Their 2023 releases for Watches & Wonders are mainly new aesthetic variations of pre-existing models, with a sprinkling of brand new and technically astounding releases thrown in. Have a look to see what we mean.
Antarctique Révélation and Antarctique Titanium
Building on the success and universal appeal of Czapek’s Antarctique collection, Czapek & Cie has released the Antarctique Revelation which allows views of the bespoke, purpose built movement via a skeletonised dial.
Connoisseur and neophyte alike will appreciate the interplay of hollowed-out bridges, wheels and hands around a filigree main plate through the artful use of skeletonisation. CEO’s Xavier de Roquemaurel explains that they took the popular SXH5 movement, which is an outstanding design recalling pocket watch movements, and turned part of the movement upside down in the case, skeletonising the main plate at the same time. This was achieved after three years of aesthetic and engineering development.
A reversed escapement, an engraved oscillating mass on both sides, reworked crown mechanism came are visible – the seconds dial is now a sapphire crystal ring at 4:40 discreetly attached to the larger sapphire ring carrying the hour and minutes – allowing maximum transparency for views into the inner workings of the new caliber XSH7. The Revelation also features a central tripod holding finely cut bridges together and is limited to a production of 100 pieces and available to order.
The Antarctique Titanium “Dark Sector” (left) achieves a successful balance between precision mechanics and beautiful aesthetics. The design and dial are appealingly seductive and darkly attractive. Optimum wearability comes in the form of the titanium construction of in the case, bracelet and the use of the robust in house automatic calibre, the SXH5.
A traditional minute track runs discreetly around the edges of the smooth anthracite dial, surrounding a double row of arched parallel segments interrupted at each hour marker. Sword hands point to the gaps in between the segments; while the minute and seconds hand sweeps across the dial at pace, closing the gaps for a moment, creating a kind of animation: the hands crossing the segments over the dusky backdrop of the dial almost seem like a shoreline from above. The marker becomes a void between each sector. CEO Xavier de Roquemaurel says the ‘Dark Sector’ was ‘inspired by the actual Dark Sector Laboratory and telescopes at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station where the skies are the clearest and darkest in the world”.
The dark gray scheme in the dial, brushed titanium of the case, bracelet and crown are only interrupted by two touches of color – a red dot at twelve o’clock and the tip of the second hand.
The Antarctique in a 39.5mm case features new playful dials. Here the ‘Sashiko’ dial pays homage to the lines and three dimensionality of Edo period Japanese stitching method. The stamped pattern of repeating squares is set at 45 degrees to the perpendicular, each compromising six facets is based on a stylised lotus flower chosen by CEO Xavier’s wife, Marie-Alix de Roquemaurel. Contrasting elongated trapezoids that are the hour markers add sophistication – these points can be set with a diamond on request. There is no date window to interrupt the visual play of constantly changing colors and light as the watch moves with the wearer throughout the day and night. The watch is an expression of Czapak’s community of designers, craftsmen and production partners of rare skill as well as family and friends who’s tastes are absorbed into the spirit of the brand.
The 1969 Deltaworks references two things in the name. The first – 1969 – relates to the year of birth of Bart Grönefeld, the namesake watchmaker and co-founder of the Grönefeld brand. The second – “Deltaworks” – refers to the system of dams, dikes, locks, sluices and a storm surge barrier that was built by the Netherlands to protect the country from flooding due to the country’s unique topography.
Because of these references, 1969 Deltaworks is essentially the brand’s conception of a sports utility watch, or a watch that can accompany the wearer into all situations in life, with elevated water resistance and shock protection technologies incorporated as standard.
The 1969 Deltaworks is a relatively large and sporty 45mm wide in stainless steel, and with a triple sealed screw down crown for 100 metres of water resistance. To be ready for anything, it is offered in an array of different coloured rubber FKM straps that have the advantage over conventional rubber in being more supple, more resistant to fading and color changes over a longer time.
For the connoisseur who insists on not worrying about their watch when wearing it in any situation, yet would also want something finely made and with the peerless finishing standards as expected in a high end movement such as the calibre G-06, the 1969 Deltaworks is certainly one for consideration.
The Gronefeld 1941 Grönograaf might just be the best chronograph ever made if one were to consider all the things that a collector would look for when they are considering one.
Looks wise, the watch departs from a classical chronograph dial layout, preferring distributed indications of the functions of the watch all over the dial. It’s a modern approach despite the fact that it uses a column wheel and horizontal clutch – the same basic ingredients you’d be able to find in most high end classic chronographs.
Yet the 1941 Grönograaf does something new as well, coming with a feature typically seen on minute repeaters – a centrifugal governor positioned at 4 o’clock. This feature slows down the resetting of the chronograph, reducing the harsh shocks to the movement and also delivering a fascinating spectacle in the process when engaged.
How else to know that this chronograph is a serious contender? How about the inclusion of instantaneous jumping minutes, seen at the 30-minute counter, located at 6 o’clock, and finally, one of the best views of any watch movement when one turns the watch over of the calibre G-04. Here one finds a view of the familiar parts of a classical chronograph arranged in a slightly new and unfamiliar way, along with the peerless finishing of the 408 parts of the movement, along with the signature and more difficult to polish stainless steel bridges.
Tourbillon Grand Sport Pursuit
The Tourbillon Grand Sport Pursuit for Watches & Wonders 2023 follows on from the well received Sport Auto Blue last year, the first watch with an integrated bracelet from Laurent Ferrier. That watch was a revelation among watch connoisseurs, as it presented a smooth and elegant case and bracelet design, instantly being a viable and more attractive alternative to the other high horology integrated bracelet watches on the market.
The new Tourbillon Grand Sport Pursuit follows on from that successful launch, marrying the titanium case and bracelet from the Sport Auto Blue, with the Tourbillon movement that was seen in the Grand Tourbillon Sport Golden Brown in 18K red gold from last year.
The key differentiating feature of the new watch is a salmon-pink dial that has a rather interesting inspiration. Co-founders of the brand, Laurent Ferrier and François Servanin, both raced at Le Mans in the 1970’s and recalled the experience of driving at dawn on the 24-hour track. The color of the new dial comes from their memory of seeing it in the sky at sunrise during those times.
It’s a worthy memory to reminisce on, and this along with the elegant curves of the Sport case in Grade 5 titanium, with the double-balance-spring tourbillon carriage of the LF619.01 calibers that is as worthy as the best engines in the best race cars, making this an exceptional automotive inspired watch.
Square Micro-Rotor Evergreen
The Square Micro-Rotor Evergreen comes in Laurent Ferrier’s most recognizable and iconic cushion shaped square case, which is a comfortable and pleasing 41mm X 41mm size. Its size will appeal to fans and collectors who prefer an edgier, more dynamic wrist presence over more typical round cases. Now with the fresh Evergreen dial – presenting a deep green tone with a vertical satin brushed finish, and in a stainless steel case, this is a perfect everyday watch that is as functional as it is sophisticated and timeless. The hour, minute and seconds hands and indices are in white gold – which allows for optimal visibility against the deep green dial.
The watch features the inventive Laurent Ferrier LF movement FBN229.1 with the signature micro-rotor that contributes to the thinness of the watch at 11.1mm.
What do Abraham Louis Breguet and Louis Moinet have in common? Apart from a close friendship, they invented the eponymous Tourbillon and Chronograph respectively. The Impulsion for 2023 from Louis Moinet is a physical manifestation of that friendship: and combines both horological inventions into a modern day creative conglomeration of beauty, function and emotion, called appropriately ‘Impulsion’.
Les Ateliers Louis Moinet infuses this combination with bold and original character. The chronograph mechanism is entirely visible on the dial side; a single pusher activates the chronograph hand which moves over the rotating flying tourbillon, whose off-centre cage does one revolution per minute. The Louis Moinet Impulsion comes in a lively color combination of royal blue or black dial accouterments as well as strap, rose gold case, crown, pushers and hands with red accents highlighting the chronograph, and seconds and minute sub-dial hands. The “Impulsion” name invokes the energy that transfers life to the tourbillon and chronograph – manifesting the theater that is produced by the frisson between these two complications as they track time.
As the name implies, the new “Memoris Spirit” takes after the original “Memoris” a watch that put Louis Moinet on the map, and was significant because it recalled the most important contribution to watchmaking of the namesake founder – Louis Moinet – who was the inventor of the chronograph. That watch placed the focus of the dial on the chronograph mechanism, with the chronograph works including the column wheel and vertical clutch visible for all to see, with the watch on the wrist.
The Memoris Spirit is essentially the same watch, but with a radically new design that promises to elevate the best features of the original for a better wearing experience.
For starters, the case size has been reduced from 46mm to a more compact 40.2mm. Then there is the dramatically curved crystal, which in combination with the smaller size allows the chronograph works to be more visible to the wearer.
Jules Verne Creations
The Jules Vernes Creations are watches that are relatively simple in concept – as they give the time as well as a flying tourbillon for the seconds. Yet this would not be a fair way to describe them for what they pull back in terms of complication, they give in terms of their unique aesthetics.
Inspired by famed science fiction author Jules Verne, each combination relates to the locations where his novels have been set with appropriate colors. In the Jules Verne “Under the Sea”, the dial guilloché is the “Oceanic Power” pattern under a translucent blue lacquer with a center in opal. In the Jules Verne “Mystery Island”, the dial guilloché is the “Mystery island” pattern under a translucent orange-yellow lacquer with a center in lapis lazuli. Lastly in the Jules Verne “To the Moon”, the dial guilloché is the “Cosmic Energy” pattern under a translucent green lacquer with the center in moon meteorite.
These watches are not set in stone in their configuration as well. It is possible for a future owner to choose a preferred stone from a range of 8 unique materials, adding a personal touch.