Pre-SIHH 2016: Piaget Introduces Hybrid Mechanical Watch with Quartz Regulator

Soon to be unveiled at SIHH 2016, the Piaget Emperador Coussin XL 700P is powered by a new hybrid movement with traditional automatic movement with an electromechanical regulator. Here’s the scoop, along with official pricing.

Piaget celebrates the 40th anniversary of its first in-house quartz movement at SIHH 2016 with the Emperador Coussin XL 700P, powered by a quartz movement that integrates traditional mechanics, a peculiar combination of novelty and tradition. The calibre 700P has automatic winding, as well as a wheel train that drives the hands, but instead of a traditional Swiss lever escapement it’s fitted with a hybrid oscillator, making it a hybrid of new and old.

The calibre 700P is a fairly complicated movement, made up of some 300 components, but is fairly easy to understand. A micro-rotor visible on the dial generates energy that is stored in a mainspring, which has a 42 hour power reserve. 

That in turn powers the electromechanical regulator, essentially mechanical oscillator controlled by an circuit with a quartz crystal that vibrates at 32,768 Hz when an electric current is passed through it, the frequency of nearly all quartz movements. Because of the high frequency (an ordinary mechanical movement runs at 4 Hz or 28,800 beats per hour), quartz movements are far more accurate than mechanical ones. While the oscillator is mechanical, the quartz component ensures it stays spot-on, like a conventional quartz movement.

Because most of the movement is occupied by mechanical components, the calibre 700P looks like a traditional movement. But instead of a balance wheel at one o’clock, the space is occupied by the electromechanical oscillator.

Though the movement is new, the case styling is typical Piaget and similar to other Emperador Coussin XL watches. Measuring 46.5 mm wide, the white gold case is a slim and not particularly long, so it wears like a smaller watch despite its large diameter. The bezel is also white gold, but coated with amorphous diamond-like carbon (ADLC), giving it contrast against the white tone of the case.

This immediately bring to mind the Seiko Spring Drive, which similarly has a mechanical oscillator (in the form of a flywheel) that is governed by a integrated circuit linked to a magnet. Another more recent hybrid is the Urwerk EMC, which is instead a pure mechanical movement with an electronic rate monitor that allows the wearer to regulate the watch. 

The Emperador Coussin XL 700P is a limited edition of 118 pieces, priced at S$109,000 in Singapore. That’s equivalent to US$77,900.

Correction December 16, 2015: Edited to correct error describing the movement construction.  

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Jaeger-LeCoultre Unveils Five New Watches for the Reverso’s 85th Anniversary

Jaeger-LeCoultre marks the 85th anniversary of its signature timepiece in 2016 with five new models that run the gamut from a basic time-only model to the top of the line dual face-triple calendar. You'll find all you need to know below, with specs for all models.

Originally designed for polo players, with a swivelling case to protect the crystal, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso is 85 years old in 2016. The occasion is being marked with the introduction of a slew new Reverso wristwatches that will make their official debuts at SIHH 2016. Starting with the basic Reverso Classic (available in three sizes no less), the line-up also includes variants of the Reverso Duo twin time zone, including the Reverso Tribute Calendar powered by the new calibre 853.

Reverso Classic

The simplest model is the Reverso Classic, available in small, medium and large sizes. All three show only the hours and minutes, just like most vintage Reversos.

The Reverso Classic small is quartz, while the medium and large sizes are equipped with the automatic calibre 965. Case backs are blank and ready for personalisation. Available only in steel, dimensions are as follows:

Small – 21 mm wide and 34 mm long

Medium – 24.4 mm wide and 40 mm long

Large – 27.4 mm wide and 45.6 mm long

Pricing has yet to be revealed, but based on equivalents in the current collection, expect the large to be about US$7600, medium to be about US$5650 and around US$4450 for the small.

An example of case back engraving, the Reverso 85th anniversary logo

Reverse Classic Large Duo

The most practical use of both sides of the Reverso case, the Duo shows twin time zones with two dials. This has the automatic calibre 969 inside, showing home time with a 24-hour display on the front and local time on the back. The movement is used for the first time in this model; most of the other dual faced Reverso movements are hand-wound.

The case measures 28.3 mm in diameter, with a length of 47 mm, and is available in pink gold or steel. The hand-wound steel Duo from the current collection costs US$10,200, so this will come in a bit higher.

Reverse Classic Duetto

This is the dual time zone Reverso for ladies, offered in a small size with a hand-wound movement, or medium size with an automatic calibre. Both are available in pink gold or steel, each with the option of a matching metal links bracelet.

Expect a price of about US$11,000 in steel on strap, rising to about US$38,000 in pink gold with a gold bracelet.

Reverso Tribute Duo

Modelled on vintage Reversos with its baton markers and dauphine hands, a combination rarely found on the Reverso, the Tribute Duo is hand-wound with a dual time zone movement. The calibre 854A/2 shows local time on the white dial in front, and home back plus a 24-hour indicator on the dark blue dial on the reverse.

This is available only in steel, with a case that measures 25.5 mm wide and 42.8 mm long, making it significantly smaller than the Classic Large Duo.

The current Grand Reverso Ultra Thin Duoface with the same movement costs US$9650, so this will likely be priced about the same.

Reverso Tribute Calendar

The most complicated model in the new line-up, the Reverso Tribute Calendar is both a dual time zone and triple calendar wrist. The silver dial on the front shows local time as well as the day, date, month and phase of the moon, while the reverse indicates home time along with day and night.

Inside is the hand-wound calibre 853, a new calibre seen here for the first time. It’s hand-wound with a 45 hour power reserve. This is available only in pink gold, with the case measuring 49.4 mm by 29.9 mm, making this the largest of the new models.

For comparison, the price of the Grand Reverso Calendar is US$21,300, so expect this to cost more. Pricing has yet to be announced, but we will publish it as soon as it is.

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