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Author: Alex Salvacion

luxury watch breitling baselworld 2019
 

Breitling wowed Baselworld attendees and fans all over the world with the grand volume of their releases at this year’s watch fair, featuring timepieces that could go with anyone, whether they like flying planes, driving motorbikes, or diving in the ocean. This made it extremely difficult for us to choose which of their new timepieces to feature in this article, but it had to be done. So without further ado, here are the models from Breitling that completely blew us all away.

 

Breitling Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43 Airline Edition Pan Am Edition Ref. AB01212B1C1A1 luxury watch breitling baselworld 2019

Breitling Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43 Airline Edition Pan Am Edition Ref. AB01212B1C1A1

Regarded as one of the great behemoths of the commercial aviation industry back in the 20th century, Pan Am (Pan American World Airways) is a big part of history. This timepiece’s colorway was inspired by that very airline, with its eye-catching shade of blue matching their iconic logo. You can easily see the logo for yourself and compare the colors when you flip the watch over. Its design, with its wide rectangular hands and prominent hour markers, is made to emanate that 70s feel, which is when Pan Am was at its height of success. And while we think this model looks best with a stainless steel mesh bracelet, it can also go with an eccentric Air Racer bracelet or a more casual brown, leather strap.

This model is joined by the other similar watches—also inspired by the other aviation giants back then, namely, Trans World Airlines and Swissair—in the Airline capsule collection. All these models, tied to rich aviation history, will only be produced in a limited amount of time.

 

Breitling Superocean Automatic 46 Blacksteel Ref. M17368D71C1S1 luxury watch

Breitling Superocean Automatic 46 Blacksteel Ref. M17368D71C1S1

If you’re a big fan of Breitling’s dive watch collections, especially the Superocean collection, then this year is your year. The brand came out with a wide array of Superocean models in different colors and sizes. Ranging from 36mm to 48mm, Breitling’s direction towards having a watch for everybody is loud and clear (especially with the time-only Navitimer models at 42mm). This year’s update to the Superocean design gave us a way cleaner dial, perfect for divers who need readability and clarity in the depths of the ocean.

This model in particular uses a durable, 46mm black steel (diamond-like carbon coated stainless steel) case, allowing for a water resistance of up to an impressive 2000 meters. Honestly this is way higher—or lower, in this case—than what the human body can resist, but who’s counting?

Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition Ref. AB0910371B1X1 luxury watch breitling baselworld 2019

Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition Ref. AB0910371B1X1

Vintage Breitling fans, rejoice! Amidst all their updated models is the re-edition of their iconic Navitimer from 60 years ago, painstakingly replicating every single detail, from the logo to the number of the beads on the bezel. Save for the increased water resistance (30 meters) and the Super-LumiNova coating (which was still carefully manufactured to match the patina-like hue of the older model), everything else is exactly the same. There’s also the COSC-certified, manually-wound, in-house Caliber B09, fashioned after the Caliber 01. But this one is especially made for remakes such as this, which we most definitely welcome. And before we forget to mention: its stocks are unsurprisingly limited to 1,959 units.

Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Norton Ref. AB0118A21B1X1

Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Norton Ref. AB0118A21B1X1

Think the luxury watch industry has focused too much on racing car collaborations, leaving motorcycle enthusiasts out to dry? Well, has Breitling got news for you. From the watch house’s partnership with the British motorcycle producer Norton, this COSC-certified chronograph was born. The motorcycle company’s logo is engraved nicely on the left side of the case, and is also inscribed on the transparent caseback. This watch is also available with a stainless steel bracelet, but we quite like how the subtle gold coloring of the arabic numerals match up with the brown leather.

We can easily imagine driving down the highway on one of Norton’s distinctive motorbikes, with this watch on our wrist and the wind in our hair. And yes, we’re wearing a black leather jacket in this daydream.

Hublot showed up at this year’s Baselworld all revved up and ready to go, celebrating the 90th anniversary of their long-time partner, Scuderia Ferrari with six new Ferrari-themed watches. We’d be here all day if we talked about all of them plus Hublot’s other releases, so we had to limit ourselves with selecting our top picks.

Strap in and read on; we promise the non-Ferrari watches are just as cool.

hublot classic fusion ferrari gt carbon hublot baselworld 2019

Hublot Classic Fusion Ferrari GT

Hublot’s partnership with Ferrari has always been something watch enthusiasts all around the world keep an eye on, since they always come up with novelties that are out of Hublot’s usual territory. The Ferrari GT is not one to disappoint. “GT” stands for “Gran Turismo,” so it’s no surprise that the watch incorporates racing car elements. For example, this particular model uses 3D Carbon–a material popular in the racing world, but very new to the watchmaking industry–that makes for a light but durable case. This houses Hublot’s very own UNICO movement that you can see through both the dial and the caseback.

 

hublot big bang unico sang bleu ii hublot baselworld 2019

Hublot Big Bang Unico Sang Bleu II

It’s no secret: Hublot’s collaboration with design studio and brand consultancy Sang Bleu, headed by Maxime Plescia-Büchi, has turned out to be a very fruitful one. The original Sang Bleu watch has had many different takes on it since its introduction back in 2016, signifying its popularity. That’s why this second edition comes as no surprise, though pleasant nonetheless. And–dare we say it–this edition comes off as bolder and all the more daring. It’s not only the added chronograph, or the more dimensional case, but also the new design for the hands, which arguably makes it easier to read the time. This model, which is in Hublot’s very own 18K King Gold, is also available in Titanium.

 

hublot classic fusion orlinski titanium alternate pave baselworld 2019

Hublot Classic Fusion Orlinski Titanium Alternate Pave

Another one of Hublot’s successful collaborations is with French artist Richard Orlinski, known for his sculptures that look very much like this watch’s dial. Their last collaboration, the Classic Aerofusion Chronograph Orlinski, only applied this unique pattern to the case. This time, it’s also in the dial. However, reverse mirroring what they did with Sang Bleu, this one doesn’t have a chronograph. Which is just as well–for how else would we be able to admire that gorgeous, multi-faceted dial? This particular model, with the alternate pave on the case, caught our eye right away. Of course, there’s also a model without diamonds, and one with all the diamonds. But the way the precious stone glitters and glints along with the dial as you move it around, quite frankly, captured our hearts.

 

hublot spirit of big bang tourbillon carbon blue baselworld 2019

Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Tourbillon Carbon Blue

Easily distinguishable with its tonneau case, Hublot brings new additions to their Spirit of Big Bang collection, and this time, they’ve got a tourbillon. Encased in carbon-fibre with blue composites, the off-center dial is at 3 o’clock, the tourbillon at 6 o’clock, and the power reserve indicator at 8 o’clock. And for the first time ever in this collection, the convenient “One-Click” fastening system is finally implemented. Now you can easily change the strap for the black one that came with the other model if you feel like going incognito.

International Women’s Month might have already ended, but that doesn’t mean we stop thinking about women’s luxury watches. Here’s a list of watches we think women absolutely need in their collection to elevate their style, because jewelry needn’t be their only accessories.

A. Lange & Söhne Little Lange 1 Moon Phase Ref. 182.030 luxury watches

The Work Watch
A. Lange & Söhne Little Lange 1 Moon Phase Ref. 182.030

When you’re working those long hours, six days a week, it can be a little too easy to forget what day of the month it is. A. Lange & Söhne has their patented outsize date on almost all of their timepieces, making it easy to keep track of your meetings and deadlines with a glance.

Longines Hydroconquest Ref. L3.781.4.96.6 luxury watches

The Beach Watch
Longines Hydroconquest Ref. L3.781.4.96.6

Everyone needs their dose of Vitamin Sea once in a while. What better to go with your beach outfit than a practical but beautiful dive watch? We adore Longines’ Hydroconquest line, which was elegantly designed to withstand the salty waves in style.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Self-winding Chronograph Ref. 26231ST.ZZ.D010CA.01 luxury watches

The Sporty Watch
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Self-winding Chronograph Ref. 26231ST.ZZ.D010CA.01

Whether your daily exercise is jogging on the treadmill or stretching on your yoga mat, it’s important that you have a watch that can keep up with you. This Royal Oak Offshore model, with its trusty chronograph and comfortable rubber strap, can do just that.

Vacheron Constantin Harmony Dual Time Ref. 7800S/000R-B140 luxury watches

The Travel Watch
Vacheron Constantin Harmony Dual Time Ref. 7800S/000R-B140

Sometimes we just want to pack up our bags and travel to our dream destination. But when wanderlust strikes, you still have to keep track of things in your home or workplace. Dual time watches, such as the Harmony Dual Time, can make it happen, even when you’re the other side of the world.

Omega De Ville Ladymatic Ref. 425.30.34.20.05.001 luxury watches

The Everyday Watch
Omega De Ville Ladymatic Ref. 425.30.34.20.05.001

When you’re too busy to even think about which watch to match with your daily getup, you’ll need a reliable timepiece that can go with almost anything. We think stainless steel and a monochromatic dial is the way to go for this kind of dilemma, and this watch can fill in that role, no problem.

IWC Schaffhausen Portofino Automatic 37 Ref. IW458101 luxury watches

The Weekend Watch
IWC Schaffhausen Portofino Automatic 37 Ref. IW458101

Going to a family reunion, or a Sunday morning brunch with your friends? You’ll need something that will match your casual tan leather bag. This Portofino has a light brown alligator strap, its tone matching the details on the face of the watch, tying your relaxed and informal outfit together nicely.

Rolex Lady-Datejust Ref. 279174

A Rolex
Rolex Lady-Datejust Ref. 279174

Like we said in our original article for men, every collection demands a Rolex, even those of women’s. With its iconic design and sheer popularity, you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t know the brand. Their Lady-Datejust collection was made exclusively for women—here’s the piece from that collection that we love the most.

Breguet Reine de Naples Ref. 8939BB/6D/J49/DD6D women's luxury watches

The Dress Watch
Breguet Reine de Naples Ref. 8939BB/6D/J49/DD6D

For those parties where everyone is somebody, you’ll want something that will go with your designer gown and pearl jewelry. We’re sure this timepiece from Breguet will turn heads on the red carpet. Get ready for the crowd to snap portraits of you with your wrist!

Hublot Gold White Pavé Ref. 361.PE.2010.RW.1704 women's luxury watches

The Gemset Watch
Hublot Gold White Pavé Ref. 361.PE.2010.RW.1704

Because diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Need we say more? Hublot has a long list of diamond-studded watches, which includes this stunning piece. It has a whopping 1517 diamonds set in the brand’s very own 18K King Gold.

 

Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 7118/1200A women's luxury watches

The Heirloom Watch
Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 7118/1200A

If your daughter doesn’t want your wedding gown or the family ring, you’ll have to pass something else down that will be just as valuable. For that purpose, there’s nothing better than the classic and timeless Nautilus. Made to last lifetimes, you might very well see this watch on your granddaughter’s wrist.

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona luxury watch

After last year’s Baselworld, Rolex has big shoes to fill. Their GMT-Master II “Pepsi” had accumulated waiting lists that can rival the Great Wall of China, so all eyes were on them this year. But there was no need to worry; Rolex provided. All their releases this year come equipped with the “Oyster Perpetual” prefix. This means that they utilized their durable and corrosion-resistant Oystersteel material, as well as powered the watches with their energy-efficient, shock-resistant, self-winding Perpetual calibres.

We think they’ve come up with spectacular timepieces this year, but of course, some stand out more from the rest.

Rolex Baselworld 2019 Cosmograph Daytona luxury watch

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona

The racecars will have to compete for the crowd’s attention when Rolex’s most recent Cosmograph Daytona is on the tracks. Equipped with the Oysterflex bracelet, which has the robustness of a steel bracelet but the flexibility of an elastomer strap, the cushions underneath make sure you can comfortably wear the watch on hot racetracks. The part-Oystersteel, part-yellow gold case’s hue matches wonderfully with the champagne sub-dials. Coiled around the chronograph counters is the eye-catching pattern made of 243 diamonds against black lacquer. Because of this, it might be hard to notice the diamond indices and the gold arabic numerals. The dazzling bezel, set with 36 trapeze-cut diamonds, doesn’t help with their visibility either. But who’s complaining? Not us, that’s for sure.

Rolex Baselworld 2019 Yacht-Master 42 Ref. 226659 luxury watch

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42 Ref. 226659

Although having a Rolex on your wrist will always be a strong statement, this Yachtmaster offers a subtle, monochrome look for when you’re out and about on the high seas. Its matte black bezel allows its polished details to be easily read, making for effortless, on-the-fly calculations. Fitted with the same Oysterflex strap as the Daytona and water-resistant for up to 100 meters, this watch will withstand the salty and turbulent waves. This newest addition to Rolex’s Yacht-Master line will be perfect for those with bigger wrists, as it is the first 42mm model among 36s and 40s.

Rolex GMT-Master II “Batman” luxury watch

Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II “Batman”

Echoing what they did for the “Pepsi” last year, Rolex came out with an update for the “Batman.” For those who thought the red and blue Cerachrom bezel stood out too much, here’s your chance for a subdued watch that will go nicely with a suit. The brand new “Batman” is fitted with the Jubilee bracelet and the Perpetual calibre 3285 that utilizes the Chronergy escapement, helping the watch run an impressive +2/-2 seconds per day. This same escapement can also be found in the Yachtmaster 42 above and the new Day-Date 36 models. You can expect the “Batman” to have waiting lists just as long as its predecessor, full of travellers who like to roam the world in style.

Rolex Baselworld 2019 Day-Date 36 Ref. 128238 luxury watch

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 36 Ref. 128238

Just when we thought the Day-Date could never be more opulent as it already is, Rolex proves us wrong. The watch house released a lot of different models this year for the Day-Date 36—from turquoise dials to diamonds and rainbows all in one—but we think this one takes the cake. With its forest green ombré dial and diamond-set-in-gold indices matched with yellow gold, the Day-Date has never exuded tasteful luxury as much as with this model.

Rolex Baselworld 2019 Datejust 31 Ref. 287278 luxury watch

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 31 Ref. 287278

With all these 36mm and above diameters, those with smaller wrists are bound to feel left behind. But there’s also something in store for them; Rolex introduced new, elegant variants of the Datejust 31 just for you. We love this olive green dial together with the yellow gold roman numerals (the diamond-studded VI is gorgeous) and the two-tone Jubilee bracelet, but there’s a version with the light hue of rosé that looks just as lovely.

Timezone watches. Despite being at the top of every list detailing the watches every aficionado wants to get their hands on, travel and world timers are some of those complications that notoriously confuse watch beginners.

And that’s perfectly okay, because time zones are, in themselves, inherently confusing. UTC? GMT? Daylight savings? Yeah. We thought so.

You’ve probably heard of these sought-after timepieces called by different names: time zone watches, GMT watches, world timers, travel timers…. These various terms can be a lot to wrap your head around. After all, they are some of the more elaborate complications in the luxury watch industry. And there are so many of them.

So, simply, what are they, and why should they be a part of your collection?

Fundamentally, their functions are all similar; that is, to tell what time it is in multiple geographic locations. How they do it, however, is quite different from each other.

Travel Timers

Travel timers, also known as GMT watches, are timepieces that let their wearer tell the time in one other location through the use of a rotating bezel and a third hand, commonly called the “GMT hand.”

“GMT” stands for Greenwich Mean Time, which is the time established at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London—making it a time zone. Alternatively, Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), is a time standard, although most English-speaking countries use the two interchangeably. Ironically, the latter is more commonly used in aviation, which is the industry wherein the GMT watch became popular.

Whichever time the GMT hand points to will serve as the hour hand for the second time zone. For example, on this Rolex GMT-Master II, one can easily see how the times for both locations are set at 10:10. The travel timer is especially useful for those who travel frequently, and move from one time zone to another.

  • Rolex
  • Tudor
  • Baume et Mercier
  • Rolex GMT-Master II “Batman” Ref. 126710BLNR

    This black-and-blue GMT watch, dubbed as “Batman,” is perfect for those who think the “Pepsi” was a little bit too colorful.

  • Tudor Black Bay GMT Ref. M79830RB-0002

    Ever imagined the “Pepsi” with a leather strap? Tudor brings your imagination to reality with their rugged “Tiera de Siena” brown leather strap.

  • Baume et Mercier Clifton Ref. 10316

    Rather than a rotatable bezel, or even just a separate hour ring on the dial, this watch prefers to display the other timezone in a sub-dial.

World Timers

On the other hand, world timers—also aptly known as time zone watches—tell time across more than two time zones. Twenty-four, to be exact.

So how do world timers work? Most feature an adjustable ring or two with multiple locations, usually major cities within a time zone. There is also a rotating ring displaying the hours. To set the time, the wearer simply aligns their home time with the correct hour on the time zone bezel. To tell time in different locations, most world timers feature a pusher that adjusts the rings accordingly, but even without these adjustments, the wearer can check the current time in the 23 other time zones at a glance, making them an invaluable tool for those who have loved ones or business partners across the globe.

  • A. Lange & Sohne
  • Chopard L.U.C
  • Girard-Perregaux
  • Lange 1 Time Zone Ref. 116.039

    Inside the white gold case and under the silver dial sits the L031.1 movement, the same movement as with the other two models in platinum and pink gold.

  • Chopard L.U.C Time Traveller One Ref. 168574-3001

    Encased in stainless steel is the in-house L.U.C 01.05-L movement, and can be admired through the transparent sapphire caseback.

  • Girard-Perregaux 1966 WW.TC Ref. 49557-11-132-BB6C

    This 40mm world timer is powered by their self-winding mechanical GP03300-0027 movement.

In an industry whose power houses are defined by centuries of tradition, it’s rare to see a watch house break out of the box… and succeed. For more than three decades, Hublot, with its unorthodox but breathtaking designs, has proven it is a worthy contender in watchmaking.

 

hublot luxury watch
The “Red Dot” Bang in Hublonium, a material by Hublot containing magnesium and aluminium.

 

What’s In A Name?

Hublot has always touted around the phrase “The Art of Fusion,” but what exactly does that mean? To understand these words is to understand what Hublot, as a brand, stands for: Literally combining—fusing—traditional materials and techniques with the latest that modern technology has to offer. This philosophy has led them to avant garde designs and unique watches, including the incredibly light “Mag Bang” watch, which features their signature rubber strap alongside their very own manufactured material: Hublonium.

 

 

hublot luxury watch
The Classic Fusion Tourbillon King Gold, one of their most recent models incorporating gold and rubber, made in collaboration with artist Richard Orlinski.

 

In the Beginning

The brand’s story began in 1980 with Carlo Crocco designing a watch that can be worn during water activities named “Hublot.” French for “porthole,” the aesthetic of the very first Hublot watch mimics the small, round windows in ships. While this look was not new, it sported an innovative rubber strap combined with gold that made Hublot’s take a novel one. With the rubber strap being both waterproof and comfortable, it gave its wearers the chance to take their watches to the beach, and secured Hublot’s place as an innovator of note.

But in the watch industry, a watch house has to keep innovating in order to be kept in the loop. The rubber strap was easily recreated by other watch companies and Hublot had to come up with something new once more.

 

 

hublot luxury watch
Chairman Jean-Claude Biver (left) & CEO Ricardo Guadalupe (right) 

 

A New Age

With Jean-Claude Biver’s naming as the CEO of Hublot in 2004—working with the current CEO, Ricardo Guadalupe—the company was pushed to branch out from their rubber and gold combination and hone in on other materials. They also made it their ambitious goal to shift the brand from producing almost 90% quartz watches to 90% mechanical watches. The very next year, Hublot came out with the first Big Bang chronograph watch, which was awarded “Best Design of the Year” at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie event in Geneva. That was the inception of this iconic collection, with innovative takes on the original coming out year after year, one of them being another award-winning watch: the diamond-studded One Million $ Big Bang watch.

The comfort and presence it provided on the wrist made it popular among athletes. Hublot partnered with different teams across various sports, from football to basketball to skiing, with notable collaborations being those with the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat. Hublot also established a partnership with Ferrari, as well as became Official Watchmaker of Formula 1, and Official Time Keeper of two different FIFA World Cups.

 

hublot luxury watch

Constant Innovation

Despite this success, Hublot did not rest on its laurels. The brand branched out with the “Tribute to Antikythera” watch, limited to 4 pieces, and, interestingly enough, not available for sale. It is a replication, in terms of function, of the ancient but complicated horological device found in the wreck near Antikythera Island. Later, they released the more consumer-friendly, seven-complication “Antikythera SunMoon” watch, in a limited run of 20 pieces. Hublot has made many other remarkable watches they put in their haute horlogerie MP Collection such as the “Key of Time” watch and the “LaFerrari” watch.

They also began collaborating with artists from different backgrounds, from tattoo artists and actors to scuptors and musicians, introducing to the world watches that were both fresh and unique. A few of their notable collaborations were with the estate of Bruce Lee; athletes Usain Bolt, Eli Manning, and Floyd Mayweather; musician Nicky Jam; and artistic collective Sang Bleu. Hublot has not been shy about coming out with flashy luxury watches that embody contemporary glitz and glamour.

The brand has also worked with several associations in order to give back to its community, some of which are the Monegasque Association against Muscular Dystrophy; the MDM Foundation, which provides care for orphans in India; and Best Buddies, which creates opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities internationally.

 

hublot luxury watch

Marking A Milestone

It has been a little over 10 years since Hublot first came to Philippines shores, only a few years after Jean-Claude Biver and Ricardo Guadalupe first made the watch house a name renowned across watch aficionados and collectors worldwide, and there is much for fans of the brand to be excited about.

This year promises many exciting releases from the manufacture: One of their newest timepieces is the Big Bang Paraíba, whose namesake is the Brazilian state where the extremely rare, eponymous Paraíba tourmaline was discovered 30 years ago, whose dazzling hue is credited to the unique combination of copper and manganese found in the previous stone. Paired with a signature rubber or a matching leather strap, it stays true to the brand’s ideals of melding top-notch watchmaking skill with courageous aesthetics.

And with new model releases and innovations being released or in the pipeline, all adherent to the brand’s spirit of innovation and its drive to perfect the art of fusion, we see no end in sight for Hublot’s unique take on horology.

Art as Watches, Watches as Art

February is positively crowded with events. It’s not just the month where people around the world ring in the Lunar New Year or celebrate Valentine’s Day with a romantic dinner with their loved one, but in the Philippines, it is also a month that celebrates art in all its forms.

In honor of National Arts Month, we rounded up a few watches that may well fall into the category. Whether they’re collaborations with renowned artists or borne in-house from the minds and skills of each manufacture’s talented watchmakers, the pieces on this list are undeniable works of wearable art.

Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu Blue Ceramic luxury watch

Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu

In collaboration with Maxime Büchi, founder and creative director of the design studio Sang Bleu, Hublot released the limited edition Big Bang Sang Bleu. Two of Maxime Büchi’s passions are tattoos and watches. These coalesced into this eye-catching design that puts the artistic virtue of symmetry front and center.

Figuring out how to tell time with this watch can prove hard at first; after all, the hands have been replaced by polished octagons. But one can clearly see that within the octagons, there are filled-in triangles with luminescent material. The outermost ring of octagons point to the hours and the middle ring points to the minutes. The  innermost ring mysteriously depicts the ticking of seconds, as it’s not clearly shown in the watch what exact second it is. The geometric lines appear once again, engraved, on the blue ceramic lugs, and continue perfectly onto the rubber and leather strap.

Hublot Classic Fusion Aerofusion Chronograph Orlinski luxury watch

Hublot Classic Fusion Aerofusion Chronograph Orlinski

Like the previous piece, this Hublot was also created in collaboration with an artist, in this case, with contemporary French artist, Richard Orlinski, renowned for his brightly-colored, multi-faceted sculptures such as the Wild Kong. The artist designed these watches to appear like his own works of art, and this partnership did not disappoint.

This specific watch in his collection comes in a striking shade of red, enhanced by the polished ceramic material the case is made out of. The hands and the details are just as bold as the case, standing out against the gray, self-winding skeleton movement. Matched with a smooth rubber strap, this chronograph is a testament to art married with technical achievement. Feel red is too strong a statement? It also comes in subtler shades: black, green, blue, and titanium.

JLC Reverso Tribute Enamel – Alfons Mucha, Spring

Icons of the Art Noveau period, Alfons Mucha’s works of art serve as inspiration even a century after their creation—inspiring even Jaeger-LeCoultre. Part of a collection inspired by Mucha’s The Seasons series, this particular model depicts Spring.

This timepiece is named and fashioned after the aforementioned painting, which features a woman in a flowing, white dress standing under a tree, surrounded by flowers. A beautiful rendering is placed on the caseback of the Reverso, created through incredibly complicated Grand Feu enameling process that took 70 hours of work. Around the miniature is a hand-engraved frame, done after the enameling. On its light gold, hand-guilloché dial, the color of the front of the watch is enhanced with the same Grand Feu enameling.

JLC Reverso Tribute Enamel - Katsushika Hokusai, The Great Wave off Kanagawa luxury watch JLC Reverso Tribute Enamel - Katsushika Hokusai, The Great Wave off Kanagawa luxury watch

JLC Reverso Tribute Enamel – Katsushika Hokusai, The Great Wave off Kanagawa

Another iconic painting is The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Katsushika Hokusai. This woodblock print is so prominent in our culture that it even inspired its very own emoji. Jaeger-LeCoultre released a Reverso with this painting on its caseback in a series that includes Georges Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte and Xu Beihong’s stunning horses.

The master enameller and the artisans at Jaeger-LeCoultre captured every single detail of the painting—every bit of foam and the delicate lines of the waves are pictured in perfect motion—and put it into the miniscule space provided by the Reverso. The front doesn’t want for elaborate details either: The dial carries a guillochéd wave pattern covered with an ocean blue, translucent enamel, hue matching with the underside of the wave on the reverse.

Chopard LUC XP Urushi Ref. 161902-5045 luxury watch

Chopard LUC XP Urushi Ref. 161902-5045

If you’re familiar with East Asian culture, you might have heard of the qilin (Chinese) or kirin (Japanese), a benevolent, mythical creature that is a symbol of good omens. Though they are commonly depicted with one horn, much like the western unicorn, they are also sometimes depicted with two horns. While in Chinese culture they look more like stalwart horses with the scales of dragons, in Japanese culture they take a more deer-like appearance.

On this dial is Japanese artist and national living treasure Kiichiro Masamura’s interpretation of the kirin. Graceful as they prance among the clouds, under the watchful gaze of the moon, this scene of two kirin was made with the Japanese lacquering techniques using urushi, the sap of the eponymous urushi tree. These techniques utilize layers upon layers of lacquer, some iridescent mother-of-pearl, and a little bit of gold powder to create a lush, luxurious finish unlike any other.

Vacheron Constantin Métier d’Art collection – Copernicus Hand-Engraving 2640 RT Ref. 7600U/000G-B211

Have an affinity for all things celestial? This timepiece from Vacheron Constantin features all 12 of the beautifully hand-engraved zodiac signs on its dial around the Earth, which in turn revolves around the sun. That’s right: this watch not only tells time with the small, golden hours and minutes hands, but it also depicts the Earth’s rotation on its own axis, taking a day, and its revolution around the golden sun, taking a year.

It’s aptly named as well. Nicolaus Copernicus is the person who made the theory of heliocentrism famous and eventually widely accepted, with his book “On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres”. There are two other models under this the Copernicus celestial spheres collection with accomplished with different techniques: One made with Grand Feu enamel and the other with laser-engraved sapphire disks, with all of them framed by a white-gold case.

Patek Philippe 5177G-012 “Chart of the Carribbean”

Cartography, we believe, is an art form, and this piece takes it to a whole new level. On what would be a traditional Calatrava wristwatch appears a map that looks like it was transported from the old Age of Discovery. With the sea creature at 10 o’clock, a piece of land from 11 to 2 o’clock, and the caravel at the forefront, it’s a taste of adventure on the high seas, all outlined with gold wire. The Patek Philippe name and “Genève” are also set on the map in gold, harking to centuries-old cartographic aesthetics.

The fading colors only help enhance the feel of a bygone era. These hues could only be achieved with the method of Grand Feu enameling, utilizing opaque and semi-opaque enamels tinted in 25 different colors across the dial. The white-gold bezel doesn’t let itself be outshined either, guillochéd by hand in a hobnail pattern.

Breguet Reine de Naples Ref. 8958BB/51/974/D00D

Are you familiar with cameos? No, not the ones Stan Lee used to make in Marvel movies; the jewelry pieces made from carving into gems, stones, or shells is what we’re talking about. Where cameos have traditionally been worn on the neck with a choker, Breguet puts cameos on your wrist with this watch.

Cameos are more popularly known as carved, raised relief profiles. This cameo in particular features sunflowers hand-engraved onto a single seashell. With the many layers accessed through carefully scraping off little bits and pieces, various tones can be achieved depending on the material used. This beautiful cameo is surrounded by a diamond-encrusted bezel, encased in 18-carat white gold and accompanied with a white alligator strap.

Audemars Piguet Millenary Hand-wound Ref. 77247OR.ZZ.A812CR.01

‘Tis the season for love and romance, meaning there are balloons, flowers, chocolates—or all of the above—displayed and sold left and right. Another inescapable symbol of the season? Hearts, brandished on everything from storefronts and advertisements to the proverbial sleeve.

Inspired by this iconic image, we decided to round up some of our favorite pieces that put a timepiece’s movement—its heart, so to speak—front and center: open heart watches. Allowing us to appreciate the beating mechanisms of the watch’s movements, which operate much like an actual heart, these pieces are technical showpieces we could stare at all day.

Below are some of our open-heart picks, and a few bonus surprises perfect for your inner romantic.

Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Open Ref. 03.2040.4061/69.C496

Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Open Ref. 03.2040.4061/69.C496

Dressed in the colors of the historical El Primero, this timepiece has a lot to offer, both inside and out. Its COSC-certified El Primero 4061 movement can be appreciated from the front or through the transparent caseback; through the opening on the dial, one can clearly see the iridescent purple lever and the shiny blue escape-wheel that has the Zenith star on it. Both made out of silicone, this material allows for more time between trips back to the service center—up to 5 years!—as it doesn’t need to be oiled.

Equipped with a chronograph and a tachymetric scale, the beauty and usefulness of this watch would stop at its dial. At 36,000 VpH (5 Hz), this movement beats more than one in your average watch, while maintaining an impressive power reserve of 50 hours. And did we mention its water resistance holds up to 100 meters, and is luminous in low light?

Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre Chronographe (pink gold) Ref. 6012421

Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre Chronographe (pink gold) Ref. 6012421

Is it just us, or does the face of the watch look like an actual, smiling face? Whatever this Rorschach test of a watch looks to you, it still remains that it’s an interesting timepiece. The two main dials each sport a separate tone for their details, which cleverly persists through the rest of the watch: rose gold for civil time, and dark blue for the hours and minutes chronograph. Beneath them is the jumping seconds subdial, with the blue hand measuring the 1/6th of a second.

Aside from the dials, the face of the watch is certainly unique, with the exposed nickel silver-bridges and -mainplate. Above them are the power reserve indicators, whose hands are, of course, in tones matching the function they serve. There are also the second hands in the center, both of which can function concurrently (rare in chronograph watches!), and are also colored accordingly.

Audemars Piguet Millenary Hand-wound Ref. 77247OR.ZZ.A812CR.01

Audemars Piguet Millenary Hand-wound Ref. 77247OR.ZZ.A812CR.01

“Shining, shimmering, splendid,” is the phrase we’d use to describe this watch. While the Millenary is no Diamond Outrage or Sapphire Orbe, it gleams and glimmers all the same—a piece for the more subtle lady, so to speak. From the powder-pink gold printed Roman numerals, the pink gold hands, the 116 brilliant-cut diamonds on the bezel and lugs, right to the glittering brown alligator strap, it’s certainly an eye-catching timepiece.

But even without all the flash, there’s still a lot to look at. The off-centered, mother-of-pearl dial and seconds subdial allow us a look into the watch’s calibre 5201 movement. All of this is housed within an unconventional but not unwelcome elliptical case. Topping it all off is the crown, set with a pink cabochon sapphire.

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Tourbillon 43mm Ref. 99115-21-431-21A

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Tourbillon 43mm Ref. 99115-21-431-21A

At first glance, this watch looks much simpler than the previous pieces, but in reality, it is equipped with one of horology’s most sophisticated functions: the tourbillon. Visible through the opening at 6 o’ clock, the tourbillon comes with a bridge that is connected to arrow heads at both ends.

The manufacture has exercised restraint throughout the rest of the watch’s design, making the tourbillon the true star of this exceptional piece. The slate gray dial with the Clous de Paris hobnail pattern complements the white gold and titanium case. At 45mm, this piece makes for strong presence on the wrist without the need for loud colors or wild patterns.

Chopard Happy Hearts 36 Ref. 278582-3005

Chopard Happy Hearts 36 Ref. 278582-3005

Chopard certainly makes a clear statement with this Happy Hearts 36 watch. A melding of their Happy Sports watch collection and their Happy Hearts jewelry collection, this piece includes three diamonds as well as two big hearts that dance across the dial. One of the latter is diamond-studded—matching the Happy Sports theme—and the other made out of red stone—matching the Happy Hearts theme; both twinkle and twirl across the dial with the manufacture’s signature gems. The red stone heart ties in nicely with the glossy, red alligator strap, making it pop on the wrist.

Breguet Classique Phase de Lune Dame 9085

Breguet Classique Phase de Lune Dame 9085

Breguet is more subtle in the implementation of the heart shape in their watch—it masquerades as a pink, mother-of-pearl cloud in the watch’s moonphase function at 6 o’ clock—but we adore it all the same. This timepiece was limited to 14 pieces in celebration of last year’s Valentine’s day, but that’s not a reason to hold off on appreciating its beauty.

The rest of the dial is also made of iridescent mother-of-pearl: Its fluted rings match beautifully with the fluted caseband. The bezel and lugs aren’t only encrusted with sapphires and diamonds, but the gems also sport a subtle gradient from white to light pink, from top to bottom. The pink hue continues onto the satin-finished alligator strap.

 

 

The Lunar New Year marks the beginning of the Year of the Earth Pig. Looking for a dose of luck? Traditionally, its recommended that we wear colors associated with the elements of fire and metal to reap the benefits of earth.

For the unitiated, the rationale lies in how fire creates earth—in the way that fire creates ash—and earth bears metal.

Traditionally, the colors for fire are tones of red, orange, and pink, while for metal, it’s the more straightforward white and gold.

Even if you aren’t a believer in the idea of wearing “lucky” colors, it’s undeniable that certain colors have specific effects on us. What colors we choose to wear or surround ourselves with can affect our emotions and our behavior, which, in turn, can affect our daily lives.

So whether you’re feeling lucky, or don’t even believe in the concept of luck, here’s a list of beautiful watches in these recommended hues.

Red

Red has long been associated with Chinese culture and regarded as a symbol of happiness and prosperity. It’s the color of the iconic lanterns during Chinese New Year and other big celebrations, the color of ampao envelopes containing money given during holidays, as well as the color of the couple’s clothes on their wedding day. It’s also the color most closely associated with the fire element.

  • Breguet
  • Chopard
  • Hublot
  • Jaeger-LeCoultre
  • Rolex
  • Breguet Marie-Antoinette “Dentelle” Ref. GJE16BB20.8924R01

    Establish yourself as a red queen with this watch in the Marie Antoinette jewelry set. Its red strap accentuates the singular ruby set among its diamonds.

  • Chopard Imperiale 40mm Ref. 384240-5002

    Prefer the baguette cut for your jewels? This watch features it in spades with rubies on the bezel and diamonds on the dial.

  • Hublot Big Bang Unico Red Magic

    As a material, ceramic lends itself to even the most intense shade of red, making this new piece the perfect addition to the Big Bang—and your—collection.

  • Jaeger-LeCoultre Rendez-Vous Celestial Ref. 3482560

    We know it isn’t the same 12 zodiac signs, but it’s in red and has the constellations of the Northern hemisphere on it and we just couldn’t resist.

  • Rolex Day-Date 36 Ref. 118139

    If you’re looking for a subtler statement, then this model’s subdued cherry dial with a matching leather strap is the pick for you.

Pink

The color pink isn’t as significant in Chinese culture as red is, but as a shade of red, it is still associated with fire. If you’re looking for something a little less vibrant and forward as red is, pink is the way to go. (Valentine’s Day is also coming up, a celebration in which pink is pretty crucial, though that’s a story for another time.)

  • Omega
  • Patek Philippe
  • Roger Dubuis
  • Rolex
  • Omega Constellation Co-Axial 27mm 123.25.27.20.57.004

    Channel your inner wild side with this piece’s iconic “Griffes” or claws on the bezel and the coral mother-of-pearl dial resembling fur.

  • Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 4899/900G

    Have an avian fascination? This bejewelled Calatrava’s perfect for you. A feather motif is engraved on the mother-of-pearl dial as well as the hands, and is joined by staggered-set diamonds and pink sapphires.

  • Roger Dubuis Blossom Velvet Pink

    Pablo Neruda once wrote, “I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries / the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,” but this watch certainly doesn’t hide its flowers, and for that, we love it.

  • Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 126715CHNR

    The GMT-Master II in Everose gold with the two-tone brown and black bezel takes two neutrals and meshes it in an iconic model… perfect for the man who prefers rootbeer to Pepsi, so to speak.

Orange

Another color that is tied to the element of fire is orange. The image of the mandarin orange is also a symbol of good fortune, exchanged between family and friends or displayed to invite luck into your environs. So while you might not want to carry a literal orange around with you, a predominantly orange watch just might do the trick.

  • Audemars Piguet
  • Ball
  • Chopard
  • Zenith
  • Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph Ref. 26231ST.ZZ.D070CA.01

    Perceived as young, loud, and impactful, orange has always been viewed as a more difficult color to style. But Audemars Piguet takes this hue, integrates it into an appropriately sporty watch, and turns it into a statement for your wrist.

  • Ball Engineer Master II Diver TMT Ref. DT1020A-P1-BEORF

    Always wondered why mechanical dive watches never had thermometers? Wonder no more with this cool, glow-in-the-dark watch.

  • Omega Planet Ocean 600M GMT Ref. 232.93.44.22.99.001

    This limited edition timepiece sports a ceramic bezel in an orange so vibrant you can almost taste the citrus.

  • Zenith Defy El Primero 21 Swizz Beatz Ref. 49.9003.9004/76.R591

    If you happen to follow the music industry, specifically that of rappers’, this particular watch is a rare treat. Bonus points if you love diamonds and orange.

White

White is the main color associated with the metal element in the Five Elements theory, and represents the yang force in Chinese philosophy. Besides symbolizing brightness, purity, and fulfilment, white is a color that can work with virtually anything.

  • Audemars Piguet
  • Baume et Mercier
  • Girard-Perregaux
  • Maurice Lacroix
  • Omega
  • Patek Philippe
  • Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Quartz Ref. 67652BC.ZZ.1265BC.01

    This watch has a more than a thousand hundred brilliant-cut diamonds that’ll shine during even the darkest of nights.

  • Baume et Mercier Petite Promesse Ref. 10289

    Looking for a watch that’s a little different? This timepiece, with a classic mother-of-pearl dial surrounded by a diamond-set bezel switches it up with a wraparound stainless steel bracelet.

  • Girard-Perregaux Cat’s Eye Plum Blossom Ref. 80484D11A701-HK7A

    This watch has us grinning like Cheshire cats, with the seconds hand appearing as a charming plum blossom.

  • Maurice Lacroix Aikon Automatic Ref. AI6008-SS002-130-1

    The silver sun-brushed Clous de Paris dial with the Rhodium-plated, white SLN indexes and hands is perfect for a simple, everyday look.

  • Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch White Side of the Moon

    Carry the radiant moon on your wrist with this white ceramic watch.

  • Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711/1A-011

    The Nautilus has always been known for its more iconic version with the blue dial, but we think the version with the white dial is just as handsome.

Gold

Last but most definitely not the least is the metal that makes the world go round: gold. It doesn’t matter which culture you’re more familiar with, because this metal universally represents riches, fortune, and good luck. It’s often paired with red in Chinese New Year. Of course, too much gold can be a little bit of, erm, a statement— so here are a few of our favorite, tasteful watches.

  • Audemars Piguet
  • Breitling
  • Chopard
  • Louis Erard
  • Omega
  • Patek Philippe
  • Rolex
  • Vacheron Constantin
  • Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-thin Ref. 15202BA.OO.1240BA.02

    If you love bling, this yellow gold-on-gold watch will prove to be a great addition to your collection.

  • Breitling Chronomat 44 Steel & Gold – Golden Sun Ref. CB0110121H1C1

    This watch, aptly named the Golden Sun, shines brightly. You’ll even see it glinting during deep dives, down to an impressive 500m.

  • Chopard Happy Diamonds Icons Watch Ref. 209421-5001

    Encased in transparent sapphire crystal, five diamonds dance around the guilloché dial in this charming watch.

  • Louis Erard 01811PR11.BMA84

    This watch utilizes the PVD (physical vapor deposition) process, making the rose gold coating on the watch last years and years and years.

  • Omega Speedmaster ’57 Co-Axial Chronograph 41.5mm Ref. 331.50.42.51.02.001

    Feeling nostalgic? This watch comes from a collection that’s been reimagined as an even better version of the 1957 original.

  • Patek Philippe Twenty~4 Ref. 7300/1200R-010

    Fit for the woman-on-the-go, this rose gold watch features a silver dial with a finish that resembles wild shantung silk.

  • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 41 Ref. 126333

    Feel opulent with this watch’s champagne-colored dial and its use of Yellow Rolesor, a combination of Oystersteel and 18 carat yellow gold.

  • Vacheron Constantin Traditionelle Small Model Ref. 25557/Q01R-9277

    At 30mm, this watch is for the tiniest of wrists. Like they always say, the best things in life come in small packages.

 

Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 Perpetual Calendar

It was a momentous start to the year for Audemars Piguet at SIHH 2019.  From new Royal Oak releases, to the buzzed-about release of the controversial Code 11.59 collection, the watch house is pushing its boundaries with both much-awaited pieces from iconic watch families and fresh new lines alike.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Self-Winding Chronograph 38mm

Self-Winding Chronograph

Smaller wrists, rejoice: The Royal Oak Chronograph now comes in 38mm. And this one stays true to the nautical, industrial vibe of the line, forgoing the usual glitz that accompanies smaller AP pieces. We’re partial to this particular stainless steel model that has a silver, Grande Tapisserie dial with blue subdials.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Frosted Gold Double Balance Wheel Openworked

Royal Oak Frosted Gold Double Balance Wheel Openworked

They say the rainbow always comes after the rain, but in Audemar Piguet’s case, it comes with the snow. The rainbow is in the form of 32 baguette-cut sapphires on the bezel, and the snow in the 18-carat frosted gold case and bracelet. Together they frame the rhodium-toned, openworked dial and double balance wheel mechanism, making for a marvelous watch you’ll want to look at alllll day.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph

Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph

We love when AP plays with aesthetics, which they do quite frequently with the Offshore. The newest addition to the range, which comes in three different camouflage color schemes—blue, green, and brown— is another surprising, on-trend, youthful release. We love this 18-carat pink gold model with a brand new brown ceramic bezel, a first for the manufacture.

Audemars Piguet Haute Joaillerie Sapphire Orbe

Haute Joaillerie Sapphire Orbe

Haute Joaillerie gains another stunning piece in the shape of the Sapphire Orbe. Instead of the hard edges that the Diamond trilogy gave us, this model is all about winding curves, fashioned after the river in Le Brassus, home of Audemars Piguet. This piece houses ring after ring of blue & orange sapphires and diamonds, all encircling the blue sapphire-set sphere in the middle that can be turned to see the domed, orange sapphire-encrusted dial. Given the amount of work (1,050 hours), sapphires (6,034), and diamonds (6,069) that were put into it, it’s no surprise this high jewelry watch is limited to one piece.

Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 Perpetual Calendar

Code 11.59 Perpetual Calendar

Perhaps the most polarizing collection at this year’s SIHH was the Code 11.59. No matter what you think about the collection, we think that the perpetual calendar model stands out—and for good reason. Its aventurine dial and subdials resemble a starry sky, with a pink gold case enhancing the deep, flecked blue. Like the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar, this houses a calibre 5134 movement. Love it or hate it, we think we should give the collection time to mature; after all, not everyone loved the Royal Oak when it first came out. As for us, we’re firmly on Team Love It.

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