From Richard Mille’s new tourbillons to Breguet’s Marine line and Omega’s Olympic Seamaster – here are some of the latest watches to look out for this year
While things are still changing worldwide following the pandemic, few things stand as unflinching in the face of change as time. Luxury watchmakers, too, have recognised that, and this year’s lineup of new releases is as impressive as ever. Ranging from modern classics from the likes of Omega and Breguet, to visually-breathtaking tourbillons from Girard-Perregaux, Franck Muller and Corum, the who’s who of the watch world all look to be getting their say in. Here’s what to look out for.
Tourbillons that take your breath away
Richard Mille RM 74-01 and RM 74-02
Beginning with the tourbillons, Richard Mille’s latest RM 74-01 and 74-02 are the most eye-catching of the new releases, mainly due to the technological complexity behind manufacturing these tourbillons. The 74-01 features grey-hued cermet – a hardy material that is remarkably resistant to corrosion and scratches, making it an ideal material for a case application. Consisting of a metallic zirconium matrix, cermet combines the lightness of titanium with the hardness of ceramic.
Not to be outdone, the 74-02 is made with another exclusively Richard Mille material – Gold Carbon TPT. Combining a singular composite material in Carbon TPT with gold leaf, it creates a striking contrast between the matte black hue of the carbon, with the bright yellow sheen of the gold. Finished in rose gold, the watch is a polished combination of visual appeal and technical mastery.
Both releases essentially share the same heart: the in-house CRMT6 calibre for the 74-01, and the CRMT5 for the 74-02. beating to the rhythm of a tourbillon regulator with a free-sprung balance wheel, the constant energy from their fast-winding barrels is gently diffused via the involute profile gear teeth, to ensure 50 hours of mechanical ballet. In addition, both movements draw energy from a variable-geometry rotor that allows each watch and its winding to be personalised to the profile of its owner.
Girard-Perregaux Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges – Aston Martin Edition
The first release borne of the partnership between luxury watchmaker Girard-Perregaux and renowned coachbuilders Aston Martin, the Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges – Aston Martin Edition is the ultimate demonstration of the combination of watchmaking expertise and automotive excellence. Made of grade five titanium – a strong, hypoallergenic alloy selected by Aston Martin for its lightweight properties – and suffused with black DLC, it gives the watch a stealthy, low-profile appearance. The movement eschews a mainplate, instead sitting between both the top and bottom panes of sapphire crystal, seemingly floating in midair – adding to airy appearance of the timepiece.
The three suspended bridges – an iconic signature of Girard-Perregaux – span the dial and are made of titanium with black PVD treatment and polished angles. As for the movement, the barrel is openworked, affording a partial view of the mainspring. A white gold micro-rotor underneath the barrel energises the mainspring, and grants unobstructed views of the movement – unlike most other automatic watches.
Girard-Perregaux rarely ever works with others to reinterpret the Three Flying Bridges model – according to CEO Patrick Pruniaux, they were only willing to collaborate with Aston Martin on account of the British marque’s “prowess for design”. Definitely one for the collectors – it’ll be a while before another reworked Three Flying Bridges comes around again, if it does.
Franck Muller Grand Central Tourbillon
As a prelude to its 30th anniversary next year, the Swiss marque has redesigned its iconic Cintrée Curvex case. Similar to the Corum Golden Bridge mentioned above, the new sapphire crystal design spans the entirety of the case from lug to lug, however, it sets itself apart in the way that it looks to be perfectly integrated into the large-scale alligator strap. This design allows for a comprehensive view of the guilloche dial, Franck Muller’s signature oversized art deco indices, and of course, the highlight – the watch’s centrally-placed tourbillon movement.
The first tourbillon to be set in a tonneau case rather than a circular one, the movement is suspended by a single bridge and is elevated above the rest of the dial. In contrast to the oversized indices on the dial, the hour and minute hands are minimised, but also to allow for an unobstructed and uncluttered view of the movement as well as the dial.
Sea and believe
Omega Seamaster Diver 300m Tokyo 2020
If you can’t wait for the Olympic Games to finally come around, don’t worry – you’re not the only one. Celebrating 100 days to the start of this year’s edition of the games in Tokyo, Omega has released a special edition of their Seamaster Diver 300m. Finished in a colour scheme inspired by this games’ emblem, the watch’s blue ceramic bezel ring is filled with a white enamel diving scale. Complementing the bezel, the white ceramic dial’s laser-engraved waves provide the dial with extra depth. The blue hands and indexes complete the dial design, and are filled with white Super-LumiNova lume, as per the standard Seamaster Diver 300m.
The commemorative timepiece comes in a special Olympic Games presentation box, together with a Master Chronometer card and a full five-year warranty.
Franck Muller Skafander Collection
Deriving its name from the first protective full-pressure suit developed in the ’30s for naval divers, Franck Muller’s Skafander dive watch collection aims to be a pioneer – combining deep-sea exploits and haute horlogerie in an innovative and visually enthralling timepiece. Sporting a tonneau case rather than a conventional round one, coupled with a first-of-its-kind pusher system rather than a standard turning crown, this watch is one for the divers who want to set themselves apart.
The highlight of the watch is arguably the unconventional pusher system. Two pusher pieces, positioned at the eight and ten o’clock positions, advance the inner rotating bezel by and one five minute intervals respectively. However, to manipulate them, the safety lock at the nine o’clock position would have to be disengaged first, which also prevents diver mishandling. Completing the dial design of the watch, the Skafander includes an orange place finder at twelve o’clock, with the arrow-tipped seconds hand doubling up as an operating indicator.
The Skafander collection also comes in a galore of colour options, so don’t worry if you want one to match your wetsuit – Franck Muller’s got you covered.
Inspired by the timepieces of eras past that were used for maritime navigation, Breguet has introduced new variations of its Marine 5517, 5527, and 5547 models. This latest generation of the Marine line features an hours chapter with Roman numerals and luminescent dots, the famous moon-tipped Breguet hands in luminescent-faceted gold, and a central hand with subtle marine details.
The new models also incorporate a new material in Breguet’s manufacturing – titanium. These new models also feature dials with a sunburst finish crafted by hand – with fine lines extending from the frame containing the brand name to the edges of the dial. These new timepieces are finished in blue tones, reminiscent of the sea.
The movements of the new line are designed in-house by Breguet themselves, with the use of the most advanced technology available. Utilising silicon in the balance spring and escapement, the movement is also largely magnetism-resistant. One for the marine adventurers at heart – but wear it with care.