5 New Timepieces Looking to the Future
After the 2008 recession, watch consumers became more cautious in their purchasing behavior, often favoring vintage timepieces with a known resale value. This trend overlapped into the new watch segment with watchmakers offering timepieces inspired by historical pieces, further reinforcing this vintage design aesthetic. Now, as the world is preparing to exit confinement from COVID-19, will this trend of looking backward continue its course, or will a desire for something new take hold?
We take a look at five new timepieces from watchmakers with their eyes firmly on the future.
Urwerk UR-100 in 2N Gold Edition
Urwerk’s UR-100 in 2N Gold Edition is the fourth edition of the brand’s UR-100 series that uses rotating satellites to indicate the hours and minutes. Crafted from a single block of yellow gold, the case is satin-finished to replicate the body of C-3PO, the famous Star Wars droid. Science fiction has been an inexhaustible source of inspiration since the creation of the brand, and its two founders, Martin Frei and Felix Baumgartner, are self-confessed sci-fi geeks. Completing this love for the galaxy, the timepiece also indicates the distance of the Earth’s rotation along the equator and the distance of the Earth as it orbits around the sun. The very first edition is also being auctioned to raise money for organizations fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Price: $60,000 / urwerk.com
Jacob & Co. x Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon
This new collaboration between watchmaker Jacob & Co. and carmaker Bugatti has taken the popular watch/car collaboration to new heights of innovation. This new tourbillon timepiece has reproduced Bugatti’s iconic 16-cylinder car engine inside a watch with a moving crankshaft, turbochargers and pistons that pump up and down on demand. The movement took over a year to develop and is comprised of 578 components, making it an extremely complicated wristwatch. Housed in a black titanium and sapphire crystal case (but also available in rose gold), the eye is immediately drawn into this mesmerizing moving engine that seamlessly brings the worlds of Jacob & Co. and Bugatti together in a revolutionary wristwatch.
Price: $280,000 in titanium / jacobandco.com
HYT Soonow Drop Three
Everything about the HYT Soonow is the opposite of vintage with its unique design, funky color scheme and clever use of materials. This limited-edition collection indicates the time via a revolutionary glass capillary shaped in the form of a skull. This glass tube is filled with different colored liquids—one black and one transparent—that travel around the dial and indicate the time at the line where the liquids meet. In addition to its striking aesthetic, what is particularly unique about this timepiece is that the dial offers a view of the past, present and future as the liquid flows around the skull. It may not be as accurate in terms of precision, but it could well be more accurate in terms of the reality of how we live.
Price: $79,000 / hytwatches.com
MB&F HM10 Bulldog
Renowned for its watchmaking creativity, MB&F’s new HM10 Bulldog does not disappoint with an intriguing design that is inspired by man’s best friend. The company draws a parallel between how sometimes you choose a dog, and sometimes a dog chooses you, much like many experiences with watches. The HM10 Bulldog has two aluminum time-display “eyes” set inside a titanium and sapphire crystal case. Below the bezel is a unique power reserve indicator in the form of a dog’s mouth. When the teeth are open, the watch is fully wound, but when they close, it is time to wind him up again. There are two versions—one in titanium with blue eyes, and the other in red gold and titanium with black eyes.
Price: $105,000 in titanium / $120,000 in titanium and red gold / mbandf.com
De Bethune DB28XP
The beauty of De Bethune is that it is both out-there in terms of design but also extremely discrete in a contemporary, artistic way. The DB28XP is one of three new timepieces celebrating the DB28 collection’s 10th anniversary. The XP stands for extra-plat in French, or ultra-thin in English, and offers a particularly elegant fit on the wrist, which is made even more comfortable thanks to the brand’s patented floating lugs that adjust to the size of the wrist. What really catches the eye here is the highly-polished titanium finish across the dial and case, offering a stunning monochrome look. The timepiece is powered by the brand’s hand-wound movement that is as beautifully crafted on the inside as the watch is on the outside.
Price: $79,000 / debethune.ch