For centuries, watchmakers have employed innovative techniques to keep time. Time-telling has evolved from using sundials and water clocks to pendulum clocks and clocks run with marine chronometer technology.
Today’s digital clocks employ crystals and GPS satellite information to display the time. Although much of the modern world takes time telling for granted, there is still a dedicated group of horological artists who create fantastic luxury watches combining today’s technology with the past’s reverence for time to bring the design and functionality of watches into the future.
Fusion of Mechanical and Smartwatches
One of the priciest luxury watches is the Hublot Big Bang; this wristwatch has a high-definition touchscreen to engage with the electrical portion of the parts, whereas, if you would like a purely mechanical version, you can use the Time Only mode.
You can choose between titanium or ceramic case, and the scratch-proof crystal is housed next to the Roman numerals that display the hours. Not only does this timepiece have the heft of one of the strongest and most storied watchmakers behind it, but the futuristic technology keeps the watch charged and running on time to the millisecond and is as precise as something you’d find in a sci-fi plot.
Hublot abandoned its classic rubber strap for a metal-and-rubber hybrid in the Big Bang’s design. This watch sports rugged, asymmetrical details in its rubber-covered bezel but opted for a sleeker design on its face, trading in numerals for simple markers. It has an open-work dial, so you can
Innovative Design from the Past
The MB&F Thunderbolt is both a watch from the future and a design from the past. Its creator, Maximilian Busser, based his design on his love of aviation. The watch’s name comes from Busser’s childhood obsession with model airplanes.
The Thunderbolt’s magnificent design features cylinders that resemble the double-engines of mid-century planes. One cylinder shows the time and the other the power reserve, making for a unique time-telling experience. How fitting for a futuristic watch to draw inspiration from one of the most significant technological advancements of the 20th century!
Measure Time by the Sun’s Movement
The astonishing thing about the Breguet Marine is its multi-layered history and the distinctive timekeeping devices. The Breguet 5887 includes traditional hands communicating the hour, minute, and second and a central indicator that measures time by the sun’s position. The actual sun-time versus civic or average time can sometimes have a difference of -16 or +14 minutes.
The cam that makes this unique time-telling possible is shaped like a figure eight and can be observed through the window on the face along with the tourbillon. Many high-end versions of the Marine run off of a sapphire disk to not block the view of the watch’s inner workings. With a sporty casing and luxurious details on the face, there’s no understating this marvelous work of art and engineering.
Self-Winding and Bi-Directional
With a black ceramic casing instead of stainless steel and an in-house designed carbon case, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is the perfect marriage of traditional beauty and futuristic technology. The inner flange sports a tachymeter scale so that you can measure distance. Countless details like the cobalt bezel make this a perfect timepiece at play or for business.
One of the things that watch fans love about the Royal Oak, especially the Jumbo, is the gorgeous view of its inner workings through the back. This wristwatch is self-winding and bi-directional, so, as long as you move even a little, your Royal Oak can run for up to 40 hours on reserve.
The Urwerk U-110 Torpedo is a watch that employs a futuristic, transparent design and rotating cogs and wheels. Watch as the parts of this watch move around its face as it tells the time, reminiscent of the movements of a torpedo moving toward its target. The hand spins to show the hour as it rotates across to display the minute. It is a modern design and a fascinatingly complex way to display time. The Torpedo is truly a wonder in futuristic watch technology.
Magic of a Tourbillon
When Abraham-Louis Breguet created the tourbillon (French for whirlwind), the horologist revolutionized the luxury watch industry. The tourbillon is a complex mechanism that enhances the accuracy of your wristwatch tenfold.
It is also magnificent to watch in action, which, with the Cartier Drive Flying Tourbillon, you can do easily through the viewer window. This is the main draw to a watch like the Cartier Drive Flying Tourbillon; it shows you the magic inside the casing that makes a luxury watch a marvel of engineering and artistry.
But it also has appealing design details, making it not just a showcase for a complex movement but a work of art. The guillochage, a wavy design on parts of the dial, offsets the complex draw of the tourbillon beautifully, constantly reminding you that a machine or mechanism can be just as beautiful as a painting.
Big Tech in a Tiny Package
The Pininfarina Bovet Ottana Tourbillon Watch is designed by a company responsible for some of the world’s most beautiful luxury cars, including Ferrari, Maserati, Rolls Royce, and Mercedes.
The company has put the same attention to detail into the Bovet Ottana design and condensed a highly elaborate movement with over 500 constituent parts into a bold gravity-defying two-faced housing that can be worn either on the wrist or on a chain like a pocket watch.
A Classic Film-Inspired Timepiece for a Space-Age Future
Designed by an aerospace company in California, the Devon Works Tread 1 Watch evokes the sensation of film rolling in a camera at 32 frames per second. Four internal 2-micron wide belts whir through the internal mechanism with nano-second precision monitored by an optical recognition system. Unlike most classic timepieces, which use kinetic energy or quartz to power the movement, the Tread 1 operates with a ground-breaking rechargeable lithium polymer cell charged using wireless induction.
Winding It Up
When you invest in a luxury timepiece like a Hublot Big Bang, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, or Breguet Marine, you’re investing in your future. These novel timepieces marry the two essential elements of design, utility, and beauty, fusing the traditional and timeless with some of the most cutting-edge technology of the future.
Whether it’s a tourbillon, seamless electrical connections, or bi-direction self-winding movement, the thoughtful detailing and luxe richness of these timeless pieces elevate them to heirloom status