Baselworld 2015 trends #5: historical memory for Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot, Leroy, Zenith and Longines
The history of a watch company with a long tradition left a legacy from where it obtains the success of today. The history ensures competency, production and innovation capability, and a good taste able to keep the company alive, and to determine trends.
It is mainly for this reason that many Maison at Baselworld 2015 showed a strong past orientation.
Leroy is working hard in reaffirming its own history of fine watchmaker. And it is from the study of the history that the new Chronomètre Observatoire comes. Beneath its intrinsic elegance, the Chronomètre Observatoire is a compendium of the Leroy expertise. This timepiece is equipped with the new hand-wound L200 movement, developed and built in the Manufacture in Le Sentier (Switzerland), and equipped with an escapement with direct impulse on the balance, balance-spring with double terminal curve and parallel-mounted twin barrels. The development of this new three-hand L200 chronometer movement pays tribute to Haute Horlogerie in a manner entirely in tune with the history of Leroy, while also backed by new technologies aimed at achieving optimal precision. The movement is housed within an elegant round gold case, framing a solid silver dial adorned with hand-guilloché “barleycorn” motifs inspired by 19th century Leroy pocket watches.
Zenith looks back both in aesthetics and mechanics. The classic lines of the three hands Elite 6150 model returns to the roots of the Brand’s traditional designs. This watch is equipped with a new movement, the caliber Elite 6150, which is the evolution of the previous base caliber Elite, conceived at the beginning of the 90s and defined the “best year’s movement” during its presentation at Baselworld 1994. The new Elite caliber has a double power reserve – so far 55 hours – through the addition of a second barrel: it now boasts a power reserve exceeding 4 days. A goal accomplished with a 3.92 mm thickness. Meanwhile, the diameter of the calibre has been significantly enlarged to match the sizes of contemporary watches. The small second display, previously positioned at 9 o’clock, is now a direct central second system. This caliber is as good to be used in an elegant three-hands, such as this one, and as the basis for new technical developments.
Even Patek Philippe looks at its past, even though this time with a true change of its aesthetics codices. All the Baselworld 2015 public was astonished by the new Calatrava 5524G: an aviator watch in white gold, with the Patek Philippe signature on its dial. Patek’s tradition in this field is demonstrated by two “hour-angle” watches, which allowed for faster navigation and precise positioning using a sextant and radio signal. The sizes of these watches, shown at the Patek Philippe Museum, are both enormous for a vintage Patek, at 55.3 mm. The inspiration from these watches is more conceptual than stylistic: the design of the new Calatrava Pilot is brand new for the Manufacture: a deep matt blue dial, instead of black, enhances the numerals with a thick superluminova coat and a peculiar font. The case is sporty and masculine, with finishings able to distinguish this watch from the many other pilot watches available. It is equipped with the 32 S C FUS caliber, the travel time movement which allows to read to hours at one time, and the adjustment of the home time going forward or backwad with the two pushers on the right side of the case of the watch. This is a must-see-it-alive watch. You have to see to believe.
Longines took the inspiration from a mainly medical timepiece from the early 1920s to develop the new Longines Pulsometer Chronograph. With its vintage style, this chronograph measures the number of heartbeats, in addition to the time. The original model of this reissue was used as an instrument by the medical profession to calculate a patient’s heart rate reliably and quickly. At the time, the pulse measurement was taken over a period of 60 seconds during which it was necessary to precisely calculate the number of the patient’s heartbeats. As this approach is not entirely trustworthy, the creation of pulsometer overcame inaccuracies. Indeed, this function provides a simple, reliable and rapid heart rate reading. The chronograph hand, coupled with the pulsometric scale, clearly indicates the patient’s heart rate on the screen after only 30 pulses.