Watches that combine electronics with mechanics is shaping up to be the latest trend on the haut horological scene, where timeless style and understated elegance are the epitome of luxury and refined taste.
Renowned Swiss manufacturers are beginning to discover the charm of combining traditional mechanical timepieces with the modern, simpler quartz movement. The end result is a powerful amalgam of fine horological mastery and innovative simplicity that produces pieces that balance on past trends and present mechanics. A fine example comes from the well-known house Urwerk with their titanium and steel EMC Black watch on crocodile strap for £100,000. Fully mechanical in its functions, the new EMC also features a tiny integrated circuit board and a minute optical sensor above the balance that can measure the frequency. The wearer can use this feature to check on the isochronism and adjust the rate by turning a small screw on the caseback. The electrical power is mechanically generated thanks to a Lilliputian hand crank set into the side of the watch.
European Maison Piaget has come up with a white gold Emperador Coussin XL 700P watch on alligator strap for the more modest £56,500. The piece celebrates the brand’s first in-house quartz calibre. Another offer comes from Van Cleef & Arpels in white gold and enamel in the form of the Midnight Nuit Lumineuse watch on alligator strap, whose price is available on request. Jewelry and horology come together to evoke light and enhance the features of the powerful pieces that keep within the boundaries of the mechanical movement.