Nature-inspired timepieces to get in touch with your rugged self
Unleash your inner mountaineer with watches from Montblanc, Maurice Lacroix, Rado, and Laurent Ferrier.
01 The Green Outdoors
Montblanc really wants you to go out and reconnect with nature. This year’s theme of mountain exploration is expressed vividly in its 1858 collection — of the four new references, three sport new khaki-green dials and matching Nato straps. To augment this aura of adventure, the new models – which comprise the 1858 Automatic, 1858 Chronograph, 1858 Geosphere and 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition (a brand new watch and the only one with a black dial) – are cased in trendy bronze. While all are brilliant examples of timepieces that will look fetching with hiking attire, Montblanc’s watch division MD Davide Cerrato believes the Geosphere is set to be the brand’s next big icon.
It’s not hard to see why. The Geosphere is Montblanc’s creative take on the world-time complication, first seen in the Villeret Tourbillon Cylindrique Geospheres Vasco da Gama in 2015 and simplified in last year’s 1858 Geosphere with a black dial. It uses two separate hemispheres that each makes a full rotation every 24 hours. The northern hemisphere turns anticlockwise, while the southern one turns clockwise, and both are ringed by a scale with 24 time zones. As it is inspired by the Seven Summits challenge, small red dots mark the locations of the seven mountains on the globes.
The green-dialled models are limited to 1,858 pieces each, while 100 pieces of the 1858 Split Second Chronograph are available.
02 Collecting The Dots
Great design doesn’t need to come at exorbitant prices. Maurice Lacroix has been proving that by sweeping Red Dot Design Awards with its (relatively) affordable watches for years. This year’s prize winner is the Aikon Automatic Skeleton Manufacture, an unquestionably stylish 45mm open-worked ticker in a black PVD-coated case, with the Aikon collection’s signature six-arm bezel in alternating brushed and polished surfaces. It’s the first Aikon to win an award, and given the pleasing architecture of the skeletonisation, we say it’s well-deserved. The watch was first unveiled last year and only 250 pieces were made.
03 Commanding The Past
Watch lovers aren’t done with the vintage look, so watchmakers aren’t done making them. Rado’s throwback to the 1960s comes in the form of its remade Captain Cook models, and it has just released its third edition, and the second one in the original 37mm size. The Captain Cook Automatic Limited Edition bears the same design codes of its historic predecessor, including the three seahorses stamped on the case back, diver-style rotating bezel, red date numerals, sword-and arrow-shaped hands, and creamy lume. But modern concessions – like an 80-hour power reserve, high-tech ceramic bezel, and water resistance of 100m – make it wearable today. It is limited to 1,962 pieces and comes in a leather carrying case packed with an additional Nato strap, a Milanese mesh bracelet and a strap-changing tool.
04 Wheels of Time
If you consider Laurent Ferrier’s passion for motor sports, the fact that he released a sports watch isn’t too surprising, even if it is the first among a stable of restrained dress watches. Ferrier and his eponymous brand’s co-founder Francois Servanin are both former racing drivers, and the Tourbillon Grand Sport is an extension of that shared affection. The thick, cushion-shaped bezel and barrel-shaped case are reminiscent of luxury sports watches from the ’70s (think Patek Philippe’s Nautilus and Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak infused with Ferrier-style elegance) and its smoky taupe dial makes an excellent backdrop to orange lume-filled hands — the same orange of the Porsche 935T Ferrier and Servanin once drove. It’s powered by the LF619.01 hand-wound calibre, the latest evolution of the brand’s original tourbillon movement conceived 10 years ago. Limited to 12 pieces with a matching taupe rubber strap.