Whether it’s a technical innovation or a distinctive aesthetic, some watches are too good to be left to the past. Indeed, it’s an industry trend of recent years for the watch-world to revisit and re-issue, in updated form, some of its archive classics, even if sometimes the archive maybe isn’t that old. But, as they say, what goes around…
Ulysse Nardin Freak X TI Automatic
Almost 20 years old, the Freak was aptly named. Its flying carousel and cilium elements made for a grandstanding piece of complex watchmaking that gave it a futuristic, hands-free style. The titanium Freak X is its latest incarnation, with an all new self-winding movement that rotates around its own axis on the dial side to reveal the time – even if there’s still no actual dial.
HYT H0 Hand-Wound 48.8mm
A take on the H1, the first of HYT’s watches using its pioneering ‘hydro-mechanical’ approach to time display, which launched back in 2012, this time around the hand-wound H0 is in stealth mode, with an all-black DLC-coated case and movement, all the better to highlight the super-clever orange liquid read-out.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox Automatic 40mm
Back in the 1950s, Jaeger-LeCoultre developed its first Memovox watch with a mechanical alarm, a development of its work on chiming mechanisms since its founding in 1833. This stylish version nods to the original, albeit with a much-improved automatic movement and open case back, so you can watch the gongs in action.
Vacheron Constantin Fiftysix Automatic 40mm Pink Gold
Vacheron looks to its 1950s-era watches – specifically its first automatic, water-resistant model, launched in 1956 – as inspiration for this modernist model in polished pink gold, with a period-correct raised glass and unusual brown dial. In keeping with its historic roots, some have even described this as ‘sepia’ brown.
Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Automatic
The slim green bezel on this 42mm Clifton Club gives this ETA-powered watch its wonderful period-specific feel, reminiscent of the first iterations of diving watches. The name too acknowledges this the bygone era, having been borrowed from Bristol’s early 19th-century private gentleman’s club, where the diving was strictly into gossip.
Bovet 19Thirty Fleurier
Bovet’s 19Thirty Fleurier takes its aesthetic pointers quite clearly from its archives, with its two sub-dial arrangement, 18-karat gold case and, of course, its ‘fleurier’ top-mounted crown, which give this characterful hand-wound, 42mm watch the look and feel of a 19th-century gentleman’s pocket watch.
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