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Category: Features

Watches for a Cause

IWC Schaffhausen Big Pilot’s Watch Single Piece Ref. IW500923
 

Sometimes, the luxury watch industry isn’t all the glamour and pizzazz as it appears to be. When manufacturers aren’t busy brainstorming on and creating the next best watch, they find the time to give to a cause that’s much bigger than themselves. There are, after all, real people behind these big watch houses. While making donations in the form of cash is the most common gesture, a lot of watch houses opt to take the route that they know best: creating unique or limited pieces and auctioning them offsatisfying collectors, philanthropists, and of course, beneficiaries alike. Here are a few watches for a cause from just this year.

 

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph luxury watches for a cause
 

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph Ref. 26338PT.OO.1220PT.01

If you’re a big fan of Cirque du Soleil, then you’re sure to have heard of the “One Night for One Drop” event that happens every year, where they do a special performance for one night only in Las Vegas. Every cent spent goes to the One Drop Foundation that helps communities in grave need to have sustainable access to safe water. 

Audemars Piguet put this self-winding chronograph up for auction at the very same event, and just like the Cirque du Soleil performance, all its proceeds go straight to the foundation. Even alongside some other items like sought-after cars and special trips to dream destinations, this one-of-a-kind watch managed to stand out all the same, with its blue subdials against the purple Grande Tapisserie dial, visible through the solid sapphire crystal. It’s all encased in a platinum case, accompanied by either a platinum bracelet or a leather bracelet in the same shade of the subdials.

 

IWC Schaffhausen Big Pilot’s Watch Single Piece Ref. IW500923 luxury watches for a cause IWC Schaffhausen Big Pilot’s Watch Single Piece Ref. IW500923
 

IWC Schaffhausen Big Pilot’s Watch Single Piece Ref. IW500923

If you pay attention to Hollywood news, you might remember that earlier this year, actor and IWC ambassador Bradley Cooper wore the unique Big Pilot’s Watch Single Piece to the opulent Academy Awards ceremony—and it’s not just for show!

The very same watch was auctioned off and its proceeds were donated to the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation. It goes to helping the Arrimage association in France whose mission is to help visually impaired children how to “read” or “see” drawings through touch, as well as create drawings themselves. It’s no coincidence that the first ever tactile art book is “The Little Prince” and that this watch’s 18-carat gold caseback has a quote from the book engraved on it, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.” It wasn’t hard at all to find an owner for this watch, what with it not only being connected to a famous watch house, but also a famous book and, of course, a famous actor.

Ferdinand Berthoud Chromomètre FB 1 - Night Star luxury watches for a cause

Ferdinand Berthoud Chromomètre FB 1 – Night Star

Only Watch is an event that’s held every two years, auctioning off unique watch models from several different watch brands whose 99% of profits go to the research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the more severe version of muscular dystrophy that cuts an individual’s life off as soon as their late teenage years.

Ferdinand Berthoud is one of those luxury watch brands that contributes to the cause, with the Night Star. Its case is not only titanium—it’s sandblasted anthracite-ceramised titanium. A mouthful, right? It means that this isn’t any regular titanium; it’s four times stronger than titanium. And with how anthracite is the densest form of coal, it’s also how the titanium got its nice shade of gray that matches nicely with the frosted black dial. The hands and numerals are stand out against the dark colors like stars in the night sky thanks to its Super-LumiNova coating, making the name of the watch quite apt.

 

Breguet Type 20 luxury watches for a cause

Breguet Type 20

Breguet brings back one of their beloved classics, the military-issued pilot’s watch “Type 20,” for the Only Watch event. If you know what the original Type 20 from the 50s looked like, then you’re sure to see the likeness. From the luminescent Arabic numerals and hands to the big onion crown right down to the historic Valjoux 235 movement, the watch house has honored the old flyback chronograph well, with a few aesthetic updates here and there. Like everything else in this list, there’s only one piece made available—to the dismay of watch enthusiasts everywhere—with even an engraving on the back that says, “Pièce Unique.”

 

Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300A-010 luxury watches for a cause Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300A-010
 

Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300A-010

For this year’s Only Watch event, Patek Philippe rendered their most complicated watch, the Grandmaster Chime, in stainless steel. Besides the unusual case material, the hand guilloched hobnail pattern on the rose gold dial as well as the text “THE ONLY ONE” on the second time zone subdial make this piece tastefully unique.

Apart from getting this absolute beast of a watch, which is already enough motivation for a lot of Patek Philippe fans, the owner and his chosen guest will also get to visit the Patek Philippe workshops and museums, as well as have lunch with the president of the watch house, Thierry Stern. We’re sure we’re not exaggerating when we say this will be one of the most sought after pieces in the auction house.

 

Hublot Classic Fusion Tourbillon Sapphire Orlinski luxury watches for a cause   Hublot Classic Fusion Tourbillon Sapphire Orlinski statue
 

Hublot Classic Fusion Tourbillon Sapphire Orlinski

Hublot is no stranger to charity donations, and it’s certainly not the first collaboration with artist Richard Orlinski either. So it’s no surprise that they joined forces to create a unique timepiece for Only Watch.

In the transparent sapphire case that incorporated the signature design of the artist sits the movement, the tourbillon cage, and the power reserve. The bezel is made of white gold, and is set with 54 baguette-cut, light blue topazes. The smooth, rubber strap is in the same shade, keeping in theme with the Only Watch color scheme. It’s also the same color of the Wild Kong sculpture, also made by Orlinski, that holds the sapphire watch box wherein the luxury watch itself is displayed. And if the timepiece and sculpture weren’t enough, the owner of the piece also gets to meet the artist himself at his gallery in Paris.

Diving Into An Adventure

omega luxury watch
Omega Seamaster Professional Ploprof 1200M Ref. 227.60.55.21.03.001

The adventurous are no strangers to the unpredictability of Mother Nature; being prepared is imperative. One of the many facets of preparedness comes in the form of having reliable equipment. To a number of veteran divers, the diving watch lands among the most important pieces.

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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.

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.

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.

graduation watches 01

Watches have always been a means of celebrating significant milestones in a person’s life, and marking a graduation is no exception. After all, what better way is there to show someone who’s given their blood, sweat, and tears—sometimes literally—for that piece of paper that says they’ve accomplished academic excellence than a watch made with skill and craftsmanship?

Here, we’ve put together a list of classic, reliable, but reasonably priced pieces that can help your favorite graduate go from the classroom to the boardroom in style.

Ball Fireman Enterprise Black

graduation watches 02

With its substantial size, glossy black dial, stainless steel bracelet and case, date display, and automatic movement, this is a no-nonsense piece perfect for any young alumnus who wants to toe the line between sporty and chic.

Baume & Mercier Clifton Baumatic

graduation watches 03

With its alligator strap, clean dial, and 40 mm case, this watch has all the markers of a classic timepiece—including a power reserve of 120 hours, date function, and COSC-certified automatic movement.

Bremont Supermarine S301

graduation watches 04

Thinking of what to get an Anglophile alumnus? The Bremont Supermarine was inspired by one of Britain’s most iconic planes, making it not just a beautiful timepiece, with its automatic chronometer movement, brown vintage strap and stainless steel case, but also a fantastic conversation starter.

Edox Les Vauberts

graduation watches 05

Subtly commemorate the year of their graduation with a timepiece that features the biggest contemporary watch trend, the blue dial. This watch’s automatic movement, stainless steel case, date function, and 5 ATM water resistance also make it a strong contender and a great addition to any watch wardrobe.

Hanhart Pioneer One

graduation watches 06

This German timepiece is perfect for the graduate who loves details: from its iconic fluted bezel to its stainless steel bracelet—or calfskin strap; it depends on their aesthetic preferences—this automatic watch melds both vintage and modern aesthetics to create a truly classic watch.


Louis Erard Héritage

graduation watches 07

This automatic timepiece has a lot going for it, from its elegantly embellished dial to its day-date function, making it a great bet for the graduate who refuses to compromise neither style nor substance.

Longines Conquest Classic

graduation watches 06

Think of elegance and you’ll likely think of Longines. We can’t disagree, and the Conquest Classic, with its self-winding movement, monochromatic design and timeless elements is the perfect embodiment of the brand’s credo that elegance is an attitude.

Maurice Lacroix Aikon Automatic

graduation watches 08

Reminiscent of classic sports watches from the 1980s and 1990s, the Aikon is a statement-making watch ideal for a mover and shaker in the making. A substantial piece at 42mm, it houses an automatic movement and features a date function, a beautiful Clous de Paris dial, and water resistance to 200 meters.

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.

styling formal watches 01

It could be said that there are two schools of thought regarding personal style, each with their own salient points. First, there’s the belief that fashion and style must adhere to certain rules and standards—that how you style yourself must always be “flattering”—depending on your particular physical attributes, career, age, the situation you find yourself in, and other criteria. Then, there’s the second way of approaching dressing, which states that a person can and should wear whatever they want as a means of self-expression, no matter how flattering (or unflattering) a look it might be.

The watch world itself is no stranger to these warring beliefs, with rules dictating what you can and can’t wear. Interestingly, one such rule—namely the wearing of formal, bejewelled timepieces—remains a constant point of debate, equally steeped in tradition and rebellion. A watch decked out in precious stones and luxurious metals finds its place in both the formal ballroom and the urban-inspired hip-hop video—but rarely in between.

While we appreciate the structure provided centuries-old rules, as well as love the freedom afforded by breaking all of them, we think there’s a lot to be gained by being somewhere in the middle. You will, in a sense, be getting the best of both worlds, and maximizing your (watch) wardrobe.

Here, a few tips for how you can save your fine pieces of horology from languishing in your collection by integrating them into your everyday life.

#1: Consider the Silhouette

styling formal watches 02

Is your style more about voluminous materials, embellishments, and details? Or does your sense of aesthetics lean more toward the minimal, the subdued, and the tailored? The bejewelled piece you consider, then, ideally adheres in some way to your wardrobe’s underlying themes. A structured, embellished sports piece—an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, for example— would pair very nicely with a more casual, minimalist outfit like jeans and a tee, while a feminine piece like the Breguet Secret De La Reine would make more sense with a crisp white button down and a voluminous tea-length skirt.

#2: Think About the Materials

styling formal watches 03

Always consider how your statement timepiece will play off your ensemble’s textures, colors, and (if applicable), prints: pavé and nacre might not lend themselves to a multitude of prints, and in the same way, rainbow gems would pop when worn against more subdued neutrals. Worn casually, however, this is the time to play with and mix your metals, so feel free to throw on some yellow gold jewels to contrast against a steel- and pink gold piece.

#3: Play With Scale

styling formal watches 04

While we’re all for “go big or go home,” we applaud a mastery of juxtaposing big, statement pieces with a simpler foundation, and in the reverse, intricate, delicate pieces piled on alongside oversize clothing. It’s always more visually interesting not to overwhelm the eye.

#4: Go With What’s Comfortable

styling formal watches 05

Truthfully, it boils down to a cliché: wear what makes you comfortable. Wear what makes you feel most confident, and wear what’s most beautiful to you. Who cares if you throw on a bejeweled Chopard Imperiale with a pair of your oldest jeans, sneaks, and a slouchy sweater if that’s what makes you feel your best? That feeling, at the end of the day, is all that matters.

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.

 

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