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Timepiece season gets underway with a host of scintillating novelties, from avant-garde designs and astronomical references to showstoppers and movements anew.
1. RM 53-01
The RM 53-01 Tourbillon Pablo Mac Donough – limited to only 30 pieces – was made for the wrist of one of competitive polo’s premier exponents, who bears the same name.
To give this timepiece its resistance to the game’s many shocks and violent impacts, a two-year research and development effort by Richard Mille pioneered an industry-first laminated sapphire crystal treatment on the carbon TPT case.
The result is a virtually indestructible, armoured crystal shield which – in the case of a severe hit – will crack but not shatter, thus protecting the movement.
Inside its damascene patterned-carbon case, the clever use of braided suspension cables, 10 pulleys and two grade-5 titanium baseplates combine to negate shocks of up to 5,000 Gs for the manual winding movement.
2. Triple Split
A Lange & Sohne
Saxony’s finest watchmaker outdoes itself this year with the world’s first mechanical split seconds chronograph, enabling comparative time measurements.
The succinctly named Triple Split has additional rattrapante hands on the minute and hour totalisers, making it possible to measure the hours, minutes and seconds of not just one, but two separate reference times. An example would be in measuring the time it takes for both the winner and second-placed finisher in a triathlon, Formula One race or a leg in the Tour de France.
Limited to 100 pieces, each Triple Split is double assembled inside a 43.2mm white gold case, and priced at €139,000 (S$226,000) per piece.
3. Revelation D’une Panthere
Audacity, creativity and a fair share of savoir faire combine in Cartier’s Revelation d’une Panthere.
The magic happens within a 37mm Ronde Louis Cartier watch in which a shower of yellow gold beads cascades down the dial to outline the visage of Cartier’s spirit animal. Multiple patents are in operation on this novel technique of dial animation.
A choice of colours – green, red and black – are available for dial and strap combinations with the 18k pink gold case, while diamonds of over two carats add a glorious lustre to the bezel and buckle.
4. IWC Tribute to Pallweber
In celebration of its 150th jubilee, IWC Schaffhausen went back to its history books and unearthed the Pallweber digital time display used in its pocket watches, circa 1884.
A revolution at the time, these digital displays employed the use of discs mechanically connected to a star wheel which would, in turn, be adjusted via the crown. The man behind this system was an Austrian watchmaker called Josef Pallweber, who had patented the invention and later licensed it to IWC, as well as several other Swiss watchmakers.
For this year’s IWC Tribute to Pallweber, the watchmaker has proposed a series of 45mm references in limited editions of stainless steel (500 pieces), 18k red gold (250 pieces) and platinum (25 pieces).
5. Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph
As a tribute to the Royal Oak Offshore’s silver anniversary this year, Audemars Piguet envisions the future of this collection with a no-holds barred approach. The outcome is the Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph with its 45mm case – a first for this case size in the Offshore collection.
Beneath the sapphire glass, an architectural re-imagination of timepiece mechanics is manifested through sandblasted titanium bridges, satin-brushed chamfered edges and a movement seemingly suspended from the bezel. The purposeful use of space also optimises the amount of light passing through the openworked movement.
This model is available in a choice of stainless steel or 18k pink gold – each limited to 50 pieces.