Cover Photo: Courtesy of Hermès

Fashion brands are upping their game with Swiss-made watches driven by mechanical, automatic movements

Emporio Armani

Giorgio Armani is the patron saint of Italian fashion, so it comes as no surprise that he’s expanded into the world of watchmaking. While there’s no shortage of covetable watches coming our way, Emporio Armani’s stand out from the crowd because of their high-precision movements combined with sophisticated silhouettes inspired by old-world elegance. And if there’s one man you can trust to steer you right, it’s Giorgio himself.

See also: 5 Modern Watches With Historical Roots

Dior

One of several fashion brands to have opened state-of-the-art manufactures in Switzerland’s watchmaking heartland, Dior has, despite scepticism from purists, enjoyed a surge in popularity for its automatic wristwatches that effortlessly blend couture-inspired design (think of the graceful swirl of a Dior ballgown) with exceptional mechanisms.

The Inversé 11 1/2 calibre, for example, which is used in the Grand Bal collection alongside a functional oscillating weight that swings across the dial, elevates Dior’s creations from eye-catching accessories to timeless masterpieces.

See also: The Dior Watch With 20 Million Possibilities

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton’s acquisition of movement specialist La Fabrique du Temps in 2011 saw the maison spearhead fashion’s foray into the wider watch industry. The Tambour Spin Time Air features an in-house calibre, the LV88, a mechanical movement with automatic winding.

Much more than a high-end fashion watches that attract clients because of its brand-name logo, Louis Vuitton’s timepieces champion exclusive and horologically legitimate mechanical movements that satisfy the demands of even the most discerning collectors.

Chanel

Chanel timepieces cover all aspects of watchmaking, from day-to-day wristwatches to awe-inspiring métiers d’art creations. To highlight its commitment to horology, it acquired watch manufacture G&F Châtelain in 1993 and set up a division to make in-house movements in 2011.

Five years later, Chanel debuted its very first haute horlogerie movement designed and developed in-house in collaboration with Romain Gauthier. Chanel’s complex Monsieur de Chanel features an instant jumping hour and 240-degree retrograde minutes and small seconds display, which is powered by the brand’s Calibre 1 movement.

Hermès

Within Hermès’ recently released Arceau Petite Lune is the brand’s H1837 mechanical self-winding movement and moon module. Named after the founding date of the maison, this in-house calibre is yet another demonstration of the brand’s commitment to watchmaking tradition.

There’s so much more to Hermès’ watches than meets the eye, and with more than 40 years of industry experience, the house has long perfected the art of marrying spectacular design and technical excellence. 

Gucci

It’s been four years since Alessandro Michele was appointed as Gucci’s creative director, and the trendsetting brand is premiering a unisex line at Baselworld this year. Visually, these accessories are absolutely stunning— think resin tiger heads, glistening golden bees and acid-green dials set against contrasting straps.

Beyond aesthetics, mechanical movements elevate the brand’s reputation even further. Each watch features a transparent case back so the wearer is able to admire the detail and craftsmanship in all its glory.

See also: 5 Bold Watches That Are Inspired By Nature