Private Preview 2003: All in Good Time

<< Back to Robb Report, October 2002
  • Laurie Kahle and Jill Newman

Time Trial
Put up a million dollars to purchase next year’s Veyron supercar from Bugatti, and you’ll have first dibs on an equally groundbreaking Bugatti wristwatch from Parmigiani for a mere $65,000. Bugatti timepieces that aren’t scooped up by Veyron purchasers will be destined for the open market, if they even make it that far. Like the auto, Parmigiani’s Bugatti is a thoroughbred with a curvaceous case that will be produced in limited numbers. Inspired by automotive technology, master watchmaker Michel Parmigiani devised a unique transverse movement with its bridges and constituent parts arranged on a horizontal rather than vertical axis. Another dramatic departure from tradition is the side placement of the dial, making it easy to read while gripping a steering wheel. The entire aim of the watch’s design is to display the movement in action—all clearly visible through six transparent sapphire crystals placed strategically around the case.  —Laurie Kahle

White Hot
For those who prefer sleek platinum over gold, Rolex will introduce a platinum model to its distinctive Cellini watch collection next year. Christened the Cellinium, the new timepiece features a mother-of-pearl guilloché dial with a black crocodile strap, priced at $9,500.

Since the late 1950s, the Cellini collection has focused on elegant gold dress watches, a departure from Rolex’s standard sporty and complicated models. Named after Benvenuto Cellini, the 16th-century sculptor and goldsmith who perfected new techniques for engraving, casting, and gemstone setting, the Cellini collection has traditionally paid homage to innovative metalwork, such as manipulated surfaces featuring beading or delicately chased finishes.  —Jill Newman

Wheeler Dealer
The sleepy Swiss watch brand Gevril is being revitalized by entrepreneur Samuel Friedmann, who acquired the 250-year-old company last year. In a move to swiftly elevate the brand’s profile, Friedmann will launch Gevril’s first tourbillon model early next year.

“I want to combine the tradition of the Gevril brand with innovative and modern watchmaking techniques,” says Friedmann. The tourbillon will be handmade in Gevril’s Tramelan factory by one master watchmaker. Only a handful of 18-karat rose gold models will be available next year, for $116,000 each. In total, Gevril will produce only 26 pieces, each numbered and engraved with the company’s unique stamps of authenticity and sold with a limited edition watch-winding box.  —Jill Newman

Shape Up
At first glance, Boucheron’s new Reflet Icare appears to be a traditional rectangle, but closer inspection reveals a very subtle asymmetrical shape. Indeed, the base of the case is several millimeters wider than the top, but only the keenest eyes will notice. The gleaming sun-satin-finish dial, however, is sure to grab attention as it catches and reflects the light. Reflet Icare, which will debut in early 2003, expresses classic Boucheron flair, but with a fresh new silhouette that offers several options: Choose from gold or steel with or without diamonds, three different dial designs, and three sizes. As shown, the Reflet Icare will sell for $17,430.  —Laurie Kahle

Double Exposure
Zenith’s new ChronoMaster Skeleton reveals the first two-sided view of the brand’s famous El Primero automatic chronograph movement, which is executed completely in gold. “For a real collector, this see-through model is like opening the hood of a Ferrari and seeing its engine made of gold,” says Michael Fankhauser, general manager of Zenith USA. The ChronoMaster Skeleton, priced at $36,000, will be available early next year by special request. Be prepared, however, to wait at least six months for delivery.

Every tiny component of the gold movement is meticulously hand-engraved by the Swiss watchmaker Schaffo, whose family business specializes in decorating the world’s finest timepieces. Inside this striking watch beats the El Primero 410 caliber featuring an automatic chronograph, a 50-hour-plus power reserve, a triple date function, and an optional moon phase display.  —Jill Newman

Boucheron, 877.715.7330,
Gevril, 866.425.9882,
Parmigiani Fleurier, 203.531.3276,
Rolex, 800.36ROLEX,
Zenith, 800.321.4832,

From Around the Web...
Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astro­nomical Grand Complication 3600 (about $1 million)
The Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 has a million-dollar price tag…
Monobloc Actuator
Porsche Design’s Monobloc Actuator Rewrites the Rules of Chronograph Design
Upcoming Baselworld launches and earlier releases from SIHH prove the vintage-inspired trend is far...
The masters of haute horlogerie continue to impress through the first quarter of 2017…
Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT
The vibrant navy case of the new GMT dive watch might just help you shake those blues...
We took a minute away from the contest to decide which of our favorite watches paired best with the...
Sarpaneva Korona K0 Daredevil Dawn
Stepan Sarpaneva’s new model is a nod to risk takers and his early passion for motorcycles…
The brand expands Laureato line with a unisex 38 mm size and new case and bracelet options…
George Bamford
Robb Report sits down with George Bamford of Bamford Watch department for a closer look at some of...
DB28 Kind of Blue Tourbillon Meteorite
As meteorite watches continue to grow in popularity, De Bethune releases its own unique take on the...