Celebrating its 130th year in business, the Japanese jewelry and precision instruments-maker has presented its new Grand Seiko 130th Anniversary Limited Edition (refs. SBGW033, SBGW040, and SBGW039) collection, which is going to be available both in Europe and North America. Looking like it’s having the legendary Patek Philippe Calatrava line of minimalistic dress watches in its fine crosshairs, the new Commemorative Edition makes a subtle, but very firm stress on the “Grand” part of Grand Seiko brand.
At Baselworld 2011, Louis Erard will present its new classic-styled Excellence line. It looks like the new Excellence Regulateur Reserve de Marche (ref. 54230AA01), a model that is nothing but stunning in its reserved, even somewhat cold elegance, will be the flagship model of the whole series.
Armand Nicolet -a Swiss brand that was established more than a hundred years ago, succumbed to the Quartz Crisis back in 1970, and, reborn under a new management, found a profitable niche in making luxury timekeepers powered by NOS (also referred to as “new old stock”) mechanical calibers- has officially presented its new range of watches built with modified historic movements inside. The Armand Nicolet L09 in rose gold and DLC titanium (Ref. S619N-BU-G9610) belongs to the new trio of sporty timekeepers that successfully combine their modern exteriors with deliberately archaic mechanisms.
Urban Juergensen dates its history back to 1773 (although I suspect that the company initially had a different name and was re-christened somewhere along the road: after all Urban Juergensen is the name of a Danish master-watchmaker who was born in 1776, started his career in Le Locle, Switzerland, and even worked at houses of Abraham Louis Breguet in Paris, and John Arnold in London; I am still not sure whether he had any relationship with the company that inherited its name.) Soon, the brand will unveil their new hand-wound Urban Juergensen Chronometre P8 Avec Echappement a Detente, which is equipped with a modified pivoted detent escapement. Their revolutionary design significantly increases the accuracy of a mechanical caliber.
At the Baselworld 2011 show, the young master-watchmaker Stefan Kudoke has presented his extensively skeletonized Kudoke KudOktopus model. Featuring a vintage movement that was elaborately cut to resemble a giant octopus, the timepiece would probably easily compete even with made-to-order timepieces from Grieb & Benzinger… if only it was equipped with a higher-grade caliber.
Mostly known for its skeletonized timepieces, Claude Meylan will soon introduce its new creation: the open-worked Eclipse Skeleton (ref. 6044N) powered by a classic hand-wound caliber.
The hand-wound Luminor Composite 1950 3 Days (PAM 375) was among the new timekeepers presented by Panerai during the SIHH 2011 event. Featuring gorgeous ceramic case in a color of dark chocolate, the PAM 375 still features the same trademark exterior that doesn’t bring anything new in terms of industrial design.
First unveiled in January 2011 at the SIHH trade show, the Radiomir Oro Rosa 3 Days 47mm (PAM 379) is powered by Panerai’s new in-house Caliber P.3000 hand-wound movement, is crafted from 18-karat rose gold, and is going to be sold as a Special Edition model with only 299 timepieces to ever reach the lucky few.
For the year 2011, Audemars Piguet has updated its “modern classic” Jules Audemars line with a discreet Jules Audemars Small Seconds model in 18-karat white gold (Ref. 77238BC.OO.A002CR.01).
Although most timepieces from Panerai tend to be of that “any shape as you like as long as it is cushion” style, the new Radiomir 3 Days Platino (PAM 373) stands out from the crowd with its rather unusual dial layout that pays homage to vintage timepieces of the pre-WWII era.
The hand-wound Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Lady Ultra Thin (refs. Q3202421 & Q3208121) has been updated for the year 2011 with three more cases and nine different combinations of materials!
Besides the Luminor 1950 Destro 8 Days Titanio Special Edition PAM 368 that, too, was presented at the SIHH 2011, Panerai has also unveiled an even more complicated Luminor 1950 Chrono Monopulsante Left-Handed 8 Days Titanio (PAM 345) model. Featuring their signature exterior with a cushion-shaped body and an easy to read dial, it was designed for left-handed people, but may also be of liking to those who sometimes feel uncomfortable with their easily recognizable XXL-sized crown guard system.
Yes, bronze is the new ceramic this year. Right after Panerai has presented its new Luminor Submersible 1950 Bronze (PAM 382) model, the Swiss-based Angular Momentum starts a whole new collection, which is, too, made using this alloy.
Carefully refreshed for an even more pronounced art-deco feel, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Ultra Thin (ref. Q2782520) is a successor to a model that was first designed with wealthy sportsmen in mind. Despite the age, it still successfully combines the best of two worlds with its extremely elegant rose gold body successfully protecting the front sapphire crystal from vicissitudes of life.
A. Lange & Sohne has updated its dressy Saxonia line with the hand-wound Saxonia Thin (Ref. 211.032) in 18-karat rose gold. Combining a lavishly hand-finished ultra-thin in-house movement with a deliberately understated exterior of the rose gold case, the ultra-thin timekeeper looks like a perfect match for a sort of a secretive person who loves to own a thing of beauty, yet is not particularly eager to share it with anybody, but a carefully chosen few.