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A Passion For Perfection
Published: Volume 22, Issue 1, January, 2014
Haute brands showcase their latest horological offerings at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) – masterpieces that are crafted with panache. Verve presents a select preview of the luxe timekeepers

THE GRAND LANGE 1 MOON PHASE
A. LANGE & SÖHNE

The fascination for the moon as a celestial body responsible for life rhythms leads many watch enthusiasts to appreciate a moon-phase display. This watch by A. Lange & Söhne tracks the actual orbit of our planet’s companion. It has a classic screw balance, a balance spring developed and manufactured in-house, a three-quarter plate made of untreated German silver, and lavishly hand-decorated movement parts. A tribute to the superior precision history of the brand.

THE BALLON BLEU DE CARTIER FLORAL-MARQUETRY PARROT WATCH
CARTIER

This watch by Cartier blends two kinds of craftsmanship: one, of watchmaking, the other, that of the jeweller. When combined a kind of alchemy occurs, resulting in an explosion of colour: there is the blue and the orange-yellow of the plumage, the deep black of the beak, the emerald green of the eye and the sparkling 124 white diamonds in the background of the dial and on the crown. Never has a watch from this collection contained such a palette of colours!

THE PLATINUM GMT
GREUBEL FORSEY

This watch by Greubel Forsey offers an epic transcontinental journey. It has gone beyond a mere timepiece and actually evolved into a portable time map. The hand finishes take in the entire range of traditional techniques, from frosting to hand-bevelling, as well as the creative subtleties of hand-polishing, lapping, and straight graining with flat black polished finishes. The domed crystal, the case-back and lateral window are made from sapphire crystal. This is a magnificent demonstration of expertise which has been harnessed for the pursuit of fine craftsmanship.

ROYAL OAK CONCEPT GMT TOURBILLON
AUDEMARS PIGUET

This watch by Audemars Piguet features a sculpted titanium case middle and integrated rubber strap combined with a white ceramic bezel. This frames the highly architectural array of tourbillon carriage and second ‘GMT’ time-zone display inside – case and movement are in perfect harmony. The ultra-modern ‘engine’ is seamlessly integrated within its ‘chassis’, whose techy aesthetic perfectly complements and showcases the exposed micro-mechanics. As expected from the brand, this is another step in the quest for excellence.

THE AQUATIMER COLLECTION
IWC SCHAFFHAUSEN

This collection from IWC Schaffhausen features inspired technical features, in-house calibres and a patented IWC bracelet quick-change system. For the first time ever, a haute horlogerie complication in the form of a perpetual calendar with a large digital date display appears in this watch family. It has a tradition dating back to 1967. The influence of legendary design elements and colours of the Aquatimer heritage is unmistakable. The design of the new generation, however, is more purist than that of its predecessors.

LUMINOR 1950 LEFT-HANDED 3 DAYS – 47MM
PANERAI

There are some watches, such as this one, which on their first appearance come across as true icons of a brand. This is because of their innate ability to communicate their identity and history through their design. Left-handed watches are feature prominently in the history of Panerai. The steel case has a unique detail which distinguishes it from the classic case: the caseband has a cusped shape, hinting at the form of a cushion case. Also to be noted is the absolute purity of the black dial – a beautifully elegant finish.

VELVET HAUTE JOAILLERIE
ROGER DUBUIS

The collection by Roger Dubuis focuses on traditional Fine Watchmaking movements and on craftsmanship skills such as guilloche work, enamelling and mother-of-pearl. This pink gold chronograph model is powered by its very own ‘Incredible Mechanics’ with micro-rotor. The concave bezel juxtaposed with the high flange bearing, the raised applied Roman numerals and subtly lowered centre, all combine to create a mesmerising impression of depth and multiple layers. A fine display of aesthetics.

PATRIMONY TRADITIONNELLE HIGH JEWELLERY SMALL MODEL
VACHERON CONSTANTIN

The 30 mm diameter of this offering from Vacheron Constantin is transformed into a stage for an exceptional light show. An array of prong-set baguette-cut diamonds totalling about 10.60 carats imbues time with eternity. Case, dial, buckle: not a fragment of white gold remains unpaved with precious stones. Clinging to the curves of this creation, they radiate out from the centre of the watch face to cover the entire surface of the watch. The resulting shimmer is truly mesmerising.

GRANDE REVERSO ULTRA THIN 1931
JAEGER-LECOULTRE

Entranced by the delightful colour palette of this version from Jaeger-LeCoultre, the eye naturally lingers on the pleasing contrasts between the glowing chocolate shade of the watch face and the pink gold of the case, including the traditional gadroons framing the dial. Apart from the 12 o’clock numeral, the hours are shown by baton-shaped hour-markers, while the hour and minute hands feature a dagger-type profile. The small seconds at 6 o’clock perform a once a minute rotation rectangular subdial. Pure, restrained refinement.

TONDA POMELLATO ROSE GOLD SET TURQUOISE
PARMIGIANI FLEURIER AND POMELLATO

Parmigiani Fleurier allies with Pomellato, the prestigious Italian jeweller, combining the exceptional expertise of both to redefine the realm of ladies’ watches. Paying homage to the colours of the Mediterranean, its most iconic colour, turquoise, is paired with rock crystal to achieve a transparent effect evocative of the azure depths of the Blue Grotto. The dial is exquisitely radiant at the centre of the case set with diamonds. A masterpiece in every sense of the word.

CLIFTON CHRONOGRAPH- CLIFTON 10129
BAUME ET MERCIER

This elegant watch by Baume & Mercier displays a vintage look. It features gold tone hands and indices on a silver sunburst dial which is further paired with a brown strap. It has a clear layout, with the chronograph registers at 12 and 6, and the sub-seconds appearing at 9. Balancing out the dial, the day and date display shows up at 3. The shape is a classic style watch. This proportion and sizing is also evident in the sub dials. This creates a visual delight for the onlooker. Cohesive designs!

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