3 New Complicated Timepieces At Miami Watches & Wonders 2019 From Louis Vuitton, Girard-Perregaux And Ulysse Nardin
Watches & Wonders 2019 took place at the Miami Design District over the long President’s Day weekend (February 15-17, 2019).
Mainly a three-day weekend of luxurious watch browsing for consumers, this event is less geared toward industry and press and more toward connecting with prospective end clients. The 30 exhibiting watch and jewelry brands came from the world’s top luxury groups – Kering, LVMH, Richemont, and Swatch Group – and constituted top independent watchmakers like Romain Gauthier as well.
While the introduction of brand-new timepieces was not the focus of this event, there were a few new watches presented. Here are three of the most complicated introduced at Watches & Wonders 2019 in Miami.
The Quasar is a revealing new variation of Girard-Perregaux’s 2018 skeletonized version of the Neo Tourbillon, itself a rejuvenated, more contemporary version of 2014’s Neo-Tourbillon with Three Bridges.
It is revealing in that it is fully encased in sapphire crystal, representing the first time Girard-Perregaux has encased one of its watches in the tricky material even though the 2018 version of this timepiece certainly felt like it was encased therein thanks to the large, boxy sapphire crystal covering the fascinating skeletonized movement.
This tourbillon style with three obvious bridges created in 1867 by Constant Girard offers such an unusual design that it remains symbolic of the Swiss brand to this day. Housed within this beautiful skeletonized movement and the interesting case, the three bridges, now in PVD-coated titanium, justifiably become a focal point.
Astronomically speaking, a quasar is a celestial object that emits a large amount of energy and contains a black hole. Considering that Girard-Perregaux’s latest theme is called “earth to sky” and that the description of a quasar could figuratively fit this timepiece – the brand describes it as “much like a star viewed with a telescope” – the name is a clever one. The black hole is of course symbolized by the negative space within the clear case.
For more information please visit www.girard-perregaux.com/en/bridges/quasar.
Quick Facts Girard-Perregaux Quasar
Case: 45 x 15.25 mm, sapphire crystal
Movement: automatic Caliber GP9400-1035 with one-minute tourbillon and titanium bridges; 60-hour power reserve, 3 Hz/21,600 vph frequency
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds (on tourbillon cage)
Louis Vuitton brings two important technical elements of high watchmaking together – the tourbillon and the minute repeater – in its latest addition to the Voyager line.
But perhaps even more striking than that is the unusual shape of the case, which is not quite a circle and not quite a square.
The svelte timepiece is available in two white gold versions: a “classic” variation with alternating polished and satin-brushed surfaces and a gem-set variation set featuring eight carats’ worth of baguette-cut diamonds.
The movement, which was entirely handcrafted by Louis Vuitton’s La Fabrique du Temps watchmakers, is visible through the completely see-through sapphire crystal dials on the front and back. The dial’s aesthetics imitate Louis Vuitton’s well-known striped canvas.
This unusually complicated watch (for Louis Vuitton) is a product of the brand’s La Fabrique du Temps division, which is located in Geneva (see more about this in Louis Vuitton’s Journey To Watch Nirvana (Or Meyrin)). It takes a watchmaker three weeks just to assemble the movement.
Quick Facts Louis Vuitton Voyager Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon
Case: 42 x 9.7 mm, white gold (one version is set with 113 baguette-cut diamonds weighing 8.08 ct)
Movement: manual winding Caliber LV100 with one-minute tourbillon; 100-hour power reserve, 3 Hz/21,600 vph frequency
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds (on tourbillon cage); minute repeater with cathedral gongs
Price: $295,000 (without diamonds); $475,000 (with diamonds)
Ulysse Nardin appears to be on a recent path of updating its watch design to become more futuristic/contemporary. Now under the umbrella of Kering (as is sibling company Girard-Perregaux), Ulysse Nardin introduced the Marine Mega Yacht wristwatch at Watches & Wonders, which not coincidentally took place at the same time as the Miami Yacht Show.
The Marine Mega Yacht is touted as an extension of the Marine Grand Deck Tourbillon of 2016, though one of the first things you notice if you compare the two is that the new watch looks nothing like its predecessor. The distinctly new look in design can well be chalked up to the brand’s new marketing direction since Kering replaced Ulysse Nardin’s CEO.
However, many of the technical elements are the same or similar in the pair of watches: the flying tourbillon (now shaped like a propeller at 6 o’clock) and the unique power reserve indication (now outfitted with an anchor-and-chain optic at 3 o’clock) being two. A miniature windlass at 12 o’clock simulates the raising of the power reserve’s “anchor,” even when the movement is completely wound. Talk about your toys for boys!
Really new elements within the mechanism include displaying real-time tide heights in relation to a specific location (located at 8 o’clock) and the three-dimensional moon phase at 9 o’clock with a realistic moon depiction.
All functions are set and adjusted using the crown, made possible by a crown position indicator.
The movement’s layout resembles a ship’s engine room; this is visible through the sapphire crystal on the case back.
For more information please visit www.ulysse-nardin.com/product/marine-mega-yacht.
Quick Facts Ulysse Nardin Marine Mega Yacht
Case: 44 x 9.7 mm, platinum
Movement: manual winding Caliber UN-631 (Christophe Claret base) with one-minute flying tourbillon and patent-pending windlass power reserve; 80-hour power reserve, 3 Hz/21,600 vph frequency
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds (on tourbillon cage); power reserve indication, moon phase, indicator of tidal coefficients and volumes; crown position indicator
Limitation: 30 pieces
Remark: 5-year warranty