With the summer soon upon us, we take a look at some of the latest and greatest creations in the world of haute horlogerie. From a state-of-the-art smartwatch to serpent-themed timepieces for ladies, we handpick the most outstanding wrist watches from some of the grandest names – all being unveiled just in time for warm weather wear.
Always one of the stars of the luxury watch extravaganza that is Baselworld is aviation-inspired watch artisan Breitling. The perennial champion of chronographs once again unveiled a range of magnificent creations at this year’s show, that certainly did not disappoint. One timepiece in particular – the Superocean Héritage II – is perfect for the weekend adventurer.
Originally debuted in 1957, the Superocean professional diving watch has spawned several generations of fine timekeeping instruments boasting unmatched aquatic prowess. In keeping with this spirit, the Superocean Héritage is one of Breitling’s most favoured collections thanks to its timeless elegance and innovative features.
Marking its 60th anniversary, the watch has breathed new life into this classic design by incorporating a new steel bezel with an ultra-hard high-tech ceramic ring that is both scratchproof and extremely shock resistant. Built to last, the new incarnation of the Superocean Héritage gives a nod to the original classic in its triangular hands and cone-shaped hour markers.
The Superocean Héritage II is available in two sizes, 42 and 46 mm, as well as a 46-mm chronograph edition in three colour choices: black, blue and bronze. Powered by the Manufacture Calibre B20, both the 42 and 46 mm editions have a 70-hour power reserve and are water resistant to 200 metres while the chronograph houses a self-winding chronograph movement and is also resistant to 200 metres. All versions are certified by COSC, the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute – a testament to their precision and reliability.
From legendary design maison Montblanc comes a new age luxury watch. Unveiled in March this year is Montblanc’s first ever high-end smartwatch that confirms their dedication to innovation and a pioneering spirit. The Montblanc Summit is a triumph of design and technology that features premium materials, state-of-the-art technology and the tradition of haute horlogerie.
Having partnered with Google to create the timepiece, the Summit runs the brand’s all new Android Wear 2.0 operating system. The watch’s life-enhancing functions include a heart rate monitor to track personal fitness with a new level of accuracy and a selection of pre-installed apps such as Uber, Foursquare and Runtastic.
Undeniably practical, this stunning watch retains a timeless look and is available in several different versions. These include a black PVD-coated stainless steel case, bi-colour stainless steel case with black PVD-coated steel bezel, stainless steel case with satinated finish and a grade 5 titanium case with satinated finish. Each of these editions are customisable, with a choice of strap from calfskin leather, to rubber, to alligator. For the uninitiated, PVD (physical vapour deposition) is a special technique used to apply a thin film which makes for a more corrosion-resistant surface.
For the gentleman who is looking for pure luxury and elegance in a wrist watch, Vacheron Constantin has created the Malte Tourbillon. Brimming with personality and classic good looks, the Malte collection takes Vacheron Constantin’s iconic tonneau shape and re-interprets it in a range of contemporary variations. The only Hallmark of Geneva -certified tonneau-shaped tourbillion, the Malte Tourbillon features a 48.2 mm sized case, is water resistant to 30 metres and coated in 18-carat 5N pink gold.
The stylish, sandblasted dial is slate coloured and bears 11 baton-shaped hour markers. Decorated with the Maltese cross at 6 o’clock, the hour and minute hands are slightly off-centre allowing a perfect view of the tourbillon bearing the seconds hand. The timepiece is powered by the 2795 calibre – a mechanical hand-wound movement exclusively developed by Vacheron Constantin and endowed with a 45-hour power reserve.
Certainly not to be overlooked, ladies are also spoilt for choice when it comes to luxury watches this summer, starting with Bulgari and its very first customisable watch, the Serpenti. The Serpenti is the ideal timepiece for the confident individual with a characteristic sense of style. Available in over 300 variations, the Serpenti is the true individualist’s watch. Encased in a curved 27-mm case in steel and pink gold with a bezel set with brilliant-cut diamonds – depending on the version – a choice of dials is available in a veritable rainbow of colours. Powered by the calibre BO33, the watch is finished with a wrap-around strap in Karung leather or calfskin, also available in different colours.
From Glashütte comes a new interpretation of one of their iconic collections – the Pavonina, a watch that has been adorning wrists since 2013. In contrast to previous models, the new range features Roman numerals on iridescent mother-of-pearl dials. Available in a wide range of colours, the 31-mm case is available in stainless steel, red gold or a delicate mix of the two materials. Diamond set, the dials are also available with an impressive array of motifs and materials including the diamond-studded option for that jaw-dropping dazzle.
Housed inside the Pavonina is the 03-02 quartz movement, which is resistant to magnetic fields and is created specifically for the Pavonina line. The sophisticated quick-change system means ladies can change bracelets depending on their outfit to ensure they always look their best.
Last but certainly not least, we have the Jaeger-LeCoultre Rendez-Vous Moon Medium for the celestially inclined. Available in rose gold, the Rendez-Vous Moon is delightfully enhanced with one of the Mètiers Jaeger-LeCoultre Rares of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Manufacture – the gem setting. Its brilliant golden dial is divinely feminine while both bezel and rim are set with brilliant-cut diamonds.
In addition to hours and minutes, the watch displays moon phases that are accurate to within one day of lag in every 972 years. Water resistant to 3 bar, the watch is available with an alligator leather strap or stainless steel bracelet.
Text: Hans Schlaikier