Watches and Wonders – part VI
Chopard at Watches and Wonders 2021
Chopard is presenting a collection based on two pillars: jewellery watches and its acclaimed men’s range, L.U.C.
Happy Diamonds Joaillerie is a new way of looking at one of the best-known jewellery watch designs in the world. This time, the innovation lies in the gallery placed between 9 and 3 o’clock where the 15 moving diamonds can “hide” until they re-emerge from this secret passage. The dancing diamonds come in two sizes and glitter on a Tahitian mother-of-pearl dial, while the case is ethical 18-carat rose gold.
The L’Heure du Diamant collection has been reinvented in a new cushion shape and is made from ethical 18-carat white gold, with mother-of-pearl dial and rimmed with diamonds. It is powered by the Chopard 09.01-C self-winding movement.
I like the new ceramised grade 5 titanium L.U.C. watches – the GMT One Black is a worldtimer, produced in 250 pieces and is powered by the dual-time movement L.U.C. Calibre 01.10-L, with a 60-hour power reserve.
The L.U.C Time Traveler One Black is also part of a 250-piece limited edition and is powered by the in-house L.U.C. 01-05-L calibre. The worldtimer shows time in the world’s 24 time zones simultaneously.
I will not finish without mentioning L.U.C Quattro Spirit 25, Chopard’s first jumping-hour watch – 4mm case in ethical rose gold, the L.U.C. 98-06-L movement (four barrels), up to eight days of power reserve. Beautiful Grand Feu enamel dial, with the hour aperture positioned at 6 o’clock. Only 100 pieces.
A. Lange & Söhne at Watches and Wonders 2021
Three beautiful, elegant, serious, perfectly-accurate launches from A. Lange & Soehne, the very serious, very perfectionist and also very laid back German haute horlogerie brand.
The Triple Split, launched in 2018, is the world’s only split-seconds chronograph that can measure both additive and comparative times for up to 12 hours. Now, this beautiful machinery is presented in a pink-gold case and a new blue dial, made from solid silver.
My personal favourite is the Little Lange 1 Moon Phase, a beautiful, poetic, delicious-looking watch presented in a white gold case. The dial … well, the dial is a genuine work of art: flecks of copper shimmer like hundreds (628 to be accurate – this is a German brand, remember?) of tiny, tiny stars on this dial that is just as beautiful as an impressionist painting. Plus, the white-gold moon that accurately orbits along its course beneath the legendary Lange outsize date. Also beautiful is the second version, where the bezel is paved with 56 brilliant-cut diamonds. Assembled twice, of course – this is a German brand, remember?
And we close with the new Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar – the integration of this complication in the famous Lange 1 was made possible by a peripheral month ring created especially for this design. Two versions: pink gold with grey-silver dial and white gold with solid pink-gold dial. The moon phase display with the integrated day/night indicator is another special feature.
I will not name any names but I would just like to point out that A. Lange & Soehne should be proof enough that fame and money and long waiting lists for the watches can be attained just by stubbornly clinging to quality, innovation and brand DNA. No marketing gimmicks needed. People can tell true craftsmanship and they will queue to get it. And if it was possible for a German brand, reborn after 1989, to attain cult status among the connaisseurs of haute horlogerie, I am certain it is not so hard for Swiss brands to walk the right path.