Crunch Time

Following sihh, watch connoisseurs had another event to look forward to, the week-long baselworld 2016 in its namesake city. Here are some of the most memorable pieces.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
Following sihh, watch connoisseurs had another event to look forward to, the week-long baselworld 2016 in its namesake city. Here are some of the most memorable pieces. 
My Reading Room



A thing of legends and new to its Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph family is the Daytona in 904L steel and dressed with a monobloc Cerachrom bezel in black ceramic. Paying tribute to the legendary chronograph, the watch espouses a black bezel reminiscent of the 1965 model that was fitted with a black Plexiglas bezel insert: the latest model is corrosion resistant, virtually scratch-proof, unaffected by UV rays and offers an exceptionally legible tachymetric scale, thanks to the deposition of a thin layer of platinum on the numerals and graduations via a PVD process. Interestingly, the monobloc Cerachrom bezel is made from a single piece and holds the crystal firmly in place on the middle case, ensuring waterproofness to 100m.

Beating inside is the calibre 4130, a self-winding mechanical chronograph movement that is completely re-engineered: namely, the components for the chronograph function were reduced significantly to increase the timepiece’s reliability. Insensitive to magnetic fields, the Parachrom hairspring in the oscillator suggests great stability in the face of temperature variations and remains up to 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring in case of shock.

My Reading Room

Sleek, sporty and distinguished, the Yacht-Master has been a sailing companion for ages thanks to its waterproof, precise and reliable features, especially its bidirectional rotatable 60-minute graduated bezel in 18k Everose gold. The polished and raised numerals and graduations pop out against a matte, sand-blasted background as a characteristic bezel – which enables the wearer to calculate nautical specifications like sailing time between two buoys – made of gold and steel.

Waterproof to 100m, the case is characteristically crafted from a solid block of particularly corrosion-resistant 904L steel: the fluted case back is hermetically screwed down while the crystal, topped with a Cyclops lens at 3 o’clock for easy reading of the date, is made of virtually scratchproof sapphire.

Powering the timepiece is the calibre 3135, a singularly precise and reliable machine that also features a blue Parachrom hairspring in its oscillator. A Rolex overcoil ensures its regularity in any position. With a case of such distinctive elements, the Yacht-Master is fitted on a solid-link Oyster bracelet in 904L steel and 18ct Everose gold with an Oysterlock safety clasp to prevent accidental opening.

My Reading Room

Also new to the Oyster Perpetual family is the Air-King – a tribute not to sea, but to the aeronautical heritage of the original Rolex Oyster. Though the new model in 40mm 904L steel now features a distinctive black dial with a combination of large 3, 6 and 9 numerals marking the hours and a prominent minutes scale for navigational time readings, the Air-King markings on the dial remain in the same lettering designed for the model in 1950s.

The Air-King is equipped with calibre 3131, a self-winding mechanical movement that – like the rest of the Oyster family – has a blue Parachrom hairspring in its oscillator for better stability and precision. Its escapement, meanwhile, features a paramagnetic escape wheel made from a nickel-phosphorus alloy produced via UV-LiGA.

Also like its brothers, the timepiece is fitted with a solid-link Oyster bracelet in 904L steel with a folding Oysterclasp and can run up to 48 hours.

My Reading Room

A more glamorous selection, Oyster Perpetual Pearlmaster 39 is redressed with a case of 18k Everose gold and adorned with the rarest diamonds, exemplifying the brand’s expertise in gem-setting.

Gracing the watch are no ordinary gems: they are selected according to rigorous criteria and set in keeping with the finest traditions to ensure the most intense radiance, traditions that ensure their orientation, position, robustness, regularity and aesthetics.

As its name dictates, the 39mm timepiece is equipped with the new-generation calibre 3235. A consummate demonstration of Rolex technology, with 14 patents, it offers fundamental gains in terms of precision, power reserve, resistance to shock and magnetism, convenience and reliability. It also incorporates the new Chronergy escapement patented by Rolex, which combines high-energy efficiency with great dependability. Made of nickel-phosphorus, it is also insensitive to magnetic interference.

To complement its majesty, the Pearlmaster 39’s bracelet features delightfully rounded solid links in 18k gold for maximum comfort and a concealed Crownclasp that is both elegant and functional. Intermediate links in 18k white gold set with diamonds are available in another version.

My Reading Room

Also espousing the black-and-white appearance is the Oyster Perpetual Explorer refitted with an entirely luminescent display on its characteristic 3, 6 and 9 numerals for a long-lasting blue glow, like the hour markers and hands. The hands are now also broader and longer for enhanced visual comfort.

After plunging into the seas and soaring through the skies, the Explorer conveys the emblematic relationship between the brand and exploration – one that prompted Rolex, in the 1930s, to equip numerous Himalayan explorers including Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay who became the first to reach Everest’s summit. This remarkable human adventure further reinforced the reputation of the Oyster watches that accompanied the expedition, and subsequently became the inspiration for the first Oyster Perpetual Explorer, launched in 1953.

Aside from similar characteristics like guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 100 metres, a case crafted from a block of corrosion-resistant 904L steel and a fluted case back that is hermetically screwed down, it beats to calibre 3132, a self-winding mechanical movement developed and manufactured entirely in-house.

My Reading Room

Rolex adds a spin to its classic Datejust with a 41mm case, the new calibre 3235 and a shade in yellow or Everorse Rolesor versions – a combination of 904L steel and either 18k yellow or Everrose gold – with a wide selection of dials.

Known for its archetypal functions and aesthetics, the Datejust was the first self-winding waterproof chronometer wristwatch to display the date in a 3 o’clock window on the dial on top of all the major innovations that the brand had delivered until 1945, when the watch was first launched. Visually, the timepiece spans eras while timelessly retaining the enduring codes that still make it one of the most reputable and recognisable of watches.

Like the Oyster Perpetual Pearlmaster 39, the Datejust 41 is also equipped with the new generation calibre 3235 – a plethoric demonstration of Rolex technology and an invention heralding 14 patents with impressive records in precision, power reserve, resistance to shocks and magnetism, convenience and reliability. Impressively, it marries the new Chronergy escapement patented by the brand, which combines high-energy efficiency with great dependability and can power up to 70 hours.

My Reading Room
My Reading Room
My Reading Room
My Reading Room

The only debuts that are not a part of the Oyster Perpetual family, the Cellini Time, Cellini Date and Cellini Dual Time in 18ct white or Everose gold in a 39mm case are redesigned with a white lacquer dial dotted with 12 elongated applique hour markers. The Date version features a blue dial and strap; while the Dual Time range is expanded by an interpretation boasting a brown dial and strap. All the models are driven by a self-winding mechanical movement.

Contemporary yet elegant, Cellini Time displays hours, minutes and seconds; Date, on the other hand, shows off the date display on a single dial the current day, the days gone and the days to come; Cellini Dual Time, finally, reveals time here and time elsewhere.

My Reading Room



New to The Heritage Black Bay family is the 43mm divers’ watch, Heritage Black Bay Bronze, inspired by the brand’s history and now fitted with a mechanical movement that is developed, manufactured and assembled in-house. Inheriting the brand’s general lines, its signature dial and domed crystal prominent since its very first diving watches, the latest invention heralds the winding crown from the famous 7924 reference from 1958 – or the Big Crown.

The drilled holes on the side of the lugs and their pronounced chamfering are also notable historic design elements adopted in this new model. The choice bronze for this 43mm case not only tips the hat to the use of the material in ships and other diving equipment, but it also guarantees the development of a subtle and unique patina to match the wearer’s habits.

To complement is a chocolate-brown dial and bezel – a first for Tudor – with golden and beige accents, a design that makes it look like it’s a vintage item fashioned by the wearer’s lifestyle. At its heart is the Manufacture movement MT5601, a high-performance calibre promising excellent precision and proven robustness.

Running up to 70 hours and beating to a frequency of 28,800 beats/hour or 4Hz, the movement is regulated by a variable inertia oscillator with silicone balance spring and is held in place by a traversing bridge.

My Reading Room
My Reading Room
My Reading Room

Another addition to the collection is the Heritage Black Bay 36 – a more versatile selection of the family. Its smaller diameter appeals to slimmer wrists yet is a more formal choice in the family of sporty watches.

Like the rest of the series, the 36mm watch espouses a dial inspired by the Tudor divers’ watches produced in the 1950s, featuring angular hands known as the snowflake, a fixed smooth steel bezel as well as a shiny black polished dial for a touch of sport-chic.

My Reading Room

Going for a more mysterious look is the Heritage Black Bay Dark, which stands out from its brothers with a dark coat on the 41mm steel case finished with a black PVD-treated coating. Directly derived from the thin film technology originally developed by NASA for its various space programmes, PVD (physical vapour deposition) enables practically any inorganic material to be bonded with the metals.

The dark watch has an entirely satin finish, giving it the appearance of black military utility equipment. Unlike the bronze, the black timepiece beats to MT5602, an in-house movement that promises excellent precision, robustness and a 70-hour power reserve. Interestingly, it is equipped with two straps, a black PVD-treated steel bracelet or an aged leather strap with a black PVD-treated steel folding clasp.

My Reading Room
My Reading Room
My Reading Room

Finally, the Heritage Black Bay is a play of shadows with a reworked steel bracelet inspired by the brand’s riveted bracelets made in the 1950s and 60s. Available in three versions, burgundy bezel, black dial rose-gold hands and markers and cream-coloured luminescent coating, the original Heritage Black Bay resembles an antique watch.

Radically different are the versions with blue bezel as well as the Black Bay “Black” version with a notable new decorative detail of a red triangle on the unidirectional bezel. Debut for the first time in 2012 and already honoured by the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie in Geneva the following year, the 2016 edition is updated with a mechanical movement – the MT5602 – and continues the brand’s 60-year legacy of crafting excellent diving watches.

My Reading Room



A fruit of years of research, the revolutionary Tradition Répétition Minutes Tourbillon 7087 overcomes a previous unmet challenge: that of developing a timepiece around a predetermined sound. Using specifically developed sound generators, the watchmakers experimented with more than 200,000 combinations of frequencies, which were then classified into categories according to psychoacoustic criteria.

This unprecedented approach resulted in six new patents and five major new elements never-before-seen in a wristwatch repetition mechanism: the gong springs, for example, are now attached to the bezel and are vertically struck by hammers instead of in the usual horizontal manner.

This construction is based on the fact that the sapphire crystal and bezel enable optimal sound emission when they vibrate vertically; as well, the vertical movement enhances the transmission of vibrations towards radiating elements and then through the air. The gong springs themselves, moreover, are distinctively shaped like lobes in dimensions specifically designed to enrich the sound and extend its duration; the resulting sound is enriched and beautiful.

Similar to the Classique La Musicale 7800 model, the Tradition Répétition Minutes Tourbillon 7087 houses an acoustic chamber whose role is to increase the volume of the minute repeater while filtering the sounds from the mechanism – a feature that could be glimpsed through eight small holes arrayed on the lower bezel encircling the caseback.

But unlike the 7800’s metallic glass membrane, this one is crafted out of gold and is affixed to a sapphire crystal to open up to a stunning view of the movement. These impressive innovations are complemented by the use of a magnetic strike governor, a patented system composed of silver weights surrounded by magnets placed around the circumference of the strike governor.

As they turn within this magnetic environment, the weights produce an electric current that runs counter to the magnetic field of the magnets: the faster the rotation, the greater the resistance and vice versa. Since the elements do not touch each other, it guarantees perfect silence and is all laid out in plain sight on the dial side of the watch.

My Reading Room



Celebrating the 60th birthday of the Ladybird is a 60-piece limited edition boasting a dial graced with luminous contrasts, an elaborate foliage motif, a bezel set with 32 diamonds, a dial swept over by drop-shaped hands in a 21.50mm white-gold case and a strap exclusively crafted from the small scales of Louisiana crocodile leather.

When the Ladybird was launched in 1956, it was equipped with the smallest round movement on the market, in an era when dainty sizes were popular in the market. It’s no wonder its successors need to work extra hard to impress.

My Reading Room

Inspired by the sea’s vastness, Blancpain’s latest addition to its Métiers d’Art collection highlights a never-before-seen feature, the Mexican silver obsidian married with the brand’s favourite technique, Japanese rokusho patina. The volcanic rock, naturally speckled with puffy, silvery clouds, serves as a base for The Great Wave’s applique in white gold, a motif inspired by the Great Wave off Kanagawa, a Japanese woodblock print created by artist Hokusai. The power and motion of the wave as expressed by Blancpain’s master engravers contrast against the symbolism of the gray obsidian – a stone of purity and balance.

Housed within is a modified hand-wound 13R0 calibre that has become the 13R3A movement. The power-reserve display appears on the bridge side of the model so optimal space is given to the engraving. The movement, with its eight-day power reserve, is equipped with three-series coupled mainspring barrels that successively wind and unwind; while the second barrel serves as a relay for the first, replenishing its energy so as to maintain its force, and is turn wound by the third barrel

My Reading Room
My Reading Room


L.U.C XPS 1860

Celebrating the collection’s 20th birthday is a new, contemporary interpretation featuring a hand-guilloché dial, ultra-thin case, and, continuing the L.U.C’s legacy, a small seconds at 6 o’clock. While 1860 refers to the date when Louis-Ulysee Chopard first founded his watch Manufacture, the supremely elegant L.U.C. 1860 was one of the pioneers in ultra-slim watches; and its refined finishing, beautiful Dauphine-type hands and applied hour-markers are still celebrated features present in Chopard’s latest model, making it an essential wardrobe item.

Measuring 40mm and dressed with ergonomic lugs for the smaller wrists, the timepiece comes in an 18k rose gold case and is produced only in a 100-piece limited series.

My Reading Room

As an authentic collector’s watch for the modern gentlemen, the new L.U.C Perpetual Chrono marries a hand-wound chronograph and a finely crafted perpetual calendar with an unprecedented L.U.C movement, the Calibre 3.10-L – an engine that is built around a column wheel and controls all chronograph operations including the flyback function.

The zero-reset system for the counters and the central sweep seconds hand is handled by progressive-contact hammers for optimal precision: this ensures smooth yet firm activation of timing-related components via a vertical coupling clutch. The calendar is recognisable by its large twin-aperture date displays complemented by indications of the day, month and leap or non-leap nature of the year, while a day/night indication and an orbital moon-phase display graces at 6 o’clock.

Available in a “Fairmined” 18k white gold 20-piece edition, the 45mm chronograph is water-resistant to 30m and has a power reserve of 60 hours.

My Reading Room
My Reading Room



Harking back to yesteryears when Pierre Jaquet-Droz invented his Grande Seconde of two barely superimposed dials, Jaquet Droz’s latest invention is simple yet stylish. The 43mm stainless steel Grande Second Off-Centered Onyx features a second dial in 18k white gold off-centered at 7 o’clock rather than the original at 6 o’clock; while an onyx disc has been painstakingly cut and polished to form the dial – its deep black harbouring an extraordinary intensity.

Aside from dials that make up a delicate figure eight, a winding stem is cleverly positioned at 4 o’clock for some unconventional chic.

My Reading Room
My Reading Room

An ode to nature in Baselworld 2016 is Jaquet Droz’s The Charming Bird, a timepiece that opens up to a veritable singing bird under a canopy of hour and minutes on its upper section and against a dial adorned with hand-painted and engraved mother-of-pearl reminiscent of the Swiss countryside.

Winner of the Mechanical Exception prize at the 2015 Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix (Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève), it’s no wonder The Charming Bird’s technical features are nothing less than eye-opening: first, the song of the bird is generated by air compression and not by vibration, an innovation made possible by introducing three minute sapphire crystal tubes.

On the mechanical side, a regulator harnesses a magnetic effect to prevent any contact between the metallic components and to eliminate auditory interference within the watch. The 47mm watch in either red or white gold is limited to eight pieces.

My Reading Room
My Reading Room



After experimenting with countless variations of complications – biaxial, triaxial, double or coupled with a carousel – Harry Winston realises new technical limits once again: this year, its new Histoire de Tourbillon 7 features two biaxial tourbillons that dance with time. The right side of the dial features a pyramid-cut reading area that houses the hour and the minute hands as its surrounding indexable inserts form a tilted three-dimensional hour circle.

Extended by a long strip in either red aluminium or anthracite, depending the version, perforated for a better view of the two biaxial tourbillons, it overlooks a power reserve indicator in roll form that is flush with a domed sapphire crystal.

Contrasting on the left are the two biaxial tourbillons, the first tourbillon moving into a second cage and both turn on different axes: the first tourbillon’s first cage completes its rotation in 45 seconds and houses a balance wheel that is 30-degrees tilted. The tourbillon and the balance wheel are contained in the second cage, which has a second trajectory, as it lasts 75 seconds. The two cages, one nested inside the other, assume an infinite variety of positions relative to gravity.

The two tourbillons, meanwhile, exhibit their own distinctive behaviour due to their positions in space, despite their similarity in structure, frequency and speed. Captured within a 43.5mm case in 18k white gold, the watch is available in 20 pieces (10 in red and 10 in anthracite). Though asymmetrical and unpredictable, the timepiece is mesmerizingly spectacular and proves to be an extreme paradox for a subject of extraordinary technical intensity.

My Reading Room

Harry Winston’s latest model is a microcosm of the celestial sky dotted with a mesmerising moon that appears to be travelling across the horizon before finding its way behind a white mother-of-pearl. Impressively, its lunar cycle, hours, minutes and date display are expertly powered by the HW5201 quartz movement exclusive to the brand and are all enveloped in a 36mm 18k rose gold case.

The moon’s journey is visible through a crescent-shaped opening, while hours and minutes are indicated by elegant, bevelled hands. The date, finally, shows up in an open circle bordered by yellow gold at 6 o’clock.

The magic, of course, lies in the dial, where two shades of motherof- pearl were used: the first, a pure white, alludes to daylight; while the second, a pearl blue, recalls the deep blue of the evening sky. The gradient dial is dressed with gold cabochons minute markers, an iconic emeraldshaped logo at 12 o’clock, 18 brilliant-cut diamonds at 6 o’clock and 12 brilliant-cut diamonds circling the perimeter, serving as hour markers. Water resistant to three bars, the timepiece wraps around the wrist in a white alligator leather strap.

My Reading Room
My Reading Room



Tipping its hat to the enchanting animal, Ulysse Nardin makes 28 pieces featuring hand-carved horse Jaquemarts on a genuine black onyx dial: interestingly, the Hourstriker Horse plays on hour and half hours, on demand or can be set to “gong” the time in passing. Every time the hammer hits the gong, the horse Jaquemarts perform in concert.

Positioned between 10 and 12 o’clock, and one and three o’clock, the horse Jaquemarts portray two stances: in one, the horse is fearful and is prepared to flee while the other is racing with purpose.

Both animals, however, stuns with chiselled muscles, pronounced facial features and long and voluminous mane and tail. Set within a 42mm round case, the watch is self-winding, can run up to 42 hours and is water-resistant to 30 metres. Its cover is sapphire crystal – a material that is anti-reflective, highly durable and scratch resistant. Its case back, meanwhile, is also made of sapphire crystal for protection and visibility.


Also paying tribute to the wonders of nature is Royal Python Skeleton Tourbillon, whose fluid network of positive and negative space intertwines with the wearer in a transparent maze.

Natural, free-flowing light traverses through the in-house developed flying tourbillon, silicium balance spring, anchor and escapement wheel as light bounces off the rubies dotted on the hand-painted movement bridges.

Housed within is the manual-winding Caliber UN-170 Manufacture movement capable of running up to 170 hours. Measuring 44mm and water-resistant to 30m, the timepiece adorns the wrist with a python strap and is limited to 18 pieces in rose gold 4N.

Indicative of the skill and sensibility of the artist as well as the wondrous world of Ulysse Nardin’s métiers d’art, Ulysse Nardin Royal Python Skeleton Tourbillon is as captivating as the animal itself.

My Reading Room



Designed to meet the demands of air forces operating in warm countries, the sand-coloured BR 03 Desert Type is military by nature. With aims to illustrate the four central pillars behind the brand – legibility, functionality, precision and water resistance – the black ceramic case fits climates of high temperatures, acidic conditions, corrosion and erosion. Technically, it also designed for the pilot: equipped with a chronograph function, the watches are tailored for air pilots who need to measure short time intervals.

The case in black throughcoloured ceramic, meanwhile, is black and the crystal features an anti-reflective coating; while the four screws holding it in place evoke the aeronautical origins of the BR01, using the front-mounting system of on board instruments featured in aircraft cockpits.

And just like analogue aviation counters, the shape of the hands and the typography of the numerals guarantee maximum legibility: the beige upper section is cut away around the numerals and indices, revealing black photolumniscent coating covering the lower insert. The chronographs of 42mm, 39mm and a quartz in the latter size are water-resistant to 100 metres and wraps around the wrist with a beige calfskin strap made of ultra-resistant synthetic fabric.

My Reading Room
My Reading Room


ELITE 6150

In light of its 150th anniversary, Zenith brushed an elegant layer of rose gold atop its Elite 6150, which was initially launched in 2015. Beating to the new Elite 6150 calibre, an ultra-thin automatic movement that runs more than 100 hours thanks to its twin barrels, the 42mm timepiece boasts a pure dial with engraved hour-markers and slender leaf-type hands.

Aside from the new robes, the Elite 6150 is decorated with a fluted crown and ergonomic lugs that accentuate its flowing curves as a sapphire crystal case-back reveals the mechanism at its heart.

My Reading Room

Also playing up the size factor is the Heritage Pilot Café Racer, a 45mm diameter timepiece enveloped in an aged steel case. Beating to the El Primero 4069 chronograph calibre, the timepiece is inspired by the Café Racer bikers movement born in England in the 1920s, when young motorcycle fans wanted a ride that allowed them to cruise from café to café on the British motorways, meaning they stripped their bikes of anything superfluous, leaving only a one-seater and low-slung handlebars on a minimalistic frame.

Lending to these rebels’ desire for speed, originality and freedom, the equallyminimalistic timepiece features large, oversized luminescent Arabic numerals and a wide fluted screw-lock crown complemented by the slate grey dial brushed with a grained motif. The facetted hands and numerals, with their beige, luminescent coating, stand out clearly against the dial background; while “Café Racer Spirit” is inscribed onto the titanium back of the case.

Powering the central hours, minutes hands, small seconds at 9 o’clock alongside chronograph functions over a 50-hour power, the El Primero 4069 beats at the impressive speed of 36,000 vibrations per hour.

My Reading Room

Fast-forwarding to the future with absolute transparency is the Zenith Academy Tourbillon Georges Favre-Jacot, which impresses with its unprecedented engine, the El Primero Calibre 4805, one that combines a tourbillon, a fusée and chain transmission system.

The dial-free Academy Tourbillon Georges Favre-Jacot and its generously sized 45mm diameter black ceramic case turns the spotlight on its tourbillon placed at 6 o’clock and on its fusée and train transmission system between 10.30 and 1.30. Secured to the mainplate by polished screws, three blackened bridges support the fusée and barrel arbors, while the tourbillon carriage performs one rotation per minute.

The central hours and minute functions are displayed on a ring swept over by luminescent black facetted hands and hour markers while the 50-hour power reserve is shown between 4 and 5 o’clock by a red-tipped hand swaying between “high” and “low”. Strapping around the wrist is a perforated rubber strap secured by a PVD-coated titanium triple folding clasp. The Zenith Academy Tourbillon Georges Favre-Jacot is limited to 150 pieces.

My Reading Room

Leveraging on its long history with vintage cars and designed specifically for the 50-plus events Zenith will participate in this year, this latest timepiece tips the hat to the devotees of finely weathered leather, exceptional engines and the pure, sleek curves of legendary cars.

Crafted for those with a penchant for elegant speed machines, the El Primero 36’000vph Classic Cars is housed in a 42mm diameter brushed-steel case fitted with a fluted crown and two round pushpieces. The anthracite dial features an engine-type finish and is punctured by three counters in the original anthracite, blue and light grey colours.

Boasting a tachymeter scale, the watch also highlights a slim, red central sweep-seconds hand as well as luminescent facetted hands and hour-markers. Tucked within is the El Primero 400B automatic chronograph calibre, one of the world’s most precise series-made chronographs developed by Zenith in 1969. The 326-part movement reveals central hours and minutes, small seconds, chronograph and date functions.

My Reading Room

Dubbed the anthem to femininity, the Elite model extends to ladies’ wrists in Elite Lady Moonphase, a watch in five variations made in 18k pink gold or stainless steel. The ultra-thin pebble-shaped 36mm watch, water-resistant to 50m, is fitted with a fluted crown enabling smooth moon-phase adjustments.

Surrounded by a diamond-set or polished bezel, the pure mother-of-pearl dial is graced with a star-studded deep moon disc as slender, lead-shaped hands sweep over stylised engraved hour-markers, or, in other versions, slim Roman numerals. Beating at the core is the automatic Elite Calibre 692 of 195 parts and measuring 3.97mm. Its indications of hours, minutes, small seconds and moon phases can run up to 50 hours.

My Reading Room



A new member to Patek Philippe’s most popular collection is the World Time watch Ref. 5230. Aside from a retouched case, dial and hand designs, some time zones are now defined by new place names – Dubai, for example, is replaced with Riyadh; and the scales of the cities are updated. On the Calatrava case in white or rose gold 5N, winglet-style lugs and a narrow, smoothly polished bezel now set the model apart from its predecessors.

The formerly ring-shaped hour hand in gold, meanwhile, is pierced and shows the contours of the famous “Southern Cross” constellation, and the minute hand is now lozenge-shaped. Powered by the in-house manufacture calibre 240 HU, the World Time watch shows local time in the zone whose city name is positioned at 12 o’clock, and readings of the time in the other 23 time zones could be done by referring to the 24-hour ring. When travelling to a different time zone, the pusher at 10 o’clock can be adjusted to display the respective city at 12 o’clock.

My Reading Room



Boasting an open-worked, ultra-thin movement, Corum’s Bubble High Jewellery Skeleton collection dazzles with rubies, blue sapphires and black sapphires in tribute to its original version made in the year 2000.

Each are fitted with baguette-cut diamonds and gemstone hour markers, all set by hand in processes lasting hundreds of hours long. Housing the sparkly masterpiece is an imposing white gold case, a dial set with 131 brilliant-cut diamonds and a bezel adorned with 42 more. Aside from the aesthetics, the CO 055 calibre is positioned slightly offcentred to keep the quirky spirit of the Bubble.

Even in the world of high jewellery, the Bubble Skeleton is a rarity because only three will be made, each one’s imposing white gold case offering ample canvas for the jewels. The watch is fitted to an alligator hide strap finished in the same shade as the gemstone hour markers and paired with a white gold pin buckle.

My Reading Room



Mesmerising in an intense blue that mirrors the Blue city of Jodhpur, Boucheron’s new Bleu de Jodhpur Epure is a subtle blend of refined elegance and designer modernity.

This modern interpretation of emblematic codes not only reflects the brand’s fondness of the Indian city, but it definitely stands out as a great classic in the world of high-end watches. Versatile enough to be worn in any situation and on a wrist of any size, Epure can be paired with a stainless steel or leather strap for an extra touch of style.

My Reading Room
My Reading Room



A decade after the launch of the All Black concept, Hublot goes back to basics by going transparent. With an invisible exterior, the construction and movement are fully visible within the Big Bang – a timepiece made entirely out of sapphire and is a product of months of development and multi-million investments.

Limited to 500 pieces, the watch is the most accessible sapphire has ever been: by sculpting the material into the complex shape of its iconic Big Bang case, Hublot has achieved a double feat with the Big Bang Unico Sapphire All Black. The amalgamation of transparency and skeleton work allows the workings of Hublot’s Unico manufacture movement to be laid bare, meaning that there is more to the eye than just the column wheel; even the strap combines transparency with the signature all-black style.

My Reading Room



An ode to fine mechanics, the 1966 Skeleton extends the identity implemented by Jean-François Bautte in an openwork watch that is equally as impressive as a work of art.

Delicate and complex, the majestic structure – and its intricate gears, levers, bolts and other usually invisible components in their chamfered, polished, satinbrushed and hand-finished forms – are immediately evident within the openings. At the heart is the famous GP1800 calibre, a majestic movement treated using a galvanic process and works like a metal net that enables the eye to follow the moment of the energy thanks to the rhodium-plated gear train.

This mechanical labyrinth comprising 173 components, including 25 jewels and a sweeping seconds at 10 o’clock, is wrapped in a 18k pink gold case as a sapphire crystal back envelopes the timepiece. The 1966 Skeleton’s back is equally as impressive: dominating the view through the sapphire crystal case back is a gold oscillating weight. Magnificently balanced, the rotor ensures optimal winding of the barrel destined to guarantee autonomy of more than 54 hours.

My Reading Room



Though the brand has been known for timepieces in varying shades of blue for the past 20 years, the latest edition of the Senator Chronometer grabs eyeballs with an impressively eye-opening deep blue dial, washed in a dark tone that quietly emphasises the finely grained and lacquered surface while lending a velvety texture.

Leading up to the masterpiece are seasoned craftsmen who ensure that the lacquer is applied and dried in several coats until the precise shade and desired textures are achieved. The same attention translates to the dial, specifically in its railroad chapter ring, the indexes and numerals, which are finely engraved and galvanised in silver.

The Senator Chronometer is also extremely easy to read: the colour-matched Glashütte Original Panorama Date sits at 3 o’clock, along with a separate day-night display that simplifies the setting of the date positioned in a round opening above the centre; while gliding above are long, slim poire hands in polished white gold for an added complexity to the architectural structure of the watch.

My Reading Room
My Reading Room



Following the wake of the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon – the thinnest watch ever made yet – the Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater, combines slenderness with the most elaborate horological complication. Continuing the collection’s legacy as ultra-thin watches and following inventions that included the tourbillon and the mechanical handwound movement in 2014, the latest timepiece features circularsection gongs that are each fashioned and finished by hand to define the notes and the harmonics: this extreme miniaturisation of 362 components is vividly illustrated in the centrifugal strike governor, featuring a total diameter of just 3.3mm including its two inertiablocks.

Its incised, cut-out silhouette – along with the small seconds count at 6 o’clock – serve to amplify resonance inside the case for sound optimisation. Water-resistant to 50m, the watch can run up to 42 hours.

My Reading Room



Immediately capturing the onlooker with a detailed image of a moon tucked away at 6 o’clock, Omega’s Speedmaster continues its legacy in lunar explorations with a new timepiece that displays the phases of the moon at precisely 29.5 days, a difficult time span to manage for a standard gear train. Yet, its highly accurate mechanism requires adjustments only every 10 years with a few turns of the crown.

Though the hands are classic Speedmaster, the twin twohanded subdials, sun-brushed blue dial, tachymeter scale, ceramic bezel and stainless steel case are exclusive to this model, as the internal makeup of the revolutionary 9904 movement of 368 components marks the start of a new era. The timepiece in mesmerising blue is paired with a leather strap in the same colour and clasped with a foldover buckle..

My Reading Room


Staying true to its aviation roots, Breitling debuts a timepiece in light, ultra-sturdy titanium – a favourite metal in the field – in 45mm. Veiling its dial in grey with tone-on-tone counters accentuated by a finely snailed raised motif, the watch features vigorous aviationinspired stencil-type numerals, with a luminescent coating ensuring excellent visibility further enhanced by the thick, glareproof sapphire crystal.

The bezel, also dressed with engraved stencil-type numerals, is complemented by its four rider tabs classic to Breitling, while the nonslip grip of the screw-locked crown and the chronograph pushpieces ensure optimal handling, even with aviator gloves.

Interestingly, the titanium caseback is adorned with a conversion scale for the main units; it also dresses around the wrist with a brand-new strap secured by a titanium folding clasp – features that further prove its authenticity for professionals. Water resistant to 300m, the watch beats to a self-winding chronograph movement, the Breitling Caliber 13.

My Reading Room



Nodding to its rich history in gold watches since 1923 – when its first cushion model in 18k yellow gold, 14k white gold and 14k green gold were made – the latest 40mm Hamilton Jazzmaster Thinline Gold boasts an 18k pink gold case water-resistant to three bar; raised, applied indexes as well as razor-edge dauphine-shaped hands – a manifestation of the brand’s definition of innovation and modernity.

Despite its thinness, a highly legible date display is tucked away at 6 o’clock, on a timeless, silver-toned dial that is lightly domed around the edge, as the current, new “H” symbol adorns both dial and crown for a hint of playfulness. The watch is complemented with a subtly retro finegrain hand-sewn black calf leather strap and is produced in a limited edition of 1,892 pieces in tribute to the brand’s founding date.

My Reading Room



Six months after the launch of the TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer-01 is the TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer-02T, produced directly from the DNA of the CH-80 chronograph – an model that beautifully marries the watchmaker’s most famous complications, the chronograph and the tourbillon. At 4H and 28,800 vibrations/hour, the main technical challenge for the 02T was to house a single barrel, the chronograph functions, the automatic winding mechanism and the flying tourbillon within a diameter of 32mm.

The handcrafted timepiece is made with grade-five titanium, can run up to 65 hours and is waterresistant to up to 100 metres. To complement is a matte black alligator strap sewn onto black rubber with matching stitching.

My Reading Room
My Reading Room
My Reading Room



Featuring the Graff Calibre 7 – the new and exclusive proprietary movement with a depth of just 7.72mm – The MasterGraff Perpetual Calendar impresses with an intricate openwork dial that shows off the day, date and month, which appear in a fluid horizontal line while a specially formulated resin positioned around and above the date has been treated to give it a translucent appearance.

The two discs indicating the days and months are crafted using a highly complex scientific electroforming process, which creates the matter for the discs, resulting in a mesmerising skeletonised effect.

Also new to Graff is a tourbillon cage that completes one revolution in precisely 60 seconds and has three icon-inspired spokes with the inverted icon motif on one tip indicating the second hand. Aside from signature features like a striking faceted bezel, an icon at 12 o’clock and a diamond-set crown; its 22k gold, offset rotor has also been skilfully integrated into the calibre and can be clearly viewed on the reverse of the watch. The MasterGraff Perpetual Calendar runs up to 50 hours and is adorned with an alligator leather strap.

My Reading Room
My Reading Room

A part of the MasterGRAFF collection, GyroGRAFF World takes a bird’s eye view of the Earth while incorporating an innovative three-dimensional moon phase indicator visible through the front and back of the dial. A double-axis tourbillon sits at 5 o’clock, while a power reserve indicator is seated at 11 o’clock.

The colour of Mother Earth, meanwhile, is showcased in varnished grand feu enamel. Running up to 72 hours, the 48mm timepiece wraps around the wrist in an alligator leather strap.

My Reading Room

A piece for show is definitely the Graff Vendôme, which is created to mark the opening of the brand’s flagship on the eponymous square in the French capital. Inspired by the architectural beauty of the renowned landmark, the timepiece for men measures 40mm and is fitted with an automatic movement and second indicator positioned at 6 o’clock; the ladies’ version features a feminine 30mm case married with a quartz movement.

The crown, meanwhile, draws influence from the distinctive scallop pattern at the top of Colonne, Vendôme, while each hour marker mimics the curved lines of the boutique entrances lining the landmark of luxury.

The watch is available in white or rose gold with a blue, black or brown dial or adorned with diamonds, sapphires emeralds and rubies; while “17 Place Vendôme” is engraved onto the back in homage to the brand’s new address.