Watch Trends: Scaled-Down Diameters
Have watchmakers given up on massive watches that are barely wearable? Realistically, who can wear diameters up to 50 millimeters aside from, say, divers or pilots? According to Swisstime, the trend toward downsizing began in 2014 and appears to be continuing. At Baselworld, most of the watches debuted have a diameter between 39 mm and 43 mm such as the Slim d’Hermès by Hermès, the Big Bang Broderie by Hublot, The Grande Seconde Deadbeat by Jaquet Droz and the North Flag by Tudor.

HERMÈS — SLIM D’HERMÈS
Hermès captures the essence of pure form with its Slim d’Hermès watch. An elementary sobriety dictates each line, underscored by the thinness of the case and the right angle formed by the lugs. A study in harmony and rigor, Slim d’Hermès draws on the visual culture of Hermès, as witnessed by the original typography of the numerals designed by Philippe Apeloig. The 39.5 mm diameter watch measures time to the beat of the Hermès H1950 extra-thin Manufacture movement, and can incorporate a perpetual calendar. This automatic calibre integrates a micro-rotor, thus reducing its height to a mere 2.6 mm. Versions measuring 32 mm or 25 mm in diameter are driven by a quartz movement and crafted in steel or gold, with or without diamonds.

  • Movement: Hermès H1950 extra-thin Manufacture calibre, 21,600 vib/h, 29 jewels, micro-rotor, 2.6 mm high, sprinkling of H symbols, hand-chamfered bridges, 42-hour power reserve
  • Functions: hours, minutes, seconds
  • Case: 18-karat pink gold or 316L steel, 39.5 mm, anti-reflective sapphire crystal front and back, water-resistant to 30 meters (3 bar/100 feet)
  • Dial: opaline with silvered Arabic numerals designed by Philippe Apeloig
  • Strap: matte Havana or matte black alligator, 18-karat pink gold or 316L steel buckle

HUBLOT — BIG BANG BRODERIE

Always true to its principle of fusion, Hublot connects traditional handcrafting with 21st-century technology in its Big Bang Broderie, taking us on a tour of Swiss savoir-faire, beginning with St. Gallen embroidery. A reference in this age-old art, Bischoff supplies the leading couture houses and luxury lingerie firms. Working with Hublot, Bischoff imagined an exclusive embroidered motif that could fuse with the iconic Big Bang design: a skull on the dial, studded with 11 diamonds, which will appeal to her rebellious side, then flowing arabesques on the bezel and strap. Once embroidered on tulle, they travel from St. Gallen to the Swiss Jura, where they are molded in carbon fiber using an exclusive, specially developed process to accentuate the texture. The components are then assembled at the Hublot manufacture in Nyon, where the watch is brought to life by the HUB1110 automatic movement.

  • Movement: HUB1110 automatic calibre, approximately 42-hour power reserve
  • Functions: hours, minutes
  • Case: 18-karat yellow gold, steel or black PVD steel set with 198 white or black diamonds totaling 1.12 carats, 41 mm, carbon-fiber bezel with gold, silver or black embroidery, anti-reflective sapphire crystal, water-resistant to 100 meters (10 bar/330 feet)
  • Dial: carbon fiber with gold, silver or black embroidery, 11 white or black diamonds totaling 0.2 carat
  • Strap: black rubber with gold, silver or black embroidery on silk, folding clasp
  • Limited series: each version is proposed as a 200-piece limited series

JAQUET DROZ — GRANDE SECONDE DEADBEAT
Deadbeat seconds is an extremely rare complication first introduced in the Age of Enlightenment, the very era when Pierre Jaquet-Droz was traveling the length and breadth of Europe to present his timepieces to royal courts across the continent. This technique means that the seconds hand no longer moves in a smooth sweep, but instead in one-second jumps, thus enabling extremely precise measurements. This horological miniature marvel is now revived by Jaquet Droz, which reinvents its Grande Seconde for this purpose. The historically off-centered seconds hand now takes its place at the center of the dial, while the space traditionally reserved for it is occupied by the retrograde date display. A brand-new calibre has been created to power this association of deadbeat seconds, date and hour/minute module. This ingenious mechanism makes ample use of innovative technologies, such as a silicon balance-spring or a cam with 10 teeth instead of 30, to ensure that the deadbeat seconds jump is a visual show in which prodigious technical sophistication is matched by aesthetic refinement.

  • Movement: mechanical automatic, Jaquet Droz 2695SMR calibre, 21,600 vib/h, 34 jewels, 18-karat red gold oscillating weight, 40-hour power reserve
  • Functions: hours, minutes, deadbeat seconds, date
  • Case: 18-karat red gold, 43 mm, water-resistant to 30 meters (3 bar/100 feet)
  • Dial: ivory grand feu enamel with offset hours and minutes, large central deadbeat seconds hand, pointer-type retrograde date at 6 o’clock
  • Strap: alligator leather, 18-karat red gold buckle
  • Limited series: 88 pieces

TUDOR — NORTH FLAG
In the early 1950s, Tudor set out with the British North Greenland Expedition, an adventure during which the reliability, precision and resistance of Tudor’s watches proved vital for the expedition’s scientists. Inspired by these cornerstones of its history and by vast expanses of untamed territory, the brand presents North Flag, which is driven by the first movement to be entirely developed and manufactured by Tudor. Made to perform, the MT5621 Manufacture calibre delivers an impressive power reserve of some 70 hours, which is shown at 9 o’clock. Beating at 28,800 vibrations/hour, it is fitted with a variable inertia balance with silicon balance spring, held by a transversal bridge that is secured at each end to fully withstand shocks and vibrations. Further benefits include a bi-directional automatic winding system and COSC chronometer certification—another first for Tudor.

  • Movement: mechanical automatic, Tudor MT5621 Manufacture calibre, COSC-certified chronometer, variable inertia balance, silicon balance spring, 28,800 vib/h, 28 jewels, approximately 70-hour power reserve
  • Functions: hours, minutes, seconds, date, power-reserve indicator
  • Case: satin-finish steel, 40 mm, double bezel, steel and ceramic, sapphire crystal front and back, water-resistant to 100 meters (10 bar/330 feet)
  • Dial: black with luminescent hands, numerals and hour-markers
  • Strap/bracelet: leather or steel, folding clasp
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