by roberta naas
photography by jeff crawford
styling by terry lewis | October 1, 2014 | Watches & Jewelry
Watchmakers look to history, human achievement, and the endless possibilities of space to spur their creativity and embolden designs perfect for Las Vegans.
Watchmaking is a testament to man’s engineering ingenuity, and watchmakers have continually looked to other builders and creators for ideas. Watch designers take a cue from the miracle machines that are among humanity’s greatest achievements.
1. This Omega Speedmaster Mark II ($6,250) is inspired by the Speedmaster Professional chronographs that accompanied the astronauts when they took their first steps on the moon in 1969. This newest watch offers an automatic movement and a tachometric scale on its sapphire crystal, which is illuminated from beneath by an aluminum ring filled with SuperLuminova. It houses the Co-Axial caliber 3330 self-winding movement with the si14 silicon balance spring and column-wheel chronograph. Horologio Jewelers, Venetian, 702-733-0016
2. As official timekeeper and sponsor of the Grand Prix de Monaco since 2002, Chopard is inspired by its deep association with classic auto racing. This Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Chrono ($7,640) is crafted in stainless steel with a 44.5mm titanium case. It features a silver dial with yellow racing accents and houses a mechanical self-winding movement. Chopard, Wynn Las Vegas, 702-770-3469
3. Hamilton first took to the air with the American airmail service in 1919 as its pilots flew their fledgling runs between New York and Washington. For nearly 100 years, the brand’s strong involvement with aviation has inspired both form and function in its watches. Hamilton’s Khaki Skeleton watch ($1,290) features a skeletonized H20 movement with propeller like accents that pay homage to this unique history and the brand’s love of aviation. Hour Passion at Aria, 702-795-0477
Sometimes a look back into the archives provides all the inspiration a designer needs. Many of today’s foremost brands have a storied past from which to draw concepts and ideas to inspire new timepieces, taking the best design elements from yesterday and blending them with the most up-to-date innovations of today.
1. This Hermès Dressage L’Heure Masquee ($43,750) recalls the brand’s origins, when it created equestrian-inspired accessories. The 18k rose-gold Dressage features an inventive complication that partially hides the time. In its natural state, the watch displays only the hour hand, with the minute hand hidden behind. With the push of a button on the side of the case, the minute hand moves to display the full time. The watch also features a dual time indicator. Just 500 pieces will be made. Bellagio, 702-866-2629
2. From Rolex, the Oyster Perpetual Explorer watch ($6,550) is inspired by the brand’s great adventures in the Himalayas and pays tribute to the first successful ascent of Mount Everest, by Sir Edmund Hillary, who famously reached its summit in 1953 with a Rolex Oyster on his wrist. The watch is crafted in steel with a perpetual mechanical self-winding movement and is a COSC-certified chronometer fitted with a steel Oysterlock bracelet. Wynn Las Vegas, 702-770-3560
3. Breguet founder Abraham-Louis Breguet is known as the father of invention when it comes to watchmaking. In the early 19th century, he designed and patented the first tourbillon escapement. Inspired by its roots, Breguet continues to innovate and regularly releases stunning tourbillon timepieces. This new Classique Complication Ref. 3357BR/12/986 ($102,700) is crafted in 18k gold and houses a hand-wound, hand-engraved movement with small seconds coaxial with the tourbillon escapement.Bellagio Las Vegas, 702-733-7435
4. The new Montblanc Homage to Nicolas Rieussec Limited Edition ($11,500) is a tribute to the French watchmaker who patented the chronograph in 1821 as a means to precisely measure the running times of individual horses in a race. This rich history inspired the brand to create an entire collection with distinct manufactured movements. The watch’s unmistakable appearance combines an off-center hour circle in the upper part of the dial and the chronograph’s elapsed-time displays in the lower portion of the dial. As on the 1821 original, elapsed time is shown on two rotating discs, above each of which a motionless hand indicates the passing seconds and minutes. The Forum Shops at Caesars, 702-732-0569
5. Inspired by the record-breaking ultra thin watches it developed in the 1950s, Piaget returned to the drawing board and took three years to build this revolutionary new Piaget Altiplano 38mm 900P ($27,800). Even the watch’s name was subtly inspired by the past (the original ultra thin caliber, released in 1957, was called the Caliber 9P). This new 38mm white-gold timepiece is the thinnest mechanical watch, with movement parts actually merged with the case in a revolutionary design that is a record-breaking 3.65mm slim. Wynn Las Vegas, 702-770-5470
The sun, the stars, the moon, and the Earth have exhilarated watchmakers, yielding a wealth of heavenly renditions. From moon-phase timepieces to watches that depict the zodiac to those designed with elements of a globe, this watch category is filled with imagination as vast as space itself.
1. From Jaeger-LeCoultre, this Duomètre à Quantième Lunaire ($42,700) houses an extraordinary Dual-Wing movement that offers two independent power supplies. The watch shows the date and the phase of the moon for the Northern and Southern hemispheres, synchronized through the jumping seconds hand mechanism, which displays one-sixth-of-a-second increments. Encore Las Vegas, 702-770-5472
2. This Bovet Amadeo Fleurier Orbis Mundi Moon Phase watch ($66,700) offers hours and minutes, with a second time zone that can be adjusted by two correctors that won’t affect the original zone, plus a moon-phase indicator that can be adjusted to a particular time zone. The mechanical watch is crafted in 18k gold; the moon-phase disk is aventurine and the moon and stars are painted in gold powder. The watch can be easily changed from a strap wristwatch to a pocket watch to a table clock. Wynn & Company Watches, 702-770-3520
3. From Arnold & Son, this HM Perpetual Moon watch ($29,950) is crafted in 18k 5N rose gold. The 42mm watch features a guilloche blue lacquered dial and a rose-gold perpetual moon indicator. The mechanical Caliber A&S1512 offers 90 hours of power reserve. Roman Times, The Forum Shops at Caesars, 702-733-8687
4. This Harry Winston Midnight Moonphase Automatic watch ($28,400) is crafted in 18k rose gold and offers moon-phase indication via a realistic gold moon display in a subdial at 6. Beneath that moon indicator is a retrograde date indicator on the outer rim. The watch is finished with a sapphire caseback for viewing of the meticulously finished movement. The Shops at Crystals, 702-262-0001
5. From A. Lange & Söhne, this Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase ($48,200) is crafted in 18k pink gold with a solid silver argenté dial. The moon-phase indicator is made of solid gold and features a patented coating process. The watch also offers a big date indication, an up/down power reserve indication, and a subsidiary seconds dial with stop seconds. Bellusso Jewelers, Palazzo, 702-650-2988