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About time: a happy new year

Abid Rahman

 

We can't speak for others, but our inner geek couldn't resist having a look online to have a peek at the movies due for release in 2013. There's Superman, of course, another Iron Man, another Thor, The Wolverine. All superhero films, basically: much the same as last year. Watch geeks are also prone to surveying the internet for new releases but a lucky few got to see some up close and personal at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), the first big watch event of the year, last month. Exact release dates and prices for many of the watches have yet to be confirmed, but we've picked out three highlights from the event that suggest - in the watch world at least - 2013 won't be anything like 2012.

Among a galaxy of star watches shown at the SIHH, the Audemars Piguet Grande Complication Royal Oak Offshore Titane (above left) shines brightest. The newest iteration of the iconic Royal Oak Offshore, this watch is as much a beast in terms of size as it is in terms of features. The 44mm case is made of titanium, with a lovely contrasting black ceramic bezel configured in the legendary Gerald Genta octagonal design. The Calibre 2885 grande complication movement, with a 45-hour power reserve, drives a minute repeater, a perpetual calendar, a split-second chronograph and the standard hours, minutes and small seconds. The dial design is skeletonised, providing a glimpse of the wonderful engineering. The Offshore collection is a sporty offshoot of the Royal Oak line and the rubber strap emphasises this. Prices for the Audemars Piguet Grande Complication Royal Oak Offshore Titane are yet to be set but with a limited run of three pieces and with its panoply of features this watch won't come cheap.

Another gem is the Greubel Forsey Quadruple Tourbillon Secret (below), which once again illustrates the brand's engineering skill and its almost pathological need to outdo itself year after year. The Quadruple Tourbillon Secret, as the name suggests, is a timepiece with four tourbillons, which is incredible when one considers the complexity involved in making just one tourbillon. The four tourbillons are actually two double tourbillons with 30 degree inclined balances, all of which is very fancy physics and makes this watch incredibly accurate. The 43.5mm case comes in red gold and the dial design is classical in inspiration and complemented by the black alligator leather strap. The Greubel Forsey Quadruple Tourbillon Secret is limited to eight pieces, with prices again yet to be confirmed.

Finally, we have the pick of the new sports watches: the IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Racer (above right). This year is going to be a big one for IWC sports watches, given its new partnership with the Mercedes Formula One motor racing team, and the raised profile will bring the Ingenieur Chronograph Racer to the wider audience it deserves. Retaining the classic lines of the Ingenieur collection, the 2013 version has a stainless-steel case that measures 45mm in diameter. The design is simple but also quite aggressive, which adds to the overall masculinity of the watch. The sports credentials begin with the stopwatch function, an hour totaliser at the 12 o'clock position and small seconds at the six o'clock position. There is also a black rubber strap with a textile inlay perfect for budding race-car drivers out there. With its robust build and rubber strap, as well as a mechanical chronograph movement that pumps out an impressive 68 hours of power reserve, the IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Racer is also the perfect everyday watch.

 

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