After bringing a wrist instrument able to forecast the weather, after imagining a timepiece with a fully functional, high-performance mechanical altimeter, Breva is now coming with another totally unique complication. If chronographs, GMTs, calendars are already used and abused, Breva now comes with the world’s first-ever wristwatch with a functional speedometer. It’s called the Breva Genie 03 and yes, it does also tell the time.
Independent Haute Horlogerie and AHCI
Speake-Marin remains one of our favorite manufactures here at Monochrome-Watches. Since the inception of the brand, Peter Speak-Marin (founder and master watchmaker) had created iconic details and shapes that are so easily recognizable now. Almost all of the watches made by Speake-Marin share this unusual English feeling, combined with high-end watchmaking clues. For this year, he decided to update one of his best-sellers, the Speake-Marin Serpent Calendar, with new dials, new colours and a new movement.
When you think about the brand URWERK, you directly have in mind something technical, complicated, mechanical, digital and made of modern materials (such as titanium, Altin or DLC coating)… Well, in a word a proper machinery. Thus, it’s far from being a warm feeling. So in a sense, it was surprising to see a manufacture like URWERK going for natural, fair trade materials such as wood and tweed fabric. That’s the strength of Frei & Baumgartner: surprising us with crazy timepieces – and these new URWERK UR-110 EastWood look absolutely cool.
England might not instantly leap out as a natural ancestral home for a new watchmaking company, but for Garrick and its owner David Brailsford, the location of its centre of operations was never in question. Watchmaking has a rich historical connection with England, and back when the foundations of the science were being established, the city of London was at the forefront of technical innovation in horology, and it is upon that history that the Garrick Watch company was conceived.
If there is anything at all ‘typical’ about a watch from Greubel Forsey it would be its atypical, unique and rule defying execution; across the entire collection and in every single aspect. So the case might need to protrude here or there asymmetrically, to accommodate the inclusion of a tourbillon or four, maybe even a miniature globe as required – done. Their dials are showcases for horological awesomeness, and everywhere the fruit of their labours are pushed to the fore. No, come to think of it, Greubel Forsey are not really typical in any way.
During the SIHH, not only you get to see the 16 exposing brands but you also have the chance to see multiple independent watchmakers presenting their novelties. The ‘Wonder Week’, as some might call it, is a sort of Pre-Baselworld hidden fair, located in the 5-star hotels’ lobbies. Part of this running show was FP Journe, presenting its 2015 edition of the Octa Lune.
Arnold & Son is a highly productive manufacture. Each time the brand comes with another novelty, we can’t help ourselves to argue this. But… It is the truth. Just look at all the watches they created last year, each and every with a unique movement, and you’ll understand that only a few manufacture are able to develop so many new models. 2015 is here and Arnold & Son adds (again) a truly interesting watch to the Instrument Collection: the Golden Wheel.
‘Haute Horlogerie‘, ‘in-house manufacture‘, ‘made by hand‘ are terms too often used by brands only for marketing reasons. When it comes to really appreciate the beauty of a hand polished internal angle, of a balance wheel designed in-house, of a black polished screw-head, the number of candidates able to achieve such a level of detail is considerably lower than brochures can tell. Philippe Dufour, Kari Voutilainen or Roger W Smith are parts of the (extremely) small bunch of watchmakers worthy of such honors. However, another one deserves our attention, Romain Gauthier, which comes with the new HMS Ten.
HYT Watches is not known to be shy. The brand’s creations are both visually extreme and technically spectacular. For instance, take a massive (but wearable) 49mm case, extremely complex in its design and case in it a movement indicating the time with a watch’s worst enemy: liquid. This is clearly not traditional watchmaking. For their latest creation, Vincent Perriard and his teams went further in the extremeness with a pure concept: welcome the HYT Skull, the mad side of one the maddest brands.
Identity is a brand’s main objective. Look at a Rolex and you’ll recognize it at first glance. Same goes for a Ferrari or a Louis Vuitton bag. Identity is the key to be seen as a brand, to stand out of the crowd and to make people know about your products. Even if its introduction is recent (2006), Armin Strom proved us to have such an identity, to have products recognizable among every others and to manage a coherent collection with clearly defined design clues. Here is a superb example of this identity, the Armin Strom Racing Gravity, fully reviewed here for you.