Geneva Watch Days 2021: The Best New Watches, Plus One Whimsical Clock
- Urwerk UR-100 ElectrumUrwerk UR-100 Electrum
- Bulgari Octo Roma Central Tourbillon PapillonBulgari Octo Roma Central Tourbillon Papillon
- MB&F OrbMB&F Orb
- Gerald Genta Arena Retrograde with Smiling Mickey MouseGerald Genta Arena Retrograde with Smiling Mickey Mouse
- H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Perpetual CalendarH. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Perpetual Calendar
- Girard-Perregaux Tourbillon with Three Flying BridgesGirard-Perregaux Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges
- Breitling Top Time Classic CarBreitling Top Time Classic Car
- Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Blue EnamelUlysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Blue Enamel
Designed with watch connoisseurs in mind, these new releases from Bulgari to Urwerk demonstrate superb combination of craftsmanship and design
An independently managed watch fair founded in 2020 by the likes of Bulgari, H. Moser & Cie., Breitling, Ulysse Nardin, Urwerk, Gerald Genta, MB&F and Girard-Perregaux, the Geneva Watch Days takes on a phygital format (a mix of in-person and virtual presentations) to address the movement restrictions brought on by the global pandemic.
Held from August 30 to September 3, here are our top picks from the founding partners this year—and there's even a famous Disney mouse in the midst.
Urwerk UR-100 Electrum
In 2019, the creative force behind Urwerk added displays for Earth's journey along the equator and around the sun to the UR-100. Upon completing its run along the minute track, the brand's signature orbital satellite hour hand doesn't 'disappear'—rather, it soldiers on to indicate Earth's rotation on the equator; the hand on the right will show its journey around the sun.
These simultaneous displays of time and astronomical distance are now enriched by an ancient material called electrum, a gold and silver alloy used by ancient Greeks and Egyptians to make their coins. The muted yellow gold appearance is made more distinctive by pleated patterns for a tactile case. Available in a limited edition of 25 pieces.
Bulgari Octo Roma Central Tourbillon Papillon
A central tourbillon, rare even in haute horology, is framed by a circular disc on which two diamond-shaped 'hands' that move along a 180-degree minute track in the bottom half of the dial. The first hand indicates the minutes, and by the time it reaches the 55th minute, the second hand will make a quarter turn in preparation for its turn. The first hand will retract when the second hand takes over. The jumping hour appears in an aperture at '12'.
This intriguing operation is made possible by the patented Papillon, which consumes less energy than the traditional retrograde hand that jumps back to minute zero. Still, Calibre BVL 332 possesses a robust 60 hours of power reserve, indicated on the caseback. The watch comes in 41mm rose gold case.
MB&F's 14th collaboration with Swiss clockmaker L'Epee 1839 may be aptly called the Orb but it's also flexible enough to take multiple forms. The clock is composed of four mobile wings that can open and swivel—in fact, it can go from a ball to a flower in bloom in seconds. It comes with a saucer so you can also display it with one, two or three wings open.
Made of aluminium and lacquered for the luxe finish, its mechanical heart is based on a similar mechanism found in L’Epée 1839’s historic carriage clock and chimes the hour like a church clock.
Gerald Genta Arena Retrograde with Smiling Mickey Mouse
Injecting levity into the series of high-end serious watches is this fun timepiece featuring one of history's most beloved cartoon characters, Mickey Mouse. The maestro behind Audemars Piguet's Royal Oak, Gerald Genta's take on Disney characters on his eponymous label's mechanical watches were some of his most popular. The brand is now owned by Bulgari and it has been reviving archival pieces with the latest being this Mickey Mouse watch.
Boasting a jumping hour (an aperture at '5') and retrograde minute hand (courtesy of Mickey's left hand), the watch in a historical round case in stainless steel and powered by the automatic BVL262 mono-retrograde mechanical movement.
H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Perpetual Calendar
For a perpetual calendar, the new Streamliner's understated dial belies its complexity. The date aperture at '4' features instantaneous jump of the numeral at midnight, a novelty consisting of two superimposed discs which operate one after the other, from 1 to 15 then from 16 to 31. To discover the month, one has to have very good eyesight as it's indicated by a very small central hand in white and red, with the hour indices doubling as the month. To keep the dial clean, the leap year indication is on the caseback.
Girard-Perregaux Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges
A flagship model of Girard-Perregaux, pink gold is used for the first time to craft all three bridges, according to its press release. The upper and lower surfaces are coated in black PVD, but the sides are left alone for that hint of shine. A study in lightness and transparency, the bridges, which support the tourbillon, gear train and barrel, are displayed in their full glory on the dial and on the caseback.
Breitling Top Time Classic Car
A nod to the 1960s Top Time watches, the latest collection also pays tribute to a trio of racing cars. Sporting a red and black dial, the Top Time Chevrolet Corvette is inspired by Corvette C2, also known as the Sting Ray. The green-and-brown Top Time Ford Mustang is based on the 1964 car that became a firm Hollywood favourite, with numerous appearances on the silver screen.
Top Time Shelby Cobra features a blue and white dial, and is based on a creation by Carroll Shelby that combines British design and American engineering. All watches are endowed with COSC-certified movements.
Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Blue Enamel
Recalling all the design codes of the brand's Marine Chronometer (which includes the distinctive cathedral hands), this Marine Torpilleur is enhanced with blue enamel dial created by Donzé Cadrans, a traditional Le Locle enamelling house now owned by Ulysse Nardin. As per manufacture's requirements, over 90 per cent of the enamelling has to be done by hand. Limited to 175 pieces.