12 Watches You Need To See From Hong Kong’s Watches & Wonders 2015
Watches & Wonders, inaugurated three years ago as an Asian version of the SIHH, has evolved into an important horological exhibition for local press and watch aficionados thanks to its strategic location in Hong Kong.
Officially opening the fair on September 30, FHH chair and managing director Fabienne Lupo justifiably explained that fine watchmaking is an encounter between art and the science of time, one that stirs deep emotions.
Despite the big emotions, this year only 12 exhibitors took part in the fair: A. Lange & Söhne, Baume & Mercier, Cartier, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Montblanc, Panerai, Piaget, Richard Mille, Roger Dubuis, Vacheron Constantin, and Van Cleef & Arpels.
Here we bring you an overview of 12 interesting timepieces launched at this prestigious fair.
Richard Mille Evil Eye RM 26-02 Tourbillon
Designed and executed by Olivier Vaucher, a renowned engraver from Geneva, the observer’s eye is seriously drawn to the flames and “evil” eye hand-carved in yellow gold using specifically made chisels. Grand feu enamel is what gives the eye its striking depth and realism and the flames their extraordinary color.
The eye is nestled at the heart of the tourbillon within Caliber RM26-02, a manual winding movement with a power reserve of approximately 50 hours (shown by a red line on a differential-driven rotating disk located between 10 and 11 o’clock). It comprises a highly skeletonized base plate and bridges in PVD-coated grade 5 titanium, which reveals the other side of the eye through the back of the watch.
The Evil Eye is housed in a black TZP high-tech ceramic case with a case band in red gold. A torque-limiting crown prevents the wearer from accidentally overwinding the tourbillon caliber.
The 25-piece limited edition will be available at Richard Mille’s 25 boutiques around the world and is priced at $575,000.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic True Second
Freshly developed Caliber 770 is extraordinary for several reasons, but the main two are surely the inclusion of dead beat seconds, which Jaeger-LeCoultre calls “True” seconds, and the brand-new balance “wheel” called the Gyrolab, whose development began with the extraordinary Master Compressor Extreme Lab eight years ago.
This extremely well designed, svelte, and competitively engineered new classic wristwatch is Jaeger-LeCoultre through and through with its clever mechanics and gorgeous good looks. And at a price of $9,000 in stainless steel and $17,500 in pink gold, everything is really in balance.
For more information on the new Geophysic collection, please see Stunning New Geophysic Collection From Jaeger-LeCoultre: True Second And Universal Time.
Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Eloge de la Nature Cygne
The Geneva manufacture once again demonstrates its mastery of both the decorative arts and the mechanical arts in the new “elegy to nature swan.” This pair of timepieces comes in a his-and-hers set (a ladies’ watch in a 39 mm white gold case and a men’s watch in a 42 mm white gold case) symbolizing pure and unconditional love.
The water birds seem to glide across a guilloche Lake Geneva, with diamond droplets from the Jet d’Eau gracefully embellishing their plumage. The unique pieces’ automatic Calibers 2460 are stamped with the prestigious Geneva Seal.
The men’s watch is set with a total of 76 baguette-cut and 432 round diamonds for a total carat weight of 6.1 ct. The ladies’ watch is set with a total of 76 baguette-cut and 322 round diamonds for a total carat weight of 4.9 ct
Vacheron Constantin Maître Cabinotier Régulateur Quantième Perpétuel
Hot on the heels of Reference 57260, the most complicated watch in the world, Vacheron Constantin’s bespoke Cabinotier division presents another masterpiece created at the behest of a collector with excellent taste.
The name of this watch already hints at what it contains: a regulator-style display of a perpetual calendar. What it doesn’t say is that dedicated Caliber 2460 was especially designed for this Geneva Seal-stamped timepiece.
Housed in a 42 mm pink gold case, this masterpiece is topped off by a hand-guilloche brown opaline dial.
A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Chronograph
A. Lange & Söhne makes some of the world’s most beautiful chronographs. And here is yet another for collectors to dream about, a special boutique edition with an unusual white-and-blue dial.
The first 1815 chronograph arrived in 2010; this new edition with its blue numerals and tachymeter scale comes about thanks to the 200th birthday of Ferdinand Adolph Lange, which the Saxon manufacture celebrated on February 18, 2015 with a set of 200 platinum 1815 models (see A. Lange & Söhne Celebrates Ferdinand Adolph Lange’s 200th With 200 Platinum 1815s).
Housed in a 39.5 mm white gold case, it will forever be a classic.
Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif, Part Of “Secrets & Lights – A Mythical Journey by Piaget”
Piaget’s new Secrets & Lights collection comprises 38 unique timepieces paying homage to the historic Silk Road, and of the Silk Road’s legendary cities of Venice and Samarkand. Earlier this year, Piaget presented the accompanying high jewelry collection during Couture in Paris.
Now come the watches, of which we have singled out the Polo Tourbillon Relatif in a 45 mm white gold case with enamel, whose captivating details are mechanically enhanced by the double rotation of the Tourbillon Relatif on display while the rest of hand-wound Caliber 608P remains hidden.
This piece’s champlevé enamel dial reveals a deep blue symbolizing night, which was inspired by the richness of Samarkand mosaics. The line-engraved case sides display a caravan procession on one side and the Registan in all its splendor on the other.
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Pocket Time Instrument
The very technical Excalibur Quatuor mechanics are lent a new style of expression within the Spider concept introduced by Roger Dubuis in 2015. Caliber RD101 with its four free-sprung balances is vividly highlighted within the Excalibur Spider Pocket Time Instrument.
You may remember that the four balances work in pairs to (theoretically at least) provide compensation for rate variations cased by change in position.
This is a bold 60 mm titanium piece that is certain to be worn with aplomb by a bold personality. It is limited to just 60 pieces in total.
Clé de Cartier Flying Tourbillon
A new version of the Clé de Cartier incorporating a flying tourbillon shows off its soft curves and simple forms: a slender case culminates in the radiance of a sapphire topping off the crown, which inspired the model name (“clé” means key in French, and this crown’s resemblance is unmistakable).
Housed within a fully diamond-set case (478 diamonds weighing 3.56 ct), it beats to the rhythm of its beautiful flying tourbillon whose carriage is characterized by the Cartier “C.” Manually wound Caliber 9452 MC is stamped with the Geneva Seal.
Montblanc Heritage Spirit Perpetual Calendar Sapphire
The Montblanc Heritage Spirit Perpetual Calendar Sapphire combines traditional aesthetics and technical prowess, which is remarkably visible thanks to the smoky sapphire crystal allowing views into its perpetual calendar complication.
The Montblanc Heritage Spirit Perpetual Calendar Sapphire is available in an 18-karat red gold case.
Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days Acciaio
Caliber P.1000, a new hand-wound movement with a power reserve of three days, powers the new Radiomir 1940 3 Days, which is available in a 42 mm steel or red gold case.
Unmistakably Panerai in its design and attitude, the Radiomir 1940 3 Days will undoubtedly continue to appeal to Panerai’s clientele.
IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Day & Date
Housed in a 45 x 13 mm red gold or stainless steel case, in addition to the time this elegant timepiece with easy-to-read indications displays large date, weekday, and power reserve. It is powered by an eight-day manually wound movement.
The Santoni leather straps are a nice touch: black to go with the silver-plated dial and stainless steel case and brown to go with the red gold case and slate-grey dial.
Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Martin Pêcheur Azur
First and foremost we note the dial featuring the kingfisher, which Van Cleef & Arpels claims is a symbol of happiness and fidelity. The colorful bird takes flight against a background that is a sea comprising shades of turquoise and lapis lazuli.
The depth of the scenery is created using miniature feather art for the bird’s plumage, hard stone marquetry for the waves, and diamonds. The latter outline the waves as foam and add the appropriate amount of sparkle.
The bird’s flight comes to an abrupt end on the back side of the timepiece where it is engraved perched on a rock facing the sea.
Limited to just 22 pieces, it is housed in a 38 mm white gold case embellished with diamonds on the bezel and crown.