Weekend Watch: 2015 Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Ceramic Models

Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Ceramic Duo 2015 with racing straps - Perpetuelle

Here is a first look at Hublot’s first additions to its Big Bang Ferrari line for 2015. The collaboration between Ferrari and Hublot been running strong since it was announced late 2011, with upwards of ten Hublot Big Bang Ferrari references made thus far. Following the launch of the first two watches, the Big Bang Titanium and the Big Bang Magic Gold in 2012, the famous MP-05 LaFerrari (hands-on) – the only watch in the world with a 50-day power reserve – three Big Bang models in 2013, three Big Bang models in 2014, two new Big Bang Ferrari “racing” versions have now been unveiled.

These two new models, set to officially debut at Baselworld 2015 next month, are actually part of a broader milestone: 10 years of the Big Bang. Of course done under the Ferrari collaboration, they are much styled in the “racing theme” particularly those straps (with the one-click fast attachment system, btw). The first is the aptly named Big Bang Ferrari Black Ceramic, which is adorned with details in Ferrari’s legendary red colour; the second is the Big Bang Ferrari Grey Ceramic, inspired by the historic NART (North America Racing Team) livery. Each piece offered in a limited edition of 250 pieces.

Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Grey Ceramic NART - Perpetuelle

The ceramic case measures in at 45mm, housing a UNICO manufacture movement. The dial is dominated by the unique and distinctive Ferrari grille – a blackened crisscross mesh which clearly reveals the main plates and bridges of the movement. On top of this we see an applique of the famous Ferrari Prancing Horse at 9 o’clock, while the minute counter and date window appear at 3 o’clock in the colors of the Ferrari shield.

Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Black Ceramic 2015 with racing strap - Perpetuelle

Not pictured is the rotor, visible through the sapphire crystal casback, inspired by the five-spoke Ferrari wheels.

Hublot Reference 401.CX.1123.VR (Black ceramic) Limited edition of 250 pieces

Hublot Reference 401.FX.1123.VR (Grey ceramic) Limited edition of 250 pieces

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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/

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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.


The New Omega Skywalker X-33 Solar Impulse Limited Edition Watch

Omega Skywalker X-33 Solar Impluse Blue Green on side - Perpetuelle

Official watch of the Seattle Seahawks?  Nah, the Omega Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 Solar Impulse Limited Edition commemorates the unique relationship between OMEGA and the innovative Solar Impulse project, a project which officially began in 2003 and whose ambitious aim is to circle the globe in an airplane powered only by solar energy.  This new watch follows the Skywalker X-33 Solar Impulse that Omega released last year, which itself was a big step up from the Solar Impulse watch Omega introduced in 2010 in tandem with the craft’s maiden voyage.  While the quartz multi-function movement and 45mm titanium case with ceramic bezel remain unchanged, the overall aesthetic of this year’s model has been greatly enhanced.  The base Skywalker X-33 from last year is unremarkable in its appearance, but the 2015 Omega Skywalker X-33 Solar Impulse reflects a bold color-set — and it looks really, really good.

Omega Skywalker X-33 Solar Impluse Blue Green sideview - Perpetuelle

Omega Skywalker X-33 Solar Impluse Blue Green - Perpetuelle

The watch itself which has a blue bezel and green seconds hand, complemented with a bold and blue NATO-style strap with a green border.

Omega Skywalker X-33 Solar Impluse Blue Green detail - Perpetuelle

The lightweight grade 2 titanium 45 mm case is complete with a ceramic bezel with a chromium nitride scale whose minute track scale is coated in white Super-LumiNova, as are the skeletonized black and white hour and minute hands. The central seconds hand is distinguished by its green and black color combination.  he blue and green dial, with its white transferred indexes and hour markers coated with white Super-LumiNova, has a central opening allowing the wearer to read the liquid crystal display digital elements.  

Omega Skywalker X-33 Solar Impluse Blue Green side by side - Perpetuelle

Omega Skywalker X-33 Solar Impluse Blue Green lume shot - Perpetuelle

The OMEGA Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 Solar Impulse Limited Edition is powered by the OMEGA calibre 5619, a quartz chronograph movement.  The titanium caseback is stamped with the Solar Impulse “Around the World” patch and engraved with the words “TESTED AND QUALIFIED BY ESA” (the European Space Agency).

It will be produced in an edition limited to 1,924 pieces. The number honors the year that the first round-the-world flight took place; members of the United States Army Air Service flew around the world from 4 April to 28 September 1924.

More on the Solar Impulse Project, here.

Solar Impluse logo Solar Impulse Aircraft Flying

OMEGA collaborated with Solar Impulse co-pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg on the concept of this innovative timepiece that combines both analogue and digital displays. It was developed to meet the needs not only of these specialists but of anyone who can appreciate its impressive variety of functions.

Solar Impulse Betrand Piccard and pilot André Borschberg