Well, you’ve been treated to many special watches this week, as almost every brand has unveiled at least one or two new pieces at Watches & Wonders show. But to be clear, there are special watches and then there are special watches. This one-of-a-kind piece from Vacheron Constantin certainly stands at or near the top of the list. The “L’empreiente du Dragon”, from the brands “Métiers d’Art” series, is entirely hand engraved with a gorgeous dragon scale pattern, a symbolic tie-in to the Asian market. Of course such an impressively engraved case would not be complete without a complicated watch to show off. Thus this piece has at its core the Vacheron Caliber 2253. One of the manufacture’s most prestigious calibers, the VC Cal. 2253 is a 457-component masterpiece with tourbillon + perpetual calendar, along with with equation of time, sunrise & sunset indications. The Cal 2253 also delivers a robust 14-day power reserve.
Vacheron specifically notes that the exquisite engraving was done one of the most experienced master engravers working today — a man who was even named “Meilleur Ouvrier de France”, or “One of the Best Craftsmen of France”, in 2011. See “Did You Know?” below for more on the Meilleur Ouvrier de France. Also below are several pics of the burin-master at work.
This is a watch from my personal collection that I’ve owned for about a year now. My Minuteman watch is not the most expensive nor the fanciest watch in my collection, but it is a watch from a company with a meaningful mission. Perpeutelle readers know that I write regularly about “great watches for great causes”, and this is what Minuteman is all about, and then some; actually I don’t know of any other watch brand which was basically founded around the premise of a charitable mission. I’ve written about the Minuteman Watch company a few times since the company was started in 2012 and wanted to bring attention to them again.
Breitling’s Chronomat was first launched in 1984. Though it has evolved over the years, it has always been one of the quintessential Breitling collections. Manly, technical, & functional. This new special edition that was just announced piece caught my eye for its orange-on-black high color contrast. The unidirectional rotating bezel features orange rubber inlaid numerals and there is also an orange inner bezel ring which combines to give the watch its distinct look. The watch has Breitling’s in-house Caliber 01 (with a matching black oscillating weight enhanced with orange markings). Which they charge for, by the way — price on this piece is $9,825. Seen here on the rubber Diver Pro III rubber strap.
Never think that Richard Mille won’t find that “next level” to take it to — because as you can see here, he inevitably always does. The direct origins of the watch you see here can be traced back just a couple years to the Richard Mille RM 56 Sapphire, a tourbillon split-second chrono built with a full-on sapphire crystal case. It was an equally outrageous and glorious object when it stepped onto the world watch stage — and there were plenty of deep pockets who lined up to own one of the million-and-a-half dollar watch of which only 5 were being created. Richard Mille, ever ambititious, followed up with the RM56-01 in 2013 which had had a sapphire case, and as well as the movement bridges & baseplate. And a tourbillon. Yea, why not.
And today? Well, I just wanted to remind you that the the RM 56-02 was officially unveiled this week at Watches & Wonders Hong Kong. I previewed the RM 56-02 back in July and if you aren’t familiar with the details you can click here to check it out and see more images>>>