The latest launches from Tag Heuer, Hublot and Franck Muller
The electric blue hue of the Paraiba tourmaline adorns Hublot's Big Bang timepiece. It's not the first time that this particular variety of tourmalines has been used in watchmaking (it featured on the Roger Dubuis Gübelin Velvet Paraiba in 2016), but it does mark the premiere of baguette-cut Paraiba tourmalines on a watch bezel. No surprise there, as the Paraiba tourmaline is quite rare, and can only be found in two areas in the world. First discovered in Paraiba, Brazil, it was later found in Mozambique. After much deliberation, the stones from Mozambique were allowed to use the nomenclature as they are made of the exact same composition. This is the only tourmaline that's coloured with copper, which gives it its neon-blue hue. Hublot has utilised baguette-cut stones on the bezel, and brilliant-cut Paraiba tourmalines on the integrated lugs. When paired with the electric blue strap, the effect is striking.
Franck Muller's signature Crazy Hours complication was first introduced in 2003, whereby the hour numerals are placed in random order on the dial. It was audacious, unique, and yes, a little crazy, but collectors loved it. In fact, Crazy Hours is still a bestseller at Franck Muller, and epitomises the playful nature of the brand identity.
For 2019, two new iterations have been launched: the Vanguard Crazy Hours Carbon is a dark horse, with the only pop of colour coming from the yellow numerals and crown guard. The self-winding timepiece measures a hefty 44mm by 53.7mm. The Vanguard Crazy Hours Lady, on the other hand, is femininity embodied: the stainless steel case is lavishly endowed with a pretty combination of diamonds and rose sapphires on the fully-paved dial and bezel.
Tag Heuer lives up to the full form of its name, Techniques d'Avant Garde, with the Carrera Calibre Heuer 02T Tourbillon Nanograph. The timepiece marks the launch of an entirely new hairspring that's made from a carbon-composite that's lightweight, anti-shock, anti-magnetic and unaffected by gravity. Moreover, it promises better precision thanks to the geometry of the composite. After years of research, it has finally been launched within the TAG Heuer Calibre Heuer 02T tourbillon manufacture movement. With the technical talk out of the way, the timepiece itself is a magnificent beast, with a honeycomb pattern on the dial as the canvas to the chronograph counters and tourbillon at 6 o'clock. Neon yellow accents add to the sporty appeal of the all-black timepiece. The 45mm, automatic timepiece offers 65 hours of power reserve.