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OMEGA reintroduces the iconic Calibre 321

MD Staff

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If you ask most watch fans to name a famous movement they’d like to see reborn, you’re bound to hear them mention the OMEGA Calibre 321. This robust and elegant chronograph movement has been a favourite since the 1940s and is still highly sought-after by watch collectors around the world. Now, more than 50 years after the last Calibre 321 was produced, OMEGA is bringing the iconic movement back.

Known for its beautifully intricate design, the original Calibre 321 earned a notable place in history. It was used in a variety of models including the Speedmaster ST 105.003 (the model first tested and qualified by NASA and worn by astronaut Ed White during the first American spacewalk) and the Speedmaster ST 105.012 (the first watch worn on the moon).

Reintroducing a movement with such an important reputation must therefore be done with the utmost exactness. For the Calibre 321 project, OMEGA utilised a dedicated team of experts who worked efficiently over two years and in total secrecy to bring the movement to life. The small group was composed of researchers, developers and historians, as well as the finest craftsmen and experienced watchmakers.

Using the 2nd generation Calibre 321 as a reference, the OMEGA team compiled extensive historical research and original plans to reconstruct the movement as accurately as possible. Going even further, they also used digital scanning technology to see inside the true Speedmaster ST 105.003 timepiece that astronaut Eugene “Gene” Cernan wore on the moon during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.

As a result, even the most unique and iconic parts of the Calibre 321 have been reborn in respect to their authentic specifications. The new movements will now go into production at OMEGA’s HQ site in Bienne. Uniquely, all aspects of creation will be undertaken within a dedicated Calibre 321 workshop. For each movement, the assembly, as well as the watch head and bracelet assembly will be performed by the same watchmaker. Watch fans can expect more developments and news in the coming months.

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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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