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Watches that will blow your socks off

Ever thought that watchmakers were a boring bunch? Think again. The following timepieces prove that they have some insanely cool ideas when it comes to telling the time.

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MB&F Aquapod

MB&F stands for Max Busser and friends and was founded by Max Busser in 2005. The concept of the brand is to create horological machines that combine traditional watchmaking of the highest craftsmanship with futuristic, fiercely unconventional designs that challenge the way we see the wristwatch. Photographed here is the MB&F Horological Machine No. 7, aka the Aquapod, which is inspired by a jellyfish and has a winding rotor on the bottom and a tourbillon on the top. The time is indicated by two discs that rotate around the dial, giving the time at the six o’clock position.

Price: CHF 116,316

MB&F Aquapod

Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390

The founding of Parmigiani Fleurier follows a friendship between watchmaker and restorer Michel Parmigiani and The Sandoz Family Foundation. Michel Parmigiani was entrusted with the maintenance of The Sandoz Family’s watch and clock collection and encouraged him to start his own brand. Parmigiani Fleurier was officially launched in 1996 and includes exceptional movements and designs that all follow the Fibonacci code. One of the most spectacular timepieces in the Parmigiani Fleurier Collection is the result of a collaboration between the watchmaker and the carmaker Bugatti. Photographed here is the Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Type 390, a timepiece that turned watchmaking on its head when it was first launched in 2004. The movement is assembled on a traverse axis, a first in the watch world, and marked the beginning of a long relationship with Bugatti. There are several timepieces in the collection, each one as innovative as the next.

Price: CHF 295’000

Parmigiani Bugatti

Jacob & Co Astronomia SOLAR

The Jacob & Co. story started in 1986 with Jacob Arabo, a young man from the Ex-USSR who arrived in New York City and started an apprenticeship in the world of jewelery. Arabo always loved watches and started producing his own collections in 2002. Today he is one of the boldest watch designers, creating timepieces that combine the highest horological savoir-faire with spectacular gemstones and endless creativity. Jacob & Co.’s Astronomia Collection is one of the most daring on the market and features groundbreaking technology that depicts the celestial world in a sapphire crystal case that completely surrounds the dial. There are four elements — a tourbillon, a globe, a precious gemstone ball and a subdial bearing the time — that turn on themselves as well as around the whole dial every 20 minutes.

Price: CHF 280’000

AstronomiaSOLAR

Jaquet Droz Charming Bird

Pierre Jaquet-Droz started his watchmaking career in the 1730s and 40s making grandfather clocks. He took his wares to Spain where he experienced great success, which in turn gave him the funds to create clocks, watches and automata. The company was purchased by The Swatch Group in 2000. Today Jaquet Droz is best-known for its off-centered dials and automata timepieces, such as this Charming Bird featuring a miniature bird that signs on demand. The little bird’s chirp is achieved by a system of sapphire crystal whistles that create the sweetest birdsong. You absolute must check out the video below. You won’t believe it until you’ve heard it!

Price: CHF 410,400

Ressence

Combining the words renaissance and essence, Ressence was founded in Belgium by Benôit Mintiens in 2010. The concept is a new way of reading the time without the use of hands. Small turning subdials, that rotate at different speeds, are set on the same plane as the main dial/disc that rotates once an hour. The watches are powered by mechanical movements. Check out the Type 2 here which has a compartment filled with 35.7 ml of oil to give its deep black color.

Price: CHF 45’800

Ressence Type 3

Urwerk UR-106 BLAck Pink

Urwerk was founded in 1995 by watchmaker Felix Baumgartner and artist Martin Frei. They presented their first watch during the Baselworld watch fair in 1997 and since then the brand has created numerous timepieces that always challenge the way we read time. This gorgeous UR-106 Flower Power indicates the time using rotating discs and a retrograde minute indication that jumps back to zero when it reaches the 60-minute mark, proving that women also love having their socks blown off by cool watch mechanics!

Price: CHF 91’545

UR106Pink

HYT

HYT Watches was launched in 2012 with a revolutionary new way of reading the time using liquid. Colored liquid moves through glass capillaries to indicate the hours and minutes. HYT stands for hydro technology and is the first watchbrand to use hybrid technology in a wristwatch. Photographed here is the H20, one of the latest timepieces by the brand that also features a sapphire crystal that covers two thirds of the watch, allowing an amazing view of the workings of the watch from almost every angle possible.

Price: CHF 95,000

HYT

SevenFriday

SevenFriday is just a baby at five years old, but it has already made its mark on the watch industry. Founded by Swiss Daniel Niederer from Zurich, the brand was an instant success. The name is a modern interpretation of the Latin saying “Carpe Diem”, which is translated as “Seize the Day”. The watches are immediately recognizable thanks to their rounded/square shapes and three-dimensional dials. Check out these two racing editions — the P3B/03 in yellow and the P3B/06 in red.

Price: CHF 1’238

SEVENFRIDAY
SEVENFRIDAY

Hublot MP-05 LAFERRARI APERTA

This astounding timepiece is the result of a collaboration between the Swiss watchmaker with Ferrari, the famed car creator. As you would expect from such a partnership, the mechanics are the focus of the watch and both Ferrari’s and Hublot’s designers worked on the piece. The time is read on the black cylinders on the right side of the watch and the power reserve indicator is on the left.

Price: CHF 280’000

 

Konstantin Chaykin

Konstantin Chaykin is a Russian watchmaker who is a member of The Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants (AHCI), an association whose mission is to support independent watchmakers to perpetuate the art of watch and clock-making. To date Chaykin has over 60 patents for watchmaking inventions to his name and is credited with making the most complicated clock (with 26 different functions) ever made in Russia. What we love about him the most is his sense of fun, which shines through in his famous Joker timepiece. How could you not have a good day when your watch tells you the time through a smiling pair of eyes and you can always know what the moon is doing by looking at the tongue. This is a timepiece to remind you to enjoy life if ever there was one. Photographed here is a collaboration Chaykin did with Sven Anderson who added his magic to the case back.

Price: CHF 88’000

konstantin chaykin joker

Azimuth

Based in Switzerland’s Neuchâtel, Azimuth has been creating timepieces that defy all reason since 2003. The brand’s mission is that each Azimuth timepiece has its own adventurous spirit and is ready to explore different universes and dimensions. Here is Mr. Roboto Bronzo, one of our favorite timepieces from the brand, limited to 100 pieces.

Price: CHF 7’000

Azimth Mr Robot

 

 

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