Professional Jeweler Archive: 10 Days in Switzerland

May 2000

Timepieces/New Products


10 Days in Switzerland

Mechanical breakthroughs offer unheard-of power reserves as technicians steal the show in high-end timepieces


At least two major companies debuted high-end mechanical watches with 10-day power reserves during recent Swiss watch events. Eight-day reserves used to represent the pinnacle of staying power. Now the new 10-day movements – and the years of technology behind them – give the world even more to appreciate about fine watchmaking.

Beyond technology, style counts too, as you’ll see here in the 10-day watches from Patek Philippe and Chopard, not to mention some other fine timepieces introduced last month at the Swiss watch fairs. Several may be ready for your showcase now.

– by Michael Thompson

Patek Philippe shows its technical virtuosity with a rectangular movement inside this Reference 5100. The movement (which bears COSC certification from the Swiss authority that tests chronometers for accuracy) was inspired by a Patek Philippe calibre from the 1930s and now includes a coupled double-barrel system with 10 days of reserve power. The movement is seen through a sapphire crystal caseback. The case was inspired by a 1958 model and is made in platinum, rose gold (pictured), white gold and yellow gold. Only 3,000 will be made.

Patek Philippe, New York, NY, (212) 581-0870, www.patek.com.

Chopard’s L.U.C. Quattro features a hand-wound mechanical movement fitted with four barrels to achieve a 10-day power reserve. As with all L.U.C. models, it is COSC-certified. Reserve time, date and small seconds are indicated on the dial. The 18k gold dial matches the case. Available in white, yellow or pink gold.

Chopard, New York, NY; (212) 247-0545, www.chopard.com.

New to the Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece collection, this split-seconds chronograph and annual calendar watch features a steel case, pink gold bezel, solid silver dial, large date window and month indicator. The hand-decorated 49-jewel automatic movement is visible through the transparent back.

Maurice Lacroix, Encino, CA; (800) 794-7736, www.mauricelacroix.com.

Bertolucci’s popular Uomo is now available in a medium (38mm) quartz version. The original 42mm remains in the line. The new size is steel with a black dial, applied hour markers, screwdown back and crown, and double-sided antiglare sapphire crystal.

Bertolucci, Rutherford, NJ; (877) 237-8658.

The new version of Xemex’s compass watch has an automatic movement visible through its sapphire caseback. The red and blue compass needle is suspended between two crystals and set above the dial. Suggested retail, $995.

Xemex, Austin, TX; (512) 499-0123, www.xemex.com.

Bucherer’s new Maillart comes in three sizes in stainless steel. The large one is an automatic; the mid- and mini watches are quartz. Leather straps are available. Retail prices range from $780 for the mini with strap to $1,180 for the steel automatic model shown.

JewelMak, New York, NY; (212) 398-2999, www.jewelmak.com.

The Nouvelle Constellation, the latest addition to the women’s Constellation jewelry watch collection from Omega, has a curved steel case, a diamond-set bezel, four diamond hour markers and a patent leather strap. Steel bracelets and mother-of-pearl dials are available. Suggested retail range, $2,995 to $3,495.

Omega, Weehawken, NJ; (800) 766-6342, www.omega.com.

From Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master Control 1,000 hours collection, the Master Date gets a new white gold case with a hinged back that opens to reveal a handmade, hand-decorated automatic movement. Part of the rotor is 22k pink gold.

Jaeger-LeCoultre, Winchester, VA; (540) 665-0300, www.mjlc.com.

The Heartbeat, a signature model for Frederique Constant, features a dial window that displays a portion of a decorated automatic movement. A limited-edition perpetual calendar in white gold is new for 2000. Suggested retail is $21,000.

Frederique Constant, Montclair, NJ; (973) 233-9223, www.frederique-constant.com.


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