In 79 AD, the eruption of Mount Vesuvius buried Pompeii under innumerable tons of volcanic ash, instantly extinguishing the lives of the inhabitants, but also preserving the ancient city until it was rediscovered in 1748 by a Spanish engineer. On the walls of this ancient city, an archeologist discovered some of the earliest examples of graffiti, specifically a touchingly crude paean to the broken-hearted, which read, “Let all who love go to hell! I want to break Venus’s ribs with a club.”
The last time we heard of Panerai breaking unprecedented grounds, it was with the unveiling of the Lo Scienziato Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT Titanio at SIHH 2016. And now, just a quarter of the year through, they are about to make headlines again, with a complication this time, which we know few other examples of in the horological realm.
The Huguenots were French Protestants that were deeply affected by the writings of John Calvin, to adopt the reformed traditions he espoused. They were harassed, imprisoned and killed throughout two centuries, beginning in the early 1600 and culminating in Louis XIV’s Edict of Fontainebleau, which forbade the practice of the Protestant religion and resulted in a mass exodus of over half a million Huguenots, who then established their own churches, community and practices in the French-speaking region of Switzerland. Because they were not allowed to create figurative depictions of religious iconography, because their extraordinary artistic voices were in some ways muted, they sublimated their creativity into two fields. The first was watchmaking, where men would labor with extraordinary finesse and relentlessness to create exquisite time-telling microcosms, and the second was typography, where they would pour all of their inboard artistry, all their inchoate voices, into the sacred geometry of font.
Watch aficionados are used to seeing reptilian scaled patterns on leather straps, but the new Urwerk UR-105 T-Rex — unveiled at SIHH 2016 in January and equipped with the iconoclastic brand’s unique satellite-hours timekeeping system — may be the first timepiece to bring such a motif to a watch case as well.
Panerai’s most technically awe-inspiring watch at this year’s SIHH watch salon is easily the Panerai Luminor “Lo Scienziato” Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT Titanio (Ref. PAM00578), a limited-edition piece combining an ultra-light titanium case, skeletonized movement, GMT complication, and unconventional tourbillon. Here’s what you need to know about the Lo Scienziato.
Smartphone makers have churned out watch after watch in hopes of happening upon something game-changing. If nothing else, they’re getting good at making pretty gear. Still, none of them have the clout that horological giant Tag Heuer does, which is why our collective ears perked up when we heard that the Swiss company was making an Android Wear watch. The result is the Tag Heuer Connected, a watch that looks like some of the company’s most iconic models … and works just like every other Android Wear device out there. At $1,500, it’s also the most expensive Android Wear watch around, but — spoiler alert — it’s hardly worth the price.
For a watchmaking force like Arnold & Son, things move fast. Really fast. In the past three years alone, we’ve witnessed around 20 new movements coming out of this progressive manufacture; each with a distinct architecture and set of functions. While this ensures that both the press as well as the collector community continue paying attention to the brand, it does mean that some of its watches get less attention than they deserve. The Arnold & Son TBTE, released during Baslworld 2015, is one such piece.