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Watches of the Week: 17/02/2020 - 23/02/2020

Another week down, another round up of all the latest and greatest horological releases of the past seven days in our regular series, 'Watches of the Week'. In this instalment we have new pieces from the likes of Breguet, Breitling, Vacheron Constantin, and IWC. Enjoy!

Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat 5367

New from Breguet is the super elegant Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat 5367. Featuring a deep blue Grand Feu enamel dial and a highly modernised looking tourbillon, the Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat 5367 has personality, poise and presence. The powdered silver star and lozenge minute track remains, as do the highly recognisable Breguet-stylised hands. The platinum case is magnificent, and the wire lugs top off what is a very intriguing packaged. Available only in Breguet boutiques for $218,200AUD.

Breitling AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition

Breitling's new AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition comes in three metals, steel, gold and platinum. And each iteration of the revered original is detailed, well thought out and backed by careful research to replicate what is one of Breitling's most iconic timepieces. The stylistic approach to the AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition is applaudable, with many details and finishings hitting the mark. Pricing for the Breitling AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition in steel is $11,100AUD, while the gold and platinum versions will cost $29,500AUD and $54,990AUD, respectively.

Vacheron Constantin Égérie Collection

Vacheron Constantin has introduced its Égérie Collection, a brand new family of ladies watches. Focusing on design, high-end fashion and simplicity, the Égérie Collection features consistent details throughout its pieces, including fan-textured dials, an off-centre crown, either a date window or a moonphase, diamonds and Breguet numerals. The base Quartz-powered model costs $28,300AUD, with the most expensive model costing $277,000AUD.

IWC Portugieser Hand-Wound Limited Edition 'Laureus Sport for Good'

IWC's 14th contribution to the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation is perhaps the best one of all. Introducing the Portugieser Hand-Wound Limited Edition 'Laureus Sport for Good', a monopusher chronograph that combines the beloved aesthetic of the Portugieser with a highly technical, highly complex movement. The level of complexity is certainly not apparent, however, and that's thanks to a well structured, simplified dial layout. Really the only tell-tale sign of something else going on is that monopusher crown sticking out at 3 o'clock. The Portugieser Hand-Wound Limited Edition 'Laureus Sport for Good' has a lot of information to give aside from the standard time-telling indicators, including the elapsed time, the date as well as the power reserve coming from the 8-day hand-wound movement. The IWC Portugieser Hand-Wound Limited Edition 'Laureus Sport for Good' is available for $16,600USD.

Laco Introduces Two New Frankfurt GMT Models

Available in either a black or grey guise, the new Frankfurt GMT models from Laco are brilliant little bits of kit that provide oodles of information for not that much dough. I love the deep pan-dish style dial. I love the modern design cues. And I love the whole execution of the piece in general. Laco has pulled out all the stops with the Frankfurt GMT while keeping affordability in mind. The Laco Frankfurt GMT is priced at €1,650.

A. Lange & Söhne: Leap Year 2020

Since 2001, A. Lange & Söhne has launched eight timepieces marking the phenomenon that is February 29. Every four years the world acknowledges the leap year, where a day is added to the end of the month of February. As such, A. Lange & Söhne has developed a different technical approach to the perpetual calendar mechanism to commemorate what is actually a very important horological event. From midnight on New Year's Eve when the leap year indicator switches from 3 to 4, there is exactly 59 days until the perpetual calendar can flex its horological might and show us all what it was made for: to account for leap years! This is an incredibly challenging process, whereby a perpetual calendar will have to indicate the transition from the 28th to the 29th of February on a leap year, along with indicating the change from the 28th of February to the 1st of March every other year.

To explain this, we'll have to delve a bit deeper and give you a pretty thorough insight into how this works (the reason why we saved this until the end). Typically, the task of that transition was done by a programmed wheel with 48 notches and steps (corresponding with the 48 months of a 4-year cycle). As the wheel rotates only once every four years, the notches are sampled by a lever which is dictated by the rule that the deeper the notch, the sooner the mechanism switches to the first day of the next month. The four deepest notches correspond to the four Feburaries. But one of them is slightly shallower, indicating the February of the leap year, and thus it having an additional day. The mechanism realises this and adjusts accordingly. Now, seven of the eight pieces that facilitate the leap year do so in this process, but there is one that does it in a completely different manner: the Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar.

Ready to nerd out? This is straight out of the press release from A. Lange & Söhne:

'Innovating in a perpetual calendar is tough. It is one of the most traditional complications that dates back to the mid-1700s, when English horologist Thomas Mudge made the first watch with a perpetual calendar. The earliest Lange pocket watches featuring a perpetual calendar as well as a moon-phase display date from the late 19th century. So everything seems to have already been invented. Undeterred by this, the calibre designers at A. Lange & Söhne set out on a new path in the design of perpetual calendars. The development of the Lange1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar launched in 2012 confronted them with the almost impossible task of harmoniously integrating the multitude of calendar indications into the dial architecture of the Lange 1 without affecting the asymmetric arrangement of non-overlapping displays.

Its key element is a patented peripheral month ring, which constituted an entirely new type of month display. It replaces the traditional mechanism in which the month is advanced by a notched programme wheel. However, the innovative solution imposed new challenges on the calibre designers. They needed to find a way to rotate the large ring instantaneously by 30 degrees while switching to the new month. This increment is about four times longer than that of the very lightweight and much smaller programme wheel. The quest was on for an alternative drive solution that could advance the month ring by such a large progression – and for an innovative way to sample the duration of each month.

The month ring is driven via its internal gearing. It rotates around its own axis once a year. The inside of the gear rim features a circumferential contour with wavy recesses. A spring-loaded sampler lever glides along this contour and is deflected by a magnitude that corresponds to the depth of the respective recesses. The more it is deflected, the shorter the month. In February, an extender of the sampler lever contacts a cam beneath the leap-year disc. This tells the mechanism whether it is a common year with only 28 days in February or a leap year with 29 days.'


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