Ulysse Nardin’s Grand Deck Marine Tourbillon and other stories
One of the most talked-about launches of the Baselworld fair was Ulysse Nardin’s imaginative “Grand Deck” Marine Tourbillon, which celebrates the brand’s 200-year history as a maker of ships’ chronometers. The dial of the watch is finished in a teak planking effect to emulate the appearance of a deck; the minute display takes the form of a boom-shaped pointer that is pulled forward by a system of connected wires and capstans based on a ship’s rigging. The watch is limited to an edition of 18 and will cost around £195,000.
This watch is fast
This year marks the 40th anniversary of James Hunt’s victory in the Formula One world championship, prompting TAG Heuer to enlist his sons Tom and Freddie to design a suitable watch to commemorate the occasion. The result is the James Hunt Chronograph, which will be available in an edition of 1,000, each subtly decorated in the red, blue and yellow detailing of racing colours of “Hunt the Shunt”.
Repeat after me
A year after the official opening of its new manufacturing facility in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, Officine Panerai has launched the most complex watch in its history. The Radiomir 1940 Minute Repeater Carillon GMT is powered by an in-house movement comprising 633 components and features a double minute repeater that lets the wearer select whether the watch strikes home time or local time if abroad. The 49mm rose gold piece has a skeletonised dial and sapphire crystal caseback to show off the mechanism. Available only to order, it costs €359,000.
London department store Harrods is staging its largest watch event between July 1 and mid-August. “Made with Love and Precision” will feature watches from 23 brands, including global launches and models specially made for the exhibition such as a platinum-cased, diamond-set Rotonde de Cartier Mysterieuse double tourbillon and a £25,000 Harry Winston Premier Moon Phase, one of only five examples.
Time to go
One of the most respected executives in the Swiss watch industry, Stephen Urquhart, stepped down from his role as president of Omega on June 1 after 17 years in the role. The move coincides with Mr Urquhart’s 70th birthday and marks the end of an era during which the brand introduced its highly regarded Co-Axial mechanical movements, returned as sponsor of the Olympic Games and recruited George Clooney and Nicole Kidman as brand endorsers. He is replaced by Raynald Aeschlimann, who joined Swatch-owned Omega in 1996 and has been international director of sales since 2001.