Audemars Piguet’s signature Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph given a camouflage colour code facelift
The Debonair selection of the 2018 novelties that salute individual brands’ illustrious histories and key moments in humanity’s with with classy timepieces
Eduan R. Maggo
We all love a good self-reference. As long as it’s not too self-aggrandising at the same time. Humility is key, always. For any brand to live through such a past that you could relive a thousand times over without getting bored of the same stories, and still come out the other side as grounded and committed to its core fundamentals as it was when it first began life is quite a thing. And a rarity.
There is perhaps no greater example in modern consumerism and high-end luxury business of this journey that brands embark on and emerge at the other end utterly changed, yet refined and wiser than in haute horlogerie.
Just as timepieces keep time, watchmakers like to keep track of their own and humanity’s achievements. We take a closer look at the 2018 novelties celebrating landmark moments.
Glashütte Original Sixties Panorama Date
Glashütte Original celebrates its 15-year partnership with the Dresden Music Festival with two new models of its Sixties line. The cool green retro dials on the new Sixties and Sixties Panorama Date catch the eye with their unusual “dégradé effect”, which sees the colour change gradually from a lighter centre to the darker, domed periphery of the dial. The dials also feature finely textured surfaces, achieved with the use of the original tools and methods from the 1960s. The Panorama Date model comes in a 42mm stainless steel case, while a black calf-skin strap and pin buckle complete the design.
IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon Edition ‘150 Years’
IWC Schaffhausen celebrates its 150th anniversary with a special Jubilee collection, comprising 29 limited-edition models from the Portugieser, Portofino, Pilot’s Watch and Da Vinci families. This timepiece is the first time the brand combines a perpetual calendar with a tourbillon. By opening the calendar advance ring and integrating the moon phase into the month display disc at
6 o’clock, IWC has the tourbillon visible at 12 o’clock in this new in-house developed 51950 calibre. An automatic winding system generates a power reserve of seven days. The timepiece comes in a limited edition of 50.
TAG Heuer Carrera ‘Tête de Vipère’ Chronograph Tourbillon Chronometer
TAG Heuer celebrates the 55th anniversary of the TAG Heuer Carrera with the first TAG Heuer chronograph to bear the prestigious “Tête de Vipère” stamp of excellence. Featuring two of traditional watchmaking’s most famous complications, the movement is housed in a magnificent midnight blue ceramic case, complemented by a ceramic bezel and lugs. With its polished, brushed and bead-blasted finishes, the result is a sophisticated, modern piece. It is limited to 155 pieces.
Moritz Grossmann Benu ‘Lost in Space’
Moritz Grossmann’s spirit was reborn in Glashütte, Germany, in 2008, and the Benu was the new manufacture’s very first watch — developed literally at CEO Christine Hutter’s kitchen table. The Benu ‘Lost in Space’ is one of three watches celebrating its 10th anniversary. Limited to 26 pieces — commemorating Moritz Grossmann’s birth in 1826 — the movement sits behind a handcrafted dial that resembles a moon, floating off-centre within the 44.5mm rose gold case. Two sub-dials in contrasting grand feu enamels sit on the moon’s surface indicating the hours and minutes. It sits alongside two luxurious Benu enamel pieces limited to 10 pieces each — in platinum and white gold.
OMEGA Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8
Exactly 50 years after the Apollo 8 mission, the first to orbit the moon, this timepiece houses a specially decorated version of the Moonwatch movement, displayed through a skeletonised dial. The entire watch is produced in black zirconium oxide ceramic, with a yellow colour coding for contrast on the chronograph hands and in the Super-LumiNova-filled tachymeter scale and crown. “We’ll see you on the other side,” Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell had said at the start of the crew’s pioneering orbit to the dark side of the moon — words that make it onto the caseback.
Code of London
A. Lange & Söhne 1815 ‘Homage to Walter Lange’
In honour of company founder Walter Lange, who passed away in January 2017, A. Lange & Söhne enriched the 1815 model family with an extraordinary complication — a stoppable jumping seconds hand. It dates back to a 150-year-old invention by his great-grandfather, Ferdinand Adolph Lange, which was first implemented in a masterpiece crafted by his grandfather, Emil Lange. The singular 1815 “Homage to Walter Lange” in stainless steel sold for $852,414 in May, the highest sum a Lange watch has ever achieved at an auction. The 40.5mm piece is complemented by limited editions in yellow (27), white (145) and pink gold (90). The unusual limitation numbers refer to important dates in the manufactory’s history: 27 years ago, in 1990, Walter Lange founded his company — exactly 145 years after the pioneering achievement of his great-grandfather.
Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Tribute
Jaquet Droz celebrates its 280th anniversary by paying tribute to the Grande Seconde, first created in 2002. Limited to 88 pieces, it is the first time the brand offers a wristwatch version in yellow gold. The Tribute features the hours and minutes counter at 12 o’clock and a large seconds counter at 6 o’clock. The ivory dial is in grand feu enamel. The self-winding mechanical Calibre 2663 movement features two barrels, delivering a power reserve of 68 hours, while a silicon escapement maintains its precision. Its oscillating weight is decorated with traditional hand guilloche, and the brand’s symbolic two stars add a finishing touch.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona
On this new 18ct Everose gold version, in lieu of the emblematic tachymetric scale, the bezel is set with a gradation of sapphires in rainbow hues. The case is adorned with 56 brilliant-cut diamonds set into the lugs and crown guard, and the dial features 11 baguette-cut sapphire hour markers, each of which matches the colour of the corresponding point on the bezel. The chronograph counters are in pink gold crystals. Like all Rolex watches, the new Cosmograph Daytona carries the Superlative Chronometer certification. It has a power reserve of about 72 hours.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph
The Royal Oak Offshore collection appeared as a larger, more rugged sibling of the Royal Oak in 1993. To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Audemars Piguet is issuing a re-edition inspired by the 1993 model, incorporating all the knowledge and techniques of 2018 while remaining faithful to the timeless design of the original. This is accompanied by two new limited series of the Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph — in stainless steel and 18ct pink gold, each limited to 50 pieces. The innovative openworked bezel — which the movement appears to be suspended from, thus creating an optical illusion — is a standout feature.
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