Follow us as we share the exciting new timepieces that our Editor absolutely loved during the recent Watches and Wonders.
Tudor Black Bay Pro
Housed in a compact 39mm case (2mm smaller than its predecessor), is Tudor’s latest Black Bay Pro, complete with a GMT function. The case is made of robust stainless steel, and offers a water resistance of 200m, making it a functional tool watch that is perfect for adventures around the world.
The movement powering the Black Bay Pro is the Calibre MT5652 made by Kenissi, which is automatic, COSC-certified, and uses an anti-magnetic hairspring to ensure optimal precision. Fully-wound, it offers a 70-hour power reserve, which will last through a weekend of extreme activities. The GMT function offered by the Black Bay Pro is what connoisseurs would deem as a ‘true’ GMT function, whereby the main hour hand can be adjusted backwards & forwards in one-hour increments, allowing the wearer to set the local time quickly and without much fuss.
Following the design codes of the Black Bay collection, the Black Bay Pro features a domed matte black dial with a matching fixed bezel in brushed steel, engraved and filled with black lacquer to display the 24-hour markers. And for the first time, the hour markers on this new model are made of pieces of ceramic infused with SuperLuminova, which are then applied to the dial, unlike previous models which used metal parts filled with SuperLuminova. This gives a 3D-effect, and also enhances legibility under low lighting.
Cartier Masse Mystérieux
While Cartier is renowned for its finesse in watch and jewellery creations, many often forget that in the early 20th century, the French maison was famous for something else too – the Mystery Clock. During the time when wristwatches were not yet mainstream, Cartier’s mystery clocks were highly sought after by the wealthy and discerning. To date, these Mystery Clocks are still stunningly beautiful to look at – they are the perfect embodiment of how Cartier is a master at fusing creativity, engineering, and aesthetics. It is intriguing and amazing just thinking that they were engineered and crafted more than a hundred years ago.
Mechanics has always been an integral part of Cartier’s design aesthetics. And while it is near-impossible to own one of their Mystery Clocks nowadays, Cartier’s Fine Watchmaking segment has released several watches inspired by the concept behind its Mystery Clocks, and the Masse Mystérieux is the latest one to wow at the recent Watches & Wonders.
A creation that took nearly 8 years to materialise, this timepiece is definitely befitting of the term ‘mechanical art’. Minimal as it looks, the Masse Mysterieux is an engineering feat. Housed in a platinum case, the automatic manufacture movement 9801MC is built into the semi-circular oscillating weight, which appears to be floating on the dial. It is mesmerising to stare at, just like Cartier’s Mystery Clocks. If you look closely at the oscillating weight, you will notice how meticulously crafted this one-of-a-kind movement is, from details such as the gear train, to the bridges and balance springs. The rest of the watch is kept pure and refined, such as the slim, polished sword-shaped hands, in addition to roman numerals which are discreetly visible on the chapter ring. Iconic Cartier signatures include the spinel-set crown. Made in a limited edition of 30 pieces.
Chopard L.U.C Full Strike Sapphire
At nearly every major watch fair, minute repeaters often emerge as talking pieces. The L.U.C Full Strike Sapphire by Chopard was no doubt one of the highlights of this year. After winning the Aguille d’Or Grand Prize at the Grand Prix de Horlorgerie Geneve in 2017, the independent Swiss watch and jewellery maker continued to push boundaries by making the Full Strike case entirely in synthetic sapphire – including the crown with its integrated minute repeater pusher, lugs, caseband and caseback. It is the first minute repeater in the world that has been crafted in this manner, and with this, both the aesthetics and sound quality of the Full Strike have been elevated to another level. The unprecedented case design, coupled with its impressive monobloc sapphire crystal gongs and dial, gives even better resonance and tonal clarity than the first L.U.C Full Strike launched in 2016, made with 18K Fairmined rose gold.
What’s worth mentioning too, is that in order to achieve optimal musicality of the L.U.C Full Strike Sapphire, Chopard enlisted the expertise of two string virtuosos, Gautier and Renaud Capuçon, as well as Professor Romain Boulandet, head of the Applied Acoustics Laboratory at Geneva’s HEPIA engineering school. Together, they further refined the sound made by this unprecedented Sapphire minute repeater. And because of the unalterable structure of the patented monobloc sapphire gongs system, the pitch and quality of the L.U.C Full Strike Sapphire will supposedly remain the way it is, throughout its lifetime. Presented as a limited edition of 5 pieces only.
Moser & Cie. Pioneer Cylindrical Tourbillon Skeleton
One of the things independent watchmaker H. Moser & Cie does best, is to create buzz – besides making beautiful timepieces, of course. At this year’s Watches & Wonders, its latest Pioneer Cylindrical Tourbillon was one of the most talked about pieces, with the other being the Streamliner Blacker than Black (a non-functional concept watch coated entirely in Vantablack). Best known for its minimalist design approach, the Pioneer Cylindrical Tourbillon certainly does not look minimal. In fact, it might well be one of the watchmaker’s most complex-looking watches to date. However, H.Moser has successfully infused its signature aesthetic into the traditional art of skeletonisation, bringing about a breath of fresh air in the form of this contemporary looking timepiece.
At the centre of the watch, is a three-dimensional one-minute flying tourbillon equipped with a cylindrical hairspring. Originally invented in the 18th century and was used mainly in marine chronometers, a cylindrical hairspring takes 10 times longer to produce than a traditional one, and offers better precision, thanks to the use of 2 Breguet overcoils on both ends. Because it vibrates in a concentric manner perpendicular to the balance wheel, this cylindrical tourbillon literally looks like a beating heart, and is mesmerising to watch. The sporty and robust Pioneer case, made of steel, has been chosen for this timepiece as a sturdy form of protection to the delicate and complex movement, as well as to add modernity to its form. On the domed sub-dial rendered in H. Moser & Cie.’s iconic fumé funky blue treatment, are hands and three-dimensional indices made of Globolight®, a luminescent ceramic compound. Seen from an angle, they look like white pillars ‘standing’ on the surface of the dial. Besides the bridges, the oscillating weight, the ratchet, and barrel cover have also been meticulously skeletonised. Beneath the sapphire crystal, the Pioneer Cylindrical Tourbillon looks like a mini amphitheatre of mechanical wonder. It is fitted with the in-house automatic movement, calibre HMC 811, which features a bi-directional pawl winding, and a power reserve of 74 hours.
TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma Tourbillon Nanograph
When speaking about diamond watches, TAG Heuer may not be the first name that comes to mind. However, one of the pieces TAG Heuer presented this year blew our minds. The Carrerra Plasma Tourbillon Nanograph steps into unchartered territories by using diamonds in ways that have never been used before in the world of watchmaking.
Staying true to the brand’s avant garde DNA, This rule-breaking timepiece can also be viewed as TAG Heuer’s way of interpreting the journey of carbon – from the carbon hairspring used in the movement, to the 4 innovative ways in which different forms of diamond are used in the making of the watch. Firstly, the aluminium case is set with diamonds that were grown specifically to fit each groove in which it was set, as well as to follow the curves and angles on the dial. Secondly, the crown is made out of a single diamond that was grown in the shape of a crown. Thirdly, the rhodium-plated dial is covered in what the brand calls ‘polycrystalline diamond’ – a diamond block still in its crystalline form. Last but not least, the indices are set with diamonds. The total weight of diamonds used in the Carrera Plasma Tourbillon Nanograph is 11.7 carats.
This highly-disruptive creation proves that with lab-grown diamonds, there are endless possibilities as to how diamonds can be used in watchmaking. It may also mean a start of a revolution that will hopefully inspire more creativity and innovation in the world of horology.
Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Flying Tourbillon
The Tonda PF collection debuted during the last quarter of 2021, and has already garnered many followers to date. Like many of Parmigiani Fleurier’s other timepieces, the Tonda PF series aims to combine luxury, elegance and subtlety, together with highly refined watchmaking. The Tonda PF Flying Tourbillon is a beautiful example of how the above qualities can be achieved, while staying true to the brand’s design codes.
A minimalistic-looking timepiece built around one of the most arresting complications – the flying tourbillon, the Tonda PF Flying Tourbillon is a full platinum watch that plays around with various textures – polished and satin-finished case & bracelet, and a sandblasted dial. The overall contemporary and sporty look of the watch also fits perfectly into the Tonda PF family, which was initially created as Parmigiani Fleurier’s interpretation of a luxury sports watch collection.
Fitted with Parmigiani Fleurier’s ultra-thin automatic PF517 movement with a platinum micro-rotor, the minimalistic and discreetly luxurious design of the watch allows the flying tourbillon to take centre stage and displays its beauty in full view. Staying true to the luxury sports DNA of the Tonda PF collection, the Tonda PF Flying Tourbillon also boasts a water resistance of 100m, which is seldom heard of in the realm of tourbillon watches. Made in a limited edition of 25 pieces.
Montblanc 1858 The Red Arrow Minerva Monopusher Chronograph
Vintage chronograph lovers take note – this latest limited edition monopusher chronograph by Montblanc will capture hearts. The 1858 Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Red Arrow LE88 celebrates the beauty of vintage military chronographs by combining signature design elements from the pilot’s chronographs made by Minerva in the 1930s and some contemporary watchmaking elements.
According to Montblanc, Minerva was one of the first to introduce rotating fluted countdown bezels to timepieces, so as to offer better grip to pilots who were adjusting the bezels with their gloved hands. This element has been introduced to the latest 1858 Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Red Arrow LE88 as well, together with the red arrow that is linked to the rotating bezel and can be used as a countdown timer. The black dial which features large numerals and hands, is also infused with vintage-inspired elements such as the telemeter on the periphery of the dial, as well as a snail-shaped tachymeter at the centre.
Housed in the 42mm stainless steel case, is the beautifully-finished Minerva in-house calibre MB M13.21 manually-wound movement, which was inspired by an old Minerva movement from the 1920s. It is a column-wheel chronograph that uses horizontal coupling and has an intentionally-set frequency of 2.5Hz, typical of timepieces from yesteryear. Like all other Minerva timepieces, the signature V bridge and “devil’s tail” detail is fully visible from the transparent caseback of the 1858 Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Red Arrow LE88. Made in a limited edition of 88 pieces.
Keep up with all the Watches and Wonders 2022 launches here! Locate the nearest boutique for a visit.