Introducing the Bulgari Octo Ultranero in Black DLC

Bulgari has given its Octo an all-black makeover with the Ultranero, featuring a black DLC coating on the case with pink gold accents. It’ll be unveiled at Baselworld 2016, but here’s a sneak peek at the Ultranero line-up, including prices.

Angular and octagonal, the Octo is a distinctive case shape Bulgari inherited from Gerald Genta, the independent watchmaker it acquired in 1999. Bulgari has now made the Octo its own. Slated to be officially launched at Baselworld 2016, the latest iteration of the Octo is the Ultranero in black diamond-like carbon (DLC). The Ultranero combines black DLC with pink gold, a contrasting combination that is popular and widely employed. Three models are available, the ultra-thin Finissimo Tourbillon, Velocissimo chronograph and the time-only Solotempo.

Just 5 mm high, the Finissimo Tourbillon is one of the thinnest ever. The 40 mm titanium case is lightweight, and inside is the in-house BVL 268 movement, hand-wound with a flying tourbillon. The Velocissimo, on the other hand, is equipped with the Zenith El Primero automatic chronograph movement. It’s 41 mm in diameter and in steel, with a pink gold bezel. This is priced at SFr13,200.

The simplest model is the Solotempo, also 41 mm and steel, but offered in two guises, with a pink gold bezel or a matching black DLC steel bezel. 

Both are powered by the BVL 193 automatic movement. The gold bezel version is SFr10,500, while the all steel model is SFr7950.

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H. Moser Introduces the Venturer XL & H. Moser Endeavour Concept Funky Blue

H. Moser & Cie. adds two blue timepieces to its collection at SIHH 2016, the Endeavour Centre Seconds Concept Funky Blue and Venturer Small Seconds XL - specs and prices follow.

In contrast to the pocket-watch inspired Perpetual Calendar Heritage, the pair of new timepieces unveiled by H. Moser & Cie. at SIHH 2016 hew close to its traditional style. Both the Endeavour Centre Seconds Concept Funky Blue and Venturer Small Seconds XL share the typical Moser design, as well as metallic blue fumé dials.

The Venturer Small Seconds XL is an enlarged version of the original Venturer (that was just under 40 mm in diameter). The new XL model is white gold, 43 mm in diameter and 12.6 mm thick. Like the smaller Venturer, the dial is slightly curved, with a graduated blue finish that darkens towards the edges.

It shares the same movement as its smaller sibling, the hand-wound HMC 327 with a three day power reserve. It’s one of Moser’s less elaborate movements, with a simpler construction but still attractively decorated and recognisably Moser with the inverted “V” balance bridge. The Venturer Small Seconds XL is priced at US$23,800. The Endeavour Centre Seconds Concept Funky Blue continues Moser’s run of minimalist watches with dials stripped bare. Hour markers and text have been removed from the dial, leaving just the blue fumé finish and a pair of leaf-shaped hands.

Offered in rose or white gold, the case is 40.8 mm in diameter. It contains the hand-wound HMC 343 movement, a simple movement but one fitted with most of Moser’s signature features. Those include an interchangeable escapement that can be swapped during servicing for shorter turnaround, a solid gold escape wheel and pallet fork, as well as a Straumann hairspring made by Moser’s sister company Precision Engineering.

The Endeavour Centre Seconds Concept will cost US$26,500.

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SIHH 2016: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie

Exceptionally loud, clear and satisfying.

When Audemars Piguet unveiled the Royal Oak Concept RD#1 minute repeater last year, it was all cloak and dagger, since the patents related to its concept were still pending. Now that the patents have been granted, the prototype has become a reality in the form of the Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie that was just introduced at SIHH 2016.

The Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie actually features three complications, a chronograph, tourbillon and minute repeater. The first two are essentially superfluous, it is the minute repeater that is truly outstanding.

The rear of the Supersonnerie movement showing the chronograph mechanism, and repeater hammers visible at seven o’clock

Audemars Piguet claims the Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie chimes as loudly as ten pocket watch minute repeaters, a seemingly exaggerated claim but quite plausible once the Supersonnerie has been heard in action.

Under the dial of the Supersonnerie, with the minute repeating mechanism exposed

Three patents were instrumental in building the Supersonnerie. The first relates to the manufacturing of the gongs, a process that creates an optimal gong which nonetheless needs to be filed by hand to tune it.

The next patent concerns the case construction; the back is actually two pieces, an outer case back and an inner back that functions as a soundboard. Instead of being attached to the base plate as in ordinary repeaters, the gongs are attached to the inner case back, a thin disc of special alloy. This disc functions as a soundboard, amplifying the chimes of the repeater.

Notably, despite the large apertures in the outer back for sound transmission, the Supersonnerie is water-resistant to 20 m, as the inner back is sealed. Most minute repeaters are not water-resistant at all, since the cases are not sealed so as to improve the sound.

The last key feature of the Supersonnerie is the silent governor. The mechanism that regulates the pace of the repeater chimes, the governor in the Supersonnerie has a built-in shock absorber that eliminates most of the noise typically associated with its functioning. This prevents the governor from interfering with the sound of the repeater.

We will bring you more details on the Supersonnerie soon. In the mean time, follow our SIHH 2016 coverage for the latest from Geneva.

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SIHH 2016: Panerai Introduces the Luminor 8 Days Set PAM786 Slytech Remake

A pair of remakes based on the Pre-Vendome Slytech watches of the 1990s, the Luminor 8 Days Set PAM00786 is made up of a Luminor Black Seal "Destro" and Luminor Daylight.

Just two years after the last two-piece Slytech reissue set, Panerai has once again turned to its most desirable timepieces of the 1990s for inspiration. Based on timepieces made for actor Sylvester Stallone – hence the Slytech nickname – the Luminor 8 Days Set PAM786 consists of two wristwatches, including an unusual white dial Luminor with blue hour markers and hands.

While both watches in the set are 44 mm Luminor watches, each is sharply different from the other. The Luminor Daylight 8 Days (PAM650) is modelled on a 1996 wristwatch made for Stallone’s role in tunnel collapse film Daylight, but one that never got past the prototype stage. Only a handful of watches were made with blue hands and markers, a feature that has been reproduced with the new Luminor Daylight 8 Days.

The second watch in the set is the Luminor Black Seal Left-Handed 8 Days (PAM649). This Luminor desert (Italian for “right-hand”) has its crown on the left of the case, having been designed to be worn on the right hand. The steel case has been coated with diamond-like carbon (DLC), given it a black finish.

Though both watches in the set are inspired by 20 year old timepieces, both are equipped with the modern day P.5000 movement. Made in-house by Panerai, the P.5000 is hand-wound with an eight day power reserve.

The PAM786 set comes in a large pear wood box with various accessories, including spare straps and a scale model of the submersibles used by Italian navy frogmen during the Second World War.

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