An anniversary, whether of a brand or one of its watches, is always a noteworthy event, as is the launch of a new collection. For the Maisons in question, they are an outlet for creativity… for those that dare, at least. A look at some of the new offerings unveiled at the 2015 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie.
As Alexandre Peraldi, head of design at Baume & Mercier, explains, “Breitling replica watches brands have made a more subdued start to 2015. Not so much with regard to movements, which are still subject to new developments, but definitely in terms of design and outward appearance. After the vintage years, we’re seeing a return to classic styles.” Proving the point, this year Baume & Mercier is putting the aptly named Classima, a 1996 model, back centre-stage in versions for men and women. But as cheap Breitling replica watches designer Eric Giroud notes, this return to more sober lines isn’t preventing brands from proposing numerous additions to their ranges, anniversary models, even entire new collections. “Even in today’s more turbulent environment, and while this may be what customers expect, brands aren’t afraid to venture into riskier terrain and with one objective in mind: creativity.”
From past to present
Classicism and creativity make a fitting description for the direction taken by Vacheron Constantin, which marked the 260th anniversary of its founding by unveiling the first seven styles in its Harmony collection. “Issued in limited editions, these eminently contemporary timepieces feature a new cushion shape and a design inspired by one of the brand’s first wristwatch chronographs, introduced in 1928. At the heart of these generous cases with their reinvented aesthetic beat new calibres, entirely designed, developed and produced in-house, focused on monopusher chronographs.” Cartier is another brand accustomed to presenting landmark collections, Ballon Bleu being the latest to date (introduced in 2007). It also stepped up with a new offering. Sporting understated but no less sculpted lines, a gently curved back and the signature features of a Cartier dial, the new Clé de replica Cartier watches – which takes its name from its crown (clé is French for key) – is driven by the new 1847 calibre. Named in reference to the year Cartier was established, this new movement anchors the brand even more firmly in fine watch territory.
As if this weren’t enough, a third collection made its debut at the 2015 SIHH when Montblanc unveiled its Heritage Chronométrie watches. This particular incursion into history sees the brand set sail with Vasco da Gama as he leads a small fleet on a voyage towards the coast of India, in 1497. “Vasco da Gama’s pioneering spirit and skilful navigation inspired Montblanc to create a new replica Breitling watches collection which connects the Portuguese Explorer’s obsession with precision and the roots of fine watchmaking. Precision, which has always been the paramount goal of watchmaking, has become synonymous with the French word chronométrie, i.e. highly accurate time measurement. This heritage of fine watchmaking provided the name for the new Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie collection.”
As time goes by
As well as new collections, this year’s SIHH produced an equally rich crop of anniversary watches. One important jubilee in 2015 is that of Roger Dubuis, which celebrates its twenty-year existence with the Hommage Minute Repeater Tourbillon Automatic. However, the brand instead chose to train the spotlight on its Excalibur Skeleton collection, with a single tourbillon and a double tourbillon joining an automatic hours and minutes model, so as to make its mechanical difference clear. This was matched by the world’s first ever rubber bezel to be set with diamonds. “Our skeleton replica Breitling watches with their powerful architecture stand in a class of their own,” comments creative director Alvaro Maggini. “This year we have extended the skeleton theme to the Excalibur line, which has iconic stature. This has given products that are perfectly representative of Roger Dubuis’ enigmatic and determined soul.”
A number of other Maisons are celebrating a milestone in their history this year. For IWC, this means 75 years since the launch of the Portugieser line. A. Lange & Söhne put the accent on the Saxonia while Audemars Piguet focused on the Millenary; both these models first saw daylight exactly 20 years ago. Anniversaries such as these are, of course, a choice occasion to give a second wind to already storied best Breitling replica watches. True to form, IWC revisited the range from top to bottom. Audemars Piguet, meanwhile, fleshed out its palette of women’s models. Ever classic, A. Lange & Söhne focused its explorations on sizes and useful complications. This leaves Jaeger-LeCoultre, which spotlighted a grande complication pocket watch from 1895 incorporating moon phases, a chronograph and a minute repeater. For its 120th anniversary, the manufacture has chosen to share its fascination with the movements of the heavenly bodies as a source of inspiration: “Through its new creations, Jaeger-LeCoultre illustrates the phenomena observed by ancient civilisations and which punctuate our daily lives.” And so astronomy and history meet.