Switzerland’s annual Baselworld watch and jewellery show was held earlier this year – and as always, the designs were out of this world. Although PM tends to avoid bling (it’s not really a guy thing – or at least, it shouldn’t be), we have to celebrate the lateral thinking and sheer nerve behind some of the watch concepts on display. Here’s our pick of the bunch…
HYT H1 DLC-PINK GOLD-BLACK DLC
The latest version of the celebrated H1 hybrid watch matches pink gold with the black DLC titanium of the original. Why hybrid? Well, it combines horological mechanics with fluid mechanics – and here’s how it works. Two reservoirs take position at 6 o’clock: as one compresses, the other expands, pushing the fluorescent liquid through the capillary.
As the hours pass, the liquid advances. The meniscus, in the shape of a half-moon, marks the breaking point with the other fluid in the tube, indicating the time. At 18:00, in a retrograde movement, the liquid reverts to its original position. According to HYT, their new watch takes an out-of-the- box approach to time. That sounds about right.
Cool factor: ****
CORUM TI-BRIDGE AUTOMATIC DUAL WINDER
Corum has developed a Dual Winder system that’s said to herald a new chapter in watchmaking history: it draws its energy from two inline-mounted oscillating weights, interconnected via a transmission that makes them move in parallel. The movement is held in the centre of the case by four titanium crossbars, creating the impression of a suspended mechanism.
Water-resistant to 30 m, it comes with an automatic linear-winding baguette movement, a titanium case, a minute circle on the inner bezel ring, and anti-reflective sapphire crystals (front and back).
Cool factor: ***
MCT SEQUENTIAL ONE S110
The resolutely technical design of this timepiece, an “evolution” of an earlier model by Eric Giroud, is the work of watchmaking designer Fabrice Gonet. Its style is described as a combination of avant-garde and traditional Swiss horology. The open-worked dial has been removed to reveal the depth of the watch and to accentuate the perspectives created by the prism assemblies, the cross-shaped bridge and the minutes pointer.
The hours are indicated by four assemblies of five triangular prisms and the minutes by a three-part 270-degree rotating disc. A central sapphire crystal divides the dial into two separate parts.
Cool factor: ****
ARTYA SON OF SOUND
As its name suggests, this watch is not about elegant understatement. In fact, the new model is entirely in line with the spirit of daring and slightly crazy collections, and resolutely imbued with the DNA of designer Yvan Arpa and his ArtyA brand. Following the debut of his Son of Earth (incorporating butterfly wings), Son of Gears (with in-house complications) and Son of a Gun models (featuring real cartridges), we’re introduced to a timepiece that’s equally sure to attract attention.
Think guitar head-shaped case, pushers inspired by tuning pegs, hands sweeping over metronome-type discs… all the elements that give time its unique rhythm (that is, if you’re in the Yvan zone). Oh, and an 18-carat pink gold and titanium case with crocodile-skin strap.
Cool factor: **
SPERO LUCEM LA CLÉMENCE
Designer Yvan Arpa pays tribute to his home town by naming the brand’s first model, a minute repeater called “La Clémence”, after one of the bells in Geneva’s cathedral. This hand-wound watch features a unique complication in the shape of hands that “go crazy” when the striking mechanism is activated.
Specs include a flying tourbillon at 6 o’clock, 471 parts, 59 jewels and a 90-hour power reserve. The case is fashioned from 18-carat gold or two-tone titanium and gold, with a sapphire crystal face and crocodile skin strap.
Cool factor: ***