FrontRunners: Ancient Mariner

A number of watch companies are channeling Jacques Cousteau this year, including Blancpain (877.520.1735, www.blancpain.com), which has introduced a 50th-anniversary limited edition of its pioneering Fifty Fathoms watch. The original, which made some well-documented descents with Cousteau in the 1950s, set the standard for nearly every underwater watch since with its luminescent and, most important, unidirectional rotating bezel. The new model, offered in three series, each limited to 50 pieces ($14,500), has been modernized with a new automatic movement and an interchangeable bracelet and rubber strap. However, Blancpain has retained the classic look made memorable in such Cousteau films as The Silent World—much to the delight of armchair divers everywhere.

The new timepiece has a fluid-based linear timekeeping display…
The new watch has multiple systems to ensure that its movement receives consistent power…
Computer-aided design is allowing watchmakers to push the boundaries of innovation...
The watchmaker puts its skill in guilloche and damaskeening on full display…
The two back-to-back auctions will offer hundreds of unique designs…
The new variation sports a dial crafted from a meteorite...
Photo by Didier Gourdon
The new watch has a tourbillon hidden by an automaton…
The watch’s case is a mere 8.24 mm thick…
Photo by Vincent Wulveryck/Cartier
Jeweler Cartier innovative work combined Roman, Egyptian, Indian, and Chinese elements with...
On assuming his new position, Lambert lost little time in the development of new watches...