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Coming to America

You may have never heard of the Badollet watch company, but the Geneva-based brand is more than 300 years old. It was maintained by one family until the 20th century, when Badollet dissolved in the 1920s. After decades of being dormant, it has been resurrected by a private investment group in Geneva headed by watch industry veteran Aldo Magada. It debuted this year in the United States with three new styles inspired by historic models and movements in a handful of high-end watch stores. The 18-karat gold Observatoire 1872 Minute Repeater, for instance, references one of Badollet’s pocket watch designs, but is updated with a flying tourbillon and minute repeater. When the mechanism is activated, the time is signaled by hammers striking different gongs to indicate the time. The watches start at $240,000 and go up to $350,000 for the Observatoire 1872 Minute Repeater. Still steeped in old-world watchmaking, only 80 models will be made this year, and each can be customized to a client’s specific requests. (www.badollet.com)

—Alexandra Foster

Photo by Jim Fets
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