SINGAPORE (July 17): Pushing boundaries

Corum launches a ground breaking timepiece that has been described as a very daring concept. The Corum LAB 02 timepiece takes on the “Risk is the Reward” campaign and defied all watchmaking conventions. The LAB 02 is a perfect example of that when it comes to pairing aesthetics with craftsmanship. Firstly, the watch is equipped with a new movement that was two years in the making. The end result shows a new calibre that is equipped with a flying gear train. Its calibre CO 300 consists of an impressive 416 individual components, each meticulously skeletonised and finely finished. Each piece is hand assembled in a unique format with a flying tourbillon at six o’clock position with a grand date function at four o’clock and its power reserve indicator (55 hours) is placed in a manner that it is visible via a sapphire glass on the side of the case at eight o’clock. Because of the extremely complicated nature of this 45mm watch, just 10 pieces will be made, each identified by a specific plate number on the barrel.

A timely cause

When Blancpain created the Fifty Fathoms divers’ watch in the early 1950s, the journey into exploring the underwater world began. The most recent initiative supported by its Blancpain Ocean Commitment (BOC) programme is devoted to the study of the hammerhead shark in French Polynesia. Blancpain dedicates the Bathyscaphe Mokarran Limited Edition timepiece to this programme. With every purchase of this special watch, each customer will be part of Blancpain’s effort in supporting the Mokarran Protection Society. A total of US$50,000 ($69,563) will be added to the brand’s regular contributions to promoting, respecting and protecting the oceans. The Bathyscaphe Mokarran timepiece comes in a tropical green dial that catches the light through its sunburst finish. The unidirectional rotating bezel incorporates a green ceramic insert matching the dial. Made of satin-finished black ceramic, the 43.6mm-diameter case is water-resistant to 30 bars or about 300m.

True Blue

In 1954, Tudor launched its very first divers’ watch that was waterproof of up to 100m and it was robust, reliable and precise. That lineage continues today in the form of the Black Bay Fifty-Eight “Navy Blue”, the first Tudor divers’ watch that is waterproof to 200m. This model has a 39mm diameter case and is powered by the Manufacture Calibre MT5402 and has an openwork and satin-brushed with sand-blasted details. Its bridges and mainplate have alternate sand-blasted, polished surfaces and laser decorations. Together with its non-magnetic silicon hairspring, the Manufacture Calibre MT5402 is chronometer-certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC), with its performance going beyond the standards set by this independent institute. Another notable feature is that the power reserve is “weekend-proof” of about 70 hours, which enables the wearer to take the watch off on a Friday evening and put it back on again on Monday morning without having to wind and reset it.

Technical wonder

For Urwerk fans, the EMC Time Hunter Desert Sage is the one you have been waiting for as it has a dual-measuring instrument, just like a compass. The timepiece is crafted from steel and its caseback is made of titanium. The iconic signature indefinable shape is present — it is neither round nor square or cushion-like with a dial that features a chequered hand grenade pattern, which displays the hours and minutes. At the very heart of the EMC concept lies a hybrid electronic/mechanical system that makes each of these timepieces totally one-ofa-kind. It is an entirely mechanical watch, optimised with the help of an electro-optical circuit. EMC Time Hunter Desert Sage watches are for the horology and design geeks, the purely scientific approach gives rise above all else to truly inimitable watches. Ultra-legible, razor-sharp and hyper-urban, each one transcends its functionalities to enter the realm of pure style. On the one hand, its hand-wound movement stems from the mind and hands of Urwerk. Designed exclusively for the EMC collections, the UREMC2 calibre is entirely crafted, finished, assembled and adjusted by Urwerk.

A cross-continental companion

In precision watchmaking, the second time zone function is a particularly convenient complication for those who travel, work and communicate intercontinentally. Fifteen years ago, German watchmaker A. Lange & Söhne introduced the Lange 1 Time Zone watch with dual time zones for this growing market. We may not be travelling much now but in time for when we do, A. Lange & Söhne has unveiled a new edition of this iconic watch that incorporates a new manufacture calibre and two additions to ensure added legibility. Combining functionality with superb craftsmanship, the Lange 1 Time Zone’s personality is characterised by an asymmetric dial with two time displays, an outsize date, a power-reserve indicator and a switchable city ring that allows convenient setting of the second time zone. What is new is the manually wound manufacture Calibre L141.1, a ring-shaped day/night indicator to assure increased legibility and a daylight-saving time indication in a window at five o’clock. The dimensions of the new Lange 1 Time Zone remain unchanged — the case diameter remains at 41.9mm and the movement neatly fits into a case height of just 10.9mm. It comes in three beautiful case/dial combinations — white gold/black, pink gold/argenté and, in a limited edition of 100, yellow gold/champagne. The timepiece will be available in the last quarter of the year, just in time for when borders are scheduled to begin opening all over the world.

Patek Philippe heralds expanded production premises in Geneva

In the last quarter of a century, Patek Philippe’s business evolved and grew so exponentially that the brand needed more space for its collections. As complicated watches account for nearly half of its entire collection and a demanding customer-centric development philosophy results in a growing average number of components per watch, plans for a new production building were long in the making. Today, with its newly expanded production building in the outskirts of Geneva, Switzerland, Patek Philippe can now bring all of its Génevois ateliers under one roof — a tremendous advantage, given the growing complexity of output operations. With the modern structure’s impressive dimensions — 10 storeys and nearly 200m in length — the 1996 building complex is set for the next 20 to 30 years of growth. The total investment was CHF600 million ($887 million) for its interiors and avant-garde technical resources. The interior spaces in the new building are divided into five segments that focus on production and manual finissage of movement parts, machining, manual polishing, assembling of exterior parts such as cases and bracelets, and gem-setting. In addition to the production of the current collection, these ateliers are also responsible for crafting the inventory of spare parts needed by its customer service department, a key success factor for Patek Philippe. Antique timepieces are restored here, too. The centre accommodates further production-related departments such as R&D in the fields of new materials and new technologies (Patek Philippe Advanced Research), an haute horlogerie department, a new unit for prototyping operations, as well as facilities for further evolving and handing-down of the rare handcrafts skills that Patek Philippe has actively promoted, namely manual engraving, enamelling, guilloching and wood micro marquetry. Meanwhile, the completion of the structure is being celebrated with the commemorative launch of the Ref. 6007 Calatrava in steel with an exclusive design concept, which will be limited to 1,000 pieces. It stands out with its case and broad-cambered bezel in polished steel, a rare material in Patek Philippe’s collections that is particularly coveted among connoisseurs. Visit www.patek.com for more information.

The TAG Heuer-Fragment Design collector’s timepiece

How about a collector’s timepiece with a power reserve of 80 hours? This is the TAG Heuer x Fragment Design Heuer 02 chronograph, a second collaboration between the luxury watch brand and renowned musician and watch aficionado Hiroshi Fujiwara. The timepiece features a daring red sapphire case back fitted with the manufacture Calibre Heuer 02 movement, which builds on the success of its first collaboration with the Japanese designer via his label Fragment Design in 2018. This latest partnership has resulted in a bold yet minimalistic limited-edition novelty that reflects TAG Heuer’s motor-racing heritage and bold design principles, with high-end finishes, a ceramic bezel and a fiery red sapphire case back. There are only 500 pieces available. True to his minimalistic style, Fujiwara has kept the watch to its bare essentials to emphasise the iconic tachymeter scale on the bezel. On the black opaline dial are two black embossed subcounters at three and nine o’clock, contrasting against white lettering and logos, and a simple date window at six o’clock. The red and lacquered central hand give the dial indices contrast, resulting in a bold and elegant 44mm timepiece that is easy to read. In addition, an exclusive new feature — a five-row steel bracelet with a butterfly folding clasp — is finely polished and brushed to catch the light with every movement of the wrist. The watch is available for pre-order on www.tagheuer.com and select boutiques.

Omega x America’s Cup

Dating back to 1851, the America’s Cup is renowned as the oldest trophy in international sport and has become the source of fierce international rivalries and spectacular sailing duels. Ahead of the 36th edition of the “Auld Mug” in March next year, Swiss watchmaker Omega has announced its role as the event’s official timekeeper. This will mark the third time in history that the watchmaker has served in the prestigious sailing role since the brand began its partnership with Emirates Team New Zealand in 1995 — a relationship that started alongside legendary sailor Sir Peter Blake and has continued for 25 years, with a shared passion for innovation, technology, speed and accuracy. In conjunction with the announcement, Omega has released the new Seamaster Planet Ocean 36th America’s Cup Limited Edition. Presented on a structured rubber strap, the 43.5mm timepiece is crafted from stainless steel and limited to just 2,021 pieces. Most notable is the blue ceramic diving bezel, which incorporates white and red liquid ceramic to create a five-minute countdown for racing. The polished white ceramic dial of the watch includes the competition’s name transferred at 6 o’clock. A special America’s Cup logo has been placed on the counterweight of the central second hand as well as on the sapphire crystal caseback, through which the Master Chronometer Calibre 8900 can be admired.

Time well spent

The latest personality to headline watchmaker IWC Schaffhausen’s Time Well Shared initiative is legendary sportsman Sean Fitzpatrick, who was once captain of New Zealand’s All Blacks team and is chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy. IWC is working alongside Fitzpatrick and the academy in their global mission to utilise the power of sport to improve the lives of young people. Rather than placing the focus of his video on his legendary rugby union career, Fitzpatrick instead discusses Laureus Sport for Good and its success over the last two decades. Reminiscing about a life-changing trip he made to Sierra Leone’s Right to Play project 15 years ago, he recalls teaching the children he met the basics of rugby and the New Zealand haka. IWC has run the Time Well Shared initiative since the start of the global lockdown, channelling the inspiring nature of its many ambassadors. The idea is to get people to make the most of their time, and entertain and support them by keeping them connected and engaged. To watch the new video or catch previous ones with some truly interesting personalities, check out IWC Watches on Instagram.