March 2021: What's New In Watches
- Parmigiani FleurierParmigiani Fleurier
- Baume & MercierBaume & Mercier
- Franck MullerFranck Muller
- Roger DubuisRoger Dubuis
- Vacheron ConstantinVacheron Constantin
- Audemars PiguetAudemars Piguet
- Van Cleef & ArpelsVan Cleef & Arpels
- Patek PhilippePatek Philippe
- Richard MilleRichard Mille
- Dior JoaillerieDior Joaillerie
From Rolex's limited-edition watch to Van Cleef & Arpels' new additions to its iconic Poetic Complications collection, these are the best watch releases for March 2021
To toast its founder’s 70th birthday, Parmigiani Fleurier has unveiled a brand-new Toric Héritage timepiece. Limited to just 70 pieces, this elegant watch comes in steel, with a navy-blue guilloché dial. Javelin-shaped hands indicate the hours, minutes and seconds, while a calendar display sits at six o’clock. Reflecting founder Michel Parmigiani’s fascination with Ancient Greek art, the brand’s Toric Héritage cases replicate the fluting on Doric columns. Wear yours with an Hermès alligator strap.
Baume & Mercier
Six new models and two limited editions have been combined to form Baume & Mercier's latest line: Baume Ocean. An off-centre crown is found at 12 o’clock (a Baume signature) and the collection’s colourful interchangeable straps feature a soft and supple cork lining for added comfort. Collectors can also take pride knowing that they’ve supported a good cause— the watchmaker will donate two per cent of Baume Ocean sales to various NGOs, including Waste Free Oceans, which collects and recycles marine plastic.
Sturdy and sporty, Franck Muller's Vanguard Skeleton Grande Date Chronograph is an outstanding example of horology. An eye-catching seconds counter takes centre stage, while a minutes counter sits at 3 o’clock. Appliqué indexes are luxuriously handpainted and perfectly pop against the movement’s inner workings, which can be viewed through an open-worked dial.
Lamborghini and Roger Dubuis have teamed up once again and, this time, the duo has taken inspiration from the former’s Huracán STO supercar. Lamborghini’s Blue Laufey and California Orange pigments feature prominently across the watch’s dial, bezel and strap—not unlike the Huracán STO itself. A lightweight titanium bezel sits on top of a skeletonised carbon case with rubber inlays, which is strapped onto the wrist by a calfskin leather and rubber strap.
A limited edition of Vacheron Constantin's flagship 14-day tourbillon, the Traditionnelle Tourbillon Qilin is an exceedingly ornate watch. Based on a fabled winged equine creature with scales of a dragon or a fish called a qilin, only 18 of these bad boys will be available for purchase. The 42 mm pink gold case is engraved entirely by hand and houses a complicated tourbillon manual-winding movement: Calibre 2260. Measuring over 12 mm high, this Traditionnelle Tourbillon is a bold choice for even the most extravagant collectors.
A pair of limited-edition Golden Bridge models have been unveiled by Corum in celebration of two anniversaries: it has been 65 years since the Swiss company was founded in La Chaux-de-Fonds, and 40 years since the launch of the first Golden Bridge.
Only three white gold models will be released, each of which comes with the elaborately engraved floral motif etched into the calibres of previous Golden Bridge releases since 1980. A more accessible rose gold version will be limited to 40 pieces. Mounted on a plush chocolate-brown alligator strap, the watch champions Corum’s hallmark key symbol, which is repeatedly printed on the case back window. The resulting pattern is dazzling and sets the scene for this timepiece’s visually stunning movement.
This majestic timepiece by Hermès offers the dazzling sense of escapism we all need right now. The Arceau collection was created by Henri d’Origny in 1978 and is easily recognised by its sloping Arabic numerals and asymmetrical stirrup-shaped lugs. This latest edition is set with 87 sparkling sapphires and 68 diamonds scattered across the 38 mm steel case and a dreamy mother-of-pearl dial designed by Franco-German artist Edouard Baribeaud. Inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Baribeaud positioned a mischievous moon to peek out from behind the starry night sky.
Last year, three new references were added to MB&F's Legacy Machine FlyingT line, which was launched in 2019 as the watchmaker’s first ladies’ watch. These limited editions came in red gold or platinum and showcased glistening guilloché dial plates. Now, a white gold version set with diamonds has been unveiled. A new dial made using lapis lazuli is a mesmerising inky blue that beautifully complements an emerald-green strap.
The Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked is now available in a seductive all-black ceramic case and bracelet, both of which are satin-brushed and polished by the manufacture’s watchmakers. An innovative dial showcases a pink gold-toned double balance wheel mechanism, which is visible from the wrist and open case back, and contrasts beautifully against the watch’s ebony structure alongside pink gold-applied hour markers and hands.
The Type 20 “Blueprint” is named after a planning document of Zenith's historical headquarters in Switzerland. The stainless steel watch’s dial features a matt blue base adorned with the watchmaker’s technical drawings and notes, while the sapphire crystal layer is printed with the usual markers and Zenith logo. Polished and satin-brushed surfaces add a luxe feel to this otherwise industrial-style timepiece that’s limited to 250 pieces.
Underwater biologist and photographer Laurent Ballesta has teamed up with Blancpain to research the impact Covid-19 is having on marine conservation. The study will be based in the Mediterranean and is part of a two-year project that’s partially financed by the proceeds of Fifty Fathoms Ocean Commitment III limited edition watches.
Like the two limited-edition Speedmasters that came before it, Omega's “Silver Snoopy Award” 50th Anniversary pays tribute to Nasa having presented its Silver Snoopy Award to Omega in 1970 following the sort-of successful Apollo 13 mission. Housed in a classic 42 mm case made of stainless steel, the watch’s bezel, hands, markers and strap are slick with blue. A Snoopy illustration sits in the small seconds sub-dial, as well as in a ship on the elaborately decorated case back. When the chronograph function starts, Snoopy and his ship travel along with a quote that reads, “Eyes on the Stars”, before disappearing around the far side of the moon.
Van Cleef & Arpels
George Balanchine’s Jewels is a full-length story ballet that was first performed in April 1967. Its three acts—Emeralds, Rubies and Diamonds—were inspired by the three countries that Balanchine had called home: France, the US and Russia. Fast forward to today, and Van Cleef & Arpels has unveiled three one-of-a-kind watches that pay tribute to the late choreographer. This trio of stunning timepieces has been added to the house’s iconic Poetic Complications collection and has taken more than ten years to create.
Each watch is based on one of the acts and comes set with either emeralds, rubies or diamonds. They also play music by Gabriel Fauré, Igor Stravinsky or Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, respectively. A birchwood and walnut marquetry music box uses an electronic amplifier to enrich the sound of the watch’s four gongs, while a visual animation comes to life when the music starts to play. Each watch’s dial depicts a pair of decadent opera curtains, which open to reveal ballerinas dressed in tutus.
Twenty-4 first hit boutiques in 1999. One of Patek Philippe's bestselling collections, it’s known for its rectangular designs and cuff-style bracelets. Made exclusively for women, two new versions come with white gold-applied Arabic numerals and white gold-applied trapeze-shaped hour markers. Choose from a blue or grey sunburst dial, which is achieved by hand-painting the watch’s face so that its colour is concentrated towards the middle.
Limited-edition Rolex Explorer II Ref 216570 watches don’t hit the second-hand market too often, so when one does appear in the wild, Tatler is among the first to find out. Watchfinder & Co have told us they’ve acquired one of these watches, which is one of only 48 that were produced as part of a special order made exclusively for British military personnel. It comes with a black dial, luminous hands and a comfortable stainless-steel bracelet, and was first unveiled in 2016 for the Attack Helicopter Regiment in which Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, served. An engraving on the case back depicts an Apache helicopter, as well as the name of the serviceman to whom the watch was originally given.
Richard Mille has been inspired by the “intense glamour” of the 1970s to design ten variations of its glitzy RM 71-02 tourbillon watches. Named after some of the most influential women of the disco era, including Bianca Jagger and Grace Jones, each variation is limited to just five pieces. We particularly love “Diana”, which is set with sapphires, rubies and diamonds, as well as sheets of lapis lazuli, mother-of-pearl and turquoise. While the company did not identify the Diana in question, we’re pretty sure she was the boss.
Dior Joaillerie has quietly proven itself to be a master of horology over the years, and its Grand Bal watches, which made their debut in 2011, are good examples of the maison’s capabilities. Inspired by Dior’s first haute couture show in 1947, this collection is designed to emulate the flow of its ethereal ballgowns. Clutches of feathers and swathes of silk are set into the dial to evoke scenes of voluminous gowns and twists of gold lamé.