Mad Over Minerals
April 26, 2019
When Brown is Beautiful
April 28, 2019

Inspired by Space

WHEN WATCHMAKERS WANT TIMEPIECES THAT ARE OUT OF THIS WORLD, THEY LITERALLY LOOK TO THE STARS

WHEN WATCHMAKERS WANT TIMEPIECES THAT ARE OUT OF THIS WORLD, THEY LITERALLY LOOK TO THE STARS

On 12th April, the world came together to celebrate International Day of Human Space Flight, which commemorates the beginning of the space era for humankind. The day was selected in lieu of Soviet astronaut, Yuri Gargarin who carried out the first human space flight on that historic day 58 years ago.

Since that moment, the nations of the world have recognised the positive effect space science and technology has had on humanity. The scientific feat also served to inspire people on the endless possibilities that will open up by exploring the cosmos. For watchmakers, space has also served as inspiration for a number of timepieces over the years. Here are some that have taken a welcome cue from space and beyond.

TO THE MOON & BACK

The Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Earth and Moon Tourbillon

First introduced in 2014, this stunning example is a marvel of watchmaking ingenuity as it offered not just a second time zone but also an on-demand moon phase. The creative take on the moon phase complication remains just one aspect behind the appeal of this unique timepiece. Cartier delivered a follow-up, albeit a highly-limited one, just a couple of years ago, this time with a version of the watch sporting a dial partially decorated with meteorite. It enhanced the appeal of the Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Earth and Moon Tourbillon no doubt, which is a statement in itself considering the timepiece featured a 47mm 18k rose gold case with a matching beaded 18K rose gold crown.

ASTRONOMICALLY MAGNIFICENT

The Geo. Graham Orrery Tourbillon

Mention Graham and the image of the Chronofighter definitely comes to mind. But the brand has also made a number of uniquely complicated watches over the years, one of which is the Geo. Graham Orrery Tourbillon. The key feature of this high complication watch is the Manual Tourbillon Orrery, which displays the planetary movement of the solar system for 100 consecutive years with an additional of two additional graduations of 100 years. The earth, which is represented by a polished Kingsman Turquoise sphere with the moon and mars made from meteorite, can be viewed on the highly-detailed blue dial. Housed within the 48mm and 17.60mm thick gold case is a Calibre G1800, high precision mechanical movement with a 72-hour power reserve.

SPACE TRAVELLER

The Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887 SpaceX Chronograph

Now this is a watch that truly celebrates space travel. The Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887 SpaceX Chronograph is a limited-edition piece released in 2012 that not only tied-in to SpaceX –the private aerospace company owned by Elon Musk – but also celebrated the 50th anniversary of Tag Heuer becoming “The First Swiss Watch in Space.” That motif is printed unto the clean white dial with the space capsule and rocket at 3 o’ clock and 9 o’ clock respectively. The watch’s design is traditional, boasting aesthetic as well as functional features. Housed within the 43mm steel case is the Calibre 1887 movement, which can be viewed on the transparent case back featuring the SpaceX logo and rocket.

SHOOTING STAR

The Piaget Altiplano Automatic 40mm With Meteorite Dial

The Altiplano range from Piaget needs little introduction as they’re widely known for being one of the thinnest watches around. But for 2019, the brand delivered a new edition of the model, this time sporting a dial that truly came from outer space. As its name suggests, the new Altiplano features a dial made out of meteorite, a material that is notoriously hard to work with, even more so when its utilised in a case that’s just 6.5mm thick. The end result though is stunning as each timepiece features a distinctive etched design, which is further enhanced with pink gold markers. Housed within the 40mm pink gold case is a super slim Piaget made micro-rotor calibre 1230P featuring a 44-hour power reserve.

GOLD STANDARD FOR SPACE WATCHES

The Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary

Few watches can measure up to the success of the Omega Speedmaster, after all it made history by becoming the first watch to be worn on the moon. So it is really no surprise to see the brand reveal this limited edition gold stunner this year to commemorate the Apollo moon landing in 1969. The watch is a recreation of the timepiece presented to the astronauts by President Richard Nixon, and it features the inscription, “To mark man’s conquest of space with time, through time, on time”, on the case back. Like the original, the commemorative features an 18k ‘Moonshine’ gold case and bracelet with a contrasting burgundy bezel – now made of ceramic instead of aluminium. The Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary is powered by a manual-winding Master Chronometer calibre 3861.

On 12th April, the world came together to celebrate International Day of Human Space Flight, which commemorates the beginning of the space era for humankind. The day was selected in lieu of Soviet astronaut, Yuri Gargarin who carried out the first human space flight on that historic day 58 years ago.

Since that moment, the nations of the world have recognised the positive effect space science and technology has had on humanity. The scientific feat also served to inspire people on the endless possibilities that will open up by exploring the cosmos. For watchmakers, space has also served as inspiration for a number of timepieces over the years. Here are some that have taken a welcome cue from space and beyond.

TO THE MOON & BACK

The Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Earth and Moon Tourbillon

First introduced in 2014, this stunning example is a marvel of watchmaking ingenuity as it offered not just a second time zone but also an on-demand moon phase. The creative take on the moon phase complication remains just one aspect behind the appeal of this unique timepiece. Cartier delivered a follow-up, albeit a highly-limited one, just a couple of years ago, this time with a version of the watch sporting a dial partially decorated with meteorite. It enhanced the appeal of the Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Earth and Moon Tourbillon no doubt, which is a statement in itself considering the timepiece featured a 47mm 18k rose gold case with a matching beaded 18K rose gold crown.

ASTRONOMICALLY MAGNIFICENT

The Geo. Graham Orrery Tourbillon

Mention Graham and the image of the Chronofighter definitely comes to mind. But the brand has also made a number of uniquely complicated watches over the years, one of which is the Geo. Graham Orrery Tourbillon. The key feature of this high complication watch is the Manual Tourbillon Orrery, which displays the planetary movement of the solar system for 100 consecutive years with an additional of two additional graduations of 100 years. The earth, which is represented by a polished Kingsman Turquoise sphere with the moon and mars made from meteorite, can be viewed on the highly-detailed blue dial. Housed within the 48mm and 17.60mm thick gold case is a Calibre G1800, high precision mechanical movement with a 72-hour power reserve.

SPACE TRAVELLER

The Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887 SpaceX Chronograph

Now this is a watch that truly celebrates space travel. The Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887 SpaceX Chronograph is a limited-edition piece released in 2012 that not only tied-in to SpaceX –the private aerospace company owned by Elon Musk – but also celebrated the 50th anniversary of Tag Heuer becoming “The First Swiss Watch in Space.” That motif is printed unto the clean white dial with the space capsule and rocket at 3 o’ clock and 9 o’ clock respectively. The watch’s design is traditional, boasting aesthetic as well as functional features. Housed within the 43mm steel case is the Calibre 1887 movement, which can be viewed on the transparent case back featuring the SpaceX logo and rocket.

SHOOTING STAR

The Piaget Altiplano Automatic 40mm With Meteorite Dial

The Altiplano range from Piaget needs little introduction as they’re widely known for being one of the thinnest watches around. But for 2019, the brand delivered a new edition of the model, this time sporting a dial that truly came from outer space. As its name suggests, the new Altiplano features a dial made out of meteorite, a material that is notoriously hard to work with, even more so when its utilised in a case that’s just 6.5mm thick. The end result though is stunning as each timepiece features a distinctive etched design, which is further enhanced with pink gold markers. Housed within the 40mm pink gold case is a super slim Piaget made micro-rotor calibre 1230P featuring a 44-hour power reserve.

GOLD STANDARD FOR SPACE WATCHES

The Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary

Few watches can measure up to the success of the Omega Speedmaster, after all it made history by becoming the first watch to be worn on the moon. So it is really no surprise to see the brand reveal this limited edition gold stunner this year to commemorate the Apollo moon landing in 1969. The watch is a recreation of the timepiece presented to the astronauts by President Richard Nixon, and it features the inscription, “To mark man’s conquest of space with time, through time, on time”, on the case back. Like the original, the commemorative features an 18k ‘Moonshine’ gold case and bracelet with a contrasting burgundy bezel – now made of ceramic instead of aluminium. The Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary is powered by a manual-winding Master Chronometer calibre 3861.