Many of the 2015 debut timepieces seen just a few weeks ago at Baselworld included new calibers underneath their shiny new dials. As we’ve shown you in previous reports, more than a few of those new movements were among the thinnest from the brand of origin while others expanded the brand’s existing offerings.
Not all of the most-discussed debut newest calibers stressed their weight loss. Inside the platinum Patek Philippe Split Seconds Chronograph, Ref. 5370, one of this year’s most lauded debuts, the firm’s watchmakers have made the split seconds feature a stand-alone function, decoupling it from its previous post inside a Ref. 5204 perpetual calendar. The manually wound movement with two column wheels and a horizontal clutch is a modern haute horology classic. And as with so many Patek Philippe watches, the resulting watch is as beautiful when viewed on its rich black enameled dial as it is when the caliber CH 29-535 PS is viewed from the clear sapphire caseback.
Rolex this year introduced automatic Caliber 3255, which is now in its 2015 Day-Date 40 collection. With more than ninety per cent of the movement parts redesigned and optimized when compared to the watch’s previous calibers, the movement’s fourteen patented technical advancements reset Rolex’s own high performance standards. Its power reserve extends to three days (approximately 70 hours), representing an increase of 24 hours (or 50 per cent) compared to that of the previous generation. Advancements have been made to the self-winding module and mainspring, to the oscillator, the gear train and the escapement. Thus, in addition to the greater power reserve, the caliber boasts higher precision, greater reliability, stronger resistance to shocks and magnetism and simpler adjustment.
Another Baselworld favorite is Glashütte Original’s Senator Cosmopolite, a dual-timer that shows the destination time of the wearer at its central hands and the home time at the top of the dial, with its own day-night indicator. Unusually, you’ll see two small windows at 4 o’clock to indicate whether Daylight Saving Time (DST) or Standard Time (STD) is in effect in the destination time zone. From the back the beautifully decorated caliber features beveled and polished edges, polished steel parts, polished and blued screws, a skeletonized rotor with 21-karat gold rotor and a Glashütte three-quarter plate with striped finish.
Breitling has placed its first non-chrono in-house caliber, B35, inside a 44mm world time model called Galactic Unitime SleekT. The user can turn the watch’s crown forward or backward in one-hour increments to correct all the dial indications in one move, including automatic adjustment of the date to local time, in both directions. With the B35 Breitling has developed two patents relating to the differential system and its connection between the city disk and the movement. Caliber B35 is also chronometer-certified (as are all Breitling movements) and is protected by two other patents for the winding and time-setting systems. The T in the watch’s name refers to the new smooth bezel made of tungsten carbide, a high-tech composite material that nicely contrasts with the polished steel case.
As we noted in last week’s look at debut thin watches, Zenith’s new automatic movement is an updated version of its well-known Elite base caliber, which the firm developed in the early 1990s. The latest incarnation features a long 100-hour power reserve, a central seconds hand and slightly broader 30mm measurement. Zenith was careful to be sure the caliber’s thinness remained only 3.92 mm thick. It’s used wisely inside a classically dressy 42mm steel model that shares its name with the caliber.
Also noted in our previous discussion on thin pieces, NOMOS Glashütte garnered much attention with its thin (3.2mm) automatic movement, which is also equipped with the firm’s own Swing system, (the caliber’s balance, balance spring, escape wheel and pallet.) NOMOS was sure to retain its Glashütte characteristics such as the three-quarter plate, Glashütte ribbing, and tempered blue screws. You’ll find it inside the Tangente Automatik.
Debuting the very first of three sporty Mille Miglia watches to be driven by an in-house movement, Chopard’s new Caliber 01.08-C (pictured) offers a nice sixty-hour power reserve and complete certification by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC). The movement is now driving the 43mm Mille Miglia GTS (for Grand Turismo Sport) Power Control that features the firm’s characteristically auto-themed power reserve indicator.
With its first in-house caliber, Tudor can now offer the manufacture bona fides that have long attracted millions to its big brother Rolex. Called MT5621, the automatic caliber debuted in the new North Flag collection sporting a power reserve indicator. Another version (MT5612), but without the power reserve function, is inside a new blue or black-dialed titanium-cased Tudor Pelagos. These COSC-certified calibers boast a long 70 hours of power reserve and feature a silicon balance spring held tight for extra-strong resistance to shock. The unfussy, matte-finished MT5621 is visible from the back of the North Flag while its cousin remains hidden by the Pelagos’ diver-standard solid caseback.
Inside the new Slim d’Hermès perpetual calendar Hermès this years offers a caliber that is among the thinnest of its type. The perpetual calendar features a Hermès-designed 2.6mm base Vaucher caliber topped with a 1.4mm Agenhor module. The Manufacture Hermès H1950 ultra-thin movement at its base sports a micro-rotor to power the gold 39.5mm watch. Visible from the caseback, the caliber’s bridges are sprinkled with the brand’s H motif and are hand-beveled. This same caliber, but without the perpetual module, can be found inside this new Slim d’Hermès collection’s automatic three-hand models.