Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar
First revealed in 2013, the Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar is back in black. Presented in a very wearable 39 mm steel case, the piece screams elegance and class with its deep black dial, sword-like hands and sharp hour markers. The expansive dial is utilised ideally with a focus on functionality. Four sub-dial registers tell the user the day, the date, the month and the moonphase. Additionally, a small window between 7 and o’clock tells you the year. An in-house self-winding movement tops it off as a real winner for me. Fantastically put together at a price that shouldn’t really burn too big a hole in your pocket if you are in the market for a perpetual calendar.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre Quantième Lunaire
Another stellar piece from JLC, the Duomètre Quantième Lunaire could potentially qualify for the “most affordable grail” award. A watch that speaks to watch-nerds and budding aficionados alike, the Lunaire is a combination of watchmaking mastery and design innovation of the highest calibre. A case made of 18k white gold holds within it one a very interesting semi-opened dial. The main dial is used for the seconds, while a sub-dial on the right is used for the hours and minutes, all of which have beautifully finished gold hands. At 6 o’clock we have the foudroyante complication, which is a hand that ticks at 1/6 of a second. Very cool feature. All of this is powered by JLC’s in-house calibre 381 which produces about 50 hours of power reserve. A very specific piece for a very specific customer.
Baume & Mercier Capeland Shelby Cobra 1963
Baume & Mercier have released their newest piece in tribute to the legendary Cobra 289 CSX2128 built in 1963 to race in the 12 hours of Sebring. The 44 mm case brings about it an air of sporty-casualness with its rendered lines, mushroom pushers and enlarged crown. The dial is reminiscent of a 1960’s sports car’s dashboard, but still remains highly legible with great functionality coming from the chronograph. The seconds hand has the traditional and history Shelby Cobra symbol on it which just adds to the “cool” factor of the watch. Produced in a limited run of 1963 pieces (to pay homage for Cobra’s first victory in the US national championship), you would do well to pay your local dealer a visit.
Bovet Pininfarina OttantaSei 10-Day Tourbillon
In collaboration with the famed automotive design institution Pininfarina, Bovet have released yet another piece paying homage to their fruitful relationship. First thing is first, this is a piece that embodies the elements of haute horlogerie. From the extra ordinary case design, to the skeletonised dial layout, sub-dial architecture and tourbillon cage; everything is eye-catching. The sides are even transparent, fitted with sections of transparent sapphire crystal. The watch ceases to feel like a watch and begins to feel like something you would want stored safe and sound in a vault. Inside the piece is something to remind us of its purpose: telling the time in one of the most decorated ways possible. The use of the 17BM03MM manually wound movement guarantees powered for 10 days. The winding system is something to marvel at, where the user would simply wind the crown at 12 o’clock and watch as the gears turn simultaneously from any angle.
Breitling Chronomat 44 Blacksteel
Now admittedly I don’t normally feature Breitling in my round ups. They’re not a brand that I would typically direct my viewers’ attention to, nor do they do anything for me personally. But their latest piece, the Chronomat 44 in Blacksteel has caught my attention. It just looks badass. Above all, it is a sports chronograph. From the case, to the strap and the dial, it is a casual beater that looks the part. The bezel features black rubber-inlaid numerals and the dial’s darkness is offset by red and cream accents. The Blacksteel features the Breitling 01 self-winding movement with a power reserve of about 70 hours. Aggressive, in-your-face styling makes this watch a definite winner for me. Priced quite well considering what you get is the epitome of a tool watch on your wrist.
De Bethune Dream Watch 5 Meteorite
Similar to its 2013 and 2014 counterparts, the Dream Watch 5 Meteorite is a piece unique that takes its inspiration from the fantasy and allure that is space. Add a tourbillon and you’re in store for one hell of a watch. The case is absurdly fantastic. Hues of blue and purple remind you of a meteorite, its shape is not dissimilar to that of a spaceship’s from the imagination of the 1980s. The crown is actually a ruby that shines a brilliant red, similar to that of the exhaust of a spacecraft spitting. How do you tell the time? I probably would forget to check each time I look at my wrist; such is the sheer captivation that this piece embodies. But if you really want to, the time is indicated on two discs, one for the hour and the other for the minute. Turn it over and you can see an exposed tourbillon through a very small window. A purely experimental piece that reminds us all that watchmaking should be fun. Oh, and the price tag? Out of this world.
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Ultra-Thin
Look, I like Vacheron. I think they make traditional watches that are classy, elegant, wearable and distinguishable. They also make true haute horlogerie pieces every now and again that absolutely blow my mind. Then they made this. In my mind, a complete and utter carbon-copy of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. Sure it looks good. Great case and dial dimensions. Functional, wearable, a very utilitarian piece. But isn’t that what the Royal Oak is? Some preach that the Overseas Ultra-Thin has some unique design traits and that is a revamp design of the Overseas line. But it isn’t. VC have clearly copied the Royal Oak through and through. They have even copied the movement in the Royal Oak, the caliber 1120. Albeit it was originally a Jaeger movement (the JLC 920), but still. I can’t believe that I haven’t read anything that aligns itself with my opinion yet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good watch. It is. But the Royal Oak was a good watch first.
Richard Mille RM 50-02
Welcome to Richard Mille’s latest piece, the RM 50-02. I recently posted an image on my Instagram page (@haulogerie) asking my followers’ opinions regarding this piece. Its safe to say the majority were not impressed. I, however, am still on the fence about it. Yes it looks like the port-hole of the window in an aeroplane. Yes it costs well over one million AUD. But looking beyond that, you have to ask the question why. Why does Richard Mille think that the RM 50-02 deserves to be worth that much money. One, it is made of the same titanium-alloy that Airbus uses in their jet turbine blades. Two, there is a tourbillon split-second movement within that beast. Three, the movement has been finished with an anti-corrosion coating used in planes. Four, its just badass. Richard Mille is renowned for making brash, absurdly priced pieces, and this one is no different. The only question is if you had the money, would you?
Cartier Drive De Cartier
The appeal of Cartier can be summed in one word: class. Their pieces all carry with them a certain aura of indefinable class. The Cartier Drive De Cartier is a brand now design, with a cushion-shaped case and a dial that fits perfectly into those dimensions. The allure of the piece is the distinguished contrast between the beautiful mirror-polish of the case and the subtle richness of the dial. Roman numerals are not my favourite thing in the world, but I think if you were to replace them with elongated Arabic numerals, it would throw off the balance of the piece. Stunning proportions are what speak to me, and this is an aesthetic eye-pleaser. The movement is the functional 1904-PS MC self-winding calibre with a subsidiary seconds dial that doesn’t affect the flow of the main dial at all. A contemporary design that carries with it elegance and, of course, class.
Urwerk EMC Time Hunter
Brash styling, adventurous design and an apparent ignorance of all things traditional. Enter Urwerk, one of the coolest watch brands on the planet. The EMC Time Hunter is just another piece of theirs that screams exuberance, that offends the purists, and that brings about it levels of eccentricity and obsession we have not seen before. Aggressively designed, the Time Hunter looks like a standard military issues do-it-all type of tool. Its big, its dark and its ominous, and it has everyone’s attention. Now I won’t get too technical as this piece looks deceptively simple. But I will say this, before you pass judgement and think that Urwerk went full blown aesthetic, read the technical sheet. It amazed me, and I am sure it will do the same to you. Beyond that, there is the price, which is unsurprisingly high. However, what you get is a limited edition piece of only 15 that is a manifestation of contemporary haute horlogerie and aggressive excitement.