The last quarter of the year usually means the winding down of new launches, but the watchmaking industry still has plenty to share. The recent Geneva Watch Days, now in its second edition, celebrated the novelties of 25 brands while reaffirming the inextricable relationship between horology and the Swiss capital. The inperson event in Geneva was enjoyed by an international audience via digital presentations. Here are some of the most fun and phenomenal pieces that made a lasting impression, even on screen.
Just as Mickey Mouse has delighted millions of children and adults for over 90 years, legendary watchmaker Gerald Genta– now owned by the Bulgari Group – has kept horology fans enthralled with his nifty ideas and novel watches. In yet another playful collaboration, the two brands reveal the new Gerald Genta Arena Retrograde with a smiling Disney Mickey Mouse. Within a 41mm polished steel case, the mischievous mouse prances across the rhodium-plated sunray dial to indicate the minutes along a retrograde minute track curving around the upper half. A jumping hour aperture at 5 o’clock announces the hour while the fast time-corrector at 9 o’clock guarantees accuracy. With its engraved caseback and a red textured rubber strap, the 150-piece limitededition watch is set to be a highly sought-after collectors’ item.
Ancient civilisations coveted it as a priceless treasure and even today, electrum is still recognised as one of the original precious materials. Urwerk gives it a high-tech twist in the UR-100 Electrum, showing off the sunny hue of the organic gold and palladium alloy in structured, pleated and undulating surfaces. It is a highly sensual experience, and the sensorial thrill continues on the golden dial where Urwerk’s signature satellite-type hours and minutes are accompanied by the unusual tracking of Earth’s rotation on its axis and its revolution around the sun, displayed in 20-minute intervals on either side of the stage. The UR-100 Electrum is a remarkable composition of the ancient and the avant-garde, allowing wearers to travel through time while remaining very much in the present.
H. Moser & Cie.
Behold the Streamliner Perpetual Calendar, a fusion of two H. Moser & Cie. icons that creates a new timekeeping experience. The in-house Perpetual 1 movement meets the automotive and locomotive-inspired Streamliner collection in this masterpiece of simplicity and ingenuity. Rounded curves on the 42.3mm steel cushion case evoke the high-speed trains from the 1920s and 1930s, while automotive references can be seen in the red-and-white outer minute track that skims the perimeter of the fumé dial and the seconds and power reserve hands. The hand-wound HMC 812 calibre operates the 168-hour power reserve indicator at 10 o’clock, instantaneous large-format date at 4 o’clock and leap-year indicator on the movement side. Practical, elegant and at once retro and contemporary? This ticks all the right boxes.
As Swiss watchmaker Girard-Perregaux turns 230 this year, it marks this auspicious anniversary with the exquisite Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges. It takes the most refined craftsmanship to turn these purely functional features — typically concealed behind the dial — into beautiful centrepieces that act as a mainplate and support the geartrain, barrel and tourbillon. The three hand-chamfered Neo Bridges are forged from pink gold and appear to float in mid-air, as though suspended in time. The sole contradiction to this illusion is the tourbillon set into the lowest bridge, whirling as though too full of life to ever keep still. Further teasing the eye is a subtle play of depth and dimension within the selfwinding 44mm watch, with the varying heights of the dial elements creating a complex yet clean architecture.
Infinitely more approachable than the Great Eye of Sauron from The Lord of the Rings, the eye-like Orb seems to look into the future from within a shiny sphere while displaying the time on a central dial. A collaboration by MB&F x L’Epée 1839, the minimalistic structure is composed of four elytra (a beetle’s protective wing covers) and can open up and swivel like a transformer to display the Orb in various positions, with either or all of the wings open. A spectacular L’Epée 1839 hour-striking movement with eight-day power reserve can chime the hour on the hour or on demand. The Orb is limited to 50 pieces each in black and white and is a handy companion on a desk, whether for telling time or, well, having an extra eye around.
Travel might be on hold for the time being, but in anticipation of the return of casual flights and spontaneous holidays is the Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Hemispheres Retrograde Steel Blue. The blue guilloché dial, decorated with a “pomme de pin” or pinecone motif, and GMT complication with an independent second time zone leave the mundane of everyday life behind to draw the viewer into a world of possibility. The 42.8mm steel case, adorned with a hand-knurled bezel, houses the automatic in-house PF317 calibre that also controls 50 hours of autonomy and an asymmetrical retrograde date. Fastening this quintessential traveller’s timepiece onto wrists is the Hermès Indigo Blue alligator strap, from another brand also well-versed in the art of elegant exploration.
Any diver worth his salt knows the luxury of enjoying the underwater world is directly tied to the health of the seas and marine life. Oris has built a significant amount of its legacy in the ocean and celebrates this nautical heritage with the Aquis Date Upcycle, a new edition of its highperformance diver’s watch with a dial fashioned from recycled PET plastic. Available in either a 41.5mm or 36.5mm stainless steel case with a unidirectional rotating bezel fitted with a scratch-resistant grey ceramic insert, the neutral hues are vividly contrasted with unique mosaics on the dial courtesy of a collage of the recycled plastic. The unrestricted watch will continue to be made as long as there is demand to encourage an enduring commitment to protecting the world’s most precious resource.
A new fleet of Marine Torpilleur models from Ulysse Nardin’s Chronometry collection evinces once the Swiss watchmaker’s expertise in beautiful precision watches. Legibility is a key feature of the marine chronometers the series is modelled after, with large displays set into a 42mm case and a dedicated seconds counter in the south for accurate timekeeping. Date and power reserve apertures at 6 and 12 o’clock respectively equip the valiant explorer for long voyages. Seven models comprise this flotilla of new releases, including the Panda, the Moonphase in white or blue, the Chronograph in white or blue, and the Tourbillon Grand Feu Enamel (black) in rose gold, but the captain of this ship is undeniably the spectacular blue enamel model, limited to just 175 pieces.