May 24, 2017
Watch out for multidimensional timepieces with high-tech details, layered dials, bold shapes, and a host of innovative new complexities.
Clockwise from top left:
This Hublot MP-05 LaFerrari 50 Days Power Reserve watch ($345,000) is a magnificent rendition of three-dimensional artistry. The aperture on the front side of the watch reveals a vertical tourbillon escapement that has been moved from within the movement to this dimension. The manual-wind HUB9005 movement (visible from the top of the watch) replicates sports car cylinders and rocker arms, and offers 50 days of power reserve. The titanium-cased watch displays the time via revolving disks. Available by appointment at King Jewelers, 18265 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura, 305-935-4900
From Richard Mille, this RM022 Tourbillon Aerodyne Dual Time Zone Black Carbon watch ($480,000) is one of just 10 pieces being made. The tripartite case is crafted in NTPT® (North Thin Ply Technology) carbon, a high tech material used in the aeronautic industry. The watch offers torque indication, function selection, dual time display, and power reserve indication. Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., 305-866-6656
This Bulgari Saphir UltraNero watch ($198,000) is crafted in black DLC-coated titanium with sapphire crystal caseback, case, and sides for ultra visibility. The 53mm watch houses a fully visible, skeletonized manual movement with tourbillon escapement. The green glow effect is the result of tiny green microtubes of Super-Luminova inserted into the central portion of the case. Just 30 pieces will be made. Available by appointment at Bulgari, Miami Design District, 140 NE 39th St., 305-576-6506
From Greubel Forsey, this Double Tourbillon 30° Technique Bi-color watch ($620,000) is crafted in platinum with engraved ADLC titanium side plates. Created in a limited edition of just 22 pieces, the mechanical hand-wound watch houses the patented 396-part tourbillon Caliber GF02s with two tourbillon escapements angled at 30 degrees, and constantly rotating at different intervals for exacting precision. Les Bijoux, 306 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, 561-361-2311
Thanks to nanotechnology, high-precision cutting machines, and endless creativity, a new genre of threedimensional watches has emerged on the scene that borders on science fiction. Not only has new technology helped to propel the watchmaking industry forward, but also the willingness of brands to work with factions outside of the timepiece industry is having a big impact. Research and development teams at luxury watch brands consist not only of watchmakers, but also of engineers, scientists, and metallurgy specialists. Now brands are also turning to other outside resources such as universities, aerospace, and automotive industries, to name just a few unique initiatives.
“We are witnessing a revolution in watchmaking. Bold watches that know no boundaries when it comes to materials, functions, [and] technology,” says Jean-Claude Biver, president of the LVMH Watch Division and chairman of Hublot. “It is a miracle, and it will keep going.”
Bulgari’s Saphir UltraNero is aglow thanks to micro tubes of Super-Luminova visible through both sides of the sapphire crystal case.
Not only have cases become three-dimensional structures designed to resemble car engines or spacecraft, but also interior movement and flat watch dials have progressed by light years. Today we have movements with important elements and functions pulled out of the workings and positioned dial side—that is, when there is a dial present. Luxury watch collectors are favoring layers, openings, spheres, and other rotating elements that give a glimpse behind the scenes.
In the case of the Hublot MP-05 LaFerrari, the movement was built to resemble the engine of a Ferrari with typical gears and levers found in a traditional Swiss watch being replaced by rocker arms and cams. The tourbillon escapement, usually built into the movement, has been extracted and turned vertically to be displayed in full glory on the driver-side aperture of the 3D watch.
Greubel Forsey created this limited edition timepiece with two tourbillon escapements for meticulous accuracy.
Visionary brands are also advancing by leaps and bounds utilizing newer, high-tech materials. Bulgari, for instance, makes great use of sapphire and silicon in its drum-shaped Saphir Ultranero watch. Essentially the timepiece looks almost devoid of a case thanks to the lack of metal, and full-on sapphire sides, top, and back. The look is offset by a titanium case side structure coated in DLC (diamondlike carbon) and interspersed with microtubes enhanced with green Super-Luminova for a glow in the dark effect. Within the see-through case is a tourbillon escapement and finely skeletonized movement that seems to float in space.
The watchmaking experts at Hublot created this timepiece in honor of Ferrari’s excellence in engineering with a movement that calls to mind a racing engine.
“It is our goal to push the limits in watchmaking,” says Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of Bulgari. “We need to up the levels of creativity and vision to bring this centuries-old craft to new heights.”
Other watch brands take a decidedly different approach in the threedimensional playing field. Greubel Forsey and Richard Mille elevate the status of traditional watchmaking by adding multi-axis tourbillons, layered and open-worked dial structures and similar classic-gone-crazy adaptations. In Greubel Forsey’s patented Double Tourbillon 30° Technique Bi-color watch, two tourbillon escapements work tighter at different rotational speeds to achieve optimum precision. The mechanics of it all—132 parts to the tourbillons and 385 parts to the movement—inside a less than two-inch space is almost beyond belief. Similarly, Richard Mille works magic with advanced mechanics including a watchcase that takes nearly 50 individual steps to complete. The high-tech materials he is able to bring to watchmaking rivals anything else on the market.
photography by jeff crawford; Styling by terry lewiS