Although we celebrate all brands, big and small, at WatchTime New York, we have a special place for many of the independents that choose to exhibit during our annual showcase. This year, we have a spectacular lineup of independent brands, many with their namesakes, founders, and primary watchmakers attending, that will be showing off their wares all weekend long. Don’t have your ticket yet? Friday night is sold out but Saturday tickets are still available, click here to get yours before its too late.
We’ve covered Akrivia, and its 31-year old founder and lead watchmaker Rexhep Rexhepi, quite a bit over the past few weeks for a good reason (click here for our recent profile). Not only is the GPHG-nominated Chronomètre Contemporain one of the most-discussed timepieces of the year, but WatchTime New York 2018 will also serve as the brand’s official introduction to the American market. This weekend will be most American collectors first opportunity to see the watches and meet Rexhepi and his team in person. We’ve been able to confirm that Akrivia is bringing along the Chronomètre Contemporain, the AK-06, and the AK-01 Chronographe Monopoussoir with him.
Fresh off the release of the GPHG-nominated Récital 22 Grand Récital, Bovet, and its owner, the inimitable Pascal Raffy, will be present at the show with a wide range of the brand’s current offerings. Perhaps best known for its production of haute horlogerie watches that are unmistakably inspired by the brand’s pocketwatch history, the company also makes its own hairsprings and dials in addition to having the movement design and production in-house. It’s a true manufacture in the most literal, and grandiose, sense of the word and WatchTime New York 2018 will offer collectors the rare opportunity to sample the models with Raffy in their presence.
It’s hard to believe that Bremont has been around the less than two decades. It’s year-to-year growth and development is an outstanding testament to its founder’s, Nick and Giles English, entrepreneurial ability and horological sense. If you saw the recent movie Venom, you may have noticed one the brand’s watches, the U-2/51 Jet, on Tom Hardy’s wrist. While we’re sure the blacked-out and tinted model will attract a lot of attention, we’re also happy to announce that the brand’s latest watch, the Supersonic, that was literally released this afternoon, will also be at the show in its world debut. Attendees will also have a chance to meet with Giles English and hear him speak in our The Future of Watch Collecting panel at 12:30 on Saturday.
Lucerne-based Chronoswiss has long been recognized for its key role in re-introducing the classic regulator-style timepiece — the descendant of 19th-century clocks with hours, minutes, and seconds on separate subdials, and the minute hand emphasized, used for reference to adjust individual watches — to modern audiences. Since 2014, it has also offered skeletonized versions of its well-known regulator dial, the latest being this edition for 2018, limited to just 30 pieces and housed in a 44-mm stainless steel case, with satin-brushed and polished finishes, composed of 21 parts. The knurled finish on the sides and vintage-look onion crown, longtime Chronoswiss hallmarks, add to the case’s distinctive look. The silvered, openworked dial, described accurately by Chronoswiss as “barely existent” offers an eye-catching look at the watch’s mechanical heart. You’ll be able to check out the Flying Grand Regulator Skeleton Limited Edition at the show as well as a number of other models rarely seen in the United States.
Czapek & Cie.
Longtime readers of WatchTime should be familiar with the story of François (born Franciszek) Czapek at this point. He was the original partner of Antoine Norbert de Patek (of Patek Philippe) before leaving the nascent brand to form his own watchmaking atelier, Czapek & Cie, in 1845. A Polish immigrant in Geneva, he is credited with opening what is considered the first watch boutique on the Place Vendôme in Paris and served as the official watchmaker to Napoleon III during his lifetime. After his death, the brand slowly faded into obscurity until it was finally revived in 2015. In the three years that have passed since the brand’s resurrection, Czapek & Cie. has claimed the Public Prize at the Grand Prix de l’Horlogerie for the Quai des Bergues timepiece in 2016 and released a second collection featuring a suspended tourbillon with GMT. This year, Czapek announced its third collection at Baselworld featuring its first contemporary chronograph: the Faubourg de Cracovie.
It’s been one year since the former CEO of De Bethune, Pierre Jacques, returned to the brand with new financing in place. Since then, the brand has been on a roll with the release of the DB25 Starry Varius and the Steel Wheels. The GPHG-nominated DB25 Starry Varius taps directly into the ethos of what has made De Bethune an independent success story since its initial launch in 2002 but updates it with a new take on how to approach customization in the watch industry. With the Starry Varius, the astronomical motifs that De Bethune has become known for over the past decade-plus are suddenly customizable with the option of choosing how the night sky looks from any date and geographic location ever. Say you want to memorialize the night you proposed to your significant other in Paris? No problem. Or the way the stars looked that summer night you waited in line to see The Empire Strikes Back in 1980? All you have to do is tell the De Bethune team when and where and the rest is up to them. Don’t miss it this weekend.
Eberhard & Co.
Eberhard & Co., which is making its first appearance at the WatchTime New York event, has long been popular in Italy, and the brand’s fondness for Italian design and culture has brought about one of the most enduring relationships between a watch company and an auto racing icon. Tazio Nuvolari (1892-1953), known as Montovano Volante, or the Flying Mantuan, was a motorcycle racer turned racecar driver who won 24 Grand Prix races and raced for Alfa Corse, Scuderia Ferrari, and Maserati. Once dubbed “the greatest driver of the past, present, and future” by none other than Ferdinand Porsche, he remains revered by fans of racing history, especially in his native Italy. Eberhard launched its first Tazio Nuvolari Chronograph in 1992, the centenary of the racing legend’s birth, and has since grown it into an entire collection. The latest addition to the family of racing-inspired timepieces, the Nuvolari Legend, premiered at Baselworld 2018. The watch is a black-dialed chronograph with big, luminescent Arabic numerals and baton hands, and a vintage-look spiral tachymeter scale (measured in km/hr) in the center, overlapping the minutes counter at 12 o’clock and hour counter at 6 o’clock. It is available in two stainless steel case sizes, the “standard” 39.5 mm version and the “Grand Taille” 43-mm variation that has become a hallmark of Eberhard watches; both are water-resistant to 30 meters.
Fiona Krüger is a Scottish designer with a fine-arts background who moved to Switzerland to complete her Masters in product design, fell in love with horology, and launched her brand in 2013. Her most recent collection, aptly dubbed “Chaos” is a visual representation of the phenomenon of entropy. As described in physics, entropy “dictates that as time passes things always move from a state of order toward a state of disorder or chaos,” in Krüger’s words. Thus her conception of the movement as being rendered in mid-explosion — with a stretched-out gear train, an “erupting” balance wheel, shattered-look hour and minute wheels pushed off-center, and Pop Art-style cracks and bursts in the mainplate that allow the wearer to peer at all these elements. This bespoke movement uses a special production process, involving laser technology and galvanic coloring, to achieve the graphic look of the bridges and mainplate. Its manually wound mainspring barrel carries a power reserve of 50 hours.
Greubel Forsey is widely considered to be one of the most horologically important (and one of the most exclusive) manufactures in contemporary watchmaking. Since it was founded in 2004 by Stephen Forsey and Robert Greubel, the brand has released 22 in-house- built calibers and dominated conversations about where the future of watchmaking is headed. This year, Stephen Forsey will be in attendance at the show and will be displaying the U.S. exclusive Double Balancier Sapphire for one of its first appearances since it was announced this summer.
Kerbedanz made waves in 2017 with the announcement of the Kerbedanz Maximus that contained what the brand claimed was the world’s largest tourbillon housed in a wristwatch. This year, the timepiece returned for a victory lap, taunting standard sized tourbillons with its 27-mm diameter titanium tourbillon cage. Building a tourbillon of this size requires totally reimagining the movement construction. This was in part possible thanks to the use of titanium in the tourbillon cage, which allows the tourbillon to complete its rotation despite its size thanks to the overall lighter weight.
Lang & Heyne
Lang & Heyne has been one of the most beloved and under-the-radar brands operating in Germany since it was founded in 2001 by Marco Lang (who will be in attendance!) and Mirko Heyne in Dresden. This year, the brand will be showing off its latest square-shaped watch, the Georg. This watch is named after a historical ruler of Saxony, which is now known to watch aficionados as the hotbed of German haute horlogerie. This model’s namesake is George, Duke of Saxony, known as “George the Bearded” (1471-1539). Its sharply angled curved rectangular case, offered in either rose gold or platinum, measures 40 mm by 32 mm in diameter and a svelte 9.4 mm thick, with sapphire crystals over the top and bottom, and is held to the alligator leather strap by distinctive, curved triple lugs.
One of the world’s most celebrated independent watch brands, MB&F, will be bringing the brand’s ninth and most recent Horological Machine, the ‘Flow,’ that is inspired by mid-century automotive design. At first glance, the HM9 more closely resembles a jet engine, with its blend of alternating polished and satin finishes and space-age look, than any sort of timepiece. But it is a wristwatch and a fantastically ingenious one at that. Dualing balance wheels that operate independently of each other are found on each flank of the watch underneath domes of sapphire crystal. The central body of the watch houses this unique movement with a differential that averages the output of both balance wheels. Both versions of the HM9 will be available to see at WTNY for one of their first public appearances.
Raymond Weil will be showing off an exclusive version of its first in-house Calibre RW1212 at WatchTime New York 2018. The brand introduced the movement inside a classical two-handed watch in its flagship Freelancer collection in 2017, and unveiled three timepieces containing the next evolution of that movement, with its skeletonized plates and bridges and wide openworked dial, one year later, at Baselworld 2o18. The latest iteration stands out with both its new titanium-PVD case finish (previous options were traditional stainless steel, steel with black PVD, and two-tone steel and rose-gold-plated PVD) and the eye-catching anthracite NAC treatment that has been applied to the openworked baseplate.
Working out of the historic horological heartland of Lancaster County, PA, Roland G. Murphy is best known as the sole face of American watchmaking in the 21st century. Originally from Baltimore, Murphy is a WOSTEP-trained watchmaker who shocked the industry after deciding he wanted to make a mechanical watch movement completely produced in America. In 2008, he accomplished this with the unveiling of the RGM Caliber 801, which he describes as being the first high-grade mechanical watch movement produced in the United States in four decades. Since that success a decade ago, RGM has released a number of new watches each year including the square William Penn Limited Edition that will be on view at WatchTime New York 2018. You can check out our profile of Murphy from 2015, here.
Romain Gauthier is the head of his eponymous 13-year old firm. Trained and certified as a constructor of precision machinery, Gauthier initially did not intend to make a career in the watch world, yet it drew him in anyways and he’s now one of the most well-regarded makers in this close-knit industry. Two years after founding his brand, he unveiled the first watches, called Prestige HM. Today, the brand offers four in-house-made calibers: Prestige HM, Prestige HMS (launched in 2010), Logical One (unveiled in 2013, the same year it won the GPHG award for Best Men’s Complication), and the Insight Micro-Rotor that made its debut at Baselworld 2017, and was updated this year in two new iterations in black and natural titanium, which you can see during the show. Check out our profile of Romain Gauthier here.
Just over a dozen years ago, Kari Voutilainen was a horological ghostwriter, working anonymously for various high-end watch brands. Except for the few, one-of-a-kind pieces he made under his own label, his work bore the names of others. Today, Voutilainen is one of the most well-known names on the independent watchmaker scene, specializing in small-series and one-off watches. He is admired by collectors for his versatility (he has made tourbillons, repeaters, chronographs, GMT watches, watches with detent escapements, and more), for the quality of his finishing, and for his ability and willingness to custom-make watches for individual collectors. This year, he’ll be showing off the 2018-released 217QRS. You can learn more about him in our profile here.