Watch Icon The RM 11 line was launched over a decade ago and is now into its fifth generation.
If a material is tough and light, and has never been used in watchmaking before, Richard Mille will be all over it. Just look at all the models cased in high-tech stuﬀ like Carbon TPT, TPT Quartz, TZP-N and ATZ ceramics that were chosen for durability and a unique appearance. With the RM 11-05, the brand can add one more material to the list: grey cermet.
This isn’t the first time cermet — a contraction of ceramic and metal — has been used in a watch, but it is still fairly uncommon and is a first for the brand. It took years of working with microtechnology company IMI Group to get the formula for the mix of ceramic inserts and a metallic zirconium matrix just right, but it was worth the wait for a case that’s as light as titanium and virtually as hard as a diamond.
It’s pretty impressive under the hood, too. The Vaucher-made RMAC3 movement gives the watch a 50-hour power reserve, ﬂyback chronograph, annual calendar and GMT indicator, with everything proudly exposed through skeletonisation. It’s limited to 140 pieces.
02 TIME TO MOVE ON
Five years after A. Lange & Sohne started updating the Lange 1’s base movement, the L901.0 and its many variants across the family, the brand has finally reached its final upgrade: the Lange 1 Time Zone. The only features that remain unchanged since its 2005 debut are the watch’s dimensions and three-day power reserve. The 2020 Lange 1 Time Zone welcomes small but thoughtful changes that, although largely cosmetic, are useful to the wearer. For example, the day/night indicators have moved into the centre of the two subdials and there is a new and discreet daylight savings time reminder at five o’clock. To commemorate the new L141.1 movement (which uses one mainspring barrel instead of two), the model comes in new colours: white gold with a black dial, pink gold with a silver dial and a 100-piece limited edition in yellow gold with a champagne dial.
03 TOUGH TOURBILLON
While not as widely known as the Speedmaster or Constellation lines, Omega’s De Ville is home to some remarkable pieces. One of these was the De Ville Tourbillon, first introduced to celebrate the brand’s 100th anniversary in 1994 and featuring the rare central tourbillon. It’s obviously received plenty of improvements since, but the most significant is arguably from this year’s edition. The De Ville Tourbillon Numbered Edition is Master Chronometer-certified, meaning it’s the first anti-magnetic tourbillon in the world. The all-new, manual-winding calibre 2640 has a 72-hour power reserve courtesy of two visible barrels and the mainplate and bridges are crafted from 18K Sedna gold to match the 43mm case. This isn’t a limited edition but is a numbered production.
04 FIGHT TO THE FINISH
Of all the steel watches with integrated bracelets out there right now – and there are a fair few – Bulgari’s Octo Finissimo Automatic 2018 stood apart for its modern design and unusual sandblasted case. Now, Bulgari is officially on the bandwagon because this year’s model comes in brushed and polished steel with a black or blue dial, bringing it much closer in style to its contemporaries. And while the BVL138 Finissimo calibre with platinum micro-rotor still powers the watch, it is now further protected with 100m water resistance instead of its predecessor’s 30m.
Text Charmian Leong