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Author: Sabrina del Rosario

Nobody’s a stranger to the high-quality skills and standards of the Swiss manufacturer. As they continuously wow the crowd with every well-made timepiece and superb collection they release, Chopard definitely took it to the next level at Baselworld 2019. While we’ve got a soft spot for their L.U.C collection, there was a certain watch that captured our hearts. Let’s get right on to it, shall we?

Chopard L.U.C Flying T Twin Ref. 161978-5001

Gracing us with its presence is Chopard’s first flying tourbillon, the L.U.C Flying T Twin. The 50-piece limited edition timepiece displays great technical and aesthetic refinement from its exceptionally slim rose gold case and hand-guillochéd dial all the way to its caliber movement.

As a testament of their commitment to ethical and responsible mining, Chopard made use of certified “Fairmined” rose gold material for its case, accompanied by a plant-dyed matte black alligator leather strap. The ruthenium grey dial draws your attention to the honeycomb motif at the center, much reminiscent of a beehive, which was the first logo used by Louis-Ulysse Chopard. Complementing the dial are rose gold hands and hour markers, producing a color contrast that exudes an undeniably chic and elegant aura. Adding to its style, an unimpeded view of the tourbillon carriage is highlighted through a small aperture at 6 o’clock. In case you were wondering, the “ Twin” in its name alludes to the twin barrel system used, which allows the watch a hefty 65-hour power reserve.

The Poincon de Geneve certification bestowed to the timepiece is a testament to its high hand-finish quality. A beautiful addition to Haute Horlogerie, the Flying T Twin is truly an exceptional creation from the L.U.C collection.

 

Chopard L.U.C XPS Twist QF Ref. 161945-1001

The XPS Twist QF provides unconventional excellence to the L.U.C line, bringing a smile to one’s face with its unorthodox details and design. Just like the Flying T Twin, the XPS Twist QF was similarly assembled in a “Fairmined” white gold case with a matte blue-grey plant-dyed alligator leather strap.

Time and time again, Chopard has never failed to stun the world with their controlled eccentricity and elegant asymmetry, and this time is no different. On its blue-grey dial is a circular satin-brushed motif that radiates out from a subdial located at an offset location. With the crown placed at 4 o’clock, these two asymmetric positions manage to equalize each other and create a sense of balance. Interestingly, this is the only L.U.C model without Arabic numerals at noon, replaced instead by a double-faceted hour marker.

Perhaps the most impressive mark found on the timepiece is the “Qualite Fleurier” appearing under the L.U.C name. Needless to say, the Fleurier Quality Foundation has one of the most rigorous and meticulous certifications in the watchmaking industry—and only a few pass the mark.

 

Chopard L.U.C XP Ref. 168592-3002

With just the bare necessities and purity of design, the L.U.C XP is elementary without being basic, a rare watch without it having to be a limited edition. Its slender case houses an intense blue dial which is enhanced by the surface’s texture. Adding a nice contrast to the dial’s deep, satin-brushed and modern matt finish are the applied rose gold hour markers and hands that shine so warmly. The simplicity and clean lines presented by the striking blue dial and rose gold colored indicators make the watch hard to beat by other complex timepieces. Asserting its casual elegance is its comfy blue merino wool strap, transforming the L.U.C XP into an ideal match for every man’s wardrobe.

 

Chopard Happy Sport Oval Ref. 278602-6004

It’s a happy day as Chopard pays tribute to their original 1993 Happy Sport, incorporating its feminine, galet bracelet into the newest Happy Sport Oval model. A slender elegance echoing a gentle and easy-going charm, the revival watch is available in an 18-carat rose gold, stainless steel, or two-tone bracelet with a polished or diamond-studded bezel of your picking. While we’re absolutely mesmerized by all three variants, the two-tone bracelet with a diamond-studded rose gold bezel sparked the most joy in us.

Jolly is this timepiece with its seven dancing diamonds, moving freely on its silver-toned dial, surrounded by a distinctively curved bezel. It’s astonishing how the bracelet is made out of metal but is flexible as knitted mesh. Its finely interwoven pebbled links give the watch elegance and charm as it follows the curves or your wrist, accentuating slenderness and comfortability. A timeless and playful design that expresses such light-heartedness while maintaining technical sophistication, the Happy Sport Oval has it all.

At this year’s Baselworld, Tudor decided to build on its Black Bay family with quite interesting pieces. As they look back on their heritage for inspiration, and fuse it with the Black Bay aesthetics, Tudor has succeeded in creating polished and reliable watches that keep in line with its historical connection to divers’ watches.

 

Tudor Black Bay Bronze Ref. 79250BA-0002

In 2016, the Black Bay Bronze was the winner of the “Petite Aiguille” prize at the prestigious Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve. At Baselworld 2019, the naval heritage timepiece returns—this time in a slate-grey dial, and a rare bronze case with a special patina. The 42mm case was made with a kind of brass used in old ships and diving equipment from naval history.  This living metal produces a subtle, unique patina on the watch case depending on the wearer’s habits. The patina develops into a warm brown and golden color over time, giving it a worn look that adds to its vintage vibe. Since dark colors tend to produce a slimming effect, its slate-grey dial slims down its hefty case. Another benefit of its grey dial is its high legibility which is the same as that of a black dial, only with a lot more charm. While we’re fans of an aged black leather strap, this slate-grey woven strap with a gold accent beautifully matches the watch’s color scheme. Overall, it’s striking watch with rich visual effects and an immense commanding presence on your wrist.

 

Tudor Black Bay 41/36/32 S&G Ref. M79503-0001

A new addition to the family is the slightly smaller and simple but well-designed Black Bay 41/36/32. This time, Tudor is giving you the privilege to refine the watch’s aesthetic—from choosing a 32, 36, 0r 41mm case, all the way down to selecting a lacquered black or champagne colored dial. While there are many combinations to choose from, we think the lacquered black dial in a 32mm case seems like a perfect blend. The polished timepiece comes in a new five-link yellow gold and steel bracelet that adds a subtle contrast and warmth, as well as a supple and comfortable look on one’s wrist. With just the right amount of gold, the watch is dressy without being formal, making it an excellent choice to wear on any occasion.

 

Tudor Black Bay Chrono S&G Ref. 79363N-0001

Two-tone fans, where are you? Tudor knows you’re out there. The watch house combined aquatic heritage and motorsport heritage in its Black Bay Chrono, now in S&G. While the core Black Bay characteristics remain present, such as the 41mm case and gold pushers, the timepiece comes in a polished, satin-finished steel and yellow gold bracelet. In fact, the entire piece is dripping in gold; from its crown, bracelet, pushers, all the way down to its bezel. With champagne-colored counters to create a warm and golden look, it also creates an ideal contrast against its domed matte black dial. The watch is finished with Tudor’s signature snowflake hands and red accents to incorporate a more sporty chronograph look. While you have an option of a brown aged bund leather strap and a black jacquard fabric strap to embrace the spirit of 70s racing, we’re a sucker for the S&G bracelet with that case. A standout from the pack, the chronograph is powered by a self-winding manufacture calibre, column wheel and vertical clutch—a first for Tudor.

 

Tudor Black Bay P01 Ref. M70150-0001

We’re down to the most talked about watch at Baselworld 2019: the Tudor Black Bay P01. The timepiece was based on a proposed prototype developed specifically for the US Navy in the 1960s. The PO1, standing for Prototype 1, was originally designed with a utilitarian aesthetic in mind, which explains the unorthodox winding crown at 4 o’clock and the unique end-link bezel lock system, all within a 42mm case entirely satin-brushed for a matte finish. Adding to its aesthetic is its domed matte black dial with painted luminescent hour markers and of course, Tudor’s signature snowflake hands. Accompanying the case is a rubber base strap bearing a snowflake motif on the back, finished with brown leather trim. Powering the watch is the manufacture caliber MT5612, making things perfectly engineered and sharp. All in all, we can definitely say it’s a well built Tudor watch with a great story and historical context behind it.

There are plenty of reasons to admire Patek Philippe: their understated elegance, their timeless designs, their renowned history… the list goes on and on. As they perfectly balance design, craftsmanship, and heritage, Patek continues its noble pursuit of refining the functionality and dependability of their precious timepieces—all while bestowing classic beauty. This pursuit remains evident in their collection for Baselworld 2019.

While the collection was already released on their site prior to the event, we can’t help but be in awe and admiration, as if we were seeing them for the first time. Here are some of our favorites.

 

 

Patek Philippe Calatrava Weekly Calendar Ref. 5212A-001

Part of Patek’s expanding collection of useful complications is the Calatrava Weekly Calendar. As its gorgeous silvery opaline dial displays day of the week, date, and week number functions,  the timepiece has an unusual layout of five hands from the center, along with two hammer-shaped hands. A distinct feature is the typography on its face, as it was based on the handwriting of one of the watch designers. The new timepiece takes inspiration from the aesthetic design and the same numbers of the Calatrava Weekly Calendar 2512, simply arranged in a different order. As it comes with a new self-winding base caliber, the owner of the watch can correct any of the indications at any time of the day without risking damage to the watch and its movement, making it perfect for the modern businessman.

 

Patek Philippe Alarm Travel Time Ref. 5520P-001

Another addition to the Grand Complications family is the Alarm Travel Time. Dubbed as the quintessential globetrotter’s watch, it fuses two time zone mechanisms: displaying the home time on a skeletonized hour hand, and the local time at the owner’s current location on the other lume-filled hour hand. The complications don’t end there: it comes with an analog date, two day/night indicators, and a 24-hour alarm that strikes a classic gong. Confused yet? Fret not; each complication makes use of simple and safe operability, thanks to the new caliber that was created just for this timepiece, further highlighting its user-friendliness. The first chiming piece housed in a water resistance case is perfect for traveling in countries with a tropical climate.

 

Patek Philippe Jumbo Aquanaut Ref. 5168G-010

The modern sporty-chic Jumbo Aquanaut underscores its young and dynamic style with a khaki green design and white gold casing. Noticeably larger than the 40mm Aquanauts, the 42.2 mm diameter commands more wrist presence and almost gives off a military vibe with its mini wrist grenade face in khaki green. The model comes in a simpler look and construction while taking cues from its Nautilus ancestors as it adopted the iconic porthole shape. However, all specifications, materials, and embossed pattern on the dial are identical to its predecessor, having the hallmark Aquanaut traits.

 

Patek Philippe Chronograph Ref. 5172G-001

The venerable chronograph, giving a subtle vintage allure, is definitely a watch to impress tool watch enthusiasts. Slightly larger in diameter compared to its predecessor, the 5170G chronograph, the new model still makes use of the same movement. Lest we forget to mention that it is housed in a beautiful new white gold case with round guillochéd pushers and three-tier lugs. We’re not ones to say no to a blue, varnished dial such as this one, contrasted against a luminescent, white gold applied hands and Arabic numerals, allowing for excellent legibility even in the darkest of nights.

It’s no surprise that, having practiced the art of horology since the 18th century,  Swiss luxury watch manufacturer Girard-Perregaux has created and continues to create some of the world’s most awe-inspiring timepieces. The dedication to such a fine craft is evident in their beloved models: the Art Deco inspired Vintage 1945, the classic 1966, the iconic Laureato, and of course, their signature Tourbillon with Three Golden Bridges. 

Where It All Began

Girard-Perregaux’s story begins with Jean-Francois Bautte who founded the manufacturing company in 1791. His company was later acquired by newlyweds Constant Girard and Marie Perregaux. Afterwards, the couple established a manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. With just their luck, in 1889, they won a gold medal at an exposition in Paris with their signature model—The Tourbillon with Three Golden Bridges—cementing the manufacture’s reputation in the world of high horology.

By the second half of the 19th century, the company was on a mission to widen their market. With great help from François Perregaux and Henri Perregaux, they were able to attract wealthy Japanese and South American clients who took an interest in their tourbillons, minute repeaters and other grande complication models.

Meanwhile, the beginning of the 20th century saw Girard-Perregaux dominate numerous international expositions, and eventually gained an uncontested privilege as a result. Because of this, they were selected to be a permanent member of the Jury, which excluded them from competing in international events.

Constant Innovations

Over the course of the 1960s, the manufacture was hard at work to create a watch with a high frequency movement. And so in 1971, they showcased the first quartz watch produced in Switzerland—The Gyromatic Chronometer HF. Its high frequency of 32,768 Hz became the standard among watch manufacturers. Hence, the Gyromatic, along with the Laureato, became the talk of the town throughout the 70s and 80s.

In 1994, the company partnered up with Ferrari to create a Chronograph line. The partnership lasted a decade, with four collections released. A few years after, Girard-Perregaux attempted to replicate its Tourbillon with Three Golden Bridges onto a wristwatch. Successful in learning the traditional skills to recreate the model, they came out with several variations of the timepiece. From that point on until the 2000s, the company kept creating models, mostly taking inspiration from its older timepieces.

Making A Comeback

In 2013 Girard-Perregaux made a groundbreaking development: it presented the first watch that was equipped with a constant force escapement. And for this reason it won the most prestigious award, the Aiguille d’Or of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.

Most recently, at SIHH 2019, the company released their latest novelties, drawing inspiration from the cosmos. And in February of this year, a new model was added to the latest collection: The Quasar. Named after the celestial object, the Quasar grabbed attention with its fully transparent sapphire case, skeleton dial, and signature three bridges.

The Laureato’s Evolution

An entirely separate spotlight should be given to one of Girard-Perregaux’s best-sellers: the Laureato. The timepiece was first conceived in 1975 as a luxury sports watch with a hexagonal bezel and linked bracelet. It was reproduced in 1984, with the addition of mechanical movements and added astronomical indicators. Throughout the years, it was reimagined in different ways, most recently at this year’s SIHH, with the introduction of three Laureato Absolute models featuring different complications.

  • Laureato 1975
  • Laureato 1984
  • Laureato 2016
  • Laureato Absolute 2019
  • Laureato 1975

  • Laureato 1984

  • Laureato 2016

  • Laureato Absolute

Truly, Girard-Perregaux’s long and illustrious history is a testament to their passion for haute horlogerie as they continually develop techniques and innovations that cement their place in the watchmaking world. And with its recent relaunch in the Philippines, now is the perfect time to reawaken your love for this manufacture and its horological masterpieces.

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