5 watches at the cutting-edge of technology
These timepieces dare to spice up fabled watchmaking traditionsSeptember 3, 2014
Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph 100
Breaking away from its siblings in the TimeWalker family, the ultra-sporty Chronograph 100 comes with so many new aesthetic nuances that it’s hard to see how it even belongs to the same collection.
The key to this timepiece is its capacity to measure elapsed times to the nearest 100th of a second. To ensure its accuracy, the watch contains two balance wheels to counterbalance the vibrations. The main balance wheel operates at 18,000 vibrations per hour (VpH) and controls the main timekeeping functions, while the other regulates the chronograph with vibrations of 360,000 VpH.
The 45.6mm case is made from materials normally associated with automotive racing – titanium steel bezels coated with DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) – which help make the watch highly scratch resistant and protects the watch-powering Calibre MC M66-25 movement.
With regards to battery life, the movement has a manual winding balance with a power reserve of 100 hours for the main function, and 45 minutes for the chronograph. A collector’s favourite, the TimeWarner Chronograph 100 is limited to just 100 pieces and will set you back around AED 250,000.
Cartier Rotonde De Cartier Astrocalendaire
The gorgeous Astrocalendaire rips up the book when it comes to the design of the traditional perpetual calendar, which has to somehow include 12 months, seven days, the date and year in just a few centimetres in diameter.
The central display is designed as an sloped amphitheatre aimed at making it easier to read the watch face. In addition to the traditional setting of the hour and minute, the crown dial also controls the date and the month indicators. What is helpful is that it also allows the user to correct the details by scrolling forward as well as back.
As you would expect for a watch costing in the region of AED 750,000, it is also built with a case that helps prevent the risk of breakage, resolve setup errors and improve timekeeping.
Richard Mille G Sensor Sebastien Loeb
The team of Richard Mille and the most decorated driver in the history of the World Rally Championships, Sebastien Loeb, was always going to produce something a bit special. This new timepiece is packed with smart technology that enables the driver to see the amount of G-Force accumulated in different phases of driving from acceleration to cornering.
Worn by Loeb during this year’s championships, this unique model has been designed with a round G-force sensor in its centre to demonstrate the number and direction of Gs experienced during each race.
As with most limited-edition Richard Mille timepieces, the RM36-01 Tourbillon movement is protected by a huge 47.7mm titanium case with its plates and bridges made from grade-five titanium and black PVD. The timepiece is limited to 30 pieces and costs AED 2.4 million.
Urwerk UR-210Y Black Hawk
Looking more like something from Batman’s armoury than a timepiece, the quirky Swiss watchmakers Urwerk clearly take a very different approach to watch design than others do.
Full of unique touches, it’s hard to pick out the most striking thing about the new Black Hawk watch – whether it’s the bold retrograde minute function, the industrial-looking tri-part minute hand mechanism that doubles as the hour indicator, or the self-winding indicator that shows if you have used enough energy in your day to sufficiently wind your watch.
In fact, this watch is so high-tech that even Batman would probably choose to leave it at home.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Tourbillon GMT
It’s been 42 years since legendary timepiece designer Gerald Genta first designed the original Royal Oak watch, but his legacy lives on. As a tribute to the great man, Audemars has introduced a new Royal Oak concept watch every year since in 2002.
This year’s version swaps the traditional black frame for a white ceramic one and the inclusion of titanium and sapphire crystal show off the manufacture’s depth of knowledge with regards to high-tech materials.
The timepiece has a winding manual movement with a tourbillon and double-barrel Calibre 2930 that stores a power reserve of up to 10 days. It contains a second time zone, GMT function and will set back any interested buyer approximately AED 935,000.