It is often said that upon meeting someone for the first time, one only has a matter of seconds to make a first impression – for better or worse. Despite the old adage that urges onlookers to “never judge a book by its cover,” in reality every aspect of one’s appearance has an immediate impact on how they will be assessed. This only serves to underline the importance of looking good, from the tie you choose right down to the timepiece that adorns your wrist.
With that in mind we take a look at the hottest new watches to hit the market in time for summer, from some of the biggest names in haute horlogerie. These watches will undoubtedly help you make a good impression in a timely manner.
Released in time for Baselworld 2017, Patek Philippe’s Calatrava “Azulejos” is sure to make a lasting impression on any beholder. As unique as it is innovative, this new take on a classic model is the epitome of skilled craftsmanship and refined elegance. Available in two limited edition incarnations, the new Calatrava models combine the legendary ultra-thin self-winding calibre 240 movement with the sublime art of miniature painting on enamel which is, for the first time, being used to depict azulejo motifs.
Azulejos are ceramic tiles found throughout Portugal that are assembled in a mosaic-like fashion to create large murals. Layer by layer, the artist paints the motif on the small dial in various shades of blue. Each coat of enamel is then fired in an oven at 850 degrees Celsius. Using the trompe l’oeil technique, the ceramic look is replicated in a way that makes the dial appear to be composed of many tiles. It’s an extremely time-consuming process, but one in which the result is a veritable artistic masterpiece.
The dial is housed in a classic round Calatrava case in 18-carat white gold with a smoothly polished bezel. A hinged cover protects the sapphire crystal back that offers a window into the ultra-thin, self-winding and lavishly finished anniversary calibre 240 movement with an off-centre mini-rotor in 22-carat gold. These stunning works of art come with a black alligator strap, adorned with a white gold prong buckle.
For ladies who like to personalise their accessories, Blancpain has created a timepiece that can be worn in no less than five different styles. The new feminine moon phase is a steel watch that comes with five interchangeable straps in different colours and materials. From alligator leather in red, midnight blue and sky blue, to ostrich leather in white or black satin, the watch can be tailored to help accentuate any outfit.
The watch itself is a classic Date Moon Phase model and is housed in a stainless steel case measuring 29.20mm in diameter. Topped by a bezel adorned with 48 full-cut diamonds, the timepiece is dazzlingly glamorous and unmistakably feminine. Its matte white dial plays background to solid leaf-shaped hands, a pointer type date display and a sapphire moon-phase indicator. Visible through a dial aperture, the moon phase indicator is graced with a feminine moon face complete with an artificial mole or mouche at the corner of its smiling mouth, a nod to playful, libertine 18th-century Europe.
“As unique as it is innovative, this new take on a classic model is the epitome of skilled craftsmanship and refined elegance”
Powered by the automatic 913QL movement, the Villeret Quantième à Phase de Lune is shock-resistant and incredibly resistant to magnetic fields.
Not to be forgotten, for gentlemen looking for a watch of their own with some styling flexibility, iconic Swiss watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre has created the Atelier Reverso which, in addition to interchangeable straps, features customisable reverse watch face designs.
Now available in three different versions, the Atelier Reverso comes in a masculine electric blue in refined tones as well as in two new stone dials: green marble or tiger’s eye, the latter of which gleams amber. To complete the look, the watch is available in an array of straps that include calfskin, ostrich leather, alligator leather and satin. Even the buckle can easily be changed to suit your personal tastes.
Driven by a manually wound mechanical movement, the front face presents a guilloche and brushed dial with a small seconds indicator. A second time zone is on the reverse side, where a day/night indicator is set into the Clous de Paris-patterned guilloche design at six o’ clock.
For those looking for a sportier timepiece, Tag Heuer has got you covered. Long synonymous with adrenaline-pumping sports, Tag Heuer has crafted a new watch in conjunction with the Red Bull Formula One Racing Team. The Red Bull Racing Formula One Team Carrera Heuer-01 is swathed in Red Bull racing colours – midnight blue and red – and is available in a sporty embellished leather strap reminiscent of a racing car seat or a more classic steel bracelet.
Launched at the beginning of this year’s F1 season, this watch is 45 mm in diameter and housed in steel. The bezel sports a tachymeter in blue ceramic with a sapphire case back. The blue skeleton dial sports the Red Bull Team’s logo with rhodium plated numerals, and hour and minute hands coated with white Superluminova for enhanced visibility. Powered by the Calibre Heuer-01 automatic manufacture chronograph, the watch is water-resistant to 100 m.
Another cooperative-inspired design comes from the watch artisans at Hublot, who launched a limited edition watch to commemorate more than 40 years of supporting The Prince’s Trust, a charity that benefits disadvantaged young persons in the United Kingdom. Deceptively simple and undeniably timeless, the Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Prince’s Trust is a special edition timepiece with only 100 pieces available.
Cased in polished and satin-finished titanium, the watch features an engraved case back and a blue sunray satin-finished dial with rhodium plated hands. Adorned with 59 jewels, it is powered by the Hublot Caliber HUB1143 and has a 42-hour reserve. The watch comes with a blue rubber and blue alcantara strap with blue stitching.
Last but certainly not least, from Swiss watchmaker Zenith is the Elite Lady Moonphase. Originally released for Mother’s Day, the Elite Lady Moonphase is eminently elegant and feminine. The watch is encased in pink gold and fitted with a brown alligator leather, rubber-lined strap secured by a pink gold pin buckle. The ultra-thin 36 mm case comprises 195 parts and has an exceptional width of a mere 3.79 mm. The watch features a mother of pearl dial with moonphase indicator, leaf-shaped hands and engraved hour markers.
With such a veritable treasure trove of haute horlogerie on offer, there really is no excuse but to look your very best this summer, and indeed for every season.