The watchmaking world has no shortages of surprises, and we bring three of the latest to you. Audemars Piguet finds new inspiration to build a version of its revered Royal Oak, this time dedicated to music. While, Richard Mille goes all against flab in its quest to produce the thinnest wrist watch ever produced. And, Max Busser at MB&F launches a new, affordable collection of his time pieces that has us very interested.
AUDEMARS PIGUET ROYAL OAK OFFSHORE
The Royal Oak Offshore is easily one of the most recognisable watches in the world. That iconic Gerald Genta design, those perfect proportions and a history like no other means that it’s one of the watches that’s perpetually on a waitlist. In these Music Editions variants, the Offshore features many unique details that set it apart from a regular Offshore. What is familiar is the tapisserie dial but which is in this case, decorated with various colours, to represent an equaliser, an instrument used widely in the music world. There are five variations of the new Offshore available – both in dial sizes of 37mm and 43mm and the materials range from titanium, white gold and ceramic. Powering the watches are two new calibres. The 37mm variants feature the Calibre 5909, which is the first time that this calibre has been integrated with a self-winding hours, minutes and seconds in such a case size. The 43mm variants are driven by the Caliber 4309.
RICHARD MILLE UP-01 FERRARI
Now, Ferrari is not necessarily a name you would associate with ultra-thin watches, but it is the age of partnerships, and here we are. The Richard Mille UP-01 Ferrari is now officially the thinnest watch in the world, beating out the Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Ultra a by a miniscule 0.05mm. So, with a thickness of just 1.75mm, the UP-01 takes on the mantle of the thinnest watch in the world. Unlike Bulgari (and other past record-holders like Piaget), Richard Mille has assembled the entire movement, itself just 1.18mm thick, right inside the case – instead of the caseback doubling as a baseplate which is what most other manufacturers do. The ultra-flat Calibre RMUP-01 features hours, minutes, seconds, and a function selector all spread across the broad, impossibly thin, case design. The movement plate used for this watch is skeletonized and underwent a litany of strength tests which allow it to withstand accelerations of over 5,000 Gs. The RM UP-01 is limited to 150 pieces and will set potential buyers back a cool 15 crore (before taxes, of course!).
While many might not know about the M.A.D. brand, but most would be aware of Max Büsser, the genius behind the MB&F brand. M.A.D. is his way of making some of his timepieces much more affordable and reach out to a much larger audience, than the ultra-rich that are mostly MB&F clients. The second watch in the series, the M.A.D.1 is also retailed uniquely – it’s produced in limited numbers – and you can apply for it by the way of a raffle. Like all of Max’s other creations, the M.A.D.1 is also visually fascinating. At the heart of the watch is a Miyota 821A movement, that has been flipped over – so the winding rotor actually forms the top of the dial in its triple-blade design. The movement has also been modified to make sure it turns the two cylinders – mounted on the side of the case – to reflect the hours and the minutes. Sure, it’s not an MB&F, but you can see that the design and the inspiration comes from Max’s much more expensive creations, and with a price point of under 3 lakh, this is a piece that totally unique and absolutely collectable.