Geneva’s January fair, the SIHH (Salon Internationale de la Haute Horlogerie) and the forthcoming March Baselworld might grab the early 2017 headlines but there’s plenty else on the watch radar.
Four brands that are catching our eye with fresh wrist exotica only a month into 2017 are De Bethune, DeWitt, Bovet and the irrepressible Franck Muller.
De Bethune‘s DB25L Milky Way is a platinum-cased delight discreetly set with baguette-cut diamonds and tiny hand-set white gold spheres and gold flakes, arranged to represent the star formation.
They reflect against a heat-treated titanium dial with a spherical blued and polished moon-phase indicator. Inside the 44.6mm case is a hand-wound calibre with six days power reserve.
DeWitt’s Academia Out of Time model likewise sparkles with a fresh hand-crafted dial treatment that sees it lacquered in a chocolate colour highlighted by specks of gold.
The Academia Out of Time watch has not one but two complications: a dead-beat seconds hand, which stops momentarily on the second in the display at 4 o’clock, and a free or flying seconds hand displayed at 8 o’clock that revolves once every second. Academic? More a matter of mesmerizing to look at, and unlike any other timepiece.
Bovet’s Virtuoso Vlll is a 10-day flying tourbillon with big date that likewise builds on elements of traditional artisanal watchmaking and adds a twist, in this case an inclined crystal aperture along the 12 o’clock to 6 o’clock axis.
This creates new possibilities for both designing the complex mechanics and for the equally important, in Bovet’s case, decoration and display of the complex functions – as a glance at the watch illustrates.
With a diameter of 44mm, just 80 will be produced, cased in red gold, white gold or platinum.
Franck Muller – the self-styled master of compliciations – rounded out a fabulous foursome with new skeleton models marking the brand’s 25th anniversary.
Whether the Gravity Skeleton, the Vanguard Skeleton Sapphire or the Vanguard 7 Days Power Reserve Skeleton, these are timepieces you won’t miss on the wrist.
The Vanguard Skeleton Sapphire is “all about transparency” with a case that took two months to craft from a sapphire crystal block followed by two months of polishing.
The “sportier” Vanguard 7 Days Power Reserve Skeleton is similarly open-worked in the extreme to create a mechanical sculpture.
At this level – be it the might of Muller or the bravery of Bovet – you’re looking at art for the wrist, and can expect to pay accordingly.
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