HYT the “hydro-mechanical timekeeper” are revealing several new variations of their H1 and H2 models at Baselworld 2014. With two core designs settled upon, HYT is broadening the H1 and H2 collections with a variety of new fluid colors (red, blue) and case metals (titanium/Ti, aluminum alloy, Ti-bronze, DLC-ti, etc.) – there are some really cool new combinations coming!!! Above is a photo of the H1 that I took at Baselworld 2013. You can see all the 2014 combos in the video below, and as pics of several of them as well. Check ‘em out below
Baselworld 2014 preview…first ever Ti case from H. Moser…
Here’s the first official look at the new H. Moser Perpetual Calendar “Black Edition” that is launching in 2014. Now, I (re)introduced you to H. Moser just a few weeks ago, but if you aren’t up on the latest with this brand, be sure to read my report. As you can see from this new piece, the historically staid and sober H. Moser manufacture is clearly starting to move in a new direction. I’ll break it all down, below.
Baselworld 2014 preview…
Now here’s an incredible watch, folks! Limited to just 28 pieces and marked to celebrate its 250th anniversary, the new Arnold & Son DTE (“Double Tourbillon Escapement”) is a masterpiece of symmetry and beauty, not to mention its two dial-mounted tourbillons which regulate two independent time displays! The DTE epitomizes everything I have come to expect from Arnold & Son — mechanical ingenuity, superlative finishing, and remarkably balanced and elegant design. But the ease with which this piece pleases the eye was by no means easy to do.
Baselworld 2014 preview…
I’ve long been a fan of small, independent watchmaker Franc Vila and it was a great pleasure to meet with him at Baselworld last year. I’d guess the number of watches he makes in a single year numbers in the hundreds, so he is not widely known, but man does he make some great watches. For this latest version which is of the typical Franc Vila aesthetic, the watch caliber is cased-up in total suspension, stabilized by a clever system of springs (see closeup pic below). This somewhat gives the impression that the caliber is levitating in the dial-free structure. Nice. This “suspension” concept reminds me of something similarly employed by Richard Mille in the RM027 Rafael Nadal.
As I stated two years ago: for any watch enthusiast and iPad owner, Breguet’s Quai de l’Horloge app is a must have. Now moreso than ever for those of you who can’t get enough of Breguet! In the latest (annual) issue of Le Quai de l’Horloge, watch enthusiasts are treated to a sneak peak at the Hommage Nicolas G. Hayek Grande Complication. This tantalizing reveal is nonchalantly included as part of the “Atelier des Grandes Complications” article — one of several enchanting articles, photos and videos about Breguet in this the 3rd annual edition of its iPad app. If this alone does not compel you to download the app, I don’t know what will
Breguet Hommage Nicolas G. Hayek Grande Complication
currently under development
As I said in my initial review in 2012, the Breguet iPad app is intuitive and easy to use — crisp navigation, rich and detailed high-res photos and insightful story lines. And with the Breguet Hommage Nicolas G. Hayek Grande Complication getting attention in this issue No. 3, it is truly a must-have publication for the Breguet aficionado or collector. Knowing that the manufacture’s Grand Complication is currently under development, the question now remains…when will it be officially unveiled? Baselworld 2014? Stay tuned…
If this is the first you are hearing of Breguet’s Le Quai de l’Horloge iPad app, worry not — you can download it today and still access all 3 issues — at no cost — from within the app. Download (for free) Breguet’s Le Quai de l’Horloge iPad here>>>
if you haven’t downloaded Breguet’s iOS app, you are missing out!
Epic X Watch
Yesterday I was looking at the new Jacob & Co. Epic X watch over at The Watch Lounge. Studying the watch, I got a strong sense of deja vu. It took me a couple minutes, but soon enough it hit me — the Epic X looked eerily familiar to the M. Benjamin Spyder, a watch that I profiled about 18 months ago. In fact my article was an introduction to the little-know M. Benjamin brand (with a sidebar on some of the great watches coming out of the Besançon region of France), but my primary focus was on Muller Benjamin’s Spyder tourbillon watch (shown below).
A quick visit to the M. Benjamin website brought the connection full circle:
Benjamin Muller is pleased to announce a partnership with Jacob & Co. brand. Mr. Jacob Arabo was seduced by the watch-making creations of Benjamin Muller, which are going to live from now on through this luxurious brand. Benjamin Muller became the official designer of Jacob & Co. for this collection, using movements from Concepto Watch Factory. For his part, Benjamin Muller and M. Benjamin are already working on new concepts…
An early version of the M. Benjamin Spyder Tourbillon
The Epic X keeps intact the original M Benjamin design, with a few tweaks including the addition of the Jacob & Co. branding on the openworked dial (note the logo’d gold bridge above the hour and minute hands) and other details:
As I said in my original article, I find Muller Benjamin’s avant-garde design to be very attractive. I hope that this watch, and future designs from M. Benjamin, will live and long and prosperous life under the Jacob & Co. brand. Congrats on the partnership and continues wishes for success to all.
MB&F has teamed with Chinese artist Xia Hang to create an intriguing and animated edition of MB&F’s Legacy Machine 1 (LM1). This watch features a mechanically animated power reserve that MB&F describes as an emotional metaphor for watch collectors. That is, when a mechanical watch is wound, life/energy is pumped into it. In the same way, Xia Hang designed a little articulating creature on operates as the power reserve on the dial of Legacy Machine 1. Part-alien, part-baby, when one winds the LM1 Xia Hang (bringing life/energy into it), the creature rises. As the power reserve diminishes, the little man gradually slumps over, until his head almost hits the ground…time to rewind and breathe life back into him!
The brand’s first chronograph…
Perhaps a surprise to some is that, having high complications including tourbillions, minute repeaters and perpetual calendars under his belt, independent watchmaker Peter Speake-Marin has not put his name on a chronograph. Until now. And what a fine and distinctive looking chronograph the Spirit Seafire is! I’ll break it down for you, below.
2014 brings another intriguing addition to Maurice Lacroix’s “Masterpiece” collection, the Masterpiece Gravity. This watch is notable for its use of silicon components as part of the caliber ML230 (Maurice Lacroix’s 13th manufacture movement, by the way). ML’s Masterpiece collection is the brand’s top range where it showcases its most exclusive — and often unusual — complications. Recent Maurice Lacroix “Masterpiece” head-turners include the mystery seconds (2013) and the very intriguing “square wheel”, though there are also more typical designs and complications such as skeleton models, worldtimers, retrograde indicators, and so on. But the Masterpiece Gravity is, as I say, notable for its use of silicon. Let’s take a closer look.
One more new one from Cartier, the Ballon Bleu Extra-Flat is has a 40mm rose-gold case with a slim 6.9 mm thickness. A white gold model is also offered, though I really like the aesthetic Cartier has achieved with the rose gold/gray combination. Similar to the Ballon Bleu flying tourbillon (though without the enamlling), the dial has attractive flinqué style decoration on the dial, applied Roman numerals, slender sword-shaped hands, and the blue sapphire cabochon crown protected by a curved arch that gave the original Ballon Bleu watch its name. The manual wind movement is the 430MC (base Piaget). Price on this piece is $19,500.
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