Participating brands showed great finesse with well thought-out products and fresh new collections
In spite of ongoing travel restrictions around the world, Geneva Watch Days shaped up really well this year. With more participating brands than ever, the show saw a wonderful turnout at its opening event. But of course Geneva Watch Days is a phygital format with salons all around the city, as well as engaging virtual presentations throughout the week.
More importantly for the watch enthusiast, the show’s 24 participating maisons released some seriously interesting novelties, rather than relying on minor line extensions and new dial colours. It appears that many industry players have pivoted to a year-round product-drop strategy now, where before all novelties were only concentrated at the springtime watch fairs.
This means that eager consumers may continue to expect new products all the way till end of the year. Meanwhile, there’s more than enough to sate our appetites. Here’s Robb Report Singapore’s edit of the most exciting novelties at Geneva Watch Days 2021.
As one of the key founding partners of Geneva Watch Days, Bvlgari definitely did not pull any punches with its starting line-up. Leading the charge was a familiar yet fresh design sure to deliver on nostalgic hits: The Gerald Genta Arena Retrograde with smiling Mickey Mouse.
After the Italian luxury marque took over the Gerald Genta and Daniel Roth manufacture, collectors have been hounding it for years to make a Mickey Mouse re-edition. A playful, joyful classic, the cartoon character has a mischievous expression as it tells the minutes. Hours are read through the jumping digital circular window.
Bvlgari also further developed the Octo Roma collection with a new worldtimer. Offering two case variations – classic stainless steel and DLC-coated steel – it includes a rotating cities disc and 24-hour time indication.
High complication lovers were not left out, as Bvlgari released the Octo Roma Central Tourbillon Papillon. Reprising this beloved mechanism which reminds one of the wings of a butterfly, Bvlgari offers a wandering hours dial display coupled with jumping hours. Meanwhile a central tourbillon takes the spotlight as it rotates about its own axis.
H Moser & Cie
While the company may be known for its funky dials and cool movement concepts, H. Moser & Cie’s most emblematic feature is truly its Perpetual 1 complication. Known to offer the most minimalist dial of all perpetual calendars on the market, it cleverly relies on the 12 hour markers for the month display. Together with a large date and leap year indicator via the case back, it is now found in H Moser’s latest new collection, the Streamliner.
Lauded for its refined, fluid case design reminiscent of 1920s high speed trains, the Streamliner uses a new movement HMC 812 which includes a direct-drive central seconds hand. This highly functional perpetual calendar is also one of the few on the market that jumps instantaneously at exactly midnight, and allows you to adjust forwards and backwards at the end of the month.
If you’re still on the market for a luxury sports watch with integrated bracelet, Parmigiani Fleurier’s new Tonda PF might be the one for you. Especially if you have a weakness for intricate details. For starters, the stainless steel model come with a platinum hand-knurled bezel, making this watch like no other luxury sports watch on the market.
The dial alone is a work of art. Its hour indices are angled and set at two planes, while its dial is covered with the finest grain d’Orge guilloché pattern you’d ever see. Yet it’s perfectly rendered – any smaller and it would’ve been unnoticeable, any bigger it would’ve been too pronounced. This, along with the finely finished new PF logo, is testament to Parmigiani Fleurier’s unequalled watchmaking finesse.
With a penchant for creating new thematic watches in small capsule series, Breitling unveiled the new Classic Cars collection paying tribute to American sports cars of the 60s, injecting a heady dose of high octane excitement to Geneva Watch Days. CEO Georges Kern and team have landed the perfect automobile doppelgangers for Breitling timepieces via the Chevrolet Corvette, the Ford Mustang, and the Shelby Cobra.
Echoing the modern retro vibe of these gorgeous machines, the new racing-themed Top Time models come with bold dial colours and high polish cases to reflect the chromed finish of the rims and metal components of these cars. They also have chronograph sub-dials done in rounded squares to reflect that 60s aesthetic. With these glorious speed machines on the wrist, you’d be forgiven for losing track of time.
Going back to its earliest years, URWERK revisits one of its first creations that used a wandering hours movement mechanism. According to brand co-founder Martin Frei, the UR-100 Electrum is probably the most classical URWERK timepiece made to date.
Its case material, Electrum, gets inspiration from a material familiar to ancient Greeks, Amerindian civilisations, and ancient Egyptians – which means it’s really old.
An alloy of yellow gold with a greenish tinge, it is now forged using gold and palladium instead of silver which tends to tarnish over time. The UR-100 Electrum’s case is also engraved with fine grooves rippling out from the sapphire crystal dome.
Pulsating with a bold new energy, Louis Erard has become the Swiss watch’s industry’s new best-kept secret. After a string of successful collaborations, it now returns to conquer the accessible luxury market with fresh ideas and quality features never-before offered in this pricing segment. As the brand’s most emblematic model, the Excellence Régulateur offers ornamental stone dials in aventurine, lapis-lazuli, and highly sought-after malachite.
Displaying the time in separate indicators for the hours, minutes, and seconds, these models highlight the beauty of natural stones. We could gaze forever into the shimmering sparkles of dark blue aventurine, the golden flecks of lapis-lazuli, and the delicate striations of malachite. It goes without saying that no two dials are exactly alike. Priced at $4,810 each, these watches are the best investment pieces of the entire watch fair.
Marking the 230th anniversary of the manufacture, Girard-Perregaux released the Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges as a nod to its past while hinting to the future. Instead of the classical double arrowhead bridge design, it went for the ultra-modern Neo bridge aesthetic which until now has never been crafted in a noble metal.
These three bridges, made of solid pink gold, arch across the movement while supporting the gear train, barrel, and tourbillon. Attached to the flange rather than the base plate, they appear suspended in the air, hence the name Flying Bridges.
Independent watchmaker Charles Girardier created this elegant gentleman’s model that pushes the boundaries of modern and traditional watchmaking. The 1809 Cobalt Blue is the first men’s version in the atelier’s Mysterious Signature flying tourbillon line.
Masculine and very elegant, it combines two things every gentleman watch connoisseur desires: a grand feu enamel dial and a haute horlogerie movement. But there’s a hidden surprise. Within the movement is a miniature automaton animating the brand insignia at 12 o’clock.
Czapek & Cie
Here’s the low-down: A 77-piece limited edition, the Antarctique Rattrapante Silver Grey is the only split-second monopusher chronograph with all its timekeeping mechanisms displayed via an openworked dial. But here’s the caveat: this watch is completely sold out. Which only means one thing, and that is you’ll have to keep a close eye on the timepieces of Czapek & Cie. from now on.
Delivered in a sleek, modern stainless steel case with integrated bracelet, you’ll notice finely shotblasted bridges with hand-polished chamfers through the sapphire crystal. As well as black-polished screws, circular satin-finished wheels, and all the usual trappings of high-end watchmaking. Its movement SHX6 was created in collaboration with Chronode whose founder Jean-Francois Mojon was behind a dizzying array of high concept timepieces, from MB&Fs to the Hermès Arceau l’Heure de la Lune.
Offering a most extraordinary take on world time, the Greubel Forsey GMT Earth is memorable in more ways than one. Its unique case shape and breath-taking movement architecture stands it apart from all others on the market. This year, the atelier has come to the third and final edition of this one-of-a-kind watch. After white gold for the first, and platinum for the second, the latest GMT Earth is more modern than ever, with a titanium case fully coated with an elegant intense black finish.
Weighing just 117 grams, it might feel like a big watch but definitely scores high on comfort because titanium wasn’t just used for the case but the bridges too. Same for the GMT push-piece, the crown, and the folding buckle. Along with a beautiful 24-degree inclined tourbillon, a miniaturised rotating earth and off-centred time display complete the Greubel Forsey GMT Earth.