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About time: Second coming

Abid Rahman

 

 

Sequels tend to divide people. There are those who think they spell the death of creativity by rehashing the same old formula, flogging the same characters and spreading thin what little remains of a plot. Doubters point out that for every Batman: The Dark Knight there are multitudes of Police Academy 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s and 6s out there. More enlightened people, however, realise that sequels are necessary to tell the longer, more involved story, and so this week we delve into part two (see what I've done there?) of our look at Watches & Wonders, Asia's first haute horology exhibition.
 

We start with something big, bold and brash - the Roger Dubuis Excalibur Quatuor (above left). When shown at Geneva's Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, this timepiece raised a lot of appreciative eyebrows, eschewing as it does the fascination with tourbillons and looking for a more novel way to counteract gravity on time-keeping. The dial features five differentials and four balance springs (one in each corner), all of which are visible due to the skeleton design. The springs work in pairs to compensate for the effects of the constantly changing position of the watch. According to Roger Dubuis: "What the tourbillon achieves over the course of a minute, the Excalibur Quatuor achieves instantly." Its tourbillon-topping performance is impressive but what really makes this watch and its RD101 movement stand out is its artful creativity. After all, the tourbillon has been around for centuries, so new ways of thinking in watchmaking are not really monthly or even yearly occurrences. The case is sized at 48mm and the dial stripped down to indicating hours, minutes and power reserve, which is limited to 40 hours. The Roger Dubuis Excalibur Quatuor in pink gold is limited to 88 pieces and priced at just over HK$3 million. A silicon version, limited to just three pieces, is available for something north of HK$8.5 million.

Next up is something just as eye-catching that should provoke curiosity on the fairway as well as in the clubhouse. A sequel, or rather a touch-up of sorts, the Richard Mille RM 055 Bubba Watson Asian Limited Edition (below) may not attract as many headlines as the RM 26-01 Panda Tourbillon (yes, you read that right, "Panda"), but the RM 055 special edition is a nice update to a great skeleton watch. The big feature of this timepiece is the grade-five titanium RMUL2 movement, which makes it incredibly tough and rigid, meaning it can withstand acceleration of up to 500-Gs, or indeed the best golf swings in the world. The tonneau case is also made of titanium and is sized at 42.7mm by 49.9mm. Features are kept simple, to hours and minutes, and the power reserve clocks in at 55 hours. Adding to the sporty nature of the watch is the rubber strap. But what makes this an Asian special edition is the new colour scheme: white, with prominent dabs of red. Prices for the Richard Mille RM 055 Bubba Watson Asian Limited Edition are available on request.

Last but not least is the Montblanc Rieussec Open Home Time (above right), a watch that's recently been adorning the wrist of actor Nicolas Cage. Priced at HK$248,600, it is an automatic-movement chronograph watch that has been around for a while but will be exhibited for the first time in Asia at Watches & Wonders and is just the right blend of classic and showy. The red-gold case is sized at 43mm and the dial is partially open. Features on this watch include 30 and 60 second counters, a second-time-zone disc and a day/night indicator.

 

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