As ever, Salon QP is the venue for a number of watches to make their first appearances. This year we have a whole host of new watch faces to acquaint you with. If you don’t have tickets yet, there’s still time – click here to register.
By James Buttery
Urban Jurgensen – the Alfred
You will probably have already read about the latest addition to Urban Jurgensen’s oh-so restrained ranks. Cased in stainless steel – a rarity for the brand, which usually favours precious metals – it has lost none of the charm and sophistication that we’ve come to expect from the revived Danish marque.
Fears – the Redcliffe Date and Redcliffe Continental
Another brand returning to Saatchi Gallery following a successful debut in 2016 is Fears, a storied English watch brand now revived by sixth generation family member Nicolas Bowman-Scargill. The brand has clearly been busy in the intervening months as it is bringing two completely new watches to Salon QP as well as a striking new Passport Red version of its existing Redcliff Date, pictured. The first is a natty new GMT, the Redcliffe Continental, which displays its second time zone by way of a 24-hour wheel at the six o’clock position while the second is officially the brand’s first mechanical watch in 60 years, the Brunswick.
Atelier de Chronometrie – AdC5
Still fresh from launching at Salon QP last year, the Barcelona-based brand returns with its fifth creation, the AdC#5, which promises to be something quite special indeed. At the centre of its 18ct white gold case lies a vibrant, colourful cloisonnée enamel dial which, in the name of poetic complication, spins on request. As with all Atelier de Chronometrie’s creations, the movement has been created entirely by hand. The company is bringing its full collection to Salon QP 2017.
Habring2 – Minute Repeater
Husband and wife watchmaking duo, Habring2, have a habit of eating away at some of the reverence assigned to watchmaking by many bigger brands. For the resourceful, innovative Austrian duo the jumping second, foudroyante and monopusher are everyday challenges easily overcome but this year they graduated to the high church of watchmaking with similar modesty, introducing a titanium five-minute repeater that is also water resistant to 30m. It is also the most affordable minute repeater on the market by a huge margin.
Rolf Lang – Marine Chronometer
Dresden watchmaker Rolf Lang will be exhibiting one of five spectacular solid gold marine chronometers, made in honour of Harrison’s H4. The exquisite chronometer is mounted on a gimbal which itself is housed inside a magnificent egg-shaped shell of Venetian Murano glass. In all it takes 6kg of gold to make a single chronometer, although Lang points out they can be ordered in silver or platinum. All 367 components are made, polished and assembled by hand in Germany.
Kari Voutilainen – the 28 R12
Kari Voutilainen presents Salon QP visitors with the first opportunity to explore his latest creation, the 28 R12. Not only does the sublimely finished movement use a unique combination of a Phillips overcoil and the rarely attempted Grossman curve on its hairspring but the escapement achieves extreme efficiency using twin escape wheels. Viewing the 28 R12’s unique escapement in action is sure to be one of the horological highlights of Salon QP 2017.
Vault – V1
The Vault Swiss were at Salon QP last year but their debut watch, the V1, was no more than a few computer renders and an enticing showreel. This year the brand returns to London with the finished product, offered in titanium, rose gold and steel. The V1’s unique and extraordinarily complex display of rotating hour markers is linked to its setting mechanism so that the position of the hours is different each time the central minute hand is adjusted. A semi translucent section then passes over the hour markers to reveal the current hour.
Stefan Kudoke – the Panda
Although the collection of German watchmaker Stefan Kudoke does feature watches with traditional dials he specialises in skeletonised watches with open-worked and hand engraved movements, often themed around a central concept. Kudoke, who developed his skill-set working at Glashütte Original, Breguet, Blancpain and Omega, brings his latest watch, the Panda, to Salon QP. The figure of the central character is achieved by hand using a coping saw and graver and brought to life using white and black rhodium plating.
Montblanc – Timewalker Chronograph Automatic
Last but by no means least, Montblanc expands its smart, urban Timewalker collection at Salon QP 2017 with this rich chocolate brown ceramic and rose gold automatic chronograph. The collection has already proven capable of bringing classic motoring watch tropes bang up to date, but this latest model brings with it a dash of sartorial depth. Sitting atop the 43mm rose gold case is a brown ceramic bezel, knurled to allow the wearer to indicate a second timezone with its 12-hour scale.