by Kyle Stults on January 30, 2014
This new Montblanc Meisterstück Heritage Perpetual Calendar is among the most exciting new watches unveiled at this year’s SIHH. For one, it the capstone of the gorgeous new Montblanc Meisterstuck Heritage collection. For two, it is a gorgeous perpetual calendar in both of its variations: 39mm rose gold or 39mm stainless steel case. And for three, the steel model will retail at just under $13,000. Yes that’s right — a high quality Swiss perpetual calendar is now truly within reach of collectors of more modest means. This watch is a star in my book — my criticisms nothwithstanding — so let’s take a closer look, shall we.
by Kyle Stults on January 29, 2014
Perhaps the most exciting segment of Montblanc’s 2014 portfolio is the new Meisterstuck Heritage collection. Meisterstück — German for Masterpiece — seems a fitting name (see “Did You Know” below for more). In fact these pieces — there are four of them being introduced — are among the highlights of all of SIHH 2014. And, like the legendary Montblanc fountain pen, these timepieces are distinguished by classic, elegant design and a high level of craftsmanship.
Let’s start now with a look at the new Montblanc Meisterstuck Heritage Pulsograph, a rose-gold cased beauty with a sunburst dial, pulsometer scale — and — one heck of a vintage-inspired manufacture monopusher column-wheel chronograph movement.
For 2014 Montblanc presents the most complicated timepiece yet in the Montblanc Villeret 1858 line-up, the ExoTourbillon Rattrapante. Montblanc’s Collection Villeret 1858 is its showcase for high end/high complication pieces. This wristwatch combines a split-second chronograph and Montblanc’s patented four-minute ExoTourbillon. The ExoTourbillon gets its name from its unique design: its pocket-watch sized balance wheel, in-house balance spring, lever and escape wheel oscillate outside the presence of the tourbillon carriage; on top is a graceful and “infinitely” curvacious bridge.
The new Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph 100 is one of several exciting pieces from the maison this year. Montblanc is, by the way, under new leadership as well — it is former Jaeger-LeCoultre CEO Jerome Lambert’s first full year at the helm. With 1/100 second accuracy and similar color scheme, I immediately thought of the TimeWalker Chronograph 100 as a toned-down version of the ultra-exclusive (and uber pricey – ~$300k) Bi-Frequence 1000 which measures time to 1/1000 second.
Sport-watch maker Wryst is launching its second collection, the Shoreline, and here’s your first look. The Shoreline collection joins the four models in the brand’s almost-all-sold-out Airborne collection with a step up to (plated) precious metal cases. Three Shoreline models are being introduced, named the LX4 (steel case), the LX5 (pink gold) and the LX6 (yellow gold), with prices between $800 and $1100 which is just a touch higher than the price point on the Airborne collection. Each is a limited edition run of 99 pieces. More looks and pre-order info below.
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by Kyle Stults on January 27, 2014
Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced only one new sport watch this year, the Master Compressor Chronograph in a new 46mm ceramic case. The hands and indications stand out clearly against the semi-matt black dial ensuring good readability; the bold red hand is the center-set chronograph seconds (running seconds is on the sub at 6 o’clock). As with all Master Compressor timepieces, this piece has Jaeger-LeCoultre’s patented compression key (part of the crown) for optimal water resistance — a single half-turn of this key effectively overcompresses one of the crown’s four toric gaskets and locks it in a security position that prevents any inadvertent handling.
Last but not least in the 2014 Roger Dubuis new release lineup is this Hommage Automatic. This is the most basic of the Roger Dubuis’ new releases, but of course nothing that Roger Dubuis does is ever really “basic”. I say basic only in comparison to the Hommage Chronograph, the Hommage Tribute to Mr. Roger Dubuis, and particularly in comparison to the truly remarkable Hommage Double Flying Tourbillon with Hand-Cut Guilloche dial (yes it is one hell of a watch). The Hommage Automatic is a 2-handed timekeeper with snailed small seconds sub at 9 o’clock. And as you can see, it is one sharp looking watch.
Here Cartier reinvents a famous complication from its watchmaking heritage: the Rotonde de Cartier Day and Night watch, with retrograde moon phases as part of the Caliber 9912 MC. Day and night are indicated on the upper half of the dial by a disc that rotates over 12 hours and features a sun and moon motif. On the bottom half of the dial, the Rotonde de Cartier watch indicates the phases of the moon with a retrograde hand in the form of a lunar crescent.
Cartier’s Rotonde de Cartier tourbillon Chronograph watch offers an elegant traditional interpretation of the manual wind caliber 9438 MC. The 9438 MC was most first and most recently introduced in the Pasha Tourbillon chronograph. The caliber has an 8-day power-reserve with column-wheel chronograph transmission, and there is a small seconds on the tourbillon bridge. It is finely finished and visible through the sapphire case back. A real beauty.
We have seem some incredible skeleton movements from Cartier in recent years, and this one, the 9616 MC calibre — appearing to float at the center of the watch — is no exception.
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