#1: A Different Kind Of Gold
Expect creative licence in the treatment of this precious metal. For instance, the dial on Cartier’s Ronde Louis Cartier XL Flamed Gold watch (above) is in fact all 18K gold. From blue to beige, the various luminous shades are the result of passing the metal through a flame at different temperatures.
(P.S. It’s limited to 30 pieces.) Meanwhile, Audemars Piguet’s tied up with Florentine jeweller Carolina Bucci on the Frosted Gold edition of its ladies’ Royal Oak as part of the watch’s 40th anniversary. Traditional hammering technique is used on the bracelet and case for a glamorous, glittery finish.
#2: Bronze As A Cult Favourite
In the past three years, brands such as Tudor, Officine Panerai and Oris have used the metal on their dive watches, turning it into somewhat of a novelty – it’s robust and develops a beautiful patina. Now, others are catching on. Montblanc’s Chronograph Tachymeter Limited Edition watch (above) features a bronze case that adds to its vintage chic. (The 50-piece-strong collection also features refined finishes on the plates and bridges that can be admired from the back.)
#3: Easy-To-Handle Complications
Mechanical watches can be confusing to figure out, but increasingly, brands are making their haute horology features as fuss-free as possible. Among them: Vacheron Constantin’s Patrimony Moonphase And Retrograde Date timepiece (above) does away with the extra counters you usually get with a retrograde date function, so the dial’s easier to read (and more streamlined in design). There’s also Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Rendez-Vous Sonatina Large, which has a chiming function that can be set off with the crown (read: no additional pushers).
#4: Rooster Mania
Mostly because it’s the zodiac animal of the year. The dial of Ulysse Nardin’s Classico Rooster timepiece (above) showcases a carved image of the bird filled with vibrantly hued enamel – the result of a centuries-old technique called champleve – and is limited to 88 pieces. For Officine Panerai, its Luminor 1950 Sealand 3 Days Automatic Acciaio watch boasts a hand-engraved rooster motif inlaid with gold threads on the steel cover protecting the dial – only 99 pieces are available.
#5: The Sporty ’70s Comeback
Note the look: The bezel is geometric, the bracelet and case blend seamlessly (read: one piece, no lugs), and – the best part – it works for both casual and dressy occasions. One of the best examples: Girard-Perregaux’s Laureato 34, which has been around since 1975. This year, it gets a refined and glamorous update (right) with a quartz mechanism (so it’s also slimmer), smaller dial (just 34mm) and a diamond-studded octagonal bezel.
#6: The Statement Moon Phase
For those who don’t know what’s a moon phase, it’s a watch complication that charts and displays the movement of the moon. Sounds fancy? That’s the idea, and the latest interpretations get props for creativity and design. The indicator on Baume & Mercier’s quartz-powered Promesse Moon Phase (above) features three twinkling stars against a blue lacquered dial. And the one on A. Lange & Sohne’s Lange 1 Moon Phase goes from clear light blue in the day to a starry dark navy at night – a first-of-its-kind feature.
#7: Really, Really Slim Watches
Piaget, the industry’s record holder for ultra thin designs, debuts the 60th anniversary edition of its flagship Altiplano (above). Limited to 820 pieces, its 43mm automatic model and 38mm manual-winding model boast movements that measure just 2.35mm and 2.1mm respectively. Over at Bulgari, its Lady Finissimo Tourbillon scored the industry title of “World’s Thinnest Tourbillon Watch”. Just how thin is its movement? A mere 1.95mm.
This story first appeared in Female‘s February 2017 issue.