At Troisanneaux, we don’t like to rush things. So that’s why, after Geneva Watch Days, we want to take our time and contemplate and fully absorb the watches that we have seen. This allows for the initial excitement to wear off and better understand the individual pieces. As a result, the highlight of the fair often change. As our focus is on gentleman’s watches, we are not looking for the loudest or most popular pieces, but rather those that stand out by their intricate qualities.
Some of the watches we have been shown, we cannot talk about yet, as they are still under embargo, but of the ones that weren’t, the following five stood out.
Ferdinand Berthoud Chronometre FB 2RE
I had very high expectations of the new Ferdinand Berthoud. Fortunately, the Chronometre FB 2RE is only disappointed in one thing, and that’s its name. It is rather dull for such a tantalizing watch. It is quite large and chunky for a gentleman, with a diameter of 44mm and being 13.95mm thick. However, as it is so well proportioned and beautifully designed, it sits wonderfully on the wrist. The movement is even more breathtaking than that of the previous Ferdinand Berhouds, with an exceptional finish. This time there is no tourbillon, but rather a fusee and chain, combined with a remontoir. This brings the watch also closer in spirit to the watches that Ferdinand Berthoud made himself. Why, before seeing them in the metal, I preferred the white gold one, I was even more taken by the rich look of the black dialed version with pink gold case.
IWC Portugieser Automatic 40
At the Geneva boutique of IWC, the brand presented me with their new models, with among them the Portugieser Automatic 40. This watch is spot on when it comes to its dimensions. The 40.4mm large case has a presence on the wrist but is not overbearing. The design is very pure, with IWC kept by not adding to much text to the dial. The different versions that are available either give the watch a classic or, like this blue dialed Portugieser, a slightly sportive look. The caseback shows the automatic manufacture caliber 82200, which has a pleasant looking finish. Nice is also that IWC kept the watch relatively slender with a height of 12.3mm so that it can still be tucked under the cuff of a shirt.
F.P. Journe 2020 Quantième Perpetuel
F.P. Journe made the right call with the new design for the Quantième Perpetuel. It now looks much cleaner than the previous version and has finally become a true gentleman’s watch. Unlike many other perpetual calendars, this one is straightforward to read, with its large date and windows for the day and the month. The leap year indication is sometimes hidden underneath the hands, but that can hardly be considered a disadvantage as people don’t regularly check that. While the movement is automatic, with Journe’s signature plates and bridges made from pink gold, it also has a very generous power reserve of 160 hours, especially for a perpetual calendar, which you don’t want to reset too often, is this perfect.
Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 Infinity Edition
Personally, I still consider Girard-Perregaux one of the hidden gems of the watch world. They are kind of forced into this position, because while they were once a prominent force in watchmaking, they have become more of a niche brand, despite being part of the powerful Kering conglomerate. The Vintage 1945 Infinity Edition shows why they are still on top of their game and deserve our attention. Despite being part of the Girard-Perregaux collection for decades, is the Vintage 1945 design still going strong. It is different without being awkward, and as the case is curved, it sits on the wrist like no other watch. It is powered by an automatic manufacture movement with a large date and moon phase complication. Especially the large date is very well executed and, to me, still a benchmark for the industry. For this particular edition did Girard-Perregaux made the dial out of onyx. A very complicated process that results in a very understated look, which the brand rightfully gave a classic touch by using pink gold hour-markers, second hand, and logo.
Bovet Recital 29
Bovet is known for its charismatic and highly complex watches. With the Recital 29, they offer a pleasant combination of complications in their elegant slope case design. Instant eyecatcher is the green dial with a stunning guilloche motif. The green is a bit extrovert, but the rest of the watch balances this out quite nicely. While I would have preferred a little less writing on the dial, as it takes slightly away from the guilloche’s intricate pattern, it is hard to find any flaw in it. The moon phase indicator at six o’clock is hemispherical and filled with Super-LumiNova, which makes for a spectacular sight in low light conditions. With its five-day power reserve and beautiful finish does the movement also leaves very little to be desired.