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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 3)

Jaeger-LeCoultre AMVOX 5
When asked about the history of Jaeger-LeCoultre's collaborative efforts with English automaker Aston Martin, CEO Jérôme Lambert could simply have replied "Jaeger, Edmond Jaeger," referring to the watchmaker who daringly diversified his watchmaking company in the wake of World War I; incredible foresight led the Le Sentier-based brand to manufacture dashboard instruments for the most luxurious cars of the era.

Though this may or may not have included James Bond's favorite marque, Lambert relates that, "In 2004 we began making history together." He is referring to the year he and Aston Martin CEO Ulrich Bez introduced the AMVOX 1, an innovative timepiece manufactured by Jaeger-LeCoultre inspired by the car company founded in 1913 by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford. "This needs to be a relationship that we are all proud of, not only Aston Martin and Jaeger-LeCoultre, but also the clients of both these brands." The AMVOX line represents a way for Jaeger-LeCoultre to experiment and explore without it becoming a gimmick or an extension of the car. "The world of Aston Martin is strong inspiration-both the corporate and the racing sides," he explains.

The AMVOX5 World Chronograph is pure adrenaline: it is a complicated and demanding piece of micro mechanics that marks the first world timer in the exclusive collection. Caliber 752's 279 components allow the wearer to see every time zone on the globe at once, with the reference cities-which include Gaydon, the location of the Aston Martin factory, instead of London to represent Greenwich Mean Time-easily clicking into place. The highly robust limited edition timepiece is available in a 44 mm ceramic case in combination with 18-karat rose gold ($26,150) or titanium ($20,500). Its open-worked dials are adorned with a grid motif evoking the radiator grille found on Aston Martin automobiles.

Two racing versions inspired by the Lola Aston Martin LMP1 race car-one with orange and the other with black-and-white elements-are also available in limited editions of 100 pieces each.

Tutima Grand Classic
I nominated a watch from this same line as part of last year's Top 10 list. Though repeats are unusual, I find that this line and its many evolutions are so well priced and attractive that, in this case, it was indeed warranted.

Appealing to modern tastes (and the perhaps tighter budgets), Tutima continues to release various versions of the popular Grand Classics, first introduced in 2007 in honor of the brand's 80th anniversary, in a larger case size than the company had previously ever issued. New variations and colors, each really more interesting and beautiful than the last, continue to hit the market. This spring saw the introduction of three new colors of the time-only Grand Classic: black, Bordeaux, and a gentler pastel hue with a mother-of-pearl dial for women.

The men's models with black or Bordeaux-colored dials and straps to match are straightforward, no-nonsense wristwatches of incredible toughness and legibility.

Additionally, a new strap with distinct rivets on either side has been added that not only matches the pilot style of these watches, but also adds a touch of elegant sportiness. Its deployant (folding) clasp is comfortable and secure.

Considering the well-executed details of the watch and the consensus among experts that automatic movements are beyond reproach, this stylish stainless steel timepiece should by all rights cost a mint. Surprisingly, it doesn't. A common feature of Tutima timepieces has always been the uncommonly moderate pricing, and this line is no exception. The time-only model retails for $1,500 on the stylish pilot-style strap and $2,000 on a stainless steel bracelet.

Vacheron Constantin Ultra-Fine 1968
Vacheron Constantin is the oldest continuously manufacturing Swiss brand, so it is only appropriate that its Historiques line expresses the company's heritage by reviving some emblematic models of the brand's long past, but it does so with contemporary reinterpretations.

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