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Hands-On with the Nomos Tangente Red Dot Singapore Edition

Blue, gold and a spot of red.

Following the swift sellout of last year’s Zurich Weltzeit Singapore Edition, Nomos has once again rolled out a pair for limited editions for the city state, clad in a combination of blue and salmon.

Both watches are based on the hand-wound Tangente 38, the basic, 38mm version of the quintessential Nomos wristwatch. The ordinary version of the Tangente 38 is only available with a silvered dial, with coloured dials only being available on the pricier, self-winding neomatik models or limited editions.

Nomos Tangente Red Dot Singapore blue 4

Nomos Tangente Red Dot Singapore salmon 3

The Tangente was inspired by 1930s wristwatches and designed in Deutscher Werkbund style. Simple in form but nevertheless distinctive, the case is steel, entirely polished, and characterised by flat planes on all surfaces.

Nomos Tangente Red Dot Singapore blue 7

At 37.5mm in diameter and 6.75mm high, the case is elegantly proportioned, with the long lugs giving it a slightly larger footprint than most similarly sized watches.

Salmon and blue

The first dial variant is inspired by the salmon dial of last year’s Zurich world time, though the dial is a slightly more muted, darker shade of the colour.

The galvanic salmon finish is matched with dark blue markings on the dial and blued steel hands, along with a red seconds hand and a red dot at six o’clock, a reference to Singapore’s nickname due to the island’s size on a map.

Nomos Tangente Red Dot Singapore salmon 1

In most light the blue markings on the dial appear black, but the polished, blued steel hands catch the light well.

Nomos Tangente Red Dot Singapore salmon 2

The salmon model is matched with a light tan Horween calfskin strap that matches the dial but offers little contrast. The colours of the dial and strap means the watch tends to blend in with East Asian skin tones, so some might prefer a darker strap.

The second version is essentially an inversion of the colours on the first, featuring a blue dial and rose gold markings.

Though the “midnight blue” dial shares the same name with the blue dials found on other Nomos watches, this is a different, darker colour, being a blue that is almost charcoal under most light.

Nomos Tangente Red Dot Singapore blue 1

It’s paired with copper markings on the dial and rose gold-plated hands, along with a seconds hand and dot at six in red.

Nomos Tangente Red Dot Singapore blue 3

The blue and rose gold colour combination is an unusual one for Nomos, which typically leans towards lighter, cheery colours, often matching dark dials with pastel coloured accents. Though different, it is a subtle combination that is slightly more serious and luxe than the average Nomos palette.

While the colour is new, the midnight blue model is fitted to the standard, but much loved, Horween shell cordovan strap in black.

Between the two, the salmon dial will undoubtedly be the first choice for many buyers, but the midnight blue Tangente is arguably the one for anyone who already has a Nomos with a light-coloured dial.

Alpha inside

Both are equipped with the standard movement for the Tangente 38, the hand-wound Alpha calibre that has 17 jewels and a 43-hour power reserve.. Built with the ETA Peseux 7001 as a base, the Alpha was the first movement developed by Nomos and is now mostly produced in-house by Nomos.

Nomos Tangente Red Dot Singapore blue 2

A few functional improvements were made to the 7001 architecture, including a redesigned winding click, as well as the addition of a Triovis regulator and hacking seconds. Other changes are decorative, including a three-quarter plate, blued steel screws and spiral graining on the winding wheels.

Nomos Tangente Red Dot Singapore blue 5

The result is a robust, reliable but unique proprietary movement that offers tremendous value and also appealing aesthetics. The only downside of the movement, albeit a minor one, is its size, which at 10 1/2”’ or 23.3mm is quite a bit smaller than the watch case. That leaves the subsidiary seconds sitting relatively close to the centre of the dial.

Nomos Tangente Red Dot Singapore blue 6

Price and availability 

Each version is limited to 100 watches, individually numbered on the case back. The Tangente ‘Red Dot’ is available from The Hour Glass, priced at S$3200 including local taxes, which is the same as the ordinary version of the Tangente 38. That’s equivalent to US$2340, and includes shipping for foreign buyers.


 

 

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Business News: Audemars Piguet and Richard Mille to Depart SIHH after 2019

'Twas good while it lasted.

Two months after the Swatch Group upended the natural order at Baselworld by announcing it would not take part in the trade fair next year, the other major Swiss watch fair of the year has just seen two major names leave. Next year will be the last year for both Audemars Piguet and Richard Mille at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), the upscale show that takes place in Geneva every January.

First reported by Dutch watch blog Monochrome, Audemars Piguet’s departure was announced by its inimitable chief executive, Francois-Henry Bennahmias, in an interview with Swiss newspaper Le Temps.

“We today want to focus 100% on the end customer,” Mr Bennahmias was quoted as saying, instead of the retailers and journalists who make up the bulk of the fair’s attendees. This is happening alongside a dramatic trimming of Audemars Piguet’s retail network, from 540 points of sale in 2011, to between 200 and 220 by the end of 2018.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak RD#2 Perpetual 4

The Royal Oak RD#2, one of Audemars Piguet’s flagship watches at SIHH 2018

Instead, Audemars Piguet will launch products throughout the year at smaller events, with only a selection of clients and press invited. According to Mr Bennahmias, this will also reduce the traditional, months-long lag between the launch of a new watch and its arrival in stores.

But Mr Bennahmias was careful not the criticise the organisers of SIHH. “”I find no fault with the event; I just want to follow my own path.” And with that one of the longest tenured brands at SIHH was out.

On the same day in the most coincidental of occurences, Richard Mille also said it would leave SIHH after 2019. The brand, in which Audemars Piguet coincidentally owns a 10% stake, cited its reliance on wholly-owned boutiques, rather than third party retailers, as a reason for its split with the fair.

A day after both brand’s announcements, the organiser of SIHH, Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) issued a statement hinting at an evolution in the fair’s purpose and set-up.

“[We intend] to pursue the SIHH’s core purpose, which now extends beyond a trade salon with a distribution focus, to encompass a true culture and experience-led communications platform for all professionals and end customers of Haute Horlogerie.”


Addition September 27, 2018: Included statement from the FHH in response to the news.

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De Bethune Introduces the Maestri’Art Collection

East Asian craftsmanship meets cutting edge watchmaking.

De Bethune’s wide ranging aesthetic has in the past utilised Mayan and Aztec elements for some strikingly styled watches. Now the watchmaker turns to East Asia for the Maestri’Art collection, which makes its debut with a pair of watches decorated with motifs inspired by Japan and China. The Maestri’Art marks a return to Asian influences in its watch design, after the Imperial Fountain Chinese Zodiac watches of 2014.

Both watches were engraved by Michèle Rothen Rebetez, a Le Locle-based engraver who’s one of the best in her field. She’s worked for De Bethune in the past, and also Parmigiani and Girard-Perregaux amongst others.

The Maestri’Art I is based on the DB27 Titan Hawk V2, with the brand’s signature sprung lugs. But instead of the liberal use of polished metal synonymous with De Bethune, the Maestri’Art I is entirely black and gold, inspired by tsuba, the hand guard of Japanese swords, or katana.

De Bethune Maestri Art I black 4

Tsuba were often made of various metal alloys, and often decorated. A common decorative material used was irogane, a family of coloured copper alloys, often inlaid with gold. Specifically, the material De Bethune used for the case and dial is similar to shibuichi, an alloy of silver and copper that’s been patinated to give it an almost black surface, which is then decorated with gold highlights.

The dial depicts a dragon and tiger in relief, while the case back continues the motif, showing the back of the dragon.

De Bethune Maestri Art I black 3

De Bethune Maestri Art I black 2

The Maestri’Art I is powered by the same movement found in the Titan Hawk, the AutoV2. It’s a self-winding movement with a 60-hour power reserve, as well as De Bethune’s patented silicon balance wheel with gold masses, which is visible through a small opening in the case back.

De Bethune Maestri Art I black 1

Maestri’Art II is quickly recognisable as a De Bethune, being entirely in blued titanium. It’s based on the DB25, with a 42mm case in polished, blued titanium.

The dial is also blued titanium that’s been engraved by hand and accented with fine gold leaf inlaid onto the surface. It depicts a carp and a dragon, a reference to the Chinese myth that believes a carp which is able to jump the Dragon Gate of the Yellow River will turn into a dragon.

The hour markers are small round diamonds, while the leaf-shaped hands are polished steel.

De Bethune Maestri Art II blue 2

Inside is the hand-wound DB2005 movement inside that will run for six days on a full wind. It’s equipped with De Bethune’s proprietary adjustable mass balance wheel, as well as a silicon escape wheel.

De Bethune Maestri Art II blue 1

Price and availability 

Both watches are unique pieces. The Maestri’Art I is priced at SFr135,000, while the Maestri’Art II in blued titanium is SFr110,000. Prices exclude taxes.


 

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