The Power of Platinum: Five Limited-Edition Timepieces in Platinum Cases
Platinum is regarded as the most precious of all the precious metals used in watchmaking, which is why its use is relatively scarce in all but the most exclusive of timepieces. Here are five that made their debut within the last year.
ARMIN STROM ZEITGEIST
Armin Strom celebrates five years since its most substantial horological invention — its patented Resonance Clutch Spring that links two independent oscillators in a flexible, shared suspension that creates a smooth transmission of energy for timekeeping precision — with the recently released Zeitgeist, the fifth in its series of Resonance watches that began in 2016. The 43-mm case is made of platinum while the exposed openworked movement that serves as a dial is made from traditional watchmaking materials like steel, brass, and German silver. The watch’s front face reveals not only the Resonance Clutch Spring but also the dual balance wheels that cantilever off the edge of the manually winding movement and help it achieve its 80-hour power reserve; also noteworthy are the two small seconds display one linked to each balance wheel. Price: $170,000; unique piece
ARNOLD & SON LUNA MAGNA PLATINUM
Deriving its name and uniqueness from its eye-catching 3D moon-phase — the largest ever installed into a wristwatch — the Luna Magna Platinum features a 12-mm-diameter, spherical moon made of marble and aventurine that floats inside an aventurine dial depicting a star-filled sky. This lunar globe is positioned perfectly between the top and bottom of the movement, its upper part enclosed in a domed section of the sapphire crystal and its lower half resting in another sapphire glass in the back that rests in the small of the wrist. Above the moon-phase is an off-centered mother-of-pearl subdial with blued hands and Roman numerals. The polished 44-mm platinum case houses the manual-wound Caliber A&S1021, which along with its 90-hour power reserve and elaborate haute horlogerie finishes is distinguished by a special indicator for the age of the moon on its rear side. Price: CHF 55,900, limited to 28 pieces.
F.P. JOURNE OCTA AUTOMATIQUE LIMITED EDITION
Paying tribute to the original Octa Automatique from 2021, this special edition has a platinum case and a satin-finished yellow-gold dial. Its movement, the self-winding Caliber 1300.3, is made of rhodium-plated brass rather than the gold used in most contemporary F.P. Journe calibers, and the dial’s finish is similar to the ones hand-applied by Francois-Paul Journe in the early days of his independent brand. The case measures 40 mm in diameter, with sapphire crystals in the front and back and an elegantly understated crown. The subtle changes to the dial from its 20-year-old ancestor include the placement of the power reserve indicator at 8:30 to accommodate the enlarged date window at 11:30, and the subtly larger numerals on the off-center hours-and-minutes subdial. The movement has also been updated with new openworked bridges. Price: CHF 56,000, limited to 99 pieces.
PARMIGIANI FLEURIER TONDA PF SPLIT-SECONDS CHRONOGRAPH
The most complicated timepiece from the recently launched Tonda PF collection is also the rarest: a limited edition with an integrated split-seconds chronograph movement whose case, bracelet and dial are all made from platinum. The dial features a stylized PF logo at 12 o’clock inside an oval-shaped, double-edged appliqué, as well as indices set across two levels. The case’s signature elements include the knurled edge bezel and ergonomic,teardrop-shaped chrono pushers. Inside is Parmigiani’s high frequency, openworked Caliber PF361, which beats at 36,000 vph and amasses a power reserve of 65 hours. Made chiefly of solid gold parts, the manufacture caliber is a modern version of the maison’s Chronor movement, which earned the watch of the same name a GPHG award in xxxx. A matte, sandblasted finish was applied to the dial, case, and bracelet for a monochromatic look. Price: $171,000, limited to 25 pieces.
VACHERON CONSTANTIN TRADITIONNELLE SPLIT SECONDS ULTRA THIN COLLECTION EXCELLENCE PLATINE
Joining Vacheron’s ultra-exclusive, all-platinum Collection Excéllence Platine in 2021 was this limited edition, the latest timepiece to house the brand’s manufacture Caliber 3500, a slim, split seconds chronograph movement it developed in 2015. The 950 platinum case is 42.5 mm in diameter, just 10.72 mm thick, and boasts mirror-polished surfaces and facets along with rectangular and crown-set chronograph pushers on its right side. Also made of platinum, the sandblasted dial has a vintage-inspired design that pays homage to Vacheron’s wartime and postwar-era split second chronograph wristwatches, with a printed tachymeter scale border and applied, white-gold hour markers. Two recessed, parallel subdials tally the running seconds and elapsed chronograph minutes, while another subdial displays the 48-hour power reserve. Price: $288,000, limited to 15 pieces.