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Haute Horology

New timepieces unveiled at this year’s watch fairs acknowledged both the sophisticated consumer and the tighter economy
Elizabeth Doerr
From the Print Edition:
Adrien Brody, September/October 2010

(continued from page 2)

The Genta Octo Biretro model, which the company aptly describes as a "sports model for intense living," features hours displayed in digital, jumping fashion (a window shows the numeral of the current hour, which jumps to the next at the top of the hour) and retrograde minutes and seconds (shown on respective scales with a hand that jumps back to the beginning in the blink of an eye at the appropriate time). The 43 mm steel and ceramic case housing the automatic movement boasts loving details such as an onyx cabochon in the crown and a signature rubber strap ($18,200).

Cartier Calibre
Cartier is ready to approach the men's market in a serious way now with its new introduction simply entitled Calibre. This may sound like a no-brainer if you're a casual comer to the watch industry, but in fact Cartier has never really had a watch made exclusively for men. All previous models, including the fabulous Ballon Bleu introduced two years ago, were released as unisex models, but their subsequent appeal to women caused Cartier's watches to become perceived as feminine by default.

At 42 mm, the new watch is masculine, yet classic in size. It is powered by in-house Caliber 1904MC, a svelte automatic movement, coming in at only 4 mm in height.

Cartier's Calibre comes in three case versions: stainless steel, two-tone stainless steel and rose gold, and solid rose gold. The all-steel version is outfitted with either a black or white dial, while the two-tone edition only has a white dial. The rose gold Calibre gives the wearer the choice of a white or chocolate-brown dial. The dial's design is signature Cartier: clean, clearly legible and dominated by a slightly raised and oversized XII. The curved lugs of the case provide a comfortable fit on the wrist, while the extended right side of the case also acts as crown protection from shocks that could affect correct functioning. The crown itself is set with a synthetic spinel cabochon. An alligator skin strap comes with a double-adjustable folding clasp.

The stainless steel model starts at $6,500, the two-tone model, $9,500. So far, I haven't spotted this watch on any female wrists.

Glashütte Original PanoMaticCounter XL
Have you ever wanted to keep track of something, but kept losing count? Glashütte Original gives you a simple, unencumbered way to accomplish this while remaining stylish.

Glashütte Original's new Caliber 96-01 is a classic automatic mechanical chronograph movement outfitted with a flyback function-which allows the chronograph's stopwatch to be reset and restarted without pressing an intermediary button. But the Saxon brand's clever engineers have added a twist: a novel counter, something that has not yet been seen in watchmaking. What looks so simple is in fact deceptively complicated: the module for the counter alone needs 217 individual parts. Housed in a window, the seamless double-digit display going up to 99 does its counting when the wearer simply pushes a button.

The extreme ingenuity of this timepiece actually lies in the fact that one can also perform a timing act to go along with the manual counting. Suppose you want to count how many times your teenaged daughter says the word "like" in the space of 10 minutes. Simply start the chronograph and push the counter button every time it happens.

The counter is found on the left side of the dial and controlled by the pushers on the left side of the case: forward at the 9 o'clock position; minus at 8 o'clock, and the reset button is located at 10 o'clock.

The PanoMaticCounter comes in a 44 mm stainless steel case and retails for $25,100.

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