Discover the latest launch of technical triumphs in the world of watches for July 2022.
From the newest releases to updated expressions, this month features new timepieces birthed from partnerships and a breathtaking world timer. This month, Audemars Piguet and Carolina Bucci team up once more, Montblanc releases the limited edition Star Legacy Exo Tourbillon Skeleton and Breitling unveils a special release of the Navitimer Cosmonaute. Read on for more hot new watches to put on your list this July.
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Ref. 1518
Held over two days in May, the Geneva Watch Auction: XV by Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo presented an impressive lot of 196 exceptional watches. The white glove sale saw the global watch community gather from across 67 countries, with over 600 collectors heading to the saleroom at La Réserve Hotel to participate alongside 1,800 online bidders. The star lot was an early unrestored Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Ref. 1518 in pink gold with a salmon dial, which achieved the auction’s highest bid from a phone bidder for over CHF3.29m (S$4.64m). Only 12 or so of these pieces are known to feature this extremely rare “pink on pink” configuration.
Audemars Piguet x Carolina Bucci
As part of the Royal Oak’s 50th anniversary celebrations, Audemars Piguet partnered with Carolina Bucci yet again to create the unisex 34mm Royal Oak Selfwinding in black ceramic. The Italian jewellery designer “wanted to place a rainbow in the most unexpected of places, a little like when you see oil floating on a puddle in a city street”, resulting in a dial endowed with a prismatic mirror effect recalling the watch’s tapisserie design. The dial appears black at first, but when placed under light, it reveals kaleidoscopic hues that bring the signature motif to life. To create this iridescence, a sapphire plate with little squares achieved through micro-structuring is added on top of the brass dial plate to create rainbow-tinged plays of light. A specially developed golden metallisation is also applied on the back of the sapphire plate for a mirror effect and to refract light onto the dial. As this colour pattern varies from watch to watch, every piece is unique. The titanium and sapphire caseback reveals the calibre 5800 beneath and is engraved with the inscription “Limited Edition Carolina Bucci”. Only 300 pieces of this limited edition are available exclusively at Audemars Piguet boutiques and AP Houses, making this one of the hottest new watches to covet in July 2022.
Montblanc Star Legacy Exo Tourbillon Skeleton
Montblanc commemorates the very first ascent of the Mont Blanc mountain in 1786 by Jacques Balmat and Michel-Gabriel Paccard with an eight-piece limited edition Star Legacy Exo Tourbillon Skeleton. Each 44.8mm creation features a hand-engraved depiction of the mountain in the subdial at 12 o’clock. A white gold engraving of Balmat climbing to the summit can be found on the left, while a representation of a mythological wyvern creature – believed to have lived on the Mont Blanc’s Mer de Glace glacier – is on the right. On the historic climb, Balmat and Paccard also brought a cyanometer, a new piece of equipment that measured the intensity of the sky’s colour. To celebrate the invention, the watch features a cyanometer gauge that runs around the periphery of the tourbillon cage, indicating the various shades of blue sky. First introduced in 2010, the patented Exo Tourbillon complication is a key pillar of the Montblanc watch collection. The new model features 188 components, including five supporting pillars all aligned to let light filter in, magnifying the tourbillon as it rotates. The suspended Montblanc Manufacture CalibreMB M18.69 allows the owner to see it in motion.
Breitling Navitimer Cosmonaute
On May 24, 1962, Breitling officially claimed the title of the first Swiss wristwatch in space after astronaut Scott Carpenter orbited the Earth three times while wearing the Navitimer Cosmonaute on his Mercury-Atlas 7 mission. For the 60th anniversary of that mission, Breitling has launched a special release of 362 pieces, which recognises both the spacecraft’s circumnavigations of the Earth and the year the mission made history. What sets the Cosmonaute apart from the Navitimer family is its ability to tell 24-hour time, thanks to the Breitling Manufacture Calibre B02. While the 41mm watch is a faithful reproduction of the original with an all-black dial and black alligator strap or stainless-steel bracelet, it boasts new features. These include a platinum bezel and its open sapphire crystal caseback that provides a view of the B02 movement with its special bridge inscriptions to mark the occasion: “Carpenter”; “Aurora 7”; “3 orbits around the Earth”; and the name of the group of seven astronauts chosen for NASA’s first human-crewed spaceflights, Mercury 7. The caseback is also engraved with the date of Carpenter’s mission, “One of 362”,as well as “First Swiss wristwatch in space”.
Baume & Mercier’s Hampton Hommage à Pierre Soulages
Baume & Mercier’s Hampton “Hommage à Pierre Soulages” is an unexpected 48.1mm by 31mm steel timepiece inspired by the work of Pierre Soulages, one of the great modern art masters. Producing the watch involved new 3D printing technologies, topography and 3D wax printing to ensure a harmonious play on contrasting blacks through subtle nuances of mattes, shine and diffused layers. The dial is brass, machined with a laser, while candia stone was used to create a diffused matte effect and an electroplating process was applied to coat it with colour through electrolysis. Faceted brass glaive hands are diamond-ground, sand-blasted and coated with black PVD. A touch of gold was added to their ends, at the request of Soulages, to elegantly emphasise the passage of time. The self-winding mechanical Swiss calibre ETA 2892 features a black oscillating weight adorned with a Côtes de Genève stamp that can be seen via an exhibition caseback, which also bears an “Hommage à Mr Soulages” engraving. An inscription of “Baume & Mercier” is featured on the underside of the domed sapphire crystal. The watch will be produced on demand in an edition limited to 102 (the artist’s age) individually numbered pieces. To purchase, visit baume-et-mercier.com.
This story was first published on Prestige Singapore.