A hectic month inaugurated by Geneva Watch Day 2021, dovetailed by a constellation of brands, from Audemars Piguet to Hublot, wishing to etch another impression in the mind of connoisseurs as the year closes in to its last quarter, September proved to be rather propitious for lovers of horology.
Witness what new watches were launched.
What could be considered an upgrade to the steel-cad Royal Oak despite seemingly improbable? The answer is Royal Oak Frosted Gold Selfwinding Chronograph sheathed in its entirety in 18k pink or white gold in an exquisite, powdery and shimmery finish exclusive to Audemars Piguet. Offered in either black or blue “Grande Tapisserie” dial, the new watch will be sold exclusively in Japan during September 2021, before being made available globally from October 2021. There is something je ne sais quoi about the pink gold-blue combo, no?
If you are missing the turquoise waters over in the French Riveira, Bovet might just make you feel a little less blue by projecting the famous hue onto your wrist. The Récital 23 features a guilloche dial in turquoise. The maison crafts a planetary motif onto the timepiece with the moonphase indicator reinterpreted as a hemispherical dome. Limited to 60 pieces, the timepiece ensures you won’t go unnoticed with 174 and 72 round-cut diamonds lining the 18k red gold case and bezel respectively.
The Swiss brand strikes it while it is hot. With the Top Time “Zorro” and “Deus” chronographs garnering rave reviews, Breitling rolls out a vibrant Top Time capsule collection teemed with retro design cues. With inspiration drawn from legendary American muscle cars – Chevrolet Corvette, Ford Mustang and Shelby Cobra – the sub-dials hark back to when cushion-shaped TV ruled the day. At 42mm, the chronographs gear towards the modern man who covet a watch of a resolutely contemporary proportion.
One of the hottest watches in the past year belongs to Casio’s ever-green G-Shock, after a reimagination that many see as an homage to an iconic Swiss watch – which I won’t be naming but if you know, you know. The GM-2100 is very much a continuation of the theme, with four new snazzy models in black, navy blue, green and red. If you like an angular, instantly recognisable and accessible-priced watch with all of G-Shock’s endearing qualities, you know which you should be grabbing.
Chopard’s integrated bracelet watch is gliding faster thanks to an 8Hz in-house movement. The Alpine Eagle Cadence 8HF beats not only a rather unusual frequency as the majority of modern movements favour 4Hz, it is thanks to this increased cadence that the watch therefore offers improved precision. Chopard then goes one step further by recladding this Alpine Eagle in titanium – as opposed to Lucent Steel A223 – so the watch is lighter in weight and a shade darker. It is limited to 250 numbered pieces.
Hublot and Berluti renew their vow with a new watch announced in September 2021 after first lacing up their fingers 5 years ago with another collaborative timepiece. The latest Big Bang Unico Berluti Aluminio descends after a brief lull, with the previous effort arriving in a medley of leather and ceramic in late 2020. The watch appeals to individuals who gravitate towards monochrome, with the new creation’s understated and nuanced aesthetics cascading from the 44mm titanium case to the bi-material strap made of rubber and Berluti’s patinated Venezia leather. The watch is limited to 100 pieces.
Often an element used in the creation of 18k white gold, palladium has emerged from the shadow of platinum and gold in the past few years with a burgeoning number of watchmakers favouring palladium as the metal of choice for watch cases. The latest is MB&F, who presents the LM Perpetual Palladium featuring a fully integrated perpetual calendar movement consisting of 581 miniscule parts. Limited to 25 pieces, this MB&F machine is part brain child of independent Irish watchmaker Stephen McDonnell.
The creator of the Speedmaster challenges your perception of the lunar-conquering chronograph with the Speedmaster Chronoscope, referencing an old-timer from its pre-moonwatch archives. While a typical chronograph either features a telemeter or a tachymeter scale, this Speedy is equipped with both in addition to a pulsometer. With that, the dial of the chronograph is a symphony of a series of printed scales interspersing with a pair of subdials to create layered, overlapping and retro aesthetics unique to this Speedmaster-Chronoscope crossover and atypical of other Speedmaster editions. It is an unmistakably modern watch brimming with vintage familiarity that makes you pause for a second – is it a Speedmaster or is it not?
All images by respective brands