Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin
After teasing the concept at SIHH 2018, in June AP unveiled the production version of the Royal Oak Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin, the world’s thinnest automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch at just 6.3 mm thickness. The 41 mm case is made from satin-brushed titanium fitted with an anti-glare sapphire crystal and a bezel in polished 950 platinum much like the Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin 15202IP from last year.
It is fitted with a sapphire crystal caseback, a titanium screw-down crown, and is water-resistant to 200 meters. The satin-brushed titanium bracelet has polished 950 platinum links and a titanium folding clasp.
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL? Caliber 5133 is just 2.89 mm thick! This was achieved by reducing the number of stacks on the movement from three modules to one. The pursuit of engineering a single level movement from a three-storey one while keeping it efficient was not an easy one. It took AP five years of research and development to come up with the required solution. CHF140,000 (without VAT)
Parmigiani Fleurier Islamic Hijri Perpetual Calendar
A perpetual calendar launch is still major flex by a watchmaker and Parmigiani Fleurier has flexed hard by unveiling the first wristwatch using the Islamic Hijri Perpetual Calendar. The seeds of this timepiece were sown in 1993 when Michel Parmigiani, the founder of the eponymous brand restored an oval-shaped pocketwatch with an Islamic calendar indicating the hour, day, date and month in Arabic calligraphy, and the phases of the moon. He used this as the inspiration to create a table clock featuring a Hijri Calendar in 2011, the world’s first such calendar. In 2016, he restored another pocketwatch dating back to the end of the 18th or beginning of the 19th Century, which featured a solar calendar translated into Arabic.
A traditional perpetual calendar’s gears are programmed, when continuously running, to account for the leap month once every four years and different length months in the Gregorian calendar. The Islamic or Hijri Calendar is based on the lunar calendar with the Hijri Year being made up of 12 months of 29 or 30 days – depending on the moon phase. The lunar calendar uses the phases of the moon to measure time, usually measuring the time from new moon to new moon as one month.
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL? While brands have produced watches aimed at the Middle Eastern market, creating a perpetual calendar with gears that are programmed to account for the uneven numbered months of the Islamic calendar, is more than just lip service to the region.
Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar
Unveiled at SIHH 2019, this perpetual calendar from Vacheron Constantin claims to function closer to “in perpetuity” than any perpetual calendar that preceded it. The Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar, with its innovative and patent-pending mechanism, allows the user to switch the frequency of the movement from active mode, in which it beats at a speedy 36,000 vph (5 Hz), to standby mode drastically slowing it to an energy-conserving 8,640 vph (1.2 Hz). A “mode selector” helps the user switch from one to the other.
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL? This is a major flex from the world’s oldest manufacture - a thoroughly modern idea for a much-vaunted complication that actually offers the end-user a practical benefit. €210,000 (AED863,500)
Baume et Mercier Baumatic Perpetual Calendar
The Clifton Baumatic Perpetual Calendar sees the addition of a perpetual calendar module to the base Baumatic movement which was first introduced last year. The Baumatic movement is notable for its 5-day power reserve, anti-magnetic properties, and lengthy service intervals (it can run up to seven years without any need for service). Encased in a 42-mm-wide satin-finished red gold case, this watch is just 12.1 mm thick and features short curved lugs and is fitted with a domed anti-glare sapphire crystal.
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL? It’s not often that you see a perpetual calendar wristwatch with the attributes of a modern movement like the Baumatic at a relatively affordable price. This is a formidable movement — lengthy power reserve, anti-magnetic, accurate, with long service intervals — in a classically designed gold-cased watch, all at a price of $24,500 (AED100,700).
Bovet Retrograde Perpetual Calendar Récital 21
The Retrograde Perpetual Calendar Récital 21 has an atypical perpetual calendar display and features the Bovet’s “writing slope” case. The watch offers a completely different take on the classical style codes of a perpetual calendar. The minute and hour hands are located in the center on Bovet’s now characteristic circular-brushed blue dial. Thanks to the inclined case, the dial-makers have plenty of volume to play with, the seconds hand actually sweeps under the hours and minutes dial.
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL? Bovet’s approach to the perpetual calendar display is refreshingly different from everything else that’s out there. It has a well thought-out movement too - apart from the 5-day power reserve; adjustments to days, date, and month functions, can be done simultaneously via an innovate corrector mechanism. $72,500 (AED266,250)
Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel
Jaeger-LeCoultre pulled out all the stops at SIHH 2019 when it unveiled the Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel, the watchmaker’s latest multi-axis tourbillon. It combines a perpetual calendar, a minute repeater with Westminister chime and a constant force mechanism to ensure a steady supply of power to the escapement.
The watch has a 43 mm white gold case with sandblasted flanks and a highly polished narrow bezel. The deep blue grand feu enamel dial (also available as a silver dial), is bordered by a grained silver band that houses the engraved date ring. The perpetual calendar’s indications – day, month and date - are placed in harmony across the enamel dial.
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL?
“It’s the best of the Gyrotourbillon, the best of the Minute Repeater, the best of the Perpetual Calendar – all the patents that we’ve received over the years – and yet miniaturized to the point where the watch is still wearable and elegant,” says Stephane Belmont, the maison’s heritage director. €955,000 (AED3.96 million)