Best Watches Of SIHH 2017: Day 1
New watches from Cartier, Roger Dubuis, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Van Cleef & Arpels.
Cartier — Ronde Louis Cartier XL ’Flamed Gold Watch’
The Ronde Louis Cartier XL ’Flamed Gold Watch’ is another fine example of its prowess in artisanal watchmaking featuring a dial that combines the techniques of fine engraving and gold flaming that is simply stunning to look at.
The panther’s textured and multi-coloured profile on the 18k gold dial can be viewed from different angles – the result of repeatedly engraving the pattern and firing the dial at high temperatures (up to 700˚C at the highest point) to achieve a spectacular palette of colours and sheen. As far as decorative dials go, this beauty sets the bar high for 2017.
Roger Dubuis — Excalibur Spider Carbon
There are many carbon-clad watches in the market, but this one takes the cake by having a carbon case, skeletonised movement and tourbillon cage. All of which is not just for show. Thanks to the material, the entire watch is ultra-light, weighing in at just 40 grams, and is super energy efficient to boot with power reserve up by 30 per cent to clock in at 70 hours on a full wind.
Perhaps most astounding of all, despite the arduous construction, the Excalibur Spider Carbon is, like every Roger Dubuis watch, Geneva Seal-certified. Limited to 28 pieces.
Jaeger-LeCoultre — Reverso Classic Medium Duoface Small Second
The front dial flaunts a silvered guilloche and brushed finish, while on the reverse with the second time zone, one can choose from a Clous de Paris guilloche pattern (pictured); carbon fibre pattern; shades of red or blue; or stone dial options like grey meteorite, green marble and tiger’s eye.
What’s more, the strap can also be easily changed to match the dial, with options that span a variety of colours and leathers including calfskin, alligator and ostrich.
Van Cleef & Arpels — Lady Arpels Papillon Automate
Hard as it is to believe, the gorgeous display of diamonds, mother-of-pearl sculpting, champlevé enamelling and pilque-à-jour enamelling (what you see on the stained glass-like effect on the sculpted gold foliage) merely provide the backdrop to the main complication — a butterfly at ‘9’, which flaps its wings randomly when one winds the watch or puts it on.
Even more captivating is the fact that the butterfly’s movement can interact with its owner: it flaps its wings more often and rigourously on a full wind, and when the owner’s wrist movements are more animated.
And although it seems like magic, the complication is all mechanical science and engineering, driven by a 471-part movement that comprises, among various mechanisms, a host of differentials, tiny spheres and a speed regulator to bring the butterfly to life.
For updates from day two of SIHH 2017, click here.
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