Scroll through the classic round watches. The shapes of things to come seem to have more sharp edges than gentle curves.
And the humble watch part that makes it all happen? The bezel, the piece that rounds the watch’s dial and holds the protective crystal in place.
According to Eric Giroud, a Swiss watch designer who has worked with over 60 brands, with the continued popularity of luxury sport watches, brands are increasingly demanding sporty designs by metal with face border. And the claims, he said, often cite Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and Girard-Perregaux Laureato, both with octagonal bezels.
“They are seen as icons and very successful models,” said Mr. Giroud.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Royal Oak, and the introduction of the anniversary designs begins in January with the 39 mm Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin in gold with dial finishes such as smoky gray and gold. gold (price per order).
Clémence Dubois, product and marketing manager at Girard-Perregaux, maker of the Laureato (first appeared in 1975 and reintroduced in 2016). “So playing with different elements is crucial in ensuring the watch is recognizable and can speak for itself.”
The Laureato features a round dial in an octagonal bezel, all set on a round case, with alternating brushed and polished finishes for added contrast. This intersection of shape and texture really makes the bezel stand out, especially when compared to conventional round watches, says Ms. Dubois.
But because the dial is round, wearers tend to forget about the octagonal bezel, so, she said, the designer had to come up with tricks, such as alternating finishes, to make it stand out. enable octagon effect.
Girard-Perregaux has continued to introduce new Laureatos each year, most recently the chunky 44 mm Laureato Absolute Gold Fever in titanium ($17,900), introduced in November.
Also heading for the 1970s is Zenith, which in January re-sold its first Defy model in the Defy Revival A3642 ($7,000). The watch’s octagonal case features a 14-slot bezel, with the contrast between the faces further offset by unusual square hour markers and hands, all set on a brown-shifted dial. It follows the Defy Extreme Desert ($22,000) in titanium, introduced last fall, featuring a 12-sided bezel handcrafted from falcon’s eye, an unusual gray-blue semi-precious stone that also makes an appearance. on the watch pusher guard.
But not all designs are revival stories: Seiko recently revamped its round, solar-powered Astron GPS Solar in the form of an angled polygon, complete with a bezel fit, while the new G-Shock GM2100 has a slim octagonal case and frame. In January, Hublot revealed additions to the Sang Bleu . Collectionwith ceramic and gold cases and bezels sliced, carved and beveled into alternating hexagons, rhombuses, and triangles.
And independent watch maker Romain Gauthier – who has built a reputation for their meticulously beveled or beveled designs – recently introduced the titanium Continuum (for $42,550, significantly cheaper than our other watches). he). The watch’s bezel is machined to a circular chamfer and then smoothed with six indentations, each of which is hand-polished to contrast the bezel’s satin finish. The same process is then repeated on the back of the watch, an effort he describes as “purely a question of design.”
Mr. Gauthier said it takes time to perfect each aspect. “The face design depends on the shape and design of the chamfer,” he says. “Aspects are unmatched – and my thinking is to play with different levels of finishing.”
The bezel is hand-polished, says Mr. Gauthier – a welcome contrast to the mechanical polishing that often looks too hard and perfect. “You see some curves and it’s not quite as sharp. In the end, I think people love that.”
While bevels are aesthetically pleasing, some brands are focusing on their function, especially to improve grip on divers’ watches. In November, Tudor, a longtime supplier to the French Navy, unveiled the Pelagos FXD technical dive watch ($4,450), developed in collaboration with combat swimmers from the French Navy and 120-track bidirectional ledge designed for optimal underwater navigation.
TAG Heuer’s most significant introduction last year was an ergonomic nip-and-tuck on its Aquaracer diver, which helped create more tactile feel on the 12-knotted bezel, a treatment that the brand This was first introduced in 1995. And the Aquaracer Professional 200 collection (from $1,950), released in January, slims the case down to 40 and 30 mm from 43 mm, the size used in the year. last. The collection is currently being marketed as all-terrain watches for extreme sports.
Flexibility and precision are the starting point for military watch brand Vertex, in December presented its first diver ($3,250), with a bezel inspired by the rear sight regulator on a World War II-era Bren machine gun. “They are designed to be easy to hold and easy to rotate, which is exactly what you want for a bezel – especially one that is portable,” says Don Cochrane, founder of the brand. clamshell edge and grip of the M60 AquaLion.
Despite the sturdy, sturdy look, the knurled hems can also be very feminine.
Bulgari recently presented the first women’s model in its Octo collection, the skeletonized Octo Roma Tourbillon Lumière (single price), offered in a compact 38 mm case. and set with 239 diamonds totaling 12.5 carats.
And eight asymmetrical faces anchor Dior’s collection of Gem Dior watches, shaped by rough gems. A new model ($77,000) with a dial made of hard aragonite surrounded by a diamond bezel has a slice of carnelian, a dark red semi-precious stone, that accentuates the watch’s multifaceted beauty.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/17/fashion/watches-facets-bezels-girard-perregaux-laureato.html Watches are becoming much more sensitive