First Look: The 4N Sapphire Planet, by Franςois Quentin

Baselworld 2015 First Look…

4N Sapphire Planet case teaser - Perpetuelle

Well, well, well…isn’t this interesting.  Since the 2010 reveal of 4N’s first watch, an intriguing jumping disc digital display (hours and minutes), company founder and mastermind Franςois Quentin has flown a bit under the radar, working on improvements to his MVT-01 caliber’s mechanical architecture (including work with AP Renaud & Papi) and line extensions of the 4N watch in new metals and finishes.  But that’s not all he’s been working on.  Just today, the company teased what will be called the 4N Sapphire Planet.  Details are scant at the moment, but it looks to be a sapphire-cased edition of the 4N watch, with digits that are either luminous or perhaps just painted aqua blue. This looks like a very exciting watch.

4N Sapphire Planet Watch - Perpetuelle

4N Sapphire Planet logo

Thanks to improvements in technology, the to ability increasingly complex sapphire crystal shapes has provided for some of the most jaw-dropping watches brought to market over the last five or so years.  The $2,000,000 Richard Mille Sapphire Tourbillon RM 56-02 and the MB&F HM2 Sapphire are two that come to mind.  The 4N Sapphire Planet looks poised to join the list.  Stay tuned for more details coming from Baselworld 2015 next month.

More on 4N, here.

The New Frederique Constant Worldtimer Manufacture “Blue”

Frederique Constant Worldtimer Manufacture Blue Caliber - Perpetuelle

This year, Geneva-based Frederique Constant will introduce a gorgeous new model in its Worldtimer Manufacture series.  As a brand that has invested and grown its way into a full blown manufacture over the last 10-15 years, Frederique Constant is well known for its classical and refined timepieces at sensible prices, even amongst its “manufacture” range.  This new reference in the Worldtime really stands out, thanks to its vibrant navy blue dial and anthracite grey world map.

42mm x 12.mm steel case

Frederique Constant Worldtimer Manufacture Blue - Perpetuelle

This model is driven by the FC-718 Manufacture automatic caliber, completely developed in-house.  The mechanical genius of this caliber is that all functions are easily accessible through the crown, there are no extra push buttons sticking out on the sides of the case.  It is operated simply by selecting the desired city and placing it at the 12’oclock position on the dial.   Once the internal discs are synchronized, you will know what time it is in any of the various cities of the world. Furthermore, these discs also indicate if it’s the day, with the white disc or if it’s the night, with the blue disc.   There is a date aperture at 6’oclock.  It’s an elegantly executed complication at a relatively attractive price (I suspect it will price similarly to other worldtimer models (around 3,500 CHF).  I like it.

Frederique Constant Worldtimer Manufacture Blue theme - Perpetuelle

 

You can see the entire Frederique Constant Worldtimer collection right here>>>

 

Top-Shelf Independent Watchmaker Kari Voutilainen Unveils the GMR, with Dual Time Zone, Power Reserve

Kari Voutilainen GMR - Perpetuelle

Odds are that you are not familiar with the name Kari Voutilainen, but let me tell you more about this name you from “the path less traveled”, so to speak.  Kari Voutilainen is a highly regarded independent watchmaker, having blazed his own path for several decades now after stints at Parmigiani and the WOSTEP watchmaking school (as both student and instructor).  Voutilainen also occasionally works with other brands or independent watchmakers and has collaborated with the likes of Maîtres du Temps (Chapter Three) and MB&F, to name a couple.

His watches are of a traditional style, with immaculate finishing and modest egos — they are some of the finest watches money can buy, for discerning collectors.  Voutilainen creations include a the first repeater with a double strike indicating not the more usual quarter-hours but ten-minute intervals (aka, a decimal repeater).  He also developed Calibre 28 (Vingt-8) with two escape wheels and direct impulse to the balance, requiring no lubrication, and a tourbillon with detent escapement.

Now, to the objet d’art at hand.  This year, he will introduce a new model, the GMR.  It is quite simply an irresistible timepiece for lover’s of independent horology.

Voutilainen GMR

Limited edition 12 pieces (total)

39 mm white gold, rose gold, or platinum case

Kari Voutilainen GMR angleview - Perpetuelle

Limited to just 12 pieces, the GMR is based on the Vingt-8 (Twenty-8) chronometer caliber.   Crafted in German silver, it is completely designed and handmade in his workshop.  Ingeniously, it allows you to adjust the second time zone by the crown, which then advances by jumping an hour each time rather than rotate freely, thus avoiding any loss of accuracy compared to local time.  A sapphire crystal caseback provides the opportunity to admire the traditional finishings of the movement and its finishes which include Côtes de Genève and hand chamfering (unfortunately no pics of this yet).

The dial also distills a refined elegance, as we see Voutilainen’s in-house dial making capabilities put to good work in the GMR, notably its distinctive dark green dial with guilloche finish and red accents.  The GMT indication is at 6 o’clock, concentrically set just outside of the small seconds subdial (itself with a cubic guilloche finish);  at 12 o’clock, the retrograde power reserve indicator.  The hands, the dial, the colors, even the applied Romans — exquisite.

Kari Voutilainen GMR dial detail - Perpetuelle

The GMR is priced at 118,000 Swiss francs in platinum and 108,000 Swiss francs in gold.

A good example of what you mind find on the road less traveled, if you dare to venture.

More at http://www.voutilainen.ch/site/

Voutilainen logo

 

Baselworld 2015 Preview: The New Breitling Chronoliner Collection

Breitling Chronoliner wtih black ceramic bezel - Perpetuelle

With one of the strongest ties to aviation of any watch manufacturer, Breitling is well know for its range of pilot’s watches.  This year, Breitling will add to its lineup with the new Chronoliner.  Though inspired by a model from the 1950s and 60s according to Breitling, the first thing that jumped out at me was the ceramic bezel — certainly a trait of the modern watchmaking era and no doubt a long time coming for Breitling fans.

The watch is cased in steel and sized at 46mm, which is definitely large but not out of line for what we have come to expect from Breitling.  It has a second time zone marked by the red-tipped hand.   Breitling has opted for a black dial with contrasting subdials, hour/minute hands, and hour markers.

Breitling Chronoliner watch black - Perpetuelle

As with most everything Breitling does, the automatic mechanical Chronoliner caliber is COSC certified, though it does not appear to be from Breitling’s in-house range.

Breitling Chronoliner wtih bezel detail - Perpetuelle

The caseback bears the stylized planes that were a longtime Breitling signature.

Breitling Chronoliner caseback - Perpetuelle

Seen mostly here on a mesh bracelet, it will also be compatible with a full steel bracelet as well:

Breitling Chronoliner on different bracelets - Perpetuelle

Both combinations look good on first impression…More to come next month from Baselworld 2015.