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Integrated bracelets: the strongest link
Trend Forecaster

Integrated bracelets: the strongest link

Friday, 14 February 2020
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Marie de Pimodan-Bugnon
Freelance journalist

“One must be absolutely modern.”

Arthur Rimbaud

It takes passion, a healthy dose of curiosity and a sense of wonderment to convey the innumerable facets of watchmaking…

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4 min read

Back in the early 1970s, design legend Gérald Genta put pencil to paper and imagined the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. The sports-luxe watch was born. Some fifty years later, this hybrid aesthetic is as popular as ever, as confirmed by these ten recent releases that fuse case and bracelet into one.

A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus

Another chapter begins for A. Lange & Söhne as it ventures into new creative terrain with this first ever timepiece entirely in steel. The case, a 40.5mm pebble, seamlessly extends into an integrated bracelet that adjusts for a perfect fit. The Odysseus’ sport-inflected elegance fits perfectly with the useful functions of day and date indications, powered by an automatic movement.

Odysseus © A. Lange & Söhne
Odysseus © A. Lange & Söhne
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph

The watch of a thousand faces since its creation in 1972, the Royal Oak returns as a chronograph in an all-gold attire and a 38mm diameter designed to suit every wrist. Beautifully executed, it reprises the Royal Oak’s essential attributes of an octagonal bezel with visible screws, a Grande Tapisserie dial and an instantly recognisable integrated bracelet.

Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph © Audemars Piguet
Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph © Audemars Piguet
Bell & Ross BR05

Joining the roll call of legibility, functionality and precision, Bell & Ross adds a resolutely urban style to its new BR05 line. Not quite round, not exactly square, its steel silhouette rocks an integrated design that fuses the 40mm case with the bracelet whose alternating satin and polished surfaces catch the light to fabulous effect. Sports style meets comfort for daily wear.

BR05 © Bell & Ross
BR05 © Bell & Ross
Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic

It would be impossible not to recognise the hand of Gérald Genta in the Octo Finissimo’s avant-garde design. Sporting a satin and polished 40mm case that extends into an integrated bracelet with geometric links, Bulgari’s icon lends itself to an automatic version. A black lacquer dial accentuates its coolly understated style.

Octo Finissimo Automatic © Bulgari
Octo Finissimo Automatic © Bulgari
Chopard Alpine Eagle

Chopard spreads its wings in the sports watch segment with the Alpine Eagle collection that takes its cue from the St. Moritz, designed in 1980 by Karl-Friedrich Scheufele himself. Leading the way is a case made from a proprietary recycled steel that is stronger than regular steel and reflects more light. Its alternating satin and polished finish continues along the integrated bracelet. Heavy lifting is by an in-house chronometer-certified automatic movement.

Alpine Eagle © Chopard
Alpine Eagle © Chopard
Girard-Perregaux Laureato Perpetual Calendar

Designed by a Milanese architect in the 1970s, the Laureato made a spectacular return among Girard-Perregaux’s collections in 2016. The harmonious proportions of a 42mm steel case now open onto a blue, “Clous de Paris” dial whose layout puts a twist on the perpetual calendar complication. Ultra-technical, ultra-legible, the Laureato doesn’t compromise on comfort with an integrated steel bracelet that alternates mat and satin surfaces.

Laureato Perpetual Calendar © Girard-Perregaux
Laureato Perpetual Calendar © Girard-Perregaux
H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Flyback Chronograph Automatic

H. Moser & Cie. makes a new design statement with the introduction, alongside its classic collections, of a sports watch line named after 1930s high speed trains. This new release ticks all the boxes, from the sleek lines of a 42.3mm cushion case in steel to the comfort of an integrated bracelet. Not forgetting the precision of an automatic chronograph movement and the originality of central hands plus a flyback function for the minutes and seconds.

Streamliner Flyback Chronograph Automatic © H. Moser & Cie
Streamliner Flyback Chronograph Automatic © H. Moser & Cie
Hublot Big Bang Integral

At Hublot, every watch illustrates the brand’s favourite Art of Fusion. After the fusion of materials, the Big Bang Integral illustrates the concept in a different way and, fifteen years after the first Big Bang was launched, debuts an integrated bracelet whose first link fuses with the case. In all-over black ceramic, this 500-piece limited edition is fitted with an in-house flyback chronograph movement that reveals its secrets through a black skeleton dial.

Big Bang Integral © Hublot
Big Bang Integral © Hublot
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5726/1A

The Nautilus owes its sporty silhouette to one of the greatest names in watch design: Gérald Genta (again!). The 1976 original inspired the blue dial of this version that debuted last year. The sports-luxe exterior makes a fine showcase for an annual calendar and a moon-phase display. All in a 40.5mm steel case paired with an integrated steel bracelet.

Nautilus 5726/1A © Patek Philippe
Nautilus 5726/1A © Patek Philippe
Zenith Defy Midnight

Femininity and precision are at the heart of this elegant steel watch mounted on a steel bracelet. Surrounded by a 36mm case hemmed with diamonds, the deep blue dial of the Defy Midnight lights up with the sparkle of 11 diamond markers. Putting this poetry into motion is an in-house automatic Elite movement.

Defy Midnight © Zenith
Defy Midnight © Zenith
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