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Luxury time

Anandhi Gopinath
Anandhi Gopinath • 5 min read
Luxury time
Fans of fine watchmaking regard the annual Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie as the ‘holy week of horology’. This is because some of the best watchmaking names in the world assemble in Geneva, Switzerland, to show what they have in store for
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Fans of fine watchmaking regard the annual Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie as the ‘holy week of horology’. This is because some of the best watchmaking names in the world assemble in Geneva, Switzerland, to show what they have in store for the year. Anandhi Gopinath, who is attending the fair this week, shares details of the novelties from 16 brands that will be unveiled through the course of 2017.

First introduced in 2012, the ultra-feminine Rendez-Vous line bears all the hallmarks of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s métiers rares — impeccable timekeeping accuracy, unrivalled excellence in craftsmanship and breathtaking artistry of design. The new Sonatina gets its name from a single chime that can be set to ring at a desired time, visually indicated by a gilt star on the dial.

Richard Mille’s RM 07-01 shines not just with extreme mechanical perfection, but also with the sensual and curvaceous lines of its tonneau-shaped case design and gemset centrefi eld. The heart of this pink gold timepiece is the in-house designed CRMA2, a highly skeletonised movement developed specially for the watch.

In 2002, the Lange 1 Moon Phase enriched A. Lange & Söhne’s suite of timepieces with this lyrical complication. A new version of this timepiece has been endowed with a new movement, which takes a refreshed and particularly realistic approach by combining the moon-phase display with a day/night indicator.

Combining the complications of fi ne watchmaking with the aesthetics of fi ne jewellery, Baume & Mercier’s new Promesse provides a glimpse into the mystery behind the four phases of the moon. The complication unfolds on a blue lacquered dial, framed by diamond-set twin crescents that highlight the oval shape of the bezel.

Piaget celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Altiplano line with two timepieces — one hand-wound, the second self-winding — that take inspiration from the aesthetic codes of the first ultra-thin watches. The historical logo, the applied gold hour-markers and the signature cross as a nod to the line’s historical origins are all included in this limited edition collection.

Montblanc’s 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter Limited Edition showcases a vintage style, from the champagne dial with the sunray finishing to the bronze colour of the case — a material used in the maison’s watches for the fi rst time. This watch is completed by cathedral-shaped hands and beige Super- LumiNova markings that also provide excellent readability at night.

The brushed steel 12-sided bezel, black dial and untreated brown leather wire loop straps of the new Radiomir 3 Days Acciaio are dedicated to a vintage Officine Panerai watch made in the 1930s. Research indicates that the original watches were not used for military operations, but for presenting to the authorities of the Royal Italian Navy.

The Quatuor is one of Roger Dubuis’ most complicated wristwatches, equipped with four inclined balance wheels. This year’s Excalibur Quatuor Cobalt MicroMelt gets its name from the material used for its updated look. The case is made from a sophisticated cobalt-chromium alloy and is matched with a blue-coated movement with red accents.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the women’s Royal Oak, Audemars Piguet unveils the new Royal Oak Frosted Gold. A shining reinvention of the iconic design, this contemporary timepiece, available in both white and pink gold, was created in collaboration with Florentine jewellery designer Carolina Bucci.

IWC Schaffhausen’s modern interpretation of the Da Vinci line trains the spotlight on its legions of female fans. The Da Vinci Automatic 36 is equipped with gold cases, diamond-set bezels and alligator leather straps by Santoni. The straps come in colours such as raspberry, bronze, dark brown and dark blue, which underscore the watch’s feminine appeal.

The pure lines of Vacheron Constantin’s Patrimony moon phase and retrograde date are an invitation to raise our gaze skywards, as their craftsmen must have done as they breathed life into this complex watch. The delicate moonphase display requires no corrections for 122 years, while a retrograde date indication is graduated from 1 to 31 across the upper dial arc.

The Ronde Louis Cartier pioneers a new technique in watchmaking — flamed gold, which requires a perfect mastery of intense heat to create the vivid colours of the panther on the dial. This limited edition watch is completed by a diamond-studded bezel, white gold case and black alligator leather strap.

Equipped with a sophisticated automaton module that is subject to four patent applications, Van Cleef & Arpels’ Lady Arpels Papillon Automate depicts the random fluttering of a butterfly that accompanies the wearer’s movement. Within a white gold diamond-set 40mm case, a pastoral landscape is depicted on the dial via enamelling, miniature painting and gem-setting techniques.

The seductive and brazen beauty of a burlesque dancer is highlighted in Ulysse Nardin’s limited edition Hourstriker Pin-Up, available in platinum and pink gold versions. The hour-striker function matches its chimes with the delicately painted peacock plumes, which mischievously swing out of place to reveal the dancer’s loveliness.

A year after its comeback in the form of a limited edition commemorating Girard- Perregaux’s 225th anniversary, the Laureato continues its contemporary adventure with a new model that is unmistakably feminine. Super slim and attired in a diamond-studded mantle of light, the Laureato 34 comes with the option of pink gold or steel cases and metal bracelets or leather straps in white, black and anthracite grey.

Parmigiani Fleurier has revisited one of the most iconic watches from the Tonda line — the new Métrographe offers a more dynamic design fuelled by watchmaking references, including shiny black and white dials, differently proportioned chronograph windows and a tachymeter. Powered by the self-winding PF315, the new Métrographe is completed with black and brown calfskin straps.

Anandhi Gopinath is an assistant editor with the Options desk at The Edge Malaysia.

This article appeared in the Options of Issue 763 (Jan 23) of The Edge Singapore.

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