Cut For Time: New Watches At Patek Philippe, Panerai, Urwerk, And Piaget
Topping this week’s list of new watch introductions is ultra-flat elegance at Piaget, Urwerk’s ultra-strength tantalum, a spate of new Patek Philippe Aquanauts, and a slimmed-down Panerai Luminor.
Patek Philippe Launches New Aquanauts for Men and Women
Following on the heels of the all-new Nautilus collection launched at this year’s Watches & Wonders, Patek Philippe is expanding its Aquanaut Luce and Aquanaut timepiece collections.
The new Aquanaut Luce Automatic now comes in a larger 38.8mm case and is available in a choice of stainless steel or rose gold. Both watches have diamond-set bezels. The stainless-steel pieces (ref. 5267/200A) are available in three colorways. The first is a black dial with a black strap model; the second has a white dial with a white strap, and the third has a khaki green dial with a khaki green strap. The rose gold version (ref. 5268/200R) has a white dial and a white strap.
All the new stainless-steel watches are water-resistant to an impressive 120 meters and powered by the Patek Philippe Caliber E 23-250 S C quartz movement. The rose gold version is powered by the 26-330 S C automatic movement with a minimum power reserve of 35 hours and is also water-resistant to 120 meters.
“Luce” means light in Italian. The diamonds set in the new rose gold Aquanaut Travel Time (ref. 5269/200R), like all Patek Philippe diamonds, are the highest quality Top Wesselton stones that emit maximum sparkle. The dual time zone watch has two hour hands, one for home time and one for local time. The watch’s day/night indicator is set to match the home time, and it is powered by the E 23‑250 S FUS 24H quartz movement. Like its new Luce sisters, the watch measures 38.8mm across and has the signature Aquanaut motif pattern on the dial. All of the new pieces’ straps are made of an extremely sturdy composite material that’s highly resistant to UV radiation and water.
But this new crop of Aquanauts has not overlooked men. New this year is an automatic chronograph in white gold. The first Aquanaut Chronograph was unveiled in 2018 in stainless steel with a black dial and strap. Now the white gold versions come in two dial/strap color combinations: a midnight blue to black gradient dial with a matching strap (ref. 5968G-001) and an “audacious” khaki green color (ref. 5968G-010). These 42.2mm watches are powered by the CH 28-520 C self-winding flyback chronograph caliber with a 60-minute counter and date aperture.
The New Urwerk UR-105 Tantalum Hull: The End of an Era
The Urwerk UR-105 CT timepieces have reached near-cult status in watch collector circles. But the latest (and last) version may be the best of the bunch. Tantalum “is a very special metal,” co-founder Martin Frei said in a statement. “Tantalum is precious, rare, and extremely painful to machine and finish.” While making the tantalum UR-100 watch a few years back, the brand’s CNC (computer numerical control) machines were stretched to their limits, “reducing their life by a factor of three,” said Frei.
Nevertheless, Frei and co-founder Felix Baumgartner decided that the tantalum matchmaking show must go on and created 12 pieces of the new UR-105 TTH (Tantalum Hull). The watch’s tantalum “breastplate” protective cover shields the watch’s titanium case and its precious UR 5.03 automatic winding movement. Tantalum’s dark anthracite color is one of “the most Urwerk-ian metals,” according to Baumgartner. The brand’s collectors will certainly agree.
Panerai’s Luminor Piccolo Due 38mm on Bracelet
Just in time for summer, Panerai is unveiling a Luminor Due equipped with a stainless-steel bracelet. The 38mm diameter of the PAM01123 is also a trimmed-down size for Panerai, a brand that made a name for itself with its bold, outsized cases measuring 44mm and more.
The Luminor Piccolo Due, despite its reduced size, is crafted in pure Panerai Luminor style. The self-winding P.900 caliber movement powers the hour and minute hands, small seconds display at 9 o’clock, and the date at 3 o’clock. Plus, the watch features the now-iconic Panerai signature hinged crown protector.
The Luminor Piccolo Due’s smaller size makes it, according to the brand, “A watch with an urban, Italian sophistication suitable for smaller wrists and formal occasions.” Moreover, its bracelet is easily switched out for a strap via a quick-release system, making the watch fit for any occasion without fuss.
Piaget’s New Altiplano Tourbillon Aventurine
Piaget is taking its Altiplano Tourbillon into the starry skies with a dial in blue aventurine glass speckled with copper flecks. The word aventurine comes from the Italian word “avventura,” meaning adventure. It’s certainly an apt moniker.
Like its Altiplano Tourbillon predecessors, the watch features a flying tourbillon at 2 o’clock, with the hours and minutes at 8 o’clock. The positions of the tourbillon and the time display serve to “form a lucky 8 and infinity symbol, illustrating eternity and everlasting love,” according to Piaget.
The watch’s 38mm wide case is just 7.35 mm high, but amazingly, Piaget was able to hand-set 48 baguette-cut diamonds on the bezel. The watch is available in a limited edition of just 38 individually numbered pieces.