We're edging closer to Christmas, which normally means a much quieter watch-front. But there were still a handful of really cool new watches, including from Vacheron Constantin, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Hermès, as well as the rebirth of one of the most esteemed watch brands, ever.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute "Dragon"
Jaeger-LeCoultre unveiled its latest piece in the Reverso Tribute "Dragon". Jaeger-LeCoultre has been a constant in celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year with special editions, and the Reverso Tribute "Dragon" continues that tradition.
It features a black grand feu enamel dial, a hand-engraved Chinese dragon and a pink gold case. The dragon is spectacularly detailed, with all other facets of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute "Dragon" typical of the maison.
Model: Reverso Tribute "Dragon"
Case Material: Pink gold
Water Resistance: 30m
Calibre: Cal. 822
Verdict: This made-to-order Reverso is unique, artistic and quintessentially Jaeger.
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon High Jewellery
The already very special Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon has just been treated to some bling-bling. Here is the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon High Jewellery, awe inspiring and super beautiful.Everything is stock-standard. A magnificent blue dial. One of the most beautiful tourbillons at the bottom of the dial.
But instead of the usual six-sided plain white gold bezel, Vacheron Constantin has added 85 baguette-cut diamonds on the bezel (as well as to the buckle), adding to an already very stunning haute horlogerie package.
Brand: Vacheron Constantin
Model: Overseas Tourbillon High Jewellery
Case Material: White gold
Water Resistance: 50m
Price: Upon request
Verdict: Haute horlogerie meets haute joaillerie in spectacular fashion.
Hermès Arceau Costume de Fête
From Hermès we have the new Arceau Costume de Fête. It features a very artistic dial inspired by Polish folk culture, with pearls, sequins and coloured leather making up the bulk of the aesthetic theatrics.
Encased in either white or rose gold and with a bezel set with 82 diamonds, the Hermès Arceau Costume de Fête is a very lovely, refined and supremely well put together feat of haute joaillerie.
Model: Arceau Costume de Fête
Reference: 403453WW00; 403169WW00
Case Material: White gold or rose gold
Water Resistance: 30m
Price: From USD71,000 (Limited to 24 pieces per edition)
Verdict: Artistic and cool. Not for everyone but I really like them.
Universal Genève Acquired by... Breitling!
Yes, you heard that correct. Universal Genève, the watchmaker we've all waited and longed for to come back into play. And who played the part in orchestrating this phoenix-like revival? None other than Georges Kern's Breitling.
We can only speculate what that can mean, but if this comment from Brietling's chief is anything to go by, then I think Universal Genève is in the best of hands: “Rebuilding a brand with such a rich narrative is not a quick endeavor—it is a meticulous labor of love that we anticipate will unfold over the coming years.”
Verdict: Like so many others, I've been priced out of buying a UG Compax chronograph, so my fingers are crossed for something that is accessible, in-keeping with the beloved Universal Genève aesthetic and with an in-house calibre. A tall order, but if anyone can deliver, it's big GK.
Artya Purity Tourbillon Models
Artya unveiled three incredibly complicated haute horlogerie pieces under the Purity Tourbillon collection. Each of the three new models are powered by the same double-barrel, openworked manufacture 18mm wide tourbillon mechanism, which beats at an above-average frequency of 4 Hz.
We have the Purity Tourbillon and Tiny Purity Tourbillon models, each available in sapphire crystal (CHF125,000) and NanoSaphir, a sapphire compound which switches from amber to green depending on the ambient light (CHF155,000), as well as the Curvy Purity Tourbillon, also available in sapphire crystal (CHF135,000) and NanoSaphir (CHF155,000). There is also a piece unique bicolour NanoSaphir in yellow and purple, too (CHF155,000).
Verdict: Innovative, unique and highly technical.