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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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Dongyu Zhou wears Constellation

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Award-winning Chinese actress Dongyu Zhou wears OMEGA’s Constellation Small Seconds.

A winner of multiple domestic and foreign film awards, Dongyu Zhou is an accomplished actress capable of delivering convincing and critically acclaimed performances ranging in genres from crime thriller to romantic comedy.

Her many accolades include the Best Actress award at the 53rd Golden Horse Awards in 2016 for her impressive performance in Soul Mate, and best actress for Better Days at the 39th Hong Kong Film Awards and 33rd Golden Rooster Awards.

As Dongyu Zhou is the youngest actress to have been honoured with the three most significant film accolades in the history of Chinese film, her choice of watch proves that the timeless OMEGA is never out of step with style.

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A New Tribe Lands As An Icon Ascends

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Roger Dubuis has consistently demonstrated a penchant for impertinence and extravagance. Sustained by an integrated manufacture, a flagrant disregard for convention is the backbone of its bold attitude. A true innovator, the luxury watchmaker is driven by an irrepressible willingness to come up with high-impact ideas, boundary-pushing technologies and unmistakable out-of-the-box designs. Living by the motto NO RULES, OUR GAME, the Maison proves once again it is the most exciting way to experience Hyper Horology with the launch of the new Excalibur Single Flying Tourbillon.

THE FUTURE OF HYPER HOROLOGY IS HERE

Extravagant, determined and disruptive, the bold and bright are the ones that stand out. Just like any star should. But a star doesn’t just appear. It takes dedication. Innovation. Craftsmanship. Only then can an icon ascend…Introducing the Excalibur Single Flying Tourbillon: a star restyled for the new world. To mark the launch of the inimitable skeleton design reinterpreted with a contemporary touch, Roger Dubuis is set to celebrate modern art in all its shapes. Taking form in Hyper Horology with the Maison’s most recent interpretation of the Excalibur Single Flying Tourbillon, this icon of watchmaking is brought to a whole new level; a masterpiece that cannot be ignored, just like its wearer.

Finding kinship with those disruptive souls who dare to make a difference, the Maison partners with the URBAN ART TRIBE, world-famous urban culture artists that reflect Roger Dubuis’ values: break the rules, showcase radical expertise and obsess daily over the design of the future.

THE EXCALIBUR SINGLE FLYING TOURBILLON: FROM A TIMEPIECE TO A MASTERPIECE

Roger Dubuis continues shaking up the world of haute horlogerie with the launch of the new Excalibur Single Flying Tourbillon. Enhanced with meticulous care, the timepiece is reinterpreted with sophistication and flair using modern and technical materials.

A contemporary masterpiece for the wrist, the new design showcases clean cut lines on both case and movement. Creating the impression of a thinner look and feel, while heightening the sense of transparency and depth, the calibre is rebuilt from bottom to top in an architectural feat that sees the Roger Dubuis star now levitate freely above the barrel. A strong visual identity is created with a signature two-line pattern – seen between the notch on the crown and bezel, the star’s arms, the tourbillon’s cage, the hour’s marking on the flange, the hands – all of which cleverly appear as though they will meet but never do. This dynamic aesthetic is amplified by the Poinçon de Genève, the most demanding signature in fine watchmaking and one that requires the manual decoration of each and every component of the watch, as well as unexpected and antinomic decorations in modern haute horlogerie, such as circular-brushed top surfaces and polished angles that demonstrate Roger Dubuis’ visionary approach.

Always keeping the wearer in mind, the new RD512SQ calibre is stunning in its technical prowess. Now with a titanium lower tourbillon cage – twice lighter than stainless steel – and a mirror-polished Cobalt Chrome upper tourbillon cage, the weight of the piece is reduced to optimum effect. All of which allows the power reserve to be radically optimised to 72 hours, providing the option of leaving the watch unworn over weekends without the worry of resetting come Monday. Proving no detail goes unconsidered, non-magnetic material is used inside the tourbillon to better serve the wearers and improve their experience.

Comfort is key, which is why a range of entirely new strap sizes have become available. With 5 sizes from 0 to 4, finding the perfect strap ensures the buckle is always centred on the wrist, as a Quick Release System offers ultimate flexibility. Underscored by rarity, the 42mm case is only available in eighty-eight pieces per colourway: Dark Grey DLC Titanium, Cobalt Chrome CarTech Micro-Melt BioDur CCMTM and the new EON GOLD, a pink gold shade that remains more stable thanks to non-tarnish technology. Reimagined for a contemporary era, an icon ascends in the shape of the Excalibur Single Flying Tourbillon.

THE ART OF GLOW

Showcasing the Maison’s obsession with art, light and luminescence, in addition to our icons comes the Excalibur Glow Me Up, a world-premiere for Roger Dubuis limited to just eight timepieces.

By day, the new Single Flying Tourbillon calibre is elegantly adorned with 60 baguette-cut diamonds on the bezel. By night, it’s a complete different version that comes to life through this vibrant timepiece with luminescent and dazzling diamonds, an achievement made possible thanks to an intricate two-part process. The first involves filling the grooves that hold the stones in place with Super-Luminova, a singular way to make the diamonds appear luminescent without altering them. Secondly, an additional patent enables Super-Luminova to be applied on the angles of the movement, as well as to the iconic star-shaped bridge. Because at Roger Dubuis less is never more.

ART IN THE MAKING

Roger Dubuis is a destination for the avant-garde. Committed to non-conformity, the Maison stands with those who choose to blaze their own trail. To show what happens when rules are rejected and creativity is unleashed, Roger Dubuis partners with the URBAN ART TRIBE, composed of two urban culture creatives – tattoo artist Dr. Woo and graffiti artist Gully. Rulebreakers in their own fields, they too shape the future by refusing to take ‘no’ for an answer. Brought together to unite a wider community of daring minds, Roger Dubuis and the URBAN ART TRIBE hope to encourage people to challenge the way things are, just as the Maison does when it comes to Hyper Horology, and Dr. Woo and Gully do in their industries.

A leading name among an influential elite who see tattoos, art and fashion as an indissociable whole, Dr. Woo’s singular approach to needle style has shifted the paradigm for tattoos, taking them from subculture to broad popular appeal. Of the partnership he says: “I’ve taken this path because I don’t know where it leads, and that is exactly why I’m here – to seek the unknown and go out of my comfort zone. Tattooing and watchmaking have that in common: the same attention to detail, a dot vs. a tiny component, assembled perfectly for you to see the bigger picture.”

Gully, a well-known graffiti artist, chooses to work exclusively in his own atelier to maintain his anonymity. He uses a wide variety of mixed techniques and materials and explains his artistic concept as one based on conscious appropriation. Telling visual stories of children appearing in splendid settings, he reveals their enchantment with art and particularly with the paintings of the great masters. Speaking to the concept of the tribe, he comments: “Two worlds, a crossing path. I feel driven by the same energy and insatiable envy to come up with something we have never seen before. It comes as a bombshell, provokes surprise, and arouses interest. Bringing different worlds together is my trademark, so I can’t wait to show you the Gully x Roger Dubuis mixture.”

Generously opening the doors to their respective workshops, Dr. Woo and Gully will begin their long-term partnerships with Roger Dubuis by first sharing their creative processes at work. Initially set to reinterpret the brand’s iconic astral signature, they will continue to co-create the future of Hyper Horology alongside the Maison.

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Breitling’s Heritage, Revived

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Inspired by the inventive spirit of Breitling’s founders, the new Premier Heritage Collection is for the modern and discerning man of impeccable taste. These exquisite timepieces are the brand’s most elegant and refined.

“This heritage-inspired design with a stylish modern twist embodies some of Breitling’s most famous innovations, and revives Breitling’s legacy of inventing the modern chronograph. This truly is our heritage revived,” says Georges Kern of Breitling’s timelessly elegant new collection.

The Premier Heritage Collection pays homage to Breitling’s very own Founders Squad: three generations of men who changed the history of timekeeping and made Breitling what it is today. Léon Breitling founded the company in 1884; later, he patented a simple timer/tachymeter that could measure any speed between 15 and 150 km/h, an invention featured in the 1906 Vitesse pocket watch.

In 1915, his son, Gaston, created one of the first wrist-worn chronographs with an independent pusher at 2 o’clock. This innovation separated the start, stop, and reset functions from the crown, making it infinitely more practical for timing sports.

In 1934, Léon’s grandson, Willy, patented the second independent chronograph pusher at 4 o’clock. Among Willy Breitling’s celebrated pioneering achievements was the establishment of the Huit Aviation Department in 1938.

Impeccable taste

Besides being bold and tech savvy, Willy Breitling understood people’s desire for a touch of elegance and glamour. This inspired him to design the original Premier wristwatches in the 1940s, Breitling’s first step in linking purpose with style. As Willy saw it, “When a man puts on his watch, it is the unmistakable stamp of impeccable taste.”

The latest generation of Premiers – Breitling’s Premier Heritage Collection – brings this timeless elegance back to life. The collection includes six watches divided into three distinctive categories: The Chronograph, The Duograph, and The Datora.

All feature Arabic numerals, vintage-inspired hands and semi-shiny alligator straps with tone-on-tone stitching. Every watch is a COSC-certified chronometer and water-resistant up to 100 meters.

Groundbreaking functions

The 40 mm Premier Heritage Chronograph is manually wound, just like its 1940s predecessors. It is powered by the Breitling Manufacture Caliber B09, which is based on the Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01. It comes in two variations: with an eye-catching pistachio-green dial encased in stainless steel or a stately silver-colored dial encased in 18 k red gold.

With stainless-steel and 18 k red gold cases measuring 42 mm, the Premier Heritage Duograph comes with a blue or black dial, respectively. Its rattrapante function – one of the most elaborate in watchmaking – enables the wearer to measure two elapsed times simultaneously thanks to its two superimposed chronograph hands. This piece houses the mechanical hand-wound Breitling Manufacture Caliber B15, which is based on the Breitling Manufacture Caliber B03.

Like its 1940s predecessor, the 42 mm Premier Heritage Datora also stands out for its highly visible and complex functions, namely its day, date, and moon-phase displays. It is powered by the Manufacture Caliber B25. The Datora’s copper-colored face is framed by a stainless-steel case, while its silver-colored dial comes in an 18 k red gold one.

All three models of the Premier Heritage Collection highlight Breitling’s mastery of timekeeping as it has evolved over the generations.

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