Summer was S-L-O-W for the Swiss watch industry. Beyond the grand opening of IWC’s new $43 million, 145,000-square-foot Manufakturzentrum on the outskirts of Schaffhausen, which I attended in late August, news out of Switzerland has been super scarce over the past few months.
That certainly changed after Labor Day, when numerous brands began touting their latest models. I’ve highlighted some of the most interesting introductions below.
Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Moon
One of four new variations of the Grande Seconde Moon, Jaquet Droz’s well-received astronomical moon phase model, this 43 mm 18k red gold timepiece with black Grand Feu enamel dial features a black onyx moon disk and star and moon appliqués in 18k red gold and 22k gold, respectively. The self-winding mechanical movement comes with a 68-hour power reserve. $28,900; jaquet-droz.com
Panerai Limited Edition Radiomir 1940 Art Deco Dial
Panerai pays tribute to both its history as a 20th-century producer of watches for the Italian navy’s elite frogmen and the craze for all things vintage with two limited-edition versions of the Radiomir 1940 3 Days Acciaio. The simple Art Deco dial, available in either ivory (PAM 791) or black (PAM 790) and encased in a 47 mm stainless steel Radiomir case, is simplicity at its finest. $9,200; panerai.com
Richard Mille RM 12-01 Tourbillon
A follow-up to the 12-year-old RM 012 Tourbillon from avant-garde watchmaker Richard Mille, the new RM 12-01 Tourbillon features a groundbreaking architecture in which the case band and baseplate have been fused into a single piece. The design owes its inspiration to the chassis of racing cars, one of the watchmaker’s major obsessions—and like its super-car role models, the movement can withstand accelerations of more than 5,000 Gs. The manual-winding RM 12-01 comes in four different styles (including the black carbon shown below), each available in an 18-piece limited edition created exclusively for the Americas. Beginning at $828,000; richardmille.com
Ulysse Nardin Executive Tourbillon Free Wheel
In keeping with its reputation for producing timepieces that push the aesthetic and functional boundaries of mechanical watchmaking, Ulysse Nardin recently unveiled its new Executive Tourbillon Free Wheel, whose space-age components appear to float beneath its innovative box-domed sapphire crystal. The 44 mm model, shown here in 18k white gold, features tourbillon bridges and a 7-day power-reserve indicator at four o’clock, all shaped, intriguingly, like boomerangs. $98,000; ulysse-nardin.com
Unconventional doesn’t begin to describe the cuckoo artistry at Urwerk, the Swiss brand at the vanguard of mechanical watchmaking. So its new UR-111C, with its dual minute displays—one linear (“for eyes’ pleasure”) and one digital (“for precision”)—and a roller at the top of the case that replaces the crown, makes perfect sense. The model is available in 25 pieces in polished steel (shown here) and 25 in a gunmetal finish. 130,000 CHF (about $134,000); urwerk.com