Exotic Complication

Heritage and Progress at Breguet

Look closely at Breguet’s special-project pocket watches, like the recent reference 1907 BA/12 Grande Complication, and you will see an intriguing blend of old and new styles and techniques. This tourbillon/grande sonnerie (price upon request) contains many of the design codes unique to vintage Breguet watches, including the silvered dial and classical French balance cock, […]

Manual Dexterity

Having learned the craft of watchmaking at exactly the same time quartz technology was making his new skills obsolete, Dominique Loiseau probably had little notion his career would carry him in the exact opposite direction of the watch industry at the time. Just a few years later, his work restoring masterpieces by Pierre Jaquet-Droz and […]

Frontier Living

“The avant-garde has established itself,” says Urwerk designerMartin Frei. “We were not the only ones to do it, but we changed watches and we created a market.” Frei’s partnership with watchmaker Felix Baumgartner has earned him one of the most established names in watchmaking’s outer fringes. His is a small brand that has successfully challenged […]

Robb Design Portfolio: A Case to Study

To the contemporary eye, a pocket-watch case may seem an overly discreet form of housing for a mechanism as magnificent as a grand complication. Yet there is nothing modest about Cartier’s $625,000 Grande Complication Pocket Watch (www.cartier.com), whose airy configuration amply displays the movement from Renaud & Papi, a specialist renowned as much for the […]

Best of the Best 2012: Men’s Watches: Conceptual Innovation: Hermès Le Temps Suspendu

At first glance, the unusual function of Le Temps Suspendu ($19,400 for the steel version shown), which is capable of stopping time on command, might seem less than practical. Such a concern, however, presented no stumbling block to Jean-Marc Wiederrecht, the master watchmaker who completed the movement for Hermès. Wiederrecht was charmed by the concept […]

Graff Scales the Complicated Watchmaking Ladder

With each new watch seemingly more complicated than the last, the timepieces from premier diamond house Graff illustrate how nothing is impossible in Swiss watchmaking, provided you know the right people. GyroGraff, starting at $495,000, contains two heretofore exotic complicated features: a multi-axis tourbillion, and a three-dimensional moonphase indicator. Under the direction of longtime industry […]

FrontRunners: Game Face

In addition to telling time, the Christophe Claret 21 Blackjack (www.manufactureclaret.com) watch features a blackjack game played by pressing pushers on the side of the case. The wearer can also try his hand at dice, which are visible through a side aperture. Claret, who has created a host of unorthodox time pieces for other brands, […]

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