February 2020: What's New In Watches
H. Moser & Cie
Since acquiring independent watchmaker H. Moser & Cie in 2012, chief executive officer Edouard Meylan has continuously pushed boundaries, and recently came to Asia to unveil the prototype of the brand’s latest and arguably most daring creation to date: the Streamliner Flyback Chronograph Automatic. H. Moser is, of course, known for producing strikingly modern timepieces, but this new wristwatch stands apart from the rest. Its slate-grey gradient dial that transitions from sooty-black to silver is nothing short of mesmerising, and a single-link metal bracelet adds to its distinctive finish.
“More like a wearable sculpture than a simple steel watch, we sought to create a new form with unprecedented lines and finishes for the Streamliner,” says Meylan. “The result is cushion-shaped case with a slightly domed surface and recessed sides, in perfect harmony with the contours of the integrated and uniquely designed steel bracelet.” All aboard!
Back in 2016, just one year after watchmaker Ferdinand Berthoud was first established, its Chronometer FB 1.1 was awarded the Aiguille d’Or, the highest distinction in the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. Now, the watchmaker has once again won a prize at the 2019 edition, this time in the ‘Chronometry’ category with its carburised steel regulator-type FB 1R.6-1 model. The company is inspired by the famous French chronometer pioneer Ferdinand Berthoud (1727-1807) and they are showing no signs of slowing down.
Auction Sales By Numbers
9,000,000: Christie’s Hong Kong sold a handsome Patek Philippe “L’Heure Bleue” Ref. 2523 timepiece (pictured) in November for a bank-busting US$9 million.
22%: Sotheby’s watch auction sales were up 22 per cent in 2019, making it the most profitable year for watches in the company’s entire history.
312,500: December’s Game Changers auction saw Urwerk’s UR-105 CT Endgame (worn by Iron Man, Tony Stark, in the Avengers movie) sell for US$312,500.
The Legacy Machine Thunderdome is a classic ‘loonshot’—a radical idea that’s met with skepticism and often abandoned midway. But, against the odds, MB&F pulled it off. Offering hours and minutes on a slanted white lacquer dial, it’s the world’s fastest triple-axis regulating mechanism (dubbed the MB&F TriAx), with three axes revolving in a record-breaking eight, 12 and 20 seconds. If that weren’t good enough, in a world first, the Thunderdome also combines a Potter escapement, which integrates a fixed escapement wheel, with a hemispherical balance and helical hairspring. It’s a fantastic example of innovative watchmaking—good gracious, we need to sit down.