HAUTE TIME: Maximilian Büsser, Seiko, Piaget, Carl F. Bucherer and more

 The design of the dial is completed by the world’s first vertically oriented power reserve, which traces the number of hours left in the 45 hour power reserve along an arc.

Wayback Machine:

The Legacy Machine 1 From Maximilian Büsser 7 Friends

There’s nobody quite like Maximilian Büsser –or like his company, Maximilian Büsser& Friends. Witness, then, the latest watch from MB&F: not a Horological Machine, but rather, the Legacy Machine No. 1.

Legacy Machine No. 1 thus presents in a round case, two dials (each of which can be independently set) which are both regulated by a single balance.  The single large diameter balance wheel is set on a vaulting, suspension bridge like double arch that holds it suspended above the two dials of the watch, and it beats at a classic, pocket-watch era cadence of 18,000 vibrations per hour.  The design of the dial is completed by the world’s first vertically oriented power reserve, which traces the number of hours left in the 45 hour power reserve along an arc. The three dimensionality of the dial elements is underscored by a seductively shaped, deeply domed sapphire crystal under which the watch components seem, as Büsser enthuses, like buildings in some Utopian undersea city. Turn the watch over, and there’s a stunningly finished arrangement of classically beautiful bridges and plates, thanks to the twin talents of Jean-François Monjon and Kari Voutilainen.

Available in 18k red or white gold, $92,000.

Zen And The Art Of Watchmaking:

The Seiko Credor Spring

Drive Minute Repeater

The Credor Spring Drive Minute Repeater combines the most advanced wristwatch technology in existence today with one of horology’s most revered complications: the minute repeater, a watch that chimes the hours, quarter-hours, and minutes past the hour “on demand” –pressing a button or operating a slide in the side of the case winds up a second mainspring, providing the necessary energy to sound the time.  A Spring Drive watch is exactly like an ordinary mechanical watch, until you reach the escapement. In Spring Drive, the gear train –powered by a mainspring, not a battery; there’s no battery in a Spring Drive watch –powers a flywheel under the control of a magnetic brake.  The speed of rotation of the flywheel is controlled by an advanced, ultra low power integrated circuit.  The result is a watch with the accuracy of a conventional quartz watch but with no battery to run down. Significanwtly, the Spring Drive movement is also totally silent. It has a very special sound as well. Its gongs are made of a special steel, made by the Myochin family which opened its forge over 850 years ago. Created in Seiko’s special Micro Artists Studio workshop in Shiojiri, the Credor Spring Drive Minute Repeater is one of the most advanced chiming watches in the world –and one of the rarest.

The Credor Spring Drive Minute Repeater is available in rose gold, with a power reserve indication and “decimal” chiming system (it rings the number of ten minute intervals past the hour rather than the number of quarter hours.)  Retail price in Japan is ¥34,650,000 –about $443,787 as of presstime.


Cutting Edge Complication: Piaget’s Ultra Thin EmperadorCoussin Tourbillon Automatic

There’s no company better known than Piaget for making the kind of watch that was once the last word in elegance: thin, gold, and automatic.  At the top of its pinnacle of artistry is the new-for-2011 EmperadorCoussin Tourbillon Automatic Ultra Thin.  The creation of an ultra thin tourbillon is a challenge in itself, since the mechanism requires additional height in the movement of the watch due to its very nature. The EmperadorCoussin Tourbillon Automatic is superlative as both science and art –the heart of the watch is its movement, the self-winding tourbillon calibre 1270P, which required three years for Piaget to develop and which packs 269 components (including the flying tourbillon) into a movement that is only 5.55mm thin. The entire case is only 10.4mm thick, and nothing gets in the way of the wearer’s ability to appreciate both the movement of the tourbillon and the movement of the gold micro-rotor oscillating weight that keeps the watch wound by harvesting energy from the movement of the watch on the wrist. A combination of the best of Piaget’s unparalleled expertise in extra flat watchmaking with its equally superlative mastery of elegant design, the EmperadorCoussin Tourbillon Automatic’s the last word in resplendent refinement.

The EmperadorCoussin Tourbillon Automatic Ultra Thin is available in 18k pink gold.  Price available upon request from Piaget.

Clean Machine:

The Carl F. Bucherer Patravi Evotec Calendar

The PatraviEvoTec Calendar has a quiet beauty that’s easy to miss at first, and it wants to be loved for its brain as well as its body –but then, that’s what you want in a long term relationship, right? The heart of the watch is a mechanism designed and built entirely by Carl F. Bucherer: the CFB  A1004, which adds a calendar, day of the week, big date, and week indications to the firm’s in-house CFB A1000 movement.  The CFB A1000 is a self-winding movement unlike any other being made today –the swinging weight that moves every time you do, automatically winding the mainspring, doesn’t sit on top of the rest of the movement as in other self-winding watches, instead it rotates around the edge.

The CFB A1104 was designed from the ground up for long-term high precision, with a special two armed system for locking in the fine adjustment of its timekeeping and protecting it from drifting out of adjustment over time.  The EvoTec Calendar’s form-follows-function philosophy has guided the overall design of the watch as well: the advanced big date display (like the movement itself, an extra-robust in-house design) and skeletonized, arrow tipped hands keep everything elegantly visible, and the case design gives the watch a lean masculinity in both the stainless steel and 18K rose gold versions.

Want more news on luxury watches? Check out HauteTime.com, your number one online resource for luxury timepieces worldwide. Here you’ll find real time news, up-to-date information and the newest timepiece models from your favorite luxury brands. We also feature weekly interviews with watch collectors and brand VIPs.

Jack Forsteris the U.S. editor-in-chief of Revolution (www.revo-online.com), the world’s finest resource for lovers of fine watchmaking