Richard Mille RM UP-01 Ferrari
Known for their futuristic timepieces that challenge the traditional watchmaking codes, independent watchmaker Richard Mille developed the world’s thinnest mechanical watch this year. While those who are familiar with the brand were in for a bit of a surprise since the design strays from the usual timepieces that they have been churning out over the years. However, the technical aspect of innovation and precision remains intact. Last year, the brand partnered with Ferrari and to celebrate this milestone, they launched the ultra-flat RM UP-01 Ferrari in July, this year. At just 1.75mm thick, the watch exemplifies a new approach to precision engineering, which trumps over aesthetic. The watchmakers at Richard Mille have retained a traditional architecture in which the movement is assembled within the case, rather than a construction where the caseback doubles as a baseplate, in order to ensure complete shock resistance under any given situation. The timepiece also alludes to Ferrari’s sporty DNA and is crafted in titanium to ensure ultra-lightness coupled with slimness. Even the baseplate and skeletonised bridges are crafted in titanium for perfect flatness without compromising on durability. The patented extra-flat barrel is fitted with a fine hairspring and the architecture of the escapement is entirely redesigned.
To reduce depth, the small plate of the balance and dart (guard pin)—two parts that prevent the anchor from slipping back during the free phase of the balance wheel’s movement — were eliminated. Even the crown has been done away with and instead an ingenious winding system comprising two crowns—one for function selection, the other to utilise the selected function—have both been integrated in the case as movement wheels. “Even in the realm of extreme flatness, we were determined to make a watch that met the same validation requirements as all our other models. In this quest for absolute flatness, we had to offer a watch that, far from being a ‘concept watch’, was up to the task of following a user’s daily life, whatever the circumstances,” says Salvador Arbona, Technical Director for Movements, Richard Mille in an official release. It is driven by the RMUP-01 manual-winding movement, which boasts a thickness of 1.18mm, weighs 2.82gms, and operates at a frequency of 28,800vph to keep it functioning for at least 45 hours. Water-resistant to 10m, the ultra-slim timekeeper is available as a limited-edition of 150 pieces only.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Deepsea Challenge
For almost 70 years, Rolex has been the preferred choice for many explorers, whether it’s summiting the highest mountains or exploring the depths of the oceans. And when it comes to dive watches, one cannot help but recall how the brand has established itself as a leading authority with the Submariner (launched in 1953), the Sea-Dweller (1967) and the Rolex Deepsea (2008). With the launch of the Oyster Perpetual Deepsea Challenge— Rolex’s first full-titanium watch, the Swiss watchmaker has established a new milestone, after all, an unrivalled water-resistance of 11,000m is not something that happens often in the dive watch segment. This 50mm watch is inspired by the stainless-steel prototype designed in 2012 that accompanied Canadian filmmaker and explorer James Cameron on his historic 10,908m descent into the Mariana Trench located in the Pacific Ocean and is 30 per cent lighter than its predecessor. Crafted entirely in RLX titanium, Rolex has chosen this ultralight and robust material to literally test the waters since this watch is capable of accompanying divers in any environment— during open-water diving, submersible dives or in hyperbaric chambers.
It includes all the major innovations developed by the brand over the years: the Ringlock system, a patented case architecture that enables the watch to withstand extreme pressure; the helium escape valve, which allows surplus gas to escape from the watch during a diver’s decompression phase, reducing the pressure inside the case which could otherwise damage the watch; the Triplock crown, with three sealed zones; and the Chromalight display, whose long-lasting luminescence provides exceptional legibility. It is powered by the brand’s in-house, automatic movement Calibre 3230, composed of several patented components such as: the Chronergy escapement and the Parachrom hairspring, insensitive to magnetic fields, as well as Paraflex shock absorbers. It beats at a frequency of 28,800vph to supply this dive timer with an energy reserve of at least 70 hours, thanks to its barrel architecture and the escapement’s superior efficiency. The watch comes with chronometric precision of –2 /+2 seconds per day and is secured to the wrist by a bracelet featuring the patented Glidelock extension system, which allows it to be worn over a diving suit up to 7mm thick.
Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Dual Time
Launched in 2017, the Marine Torpilleur model pays homage to Ulysse Nardin’s rich history of crafting marine chronometers with exceptional precision in the 19th century, which accompanied explorers on their voyages at sea. This year, the brand has added three new timepieces to this permanent collection: the Marine Torpilleur Dual Time, the Marine Torpilleur Moonphase in rose gold, and the Marine Torpilleur Tourbillon in white Grand Feu enamel. Featured here is the Marine Torpilleur Dual Time that comes in a 44mm polished and satin-finished stainless-steel case, topped by a fluted bezel. This frames a beautiful sunray, satin-finished blue dial, which displays small seconds at 6 o’clock, dual time in a circular window at 9 o’clock, and a large date at 2 o’clock. The Roman numerals enhance the vintage appeal of this timekeeper. It is driven by the UN 334 manufacture calibre, operating at a frequency of 28,800vph to offer a power reserve of 48 hours. This ingenious mechanism also allows for the large date to be adjusted in both directions. While the ‘home time’ display operates continually over a 24-hour period in the aperture at 9 o’clock, the small hand can be moved forward or backward very easily to the local time using the push-pieces at 8 o’clock and 10 o’clock. To top off the refined mechanics, the calendar function syncs automatically, no matter the direction of the adjustment. Water-resistant to 50m, the timepiece is fitted with a blue leather strap with a steel folding clasp and is also compatible with a fabric strap with a Velcro fastening.
Montblanc 1858 Iced Sea Automatic Date
This is a dive watch inspired not by the depths of the ocean but by the frosty glaciers. The new Montblanc 1858 Iced Sea Automatic Date comes in a 41mm stainless-steel case with a bi-colour, ceramic unidirectional rotating bezel and a caseback featuring a 3D relief engraving of an iceberg and a scuba diver exploring the glacial waters below. This is a certified dive-timing instrument, conforming to the ISO 6425 norm. In addition to this important safety certification, each timepiece has undergone the Montblanc Laboratory 500 Hour Test to ensure that it is shock, magnetic, temperature, and water-resistant (300m), and that its fasteners are reinforced for maximum security. It features a blue ‘frozen’ dial, created using an almost-forgotten ancient technique called gratté boisé for the base, which results in providing depth and luminosity. For supreme legibility, the maison has incorporated white Super- LumiNova on the hands, indexes, and dot at 12 o’clock — which all glow in a luminescent shade in low light. There is also a square date window at 3 o’clock. It is powered by the in-house automatic movement MB 24.17/SW200, beating at a frequency of 28,800vph, and keeping the watch functional for up to 38 hours. It is presented on an interchangeable V-shaped stainless-steel bracelet, which can be quickly and easily switched for a rubber strap without using any tools.
Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Skeleton 8 Days
Launched at this year’s edition of Geneva Watch Days, the Octo Finissimo Skeleton 8 Days is a work of fine craftsmanship and technical supremacy along with the brand’s strong Italian design aesthetics—all put together in a resplendent, rose-gold case. It is also equipped with a new manufacture movement with an impressive 8-day power reserve — a first for the Octo Finissimo line, which is a work of art and technology. This is among the new launches that celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Octo collection. The watchmakers and designers at Bulgari have worked in perfect harmony to conceive and develop this hand-wound manufacture movement — the extra fine Calibre BVL 199 SK, which has an exceptional 8-day power reserve (192 hours), measures 36.60mm in diameter, and beats at a frequency of 21,600vph. This powerhouse is visible through the intricate skeletonised dial, revealing anthracite PVD bridges, and showcases a small seconds counter, positioned between 7 and 8 o’clock, embraced by a gauge-shaped power reserve indicator. With its modern architectural style with strong geometric lines, the watch face also features gold hour markers that ensure optimum legibility. This is framed by a 40mm, satin-polished rose-gold case with a thickness of 5.95mm and is fitted with a sapphire caseback, water-resistant to 30m. It is presented on a brown leather strap that complements its sophisticated aesthetic.
Hublot Big Bang Integrated Tourbillon Cathedral Minute Repeater
If there is one brand that is at the helm of innovation when it comes to new materials, it is undoubtedly Hublot. The avant-garde watchmaker is known to experiment with ceramic in a huge way. And now, they have a minute repeater—crafted entirely in ceramic. Since ceramic is an extremely difficult material to work with, it was quite a challenge for Hublot to pull this off and the brand stakes its claim of producing the first full-ceramic minute repeater with a modern design combining both—a chiming mechanism and a tourbillon. A difficult process indeed, the monochrome ceramic is very complex to machine, which complicates the design of the case, which in turn can compromise water resistance and the guarantee of a pure and crystal-clear sound. The Big Bang Integrated Tourbillon Cathedral Minute Repeater comes in a 43mm diameter with a black and a white option—both limited to 18 pieces each. At the heart lies the manufacture manual-winding MHUB801 calibre, beating at a frequency of 21,600vph and providing 80 hours of power reserve—an impressive feat for a tourbillon. Water-resistant to 30m, the watch is presented on a satin finished and polished ceramic bracelet with a titanium folding clasp.
Franck Muller Vanguard India Limited-Edition Collection
Franck Muller has raised the bar with a special Vanguard India limited-edition collection—the first under its umbrella— and also a glorious tribute to India’s 75th year of independence. Available in two options—100 pieces in steel-and-gold, and 50 units of the rose-gold version — each timepiece is uniquely numbered and features an engraving of India’s map on the solid caseback. In a style that best represents the Vanguard spirit, the watches come in 45mm tonneau-shaped cases with green dials that showcase oversized applique hour markers, and a date window positioned at 6 o’clock. These numerals stand out and are carefully hand-polished and brushed, in sync with the brand’s focus on attention to detail. They are powered by the FM 800-DT self-winding movement, which beats a frequency of 28,800vph and keeps the watch ticking for up to 42 hours. Presented on green leather straps, they are retailed exclusively at Kapoor Watch Company, the official brand partner in the country.
Grand Seiko Kodo Constant-Force Tourbillon
The Grand Seiko Kodo Constant- Force Tourbillon is the Japanese watchmaker’s first mechanical complication timekeeper. It successfully combines a constant force mechanism — which provides the escapement with a consistent flow of power—along with a tourbillon as one unit on a single axis. It is driven by the Calibre 9ST1, which sets a new standard of accuracy, as each movement is tested for a full 48 hours in each of six positions and at three temperatures. The watch is named Kodo, or ‘heartbeat’ in Japanese, after the unique motion of the two mechanisms and the sound of the rhythm it makes. The movement is housed in a 43.8mm, solid platinum and titanium case, which is water-resistant to 100m, and is presented on a specially processed calf strap made from an extremely durable material called ‘Himeji Kurozan’ leather, which was used centuries ago to make samurai armour.
Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Diver
Created to celebrate the spirit of exploration and adventure, the new Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Diver is equipped with the latest technology when it comes to producing ceramic watches. It also provides a generous water-resistance of up to 300m, making it a dive timer in the true sense. The 43mm timepiece is crafted in matte black, high-tech ceramic and the case features Rado’s patented monobloc construction. It is topped by a polished, stainless-steel rotating bezel with polished, black high-tech ceramic insert and engraved white lacquered numbers and markers, with a triangle in white Super-LumiNova. On the side of the case, at 3 o’clock, one finds the hardened, stainless-steel screw-down crown. The black dial also features a date window at 3 o’clock with a white backdrop and red numerals and the large, highly legible hour, minute and second hands are treated with Super-LumiNova for excellent visibility in low-light conditions. This model features ISO 6425 certification—a first for Rado, thanks to its 300m water resistance. It is powered by Rado’s three-hand R763 automatic movement, which exceeds standard accuracy test requirements by a full five points and is presented on a matte black, polished high-tech ceramic bracelet with a titanium folding clasp.
Tissot PRX Automatic Chronograph
For those who prefer a sporty-yet-elegant chronograph that’s perfect for everyday wear, the Tissot PRX Chrono is probably your best bet. It is created for those who value design along with precision— hallmarks of a reliable Swiss watch and comes in a Tissot case shape borrowed from 1978. The timekeeper comes in a 42mm stainless-steel case, which follows the PRX’s sharp, angular form, and is also reminiscent of cult sports-watch aesthetic from the 1970s, featuring a ‘panda’ dial. Despite being a chronograph, the watch is not bulky at all on the wrist and displays the classic chronograph counters at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock, and a date aperture positioned at 4:30. It is driven by the Valjoux A05.H31 calibre, which provides an extended 60-hour power reserve. This is a sturdy, self-winding chronograph movement and has beautiful finishing touches, such as Geneva waves or circular graining, visible on turning the watch over through the transparent caseback. Water-resistant to 100m, it is complemented by a matching steel bracelet.
Images: Richard Mille, Rolex, Ulysse Nardin, Montblanc, Bvlgari, Hublot, Franck Muller, Grand Seiko, Rado, Tissot