The start of 2019 sees sparks of innovation as watch brands seek to shake the recent horological lull.
The Mido Multifort hits the big league with its first chronometer movement. In addition to COSC certification, the Calibre 80 Si features a silicon balance spring and up to 80 hours of power reserve for outstanding value. The Multifort Chronometer also updates its look with wider vertical Geneva striping on the dial — a defining feature that evokes the suspension cables of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The urban timepiece’s contemporary spirit comes through its black PVD-treated case and rubber strap with fabric insert (in black with beige stitching or vice versa).
There are times when the subtlest move makes the biggest impact. Longines endowing its HydroConquest collection with ceramic bezels may be expected and on-trend with other dive contemporaries, but it is nevertheless an ostensible breath of fresh air. Besides ultra scratch-resistance, the coloured ceramic inserts provide a touch of brilliance thanks to the material’s indelible lustre, greatly enhancing the watch’s modern styling.
Audemars Piguet created quite the hullabaloo when it broke the boundaries of its inviolable Royal Oak. Dubbed “Code 11.59”, the collection debuts the brand’s take on a simple round watch that is anything but. The new circular case features an octagonal midsection — a nod to the original iconoclast — with open lugs to complete the novel architecture. Beyond its complex construction, the watch also flexes with a double curved sapphire crystal, a galvanically-grown gold logo, and a mix of complications and calibres — all to herald this latest revolutionary chapter of the brand (“11.59” references the minute before a new day).
This year, Panerai pairs its special edition Submersibles with once-in-a-lifetime adventures that money cannot usually buy. The unique opportunity redefines the concept of “brand experience”, serving as the perfect hook for the experiential-obsessed generation. The Submersible Marina Militaire Carbotech (33 pieces) invites hardcore enthusiasts to participate in a training session with Combusin, the Diving and Commando Group of the Italian Navy; the Submersible Mike Horn Edition (19 pieces) provides a couple of intensive days with its eponymous adventurer at the Arctic ice floes; and the Submersible Chrono Guillaume Néry Edition (19 pieces) lets you chill with the champion free-diver at the island of Moorea in French Polynesia.
Traditionalist watch brands need some measure of daring to catch the eyes of younger watch wearers. Enter the Laureato Absolute, the resolute bad boy of Girard-Perregaux’s headliner collection. The luxury sports watch amps up its athletic aspect for visual edginess: upsizing to 44mm with a broader case middle, black PVD-coated titanium casing, and blue-black gradation on the dial. The most divisive detail has to be the branded rubber strap, but given the current logomania in fashion, shooting for a strong wrist presence may not be that ludicrous.