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Twelve watches for summer
Trend Forecaster

Twelve watches for summer

Friday, 02 August 2019
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Marie Le Berre
Freelance writer and journalist

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When it comes to choosing a watch for summer, the hardest part could be deciding which one. Take your pick of nautically-inspired models for the ideal swimming or sailing companion, blinding white watches to show off a tanned arm, or the sun-drenched sophistication of gold.

Nautical


 

Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Bol d’Or Mirabaud 2019

Each year (most recently from June 14th to 16th), hundreds of boats gather on Lake Geneva for the Bol d’Or Mirabaud, reputedly one of the toughest inland regattas in the world. Conditions on the lake can never be taken for granted, as sudden changes in the weather transform blue waters to steely grey, and back again, in the blink of an eye. Hence the colours chosen by Hublot, the race’s official timekeeper since 2013, for the Classic Fusion Chronograph Bol d’Or Mirabaud 2019 – an 81-piece limited edition for the event’s 81st year. Featuring a titanium case, grey dial and blue chronograph counters, the Bol d’Or logo on the caseback under an opening in the shape of Lake Geneva, plus a blue rubber strap incorporating grey technical fabric with blue stitching, this commemorative watch is awash with detail. The movement is the HUB 1143 automatic calibre.

Classic Fusion Chronograph Bol d’Or Mirabaud 2019 © Hublot
Classic Fusion Chronograph Bol d’Or Mirabaud 2019 © Hublot
Panerai Luminor Yachts Challenge

Known for its long-standing association with the sea, Panerai is actively involved in preserving and promoting classic yachting, through the purchase and restoration of Eilean, a Bermudan ketch, as the sponsor of prestigious regattas, and with the Luminor Yachts Challenge collection. Three new watches join the collection this year, each powered by the automatic P.9100 movement and featuring a flyback chrono function, a nautical tachymeter scale and the famous crown-guard. The sportiest of the three, the PAM00764 in titanium on a black rubber strap, drives home its nautical personality by way of touches of blue on the black dial – highly legible, thanks to the typically Panerai sandwich construction – and on the chrono pushers. Turning the watch over reveals an engraving of the collection’s signature yacht.

Luminor Yachts Challenge © Panerai
Luminor Yachts Challenge © Panerai
RJ Arraw Marine Mykonos

Part of RJ’s emblematic Arraw collection, recognisable by its four rubber bumpers, the Arraw Marine chronographs are celebrating summer 2019 with a special, ten-piece limited edition inspired by Mykonos. The Greek island’s famed windmills are suggested in the grid that secures the unusual bezel, which is made from an RJ-exclusive composite of sand and resin. The blue of the Aegean Sea is represented by the dial which is sun-brushed, galvanized, gradient-painted then coated with a transparent lacquer. Windmill sails are outlined on the oscillating weight of the RJ-2040 automatic movement that is visible through the sapphire back. The case, in titanium, is mounted on an interchangeable strap, another hallmark of the collection, in blue alligator which can be swapped for a black rubber strap that’s ideal for water sports.

Arraw Marine Mykonos © RJ
Arraw Marine Mykonos © RJ
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms

Among the year’s new Fifty Fathoms, Ref. 5015-3603C-63B stands out for the elegance of its red gold case. The ultimate dive watch and the inspiration for an entire genre since its launch in 1953, this is the first time Blancpain has equipped the Fifty Fathoms with a ceramic dial. This highly technical material provides physical qualities that make it virtually unalterable but also a remarkable chromatic depth, as demonstrated by the deep cobalt blue. A sun-brushed centre contrasts with the matt finish on the chapter ring. Naturally, both the dial and the sapphire-coated ratcheted bezel live up to the Fifty Fathoms’ reputation for legibility. The case, which is mounted on a calfskin strap, contains the 1315 movement which in this instance is automatically wound by a rotor in red gold – a very dense metal for maximum winding efficiency. At one time, the cut-out in the rotor would have ensured the necessary suppleness in the event of accidental knocks; now it’s a pleasing nod to a legendary watch’s past.

Fifty Fathoms © Blancpain
Fifty Fathoms © Blancpain

White


 

Chanel J12 38mm

When in 2000 Chanel launched the J12, the watch world was dazzled by the high sheen of its black ceramic. Three years later, its counterpart in white packed even more of a punch. This star among ceramic watches recently underwent a series of subtle changes which have elevated its design while leaving its fundamental identity intact. First the case, now slightly thicker although not visibly so, thanks to its rounded profile. The slimmer bezel features 40 notches instead of the previous 30 while the crown has a reduced width and is set with a flatter cabochon. Dial-wise, the central railway track has been redesigned, as has the typeface for the numerals, which are now applied and in ceramic. Hour and minute hands are of equal width. The movement is the exclusive-to-Chanel Calibre 12.1 whose tungsten oscillating weight forms a perfect circle, one of the signatures of a Chanel watch. These multiple refinements are completed by the longer, narrower bracelet links.

J12 38mm © Chanel
J12 38mm © Chanel
Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon Pure White

Announcing the arrival of the second-generation Tambour Horizon smartwatch from Louis Vuitton. This upgraded version includes exclusive features such as My Travel, City Guide (covering 30 international destinations) and My 24 Hours. Of the four case options, the white ceramic version, paired with a steel crown and lugs, is the perfect pick for summer. A 24-hour ring with pink gold-coloured inscriptions circles the dial, which can be personalised with Louis Vuitton signature canvas, stripes, Monogram or Damier designs. Straps, all fitted with a patented swap-in-swap-out system, come in a multitude of colours. It’s summer, we suggest white!

Tambour Horizon Pure White © Louis Vuitton
Tambour Horizon Pure White © Louis Vuitton
Hermès Cape Cod Chaîne d’Ancre

Imagined in 1991, named after the American beach resort and inspired by the Chaîne d’Ancre motif that Robert Dumas designed for Hermès in 1938, the Cape Cod is the watch of a thousand faces. The most recent interpretation doubles up the anchor-chain link, on the lugs and again on the dial. For the all-white version, two of these links share the lacquered dial, one sparkling with 71 diamonds and the other in mother-of-pearl. No numerals, no markers, nothing but the Hermès signature and slim hour and minute hands. The 42 diamonds accentuating the bezel and the chantilly white of the single or “double tour” alligator strap add the final pristine touch to this quartz-driven watch.

Cape Cod Chaîne d’ancre © Hermès
Cape Cod Chaîne d’ancre © Hermès
Zenith Defy Classic White Ceramic

Ceramic has made its grand entrance into Zenith’s Defy Classic collection in black, blue and a remarkably bright white. A subtle alternating of polished and satin finishes highlights the resolutely contemporary geometry of the case. This luminous sheen finds an ideal counterpart in the silver finish of the futuristic openworked dial, arranged in a star shape over multiple levels, the rhodium-plated hands and the luminescent markers. Front or back, the automatic Elite 670 movement is yours to enjoy in a specially revisited and skeletonised version for this collection. Completing the monochrome look, a white rubber strap makes this a summer hit for its sporty but chic style.

Defy Classic White Ceramic © Zenith
Defy Classic White Ceramic © Zenith
Breitling Superocean

Part of Breitling’s recently revisited dive watch collection, the Superocean 36 in steel is designed for women who want a good-looking watch to keep pace with an active lifestyle. Its feminine credentials really come to the fore in the brilliant white version, a colour that spills across the dial with its Super-LumiNova-coated hands, indexes and numerals, and onto the ratcheted unidirectional bezel. The steel bracelet can be swapped for a Diver Pro II strap in white rubber. And while legibility and robustness might not be the first considerations when choosing such a stylish watch, this Superocean 36 meets the criteria required for underwater diving. Like all the new Superocean watches, it is powered by the Breitling 17 movement with bidirectional automatic winding.

SuperOcean © Breitling
SuperOcean © Breitling

Gold


 

Bvlgari Serpenti Seduttori

Serpenti, Bvlgari’s “born to be gold” collection, has gained a new line, the Serpenti Seduttori, whose drop-shaped case (borrowed from the Serpenti Tubogas) and flexible bracelet carry on its predecessors’ legacy. It does, however, have a lithe and sensual personality all its own. The much slimmer case extends into stylised hexagonal links to form an extraordinarily supple ribbon of light around the wrist. The precious cabochon set in the crown reminds us of Bvlgari’s origins as a jeweller. At its simplest, the Serpenti Seduttori with quartz movement comes drenched in the warmth of pink gold.

Serpenti Seduttori © Bulgari
Serpenti Seduttori © Bulgari
Baignoire Allongée de Cartier

The epitome of French chic à la Cartier, the Baignoire watch emerged in 1912 from the then novel idea of stretching the traditional round form. The ultra-elongated oval of the Baignoire Allongée is a pure product of the Swinging Sixties. Then, as now, it remains a fabulously feminine timepiece that makes no secret of its big, bold proportions. Ringing the changes in 2019, one of the models in the collection is covered in protruding, pyramid-shaped spikes. Sculpted into the pink gold of the case, they are a surprising new take on the traditional Clous de Paris decoration. You can almost see the sun’s rays glinting on them. Mounted on a discreet grey alligator strap, it displays hours and minutes on Cartier’s signature Roman numerals, courtesy of a manually-wound 1917 MC movement.

Baignoire Allongée © Cartier
Baignoire Allongée © Cartier
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak "Jumbo" Extra-Thin

The first luxury watch to trade gold for steel, the original Royal Oak returned to the spotlight, virtually unchanged, for its 40th anniversary in 2012. It features in the contemporary collection as the Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin – “Jumbo” in reference to what was, at the time of its creation, an unusually large size for a watch. Look out for the tell-tale AP logo at 6 o’clock. The automatic Calibre 2121 is the same movement that powered the original. This year, making an exception to its steely nature, it comes with a white gold livery surrounding the same pink gold-coloured, “Petite Tapisserie” dial that was introduced for the 20th anniversary in 1992: a rosy sun that will glow all summer long.

Royal Oak « Jumbo » Ultra-Thin © Audemars Piguet
Royal Oak « Jumbo » Ultra-Thin © Audemars Piguet
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