Hours and Miracles: The End of Cotton

Baume & Mercier: the new Riviera

EIn 1918, William Bohm joins forces with Paul Mercier. From this union, the Baume & Mercier manufactory that we know today was born in Geneva. An innovative and highly active watch company that quickly stands out by offering models with wonderful balance shapes that are both chic and modern. A fact that will be confirmed in 1973 when the brand launches the Riviera collection, watches that play with materials and bold, clean and clear lines, recognizable by their dodecagonal bezel, inspired by the art of living. “French Riviera”, on the Cote d’Azur.

While Baume & Mercier took advantage of its involvement with Watches & Wonders to launch a new line of women’s automatic and quartz watches – in 32mm and 36mm – it also introduced its new Riviera men’s versions, designer, chic and sports watches. The first version, the Riviera Baumatic, features an integrated 42mm steel case, a dodecagonal dodecahedral bezel fitted with four screws, and a Baumatic in-house movement with five days of battery life and is resistant to magnetic fields. The gray smoky sapphire dial is complemented by an embedded steel bracelet. The second model, the Riviera Automatic, has a steel case and a slate dial adorned with waves. They feature a sandblasted titanium bezel and an interchangeable steel or gray rubber strap.

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Hublot: the first square watch

Since its inception in 1980, Hublot has rather accustomed us to round watches, accurately inspired by portholes… We are especially familiar with the Big Bang, this flagship model of the brand, presented in 2005 in Basel, a combination of modern and innovative materials that are superimposed in as a link in the middle with several versions appearing. In 2022, the watchmaker changes course and for the first time offers a square-shaped watch in its catalog, which nevertheless retains the DNA of the Big Bang and Classic Fusion lines. As Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of Hublot, points out, “The square watch is an object that most watchmakers dare not face. A divisive, disruptive, unconventional shape that no one has been able to update for decades: it was just waiting for us.”

Good bet on this new Square Bang, as it’s called… comes in five versions. All feature a 42mm modular square case in titanium, black ceramic or King Gold, two of which combine titanium and King Gold with a black ceramic bezel. Each model comes with a black rubber strap embellished with a “chocolate square”. They come alive to the rhythm of Unico’s own automatic chronograph movement, whose column wheel opens at 6 o’clock to reveal all of its gears. Hublot decided to ditch the watch face. Finally we find six screws on the bezel, distributed in the same places as on Big Bang, a slight nod to his signature watch.

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Zenith: An Open Heart Chronograph

Since its inception, the manufactory has always strived for greater precision by developing ultra-precise mechanical chronographs. We are obviously thinking of 1969, when Zenith introduced its El Primero caliber, the emblem of the house and the first piece of watchmaking capable of measuring time to tenths of a second. A historical model that also served as the ideal for future collections of the brand, such as Open. A chronograph launched in 2003 with the aim of making the high-frequency beating heart of the legendary movement as visible as possible. For the first time in the history of the industry, the chronograph introduced a partially openwork dial to show all the gears in action.

The Chronomaster Open version 2022 is powered by the new El Primero 3604 caliber with a 1/10 second chronograph function. The watch features the famous tri-color dial configuration of the iconic A386 from 1969. Zenith opted for round holes with bevelled edges, revealing a movement with straighter bridges in a more modern gray tone. The model is presented in a round case with a diameter of 39.5 mm (previously 42 mm) in steel with a white or black dial and in a third version in rose gold with a white dial.

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Parmigiani Fleurier: a new era of tonda

Last September, the prestigious and confidential manufactory, founded in 1996 by Michel Parmigiani with the support of the Sandoz family, presented a new collection of watches. The Tonda PF features new design codes and a design influenced by the built-in bracelet designs that have been very popular lately. A series of watches whose aim was to redraw the lines of watchmaking purism and which, through Watches & Wonders, is entering a new era.

In addition to the Tonda PF Skeleton, Flying Tourbillon and Chronograph presented at the show, Parmigiani Fleurier launches the world’s first model: the Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante. A complication that displays 2 superimposed hour hands, one in rhodium-plated gold and the other in rose gold, and which, when pressed at the 7 o’clock position, allows the rhodium-plated gold top hand to move to one hour (local time). ) to show a rose gold hand (home time). Once the second time zone information becomes useless, pushing the pusher will cause the rhodium-plated hand to return above the rose gold hand, like a split chronograph. A very useful system for modern travelers who want to juggle time zones. Finally, this new GMT watch features a 40mm polished and brushed steel case with a fluted platinum bezel that surrounds an elegant blue dial. Big success.