The Swiss watch industry during the Covid pandemic

By Ishan Raghava - June 1, 2020
The Swiss watch industry might have taken a battering during the Covid pandemic, and the resultant global lockdown, but these watchmakers bravely continue producing some amazing timepieces. We take a ....

IWC Portugieser Collection
The Portugieser collection, one of IWC’s most popular watch lines, has received some significant updates – both in regards to its mechanics, as well as its styling. For instance, the collection is now moving to an in-house manufacture movement, which is a serious upgrade when it comes to the watchmaking world. 

The Portugieser Yatch Club Moon & Tide (Pink Gold with Blue Dial) is a particularly attractive new offering in the range. The Yacht Club range is a sub-brand in the Portugieser line-up, and this latest edition looks absolutely stunning with its clean design and terrific details. Not only does the Pink Gold case work perfectly with the shiny Blue dial, but the red detailing on the sub-dials and the seconds hand add a terrific design element to the whole watch. And while most of us don’t need to keep the knowledge of high and low tides readily available, the unique design, paired with the moon phase display, certainly makes for a strikingly eye-catching piece. 

The classic Portugieser Chronograph (Steel with Blue dial) is one of my current favourite watches for a variety of reasons. Firstly, I love the clean design of the latest version of the chrono. With the dial featuring two sub-dials placed vertically, paired with Arabian numerals, the design is free of any extra addenda – such as a date window or a bezel – and, as a result, looks just right. I’m also quite partial to the steel version, which is simply gorgeous. Add to this the introduction of an in-house movement – the caliber 69355 – and, for me at least, it makes the Portugieser Chronograph one of the hottest ‘affordable’ watches on the market right now.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra Thin

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin
Before I tell you about the latest versions of VC’s Overseas range, I have a confession to make, the Overseas Perpetual Ultra-Thin collection is something that I’ve had eyes on for a long while. Of course, it’s completely unaffordable for me, but the elegant design of the watch, the beautiful contrast between the Pink Gold case and the Blue (or even the Silver dial) makes it one of those Holy Grail watches that I would love to own.  

Now, confessions aside, let’s get back to business. I’ve written about the Overseas Perpetual in the past too, but at Watches & Wonders, VC launched two new versions of the timepiece that are more than worth a mention. Firstly, the traditional Ultra-Thin now gets a new metal and dial combo – Pink Gold and Blue Lacquer dial – which looks absolutely stunning. And if that combination wasn’t good enough as is, the watch also comes with the option of three straps – Pink Gold bracelet, Leather and Rubber – which you can easily swap yourself to suit your look. And, at just 8.1mm thick, with a 41.5mm dial, this is a perpetual calendar you can flaunt every day. 

The other, bigger, attraction to the Overseas Perpetual range is the latest Ultra-Thin Skeleton, which takes the stunning design and detailing of the Overseas Perpetual a step further, with an even more desirable dial design. Now Vacheron has used skeleton dials in many forms in the past, but this execution just makes the Overseas Perpetual look all the more stunning. The applied hour markers on the dial, paired with the floating white discs for the calendar indications, and a gold one for the moon phase, and, of course, the skeleton design letting you look through the architecture just makes the watch a design classic already. I would love to own one, if it weren’t for the small matter of the $115,000 (₹87 Lakh) price tag, which puts it slightly out of my budget…

Lange S Hne Zeitwerk Minute Repeater

A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Minute Repeater
The Zetiwerk collection is one of the many designs that make A. Lange & Söhne the brand it is today. With its large dial, dual-digital display, and that absolutely unmistakable design, it’s quite simply a watch that you’ll never forget once you’ve had the good fortune of laying your eyes on one. This Minute Repeater version is the halo model of the Zeitwerk line-up, which makes it even more desirable. For this year, this particular model is offered with a Blue dial, something that has not been offered before. And, given its halo positioning, Lange is only going to produce 30 pieces, each priced at close to half-a-million euros…

Herm S Arceau L Heure De La Lune

Hermès Arceau L’Heure De La Lune
The Hermès Arceau L’Heure De La Lune debuted a year ago, and I still remember when I first saw pictures of the watch. With its unique dial, where two discs displaying the time and date hover above two discs showing the moon phases in both the northern and southern hemisphere, it was a completely unique design, and one that I found absolutely stunning at first sight. Using an in-house Hermès movement, the watch has now been introduced with five more dial options. Out of these, two are traditional dials, while the other three are made out of Meteorite. Yes, actual Meteorite! But my favourite version here is the Blue Lapis Lazuli dial with the Rose Gold case, which I think looks absolutely other-worldly. And, if you haven’t noticed yet, this year, Blue Paired with Gold seems to be the big design theme in the watchmaking world.

Jaeger LeCoultre Master Control Geographic

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Geographic
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Geographic is a further enhancement of the design characteristics of the Master Control line, and it fits nicely on the more complicated end of the spectrum. This new version has an updated dial and, best of all, a new movement. With its signature blue hands and functional crown-operated city indicator, the brand has again housed a bunch of complications into a visually attractive and familiar dial layout. At 40mm, and less than 11mm thick, this is an eminently wearable watch. The ability of this timepiece to track two time zones is a highly desirable feature, and its signature layout makes it a very unique watch.

Panerai Luminor Marina

Panerai Luminor Marina ‘70 Years of Luminor’ Collection
Celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the patent granted for the ‘Luminor’ – for a new luminous material that could be used on watch dials – Panerai has released a trio of new models to celebrate this landmark feat. With all of them measuring 44mm, these new pieces have the familiar look of the Luminar Marina family. The three versions are offered in different materials – Titanium, Carbotech and Fibratech – out of which I think it is the PAM 1119 Fibratech that looks the best, with its lightweight, yet super tough, material.

  • Tags
  • IWC
  • Vacheron Constantin
  • A. Lange & Söhne
  • Hermès Arceau
  • Jaeger-Lecoultre
  • Luminor Marina