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Chanel Breathes New Life into Première Line with Camélia Skeleton

 At a glance, the Chanel Première Camélia Skeleton (chanel.com)—the new women’s watch equipped with what is only the brand’s second in-house movement, and its first for a women’s model—might seem to be simply a beautifully executed skeleton timepiece that is very much in keeping with other popular modern examples. Further inspection, however, reveals that the Camélia Skeleton ($118,800 with round diamonds) is a much more involved and impressive creation.“In fact, we had to work in the opposite way from [...]

Damascus Steel | Watchmaking’s Most Unique and Cutting-Edge Case Materials

Last but certainly not least, the organic texture of Damascus steel (yes, technically it is steel) remains on the radar of many boutique watch brands around the globe. Working with the substance is more art than industry, and masters of the material are few and far between. GoS watches of Sweden and Geoffrey Roth of Arizona have both worked extensively with Damascus steel over the years, and even Christophe Claret and Sinn Spezialuhren have unveiled limited edition pieces using [...]

Carbon | Watchmaking’s Most Unique and Cutting-Edge Case Materials

Watch brands continue to find clever ways to integrate carbon into their cases and even their movements, as we saw with the new Panerai Lab-ID launched earlier this year. The material is extremely strong and lightweight, and by utilizing different production processes, it can be applied in a variety of ways, ranging from the traditional woven sheets often seen in the Hublot catalog, to the linear layered processes employed by Roger Dubuis, to the mottled forging process used by [...]

Ceramic | Watchmaking’s Most Unique and Cutting-Edge Case Materials

One of the first alternative watch materials to hit the market, Ceramic was first used in Omega’s prototype Seamaster Cermet in 1973, and then for the IWC Da Vinci Ceramic in 1986. Since then, Blancpain, Omega, Bell & Ross, and Audemars Piguet have thrown their hats into the ring—and with good reason. Ceramic is both highly resistant to scratching, and remarkably lightweight—weighing roughly the same as aluminum, though it is much stronger. What’s more, brands are now able to [...]

Bronze | Watchmaking’s Most Unique and Cutting-Edge Case Materials

Objectively speaking, the appeal of bronze is solely visual. Softer and heavier than steel, less precious than gold, and not particularly corrosion resistant, it is the latter of these observations that fuels the appeal of bronze watches. As bronze watches are exposed to the elements, they develop an inimitable patina. Those fonder of uniform perfection may take issue, but the fact that your watch, much like you, will slowly age and change day by day has a certain appeal [...]

Watchmaking’s Most Unique and Cutting-Edge Case Materials

While there is huge demand among watch collectors for limited-edition pieces and bespoke services, the use of out-of-the-ordinary materials in watchmaking has become increasingly popular in recent years. We’ve seen carbon fiber, ceramic, and sapphire take off in truly spectacular fashion, and lately, even bronze is slowly working its way through a number of luxury houses. Rather than take you through a list of specific pieces, today we examine the different materials being used by some of the industry’s [...]

Sapphire | Watchmaking’s Most Unique and Cutting-Edge Case Materials

At the pinnacle of high watchmaking rests the mastery of sapphire case manufacturing. Incredibly strong and obnoxiously difficult to cut and machine, sapphire is a material only used by a select group of luxury watch manufacturers. Greubel Forsey, Richard Mille, and MB&F all offer exclusive and complex examples of the craft, while Hublot leads the charge as the manufacturer with the most watches on the market cased in the transparent material (including a few colored examples launched in 2017).

Roger Dubuis Brings Bespoke Services to its Distinguished Collector Base

Roger Dubuis’s custom-watch program revives the brand’s extravagant creative ethos.Many high-end watch brands offer bespoke timepieces, but Geneva-based Roger Dubuis (rogerdubuis.com) also provides a custom-watch program it calls Rarities. “Usually our clients will come back every year because it’s a kind of new collection they create with us,” says the Rarities program head, Magali Moreau. “We have some clients who have done more than 10.” Longtime customers seem to be taking particular advantage of this service, to access certain [...]

Girard-Perregaux’s New Laureato Skeleton Is the Watchmaker’s Newest Poster Child

In a surprise unveiling on Friday, Girard-Perregaux debuted yet another new addition to the Laureato line, the Laureato Skeleton. An elegant and harmoniously skeletonized movement has been fitted to the 42 mm Laureato case, and what’s more, the new release will be available in both pink gold ($60,700) and steel ($32,000). Completely developed, manufactured, finished, and assembled in-house, this latest release is a true testament to Girard-Perregaux’s design and finishing capabilities. Given the rising popularity of both tastefully executed [...]