Challenging times full of change have defined the last year and a half, but the tantalizing promise of some Swiss-style organisation beckon with Geneva Watch Days, a ground-breaking ‘phygital’ watch event. Unfurling between August 30th and September 3rd 2021, the format of Geneva’s newest watch fair sees around 20 brands joining virtual hands in a multi-platform presentation of their novelties that embraces the best of Geneva’s horological locations – boutiques and a public space on the Rotonde du Mont Blanc - with instantly accessible virtual and digital platforms that seek to connect the very best and newest examples of fine Swiss watchmaking with the rest of the world. Here are some of the highlights from brands available at Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons…
September 02, 2021
Geneva Watch Days
Girard-Perregaux Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges
This year marks the 230th anniversary of Girard-Perregaux, one of the oldest fine watch manufactures still in operation. To celebrate its impressive history and place at the vanguard of exceptional horology, the maison unveils a watch that bridges past and future: the Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges. In this latest reimagining of the company’s iconic piece created in 1867, the three bridges are painstakingly hand-forged from pink gold for the very first time. Their design is such that they appear to float in mid-air, and the upper and lower surfaces are shrouded in black PVD, lending the timepiece an understated luxury.
The company’s CEO, Patrick Pruniaux, says: “We wanted to create a watch that provides a bridge to our past but also demonstrates our vision for the future. The watch embraces three-dimensional architecture, allowing the wearer to see many hidden parts typically hidden away.”
Greubel Forsey GMT Earth
A stunning masterpiece from master watchmakers Greubel Forsey sees a third edition of its GMT Earth, a 45mm wristwatch of unprecedented complexity and technical superiority, revisited in titanium. Weighing just 117 grams, its matte-black dial displays three other pieces of information in addition to the GMT indicator; the hours, minutes and seconds are depicted on an off-centre display, the power reserve, and the centrepiece element: Between 7 o’ clock and 9 o’ clock, a laser-engraved depiction of the entire earth in miniature in a sapphire alcove. The GMT Earth also features the Tourbillon 24 Secondes, a fast-rotating invention cleverly set at a tilted angle to resolve a positioning problem in relation to gravity.
Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Collection
A relatively new addition to the Ulysse Nardin horological oeuvre, this collection shoots a bold shot! Seven new models draw on the maison’s reputation for maverick creativity and pursuit of excellence, courtesy of silicium technology, mastery of complications and a contemporary reinterpretation of astronomy. Marine chronometry – a Ulysse Nardin pillar – is seen in elements such as the fluted bezel, Roman numerals and double counter. Meanwhile, each model also boasts a silicium escapement, and comes set in an alligator strap or can be fitted with the R-strap made from recycled fishing nets. Amongst the seven models is a Marine Torpilleur with a striking blue enamel dial set in a steel case, a Marine Torpilleur Panda with white varnished dial and two contrasting blue subdials at 12 o’clock and 6 o’ clock. There is also a chronograph, a moonphase, a tourbillon and a grand feu to complete the collection. Every watch boasts a Ulyssa Nardin caliber movement; a fitting collection to also celebrate 175 years of the oceans-inspired manufacture.
H. Moser & Cie Streamliner Perpetual Calendar
A watch brand known for expressing haute horlogerie with a decidedly quirky perspective, Moser’s take on the perpetual calendar – the grail of high complications – was to present it in a watch that looked like a simple three-hands date. In 2021, this invention has been incorporated into its Streamliner collection, a relatively new addition to Moser’s offering. Deceptively minimalistic, a window at 4 o’ clock reveals the date in large format thanks to two superimposed discs. The leap year indicator is located on the movement side; the HMC 812 calibre boasts an ultra-modern finish with anthracite grey PCD coating on the bridges, train wheels, barrel and escapement plate. The watch design is fluid and highly contemporary – the bracelet is highly articulated, the case gently rounded, while the brand’s signature fume dial completes the appearance of this highly distinctive and desirable watch.
Urwerk UR-100 Electrum
Forged from organic gold and palladium, this unusual creation – in 25 pieces – has a distinctive case design. "The case of the UR-100 Electrum is covered with grooves. Everyone can project his or her own universe into this design. I see the tiers of an ancient Greek theatre,” says Urwerk co-founder Martin Frei. The domed sapphire houses an intriguing dial. In addition to the satellite-type hours and minutes display, the UR-100 Electrum also shows a kilometre counter illustrating the 555 kilometres travelled every 20 minutes by everyone on Earth, corresponding to the earth’s average speed of rotation at the equator.
MB&F x L’Epée 1839 The Orb
Its colour availability – either black or white, is probably the most standard thing about MB&F’s newest creation. The Orb is collaboration with L’Epée 1839, a creative confection that defies categorization. Is it a model of an eye? A beetle? Who knows. It doesn’t really matter. What is apparent immediately is that it’s pure MB&F – humorous, irreverent, and packed with state-of-the-art mechanical mastery. The clock is an hour-striking movement with an eight-day power reserve. The hour mechanism indicates the actual hour, like a church clock, a function that can be switched on or off.
Bulgari Octo Roma Collection and more
The Italian luxury house presents a resplendent collection of mechanical and bejewelled timepieces at Geneva Watch Days. Fans of the brand have plenty to get excited about, with the Octo Roma family taking the limelight momentarily from the award-winning Finissimo watches that have proved such a compelling focus for Bulgari in recent years. A 41mm Octo Roma WorldTimer driven by a new integrated movement comes in either satin-brushed blue and stainless steel, or black steel DLC with sandblasted black dial. Meanwhile, the new Octo Roma Central Tourbillon Papillon writes a new chapter in the evolution of this storied complication, courtesy of two retractable hands positioned on a supporting disc that retract and move to tell the time. The Divina Mosaica pieces unite the highest values of artistic crafts with jewellery – as well as some jaw-droppingly beautiful gemstones. Set with diamonds in white gold, the Divina Mosaica Minute Repeater beats to the rhythm of the world’s thinnest striking movement. The collection from Bulgari is further enhanced by a Gerald Genta homage – Mickey Mouse is back, making his appearance on a playful watch that unties the mouse with Bulgari’s high-end craftsmanship.
Turning the dial up on precious minerals, Louis Erard presents a trio of visually compelling watches that put the natural beauty of earth centre-stage. Each presented in a limited edition of 99 pieces, the Maison's historic model, Le Régulateur, is the setting for precious lapis lazuli, aventurine and malachite – stones that are millions of years old, an ultimate expression of time on earth. What’s almost as impressive is the price, just 2,900 Swiss Francs.
Oris Big Crown ProPilot Rega Fleet L.E.
Its oversized crown was first introduced in 1938, designed for gloved airmen. A series of 21 limited-edition watches pays tribute to the Swiss Air Rescue Rega. Crafted from stainess steel with a gunmetal grey PVD coated bi-directional rotating bezel, each 41mm watch features one of 21 different casebacks engraved with a different aircraft from the Rega fleet. The watch boasts a 42-hour power reserve and comes with Super-Luminova hands and indices for visibility in low-light conditions.
Ferdinand Berthoud Chronomètre FB 1.6-3
With its black DLC-treated steel case, rubber strap, and vertical satin-finish black dial, the Chronomètre FB 1.6-3 exudes a sporty aesthetic. Being a creation from the ultra-exclusive maison of Ferdinand Berthoud of course, it’s also pretty much up there when it comes to top-tier watchmaking. The watch boasts a tourbillon with a fuse and chain transmission which can be seen through the side ‘portholes’ – a signature of the brand.
Breitling’s Top Time Classic Cars Capsule Collection pays homage to classic sports cars from the 1960s.
Three is the magic number at Breitling, which takes inspiration from the Chevrolet Corvette, the Ford Mustang, and the Shelby Cobra. The trio of American automotive-inspired icons revisits the spirit of bold racing style – coupled with Breitling’s inimitable savoir-fair in high-precision time-keeping, thanks of course to its uncompromising commitment to design excellence and of course the COSC-certified accuracy of its chronographs.
“It’s about the journey, not the tempo. And that’s true whether you’re tinkering under the hood or hitting the road for a Sunday ride celebrating these beautiful machines,” says Breitling CEO Georges Kern.