This week was dominated by the Geneva Watch Days event, an incredible event that ran from August 29 to September 1 and featured an abundance of brands, including the likes of Bulgari, MB&F, De Bethune and Greubel Forsey. There was plenty of action with some amazing new watches being unveiled, like the superb De Bethune DB25sQP Perpetual Calendar, a marvellous new URWERK and a new MB&F model that has just jumped straight to the top of my wish list.
I already covered Greubel Forsey's unveiling last week, the GMT Balancier Convexe, so that piece won't feature this week. But not to worry, there's still plenty to go through, including some new watches that didn't feature in the Geneva Watch Days event. Enjoy! :)
MB&F Legacy Machine Split Escapement EVO
MB&F unveiled two brilliant new variations of its latest model, the Legacy Machine Split Escapement EVO. Available with an ice-blue or black dial, the new Legacy Machine Split Escapement EVO continued on with the independent maison's Legacy Machine direction, with a suspended balance wheel hovering over the dial and the anchor underneath the movement.
The Legacy Machine Split Escapement EVO is quintessentially MB&F and has all of the tell-tale signs of a purposeful, innovative and pioneering watch. Absolutely love it.
Model: Legacy Machine Split Escapement EVO
Case Material: Titanium
Water Resistance: 80m
Calibre: LM Split Escapement (Developed for MB&F by Stephen McDonnell)
Verdict: An epic display of technical prowess, a continuation of the maison's ethos and a complete disregard for the traditional conventions of horology. Just supreme.
Bulgari Octo Finissimo Sejima
Bulgari featured one of the most scintillating pieces this week with the Octo Finissimo Sejima. It featured a mirrored aesthetic made in collaboration with the Pritzker-winning Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima.
The Octo Finissimo Sejima has a visually stunning high mirror polished finish applied to the case, dial, hands and bracelet to reflect any sort of light that hits it. It's an absurdly avant garde approach to visceral finishing, but it's one that definitely hits the mark.
Brand: Bulgari Model: Octo Finissimo Sejima Case: 40mm Case Material: Stainless steel Water Resistance: 100m Calibre: BVL 138 Price: $20,900AUD Verdict: Mirror polishing taken to a new level.
URWERK UR-100V UltraViolet
New from URWERK is the ultra-cool UR-100V UltraViolet. It has a case made from sanded shot-blasted titanium with a violet-toned DLC coating, a violet coloured dial and a lovely textured white rubber strap. Visually, the UR-100V UltraViolet isn't perhaps as captivating as Bulgari's wearable mirror, but it does carry its own as an interesting piece of arm candy to parade while you go about your day. Brand: URWERK Model: UR-100V UltraViolet Case: 41mm Case Material: Titanium Water Resistance: 30m Calibre: UR 12.02 Price: 55,000CHF Verdict: Reminds me of a certain Marvel character. You should have gone for the head. Sorry. Really like it.
De Bethune DB25sQP Perpetual Calendar
De Bethune released a show stopper in its own right with the new DB25sQP Perpetual Calendar. Downsized by 4mm from the original DB25QP released in 2011, the new DB25sQP Perpetual Calendar features a titanium case measuring just 40mm in width. This downsizing meant the need for a new movement, with the DB2324V2 being tasked to fit the smaller dimensions of the piece. The dial is definitely the focal point of the watch, with a hand-guilloche finishing in the centre of the dial, a legible placement of day/month apertures, the date indicator at the bottom of the dial and that immensely beautiful moonphase at the top of the dial. Let's not forget those lugs either. Works of art, those. Brand: De Bethune Model: DB25sQP Perpetual Calendar Case: 40mm Case Material: Titanium Water Resistance: 30m Calibre: DB2324V2 Price: $145,000USD Verdict: No amount of superlatives can do the DB25sQP justice. One of my favourite watches of the year.
Ulysse Nardin Blast Tourbillon Rainbow
New from Ulysse Nardin is the Blast Tourbillon Rainbow. An already very theatrical watch, the Blast Tourbillon Rainbow now features an array of beautiful colours by way of a bezel covered by coloured gems. It's a visually striking addition to an already very viscerally-focused timepiece, but it's a formula that works I think mainly due to the use of a darker base by way of a black DLC coated titanium case. Hats off to UN for this one. Brand: Ulysse Nardin Model: Blast Tourbillon Rainbow Case: 45mm Case Material: Titanium Water Resistance: 50m Calibre: UN-172 Price: $89,700AUD Verdict: An already striking watch made that much more spectacular.
Grönefeld 1969 DeltaWorks
Grönefeld has taken the ultra-lux sporty path with its latest piece. Named the 1969 DeltaWorks, this heralds in a new adventure for the Grönefeld brothers by way of something a bit more casual and sporty.
The 1969 DeltaWorks still carries with it the distinctive virtues that all Grönefeld timepieces carry with them. A contemporary case, a bold and beautiful dial and a movement that is just everything you'd ever want a movement to look like (which is still visible through that skeletonised rotor).
Brand: Grönefeld Model: 1969 DeltaWorks Case: 44.5mm Case Material: Stainless steel Water Resistance: 100m Calibre: G-06 Price: €49,800 Verdict: Grönefeld flexes its horological might with another superb model. Is 2022 the year of Grönefeld?
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph
Audemars Piguet very quietly unveiled its first 41mm automatic Royal Oak Chronograph in black ceramic with the new reference 26240CE.OO.1225CE.01. Encased entirely in black ceramic with a matching black ceramic bracelet, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph "50th Anniversary" is an epic sight of colours, textures and contrasts.
I love the dark look cut up by the subtle pink gold accents set against the black "Grande Tapisserie" dial. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph "50th Anniversary" definitely hits the spot of a modern, eclectic timepiece that marries the worlds of contemporary materials, traditional watchmaking and iconicity in one brilliant watch.
Brand: Audemars Piguet Model: Royal Oak Chronograph "50th Anniversary" Case: 41mm Case Material: Black ceramic Water Resistance: 50m Calibre: 4401 Price: 66,700CHF Verdict: Royal Oak and black ceramic. A match made in horological heaven.
Tudor Pelagos 39
Tudor came out with the release of the new Pelagos 39. As the name implies, it now features a smaller 39mm case made from titanium. This smaller size perhaps suits the everyday wearer better than the original larger model.
While not a dramatic improvement or change, I do think that a 39mm diver's watch is a touch more functional and suited to day-to-day wear than something hovering in the +40mm range.
Brand: Tudor Model: Pelagos 39 Case: 39mm Case Material: Titanium Water Resistance: 200m Calibre: MT5400 Price: $6,010AUD Verdict: A subtle yet welcomed change. 39 is the new 41.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Flying Tourbillon
Audemars Piguet also released another under-the-radar watch, this time in the form of the new Royal Oak Flying Tourbillon 26730TI.OO.1320TI.04. This special edition piece is available (or was...) in a limited run of only 50 models.
It features a lightweight titanium case with a smoked blue-green "Grande Tapisserie" dial, white gold applied hour markers, two baguette-cut diamond hour markers at 12 o'clock as well as that delicious flying tourbillon at the bottom of the dial.
Brand: Audemars Piguet
Model: Royal Oak Flying Tourbillon
Case Material: Titanium
Water Resistance: 50m
Verdict: A titanium encased flying tourbillon Royal Oak. 'Nuff said.