Five Extremely Rare Timepieces You’ll Find at WatchTime New York 2018

WatchTime New York, America’s luxury watch show, kicks off this Friday at Gotham Hall in Manhattan, and for many watch aficionados it may be their first and perhaps only chance to check out these extraordinarily rare timepieces from five of the 31 exhibiting watch brands — all made in an edition of 20 or less.

Ateliers de Monaco Jet d’Eau de Genève (18 pieces each in rose gold and white gold)

DeMonaco Jet picture 4
Ateliers de Monaco DeMonaco Jet d’Eau de Genève

The Monaco-based haute horlogerie brand marks its 10th anniversary with this timepiece, whose multi-layered, miniature-painted enamel dial depicts Geneva’s Jet d’Eau, the famous water jet that has become one of the Swiss city’s most iconic symbols. In creating the dial, the brand used three different enamel layering techniques including cloisonné, which connects the white gold base plate to the first layer via creating small compartments in the gold and then filling them with the enamel; the champlevé technique, in which small holes are bored in the first layer of enamel to add additional layers and colors; and finally, grand feu to finish the dial and give it different color gradients. Each dial required at least fifty hours of expert labor to produce, and due to the complexity of production, each is unique in its various blue, green, and white enameling. For more on these pieces, offered in both rose-gold and white-gold cases, click here.

Grand Seiko U.S. Exclusive Limited Edition (20 pieces in platinum)

Grand Seiko U.S. Exclusive Platinum SBGA385
Grand Seiko U.S. Exclusive Platinum (Ref. SBGA385)

Grand Seiko has introduced its first limited-edition timepiece exclusively for the U.S. market. The lustrous, shimmering dials of the Grand Seiko U.S. Exclusive Limited Editions are enlivened by a traditional Japanese painting technique called Kira-zuri (which translates to “sparkling painting”), used to create the textured backgrounds behind actors in Kabuki theater performances. The dial of the platinum model, the most limited of the three case options, has undergone a special plating process for increased clarity and depth. Inside the watches’ 40-mm-diameter cases beats the Grand Seiko Spring Drive movement, which achieves its high level of timekeeping accuracy (+/- 0.5 seconds per day, +/- 10 seconds per month) through its use of a balance wheel, electromagnetic energy, and a quartz oscillator instead of a traditional escapement. More details can be found here.

Greubel Forsey Double Balancier Sapphire

This U.S.-exclusive haut-de-gamme timepiece is 14-year-old Greubel Forsey’s sixth “Fundamental Invention.” Its sapphire case required more than 900 hours of machining from a single block of sapphire, and has been doubly reinforced, with eight distinctive screws around the bezel, which help bring the water resistance of the complex watch up to 30 meters, and also with a lacquer-filled gold ”sight ring,” visible around the case clear sides, engraved with the values brand’s stated values. With a multi-layered, partially-skeletonized dial, the top white gold layer of the face is accented with blue, white, and black polishing, a printed 12 o’clock hour marker, and a 72-hour power reserve indicator towards the 2 o’clock position. On the other half of the dial are the watch’s skeletonized aspects via its 284-part, 50-jewel, hand-wound Double Balancier movement that includes a “differential rotation” indicator slightly off center towards the bottom of the dial, and a running seconds counter close to the 4 o’clock index.

Jaquet Droz Lady 8 Flower Mother-of-Pearl (8 pieces)

Jaquet Droz Lady 8 Flower MOP
Jaquet Droz Lady 8 Flower Mother-of-Pearl

Jaquet Droz, named for the genius Swiss horologist who pioneered the use of automatons in watch- and clockmaking, introduced its Lady 8 Flower in 2015 as its first automa-equipped timepiece collection for women. The latest example, released this year and premiering to the public at WatchTime New York, makes a breathtaking statement with its dome-shaped grand feu enamel lower dial, adorned with bas-relief mother-of-pearl lotus flowers, and its upper section with another lotus flower with gold petals. When the pusher at 2 o’clock is pressed, the flower opens to reveal a precious stone (either diamond or sapphire), which swivels in opposite directions with the opening and closing of the petals — all told, eight full seconds of 3D animation. The watch is set with an astounding 249 diamonds, distributed throughout the bezel, case middle, and buckle.

RGM William Penn (10 pieces, 6 already sold)

RGM William Penn Model - RG
RGM William Penn Model in rose gold

The original William Penn Models, named for the founder of RGM founder Roland Murphy’s home state of Pennsylvania, debuted in 1999 and 2000. The most complicated of those models, with a moon-phase and power reserve display, is resurrected for this modern timepiece, with a Swiss-made rectangular case, in either rose gold or stainless steel and measuring 40 mm x 28 mm, sourced from the original run. The dial, on the other hand, is brand-new and American-made. Machined from solid argentium silver — a material more pure than traditional sterling silver — it is lavishly finished with a hand-cut, engine-turned guilloché motif in its center, executed by one of the very few antique rose-engines that remain in existence in the U.S.A. You can find out more about the watch here.

What is also becoming exceedingly rare? Tickets for the East Coast’s biggest watch collector event! Friday evening is sold out but you can reserve your spot for the all-day Saturday session of WatchTime New York by clicking here.

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