Spectacular watches for 2017
Audemars Piguet – Royal Oak Frosted Gold 37mm
Audemars Piguet has made a spectacular performance lately, which culminated this year with the launch of Royal Oak Frosted Gold 37mm, the watch I had in my heart and mind when I left the Geneva salon. First of all, it is a Royal Oak – one of the most beautiful watches ever created, with a design that will never grow out of fashion. Secondly, it is made using an ancient jewellery technique, which results in a glazed appearance of the gold, which is absolutely wonderful.
Lange & Söhne – 1815 Annual Calendar
The annual calendar from A. Lange & Söhne needs a single adjustment, on February 28th, and is equipped with the manual-winding calibre L051.3. It has a 72-hour power reserve, and the functions are easily activated – the button at 2 o’clock makes it possible to collectively advance all the calendar indications. For individual adjustment, one can use the push pieces inside the case.
Panerai – Luminor Submersible 1950 BMG-Tech 3 Days Automatic
The diving watch features a BMG (bulk metallic glass) case, a material that, according to Panerai, is more powerful than nature. The alloy (zirconium, copper, aluminium, titanium and nickel) has the advantage of preventing crystallization, which results in extreme resistance to any conditions. It is also a lightweight material. Both qualities are very important for a diving watch. Panerai officials claim that it is precisely the “chaotic” structure of this alloy that acts like a secret weapon – it explains the corrosion resistance, the robustness, as well as the resistance to magnetic fields and external shocks.
Richard Mille – RM 50-03 McLaren F1
The most extravagant manufacturer in the super luxury segment launches the most lightweight mechanical chronograph in the world, weighing less than 40g, strap included. RM 50-03 is the first model to emerge from the 10-year partnership signed by Richard Mille and McLaren F1 in 2016. The list of absolute records includes several combinations of unconventional materials borrowed from Formula 1, demonstrating that the partnership between the two brands is not solely a marketing ploy.
Vacheron Constantin – Les Cabinotiers Symphonia Grande Sonnerie 1860
Vacheron Constantin, the venerable and progressive manufacture launched the first grande sonnerie model in its history, with a movement made of 727 components, indicating the hours and the quarters of an hour. After approximately 500 hours of assembly performed by the same craftsman, a timepiece results that combines functions such as grande sonnerie, petite sonnerie and minute repeater. The chimes are activated either automatically or on demand, and the quality is impeccable.
Jaeger-LeCoultre – Rendez-Vous Sonatina
As an original function, Jaeger-LeCoultre Rendez-Vous Sonatina allows the wearer to select a time for a single-chime reminder, so as to draw attention upon a previous appointment. The alarm time is indicated by a star on the dial and it is adjusted by means of a dedicated crown. The day/night indicator is also on the dial, while inside there is a new in-house automatic movement.
Piaget – Altiplano
The year 1957 remains in the history of watchmaking as the year of the launch of the 2mm thick 9P movement, created by Valentin Piaget, the grandson of the brand’s founder. In 1960, Valentin Piaget continued the success series with the 12P automatic movement, again the slimmest in the segment, being only 2.3mm thick. Besides the 38mm case version, this year’s new collection also includes a 43mm white gold case version, with a plain dial bearing the historic inscription “Piaget Automatic” – the exact same words that were written on the dial of the original self-winding model.
Van Cleef & Arpels – Lady Arpels Papillon Automate
The poetic complication by Van Cleef & Arpels tells the story of a butterfly whose wings move randomly inside the case. The rhythm of the fluttering depends on the charging status of the power reserve, which is in direct relation with what is happening inside the watch at a given moment. When the watch is not on the wrist, the butterfly flutters its wings 19 times per hour, at irregular intervals. If the watch is on the wrist, the rhythm of the fluttering speeds up to 19 beats every 30 minutes.
IWC – Da Vinci Chronograph
2017 is the moment of the new IWC Da Vinci, which now goes back to its traditional round shape. The most daring element is the way the strap is attached – the newly designed movable horns help it fit comfortably around any wrist. With references whose 36mm cases are made of steel or gold, with or without diamonds, complemented by leather straps, Da Vinci is becoming very attractive for the feminine segment.
Roger Dubuis – Excalibur Spider Pirelli
The partnership between the Roger Dubuis manufacture and Pirelli, the tyre manufacturer, official F1 racing supplier, led to the first watch in the world to incorporate tyres used in the Monaco Grand Prix motor race. Each watch will bear the exact serial number of the tyre the strap is made from, a unique code attesting the brand of the racing car and the time when it was used.