Seven watches remained in the competition for the best Men’s Complications Watch in 2013, as it was decided by the jury of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. Hublot Antikythera SunMoon, Romain Gauthier Logical One watch, De Bethune DB28 Skybridge, Greubel Forsey Double Balanicer 35°, as well as Fonderie 47 Inversion Principle, Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec Rising Hours and Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue watches are models that run for the title in the new category to be presented for the first time in the 13 year old history of the prestigious event.
Although it looks like a futuristic object, Hublot Antikythera SunMoon watch is, as a matter of fact, a simplified version of the Antikythera mechanism, a mysterious object form the 2nd century BC which was rediscovered in Greek waters in 1901. Last year, Hublot’s engineers created an ultra-complex miniature replica of the original, in the non-commercial series of four pieces, called “Tribute to the Antikythera Mechanism”. This year, the renowned Swiss watchmaker launched the commercial series o wristwatches based on the groundbreaking mechanism. Although presented as the simplified version, the new Antikythera SunMoon is everything but a simple timepiece.
Launched in the Limited Edition of 20 pieces, it features 7 complications, including a flying tourbillion, as well as solar and lunar calendars. Besides, this masterpiece precisely indicates the sidereal position of the Sun and the Moon as they are seen from the Earth. Unlike the “Tribute to the Antikythera Mechanism” that uses both sides to display various features (14 complications), the new model uses just a dial side.
A 35.2 x 37 mm square case is crafted of microblasted titanium, which is treated with both satin and polished finishing. It features an unusual circular bezel that frames opalin and black colored open-worked dial, covered with anti-reflective sapphire crystal.
Inside the case, there is a HUB9008 hand-winding flying tourbillon movement. It incorporates plate bridges crafted in beveled brass with a drawn edge and a black ruthenium surface treatment, as well as circular-grained, beveled and rhodium-plated wheels. This high-end mechanism beats at the frequency of 21,600 alternations per hour (3 Hz) and provides a great power-reserve of 120 hours (5 days). This unique timepiece has the price tag of around CHF 250,000.
This outstanding timepiece presents the entire repertoire of the Manufacture De Bethune. Firstly, it shows a beautiful, night sky-inspired concave dial, highlighted by an arrow shaped bridge that appears as it vanishes in infinite space. Its futuristic design is another characteristic of the brand’s previous models from the DB 28 series. The dial is crafted in blued grade 5 curved titanium and adorned by diamonds and white gold, which nicely resembles stars over the clear night sky. In the center of this extraordinary interface, you can see 9 spheres which represent hour markers and which look like they are floating in space. Another brand’s trademark is located at the 6 o’clock position. It is a distinctive three-dimensional sphere that indicates moon-phases.
An ultra-light titanium case has the diameter of 43 mm. When including characteristic titanium bezel, the diameter of entire watch body gets two additional millimeters. While the design of the dial leads us to the feature, the case style brings us beck to the past, by recalling the shape, the crown position, as well as the hunter-type back of vintage pocket watches.
De Bethune DB 28 Skybridge watch is powered by a hand-winding DB 2105 movement, featuring an inovative self-regulating twin barrel which provides a great power reserve of six days. Besides, this high-end mechanism incorporates a new balance wheel made of silicon and palladium, as well as a silicon escape wheel and a triple pare-chute system used to enhance the resistance. This great timepiece is available for CHF 98,000.
Greubel Forsey Double Balancier 35° Watch
With its newest masterpiece of the haute horology, the inventive watchmaker presents a unique regulating system based on two inclined oscillators and escapements which should improve chronometric timing performance of the mechanism.
Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey have been working on the development of inclined oscillators since 1999. Firstly, they created a concept movement with two 20°inclined oscillators, which later led to the production of six watch editions in 2011. The newest invention is the further evolution of the brand’s concept. Disposed in different three dimensional planes, two fixed and inclined oscillators, each on 35°, increases the mechanical performances.
Thanks to a spherical differential, the average of oscillators’ rates is transmitted via the gear train to the small seconds sub-dial at the 7 o’clock position. The gray dial also features the brand’s signature skeletonized gold hands with SuperLumiNova tips, showing hours and minutes in the conjunction with a polished black-oxidized gold chapter ring. Finally, there is a power-reserve indicator at the 2 o’clock position.
Greubel Forsey Double Balancier 35° watch features an 18 karat white gold, case with the diameter of 43.5 mm and the thickness of 14.35 mm. It houses an in-house manual-winding movement, built of 365 components, including 28 parts of the spherical differential. Thanks to two concentric fast-rotating mainspring barrels, it provides power for 72 hours of optimal working. Two oscillators comprise variable inertia balance wheels, Phillips terminal curves and work on the frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour. Frosted and spotted plates and bridges come in nickel silver, with polished beveling and countersinks.
Greubel Forsey has launched just six pieces of Double Balancier 35° watch. They are available with elegant black alligator straps and costs CHF 390,000.
Inversion Principle Watch by Fonderie 47
A noble cause gathered great watchmakers to create a truly exceptional watch. Have you heard of Fonderie 47? Founded by Peter Thum, this unusual brand creates luxury items with a goal to use proceeds from their sale for funding the destruction of assault weapons in Africa. For that reason, Fonderie 47 hires high-end jewelry and watch makers that craft their models, using plates and metal from the recycled guns. Thus, a new Inversion Principle watch is designed by Adrian Glessing and developed and produced by David Candaux/Du Val Des Bois.
This unique timepiece presents an entire set of innovative and complicated features, such as a central three-minute flying tourbillion, an instantaneous Jumping Hours with guick-set pusher, a 240° retrograde minute display, as well as lateral and back power-reserve indicators. On the back-side of the watch, there is a plate made from the transformed steel of AK47 weapon.
However, the absolute highlight of this remarkable creation is the flying tourbillon that rotates once in each three minutes, in the center of a three-dimensional dial. It incorporates three second-hands, equally spaced and positioned around the carriage. Only one hand is visible at any time, indicating seconds on the retrograde display above the tourbillon. Other two hands are hidden under the gold, rifle-sight inspired frame. The retrograde minute scale runs over the outer rim of the bottom half of the dial, while the jumping hours window takes the 12 o’clock position.
The Inversion Principle watch is powered by a Swiss made hand-winding mechanical that oscillates at the low frequency of 18,000 vibrations per hour and which ensures 6 days of power-reserve. Its beautiful sunray guilloche pattern is visible through a sapphire crystal case-back. The mechanism is housed inside a nicely polished gold case with the diameter of 42 mm. Ten pieces of the ultra-limited series come in white gold, while other 10 watches are crafted in red gold. If you want to help the noble cause by purchasing this masterpiece, that will cost you about CHF 330,000.
With all due respect to other highly interesting features that come with the newest Nicolas Rieussec Rising Hours watch, I need to single out an innovative hour display as its highlight. Based on two rotating discs, placed one atop the other, it displays not only twelve hours, but it also serves as a day/night indicator.
This unusual hour display is possible thanks to a new in-house Calibre MB R220 whose mechanism comprises two rotating discs. The first one, with inscribed Arabic numerals from 1 to 12 turns continuously above the bicolor day/night disc, which is half pastel blue and half dark gray. This disk turns in intervals, at variable speeds, creating desired color changes (blue for the night, gray for the day) in the cut-out numerals.
Beside these two discs, the complex self-winding mechanism incorporates other four rotating discs, one showing a day of the week through the aperture at the 9 o’clock position, the second one indicating date at the 3 o’clock position, and finally, two chronograph discs that display small seconds and 30-minute time intervals in the conjunctions with fixed blued hands. Only central minute hand shows time in the traditional way.
The new Nicolas Rieussec Rising Hours watch comes either in rose gold, stainless steel or platinum. The rose gold model is chosen in the competition for the best men’s complications watch. The beautifully polished case has the mid-sized diameter of 43 mm. It is paired with a brown leather strap. The price of this pretty interesting timepiece is CHF 29,100.
Romain Gauthier Logical One Watch
New Romain Gauthier’s timepiece presents a patented quadruple constant force system with ruby chain links which replaces the traditional cone-shaped wheel with a cord or chain, thus providing a higher reliability and precision. The new system based on slowly rotating snail cam allows force from a mainspring barrel to be transmitted in a straight line via one short line of chain. Since their links can be bigger and stronger, they are made of low-friction synthetic rubies.
In order to reveal alluring inner-parts, including balance and mainspring barrels with sapphire inserts, Romain Gauthier constructed an open-worked interface with two small, off-centered dials, one for hours and minutes and the other one for small seconds. A stunning hand-winding mechanism is also visible through a sapphire crystal case-back. It oscillates at the frequency of 28,800 variations per hours and ensures about 60 hours of optimal functioning when it is fully wound.
Romain Gauthier Logical One watch features a 43 mm case crafted in brilliantly polished platinum. It incorporates an ergonomic push button winding system with the pusher set neatly into the left case-band, which provides advantage in both ergonomic and aesthetic terms. Attached to prominent lugs, there is a stylish black leather strap that completes the exquisite look of this timepiece. The Logical One comes in the Limited Edition of 20 pieces and costs CHF 139,000.
Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue Watch
In order to pay tribute to the iconic “Montecarlo” chronograph from 1973, Tudor created a great looking Heritage Chrono Blue watch that brings back the aesthetic code for the past and combines it with contemporary elements for the fresh distinctive look. Just as the original model, the watch is marked in blue, gray and orange – a striking combination of colors that recalls Mediterranean spirit and its warmth.
The case of the brand’s novelty from the Heritage Collection is made of stainless steel with the mid-sized case of 42 mm in diameter which is significantly longer from the original that featured a 40 mm case. It incorporates a bidirectional rotating bezel with a blue anodized aluminum insert. It matches the color of the minute track that runs over the outer rim of the dial. The central part of a light gray interface comes with two chrono sub-dials: the small seconds sub-dial is located at 3 o’clock position, while the brand’s signature 45-minute counter takes the 9 o’clock position. Applied hour markers with two beveled metallic edges are covered with SuperLuminova for the great readability.
Both sides of the case are covered with sapphire crystal glass. The back-side reveals a self-winding mechanical chronograph movement with a 42-hour power reserve and the frequency of 28’800 variations per hour. Tudor’s new Chrono Heritage Blue is available with both a stainless steel bracelet and reinforced fabric that features the same hue of the dial. The watch is water-resistant up to 150 meters (500 feet) and costs CHF 4,200.