The first part of our two part coverage series of 2020’s Watches & Wonders was chock full of incredible new releases, including two brand new tourbillons from IWC, a Roger Dubuis timepiece made out of the most obscure of materials, as well as Vacheron Constantin’s show-stopping new releases that really took the cake. The second part is more of the same: incredible watches, eye-watering prices and a whole lot of ‘damn I wish I was rich’ below-the-breath mutters. Enjoy Part 2 of our Watches & Wonders 2020 coverage!
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Blue
Vacheron Constantin’s acclaimed blue-dialed Overseas Perpetual Calendar model is now finally available on a solid gold bracelet. This may not seem like much of a revelation but believe me the restriction of the blue-dialed Overseas model on only a rubber or leather strap did not sit well with a lot of people, myself included. The ability to not only have your cake but eat it too resonates well with this new reference.
Baume & Mercier Hampton Big Date Dual Time
Baume & Mercier seems to be making some direct in-roads to classical watchmaking. The Hampton Big Date Dual Time is a beautiful timepiece with an art-deco feel to it. The profile of the watch is pronounced, thanks to the thickened bezel edges, while the narrow dial is focused, clear and legible. Dashes of the Reverso are evident in the Hampton Big Date Dual Time, but this is truly a delightfully refreshing watch that pays homage to a bygone era and that won’t break the bank at $6,350 AUD.
Laurent Ferrier Grand Sport Tourbillon
The brand’s first sports watch was initially offered only on a rubber strap. But fast forward to 2020 and the Grand Sport Tourbillon is now available on an integrated steel bracelet that really emphasises the idea that this is indeed a high-end complicated sports watch.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Chronograph Calendar
Jaeger-LeCoultre’s restrained approach to Watches & Wonders 2020 is paying dividends. The Master Control Chronograph Calendar is an exquisite example of what happens when a watchmaker opts to do what they do well, as opposed to reinventing the wheel. Featuring a complete calendar and a chronograph along with a moon phase, the Master Control Chronograph Calendar is available in either stainless steel or rose gold guise, both with a silver sunray finished dial. Lot’s of value here.
Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept
Piaget is no stranger to thin watches, and its latest piece has just broken the records as the world’s thinnest mechanical watch. Measuring 41mm across and only 2mm in thickness (yep — you read that right), the Altiplano Ultimate Concept’s secret to being so slim is its movement integration into the case. Oh, and just for good measure, the alligator leather strap is only 1.5mm thick, too.
Baume & Mercier Clifton Day-Date Moonphase
Another winner from Baume & Mercier is the Clifton Day-Date Moonphase. A combination of romanticism, affordability, sound execution and definitive beauty, the new Clifton Day-Date Moonphase is available in either stainless steel or pink gold case. Both models feature a gradient grey lacquered dial, but my pick would be the steel model which looks outstanding and far more expensive than its $6,150 AUD price tag (The pink gold version costs $18,600 AUD).
IWC Portugieser Yacht Club Moon & Tide
Nautical enthusiasts, I present to you the IWC Portugieser Yacht Club Moon & Tide. Combining a 44.60mm wide pink gold case, a distinct blue dial and the ability to check the timing of the next high and low tides, the Portugieser Yacht Club Moon & Tide is the perfect seafarer’s watch.
IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 42
Featuring a brand new movement and case diameter for one of IWC’s most iconic timepieces, the new Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 42 gives a great alternative to the existing 44mm wide Portugieser Perpetual Calendar that many seemed to find a touch too big. While a 2mm difference might not sound like much, in the world of horology this is a massive change. The new Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 42 will be made available in either stainless steel or gold and will come with a silver-plated or blue dial.
IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar ‘Boutique Edition’
Fans of the original 44mm Portugieser Perpetual Calendar worried that the 42mm would supersede it completely, fear not, for the original isn’t going anywhere any time soon. The latest variation, clad in IWC’s durable Armor Gold (a proprietary alloy of 5N gold that IWC claims is five to ten times as wear-resistant) and featuring a lovely blue dial, the Portugieser Perpetual Calendar ‘Boutique Edition’ is as exquisite as it is robust.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Date
Stripped to the bones and laid bare, the Master Control Date is the purest variation of the extraordinarily impressive collection unveiled at Watches & Wonders 2020. The emphasis on simplicity, direction and purpose are absolutely imbued in the Master Control Date. Call it a purist’s dream, but the Master Control Date is a show stopper for me.
Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Tourbillon
Available in two stunning variations, the Traditionnelle Tourbillon is Vacheron Constantin’s complicated watchmaking bread-and-butter. In its rose gold guise, the Traditionnelle Tourbillon comes with a diamond-encrusted bezel, case, lugs, crown and small-seconds register rim along with a mother-of-pearl dial. In white gold Vacheron Constantin has really upped the ante, encrusting the entire dial in diamonds, as well as giving the bezel, case, lugs and crown the same treatment. No such thing as too much in my opinion.