1. A very British Swiss watch
This week’s opener will doubtless appeal to the canine fans among you. Earlier this week, an unlikely partnership unveiled the fruits of its labour. British menswear powerhouse Hackett has partnered with Swatch Group on a quirky limited edition Sistem51 watch.
The dial’s most distinguished feature, you’ll notice, is the profile of a black Sussex Spaniel, namely Mr Hackett’s own dog, Muffin. In co-designing the watch with Swatch’s team, Hackett wanted to give it a similar quirk to his own inimitable menswear brand and this being the ‘Year of the Dog’, Muffin’s visage seemed like the natural candidate.
Her profile and the bowler hat shaped date window aside, the watch is quite reserved; simple hour and minute markers, a brushed steel case and the sun-brushed green dial help to ground the watch’s quirkiness, and the green dial against the cognac leather strap is a chic combination.
1,983 watches have been created, to mirror the joint founding date of both Hackett and Swatch, and it’s available to snap up in Hackett stores now.
2. It’s Carl F. Bucherer’s birthday
It’s been a big year for Carl F. Bucherer. The 130-year-old Lucerne-based brand has established itself in the British market, unveiled some impressive new designs and celebrated its 130th birthday, too.
Last week, to top-off celebrations, the brand unveiled a new limited edition watch in New York, the Heritage Tourbillon Double Peripheral Limited Edition. The name might be a mouthful, but it alludes to a watch of impressive complexity, which demonstrates precisely what the Swiss brand is capable of.
First up, it’s a thing of beauty, designed with a 42.5mm rose gold case and handsome silver sunray dial. A homage to Carl F. Bucherer’s home, the new Heritage Tourbillon also features an 18-karat white gold movement bridge with a hand-engraved cityscape of Lucerne. At the centre of each engraving (the engraving takes two weeks to complete by hand, by the way) is Chapel Bridge, a landmark in the city. Look even closer and you might spot a tiny swan in the engraving too (though it’s in a unique position on each watch), which alludes to Lucerne’s Schwanenplatz, where Carl F. Bucherer opened its first shop.
It’s also powered by a watchmaking first: CFB’s in-house CFB T3000 caliber, featuring a tourbillon and an automatic winding system that are both mounted peripherally (around the edge of the watch’s movement). The design was presented at this year’s Baselworld and is the only one of its kind worldwide.
A mere 88 pieces have been made (alluding to Bucherer’s 1888 founding date), and it’s marking the first piece in Carl F. Bucherer’s Heritage Collection, due to land in 2019. Whichever way you look at it, this first design is a strong start, and we’re looking forward to seeing what the brand adds to the collection next.
£52,800, reserve now at carl-f-bucherer.com
3. Place your bets on a colourful 2019
It’s that time of year when one can’t help but think about what might surface on the watchmaking horizon in 2019, and we’re placing our bets on two trends. The first is that there’ll be no shortage of colourful ceramic watches out there, a number of the big manufacturers (with Hublot in pole position) are getting more confident with bright ceramics, and pieces like the Unico Red Magic hint at more colourful watchmaking to come. Our second bet is that 2019 will be the year of the bi-metal watch.
In fact, bi-metal designs are already making more frequent appearances than they have in recent years, thanks to the efforts of Breitling’s new collections (which have a distinct 1960s and ‘70s edge to them) and the new Omega Seamaster 300 range. But, if bi-metal’s your thing, you really can’t go wrong with a Rolex. Whether the ol’ faithful Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, or something at the punchier end of the spectrum like the formidable two-tone Sky-Dweller, now’s a smart time to invest in oyster steel and yellow gold.
If you’re not sure what to plump for, our vote goes to this; the Submariner Date with a royal blue dial and bezel. It’s not new, but it is seriously swish. Quite apart from its technical credentials and its pedigree (this model is as close to the original 1953 Submariner as it gets), the royal blue pops against the steel case, and ticks 2019’s brightly coloured watch box, too. Try this piece on and you’ll struggle not to fall in love with it.