A watch is many things. It is function, and it is luxury. It is past, present, and future. It is both throwback and innovation. The luxury watch is a thriving contradiction in our digital age, somehow pushing analog forward technologically without betraying its roots. The luxury watch is a fixture in a time when technology is fleeting, perpetually pushing forward, which is perhaps what makes watches so desirable to collectors and casual wearers alike. More than just a social statement, luxury watches represent a constant and humbling force of nature. Leave it to humans to desire this reminder and wear it decoratively in one’s own style. That is also what makes the watch endure, because the timepiece isn’t just a form of technology, it is an accessory, something that is beautiful and an extension of one’s character. How do you choose to read time?
Hublot is an excellent example of a watchmaker that pushes the envelope while maintaining the classic elements of horlogerie. Their Big Bang collection, which launched ten years ago, reestablished Hublot as a major force in watchmaking under the direction of Jean-Claude Biver. He helped develop the unique design of Big Bang, setting it apart from other luxury watches on the market, with its unique material and strong build that made it scratch and corrosion resistant. Its success allowed the company to eventually be able to manufacture their components, instead of sourcing them. The Big Bang Ferrari Titanium Ceramic is one of the latest of the Big Bang line, which utilizes their personally designed, engineered, and manufactured Unico movement.
If you’ve ever opened a watch and looked inside, you have to appreciate the level of care and detail required to make a watch accurate, especially considered how small the components have to be to fit inside the watch’s small package. A mechanical movement in particular requires a whole other level of effort and attention to detail because it is powered by a wound spring rather than a battery. Many of us own watches with quartz movements which rely on a battery to power the gears and other mechanisms within the watch. However, many luxury watchmakers continue to make mechanical watches which are of a higher quality and precision than quartz movements. Hublot’s Unico movement is an automatic mechanical movement that is made up of no less than 330 individual components. An automatic movement utilizes the wearer’s motion to wind itself, and the Unico is bidirectional, allowing for less time and movement for winding, with a power reserve of 70 hours when not in motion.
While Hublot pursues innovation in design and function, as seen with their Big Bang collection, other watchmakers such as Harry Winston strive to capture beauty and elegance in their timepieces. Harry Winston utilizes diamonds to adorn the cases, dials, and bracelets of their watches, setting the gems into an artistic design on the watch’s face. On the Midnight Moon Phase Diamond Drops, Harry Winston sets the diamonds on the dial in such a way to look like cascading and accumulating snow, as well as adorning the entire case in diamonds. The case setting has 91 diamonds, and the dial has 214 diamonds, all of which equal about 1.55 carats. With so many diamonds, a watch is at risk of becoming gaudy, but Harry Winston’s design – being so deliberate, elegant and even handed – gives the watch class, beauty, and artistry, reminding its wearer that our time in this world is just as beautiful.
Chopard’s Imperiale line achieves refinement both aesthetically and mechanically. Although Imperiale is available in a variety of designs and movements, those who are looking for elegance in design and function can get the best of both worlds with Chopard. The pictured timepiece shows how the Imperiale line achieves splendor without ostentation, in its luxurious, yet subtle design. Outside of its 18K gold case and bracelet, the delicately engraved mother-of-pearl dial evokes the embroidered cushions of monarchs and the hands are reminiscent of the tapered daggers used by sovereigns in combat. The timepiece whispers royalty, and its automatic movement demonstrates craftsmanship from inside and out.
Breitling’s Emergency gives its wearer something truly important, peace of mind. The person who wears a Breitling Emergency is no doubt an adventurer, who in the spirit of living, lives fast and sometimes dangerously. The Emergency is the first wrist-worn beacon with a dual Person Locator Beacon, one operating at 121.5 MHz and the other 406 MHz. The watch is capable of sending distress beacons to rescuers on land, on the sea, and in the air, through its 122.5 MHz frequency and satellite transmissions through its 406 MHz frequency. The original Emergency has already saved 20 lives and now has finally been approved by the FCC for sale in the US. This is sure to give a whole new stock of adventurers the feeling of independence and comfort they desire, whether they’re sailing the world, or trekking deep into the forest, while also being an incredibly accurate timepiece.
How you choose to read time says a lot about who you are as a person. So much more than a decoration or a utility, a timepiece gives those seconds, minutes, and hours context.
All of these watches available at:
The Timepiece Collection
58 East Palisade Avenue
Englewood, NJ 07631