November 29, 2022
Hublot Big Bang Unico GMT

Every week until the awards ceremony of the 2017 GPHG on 8 November, the WorldTempus editorial team will bring you a breakdown of the jury’s selection in one of the twelve categories. As editor-in-chief of GMT Magazine, I couldn’t resist the temptation to take a closer look at the watches in the Travel Time Category. Half of these watches have already been profiled in the magazine, which shows that the jury members have good taste – and that they are open-minded! Niche brands, accessible luxury brands and big group brands reflect the diversity of the watch industry. Cases in steel, carbon, gold and titanium ensure a wide range of materials, but the variety of dials is even more astonishing, providing perhaps the broadest stylistic panorama in any of the categories. From avant-garde to classical, with high-tech, sporty, modern and innovative displays, the 26 jury members will certainly have plenty to discuss, and the refereeing skills of the President of the jury, Aurel Bacs, will no doubt come in useful. 

LVMH in pole position

The two brands from the world’s top luxury group enjoy the clear advantages of a global marketing campaign and strong brand image. Louis Vuitton and Hublot are familiar faces at the GPHG, but LV has so far missed out on any tangible reward for its perseverance or its watchmaking creativity, whereas Hublot has won prizes for the last three years. The winning streak could work in favour of the Big Bang Unico GMT, which has a great deal to offer. It has a strong and original aesthetic, along with a patented manufacture movement. The eminently practical second time zone is activated by two pushers, one each side of the crown: pressing on the top pusher moves the time forward one hour, while the lower pusher moves it back one hour. The home time zone is indicated by the arrow-shaped hand correlated to the day/night disc. It’s the height of simplicity.  

What is not entirely traditional is that the Ovale XL case, which aBlogtoWatch has analyzed in its different Parmigiani types here. Personally, I adore this case due to its effective combination of elegant appearances, flattering visuals on the wrist, and distinctiveness from a number of other watch instance styles on the market. What is better is how comfy the Ovale feels, and the way that it looks comfortable yet not like anything else out there. Patek Philippe for several years attempted to maintain the value of a case similar to the at the Ellipse. Though, Parmigiani is the one that created this elliptical circle contour a fantastic choice for contemporary men’s watches.This new for 2017 Parmigiani Ovale XL Tourbillon introduces a “blue abyss” colored dial which has a blue colour applied over a metal base which is decorated with vertical Côtes de Genève-style stripes. You do not find these on dials all of the time, but they aren’t as rare as they used to be anymore. The hour markers are applied 18k rose gold, to coincide with the case material and color.Compare the pictured Ovale XL Tourbillon with the Côtes de Genève dial to this other Parmigiani Ovale XL Tourbillon from 2014. You can see how Parmigiani enjoys to play around with a great deal of dial styles. The former version needed a semi-skeletonized dial, slightly different hour mark, and another power reserve indicator. The upside of that sooner model is being able to view more of this hand-decorated movement throughout the dial, but I enjoy the higher feeling of symmetry on this mention PFH750-1000600-HA3141 version.
What isn’t totally traditional is the Ovale XL case, which aBlogtoWatch has analyzed in its various Parmigiani types here. I personally love this instance because of its effective mix of elegant looks, flattering visuals around the wrist, and distinctiveness from a number of other watch case styles out there. What’s better is how comfy the Ovale feels, and the way that it looks familiar yet not like other things out there. Patek Philippe for several years attempted to assert the value of a case very similar to this at the Ellipse. Though, Parmigiani is the one which created this elliptical circle contour a fantastic selection for modern men’s watches.This new for 2017 Parmigiani Ovale XL Tourbillon introduces a “blue abyss” colored dial that has a blue colour applied over a metal base that’s decorated with vertical Côtes de Genève-style stripes. You don’t see those on dials all the time, however they are not as rare as they used to be anymore. The hour markers are implemented 18k rose gold, to coincide with the situation material and color.Compare the envisioned Ovale XL Tourbillon using all the Côtes de Genève dial to the other Parmigiani Ovale XL Tourbillon from 2014. You can see how Parmigiani enjoys to play with a great deal of dial styles. The former version needed a semi-skeletonized dial, slightly different hour mark, and a different power reserve indicator. The upside of the sooner version is having the ability to view more of the hand-decorated movement throughout the dialup, but I enjoy the increased feeling of symmetry on this mention PFH750-1000600-HA3141 version.
Hublot Big Bang Unico GMT

Big Bang Unico GMT © Hublot

The radically innovative display of the Escale Time Zone Blue by Louis Vuitton, perfected in 2015 by the company’s own Fabrique du Temps, shows the time in 24 different cities simultaneously by means of a central 24-hour disc that can be adjusted from the crown, simply by setting the reference time alongside the chosen city. The triangular pointer and small hand in the centre of the dial show the local time in the usual way. For this 2017 version, with its predominantly blue colour scheme, every dial is hand-painted and therefore unique.

 

As you might know already, Michel Parmigiani is a architecture savant. In reality, when he was younger he considered pursuing architecture as a career instead of watchmaking. Not surprisingly then, all of his designs are heavily influenced by his love of design and nowhere is this more apparent than in the Toric collection. What makes this set of watches particular — visually talking — is the bezel, which contrasts gadroons and knurling. As you can see in the picture above, the result is quite pronounced in the first version he created, although it has been refined somewhat from the new Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Chronomètre.The bezel’s knurling — the Toric’s signature — is, based on Parmigiani, created from the sole craftsman in Val-de-Travers to own this skill and he is the exact same man that’s been working with Mr. Parmigiani since 1996. This art consists of manipulating the substance with a wheel which leaves the imprint of its notches in the alloy. Because of this, every knurl is exceptional and any error means discarding the bezel and starting all over again. The outcome is a distinctive, stepped case that reveals its beauty in the details.Like the original version, the Toric Chronomètre features gold, javelin-shaped hands and a very clean, hot dial. The Roman numerals are replaced by Arabic ones, giving the watch a far more modern feel and actually opening-up the dial well. Just above six o’clock there’s an “open” date window, which shows the current date in addition to the preceding and proceeding date.

Louis Vuitton Escale Time Zone Blue

Escale Time Zone Blue © Louis Vuitton

 

Neo-classicism: a safe bet

While Frédérique Constant has been a regular at the GPHG for many years, fielding a number of watches that have been in contention for awards, Parmigiani Fleurier is making a comeback after an absence of several years. The unique feature of the Toric Hémisphères Rétrograde, inspired by the first watch created by Michel Parmigiani in 1996, is that its second time zone can be set to the nearest minute, a feature that comes into its own for those time zones with a quarter- or half-hour difference from the Greenwich meridian. Both the second time zone at 12 o’clock and the main display have their own dedicated day-night indication. The automatic manufacture movement has a double barrel, which also powers an instant retrograde calendar. The new watch is not just a celebration of the company heritage; its practicality and aesthetic qualities make it a strong contender in this category. 

Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Hemisphères Retrograde

Toric Hemisphères Retrograde © Parmigiani Fleurier

Frédérique Constant’s Classic WorldTimer Manufacture also has plenty going for it. For 30 years, Frédérique Constant has remained faithful to the principle of accessible luxury; accordingly, this elegant gold-plated watch, which shows the time in 24 cities around the world thanks to its manufacture movement, is available for a little over 3,000 Swiss francs. Its ingenious adjustment system via the crown ensures that its sleek and elegant lines remain undisturbed by either pushers or correctors. A day/night indicator and calendar at 6 o’clock complete the range of practical functions, and blend in perfectly with the chocolate-coloured dial.

Frédérique Constant Classic WorldTimer Manufacture

Classic WorldTimer Manufacture © Frédérique Constant

The minimalist niche

The old saying that worth is not measured in years applies to both Czapek Genève and Manufacture Royale, two young brands that were both selected last year.  These timepieces are targeted at collectors with an eye for contemporary haute horlogerie. They both play the modern minimalist card while paying tribute to traditional craftsmanship. This certainly applies to the Place Vendôme Tourbillon Suspendu “Ici et Ailleurs” by Czapek, a brand whose origins strongly inform the DNA of this new design. François Czapek opened one of the very first watchmaking shops on the Place Vendôme. This helps to explain the visual contrast between the fleur de lys hands in blue gold and grand feu enamel of the upper dial – both signature features of Czapek watches – and the modern design of the registers lower down (time zone, day/night indicator), even the architecture of the suspended bridge. Another sophisticated and understated touch is the hidden pusher inside the crown guard for adjusting the time. The Place Vendôme Tourbillon Suspendu is the first Czapek watch with a tourbillon.

Which brings us into the dial, at which the sharp white gold implemented indices contrast nicely against the midnight blue dial. In fact, the whole watch uses a simple white gold color scheme that produces what might be a hectic dial attractively legible. Instead of the solid lume-filled hour and second hands of the first, Parmigiani’s New Concept chosen for skeletonized hands in order to not detract from the dial something that I want the Tonda 1950 Galaxy Place did. My only complaint is that the date window which spans a three day date-span — something that I believe should have been a smaller, single-day window to keep away in the “tennis-y” feel that it provides it. The watch will include a blue alligator leather strap or a blue cloth strap.Parmigiani Fleurier is less than 25 years old, and they have achieved an impressive amount of watchmaking in that short time period. In general, these are two solid offerings from Parmigiani Fleurier. The solid rose gold bracelet provides a bit more heft to the Tonda 1950 version, and the addition of a ladies’ version of the “Galaxy” dial provides an alternative that I feel was overdue for the Métropolitaine collection. If it comes to models such as the rare Ovale XL Tourbillon, Parmigiani doesn’t actually have to focus on limited editions. Instead, this independently serialized watch simply gets dial and material updates from time to time as the Parmigiani Fleurier Ovale XL Tourbillon family releases ever-changing versions. This particular reference PFH750-1000600-HA3141 adds a new fashion of dial and was released by Parmigiani Fleurier at 2017.

Czapek Place Vendome Tourbillon

Place Vendome Tourbillon © Czapek

 

Not an easy choice. And this is only the first of twelve categories that the GPHG jury will have to debate, in addition to the special prizes. Join us for more, every week until 8 November.

What isn’t totally traditional is that the Ovale XL case, which aBlogtoWatch has analyzed in its different Parmigiani forms here. I personally love this instance due to its effective mix of elegant looks, flattering visuals on the wrist, and distinctiveness from many other watch instance styles out there. What’s better is how comfortable the Ovale feels, and the way that it looks familiar yet not like anything else out there. Patek Philippe for many years attempted to maintain the value of a situation similar to this in the Ellipse. You do not see those on dials all the time, however they are not as uncommon as they used to be anymore. The hour markers are applied 18k rose gold, to match the situation material and color.Compare the pictured Ovale XL Tourbillon using the Côtes de Genève dial to the other Parmigiani Ovale XL Tourbillon from 2014. You can observe how Parmigiani likes to play with a lot of dial styles. The prior version needed a semi-skeletonized dial, slightly different hour markers, and a different power reserve indicator. The upside of the sooner model is being able to view more of the hand-decorated movement throughout the dial, but I enjoy the higher feeling of symmetry with this mention PFH750-1000600-HA3141 version.
What is not totally traditional is that the Ovale XL case, which aBlogtoWatch has reviewed in its different Parmigiani types here. I personally adore this instance because of its effective combination of elegant appearances, flattering visuals on the wrist, and distinctiveness from a number of other watch case styles on the market. What’s better is how comfy the Ovale feels, and how it seems familiar yet not like other things on the market. Patek Philippe for several years attempted to assert the value of a situation very similar to the in the Ellipse. Though, Parmigiani is the one which created this elliptical circle contour a fantastic selection for contemporary men’s watches.This brand new for 2017 Parmigiani Ovale XL Tourbillon introduces a “blue abyss” colored dial which has a blue colour applied over a metal base that’s decorated with vertical Côtes de Genève-style stripes. You do not find those on dials all the time, but they are not as uncommon as they used to be anymore. The hour markers are applied 18k rose gold, to match the case material and color.Compare the envisioned Ovale XL Tourbillon using all the Côtes de Genève dial to the other Parmigiani Ovale XL Tourbillon out of 2014. You can see how Parmigiani likes to play with a lot of dial styles. The former version needed a semi-skeletonized dial, slightly different hour markers, and a different power reserve indicator. The upside of the sooner version is being able to view more of this hand-decorated movement throughout the dial, but I like the higher feeling of symmetry on this reference PFH750-1000600-HA3141 version.

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