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January Watch Spotlight: A. Lange and Sohne’s Handwerkskunst, plus 3 other edgy watches

Noteworthy pieces before the SIHH unveils.

AN ENDURING LEGACY

Lange

A hallowed figure in watchmaking inspires an exceptionally hand-finished timepiece. In horology circles, it is common knowledge that A. Lange & Sohne finishes its watches to a standard that few brands can compete with. And since 2011, the Saxon manufacture has taken things to a whole new level with its Handwerkskunst (German for craftsmanship) limited edition timepieces, which feature unusual and complex hand-finishing.

Fittingly, a new Handwerkskunst model was unveiled in Dresden, Germany last month, crowning a year dedicated to the 200th birthday of A. Lange & Sohne founding father, Ferdinand Adolph Lange. What immediately distinguishes the 1815 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst is its dial, crafted from black-rhodiumed pink gold and finished with intricate tremblage engraving. This engraving technique is carried out with a specially made burin and creates a fine granular texture. Against this striking background, a large one-minute tourbillon takes pride of place, bearing elements such as a black-polished bridge.

Lange2

IN THE DETAILS Bevel-polishing and engraving are among the techniques used to decorate the movement of this 30-piece special edition.

It’s not just its aesthetics that impress, of course: The 1815 Tourbillon notably brings together the brand’s patented mechanisms, the zero-reset and stop-seconds functions – which halt the movement and bring the second hand to zero when the watch is being set, for greater timekeeping accuracy.

BRILLIANT START

Piguet

Yellow gold might not be particularly popular in horology these days, but we remain unapologetic fans of this classic precious metal, which (to us) is no less flattering to skin tones than white or pink variants. Clearly, the folks at Audemars Piguet agree: One of its first new launches for the year is the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar, housed in a 41mm yellow gold case and powered by the automatic calibre 5134. While other recent iterations of the watch were encased in rose gold or steel, this new version takes aesthetic inspiration from the first Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar designed by Jacqueline Dimier in 1984.

CRUISE CONTROL

Ducati

“Low-speed excitement.” That’s what the new Ducati XDiavel cruiser, the Italian company’s most laid-back motorcycle yet, is all about. This relaxed sportiness permeates the latest Tudor Fastrider Black Shield, which is finished in a cool combination of matte black and white. The latest addition to the Fastrider family – a collaboration between Tudor and Ducati – comes in a black high-tech ceramic case and is driven by an automatic chronograph movement with a 46-hour power reserve.

INTO THE DEEP

Fleurier

For a while, they seemed like a trend, but it is becoming patently clear that blue dials are here to stay. The newest edition of the Parmigiani Tonda Metrographe has a dial in a shade named Abyss Blue, which is achieved through an electroplating process carefully executed by the manufacture’s specialist dial-makers. Coupled with the asymmetry of the watch’s subdials, this distinctive shade of blue gives the timepiece – which houses the PF315 automatic movement – a unique elegance.

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