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BOVET Unveils Virtuoso IX at SIHH

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When imagining a new timepiece, BOVET 1822 owner Pascal Raffy relentlessly weighs contemporary interpretation against the Maison’s historical heritage to ensure coherence and harmony.

Considering the watchmaking practice of the Bovet brothers at the dawn of the 19th century reveals how perfectly they mastered traditional watchmaking and the decorative arts of the Académie. At the same time, they expressed a very contemporary and innovative vision, both technically and stylistically.

If art and watchmaking experts recognize the work of the Bovet brothers in all its diversity, it is because the common denominator between academic tradition and innovation has always been uncompromising quality, in the service of reliability, chronometry, elegance, and good taste. Pascal Raffy has tasked himself with achieving this same subtle balance in the design of the Tourbillon Amadéo® Fleurier Virtuoso IX.

This all-new caliber is housed in a 46.30-mm diameter Fleurier Amadéo® convertible case. A true icon of the Maison, the Amadéo® system transforms the timepiece into a reversible wristwatch, a pocket watch, or a table clock without the use of any tools. Additionally, the Virtuoso IX case is equipped with a fascinating new mechanism, allowing the case back to be opened simply by applying pressure to the crown. The proven ergonomics of the Fleurier case make this timepiece suited for everyday wear. In the same vein, its features  and complications will always be of use to the collector, both over time and throughout their travels.

The dial is meticulously organized for clarity, yet exudes a unique style. Only the minute hand is centered on the dial. The hour hand is offset at 2 o’clock, and a second hour hand, the 24- hour hand, displays a second time zone at 10 o’clock. Both local time and the secondary time zone thus share the minute hand. A corresponding indication displays the second time zone’s city name. Two lateral correctors make adjusting and selecting a time zone easy, all while taking into account the differences between daylight savings time and standard time

Logically, a big date indication is included with these complications, positioned on the right side of the dial. Its aperture opens wide without separating the tens from the units. The ingenuity of the Maison’s watchmakers allows the date to be displayed as big as possible while minimizing the space required for its mechanism.

The power reserve indicator sits at 8 o’clock, balancing the big date indicator and notifying the wearer at a glance just how much of the 10-day power supply remains.

The timepiece boasts an entirely new face on the reverse side. Though no dial is present, the hours and minutes are centered directly over the complex movement, an unobstructed and view enclosed within sapphire crystal. The openwork bridges evoke the iconic architecture of 19th century BOVET movements, each surface engraved with a sparkling “bris de verre” motif. Once engraved, chamfered, and entirely decorated, the bridges are coated with a blue CVD treatment, which contrasts beautifully with the rhodium plated platinum. This color combination was a favorite of the Bovet brothers usually employed on high polished or finely engraved surfaces.

On this same face, those with a keen-eye for detail will notice a circular opening at 12 o’clock that reveals an uncommon mechanism. The twice-patented spherical differential winding system. generates 10 days of power reserve for the Virtuoso IX from a single barrel. This feature demonstrates how the technicians and watchmakers at Maison BOVET have completely mastered the art of power reserve. The drawback of such a feat would be the time required to wind this type of spring. The differential spherical system ingeniously solves  this issue by halving the number of turns of the crown required to fully wind the timepiece, without increasing the torque of the winding mechanism.

For optimal chronometry, the movement is regulated by the patented double face flying tourbillon. In this innovative construction, the tourbillon’s fixed point is at the center of its axis. Its distribution on either side of the balance-spring and escapement significantly reduces the lever arm effect and improves the chronometry. The variable-inertia balance-wheel is based on the traditional balance-spring made in the Manufacture BOVET 1822 workshops, a science that less than ten watchmakers in the world have mastered. By manufacturing balance springs in house, BOVET 1822 can achieve complete quality control and the best performance possible by perfectly pairing the balance-wheel and balance-spring. Between technical and aesthetic refinement, the bridge carriage alone requires two days of labor to decorate and to round the arms before the faceted sapphire is set.

The true face of the timepiece, the dial, is by definition the focal component. With the Virtuoso IX, the Maison’s dial craftsmen once again showcase the extent of their combined talent. The base of the dial is finely guilloched with a sumptuous fan motif. Eight layers of translucent lacquer are then applied before the surface of the dial is polished. The flinqué dial is bathed in blue tones and highlights, reminiscent of the richness of 19th century enamels. As much for readability as for elegance, the hour contours and second gradations display both a circular satin and rhodium finish. The Virtuoso IX is available in white gold, red gold, or platinum.

The Virtuoso IX represents the culmination of two centuries of uncompromising artisanal watchmaking history and art in its noblest form, its ingenuity underlined by four unique patents. In keeping with the technical achievements and classical elegance championd by the Bovet brothers, these innovations serve: comfort, reliability, precision, elegance and aesthetics. After all, at BOVET, innovation has been an tradition since 1822.

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The Breitling AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition

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In 1953, Breitling launched its Ref. 765 AVI, a pilot’s watch (AVI stood for “aviation”) known as the “Co-Pilot”. It had a particularly bold look with a rotating bezel and oversized Arabic numerals, and its impressive legibility made it a favorite among aviators. Breitling is honoring this classic chronograph’s legacy with the AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition.

The new AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition is a carefully researched and crafted re-edition of the legendary Co-Pilot and is based on one of the early iterations from that year. The Co-Pilot was a 1950s interpretation of the onboard clocks designed and produced by Breitling’s Huit Aviation Department in the 1930s and 1940s, which have already provided inspiration for the watches in the Aviator 8 collection. 

The new watch coexists comfortably with another Breitling icon: the Navitimer, with its famous circular slide rule, established its sterling reputation for flight calculations, while the Co-Pilot, with its superior legibility and rugged construction, was particularly valued as a reliable companion equal to the challenges of aerial activity in the most extreme of circumstances.

The Breitling AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition

The AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition is the brand’s second historical re-edition. The first, the Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition, was one of the most popular releases of 2019 – and the new watch is set to follow in its footsteps. Georges Kern knows that the new watch will enjoy the same enthusiastic reception as the previous Re-Edition, saying: “It was always clear to us that long-time Breitling fans would embrace these watches. But it’s also exciting to see how strongly they appeal to people who are new to our brand – they can take one look at a Re-Edition and see how much living history, innovation, and cool luxury we can pack into a single watch.”

The AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition is being produced in a limited series of 1953 pieces, each of which will be numbered “ONE OF 1953”. The watch is powered by the Breitling Manufacture Caliber B09, a manually wound mechanical chronograph movement based on the brand’s celebrated in-house Manufacture Caliber 01. The B09 was designed with the Re-Edition models in mind, and, like all Breitling movements, it is a COSC-­certified chronometer.

Breitling’s Re-Edition Watches – Attention to Detail, Respect for a Legacy

Breitling’s Re-Edition watches are created with painstaking attention to detail. Every effort is made to ensure that each one is a faithful reproduction of the original.

The AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition features the same Arabic numerals as the 1953 Co-Pilot as well as hand-applied Super-LumiNova®, the color of which has been carefully chosen to recall the luminescent material on the original. The 41.1-millimeter stainless-steel case is also identical, and the bezel is secured by three screws that are placed in precisely the same positions as those on the watch from 1953. The watch features thin syringe hands, which exactly match those on the earliest examples, and a domed hesalite crystal that has been fashioned in precisely the same shape as the original. 

There are only two concessions that distinguish this new timepiece from its famous ancestor: the water resistance of the AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition has been improved to 3 bar (30 meters/100 feet) compared to the original version, and keen-eyed observers will also see that “GENEVE” no longer appears on the dial. 

The Breitling AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition is presented on a black vintage-inspired leather strap with a pin buckle and comes with a five-year warranty.

The Breitling AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition in Precious Metals

There is no question that Breitling aficionados will be drawn to the AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition and a chance to wear a piece of history on their wrists.

Breitling will also be releasing the AVI 1953 Edition in two striking precious-metal versions. The first is crafted in 18 k red gold with a black dial and a brown vintage-inspired leather strap. This model will have a limited-edition run of 253 pieces, and “ONE OF 253” will be engraved on its caseback. The second is being produced in platinum and features a blue dial and a gold vintage-inspired leather strap. This extraordinary version will be available in a limited edition of only 153 pieces, a fact that will be verified by “ONE OF 153” engraved on the back of the platinum case.

These AVI 1953 Edition watches created using precious metals also offer water resistance to 3 bar (30 meters/100 feet) and feature hand-applied Super-LumiNova®, the color of which calls to mind the luminescent material on the original watch.

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Celebrate Time With A Personalised Engraving On Your Jaeger Lecoultre Reverso

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When Jaeger‑LeCoultre introduced the Reverso almost 90 years ago, its blank metal flip side was designed purely as a functional solution to the need for polo players to protect the delicate glass of their watches. However, it immediately became a canvas for special messages and artistic expression, decorated with enamel or engravings.

Some would commission engravings for themselves – to mark one of life’s milestones or as a reminder of something deeply meaningful. Others would commission engravings as a gift for someone special in their lives – perhaps a significant date, maybe a message of love. Thanks to the Reverso’s design – unlike any other watch – the decoration could be kept secret or flipped over to be displayed to the world.

Continuing this tradition, three of the Maison’s friends share their stories about how they have personalised their Reverso watches.

NICHOLAS HOULT

A watch enthusiast since he was very young, British actor Nicholas Hoult (The Favourite, X-Men, A Single Man) has enjoyed close links with Jaeger‑LeCoultre for the past four years, regularly participating in the Maison’s cinema-related activities. His Reverso, a Reverso Classic Large Small Second in Steel, reflects his relaxed and classical style of dressing and his choice of engraving – his son’s initials – is equally classical, yet deeply personal. The first time he spoke about his baby in an interview, he said that being a father “makes you value time differently” – so it is especially fitting to have his son’s initials engraved on a favourite timepiece.

I engraved the initials HKH as a way to honour my son and keep him close to me every day.  Timepieces have a tradition in my family of being passed down between generations.  I am excited to pass along this watch to my son one day, “ says Hoult, adding that his interest in watches began through his own father’s fascination with timepieces. Through his choice of engraving, Hoult has created a future heirloom with a deep emotional connection to his family.

AMANDA SEYFRIED

Welcomed by Jaeger‑LeCoultre as a friend of the Maison at the beginning of 2019, when she attended SIHH for the first time, American actress Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia! Les Misérables) often speaks about her beloved dog, Finn. Since she rescued the Australian Shepherd from an animal shelter almost a decade ago, he has played a major part in her life.

For the flip side of her Reverso Classic Medium Thin, she asked Jaeger‑LeCoultre’s engravers to reproduce a favourite photograph of Finn. “He’s been my constant companion, unconditional support, and the guiding light in my life,” explains Seyfried. “He’s my forever lucky charm and having his little face against my skin every day will be the perfect reminder of how special our bond is.”

NI NI

With starring roles in The Flowers of War and Love and Destiny among her credits, Ni Ni is one of China’s most acclaimed young actresses. A friend of Jaeger‑LeCoultre since 2018, she has taken an active role off-screen in the Maison’s initiatives to support and preserve the cinematic arts. For her Reverso, Ni Ni has chosen plum blossom as a poignant reminder of her home town – but it could just as easily be seen as an allegory of the actress’s delicate beauty and inner strength.

When I was a child, many Chinese poems about the elegance and resilience of the plum blossom impressed me a lot. In my hometown, Nanjing, we have the ‘best Plum Blossom Mountain in China’ and Xuanwu Lake, where you can find plum trees blooming vibrantly even in winter snow,” Ni Ni explains. “The choice to include these elements was not only due to the classic beauty of the plum blossom, but also because it’s symbolic of perseverance in the face of adversity.” The cool tone of the steel case of Ni Ni’s Reverso Classic Medium Thin makes a beautiful background for the delicate engraving of the plum blossoms.

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Big Bang Special Edition Rockies

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Swiss luxury watchmaker Hublot celebrated the opening of its first U.S. mountain-resort boutique in Aspen and launch of the Spirit of Big Bang Special Edition Rockies. The celebration hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony, cocktail reception, and dinner alongside friend of the brand, Olympic Gold Medalist, and world champion, Bode Miller.

VIP and members of the media enjoyed an action-packed day set against the unrivaled Aspen landscape, hitting the slopes at Aspen Snowmass while keeping time with Hublot clocks on display throughout the resort. The evening kicked off with an official ribbon cutting ceremony presented by Jean-Francois Sberro, President of Hublot North America, which flowed into a cocktail reception where guests perused Hublot’s latest novelties and mingled with Bode Miller. All attention turned to Jean-Francois Sberro as the hazy white glass of the main vitrines faded to reveal the Spirit of Big Bang Rockies. To cap the day of celebrations, guests dined at legendary members-only Caribou Club, toasting to Hublot’s expanding presence in Aspen.

Hublot has developed strong relationships with leading ski destinations around the world, so we are proud to be opening the first North American mountain-resort boutique in the iconic city of Aspen. We are looking forward to developing our relationship with this incredible city and are grateful for Bode Miller’s continued support.”  -Jean-Francois Sberro, CEO HUBLOT NORTH AMERICA

I am excited to be joining Hublot again as they continue to bring the brand’s culture of excellence to Aspen.” -Bode Miller, OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST, HUBLOT FRIEND OF THE BRAND

The Spirit of Big Bang Special Edition Rockies, limited to 25 pieces, features a white ceramic case and blue lined rubber straps, offering another chic take on the brand’s signature Art of Fusion. Designed for the serious and stylish skier, the high-tech ceramic – zirconium dioxide with high temperature sintering – provides a hard and solid case resistant to scratching and ageing, yet lighter than steel. Sporty and sophisticated, the trademark rubber straps add another element of function and style. Outfitted with the quintessential colors of ski season, snow white against clear blue skies, the newest Spirit of Big Bang houses the HUB4700 self-winding chronograph movement inside the iconic 42mm tonneau case.

Hublot Aspen, the brand’s first mountain-resort boutique in North America, will be operating through the winter with a full selection of timepieces in addition to the exclusive special edition Spirit of Big Bang Rockies. Featuring a bar and lounge with evening trading hours, the boutique is perfect for après! Located in the heart of West End, the charming and vibrant bustle of the town encompassed by the Rocky Mountains creates the perfect backdrop for Hublot.

The seasonal boutique supports Hublot’s position as the Official Timekeeper of Aspen Snowmass, one of the most prestigious ski destinations in North America, where Hublot reinforces the mountain culture closely tied to the brand’s Swiss heritage. In addition to this partnership, Hublot has developed strong relationships with leading luxury ski resorts around the world including Courchevel 1850 in the French Alps and Zermatt, where Hublot opened a chalet-styled boutique in both villages, released dedicated limited editions, and signed partnerships with iconic actors and venues affiliated with both resorts. Aspen Snowmass Resort joined the Hublot portfolio sharing the same ambition of being “first, unique and different” and celebrating ski culture.

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