WatchTime New York 2019: Bite Into The Big Apple With These 4 Stunning Timepieces From Jaquet Droz, Greubel Forsey, RGM, and Chronoswiss
From landmark sightseeing to famous museums, great shopping and tasty eateries, the city that never sleeps offers almost endless possibilities for pleasantly passing the time.
If you are into watches, though, the Big Apple has a special surprise in store in late October: WatchTime New York taking place in Manhattan’s stylish Gotham Hall on Saturday and Sunday, October 25 and 26, 2019.
An impressive range of 37 international luxury watch brands is set to welcome horological enthusiasts, connoisseurs, and collectors. The exhibitor’s list reads like an A to Z of the world of luxury watchmaking, from A. Lange & Söhne to Breguet, Glashütte Original, Omega, Grand Seiko, and Zenith.
The two-day event brings together some of the most sought-after watch brands of our time as well as some of the hottest independents like legendary watchmaker Kari Voutilainen, America’s only watch manufacture RGM, and Geneva’s MB&F.
In the welcoming ambiance that the event is known for these makers show off their latest timepieces. Contrary to the industry’s major trade shows in the spring, visitors can get up close and personal with the brands – and even try the watches on.
Most of the timepieces on display have been introduced this year. However, there are also some that have not yet been seen in the United States – or even in public so far. For instance, a one-of-a-kind version of independent watchmaker Romain Gauthier’s award-winning Logical One.
Grand Seiko is set to showcase a series of four U.S.-exclusive models designed to represent the four seasons. And admirers of complicated watches will certainly be pleased to see Armin Strom’s Minute Repeater Resonance, limited to just 10 pieces, in celebration of the brand’s tenth anniversary in 2019.
I don’t know if I am alone in this, but I have the impression that the dial of the iconic Grande Seconde is the number-one stage for sophisticated time indication in the realm of haute horlogerie. The sheer width of the dial space, which is made possible by the very small surrounding bezel and calculated emptiness of the backdrop, allow for maximum charisma of the off-centered indications forming the number lucky number 8.
It is timeless in the best way.
Inspired by a pocket watch created by Pierre Jaquet-Droz himself in 1784, the Grande Seconde today is offered in a variety of awesome timepieces, ranging from a minute repeater to a chronograph to a sophisticated deadbeat second edition and a breathtakingly beautiful moon phase indication that is my favorite so far.
Now that moon phase edition has got serious competition: the Grande Seconde Dual Time Black Enamel.
It amazes me how the manufacture’s artists manage to harmoniously integrate indications within the small subsidiary seconds dial, transforming it here into a real piece of art with a map comprising tiny gold continents seen from the North Pole that contrast strongly with the mirror-like black high-fire enamel dial.
This map is encircled by a ring displaying the home time using two different colors – one for day and one for night hours – that combine with a red reference triangle on the gold date ring to display the 24-hour time. A date hand is coupled to the local time shown on the other subdial.
This external sophistication is continued by automatic Caliber 2663H24 on the inside, ticking within the 43 mm pink gold case. This twin-barrel movement features a free-sprung balance, a silicon balance spring, and a silicon pallet fork for improved precision and resilience.
The advanced technology comes along with high-end finishing that includes a Geneva wave pattern radiating from the balance wheel and an openworked gold oscillating weight.
For more information, please visit www.jaquet-droz.com/en/watches/grande-seconde-dual-time-black-enamel.
Quick Facts Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Dual Time Black Enamel
Case: 43 x 13.3 mm, pink gold
Movement: automatic Jaquet Droz Caliber 2663H24 with silicon balance spring and pallet fork, double spring barrel, 18-karat red gold rotor; power reserve 65 hours, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency
Functions: hours, minutes, subsidiary seconds; date, 24-hour indication
Price: $26,800 / €27,100
As the Grande Seconde is Jaquet Droz’s signature wristwatch, so the Double Tourbillon 30° is the Greubel & Forsey’s bravura piece.
After five years of development and first introduced at Baselworld 2004, this double-tourbillon timekeeper invented by the ingenious watchmaking duo Stephen Forsey and Robert Greubel has remained a staple in the young brand’s history.
The next generation of the sophisticated mechanism to average out gravity-induced errors on the oscillator, with its outer tourbillon accomplishing one rotation every four minutes and a one-minute-tourbillon inclined at a 30° angle, arrived a few years later: the Double Tourbillon 30° Technique.
To reveal the complexity of the movement with four spring barrels, the dial-free Technique offers a front-row seat for admiring the spectacular workings and the high-end finish of every tiny detail.
The Double Tourbillon 30° Technique has earned the brand several prestigious industry awards such as first place in the 2011 Concours International de Chronométrie as well as the Complicated Watch Prize of the 2009 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) and the Aiguille d’Or of the GPHG the following year (2010).
There have been several variations of the Double Tourbillon 30° Technique in the past years, the most spectacular one so far being an eight-piece limited edition in a sapphire crystal case that allows the entire movement to be visible from every angle.
The latest take, to be unveiled to the public at WatchTime New York 2019, sports a material first for the independent brand: an intense blue ceramic case, which adds a whole new sporty feel to the highly technical assembly.
However, sapphire crystal is still in the game as the hand-wound caliber’s architecture has now received a sapphire crystal update to reveal even more hitherto covered details. The hour and minute ring as well as the four-minute tourbillon-rotation indicator, the tourbillon bridge, and the differential bridge, are now all crafted in sapphire crystal.
Let’s not forget how challenging it is to work with sapphire crystal, particularly when finished to this cutting-edge level. No wonder that this special edition is limited to a total of 11 pieces and exclusive to U.S.-based collectors.
Attendees can also look forward to meeting with brand co-founder Stephen Forsey, who will be at the show.
For more information, please visit www.greubelforsey.com/en/collection/double-tourbillon-30.
Greubel Forsey Double Tourbillon 30° Technique Ceramic
Case: 48.4 x 17.77 mm, ceramic
Movement: manual winding Caliber GF02, 3 Hz/21,600 vph frequency, four coaxial serially operating fast-rotating barrels, power reserve 120 hours; inner tourbillon inclined at 30° and rotating in 60 seconds; outer tourbillon rotating in four minutes; four-minute tourbillon-rotation indicator, tourbillon bridge and differential bridge crafted in sapphire crystal
Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds, power reserve indicator
Limitation: 11 pieces
Price: on request
At this time of year, it seems fitting that America’s only watch manufacture, RGM, puts a skeletonized version of its Caliber 801 in the spotlight.
This intriguing example of early twentieth century skeletonization – featuring cleaner lines and less ornamentation than we’re used to today – has nothing scary about it, making it a treat rather than a trick. Its purpose is to display an unobstructed view from both the front and the back into the painstakingly hand-finished movement.
De rigeur for the genre, this watch is freed of all unnecessary material to literally let the light shine deeply into its inner workings. To hide as little as possible, the blued hour and minute hands are skeletonized in RGM’s proprietary “keystone” shape.
The subsidiary seconds indication at 6 o’clock features a refined three-hand indication, with each hand a different length. As they rotate, they indicate the seconds by pointing to a sectored golden plate at the bottom of the dial.
The stainless steel case of this belle is fluted on the sides and likewise manufactured in the Pennylvania-based workshop. RGM will bring some of its antique rose engines to New York to demonstrate traditional techniques live on the show floor.
For more information, please visit www.rgmwatches.com/watches/ps801-and-801-skeleton.
Quick Facts RGM RGM Watch Company PS-801-Skeleton
Case: 40 x 9.9 mm, pink gold or stainless steel
Movement: hand-wound manufacture Caliber RGM Caliber 801 with 7-tooth winding click and a hand-engraved balance bridge with swan-neck regulator, power reserve 40-44 hours
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds
Price: $21,400 (steel), $34,200 (pink gold)
The year 2019 has proven a good one for vibrant color. And every year is a good one for a wrist-worn regulator by Chronoswiss with a new flavor to it.
For more than 30 years the bestseller of this Swiss brand, this timepiece is quite famous for its variability. And several new executions have been introduced in 2019.
My favorite among the new lineup is the Flying Grand Regulator Open Gear ReSec Electric Blue. Its cool nature is expressed in the long name: “ReSec” stands for “retrograde seconds,” which are displayed at 6 o’clock.
The regulator draws upon a long tradition at Chronoswiss since it was a favorite of founder Gerd-Rüdiger Lang. He even once combined retrograde minutes with jump hours in the unusual Delphis timepiece.
Here again, retrograde seconds create a playful animation with a hand traveling twice a minute across a 120-degree arc before swiftly jumping back to zero to start anew.
The “flying” description refers to the different levels of the dial, which add remarkable depth.
The radiating guilloche pattern on the dial in the truly electric color of the DLC-treated case highlights the three-dimensional effect even more. The otherwise more traditionally designed case with the brand’s signature oignon-style crown and fluting on the sides offers a water-resistance of 100 meters. And at a diameter of 44 mm, it makes a bold statement on the wrist.
For more information, please visit www.chronoswiss.com/en/watch/flying-grand-regulator-open-gear-resec-retrograde-second.
Quick Facts Chronoswiss Flying Grand Regulator Open Gear ReSec Electric Blue
Case: 44 x 13.35 mm, DLC-coated stainless steel
Movement: automatic Caliber C.301 (base ETA 2895), power reserve 42 hours, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency
Functions: hours, minutes, retrograde seconds
Limitation: 50 pieces
For more on Watch Time New York 2019, please visit www.watchtimeevents.com.