in the world of haute horlogerie. When you add in the fact that it also contains steel taken from destroyed AK-47s, and that profits are is used to fund the destruction assault weapons in Africa, it becomes a true object of wonder. For more information on this extraordinary timepiece, please read Forget Ploughs To Ploughshares: Fonderie 47 Transforms AK-47s Into Haute Horlogerie.
* MB&F launches a new black version of the HM5 called CarbonMacrolon in an edition of 66 pieces. The supercar-inspired watch is now clothed in a brand-new material that is not only solid black, but also as hard as a steel. CarbonMacrolon is a dense, black polycarbonate resin (a type of plastic) that is reinforced with carbon nanotubes. Despite not being metal, it can still be polished and finished like steel. And the best thing? There are no coatings that can crack or chip off. It will always be black through and through.
* Dominique Renaud, of Renaud et Papi fame, has returned from retirement to enter into a collaboration with HYT. In a bid for more internal independence for the Neuchâtel-based brand, Renaud is to lead HYT’s fine watchmaking and special projects department. HYT and partner company Preciflex, developer of the liquid subassemblies, now count 33 people on the payroll.
* Nomos releases its very cool worldtimer called Zürich Weltzeit with a deep blue dial. This minimalist timepiece with 24 cleanly displayed time zones is powered by Nomos Caliber DUW 5201 (formerly Caliber Xi), an automatic in-house, manufacture movement with Nomos’ own Swing System. The Zürich Weltzeit is housed in a 39.9 mm stainless steel case. It comes on a Horween Shell Cordovan strap and will be available in October. For further information on the Swing System, please read Bravo, Nomos! How The Metro Will Change The Watch Game.
* On the occasion of the Formula 1 race in Singapore, IWC introduced personal Ingenieur Chronograph models in honor of Formula 1 drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, each limited to just 250 pieces. At the same time, IWC announced the extension of its partnership with the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 team. The watches are housed in a 45 mm titanium case, engraved on the back with each of the drivers’ personal logos. They are powered by automatic IWC Caliber 89361.
* Jaquet Droz’s exceptional exhibition of the legendary handcrafts it has utilized for the last 275 years is coming to the United States after stops at Baselworld, in China and Moscow. From September 30 until November 12, 2014 the Enchanted Journey exhibit will be on full view in front of the Tourbillon Boutique at The Shops at Crystals in Las Vegas. This trip through time encompasses priceless works of art from the eighteenth century and today, including automata and unique pieces from the brand’s artistic workshop embellished with miniature painting and engraving. An artist will be on hand for the duration of the exhibition to demonstrate these two forms of art.
To see an example of Jaquet Droz’s modern interpretation of automata, please read Jaquet Droz’s Signing Machine: The Evolution Of Traditional Automata.
* Moser & Cie. introduces the Venturer Tourbillon Dual Time featuring an in-house tourbillon with a Straumann double hairspring, which forms part of an interchangeable escapement module within the automatic caliber. It comes in a 41.5 mm red or white gold case and two dial finishes (smoked red gold called “fumé” or silvered with a sunburst pattern).
* If you have seen our Quill & Pad round table discussion panels, you will know that it is currently high season for the 2014 edition of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG). Mark the following dates in your calendar! From October 22 through November 2, 2014, the pre-selected watches will be on display at the Cité du Temps in Geneva. The main event will take place at Geneva’s Grand Théâtre on October 31.
In case you can’t make it to Geneva, you can watch the live stream on several websites including Hodinkee and Geneva’s own Leman Bleu. If you choose the latter and you speak French, you will enjoy charming commentary by The WATCHES TV’s Louis Nardin.
After the ceremony, the winning watches will exclusively be on display at SalonQP, which takes place at London’s Saatchi Gallery November 6-8, 2014, a week after the ceremony.
* Speaking of SalonQP, if you’re there don’t miss our very own Ian Skellern, who will be holding a seminar on Friday afternoon explaining why watches cost so much (that’s one not to miss) and hosting a seminar on Saturday on how to set up a new watch brand with a panel that has done just that.
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