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Category: Features

Hublot Big Bang Integral banner

Hublot Big Bang Integral banner

Hublot recently launched six brand new timepieces at the LVMH Watch week held at the Bulgari Resort in Dubai. 

 

Big Bang Integral

To mark the Big Bang’s 15th anniversary, Hublot introduced its first-ever integrated metal bracelet that consists of three links, one central and two lateral. The angular style was inspired by the pushers found on the 2005 Hublot Big Bang model, which, of course, make an appearance on the Big Bang Integral case. The new models come in 43mm black ceramic, King Gold or titanium.

Hublot Big Bang Integral black ceramic Hublot Big Bang Integral king goldHublot Big Bang Integral titanium

 

Big Bang MP11 Red Magic

This timepiece has a manufacture movement that offers a remarkable power reserve of 14 days, made possible by seven series-coupled barrels. This crowning jewel of the movement can be seen at the bottom portion of the watch’s face. The hours and minutes are on a skeleton subdial in the top half. The 45mm watch has a bold and striking polished red ceramic case with a black rubber crown and strap.

Hublot Big Bang MP11 Red Magic

Big Bang Sang Bleu II Limited Edition

The Big Bang Sang Bleu II comes in two new limited edition 45mm models in titanium or King Gold, with the option to have stones set in the case. The Sang Bleu collection was done in collaboration with tattoo artist Maxime Plescia-Buchi, marrying the world of tattooing with the world of watchmaking. Both timepieces feature straight, clear geometric lines that criss-cross. Two concentric diamonds sweep across the blue dial. A white arrow on one end of the larger diamond marks the passage of minutes, while the white arrow on the smaller diamond indicates the hour.  

Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu II King Gold Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu II Titanium

Spirit of Big Bang Meca-10

Hublot took it upon themselves to rework the Meca-10 caliber to fill the space of the tonneau-shaped Spirit of Big Bang case. The Spirit of Big Bang Meca-10 is the first to house the re-engineered movement, which also boasts a 10-day power reserve. This 45mm model is available in three variations:  titanium, black ceramic, or King Gold.

Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Meca-10 Black CeramicHublot Spirit of Big Bang Meca-10 King Gold Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Meca-10 Titanium

Spirit of Big Bang Rainbow

The 42mm timepiece brings a spectrum of color to the Spirit of Big Bang collection with baguette-cut gemstones paved around the case. The colors extend from the dial, to the case, and to the alligator strap.

Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Rainbow Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Rainbow chronograph

Classic Fusion Gold Crystal

This Classic Fusion timepiece flaunts the rarest form of gold on the planet: gold crystal. To create the feather-like formations, the metal has to be heated to its boiling point. Once the atoms start emanating to the surface, they have to be trapped by a cool surface so they maintain their delicate structure. This rarely occurs naturally, and even under controlled conditions in Hublot’s manufacture, most specimens could not be used. 

Those that could be used were placed in nicely contrasting all-black ceramic cases measuring either 38mm or 45mm. They are secured to the wrist with black alligator leather stitched onto rubber.

Hublot Classic Fusion Gold Crystal Hublot Classic Fusion Gold Crystal

IWC Schaffhausen Sustainable pop-up floating workshop 'Remote'
 

IWC Schaffhausen has been making strides towards becoming sustainable. They make their watch boxes with 90% less plastic compared to before; their headquarters as well as their manufacturing center are powered by renewable energy; and they melt the off-cuts from their watches and reuse it in later production.

Hayden Cox, IWC brand ambassador and founder of surfboard brand Haydenshapes, saw all this in action on his tour around the IWC Schaffhausen Manufacture. It inspired him to incorporate upcycling into his own brand. Discussing conventional surfboard production, Cox said, “There’s over 30% wastage industry wide in just foam and fiberglass alone when creating a single board, which typically just goes straight to landfill.”

Hayden Cox with IWC Schaffhausen Pilot's Watch Double Chronograph Top Gun Ceratanium

Hayden Cox wearing a IWC Schaffhausen Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph Top Gun Ceratanium.

Through his partnership with IWC, Cox set up a self-sustainable floating studio in Palm Beach, Australia, where he could develop ideas and shape boards in peace. “The floating idea and being out in nature felt fitting for the concept of upcycling waste, which is what the first ‘Remote’ studio is centered around,” said Cox.

Now, over a year later, Cox has come up with up-cycled prototypes of different parts of a surfboard: a stringer (the material that runs down the middle of a surfboard to strengthen it), a tail pad (a pad applied at the back end of a surfboard to prevent slipping), and a cloth (laminated around the core of a surfboard). While the first two mentioned are still being developed, Cox is confident about the up-cycled cloth.

A Haydenshapes Surfboard utilizing upcycled cloth

A Haydenshapes Surfboard utilizing the upcycled cloth.

The cloth is made from carbon fiber and fiberglass off-cuts from the lamination process, the very same process that the cloth is going to be used for. These off-cuts are chopped up, aerated, then put into a fabric weaving machine, creating a unique black and white pattern that will be different from board to board.

The entire process is currently done by hand, but Cox wants to scale it up eventually to be able to produce more from waste. He said, “From a materials standpoint, it’s my goal to create new eco options and make them available to the entire industry.”

With his other ideas still being prototyped and tested, it’s only a matter of time before Haydenshapes makes the move towards a fully sustainable future. Hopefully the rest of the surfboard industry will follow suit.

Zenith Defy Classic Rainbow Ref. 32.9002.670/71.R583

Zenith Defy Classic Rainbow Ref. 32.9002.670/71.R583

Zenith flaunts their gem-setting and watchmaking prowess with the Defy High Jewelry series. The collection features sapphire and diamond studded versions of the Defy Classic and El Primero 21. Part of the Defy High Jewelry series is the DEFY Classic Rainbow, a timepiece that captures the intensity of the different hues of sapphire.

Zenith Defy Classic Rainbow case paved with diamonds

The 41mm Defy Classic Rainbow keeps the functions simple with three hands and a date presented on a star-shaped, openworked dial. The ultra-light titanium case is topped by a bezel set with 48 multi-colored baguette-cut sapphires, arranged by color gradation. 

White diamonds are also on the lugs and sides of the case using a snow setting technique. The diamonds are of various sizes, and are arranged in a seemingly random pattern to hide as much visible metal as possible, while allowing light to capture the beauty of the stones. 

The Zenith Defy Classic Rainbow is available at Lucerne Okada.

Zenith DEFY Classic Rainbow Soldat View

Zenith Defy Classic Rainbow

Ref. 32.9002.670/71.R583

Case

  • 41mm
  • Titanium full set case

Dial and Hands

  • White openworked dial
  • Rhodium-plated, faceted hour markers and hands coated with Super-LumiNova®  SLN C1

Functions

  • Hours, minutes
  • Central seconds hand
  • Date indicator at 6 o’clock

Movement

  • Automatic
  • Elite 670 SK calibre
  • 50-hour power reserve
  • Silicon escape wheel and lever

Strap

  • White rubber strap with white “satin effect”
Grammys

We saw a lot of familiar faces at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards. The face we saw the most of was Swiss luxury watch manufacturer Rolex. However, some celebrities wanted to go against the grain and adorned their wrist with other brands.

Here’s a run-down of the artists we spotted wearing a Rolex:

John Legend: Rolex Cosmograph Daytona in Platinum with Diamond Pave

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DJ Khaled: Rolex Gold Sky-Dweller

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Trevor Noah: Rolex GMT-Master II

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Khalid: Rolex Datejust

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YoungKio, Shay Smyers, Guy Lawrence, and PJ Morton: Rolex Datejust

(click on the arrows to see the photos)

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Joe Jonas: Bvlgari Octo Finissimo

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Joe Perry: Panerai

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Ellen DeGeneres wearing a Patek Philippe 5270, Swae Lee, Young Thug, and Connor McGregor flaunting their Patek Philippe Nautilus

(click on the arrows to see the photos)

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Nick Jonas and 21 Savage sporting Richard Mille

 

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JLC dazzling rendez-vous banner

JLC dazzling rendez-vous banner

A little known fact about Jaeger-LeCoultre: they were one of the first watch brands to make watches that catered to women. For a bit of context, during the 18th and 19th century women saw wrist watches as jewellery pieces rather than timekeeping tools. And this gave Jaeger-LeCoultre a chance to get a bit more creative. Thus began their journey honing their specialization in gem-setting. 

The Rendez-Vous collection, first released in 2012, remembers this specific part in the Swiss watch manufacturer’s history. The recently reimagined models embody the essence of femininity and flaunt such stunning, rich details. 

With their latest Dazzling Rendez-Vous they had expert artisans to ornament the timepiece with precious stones. It’s a rather slow and painstakingly meticulous process, but delivers the most beautiful and elegant results.

The prong, or griffes, is a kind of setting that maximizes the presence of each stone on the watch by using thin claw-like metal strips to hold each diamond in place. This allows the light to pass through the diamonds from every angle.

JLC dazzling rendez-vous claw setting

This dazzling timepiece comes in a 36mm white or pink gold case on alligator leather straps in either blue or taupe. It features a mother-of-pearl dial, floral roman numerals, and a day and night function at 6 o’clock.

jlc dazzling rendez-vous taupe soldierJLC dazzling rendez-vous in blue soldier

Dazzling Rendez-Vous Night & Day

Ref. Q3433570 / Ref. Q3432570

Case 

  • 36mm
  • White gold, pink gold

Dial and Hands

  • Mother of pearl, diamonds
  • Florale recto hands

Functions

  • hours/minutes
  • night/day indicator
  • Open caseback

Movement

  • 898B/1–Automatic calibre
  • Automatic, self-winding
  • 38 hour power reserve
  • 5 BAR water resistance

Strap

  • Blue or taupe alligator leather strap

 

Patek Philippe 5172G001 banner

Patek Philippe 5172G-001 banner

While we anticipate whether majority of the watch brands will decide to follow the color Pantone has set for the year, let’s take a look at which of them were already ahead of trend.

Patek Philippe 5172G

Patek Philippe Chronograph Ref. 5172G-001

Showcased at last year’s Baselworld, the Chronograph 5172G shares similar aesthetics with the retired 5170. The updated chronograph comes in a 41mm white gold case, round guilloched pushers and a blue dial contrasted by luminous white gold Arabic numerals and hands. See our other favorite Patek Philippe watches from Baselworld 2019 here

Patrimony Self Winding

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Ref. 85180/000R-B515

In 2019, Vacheron Constantin decided to add 18 more models to their Patrimony collection, and the Patrimony self-winding is one of them. The 36mm 18K 5N pink gold case houses a sunburst satin-finished midnight blue dial. It embodies an understated, minimalist look as it makes use of a date function and hour, minutes, and seconds indicators.

JLC Reverso Tribute Small Seconds

Jaeger-Lecoultre Reverso Tribute Ref. 3978480

Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Reverso is well known for its iconic Art Deco inspired style and geometric simplicity. The Reverso Tribute Small Seconds comes in a 45.6 X 27.4mm case with a blue sunray-brushed finish dial, applied hour markers, and a small seconds at 6 o’clock. The watch is fashioned on a blue strap designed by Argentinian bookmaker Fagliano.

Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu

Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu Titanium Blue Ref. 415.NX.7179.VR.MXM18

As avid supporters of the arts, Hublot has collaborated with Swiss tattoo artist Maxime Plescia-Buchi. The 45mm Big Bang Sang Bleu Titanium Blue is comprised of clean, geometric, symmetric lines and shapes and paired with a blue dial and strap. 

Chopard Alpine Eagle

Chopard Alpine Eagle Ref. 298600-3001

Chopard recently released the Alpine Eagle, a reinterpretation of the St. Moritz watch which was designed by Chopard Co-President Karl-Friedrich Scheufele. The 41mm timepiece features a deep blue dial which resembles an eagle’s iris. The watch is also crafted from Lucent Steel A223, a REACH-certified and ethically produced metal exclusively developed in-house by the brand. Chopard partnered up with the Eagle Wings Foundation, which raises awareness about the Alps and the environmental issues at present. 

GP Laureato

Girard-Perregaux Laureato 

Girard-Perregaux’s iconic Laureato has been reinterpreted numerous times since it was first conceived in 1975. This Laureato comes in a 34mm, 38mm or 42mm steel case with a blue Clou de Paris patterned dial. Read more about Girard-Perregaux’s history here

Reservoir Hydrosphere Blue Hole

Reservoir Hydrosphere Blue Hole Ref. RSV03.HY/130-21.BH

Reservoir gets inspiration from different measuring instruments. The Hydrosphere Blue Hole was designed with the image of scuba diving pressure gauges in mind. The watch measures 45mm in diameter with features that are essential for divers like a 250-meter water resistance and a unidirectional rotating bezel with a double scale to be able to read time at different depths. Learn more about Reservoir here

 

Longines Heritage Military banner

Longines Heritage Military banner

The Philippine Watch Club says their passion for watches is what makes them tick. They offer a space where watch enthusiasts from all areas in the Philippines can share ideas and have in-depth discussions about watch components, complications and innovations. They are marking their 10th anniversary with a special limited edition of the Longines Heritage Military. Each of the 55 pieces of the limited run has a caseback engraved with “Philippine Watch Club 10th Anniversary 2010-2020” in the top half and a series number engraved at 6 o’clock.  The one marked 01/55 is on display at the Longines museum in Switzerland.

Caseback of Longines' special edition of the Heritage Military

Longines’ Heritage Military draws inspiration from an early 1940s military timepiece made specially for the British Royal Air Force. The timepiece they modeled it after belonged to Stanley Turner, a highly-decorated radiotelegraph operator.

The original Longines 1940s watch that inspired the Heritage Military Heritage Military 1

Mr. Turner’s original Longines 1940s military watch on the left and the Longines Heritage Military on the right.

Much of the Heritage Military’s look remains faithful to the minimalist design of the original watch. It features the same oversized winding crown and uniquely shaped blued hands. The 38.5mm timepiece displays a silver, opaline dial with faint and tiny black droplets to mimic the oxidation pattern found on the original. No two dials look exactly the same as the black droplets were applied entirely by hand.

Heritage Military close up of dial

A closer look at the specks of droplets on the Heritage Military.

Owners have the option to wear a leather or nato watch strap that comes in the same shade. Both straps, as well as the required placement tool, are provided with each timepiece. 

Heritage Military kit

longines heritage classic anchor

Longines Heritage Classic banner

The Heritage collection commemorates Longines’ iconic timepieces by reissuing past models with updated watchmaking techniques and materials. Among the models in the collection is the Longines Heritage Classic, which is a faithful reproduction of a sector dial watch originally issued in 1934.

Longines 1934 watch Longines Heritage Classic
The Longines 1934 timepiece on the left, and the Longines Heritage Classic on the right.A sector dial is made up of two lines that slice the dial into four equal quarters, or sectors. Although not a common sight today, this design was a common feature on watches during the early 20th century.

Like the original, the sectors on the Longines Heritage Classic are surrounded by a satin-finished silver circle with painted Arabic hour markers at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. It also maintains small seconds on a subdial above 6 o’clock, and the original Longines logo below 12 o’clock.

Unlike the original, the reissued watch comes with more prominent markers, as well as brightened blue hands. It also comes with slimmer lugs and a slightly bigger stainless steel case measuring 38.5mm.

Driving this timepiece’s functions and endowed with a 64-hour power reserve is the calibre L893, which was especially developed for the timepieces of the Heritage line. This self-winding mechanical movement does not carry the date and enables the small seconds display to be located under the central axis for a design that is even closer to that of the historical pieces.

Longines Heritage Classic

Longines Heritage Classic

Ref. L2.828.4.73.2

Case

  • Stainless steel
  • 5mm

Dial and Hands

  • Two-toned silver dial
  • Painted Arabic numerals and indexes
  • Blued steel hands

Functions

  • Hours, minutes
  • Small seconds at 6 o’clock

Movement

  • Mechanical self-winding movement
  • Calibre L893 (ETA A31.501)
  • 64-hour power reserve
  • 3 BAR water resistance

Strap

  • Black leather strap and NATO blue denim-effect leather strap with buckle
  • Blue leather strap and NATO anthracite denim-effect leather strap with buckle

 

The new Heritage Classic will be available on Q1 2020 at Longines SM Megamall, 2/F Mega Fashion Hall.

 

 

Longines HydroConquest full ceramic

Longines HydroConquest full ceramic

Earlier this year, Longines released a new set of models under its HydroConquest collection, inspired by the field of aquatic sports. Among them was the all-black HydroConquest.

The HydroConquest comes with features that meet the ISO standards for dive watches such as 300-meter water resistance, unidirectional rotating bezel and double security folding clasp.

What makes the HydroConquest a cut above the rest is that it’s made from ceramic — Zirconium dioxide to be exact, as denoted by the chemical equation (ZrO2) printed on the dial at 6 o’clock. This material has extremely high resistance to crack propagation and thermal conductivity, which helps keep the watch intact during dives even when there are changes in the environment.

The use of different textures on the watch such as a matt dial, a round satin brushed bezel, and a rubber strap lend the HydroConquest a dynamic appearance despite its monochromatic colorway. Providing a nice contrast to it are white Super-LumiNova® coated hands and indexes (blue in the dark), which also makes for superb readability regardless of lighting conditions underwater.

Longines HydroConquest full ceramic soldier

Longines HydroConquest Ceramic

Ref. L3.784.56.9

Case

  • Black ceramic
  • 43mm

Dial and Hands

  • Matt black ceramic
  • Super-LumiNova coated
  • 12, 6, 9 Arabic numerals

Functions

  • Date at 3 o’clock
  • Screwed crown
  • Unidirectional rotating bezel
  • 30 BAR water resistance
  • Sapphire glass with anti-reflective coating on both sides

Movement

  • Mechanical, self-winding movement
  • Calibre L888.3 (ETA A31.L01)
  • 64-hour power reserve

Strap

  • Rubber
  • Ceramic double security folding clasp

The Longines HydroConquest will be available in the first quarter of 2020.

 

Jean-Claude Biver Chairman of Hublot and President of the LVMH Watch Division

Jean-Claude Biver Chairman of Hublot and President of the LVMH Watch Division

Jean-Claude Biver is an institution in his own right in the watch industry.

He got his start in the world of horology in 1974, when he joined the sales department of Audemars Piguet. For most people, this was an inopportune time to be part of the mechanical watchmaking industry. Quartz had upended traditional watchmaking, and now almost all makers were either closing shop or scrambling to develop quartz movements of their own.

But as the world would eventually find out, Biver was the type of man who thrived on challenges.

Jean-Claude Biver at his desk

In 1979, Jean-Claude Biver became Omega’s youngest deputy director.  It was in his time here he began to develop his views of using traditional mechanical movements instead of converting to quartz to save Swiss watchmaking.

Biver got to test his ideas when he left Omega so that he and his friend Jacques Piguet could manage their newly purchased brand: Blancpain. The brand had ceased operations for over two decades, and the only thing it had was a name that Biver and Piguet could build on.

Piguet was in charge of the production of their timepieces and Biver was in charge of marketing, introducing the tagline, “Since 1735, there has never been a quartz Blancpain watch. And there never will be.”

While the world around them was focused on quartz, Biver and Piguet produced and sold mechanical complications such as moon phases and minute repeaters. They focused on the value and craftsmanship of traditional watchmaking and in less than two decades, they sold Blancpain to the Swatch Group for a profit.

Biver returned to Omega as a director of international marketing, and under his supervision they began one of their most memorable partnerships yet: Omega and James Bond.

After a string of improbable successes, Biver was asked to take the helm of Hublot, a small Italian brand that had introduced rubber straps on gold watches. The founder, Carlo Crocco, knew Biver from when he launched Blancpain in 1983, and was a Blancpain distributor in Spain and Italy.

Jean-Claude Biver
Biver entered Hublot as the CEO in 2004 and made changes he believed would bring success to the brand. One of which was to switch from producing mostly quartz movements, to creating mechanical movements. The next was to move from 38mm cases to larger and more modern 44mm cases.

With these changes, Hublot entered Baselworld 2005 with a big bang. Quite literally. It was at this year’s fair Biver introduced Hublot’s most successful line: Hublot Big Bang.

Much like the very first Hublot timepiece, the Hublot Big Bang resembled a porthole and married unusual materials.  It was a hit, and in November of the same year, it won the best design prize in the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve.

And that was just the beginning. Biver continued to bring forward the concept of “the art of fusion” in Hublot, resulting in some of the most unexpected collaborations and materials.

Jean-Claude Biver at Baselworld 2016 press con
In the watchmaking industry that spans hundreds of years, Hublot’s success has been an almost overnight phenomenon. And it is owed to the passion and dedication of the inimitable Jean-Claude Biver.

Although he has stepped down as an active executive of Hublot, Biver continues on as a non-executive president to look over the brand.  He also continues to tour the world, making sure more people gain deeper insight into the unconventional world of the Art of Fusion. His next stop? Metro Manila.

UPDATE | November 18, 2019: Details about Blancpain when Jean-Claude Biver bought it have been corrected. 

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