This week is a particularly happening week in Singapore. Besides the main highlight being the Formula 1 Night Race this week, there are also plenty to glitzy after-parties and high-society events for revellers to enjoy.
These events are certainly an avenue for people to showcase their fashion sense. Over the last few days, we have seen some pretty interesting watches (well, most of us aren’t knowledgeable about shoes and shirts) that made us drool continuously.
So, what are the kind of watches that will stand out in the crowd, especially in lounge where there are many individuals with outstanding pieces? Let’s find out!
Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic
We begin the article with one of our favourite pieces this year: Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic.
In recent years, Bulgari had offered collectors an interesting proposition with the Octo Finissimo line-up. The Octo, which is a classic featuring an octagon and circular design, certainly reinvented our perception of the brand with its take on ultra-thin watches. It suddenly got everyone to sit up and do a double take on them.
The 2018 edition of Baselworld had seen Bulgari expand its variant of the Octo Finissimo Automatic. The minimalistic time-only watch is now available in both sand-blasted stainless steel and pink gold. As per its previous version, the watch features a nicely-finished BVL 138 movement that comes with a platinum micro-rotor as well.
The Octo Finissimo is priced at S$18,350 and S$61,100 for the stainless steel and pink gold version respectively. The watch, in our opinion, combines style and craftsmanship nicely. It is a very handsome watch, and one that is certainly bold but not too loud.
Bell & Ross BR 01 Laughing Skull
When it comes to watches from Bell & Ross, its signature aviation-inspired timepieces will surely be one of the first things that would come to mind. But the brand is much more than that, as seen from the BR 01 Laughing Skull.
The BR 01 Laughing Skull is a fascinating piece at first sight, but this is not the first timepiece that Bell & Ross had incorporated the skull motif. The honour was actually given to the BR 01 Skull, launched in 2009. Several iterations came along subsequently, before the brand launched its latest interpretation of the Skull collection.
The latest version is cased in its iconic 46mm square case, decorated with the “Clous de Paris” pattern. The watch is also available with encrusted diamonds, but we shall save that for another occasion. In addition, the skull is an automaton – its jaws move up and down as the watch is being wound. Notably, it uses an in-house movement – the BR-CAL.206 – which is shaped like a skull as well.
This is a controversial piece, but it is nonetheless a conversational timepiece. It is priced at S$14,900, and for collectors who are looking for something a tad different, the BR 01 Laughing Skull might just be something special that you might want to consider.
Hublot Big Bang Unico Red Magic
If your goal is to paint the town red, then perhaps the Hublot Big Bang Unico Red Magic might be the watch that you would want to don on your wrist.
The most obvious characteristic of the watch lies in its case. The watch is cased in the first “vibrantly coloured ceramic” using technical and aesthetic ceramics. According to Hublot, its proprietary manufacturing process allows them to produce a bright red ceramic case that is extremely dense and hardy – a first of its kind in the industry itself. The end result is certainly amazing, and its combination with the large 45mm case makes the Red Magic rather conspicuous.
Powering the watch is Hublot’s in-house Unico Calibre HUB1242. It is a self-winding movement that boasts a date function and a flyback chronograph complication. In addition, the 330-part movement boasts a decent power reserve of approximately 72 hours. The Red Magic retails at S$37,200, the limited edition timepiece (of 500 pieces) is certainly something that will stand out in the crowd.
MB&F HM3 MoonMachine
The MB&F HM3 has been around for quite a number of years now, but this striking timepiece is perhaps one of Maximillian Büsser’s most recognisable work. The watch, which features an unusual case shape and two intriguing time indicator (each for a separate hour and minute display), certainly possesses a mysterious aura around it.
There are many variations of the HM3, but the one that left one of the most lasting impressions is the MoonMachine. The watch is the result of a collaboration with Stepan Sarpaneva, in which the watchmaker included his signature moonphase display on the watch. In addition, the time indicator is also domed, which gives it an appearance that resembles a frog or an owl.
This particular piece is certainly rare, and it is virtually impossible to find a brand new piece for sale. However, some of them do pop-up in the pre-owned market once in a while, and a titanium version was recently sold on MB&F’s pre-owned platform at around CHF 62,000 (approximately S$88,064).
Continuing with the theme of independent watchmaking, we have the Urwerk UR-T8. Known for their bold and futuristic themes and its unique satellite complication (aka its rotating time display), Urwerk is certainly a brand that never cease to amaze watch enthusiasts.
The UR-T8 is a tad more interesting than the usual Urwerk watches. This particular piece comes with a massive reversible case, which can be operated with a button at the side. While its sheer size and shape already makes the UR-T8 an eye-catching piece, but the diamond-cut finish on the case gives the watch yet another interesting visual cue.
Without a doubt, the Urwerk UR-T8 is for someone who wants to make a statement. The UR-T8 is available in an initial series of 60 watches in natural titanium or with a black PVD coating. It retails at S$176,800.
De Bethune DB28 Steel Wheels
We round up the article with a truly incredible and special piece: De Bethune DB28 Steel Wheels.
The DB28 collection from De Bethune has attained a certain cult status amongst collectors, for its contemporary and avant-garde take on watchmaking. This year, De Bethune moved up a notch with the Steel Wheels – in which its main highlight is the quasi-skeletonised dial that revealed elements of the stunning calibre DB2115V4. The finishing, as per usual, is spectacular as well. This includes the Côtes De Bethune on the triangle bridge, black polishing on the concave dial plate, as well as blued moonphase sphere that the brand is often known for. In fact, we are certain that mere words cannot do justice to the attention to detail on this piece.
Besides that, the other usual elements of the DB28 stilll exists. This includes the crown at the 12 o’clock position, as well as the patented floating lugs. This particular piece is also cased in grade-5 titanium, and the impeccable polish and finish on the case is something that is very difficult to achieve for this particularly hard metal.
Overall, the DB28 Steel Wheels is simply mind-blowing. It is stunning, but the finishing is on another level altogether. The watch is priced at CHF83,000 (approximately S$117,892), and we believe that this is something truly incredible – especially for someone who appreciates the finer things in life.
In this week’s article, we have seen a good selection of interesting looking pieces. One particular thing that stood out is the fact that the pieces are mostly from independent watchmakers. This is not a surprise, considering that it is always the independent watchmakers that have the freedom to produce watches that meet the needs of the niche clientele base.
Most of the watches that we have selected today also features interesting case shapes. The usual round cases are definitely not as outstanding, and cases such as the ones from Urwerk and MB&F are certainly refreshing.
Do you agree with our selection today? If not, what are some of the pieces that you usually wear to a party? Let us know in the comments section below!