Sound as a bell
Even the best of us can use an alarm from time to time and some timepieces have been designed to not only be useful but also to delight the wearer's ears.
Swiss firm Oris made its name with alarm clocks in the 1940s. The Oris Artelier Alarm will appeal to those seeking a handy and dependable timekeeper. Hidden in the centre of the Artelier's case is a sound spring - a tiny alarm controlled by a stainless- steel crown at the four o'clock position. For easy reference, the alarm function has its own central display and red pointer hand. The stainless-steel crown at two o'clock is used to adjust the central hour and minute indicators and also controls the date display at six o'clock.
The Artelier's delicate rose-gold-plated indices and hands, which have Superluminova inlay, set against the silver and grey guilloche dial, add sophistication to the design. Water resistant to three bar, the Atelier Alarm can be fitted with a dark brown Louisiana crocodile skin leather strap (below; HK$60,800 in total) or a metal bracelet (HK$61,800).
Practical and elegant, Breguet's latest creation, the Reveil Musical (right), encases a patented musical mechanism, which replaces the traditional music-box cylinder with a pin-bearing disc that alternately acts on the 15 metal teeth of a comb. The Reveil Musical plays a crystal-clear melodic tune for 20 to 25 seconds as the dial completes a revolution. The Reveil Musical costs HK$530,900 and is adorned with a number of musical details, such as the blue second hand, which has a treble clef at the end, and the gold case band, finely engraved with musical staves and notes, instead of the usual fluted pattern.
Harry Winston's new Project Z6 (right), from the Ocean collection, was developed under Project Z - a series launched in 2004. Housed in a 44mm case is an exclusive hand-wound, 24-hour alarm clock movement. The alarm clock - which produces a crisp sound that lasts for about 20 seconds when fully wound - is set with the crown and activated by the trigger positioned at four o'clock. When the alarm sounds, a hammer inside the timepiece can be seen hitting the monobloc bell.
The anthracite dial features two overlapping disks, displaying the time and the alarm clock, each with their own day and night indicator. It is also adorned with a shuriken - the traditional ninja star and signature of the Project Z design. The watch is fitted with a black rubber strap with a case-matching buckle made of Zalium, an ultra-light and durable alloy used in aeronautical engineering. Each of the limited edition of 250 timepieces is priced at HK$352,800.