Nostalgia for the golden age of motorsport is alive and well at TAG Heuer, which is revisiting Gulf Oil’s victory in the 1968 24 Hours of Le Mans with the Formula 1 Gulf Special Edition. Encased in steel, the 43 mm quartz chronograph features a notched steel bezel and an aluminum ring with a tachymeter scale. The blue-and-orange color scheme on the dial as well as a caseback engraved with the Gulf logo
are subtly elegant reminders of the model’s historic origins.
Tailor-made for stylish sailors or anyone who aspires to look the part, the new Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph from Swiss-German watchmaker IWC Schaffhausen belongs to the brand’s “Summer Editions” collection. With its blue dial, sturdy blue rubber strap and water resistant 43.5 mm stainless steel case, the piece has good looks to spare. But it’s the manufacture caliber with flyback function that truly elevates this sporty chronograph.
Speed freaks will appreciate the story behind Baume & Mercier’s Clifton Club Indian model, which pays tribute to Burt Munro, the New Zealander who set—and still holds—the record for the fastest speed reached on an Indian motorcycle, a feat he accomplished in 1967, at age 68, riding across Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats. Fifty years later, the watchmaker honors Munro’s daring spirit with this limited-edition automatic chronograph.
The name of Nomos Glashütte’s brand new Autobahn model says it all: Designed by celebrated product designer Werner Aisslinger as an ode to speed—and the vintage race cars from the 1960s and ’70s that embodied it—the piece features a concave dial whose edge is curved like the outside lane of a racetrack. Equipped with the new Neomatik date caliber, the 41 mm timepiece, four years in the making, is available in three dial colors: white silver-plated, “sports gray,” and this midnight blue.
A cornerstone of Omega’s 2018 introductions, the Seamaster Diver 300M line—introduced in 1993 and completely overhauled this year—now features a larger 42 mm case and a slew of aesthetic and technical updates, including a ceramic diving bezel, polished ceramic dial, and newly patented conical helium escape valve. The timepiece also has a hidden perk: its Master Chronometer Calibre 8800, known for its superior precision and magnetic resistance.
Introduced on the eve of World Oceans Day, the Bremont Waterman is a limited-edition dive watch from the U.K.-based brand and its ambassador, Mark Healey, a big-wave surfer, freediver and ocean environmentalist who helped test the timepiece while riding some of the world’s biggest waves. Equipped with a unidirectional rotating bezel with Super-LumiNova, an automatic helium escape valve and crown protector, and water resistance to 500 meters, the 43 mm stainless steel watch also boasts GMT functionality.
At first glance, the Source of Life Limited Edition from Oris is a handsome dive watch complete with standard features such as a unidirectional rotating bezel, applied indices filled with Super-LumiNova and water resistance to 300 meters. But beneath its surface, the model—whose caseback is embossed with a map of the 766-mile River Rhine—is described by the Swiss watchmaker as a “philosophical watch,” intended to draw attention to water’s life-sustaining properties.
$2,200 on rubber strap, $2,400 on stainless-steel bracelet; oris.ch
Around the turn of the last century, Ulysse Nardin began supplying deck chronometers to the U.S. Navy. This 50-piece limited edition wristwatch featuring a stars-and-stripes dial decoration in red, white, and blue pays tribute to that little-known relationship, which continued until the early 1950s. Appealing to fans of Ulysse Nardin and patriotic watch lovers alike, the skeletonized timepiece was introduced on—you guessed it—Independence Day.
And now, for something completely different—but not so you’d notice.
Inside the Hybrid Manufacture’s 42 mm case sits a 33-jewel, self-winding mechanical movement, driving the conventional second, hour, minute, and date functions. The twist? Built into this caliber is a battery-powered digital module, which, via subdial display and iPhone app, brings next-gen functionality, including sleep tracking and fitness coaching. It also logs analytics for the mechanical movement, measuring rate and beat error, and adds a worldtime complication.
Are connected chronographs the next big thing in competitive sailing?
Breitling thinks so. The 46 mm Yachting offers the same features as the other Bluetooth-enabled Exospace watches (text and call notifications, a dedicated smartphone app, digital/analog quartz movement, rapid USB charging). But there are now regatta-ready features, including split timing and a dedicated countdown system, allowing multiple resets to synchronize with the judge’s timer.
When it came to the next-gen Carrera, TAG Heuer boss Jean-Claude Biver was, as he put it, “faced with a choice between a vintage-inspired piece and a modern reworking.”
Clearly, he went the latter route.
This new iteration, introduced at the Baselworld watch fair, keeps the Carrera 01’s modular-skeleton-meets-circuit board aesthetic, but incorporates the brand’s latest in-house automatic chronograph caliber, called Heuer 02, boosting power reserve from 50 to 75 hours.
Even Longines president Walter Von Känel was taken off guard when this chronograph took home the Revival Prize at last year’s Grand Prix d’Horlogerie. In retrospect, we shouldn’t have been so surprised; the BigEye oozes authenticity. It’s a straight reissue of an obscure 1930s pilot’s watch, rediscovered by a collector and brought to the attention of the brand’s heritage team.
They revived it, shoehorning a modern automatic movement (54-hour power reserve, 4Hz frequency) inside a 41 mm stainless case, while faithfully recreating the original’s dial arrangement. Between that quirky, oversized sub-register at the 3 o’clock position, the neat backstory, everyman price point, and GPHG pedigree, this one’s a no-brainer.
The world’s oldest independent military air fleet, England’s Royal Air Force, turns 100 this year.
Fittingly, it’s Bremont kicking off centennial celebrations, skipping Baselworld to debut a fresh iteration of its flagship chronograph in London. Here, the ALT1-C ditches Arabic numerals for dial indices, and gets a new handset, a 43 mm satin case, and an enlarged exhibition-style caseback. Plus a blue dial and matching nubuck strap, a nod to the RAF’s signature color.
If the Freak Vision—a small-batch, all-platinum, self-winding, 45 mm wristwatch without a crown or hands—wasn’t wild enough for you, check the Coral Bay.
In the foreground, red and white acrylic paints go onto the barrel bridge; behind it, lacquers are mixed directly on the dial and heat-treated at 90 degrees between each application. Details are hand-applied, requiring some 20 hours of painting time.
Building stately, capable 4×4 rigs for expedition remains Land Rover’s core competency.
But modern customers are more Moschino than Magellan. The new Range Rover SVAutobiography fills out the brand’s rugged backbone with next-level luxe accoutrements. It’s offered exclusively as a long-wheelbase model, guaranteeing limo-like legroom. Highlights include hot-stone-massaging rear seats, an onboard Champagne chiller, and push-button-operated electronic doors.
The El Primero Range Rover Special Edition strikes a similar balance between style and utility, putting Zenith’s venerated high-beat chronograph movement inside a unique 42 mm ceramised aluminum case with a perforated leather strap. For making an entrance at far-flung locales, nothing else comes close.
On March 6, Louis Vuitton designer Nicolas Ghesquière unveiled his fall/winter 2018 fashion collection in a little-used hidden courtyard at the Louvre Museum, in Paris. An inspired visionary, Ghesquière’s ideas of how we’ll want to look in six months will, no doubt, have repercussions on fashion for years to come. Science fiction references have always been an integral part of his work, interweaving idealized concepts of the future and what humans will want to wear. The latest garments referenced multiple time periods, paired with a single long glove, astronaut style name tags, and printed bags resembling circuit boards. The models emerged on what appeared to be the hatch of a spaceship, introducing the Vuitton fall/winter collection with a startling intergalactic appeal.
Two weeks earlier, on the other side of the globe, La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton, the equally visionary watchmaking division of LVMH, unveiled another avant-garde timepiece, the Tambour Moon Mystérieuse Flying Tourbillon, with a little less fanfare. Resembling the clean lines of Star Trek’s Enterprise, the platinum Tambour Moon updates the 19th-century “mysterious” concept to propose a modern-day movement that appears to be floating in space.
Created using sapphire crystal discs with imaginative ingenuity, the optical illusion plays an important technical part in the mechanics of the watch, but magically disappears before your very eyes. And, like the iconic Vuitton luggage, the back of the tourbillon cage can be personalized with the customer’s own initials. The mesmerizing gleam of the spinning mechanical elements brings to mind the interlocking initials and fleur-de-lis symbols of the iconic “LV” monogram.
The LV 110 caliber, which boasts a remarkable eight-day power reserve, is concealed within the 54 mm Tambour Moon’s concave platinum case. The manual wind mechanical movement displays hours and minutes, along with a tourbillon cage designed to resemble a monogram flower that rotates around the dial every 60 seconds. Beneath the Monogram Flower at 12 o’clock lies the co-axial double barrel, above the central wheels dedicated to the hours and minutes, followed by the tourbillon carriage at 6 o’clock, all forming a vertical straight line.
This is where the “mysterious” use of transparent sapphire crystal comes into play, allowing for the appearance of the lack of connection between the winding crown and the double barrel, along with the spinning flying tourbillon that rotates around the dial once every minute. The introduction of the Tambour Moon propels Louis Vuitton into the stratosphere of high watchmaking, while still adhering to the original fundamental codes of the house.
Founded in 1854, Louis Vuitton has always played a supporting role in developing transportation technologies by creating innovative goods for all types of travel. This has helped the maison evolve, keeping pace with changing times by proposing solutions for passengers and operators of automobiles, passenger liners, trains, and airplanes, all intended for ease of use, freedom, and, of course, style.
It will only be a matter of time before Vuitton introduces goods for space travel; the day of taking your moon phase to the Moon (and someday Mars) will be here before you know it. Just as fashion shows allow us, however briefly, to look seasons ahead, the Louis Vuitton Tambour Moon Mystérieuse Flying Tourbillon envisions the future with startling clarity.
The notable, the collectible, the just plain cool…
For a no-nonsense take on the modern office watch, consider going German. The NOMOS At Work line (seriously, nonsense is verboten) puts the company’s thinnest, lightest automatic caliber into a larger 38.5 mm case, then adds a super-sleek, mega-minimal face. The collection encompasses more than a dozen pieces, all of them exceptionally sharp. Even in that company, the Metro, now available in brilliant rose gold, is a standout.
The notable, the collectible, the just plain cool…
Walter Lange was a horological titan, equal parts technical maestro and visionary businessman. When the Berlin Wall came down, he seized on the opportunity to resurrect his great grandfather’s watch company; within a decade of relaunching, the firm was turning out instant-classic designs and developing superfine mechanicals in-house. The felicitously-named Tribute to Walter Lange celebrates the man, who died last year, by debuting an all-new movement. It’s a hand-wound, 36-jewel beauty, featuring an independent, stoppable seconds function—one of Lange’s favorite complications. The watch is available in pink, yellow, or white gold, limited to 145 pieces total and retailing at $47,000 each. The stainless steel example seen here? It’s a one-off made for charity, set to be auctioned by Phillips in Geneva on May 12.
*** Final Hammer Price: Sold for $852,525. Read more about it here.
The notable, the collectible, the just plain cool…
The standout piece from Montblanc’s Timewalker collection defies categorization. Fundamentally, it’s a dashboard lap timer. But it’s designed to detach from the mounting bezel, effectively becoming a monopusher stopwatch. There’s also a deployable leather wrist strap, so you can wear it as an oversized chronograph. The kicker? Two legs fold out from the caseback, transforming the Rally Timer 100 into a handsome desk clock.
The notable, the collectible, the just plain cool…
While the name begs for nostalgia—“eight” translates to huit in French, an allusion to Breitling’s Huit Aviation Department from WWI—the execution here is unsentimental. The latest Navitimer has no slide rule, no winged “B” logo, both breaks from long-standing tradition. (It was also unveiled on Instagram and launched in Shanghai, a decidedly progressive approach for one of Switzerland’s oldest marques.) The familiar in-house automatic chronometer movement does carry over. But consider the B01, the first new watch under Georges Kern, who departed IWC to take over Breitling last year, a harbinger of change for the brand.
Black bezel, bronze details, leather strap. Rado cranks up the contrast.
More than a century after the company was founded, Rado remains synonymous with pioneering use of ceramic. The material is handsome, hypoallergenic, lightweight. It’s also tough as hell, and that means most Rados won’t score and scuff like a comparable steel watch. For those who like a little patina on their wrist, there’s the new HyperChrome Bronze Chrono.
Limited to 999 pieces, special-edition takes the classic 45mm HyperChrome design and introduces bronze elements—the chrono pushers, side inserts, and crown are all hewn from the stuff. The addition of rose gold hands and indexes emphasize the metallic sheen, creating a neat contrast with the high-tech black ceramic. It’ll only get more striking with age, as the bronze continues to wear-in around the rest of the scratch-resistant case.
Inside, there’s a 37-jewel ETA automatic chronograph movement, offering 42 hours power reserve, and Rado says it’s water resistant up to 100 meters. Unique engravings (on the side, “CuSn8,” the code for bronze alloy, plus requisite caseback numbering) and a vintage-look leather strap (instead of the standard HyperChrome bracelet) round out the look.
Like what you see? Keep an eye out, as the Bronze Chrono is set to debut at Baselworld next month. Expect a price tag around $5,000 when it reaches retailers later this year.
We love complicated divers and bold pilots’ watches as much as the next guy. But unless you’re James Cameron, or currently enrolled in the Top Gun program, those might not be suitable for the office. For a stylish alternative, check the latest Neomatik models from NOMOS Glashütte, which bring a no–nonsense approach to the modern office watch. Simply called “At Work”—seriously, nonsense is verboten—this new line matches a slender automatic caliber and larger 38.5 mm diameter, then adds super-refined dial layout. The collection encompasses 14 pieces, all of them exceptionally sharp. Even in that company, the Metro, available for the first time in 18-karat rose gold, is a standout.
Sleek. Geometric. Detailed. The integrated steel bracelet and case of Ralph Lauren’s new 867 timepiece (now enlarged to 35 mm) feels unabashedly art deco, harking back to the architectural splendor of 1930s New York. The dial injects Jazz Age swing, agreeably mixing Arabic and Roman numerals with Breguet-style hands. To maximize the effect, go for that off-white lacquered face. It’s like Benny Goodman standing in a Raymond Hood lobby, sitting on your wrist. Sure, there’s a trusty Sellita-based, self-winding Swiss mechanical movement ticking away inside. But make no mistake: This one’s an American classic.
Hermès updates a high-class classic: the Double Tour Cape Cod.
More than a quarter-century after its introduction, the Cape Cod remains a smart-prep staple. The design marries nautical callbacks (the case shape comes from Hermès’ “Chaîne d’Ancre” link, aping an anchor chain), high-fashion flourishes (the “Double Tour” strap, added in 1998, was famously designed by Martin Margiela), and Parisian whimsey (Hey, square-inside-rectangle!)
This latest iteration emphasizes the maritime element, replacing the traditional Arabic numerals with Chaîne d’Ancre hour markers at the cardinal positions. It also introduces an handsome new blue-lacquered dial. Double down with the Malta blue grained strap, for full oceanic effect.
A. Lange & Söhne honors the inimitable Walter Lange with an inimitable special-edition timepiece (and an all-new movement.)
Walter Lange was a horological titan, equal parts technical maestro and visionary businessman. When the Berlin Wall came down, he seized on the opportunity to resurrect his great grandfather’s watch company; within a decade of relaunching, the firm was turning out instant-classic designs and developing superfine mechanical movements.
The felicitously named A. Lange & Söhne Tribute to Walter Lange celebrates the man, who died last year, by debuting an all-new movement. It’s a hand-wound, 36-jewel beauty, which features an independent, stoppable seconds complication. In a nice touch, the caliber name (L1924) and reference no. (297) also point to Lange’s birthday (July 29, 1924).
Breguet’s super-slim tourbillon gets a minimalist makeover.
Looking for a thin tourbillon? Talk about being spoiled for choice. In recent years, we’ve seen remarkably slender movements from Arnold & Son (2.97 mm) and Bulgari (1.95 mm). But both of those are manual-wind. Breguet’s caliber 581, found in the Classique line, lays claim to the thinnest automatic tourbillon on the market today.
The Classique Extra-Plat 5367 brings a new grand feu off-white enamel dial, sans power indicator, offering maximum contrast with minimal clutter. The 18-karat rose gold case retains the customary open backing—all the better to study the mechanical triumph therein: an 80-hour power reserve, at 4Hz frequency, from a 3mm movement.
Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Automatique 5367, Price Upon Request; breguet.com
With runway references and an emphasis on crafting in-house movements, Chanel fuses high fashion and watchmaking artistry.
The Chanel Code watch, plus essentials. (Photo: Doug Young)
There’s no arguing that Chanel is a newcomer to the haute horlogerie block. In an industry that measures legacies in centuries, Chanel launched its first watch a mere 30 years ago. But the commitment to the category—bolstered by collaborations with independent watchmaker Romain Gauthier and ownership of watch assembly company Châtelain—has helped it quickly gain on the old guard. Chanel’s mix of technical expertise and its seemingly endless archive crammed with Parisienne elegance makes for a formidable combination.
The jewelry watch Code Coco is a case in point. It borrows design elements from one of Chanel’s iconic handbags, the 2.55, and features crisp, sophisticated engineering. Since debuting in February of 1955, the 2.55 has had a bar-shaped closure called the Mademoiselle Lock, a moniker that—according to lore—referred to Coco Chanel’s perennially unmarried status (or perhaps her alleged habit of secreting love notes in her handbag). The same lock serves as a closure for the quartz-powered Code Coco. It clicks into two positions: When horizontal, the black lacquered dial, which measures 38.1 by 21.5 mm, is fully visible. When the lock swivels into a vertical orientation, it conceals the watch’s hands, obscuring the passage of time. It’s a fitting gesture from a brand whose founder declared, “I don’t know how to be anywhere but in the present.”
The Code Coco’s flexible stainless-steel bracelet unfurls from a bangle to a flat position once opened. A grid pattern that evokes the quilted leather exterior of the 2.55 decorates the polished metal—even the faintest movement scatters light across its textured surface. Another degree of glitz comes from diamond accents. Stainless-steel models include a single diamond on their dials and bezels with or without diamonds. A version in white gold, completely covered in diamonds, is available too—but in a limited edition of five, Chanel’s lucky number and the numeral associated with a certain famous perfume.
Skeletons from Bell & Ross and Girard Perregaux, a race-inspired TAG Heuer, and more.
F.P. Journe Chronomètre Holland & Holland
Catering to the world’s most discerning sportsmen, Holland & Holland has been manufacturing guns since 1835, in a store that conjures visions of time-honored country life, with its deeply ingrained British traditions and quirks. Joining forces with watchmaker F.P. Journe, they used two 100-year-old barrels from the Holland & Holland museum to create limited edition “browned” Damascus steel–patterned dials using traditional gun-making techniques. The two barrels were registered by hand in the company’s books. Barrel No. 1382, dating back to 1868, yielded 38 dials, while barrel No. 7183, dating to 1882, produced 28 dials.
Third-generation watchmaker Laurent Ferrier plainly states on his website his horological values: simplicity, precision, and pure, uncluttered beauty. These ideals are exhibited perfectly in his limited-edition porcelain-dial Galet Square watch, which houses an exclusive in-house movement developed and assembled in the Laurent Ferrier workshops. The gentle curves of the case bring to mind the shape of a pebble, the direct translation of the French word galet. Breguet numerals with a red 12 o’clock and gold-colored minute outer rail beautifully set off the glossy white dial—so difficult to produce that only 10 pieces will be made worldwide.
Bell & Ross is well known for its aviation association, with distinctive square-shaped watches resembling instruments taken directly from a cockpit control panel. Made of titanium, matte white ceramic, and rubber, contrasting red details provide excellent readability of the automatic skeletonized chronograph movement. The BR-X1 White Hawk looks precisely to business aircraft for its stylish inspiration, the white-and-gray materials taking their cues from private-jet interiors.
First launched in 1975, the sporty and versatile Laureato design from Girard Perregaux continues to evolve with the all-black Laureato Skeleton Ceramic. Brushed and satin finishes enhance the dark surface of the Laureato by intensifying the dramatic black PVD-treated openwork movement with exposed 18-k pink-gold details. The Laureato style is entirely adaptable, the stealth and contemporary look making this version appealing to a new generation.
TAG Heuer AUTAVIA Jack Heuer 85th Anniversary Limited Edition
2017 will go down as the year of the chronograph, especially for styles referencing the golden age of auto racing. The 42 mm polished-steel TAG Heuer reissue, a limited edition of 1,932 pieces, features the new Heuer-02 caliber proprietary chronograph and all the best features of the 1960s original redesigned by Jack Heuer himself. Jack says, “The story of the Autavia is a rich drama, full of twists and turns. It is one of my proudest achievements to have successfully converted chronographs into the Autavia wristwatch in 1962, so this collection has a special place in my heart.”
Tiffany & Co. riffs on the past for a Jazz Age–inspired watch.
By Stephen Watson
Entering the Tiffany store on Fifth Avenue feels like walking into a peaceful sanctuary. Its serene environment offers a welcome respite from the Midtown craziness of tourists, shoppers, and pop-up protests targeting the store’s infamous next-door resident-in-chief, Donald Trump. Its graceful combination of elegance and history is breathtaking, immediately bringing to mind Holly Golightly’s famous line: “It calms me down right away, the quietness and the proud look of it—nothing very bad could happen to you there, not with those kind men in their nice suits, and that lovely smell of silver and alligator wallets.”
Imagine all the positive accumulated karma earned over the years from joyful engagements, marriages, and tokens of love sold in the store’s 180-year-old history.
To honor this anniversary, Tiffany has looked back to the roaring ’20s to introduce the Tiffany Square, an elegant timepiece designed, engineered, and manufactured in Switzerland. The 180-piece limited edition features a rare square-shaped, manually wound movement with a 42-hour power reserve, which signals the store’s return to in-house caliber manufacturing. The watch’s art deco styling harks back to a significant design period for Tiffany, capturing all the style and sophistication of the legendary Jazz Age.
“I have to say it was love at first sight. We reviewed a series of timepieces belonging to our 20th-century heritage, and certain pieces immediately caught our attention,” says Nicola Andreatta, vice president and general manager of Tiffany & Co. Swiss Watches Sagl. “One of them was the original Square Watch, which in my opinion had all the qualities to be considered the quintessential Tiffany watch for a man.”
The new yellow-gold Square Watch replicates the same 27 mm case size, and the watch retains its original proportions, a size that might be considered small by today’s standards but somehow feels completely modern.
“The Jazz Age refers to a glittering moment in time when America came alive through jazz music, unbridled optimism, innovation, and glamour,” says Andreatta. “It is this explosion of creative energy and social change that defined the American spirit, and it continues to inspire.”