The Five Watches That Caught Our Eye At Watches & Wonders Shanghai
Hot on the heels of Geneva Watch Days, Watches & Wonders 2020 Shanghai opened this week, bringing us even more new timepieces to get excited about.
Watches & Wonders arrived in Shanghai this week for the very first time. The show is being held from September 9th to 13th at the West Bund Art Center and continues where the digital Watches & Wonders fair left off in April. The Shanghai event is being held in collaboration with Tmall, Alibaba Group’s e-commerce platform serving over 700 million Chinese consumers. As a result of this collaboration, Tmall will host an exclusive e-commerce version of the event. Watches & Wonders Shanghai will therefore be both online and offline, so even if we can’t physically attend the show, we can still enjoy following the proceedings from afar.
There are a number of new releases being presented during the fair, and we are happy to bring you five hits that caught our team’s eye.
IWC’s Portugieser Chronograph Stainless Steel Bracelet
IWC is releasing its Portugieser Chronograph on a brand-new steel bracelet at the Shanghai show. One of the brand’s most popular models (read HERE), this is the first time the 20-year-old Portugieser Chronograph has been fitted with a stainless steel bracelet.
The bracelet comes with a mix of polished and satin-finished elements and a butterfly folding clasp. This timelessly modern 41mm timepiece is powered by the brand’s 69355 chronograph caliber and comes with a silver-plated dial.
The addition of a steel bracelet brings a new sportier touch, both in terms of its aesthetics and in the kinds of adventures it can undertake.
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Self-Winding Blue Dial
A new bracelet is also the big news at Vacheron Constantin, but this time it is an all-gold affair. Now, for the very first time, the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Self-Winding Blue Dial is available with a rose gold bracelet.
Like the Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin released during the digital Watches & Wonders in April (read HERE), this model keeps the same interchangeable watch strap system and comes with a rose gold bracelet, as well as a blue rubber and a blue alligator strap. When it comes to sporty elegance, this 41mm rose gold timepiece with its versatile strap selection, signature hexagonal bezel, automatic caliber, and date at 3 o’clock is taking the “elegant all-rounder” category by storm.
Piaget Altiplano Tourbillon Limited Edition
It is a pleasure to finally see some new ladies’ timepieces, as they were almost non-existent during the Geneva Watch Days. And Piaget does not disappoint with this stunning new tourbillon in a smaller 38mm size.
Complications for women are still rare in the watch industry, and the ones that exist are often on the larger side of 40mm. So to see this gorgeous, ultra-thin Altiplano in a smaller size with its flying tourbillon, its elegant off-centered mother-of-pearl sunray dial, and its 88 sparkling diamonds (approx. 1.09 carats) is what dreams are made of.
Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Reine de Mai
Inspired by the pastoral beauty of the Swiss countryside that surrounds its manufacture, the next timepiece in our Watches & Wonders Shanghai line up is the Reine de Mai by Parmigiani Fleurier.
This new 36mm Tonda Reine de Mai plays host to a diverse display of artistic finishing techniques, including hand-chiseling, hand-blasting, marquetry, and more. For example, each element of the white mother-of-pearl dial is meticulously handcrafted and takes 24 hours to complete. The dial features six mother-of-pearl flowers, three rose gold Daisy May flowers with alternating polished and engraved petals, and three white gold Daisy May flowers handset with 117 diamonds.
Powered by the in-house PF310 automatic movement, the Tonda Reine de Mai is as beautiful on the inside as it is on the out. The movement is impeccably finished, decorated with Côtes de Genève stripes and perlage, and features beveled bridges and a 22K gold rotor. The movement is also decorated with the same mother-of-pearl Daisy May flowers that grace its dial. In all, the Tonda Reine de Mai boasts 1,093 hand-set diamonds, which total 11.52 carats.
Embracing its dedication to métiers d’art and taking inspiration from the golden ratio, each Tonda Reine de Mai is a unique work of art. Limited to just 5 pieces, this exemplar of Parmigiani Fleurier’s high watchmaking prowess is available for pre-order and costs $109,000.
Purnell Escape II Carbon
I have been following the work of Purnell for a couple of years now, ever since a friend casually passed me one of their watches in a restaurant in Geneva. To say I was blown away is a bit of an understatement! The two triple-axis Spherion tourbillons (made by master watchmaker Eric Coudray) command your whole attention.
In this new version for Watches & Wonders Shanghai, the brand is unveiling a number of different colored versions of the Escape II Double Spherion, including this 48mm forged carbon model featuring bright green tourbillon cages.
With a $470,000 price tag, it isn’t exactly inexpensive. But after a pretty miserable horological year, this kind of exuberant timekeeping is just what I need!
(Images provided by the brands)