Watch Collector

Overview

Creative Developments Top brands share their artistic secrets  

From This Issue

Virtual Perspective

Bell & Ross’s Bruno Belamich wrings utilitarian design from elements of fantasy. The AeroGT is no ordinary vehicle. With an ultralow 43-inch profile, the carbon-fiber sports car is intended to cruise at 190 mph. It’s also unconventional in another respect: Conceived by a watch designer as inspiration for a couple of new timepieces, it does […]

The Test of Time

In the early 1980s, as Switzerland confronted the threat of modern quartz technology, adventurous collectors discovered the allure of vintage timepieces. Old Patek Philippe wristwatches were especially coveted, particularly round dress models with ultrathin movements, later dubbed the Calatrava models. The company made many versions over multiple decades, but aficionados discerned an underlying aesthetic consistency, […]

Recollectible Chronographs

Swiss experts illuminate a past period of excellence in timepiece design. It is all too rare that a book on watches leaves you feeling in command of a subject, particularly when the topic is something as complex as vintage chronographs. But this is something Joël Pynson and Sébastien Chaulmontet (the latter of whom you may […]

Fertile Interval

Nearly a decade ago, Anthony de Haas, A. Lange & Söhne’s director of product development, was flipping through a book of archival material when he came across an old Lange pocket watch with an unusual triple regulator dial. De Haas was intrigued but still unsure of the design’s potential for future Lange watches, so he […]

Sounding Through

When Bulgari designers set out to build the world’s thinnest chiming watch, their goal was to blow the dust off of what typically is a very classical complication. “Minute repeaters are usually an expression of an old-fashioned way, a traditional way—they are expressions of aesthetic codes of the past,” says Guido Terreni, managing director of […]

Counter Moves

Parmigiani Fleurier embellishes its watchmaking signature with its first integrated chronograph. It’s not just another chronograph,” asserts Florin Niculescu, vice president of product development at Parmigiani Fleurier. “It’s our chronograph that we did from the beginning. It’s really our signature.” Parmigiani Fleurier may possess more competencies than almost any other manufacturer in Switzerland, yet the […]

Craft Master

Hermès’s Philippe Delhotal works with a massive array of artisans at his fingertips. In mid-19th century France, people were fanatical about paperweights. Some of the most luxurious were crafted by Les Cristalleries royales de Saint-Louis, using the ancient millefiori technique. Though the fad dwindled by 1860, Saint-Louis never stopped producing millefiori orbs, as Philippe Delhotal […]

Impending Departure

Zenith takes its Pilot watches on a trip away from aerospace. I had in mind this tattooed guy, mid 40s or 50, gray hair with leather pants, riding his bike, just cruising down the street,” muses watch designer Marcus Ellinger about his rather unusual inspiration for Zenith’s latest Pilot watch. “These people like simplicity and […]

Career Bridge

Designer Dino Modolo adds a personal touch to one of his favorite watches. When Corum released the Golden Bridge in 1980, Dino Modolo was dumbfounded. At the time, the young designer was helping Corum to develop a practical method for manufacturing the Ingot, a watch with a gold bullion dial. (Because ingots were shipped from […]

Free Trade

Glashütte Original’s latest movement adds a touch of Swiss technology. Before the Berlin wall fell in 1989, the watch factory that would become Glashütte Original was a manufacture frozen in time. Lacking access to computers and CNC machines, employees designed movements on drawing boards and made them on lathes. The watches—at that time made in […]

Modern Collective

Bovet’s sixth watch in conjunction with Pininfarina is its sleekest. The movement is a little like a diamond,” explains Paolo Trevisan, head of design at the renowned Italian design firm Pininfarina, which for the last six years has been collaborating with Bovet Fleurier in Switzerland on an exclusive series of timepieces. “We wanted to treat […]

Lost Hues

Modern artisans strive to re-create the past brilliance of flinqué enamel. Shortly after Mikhail Gorbachev was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the Kremlin received a peculiar request from a German jeweler named Herbert Mohr-Mayer: Would the Soviet leader accept a Fabergé egg presented in his honor? Mohr-Mayer’s egg was as lavish as those once commissioned […]

Lunar Pull

Photography by Jeff Harris Styling by Wendy Schelah Once neglected, the moon-phase display has become a totem of watch design. “The two traditional moon-phase displays are either a crescent-shaped aperture or a simple round hole,” says Cartier’s head of movement development, Carole Forestier-Kasapi. “But in order to get new and creative, we have to get […]

Street Cred

Watchmakers find a new muse in luxury shoemakers. It takes six hours to carve the wooden lasts used to create a pair of Massaro shoes, each based on meticulous measurements of the customer’s foot. All Massaro lasts have been preserved since the beginning of the 20th century. There are 8,000 pairs, marked with the names […]

A Feminine Paradox

The Swiss agree on only one thing about women’s watches: Beauty is nonnegotiable.  At the end of 2015, Fabergé’s Lady Compliquée, a timepiece built with equal parts artistic whimsy and horological sophistication, took the prize in the ladies high-mechanical category at the prestigious Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. Not only did the award vault Fabergé […]