Geneva Watch Days: My three favourites so far. Mood? Mind-blown!Thor Svaboe
After only one day at Geneva Watch Days, my synapses are already on the verge of becoming fried, from the incessant barrage of impressions and frankly mind-blowing pieces on my wrist. To even try to surmise this into a short story of the top three is a challenge, but that’s why I love writing about watches so here I’ll relive my first day in Geneva.
H.Moser & Cie Streamliner Perpetual Calendar
Well, OK this one was quite obvious for me, as I’m well known for my fascination with the H.Moser & Cie Streamliner collection. So the excitement was tangible, even before the slightly stressed out PR in the suite managed to get one into my eager hands from the Monochrome lads on the sofa. The Streamliner is still one of the sleekest, smoothest ways of wearing a sports watch with an integrated bracelet, and will no doubt still look cutting-edge and modern in the year 2040. This time the dial seems charmingly cluttered at first glance, with a disturbing date window at 4 o’clock. But, after only a brief second on the wrist, I even adore the quirky date, as this is a perpetual calendar, so come on, we need to actually see the date, and within its smooth window it actually has its own charm. The main attraction and easter egg of this grey/brown delight of a fume dial, is the pin-sized month indicator in cheeky red poking out from underneath the hour and minute hand, and the ghostly touch of a lacquered Moser logo at 12, twist the watch in the sun to see, but blink and you’ll miss it. At what price smooth perfection? CHF 49,900. Oh, and I haven’t even told you about the dark beauty of the movement. I’ll save that for another story, it’s worth it.
The Ferdinand Berthoud Chronometre FB 2RE
Am I cheating, have you seen this before? Well, while not technically a brand new watch, with Ferdinand Berthoud only producing around 30 wristwatches a year as a separate company under the wing of Chopard, for me this is still brand new. Not to mention something I would place pretty much on the top of a rather tall podium, where strong independents like FB bask in a different glow than the perceived Holy Trinity. The FB 2RE is the result of meticulous research into a legacy of marine chronometers bearing the storied name Ferdinand Berthoud, and details of pure chronometrie we might find irrelevent in 2021. Yet it is not about mere time telling, my friend. This is about the pure fascination of a wonderful world of micro-mechanical marvel, where the Grand Feu enamel of the dial, finished in a Japanese sourced semi-matt lacquer, is almost glassy under the domed crystal, yet only hinting at the magic within. If I turn it around this article might pass 4000 words, so better not. Turn it around at your peril, and you’ll find a hand-brushed gold mainplate setting the stage for a fusée-chain and remontoir d’égalité, Something you would not expect from its staunch traditionalist dial withs its conventional three-handed dial layout. Two options are available, a white gold case having a dial in white with dark indigo enamel numerals or black grand feu enamel dial in a pink gold case. The simple term “impeccable” seems appropriate, while still not conveying the sincere approach and deep level of detailing that left me lost for words. Price: CHF 210,000
Greubel Forsey GMT Earth Final Edition.
A dark and rather menacing presence on the wrist, yet surprisingly comfortable for the size, as this time, the GMT Earth has a titanium case. Almost twice as light as steel at a mere 177 grams, the high tech titanium is more than most of us remember, being non-magnetic, hypo-allergenic and eight times stronger than gold or platinum. Though unlike the normal 316L and 904L steel requires extreme technical know-how and equipment to be manufactured and finished, which to be honest is Greubel Forsey’s forte. By darkening the visage and the still fascinating enigmatic floating globe, there is an element of quiet elegance added to this technical tour de force, for me rather obvious on a tray next to the magical GMT Sport with its bright blue dazzle. No one can ever claim Greubel Forsey to have thin or svelte watches, but for me that is the entire point, and I wouldn’t want it any other way, after all a theatre needs a large enough stage. And a theatre it is. The GMT Earth in titanium will be available in a limited edition of 11 pieces, three times less than the original version. Weighing just 117g, the weight of the strap has been reduced by two-thirds. The case has lost just over a third of its weight. Titanium is used for the case, and also the bridges, the GMT push-piece, the crown and the folding buckle, the latter two being the components most exposed to shocks and scratches. The hand-wound movement with its inclined tourbillon has a 72 hour power reserve, rather irrelevant as I wouldn’t mind taking it off to wind it rather often, once again becoming lost in the details. I would also add that it sits unfeasibly well on the the wrist for a 45.5mm artwork. Price: TBD