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Armchair Picks: Chester’s Top 3 From SIHH 2018

A sports watch, a hybrid and a classic.
by Chester Lau on January 25, 2018

The three pieces that I have chosen from the new releases are more on the conservative side, with the exception of the Ferdinand Berthoud Chronometre. As a rational watch collector, a part of my psyche has subconsciously programmed a predilection for classic designs, slim case sizes, and pedigree movements. But to add, the watches should also have an interesting story behind it; the collectibility X-factor.

 

Ferdinand Berthoud Chronometre FB-1R.6-1

Ferdinand Berthoud FB-1R.6-1

The Ferdinand Berthoud FB-1R.6-1 is the exception to the rule. The case is on the larger side, at 44.00 mm * 13.95 mm. But considering that it uses a fusee chain movement, it’s thin for the category. The case construction is fascinating, a unique octagonal shape with two lateral portholes to view the movement from the sides. It is made from carburised stainless steel, which is regular stainless steel but reinforced on the molecular level by a thermo-chemical process involving the diffusion of vapour-phase carbon. The dial displays a regulateur configuration with a power reserve indicator at the 11 o’clock position.

Understandably, the watch size is a compromise for the beautifully designed movement, which is not a bad bargain for a technically impressive movement and this hybrid classic/sports timepiece.

The Ferdinand Berthoud FB-1R.6-1 will be released as a 20 pieces limited and numbered edition.

 

A. Lange & Söhne 1815 ‘Homage To Walter Lange’

Lange 1815 Homage to Walter Lange on the wrist.

Although not the flagship triple split, this 1815 Homage to Walter Lange is easily the most understated yet desirable model in Lange’s new product range. As the name suggests, the timepiece pays tribute to Walter Lange, the brand’s modern day ‘revivalist’. The movement, the L1924 is also named after his birth year.

The timepiece has a jumping seconds complication, which can be activated or stopped via the push button at the 2 o’clock position. The push button activates a pawl and column wheel system, which is used to either start or stop the central seconds hand. In concept, it is similar to a chronograph start and stop mechanism.

With so much meaning behind the timepiece, this 1815 bears all the DNA of the brand; and fit with a subtle complication and an exemplary movement. Be it in design or finishing, the ‘Homage to Walter Lange’ is for sure something that Walter Lange would be proud of.

 

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak ‘Jumbo’ Extra-Thin In Titanium And Platinum

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Ultra thin Platinum and Titanium

The latest Royal Oak Jumbo Ultra thin is arguably a simple facelift. It bears the same dimensions, design and movement as before. The ultra thin uses the in-house automatic Caliber 2121, a 3.05mm thin caliber with 40 hours of power reserve. The ultra thin caliber makes it possible for the case to measure just 8.1mm in thickness. At 39 mm in diameter, the slim profile of the Royal Oak Jumbo Ultra thin makes it a delectable bracelet watch.

For many, this piece may be passed off as yet another Royal Oak. What is interesting, however, is the unusual two-tone combination of Platinum and Titanium. Furthermore, the tapisserie dial is different from the regular blue dials, with a more fumé like finish which gives the dial colour a more interesting color variation.

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Ultra thin Platinum and Titanium is limited to 250 pieces.

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