We’re flying high at Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons this January, with a host of new watches that take their departure point from elements of aviation, a richly storied and enduring source of inspiration for the watch industry. The history of watchmaking is interwoven with that of cutting-edge developments in technology at every stage of human progress, from the earliest navigation instruments and first aviation tools right up to the creation and forging of audacious new materials that have never before existed on earth. From classical revivals to bold new worlds, watches are a surprising and endlessly fascinating reflection of their time. We can’t wait to share the latest ones with you this month…
January 30, 2023
The Watchmaking News: January
In a world where choosing the perfect conversation-starting wristwatch is both a skill and a matter of perfect timing, what could be more of a conversation starter that a watch that turns timekeeping convention on its head. Elegantly unconventional Meistersinger’s watches have an interesting feature: just one hand on the dial to tell the time. With its Primatic model, however, the company keeps its fans on their tippy toes with the introduction of yep – a second hand. However, this one indicates power reserve instead of the expected minutes, and Meistersinger continues to embolden its wearers to ‘let go and trust time’, pretty much par the course when your timepiece only has one hand, but perhaps there is a lesson in there for us, too, about not being so hung up on the way we choose to perceive the period in between ‘sun up’ and ‘sun down’. Oh – and it comes in four absolutely mesmerising colours, too.
Hublot Classic Fusion Original
When Hublot unleashed the Classic Fusion on the world back in the 1980s, let’s just say it ruffled a few feathers. The first watch to dare to combine precious gold with – gasp – rubber, announced Hublot as the unforgettable, inventive and rebellious innovator we know and love today. Today’s watch-loving eyes will see this piece as an understated and minimalist classic – especially in comparison to the colourful and endlessly vibrant creations that define the Hublot of today. Back then, this watch was a game-changer. What a wonderful piece of contemporary watch history to have on the wrist.
Oris Big Crown Calibre 473
There is something immediately charming about the aesthetic of the Oris Big Crown 473 – it is honest to its functionality, from the oversized crown that makes it immediately easier for the pilot in aviation gloves to change the settings, to the bright red pointy tip of the date hand. When there is often a temptation – that many give in to – to show off their watchmaking savoir fair through a legion of fiendishly complex mechanical complications, Oris instead focuses on pure legibility when it comes to the aesthetics, and the satisfying achievement of powering it with an Oris-created in-house movement.
Breitling Aviator 8
Inspired by the vintage style and aesthetics of pilots from the golden age of air travel, Breitling’s Aviator 8 Collection is replete with understated nods to an era of bygone elegance. What’s up-to-the-second, however, is the execution in cutting-edge materials and the latest watchmaking technology. The Aviator 8 Collection features three-hands, chronograph and day-date versions in a variety of colour and style combinations united by an abundance of references to glorious flying machines.
Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Light and Shade
Encased within a titanium and sapphire crystal case, the Laureato Absolute Light and Shade juxtaposes curves and lines to exquisite and dramatic effect. The skeletonised movement allows the magnificent movement to be fully admired, which it rightly should. The case and movement have been assembled on a single axis from the caseback to the bezel using a specific screw system and two black titanium lugs integrate with the case, uniting the watch with the strap.
Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Light and Fire
A new polycrystalline material in captivating red encircles Girard_Perregaux’s new skeletonised 44mm masterpiece that is released in a limited and therefore instantly covetable run of just 18 pieces. More than 170 hours of work went into the creation of the case alone; in arresting red formed by yttrium garnet and aluminum and named ‘YAG’. A black rubber strap with a fabric effect completes the look.
Urwerk UR-112 Aggregat
The most digital of all Urwerk mechanical watches, completely futuristic and impressively unusual, this is the third edition of a watch line that offers a novel way of telling time. Being an Urwerk watch means the only predictable thing about it is that time won’t be displayed in any standard way, and that is exactly the case here. Inspired by the classic Bugatti Atlantic Type 57, the dramatic case houses a power reserve and digital running seconds wheel beneath a vented steel ‘bonnet’. The power is transmitted to the time display via stainless steel shaft that is less than 1mm thick – it is a feat of engineering made all the more remarkable that it transmits power to 3 different displays that move at different rates. Matchless finishing is par de course at Urwerk and with its jumping digital hour on triangular prisms and running digital minute on satellite prisms along with a 51mm x 42mm case in titanium that packs a 48-hour power reserve, the only predictable thing about this watch is that it is sure to become an instant and much coveted collector’s piece.