Hands-on with the thinnest tourbillon in the world, the Arnold & Son UTTE (with live photos and price)

At Baselworld this year, Arnold & Son claimed the title of the world's thinnest tourbillon with its new UTTE, boasting a movement just 2.97 mm high.

Despite looking like yet another pedestrian flying tourbillon, the Arnold & Son UTTE (short for “ultra-thin tourbillon escapement”) is noteworthy. Its case stands 8.34 mm high, and the movement inside, the cal. A&S8200 developed by its sister company La Joux-Perret, is only 2.97 mm. That is no mean feat, considering the movement manages an 80 hour power reserve with twin barrels, just over three days. And even more so given the large 14 mm tourbillon cage.

Arnold & Son UTTE tourbillon (1) Arnold & Son UTTE tourbillon (2)

The 2.97 mm high movement does not include the tourbillon cage, which is slightly convex. According to Arnold & Son, the decision to raise the cage was an aesthetic one, to give a better view of the tourbillon regulator. This adds depth and detail to an elegant, but plain, dial.

Turn the watch over and the movement is revealed. It is attractively decorated with a three-quarter plate in German silver, but because the plate is rhodium-plated, does not have the characteristic hue of maillechort.

The tourbillon bridge, on the other hand, is hand-engraved. This adds a welcome decorative touch. Though the movement is well finished and good looking, it is not striking.

Two versions are available, rose gold or palladium, with each limited to 50 pieces.  Price-wise the UTTE is reasonable: the rose gold retails for SFr68,420 (~US$75,300) while the palladium is SFr59,400 (~US$65,300). For an entry level tourbillon the UTTE delivers a more novel proposition than the vast majority of its competitors in the segment. – SJX

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Omega looks to 1915 wristwatch for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics limited edition (with specs and price)

Created to mark the upcoming Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, the Omega Sochi Petrograd is a remake of a 1915 tonneau wristwatch.

Based on a 1915 wristwatch made for a Russian client which is now in the Omega museum, the Sochi Petrograd limited edition has a yellow gold, tonneau-shaped case.  Along with the large Arabic numerals and wire lugs, the style of the watch recalls the timepieces popular in early twentieth century, pre-revolutionary Russia.  The silver dial, with its red minute markers and blued steel hands, is meant to evoke the colours of the Russian flag.

Inside is the automatic Omega cal. 2202 with Co-Axial escapement, though it is hidden behind the gold case back engraved with the Sochi 2014 logo.  Only 100 numbered pieces will be made, available only at Omega boutiques. In Singapore the retail price is S$24,050 (~US$19,250), including 7% tax. – SJX

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