9 new luxury classical timepieces with unexpected elements
They impress by deviating from the norm.
01: MODERN GEOMETRY
Gold self-winding timepieces are a dime a dozen, but none of them look like the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Sandblasted in rose gold. We like how the angular geometry of the Octo’s faceted case and rectangular links is emphasised by its ultra-slim form (5.15mm), and softened by the 40mm watch’s round bezel. Our favourite touch, though, is its sandblasted finish, which gives the rose gold an almost-industrial edge.
Wool suit and cotton shirt, from Gucci.
02: BONE STRUCTURE
At the apex of Cartier’s revamped Santos collection for 2018, the 39.8mm Santos de Cartier Skeleton Watch in pink gold combines the house’s haute horlogerie codes with one of its iconic bread-and-butter models. The brand’s signature Roman numeral skeleton architecture complements the bold structure of the updated Santos case, which has more flowing lines – its once perfectly square bezel, for instance, now flows into the bracelet. A rhodium finish gives the Roman numerals, which are actually movement bridges, a dark, matte look that provides visual contrast and allows for greater legibility.
Wool and leather sweater, from Bottega Veneta. Silk scarf, from Hermes.
03: LUNAR PULL
Requiring multiple high-temperature firings to create, grand feu enamel dials tend to be relatively stark, so the glossy finish can take centre stage. The Breguet Classique 7787, however, is an exception. But while there’s plenty going on, it somehow all works together in a quirky way – that numbered 38-hour power indicator arc between five and six o’clock, for instance, and the moon phase with its 29.5-day scale representing the number of days from one new moon to another. Powered by an automatic movement, it’s all contained in a versatile 39mm rose gold case.
Wool suit, cotton shirt, and patent leather shoes, from Boss.
04: GOING PLATINUM
For those who enjoy a smattering of bling, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Extra-Thin in platinum offers an interesting bundle of contradictions. While its 41mm octagonal case and bracelet give the watch its familiar refined yet rugged feel, its striking tourbillon and brushed platinum case, topped with an unmissable diamond-studded bezel, imbue it with a flamboyant dressiness. Its slim, 8.95mm-thick case and soft-grey Petite Tapisserie engraved dial balance the flashier touches.
Wool-blend jacket and cotton shirt, from Etro.
05: LEAP IN TIME
Featuring three jumping discs displaying the hour and minutes, the IWC Pallweber pocket watch was a true novelty when it first emerged in 1885. More than a century later, in the brand’s 150th-anniversary year, the wristwatch it inspires is just as much a breath of fresh air. This time round, the same kind of time display is set against a blue lacquered dial within a 45mm steel case, and is powered by the new manual-winding Calibre 94200.
Wool pullover, from Salvatore Ferragamo. Suede hat, from Loewe.
06: FIGURE STUDY
More than two centuries ago, watchmaker Pierre Jaquet-Droz created a pocket watch with a time display in the shape of a figure eight. Today, that has become the signature of the Grande Seconde, the flagship model of his eponymous brand. What’s most interesting is how that minimalistic look is retained even as more complications are added to the time display, as in the case of the self-winding Grande Seconde Moon Ivory Enamel, a 43mm red gold watch featuring a moon phase with a peripheral date display, set against an ivory grand feu enamel dial.
Poplin shirt, cotton trousers, rabbit felt hat, and leather belt, from Hermes.
07: WRITTEN IN TIME
Montblanc introduces its latest edition of the Nicolas Rieussec monopusher chronograph, which was first launched in 2008. This series gets its name from the French watchmaker Rieussec, and is inspired by his inking chronograph of 1821. When the chronograph is in operation, the chronograph hands remain stationary, while the seconds and minutes discs turn. The model’s latest incarnation is the Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph, a 44.8mm steel timepiece that has been updated with refined features such as guilloche dial accents, slimmer black Arabic numerals and stepped lugs.
Wool-silk sweater, from Dunhill.
08: GREY AREA
The sunburst grey dial of the Blancpain Villeret Complete Calendar 40mm sums up the watch’s aesthetic rather well: It’s just a touch bolder and more modern than traditional silver, and yet it makes a world of difference. Against this background, we find an abundance of dial details that never feel cluttered – these include a moon phase, date circle marked by a serpentine hand, and day and month windows. An automatic movement powers this white gold timepiece.
Wool and polyester suit, and cotton shirt, from Dolce & Gabbana.
09: STRIKING PRESENCE
In the A. Lange & Sohne catalogue, the Zeitwerk surely stands out the most with its unorthodox aesthetic. It shows the time via a central winged bridge housing three jumping hour and minute discs. Additionally, the version shown here, the Zeitwerk Striking Time, has a chiming mechanism that sees it striking once on the hour and every quarter. Housed in a 44.2mm white gold case, the watch is powered by a hand-wound movement featuring a constant-force escapement that keeps energy flow steady.
Velvet jacket and cotton shirt, from Brunello Cucinelli.
PHOTOGRAPHY DARREN CHANG ART DIRECTION FAZLIE HASHIM STYLING DOLPHIN YEO