This 2022, with the return of the in-person Watches & Wonders, Roger Dubius has a special surprise for every lover of watchmaking: two new, dazzling editions of their iconic Knights of the Round Table and Excalibur. Faithful to the house’s seal of extravagance and overflowing creativity, these models are reinvented and transformed into new, epic timepieces that are sure to astound.
Knights of the Round Table MT
A reinterpretation of the Arthurian legend through Roger Dubuis’ Hyper-Horology lens, this exclusive edition of the Knights of the Round Table presents the twelve knights hand-sculpted in rose gold. Each is in a dynamic attack pose and fully armed, and at the centre comes a fine tourbillon surrounded by a table made of sapphire and Murano crystals.
In this new edition, the iconic Excalibur features a new calibre RD 720SQ, which contains a vast series of improvements to the mechanisms. Just as well, the sphere has received an expressive redesign: fully skeletonized, it is now adorned by a new, bolder star, made of clean, sharp lines that resemble those of a mythical sword.
MONTBLANC: Minerva The Unveiled Secret
The goddess of the mind and wisdom, Minerva, has inspired artisans for centuries. Myriads of great pieces, full of both beauty and wit, have been born in her name. As is natural, the watchmakers’ guild is no exception to this rule; in its almost 165 years of history, the coveted monopusher chronograph by Montblanc named after said goddess has continued to evolve into an ever-finer masterpiece. Every Minerva has a well-kept mystery: a wondrous mechanism, one of the most complicated in existence, spins tirelessly in its interior. So beautiful, that the mere idea of opening the watch just for the delight of seeing it becomes irresistible.
Little more than a century after the creation of the first Minerva, this secret comes to light: the new Montblanc: Minerva The Unveiled Secret is in itself a technical feat that completely inverts the movement, so it can be seen from the sphere. This marvellous limited-edition jewel has presented some challenges for its makers, the greatest of it being the reversal of the machinery’s functioning, so that it can still be read correctly with the inverted movement. Inspired in the calibre MB 16.29, the MB 16.26 has an extra 21 components, all finished by hand. In its most exclusive edition, limited to 18 pieces, the new Minerva is made in lime gold, with a fully skeletonized sphere, and finished with two perfect emerald green needles and matching indexes. Through the sapphire glass, the enchanting mechanism spins endlessly and glistens in its convoluted perfection.
Endowed with great beauty and complexity, the Minerva The Unveiled Secret is an object of dreams turned into reality. Its interior holds not only a myriad of wondrous components, but the arduous work of generations of watchmakers, and even, perhaps, a glimpse of a goddess’ divine beauty.
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FERDINAND BERTHOUD: Chronométre FB RSM
A true master’s work in his art cannot but turn, with the passing of time, into a great legacy. Ferdinand Berthoud, who lived during the XVIII century, was one of the best clockmakers ever known, and nowadays his legacy lives on in those who keep his workshop with great zeal. Almost four hundred years later, his teachings have trickled down via his apprentices, in a long chain of masters and students that continues still today.
This year’s most incredible release comes in all of Berthoud’s fashion: commissioned to a fine student as a graduation project, the Chronométre FB RSM is inspired by the Marine Clock N.8, a work of Ferdinand Berthoud for Louis XV. It has a beautiful tourbillon regulator with spindle-chain transmission, an independent dead seconds hand and stop-seconds mechanism. A handsome, partially skeletonized face touches up the excellent manufacture with an 18-carat, hand-engraved gold sphere. A true jewel both in mechanism and making, the brand has agreed only to produce 20 of these impressive movements. The Chronométre FB RSM is no less than the result of centuries of refinement, and its geniality has earned it a place not only as the first work of a new master watchmaker, but as a worthy heir of its name’s great tradition.
BVLGARI: Octo Finissimo Ultra
Destroying limits is key to keeping a brand relevant. BVLGARI, as one of the leading brands in the luxury industry, is no exception. When it comes to watchmaking, BVLGARI has gone and pushed the limits of watches and physics themselves. After the reveal of the Octo line in 2012, the Octo editions have consistently obtained 8 world records in the course of ten years. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Octo line, and this benchmark is celebrated with the Octo Finissimo Ultra.
Built entirely from scratch, the mechanism is unique, as it fits within the impressive 1.8 millimetre girth of the watch. This is the world’s thinnest watch, seemingly jumping between the second and third dimensions. As thick as paper, the mechanism is highly specialised and cannot be found anywhere else.
Eigh patent claims have been filed for the construction of this watch alone, embodying the essence of adventure and innovation that distinguishes BVLGARI. Now, the first ten watches will be accompanied by an exclusive NFT which will grant access to a unique digital landscape, built specifically to explore the nuances of the Octo Finissimo Ultra. This NFT file will be accessible through the embedded QR code, visible right on the face of this incredible watch.
Time itself is a playground, and Cartier takes full advantage of this to create unique watches, fun and experimental in essence. Designed for the night and for sensations, the Coussin collection has several versions, in gold, diamonds, and full colourful pavé.
The watch bodies are rounded, volumetric, and present a spiral that goes all the way to the centre, where the precious stones are set in a new triangle fashion, developed thanks to the savoir-faire of the maison. The bicolor versions use diamonds, black spinnels, Paraíba tourmaline, and tsavorites set in reverse, creating a picot texture that is another innovation for Cariter.
The special editions were created by the innovation department at the maison, in a full-body diamond pavé and a flexible body. The watch body is made out of gold meshes, intertwined in a way that allows the box to deform and get back in shape when touched. This, along the 1101 stones set throughout, create a sensorial experience unique to these watches.
A true miracle of heurologie, the mysterious clocks created by Catier at the beginning of the 20th century became a benchmark for the industry. Nowadays, the concept is taken into a miniature version in the Masse Mystérieuse watch, with a mobile calibre condensed in a small semicircle.
All complications, which compose the most complex and intricate machine built by Cartier to date, are condensed in just half of the watch body, and it all follows the rotor movement. The full mechanism is visible through the skeletonized view, and the watch hands seem to ble floating above the machinery. On top of this all, the device counteracts gravity’s effect on the watch, creating a truly outstanding miniature of the Mystery clocks.
The rotor, which is the most complex device designed by Cartier to date, spins in both directions and at an irregular speed. This works with the rest of the watch to create a visual marvel that one cannot stop staring at.
VACHERON CONSTANTIN: Ladies Patrimony
From the first pocket watches of the early 18th century to contemporary wristwatches, Vacheron Constantin has always been able to capture the spirit of the times and meet expectations. As a modern throwback to the past, this symbol of minimalist art inspired by a historic 1957 Vacheron Constantin features slimmer female anatomy with redesigned 36.5-millimeter curves and a slightly convex dial, sporting deep, shading gradient hues and bright. The Patrimony model is available in 18K white gold with a deep blue dial or beautiful 18K 5N rose gold with a sparkling pink dial, paired with a bezel set with 72 diamonds and pearlescent minute track, or with a bezel gold and minute track set with 48 diamonds. These new Patrimony watches feature interchangeable midnight blue or rosy beige alligator straps with an iridescent satin finish. They can be removed and replaced simply by pressing a button.
Demonstrating its constant growth in pursuit of excellence, Vacheron Constantin continues the travelling spirit of Overseas watches with its new skeleton Tourbillon model, characterised by several firsts. In the entire history of the collection, it is the first machinery equipped with a tourbillon movement in a skeletonized version. Said Calibre 2160 movement has allowed craftsmen a complete replacement of its architecture, with a height of just 5.65 millimetres that makes it possible to admire the work done on the base plate. In addition to boasting the artisanal finishes characteristic of Haute Horlogerie, this device features an original Breguet hairspring regulating organ. The fretwork on the barrel shows a cover embellished with a compass rose motif, another original feature of Calibre 2160. Available in 5N 18K rose gold and grade 5 titanium, this second version is the first timepiece by Vacheron Constantin entirely made, crown and bezel included, with said metal. Both versions are offered with two interchangeable calfskin and rubber straps: black with two 5N 18K rose gold pin buckles on the gold model; and blue with an interchangeable titanium folding clasp, in the case of the titanium model.
PIAGET: Limelight Gala
The Limelight Gala Precious is a work of radiance, featuring a malachite dial framed by a beautifully colored gradient frame of tsavorites and diamonds on the asymmetrical bezel. The watch is housed in a 32mm white gold case and the malachite dial is paired with a center circle entirely paved with diamonds using the snow setting. The Limelight Gala Precious features 174 diamonds and 22 tsavorites and took 22 hours to make, case-wise and gem-setting-wise. It is powered by the Manufacture 501P1 automatic movement, which is visible through a sapphire case back.
Piaget wanted to create a sophisticated watch for everyday use, a model that would incorporate the important elements that make it stand out as a house of fine jewelry, an ode to the charismatic, the trendsetters, the risk-takers, the doers, celebrations, living life to the fullest. Diamonds will do everything in their power to attract attention, but even gemstones can’t distract from one of the world’s thinnest automatic mechanical movements, the 1200S1 is not only skeletonized but also ultra-thin at just 2.4mm The Polo Skeleton model is the pinnacle of Piaget’s skeleton art. Like its predecessors, this version has an off-center oscillating weight at 8 p, which allows more light to enter through two sapphire crystals that make it possible to appreciate each of the layers of fine gear that make up the watch. However, a first for this model is its ability to regularize its resistance against magnetic fields. Measuring a mere 7.35mm thick, this watch’s 42mm white gold case has been adorned with 268 brilliant-cut diamonds and comes with a polished white gold ‘H’, and a satin-finish integrated design bracelet which has been set with a further 1,478 brilliant-cut diamonds.
ROLEX: Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40
A timeless piece, synonymous with elegance and power, the Day-Date is an artifact that tells more than time about who wears it. Well-known as the “Presidents’ Watch”, more than an accessory it is a statement about its wearer: strong-willed, fine bearing and with excellent taste. In this new edition, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40 returns with the classical calibre 3255, completely developed and produced in-house and certified by the Superlative Chronometer. Its Oyster case is guaranteed to be waterproof at up to 100 meters underwater, and a comely fluted bezel frames an ice-blue face. Its most distinctive quality is, perhaps, its 950-platinum case, along with a matching President Bracelet. For the first time in the most precious metal in the world, the new Day-Date casts bright ice blue reflections and restates its name as the watch equivalent with prestige.
HUBLOT: Classic Fusion Orlinski Bracelet
HUBLOT is committed to a visionary future that seeks to highlight the concept of the association of gold and rubber. Guided by their “Be First, Different and Unique” philosophy they unveil the missing link in their collaboration with Richard Orlinski, four variants of the Classic Fusion Orlinski Bracelet featuring an integrated metal bracelet that innovatively highlights the works of the contemporary French artist.
To get to what is now the watch, it was necessary to guarantee an adequate mechanical and aesthetic integration of the bracelet in the case with a titanium design, with a polished bevelled and faceted structure made up of 83 pieces. The watch presented a real challenge for the watchmakers required to develop a machine whose edges, bevels and facets fit perfectly with the case, bezel, and crown. Its polished titanium case houses the HUB1100 movement, a self-winding calibre that offers a 42-hour power reserve. Available in black or white ceramic, the dial also sports the angular facets that Richard Orlinski loves.
An exploration of the cosmos is the only logical next step for a brand as innovative as Jaeger-LeCoultre. With the models presented in 2022, the Swiss watchmaker house explores the limits of the known universe.
Rendez-Vous Dazzling Star
Shooting stars are a mystical occurrence that has fascinated humankind for centuries. Their apparent randomness and their incredibly short lifespan are now the source of inspiration for the 2022 Rendez-Vous. The blue Aventurine dial hides a secret behind the central discs: a small shooting star icon appears every so often, in a random manner, its spontaneity making it even more special. The star is encircled by a ring of diamonds, and the dial itself is framed by diamonds set on pink gold. The Floral hands point to the Floral font numerals. This Rendez-Vous is powered by a new in-house calibre 734, which incorporates the shooting star mechanism, capturing the cosmic wonder and placing a true shooting star on the wrist of the wearer.
Master Hybris Artistica Calibre 945 Galaxia & Atomium
A watch that masters sidereal time, measured by the rotation of the Earth in relation to distant fixed stars, comes in the form of the Master Hybris Artistica Calibre 945. A hand-enamelled disc takes centre stage, showing the constellations as seen from Jaeger-LeCoultre’s house at Vallée de Joux, tracking their position in real time. The enamel is applied using a masterful grisaille technique, with ultrafine brushes and firing processes between each enamel coating, creating an illusion of depth. As is customary with Jaeger-LeCoultre, the chiming of the watch is pitch-perfect, creating a truly cosmic experience when utilising this watch. The Cosmotourbillon goes above the normal functions while it spins counter-clockwise in the span of a sidereal day.
Texts: Roger Dubuis, Ferdinand Berthoud, Rolex & Montblanc by Elena R. Tovar
Piaget, Hublot & Vacheron Constantin by Selma M. Martínez
Bvlgari, Cartier & Jaeger-LeCoultre by Roberto Alcántara