Every year, we witness the introduction of a number of highly innovative, collectible edition fine watches produced in strictly limited-numbers that holds the glimpse of the top-notch watchmaker’s state-of-the-art horological skills and years of intensive research, and determines future trends and strategies. In the year 2012, we have not just seen some of the iconic luxury watches, but also the world’s top ultra complicated watches, and the high-end watches crafted from rare materials, which were especially designed, developed and produced for the likes of watch collectors and discerning individuals who demands excellence, exclusivity and choice. Now at the 23rd Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie ‘SIHH’ 2013, where the watchmakers like Richard Mille, Greubel Forsey, Cartier, Jaeger-LeCoultre, and Audemars Piguet, to name a few, world premiered their novel horological creations, we came across some of the high-end watches that stands apart for their grand complications and technical innovations.
Tourbillon RM 27-01 Rafael Nadal
Last year, the world watched Richard Mille RM027 Tourbillon renowned for its extreme lightness as the winning high-performance watch that goes into the battle, gracing the wrist of Spanish professional Tennis superstar Rafael Nadal. Now for this year, the Swiss luxury watchmaker presented the Tourbillon RM27-01, an exceptional watch which has also been designed in collaboration with Rafael Nadal to further push the concept of lightness to the ultimate extreme. Described to be triumph of engineering and technology, this timekeeper limited to just 50 examples boasts a baseplate attached to the case by four braided steel cables just 0.35 mm in diameter. Weighing just 19 grams, the RM 27-01 crafted with carbon offers perfect resistance to shocks and scratches, and the comfort that is vital to Rafael Nadal during tournaments, all of which he now plays with an RM 27-01 on his wrist. With the RM 27-01 on Rafael Nadal’s wrist, Richard Mille continues in new technical challenges and tests new solutions in the world of Haute Horlogerie.
Update: Rafael Nadal wins again wearing this state-of-the-art timepiece RM 27-01
Tourbillon RM 56-01 Sapphire Crystal
Limited to just 5 examples, the RM 056 split-seconds competition chronograph sapphire when unveiled at the SIHH 2012 impressively elevated the Richard Mille brand to an unrivaled level of design and innovation. And following this technical feat and determined to continue challenging the very limits of haute horology, the Sw3iss watchmaker created another exceptional piece for SIHH 2013, the RM 56-01 Sapphire Crystal which is characterized by its extraordinary transparent movement. Immune to temperature variations and wear, this timekeeper, also limited to 5 pieces, ensures excellent stability and offers exemplary chronometric performance. Further, its strap carries the concept of transparency to its apogee.Greubel Forsey Double Balancier 35 Degrees
The Swiss luxury watchmakers specializing in very high-end complicated timepieces with multiple tourbillions and inclined balance wheels with an aim of improving timekeeping precision Greubel Forsey at the SIHH 2013 presents the true first in horology, the Double Balancier 35 Degrees which features two inclined fixed-oscillators that are no longer superimposed, but are spatially disposed in different three dimensional planes. The watch’s complete manual winding movement comprises 365 components, 28 of which make up the spherical differential. Further, its case is available in 18K white gold, and the black alligator strap is hand-stitched with a white gold folding clasp.Cartier Rotonde Double Mystery Tourbillon
The flying tourbillion, which impressively turns once on its own axis every 60 seconds, appears to be floating completely free in space, with no visible connection to any gear train. The illusion is complete with the same tourbillion cage starts to perform a second rotation at a rate of one turn every five minutes. Notably, the Cartier Rotonde Double Mystery Tourbillon is the quintessence of more than a hundred years of mystery creations from the Maison. Water resistant to 30 meters, the watch’s 45 mm case is in platinum and had double AR-coated sapphire crystals, while the movement is Swiss manual-wind Cartier in-house calibre 9454MC with 25 jewels and power reserve of 52 hours.Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon 3 Jubilee
Described to be a new pinnacle of the watchmaking art, the Jaeger-LeCoultre gyrotourbillon 3, which is part of the Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Jubilee Collection 'Tribute to Antoine LeCoultre' which marks watchmaker's 180-year anniversary, this timekeeper is an authentic 21st century watchmaking sensation that now appears for the first time with a flying tourbillion, a blued gold balance and a spherical-shaped balance spring. Limited to just 75 examples, it boasts an aesthetic directly inspired by the pocket watches produced by Manufacture during the 19th century.
Richard Mille RM 59-01 ‘Yohan Blake’ Tourbillon
Besides presenting the RM 27-01 and RM 56-01, the Swiss luxury watchmaker Richard Mille at the SIHH 2013 also unveiled the wild RM 59-01 ‘Yohan Blake’ edition timepiece. Notably, the Jamaican sprinter Blake also known as ‘The Beast’ made headlines in 100 meter dash Olympic final where he wore the Richard Mille Tourbillon prototype on his wrist, and became Richard Mille’s newest sporting ambassador.
Priced at $620,000 and limited to just 50 pieces, the ultra-light and ultra-strong RM 59-01 comes filled with all kind of high-tech materials and technology, and boasts noticeable bridges which are machined from an alloy of aluminum, magnesium, silicon and lead, and they support the tourbillion cage and are generally integral to the entire piece.
Parmigiani Toric Quaestor Labyrinthe
Inspired by the Greek mythology and the architect Daedalus who, according to the legend, has created the labyrinth to incarcerate the Minotaur, the watchmaker Parmigiani Fleurier created the Toric Quaestor Labyrinthe which contains PF357 hand-wound minute repeater movement, sounding the hours, quarter-hours and minutes. This device ensures total mechanical silence, leaving only the sound of the melodious chime each time it is struck.
A minute repeater is hidden under a two-layer dial: a disc of green Burmese jade and an open-worked white gold plate. Together they form the visual labyrinth.De Bethune DB28 Skybridge Watch
With an impressive aesthetic and standout case design, the new Skybridge watch by De Bethune is an interesting addition to their DB28 range of watches, which notably employs the skeletonized floating lugs and twelve o'clock crown placement. It features a 43 mm polished titanium case with a 45 mm matched bezel. Mechanically speaking, the DB28 Skybridge comes with the in-house DB2105 hand-wound movement with 236 parts inc onstruction, including two twin barrels and 27 jewels supporting a 6-day power reserve, and has no seconds hand no date.Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication
Originally, the Royal Oak Offshore was born in 1993, and this particular timepiece is ultra-sporty and virile extension of the model which was designed 2-decades earlier by Manufacture Audemars Piguet, and comes with an exceptional Grande Complication movement.
In addition to providing a standard time display, this contemporary and eminently masculine watch 44 mm-diameter makes it possible to perform timekeeping operations and to read off intermediate or "split" times thanks to the addition of a split-second complication. Further, its amazingly charismatic titanium and ceramic case also houses a minute repeater mechanism, a rare complication serving to chime the hours, quarters and minutes on demand.
Besides, there’s a perpetual calendar complication that provides a perpetual display of calendar indications, as well as of lunar cycles.
Girard-Perregaux 1966 Tourbillon With Gold Bridge
Defined to be the expression of the unique heritage, the Girard-Perregaux’s opulently decorated new Tourbillion with Gold Bridge comes in two limited editions of white and pink gold. The tourbillion mechanism is notably a combination of the Manufacture’s expertise, tooled with the precision required by the Maison’s GP 09600 selfwinding mechanical movement.