When cutting-edge technology successfully teams with out-of-the-box thinking, the results can be astonishingly intriguing. Such is the case with the four watches we present, each innovative in its own way. Whether creating chaos out of time or measuring its passage by the millennium, these instruments combine functionality, style, and quality to make their own unique statement.
Harry Winston Opus Eleven
Featuring three overlapping cylinders, the uniqueness of this complex instrument is the "exploding" hour numeral that reassembles as the new hour, where it remains until the next disintegration. In lieu of a hand, 24 placards revolve and rotate on a system of bevel gears that change the axis of placard rotation. The result: utter momentary chaos followed by calm. This watch is made up of 566 components (including 155 jewels), housed in an 18-carat white gold traditional finish. The limited series contains only 111 pieces.
Urwerk UR-1001 Zeit Device Über Complication Pocket Watch
Note: Limited edition of eight pieces; available at Westime in Los Angeles
and Beverly Hills
In a grand gesture to immediate and immortal time, the UR-1001 reports in seconds, minutes, hours, day/night, month, years, centuries, and millennia. Housed in semi-matte black treated steel with titanium elements, the backside of this instrument has a protective cover that hides the longer timescale indications, ranging from the five-year "oil change" indicator (alerting the user it's time for service) to a 100-year, and even 1,000-year indicator.
Hublot Geneve "MP-02 Key of Time"
Introduced at Switzerland's Basel Fair, this unique-concept watch features a three-position crown giving the wearer the ability to "manage time." Position one divides time by four, in which one hour is represented as a quarter of an hour. Position two gives real time, and the third position accelerates hand speed, multiplying time by four. Happy moments seemingly last longer while difficult ones appear shorter. Features include a vertical flying tourbillon cage with a seconds indicator on its edge.
MB & f's HM3 Frog ZR
Bringing playfulness to high-end watchmaking, the Frog ZR boasts a purple 22K gold rotor animatedly spinning on the dial, reflecting hints of green and yellow. Two bulbous domes house the hours and minutes allowing the wearer to read the time from almost any angle. Inside the zirconium case sits a 304 component, highly-tuned, 36-jewel engine. The Frog Zr comes with a black hand-stitched alligator strap with 18K white gold and titanium custom designed deployment buckle. It is a limited edition of 18 pieces.
What does Hublot's tagline "The Art of Fusion" refer to? Fusion marries tradition with the future. We respect tradition, but each time we can find in the present new methods or technology that can improve the tradition, we use it.
What new watchmaking or material technology are you most excited about? I love particularly two materials in which we have been pioneers and have innovated, carbon and ceramic. Carbon because it is the material of F1, space, and high-tech, and because of its incredible resistance and ultra-light weight. Furthermore, I like the tissue look of carbon. The second is ceramic because of its properties, which are extraordinary adapted to a watch: It will never ever scratch, will never oxidize, will never give a single allergy, will never change color, and is 30% lighter than steel.
How has Hublot been innovative in other ways (protecting its designs from counterfeiting, etc.)? Success will be counterfeited. There is little you can do, except educate people and make them aware that when they buy counterfeit they support crime and the world of crime. We are fighting with a few lawyers and the help of the Swiss Watch Federation. We have already this year seized more than 40,000 counterfeit watches.
How important is innovation to your customers? One can say: No innovation, no future. This is the case for Hublot, as it is our message (concept) to fuse the tradition with the innovation. Therefore innovation, creativity are so important for us. Our R&D is running with huge budgets. Innovation and creativity is giving deep substance and leadership to the brand.