Officially revealed earlier this month (the brand will possibly show off the new model at SIHH 2011 event, but don’t quote me on that), this new De Bethune DB28 features a combination of a brilliantly designed mechanism with an absolutely outrageous exterior finish. However, outrageous in a good way: compared to many wristwatches that were offered during the last couple of years by many other ‘inspiring’ and ‘ambitious’ brands, the DB28 looks like a hand-made Bugatti Veyron near a bunch of mass-produced sports cars dressed in plastic wide-body kits.
Playing on the crowded field of -ahem- “affordable” luxury dress watches, the Portofino range has always been somewhat of an ugly duck in the family of beautiful swans. Now, however, updated with the 2011 IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days Caliber 59210 (Ref. 5101) model, the collection has been moved a tad upmarket.
While the new Panerai Luminor Marina Boutique Edition New York (PAM 417) doesn’t offer much in the ‘uniqueness’ department, it still may be of some interest both to collectors and aficionados alike for whom the Big Apple holds some sentimental value. If you fall into at least one of these categories, you should probably hurry up and reserve one of these babies since there will be not so many of them to be offered.
The hand-wound Hysek Furtif Skeleton Tourbillon (ref. HW15) is offered in a mesmerizing blend of feather-light titanium, stodgy rose gold, and uncompromising skeletonization techniques that leave nothing for imagination when it comes to the inner workings of the tiny engine.
For this year, Richard Mille updates their RM 017 collection with an even more technologically advanced hand-wound Tourbillon Extra Flat model that now comes in an ultra-thin case crafted from 18-karat red gold measuring less than nine millimeters from top to bottom.
Glycine SA will soon start selling its hand-wound Glycine Incursore II 44mm (Ref. 3901). Presented in a huge stainless steel body around 44 millimeters in diameter (as the name clearly tells us), the new military-styled timekeeper (at least, the version with a so called ‘California‘ dial that combines Roman and Arabic numerals) seems to be deeply inspired by vintage timekeepers from another Italian watchmaker — Panerai.
The U.S.-based fashion brand Ralph Lauren is serious about its attempt to expand its reach beyond expensive clothing and luxury accessories and to become a real watchmaking specialist even though they still can’t afford to make their movements. At the SIHH 2011 trade show, the fashion house has presented its vintage-styled (or, rather, vintage-inspired) Sporting Collection. Featuring a hand-wound “pocket watch” caliber from IWC, it comes in a deliberately oversized case that serves as a (pretty massive, I must note) steel frame for the “historic”, speedometer-styled dial.
Celebrating the 80th anniversary of the iconic JLC Reverso (a line that was loved by all generations of polo players, but is now considered a distinguished gentleman’s wristwatch of choice,) Jaeger-LeCoultre will soon start selling their hand-wound Grande Reverso Ultra Thin Tribute to 1931 Limited Edition (refs. Q2788570 & Q2782521). As it often happens with models from JLC, the new version will be presented both in modest (but still expensive at almost $8000 MSRP) stainless steel and more luxurious rose gold.
The high-jewelry Boucheron Sheherazade Tourbillon features lots of gold, and diamonds, sapphires, amethysts, and other precious stones that I wasn’t able to recognize. With its large case measuring in whole 42 millimeters in diameter, it takes a lot of wrist real estate, too.
The German customizers are at it again! Right after the introduction of their bespoke hand-crafted Grieb & Benzinger Blue Wave 18-karat rose gold mono-pusher chronograph, they now offer another unique timepiece for another well-paying customer: the Grieb & Benzinger Blue Sensation regulator chronograph. Based on an antique Patek Philippe hand-wound movement that was originally built more than 120 years ago for Tiffany & Co, an American jewelry and silverware company founded in 1837, the unique timekeeper features the German brand’s signature heavily skeletonized movement and open-worked dial. And it is also meticulously engraved on just about any surface where a skilled hand of an artisan was capable of leaving even a single dent in precious metal.
Vacheron Constantin has issued an ultra-limited edition of its super-slim Patrimony Contemporaine (ref. 81180) model devoted to the Latin American Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Presented in a finely-crafted rose gold (or even platinum) case 40 millimeters in diameter and also slim at less than 7 millimeters, the timepiece looks like one of the best options that are currently available for those searching for a dress watch, which is as elegant and understated as it is expensive.
The self-winding Bvlgari Daniel Roth Grande Lune (ref. 101845) offers unrivaled accuracy of its moonphase complication. Although now coming with an appended brand name of the Italian fashion and jewelry house, the Grande Lune delivers the familiar shape and dial decor and is still powered by the same Frederic Piguet Lepine-type hand-wound movement that was modified and decorated in-house.
The hand-wound limited-edition Panerai Luminor Marina 福 “Fu” (PAM 366) was offered exclusively for the Chinese market. Featuring the usual brutalist styling and their own in-house P.999 hand-wound movement, the limited edition differs from other iterations of the popular model only with the “福” hieroglyph on its matte-black dial.
A couple of weeks ago, Vacheron Constantin has revealed the new Patrimony Traditionnelle Calibre 2253 (ref. 88172/000P-9495) model featuring a perpetual calendar, a minute repeater, a tourbillon, and, omg, an equation of time complication.
The last year’s Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle Chronograph is finally available in an 18-karat white gold case. Sold as reference 47192/000G-9504, the new model is designed for those who consider the rose gold variety a bit too blingy for a modern gentleman.