Art of Time makes its return this year starting Oct 12 at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, marking Swiss Watch’s two incredible decades in haute horlogerie in Malaysia. Themed “Defining Moment”, the highly anticipated event headlined by 18 watchmakers features a unique partnership with five leading Malaysian talents. Here are some watches to look out for.
ARNOLD & SON
Arnold & Son celebrates its British heritage and Swiss watchmaking ingenuity with a timepiece that reflects its famed past with a contemporary look. The Double Tourbillon Red Gold is a marvel of mechanical mastery and aesthetic elegance. The main plate of Double Tourbillon Red Gold has been expertly decorated with “Côtes de Genève” stripes.
In the shape of a clover, the main plate allows both white lacquered dials and tourbillons to emerge to their full height. Arnold & Son’s major area of expertise is demonstrated by the calibre. The Double Tourbillon movement is integrated into a red gold (5N) case with a diameter of 43.5 mm. Its sapphire crystal is domed, accommodating the height created by the two tourbillons.
These are attached to a three-dimensional, skeletonized, cantilevered bridge, and are made in the same gold as the case. They are the culmination of the design, manufacture, finish and adjusting capabilities of Arnold & Son.
Paying homage to its founder, John Arnold, one of the most inventive watchmakers of his time and of the golden age of chronometry, Arnold & Son has always approached the double time zone with sophistication and precision. Instead of the classic “GMT” system, where an hour hand in the centre indicates the second time zone, Arnold & Son has chosen to give each time zone its own regulating organ: a reminder of the duality of time telling methods – timepieces on one hand, astronomy on the other – used on board English frigates in the 18th century.
BELL & ROSS
Bell & Ross introduced the GMT complication to the BR 05 range last year. Embracing the refined and softened version of the brand’s iconic circle-within-a-square design, the aviation inspired pieces were crafted with urban dwellers in mind. As such, it was equipped with a dual time-zone feature — indicated by an additional hand in arresting red — making it easy for travellers to keep track of the passing time in two locations.
This year, the French watch company — founded by Bruno Belamich and Carlos Rosillo in 1992 — took a bold move by welcoming the BR 05 GMT White model that features a dial in this colour. The black dial has always been in the brand’s DNA, as seen in previous collections. Naturally, this launch is highly anticipated, as it brings fresh elements to a classic model.
Although white is a common colour in watchmaking, it is in fact quite unconventional in Bell & Ross’ archives. The release of a watch in this shade has more than made up for its rarity, as the dial is designed with a carefully chosen hue called opaline. “This type of white is more valuable than painted whites. The tint has silver reflections, very slightly pearly. Its matte finish is both subtle and sophisticated,” says artistic director Belamich.
The metallic white dial, galvanised with texture, harmonises with the 41mm steel case, which alternates between polished and satin-brushed finishes. Rubber straps are also available if one prefers a sporty profile. The concern about legibility is inevitable when it comes to watches with a white dial. Bell & Ross sees to that by covering the hour and minute hands as well as numerals and indices with Super-LumiNova.
In 1952, Willy Breitling developed a wrist-worn chronograph with a circular slide rule that would allow pilots to perform all necessary flight calculations. Two years later, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the largest aviators’ club in the world, announced the design as its official timepiece. The association’s winged logo was emblazoned at 12 o’clock, and the “navigation timer” — or Navitimer — was born. Loved by airline captains and aircraft enthusiasts, it even made its way into space on the wrist of astronaut Scott Carpenter and was worn by celebrities of the day like Miles Davis, Serge Gainsbourg, Jim Clark and Graham Hill.
To create the new Navitimer B01 Chronograph 41, Breitling preserved the most recognisable aspects of the icon’s design code. From a distance, this is unmistakably a Navitimer, with its circular slide rule, baton indices, trio of chronograph counters and notched bezel for easy grip. Up close, however, its modern refinements come through loud and clear. A flattened slide rule and a domed crystal create the illusion of a more compact profile. Alternating polished and brushed finishes give the 18-carat gold case a lustrous yet understated quality. Atop the white dial, one feature that is sure to spark nostalgia is the return of the AOPA wings to their original position at 12 o’clock.
A slimmer silhouette on the oscillating weight enhances the open-caseback view of the COSC-certified Breitling manufacture Calibre 01. This movement is backed by a five-year warranty, provides about 70 hours of power reserve and allows the wearer to change the date — now visible through a discreet window in the subdial at 6 o’clock — at any time.
Founded in Rome in 1884 by a talented Greek silversmith, the house of Bulgari has since established a reputation for Italian excellence with exquisite craftsmanship and magnificent jewellery creations. Over the decades, the Bulgari generations defined a distinctive style made of vibrant colour combinations, exquisitely balanced volumes and unmistakable motifs that pay homage to the Roman roots of the company. While always revering its cultural legacy, the maison introduced innovations that rewrote the rules of the jewellery universe and launched new trends that stood out as icons of contemporary design.
Upon entering the world of watchmaking, Bulgari continued to shine, bringing to haute horlogerie the exacting standards of quality and craftsmanship for which it is known. Few pieces in its arsenal can quite capture the heights Bulgari has reached in both high jewellery and fine watchmaking like the new Serpenti Seduttori Tourbillon.
Reimagining Bulgari’s icon of seduction with an unprecedented design, the timepiece boasts the iconic drop-shaped watch head, thinner than ever before, along with a sensual, extremely flexible bracelet featuring a hexagonal scales-inspired pattern. With its alluring aesthetics and a nod to the glamour of jewellery, the watch casts a new seductive spell in the world of the snake. This version of the Serpenti Seduttori is equipped with a mechanical movement that not just powers the hour and minute functions, but also, a delicately dancing tourbillon at 6 o’clock. It is presented in a slender 34mm white gold case set with 279 round, brilliant-cut diamonds, completed by a white gold crown set with a cabochon-cut sapphire, full pavé dial and blue alligator bracelet with folding buckle.
Defining Moment by Art of Time 2022 is presented by Swiss Watch and will run from October 12 to 23 (10am-10pm) at the Pavilion Kuala Lumpur Centre Court. See here for more.
This article first appeared on Oct 10, 2022 in Art of Time by Swiss Watch.