Weekly Roundup: 28 February 2014
* Richard Mille announces another new sporting ambassador following quickly on the heels of skier Alexis Pinturault, who won bronze at the Sochi Olympics in giant slalom. The luxury sporting brand now welcomes Romanin Grosjean to the fold. This announcement coincides with the first Formula 1 testing sessions of the E22 Lotus, which makes sense since Grosjean is a Lotus driver and Richard Mille also sponsors the entire Lotus team.
Grosjean joins Formula 1 Ferrari driver Felipe Massa and Citroen rally driver Sébastien Loeb as a “testers” for the robustness of Richard Mille’s watches under extreme road conditions. Grosjean will sport the new version of the RM 011 created in NTPT (a proprietary carbon material comprising more than 600 layers of fibers) throughout the 2014 Grand Prix season.
According to the company, he will be wearing his watch outside his overalls, where it will be subjected to knocks, vibrations and weather conditions. This is a first in motor sport history. www.richardmille.com
* At SIHH, Jaeger-LeCoultre briefly introduced its Hybris Artistica concept highlighting the 180 skills that are at home within the Le Sentier factory – which include several artistic crafts such as enameling. Further details surrounding one of these 12 announced beauties has just been released: the Master Grande Tradition à Quantième Perpétuel 8 Jours SQ.
Inspired by a historical grande complication pocket watch from 1928, it is offered only in a limited edition of 200 pieces. Skeletonized, engraved, manually wound JLC Caliber 876SQ with eight days of power reserve is housed within a 42 mm white gold case topped off by a silver-plated dial decorated with traditional grainage. Its flange is additionally embellished with translucent blue enamel. This little marvel also includes a perpetual calendar adjusted by just one corrector on the case. http://www.jaeger-lecoultre.com/US/en/luxury-watches/home-page
* Louis Moinet took part in the recent Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition with its new Qatar Tourbillon, which includes a specialty element of this boutique brand: fragments of the only meteorite ever found in the sovereign Arab Emirate. The fossil officially called Qatar 001 is inlaid into the dial’s periphery – needless to say a world first making this an exceptional collector’s item.
Together with the hand-wound tourbillon movement and a piece of red stromalite, the oldest known fossil on earth at three billion years old, it is housed in a 47 mm white gold case. It will only be offered in a limited edition of 12 pieces.www.louismoinet.com
* Ahead of Baselworld, which begins on March 27, Speake-Marin introduces the Spirit Seafire, the first chronograph ever manufactured by this brand. Housed in typical, casual Spirit style, which includes high-contrast Super-LumiNova to enhance the aviation visuals of the piece, it comes in a 42 mm titanium case engraved with the “fight, love & persevere” motto on the back.
The Seafire name is inspired by the plane formerly deployed by the British navy to protect its fleet. speake-marin/presenting-the-spirit-seafire
* Arnold & Son introduces two new models in anticipation of Baselworld. One is a special automatic model housed in a red gold case that includes an elegant tourbillon with column-wheel chronograph called the Royal TEC1, which the La Chaux-de-Fonds-based manufacture releases in honor of the 250th anniversary since John Arnold first presented a quarter repeating watch with a cylinder escapement to King George III in 1764. The Royal collection, to which it belongs, is inspired by timepieces that Arnold created for the sovereign and other members of the royal court in the early period of his professional life.
The second piece, a special unique edition of the TB Victory model, represents a tribute to the National Museum of the Royal Navy and the HMS Victory, which is dry-docked in Portsmouth as a living museum. Powered by Caliber A&S6103, an automatic movement with an integrated true beat system, its unique dial is dominated by a solid 18-karat gold appliqué of the historical ship captained by Lord Horatio Nelson, while an off-center subdial displays the time. www.arnoldandson.com
* In anticipation of HYT’s new line extensions of the H1 and H2 to be presented at Baselworld, the brand has just released a new movie highlighting the complexity of the pieces and the variations now available. Don’t forget the popcorn! www.hytwatches.com
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