The early-year watch shows might grab the headlines for new releases, but we’re seeing more and more special pieces revealed throughout the year. Here’s a batch of the most recent newcomers offering some mid-year cheer.
Snakes alive! It’s the Capeland Cobra
Famed US racer Caroll Shelby took the English AC sports car and crammed a mighty Ford V8 into it, transforming it into a world-beater on the track. Now Baume & Mercier salutes the legend with a beater for the wrist with two racy models, a Capeland Shelby Cobra chronograph in steel, and a Flyback chronograph in gold. The steel version is limited to 1965 pieces, the gold to just 98 pieces. Both feature distinguishing touches paying homage to the cars, such as subtle racing stripes on the Guardsman-blue dials and the iconic cobra head symbol incorporated into the seconds hand. The sapphire crystal case-backs carry Shelby’s signature. Drive away at $5690 for the steel version, $24,700 for the gold, inquiries (02) 8215 5520.
Arabesque adventure: Artya’s highly decorated tourbillon
You’re looking at 100 hours of hand engraving on this Artya flying tourbillon model that the brand says represents a world first. “Firstly, there’s the way the case has been made – engraved out of grade 5 titanium, more usually renowned for its outstanding hardness. Secondly, the flying tourbillon has bridges that have been cut into multiple layers of carbon fibre arabesques.” Those motifs draw inspiration from foliage patterns on historic gun stocks and on the case are inlaid with 18-carat gold. They were so difficult to work on that the chisel used by the master engraver had a life expectancy of just 120 seconds. Every two minutes, it needed replacing to continue the engraving. The watch measures 52.5 by 40mm, so plenty of room to appreciate the result.
Sacre Bleu! deLaCour’s case for the unusual
DeLaCour describes its new Saqra range as “a bold step away from stereotypes and standards”. Intriguingly it adds “the chakras, considered as the energy centre of the human body, is an ongoing source of inspiration for the creative team at deLaCour [and has] given birth to this exquisite line”. Apparently that explains the unusual case shape, one deLaCour describes as “the perfect balance between the soft lines of the circle and the audacity of the rectangle”. Four models of the Saqra are available, three with self-winding movements, shown here, and there’s also a tourbillon with a manual-wind movement. You can’t say they’re not exotic.
The Saqra Grande Réserve also has a date displayed in a double window but with a prominent large indicator of the power reserve at 7 o’clock.
In the metal: A.Lange & Söhne’s dash of colour
When A.Lange & Söhne talks about an expanded range of colours for its chronograph collection it means the metal, not the dials. Two new models, a Datograph Up/Down cased in pink gold with a black dial and a Datogrpah Perpetual in white gold with a grey dial are now available. The Datograph Up/Down was introduced three years back and offers a power reserve of 60 hours and power-reserve indicator with an up/down scale that gives the watch its name. It previously only came in a platinum case.
The new Datograph Perpetual has argenté-coloured subsidiary dials and a deep-blue moon disc contrasting with the dial’s subtle grey background. The calendar function does not require correction until the year 2100.
Floral notes: a Claret to savour
Christophe Claret’s Marguerite is a floral fantasia based on a daisy whose white lacquered petals overlap in the same way as a real flower. Two butterflies in blue, orange or red Super-LumiNova (depending on the version) indicate the time. The darker one, symbolising the female, is perched on a daisy petal that rotates every hour, while the lighter one, sitting atop a stem attached to a pistil of rubies or blue sapphires, embodies the male and indicates the minutes. But the magic doesn’t end there; a press on the pusher at 2 o’clock makes the numbers disappear and reveals the phrase: “Il m’aime passionnément” (He loves me passionately). This seems to suggest an ultimate gift watch, one that spans 42.5mm and is encased in rose or white gold with a self-winding movement powering things.
Chromosonal chrono: a Breitling sleek enough for her
When it comes to chromosones most Breitlings are definitely XY, but the Chronomat 38 Sleek is determinedly XX thanks to its compact case and smooth tungsten-carbide bezel. Of course you can have the latter with a dab of diamonds and keep tailoring from there – say a mother-or-pearl or black laquer dial, diamond hour-makers – the choice is yours. Common to all is a chronometer-certified self-winding movement and water-resistance to 100 meters. So, a bit of oomph for both the cat-walk and the coast.