The Hours
Evanna Ramly 
Marvellously durable and scratch-resistant, the velvety black TZP ceramic boasts an extremely fine grain

Birthday delights

Celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, IWC Schaffhausen will unveil a special Jubilee collection. The 27 limited editions include models from the well-loved Portugieser, Portofino, Pilot’s Watches and Da Vinci families.

“Our founder’s entrepreneurial spirit and his untiring quest for engineering excellence have left a lasting impression on IWC. To this day, our watches combine precision engineering with design that is as unusual as it is timeless,” explains Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen. “The Jubilee collection revisits icons from the history of IWC and unifies them through a timeless design code to form a unique and impressive collection.”

That said, what we’re really looking forward to is the launch of the IWC Tribute to Pallweber Edition “150 Years” (Ref. IW505002). Limited to 250 pieces, it is the first wristwatch to feature a digital display as originally appeared on the Pallweber pocket watches in 1884. Revolutionary for its time, the hours and minutes are shown in large jumping numerals on rotating discs. A vision in 18K red gold, the new watch boasts a pristine white dial with a lacquered finish, white display discs, and a blued seconds hand.

It boasts an imprinted dial in white or blue. This unique effect is achieved by applying several layers of lacquer, reminiscent of heritage enamelled finishes. The idea for imprinted dials and blue hands came from the first Portugieser models, Reference IW325, from 1939.

“In a long and complex process, these dials are coated with up to 12 layers of high-quality lacquer, flat-polished, brushed and then imprinted several times,” explains creative director Christian Knoop. “We drew our inspiration from the unusual aesthetic appeal of the enamelled dials used for the historic Pallweber watches.”

Game changer

Reinterpreting the iconic Rieussec monopusher chronograph launched in 2008, Montblanc’s Star Legacy Chronograph Rieussec is a fitting homage to its namesake French watchmaker. It was Nicolas Rieussec who invented the first inking chronograph in 1821, developing the construction to more accurately measure the running times of individual horses at a horse race.

While the case and silvery white dial have been beautifully redesigned, the timepiece’s distinctive face with titanium turning discs and off-centre hour circle with azure finishing remain. Slim Arabic numerals in black are surrounded by a railway minute track, as classic as the blued leaf-shaped hands.

The dial is also patterned with guilloché as well as a filet sauté guilloché decoration that encircles it. In a nod to the famed inventor, a ring with the Nicolas Rieussec inscription has been applied on the outer part of the dial.

Its 44.8mm stainless steel case, water resistant to 30m, is reminiscent of Minerva pocket watches with softly curved finishing and horns that have steps on the sides. A domed sapphire crystal glass protects the three-dimensional dial and even presents a refined pebble effect.

Inside, the automatic Calibre MB R200 comes with a column-wheel mechanism that controls the monopusher chronograph. The connection between the gear train and the chronograph’s wheels is alternately engaged and disengaged by a vertical coupling, while two barrels offer an impressive 72-hour power reserve.


Ladies night

Arguably one of Richard Mille’s sexiest timepieces, the RM 07-01 in gem-set black ceramic and red gold is a welcome addition to the manufacture’s repertoire.

“After our work on setting gems in Carbon TPT, we wanted to extend this innovative setting technique to new materials,” says Cécile Guenat, technical director for jewellery-making at Richard Mille. “We naturally gravitated to ceramic, because it had never been done before. There is now no subterfuge in the way diamonds are incorporated, thanks to how the mitraillage is performed by machining the material directly.”

Marvellously durable and scratch-resistant, the velvety black TZP ceramic boasts an extremely fine grain. Its sophisticated matte finish is the result of delicate milling and micro-shot peening. Each angle of the bezel and case bottom is hand-polished by a highly skilled finisher in order to showcase their complex shapes.

The eye-catching red-gold dial is meticulously set with black onyx and diamonds, a discrete echo of the spectacular bezel. Separately produced and carefully polished to ensure impeccable evenness, red gold prongs are embedded in the many settings, each exactly 0.25mm in diameter. The sparkling diamonds are full-cut stones, selected for their exceptional clarity.

At its heart beats the in-house Calibre CRMA2. Assembled on a baseplate and bridges crafted in grade 5 titanium, its variable-geometry rotor in 18K 5N red gold enables the wearer to adjust the automatic winding to her activity levels, making it a truly personal piece.


In loving memory

A. Lange & Söhne pays tribute to its beloved founder, Walter Lange, who passed away in 2017. Joining the German manufacture’s family is the 1815 Homage to Walter Lange, featuring one of his favourite complications: the jumping sweep seconds hand, referencing a 150-year old invention developed by his great-grandfather, Ferdinand Adolph Lange, and first implemented in a timepiece crafted by his grandfather, Emil Lange.

While the small seconds hand in the subsidiary dial at ‘6’ shows the frequency of 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour with six small steps from marker to marker, the blued sweep seconds hand jumps precisely every second. This feature is also stoppable via pusher at ‘2’.

Beneath the argenté-coloured dial is a new movement, the L1924. The calibre’s name represents Walter’s year of birth and the first three digits of the reference number – 297 – are from his birthday, July 29.

Its 40.5mm case comes in white, pink and yellow gold, with 145, 90 and 27 of each edition respectively. Deep in significance, the first number marks the 145 years elapsed from A. Lange & Söhne’s original 1845 establishment to the date Walter registered the company in 1990 (hence the second number). In addition, the watch was unveiled on Dec 7, 2017, exactly 27 years after the manufacture’s revival.

This article first appeared in Focus Malaysia Issue 267.