There Are 3 New Sports Watches You've Got to See: Louis Vuitton, IWC, and More
From rugged and adventure-ready designs to all-star mechanicals, three new sport watches offer it all.
Watchmakers are pushing the limits of house staples to deliver increased versatility, improved complications, and eco-friendly features, whether they're reworking icons or working with icons. For its Submersible offering, Panerai tapped mountain climber Jimmy Chin, a filmmaker and photographer who specializes in mountain climbing, to lend his eye. IWC downsized the Big Pilot for smaller wrists. Two Louis Vuitton master horologists, Michel Navas and Enrico Barbasini, developed a highly accurate movement for the GMT Flying Tourbillon based on their tourbillon expertise.
Louis Vuitton GMT Flying Tourbillon
It has become a perennial task for watchmakers to find new ways to incorporate a tourbillon. The intricate complication was designed to increase a pocket watch's accuracy, but today it serves as a symbol of the house's skill and artistry. The Tambour Curve GMT Flying Tourbillon, a two-year development project and an entirely new LV82 movement, is an excellent example of this high-watchmaking flourish.
It's not bravado. Navas's first tourbillon was built in 1986 for Audemars Piguet's ultra-thin caliber 2870, which debuted at Baselworld in 1986. In addition to being one of the lightest automatic tourbillons ever, it was the first automatic wristwatch with a tourbillon. He and Barbasini then went on to make tourbillons for Genta, and since 2010 they've been making them for Louis Vuitton.
As a result of extensive research, Navas says the latest model has a power reserve of between 60 and 65 hours. There was also a great deal of thought put into the design and feel of the timepiece, which is offered in three versions, all made of featherweight titanium: a brushed gray dial, a pink gold dial with 18-karat lugs and hour markers in baguette-cut diamonds, and a Namibian meteorite dial with baguette-cut diamond hour markers for $79,000, $91,000, and $103,000, respectively.
The watch is light on the wrist, but it requires a lot of space to incorporate a flying tourbillon and GMT movement, which results in a 46-by-30-mm case. According to Navas, one of the first VIPs to secure the watch was a female client, so the dial itself measures only 42 mm, which suggests it wears much smaller than its dimensions.
IWC Big Pilot 43 MM
It is expected that IWC's Big Pilot will return to Earth in 2021, at least in terms of size. With its 46 mm case and a massive crown that can be uncomfortably large, it has consistently lived up to its name. It was more of a showpiece than a daily timekeeper. Now the brand has streamlined its horological fuselage to 43 mm by 13.6 mm, making it a more wearable timepiece.
Nonetheless, IWC did more than that, recalibrating the Big Pilot by removing some of its cargo. With the new model, you can get a black or blue dial in stainless steel, a leather strap, or a bracelet, for $8,400 or $9,350. The date window and power reserve have been replaced with a cleaner, three-hand time-only display. A display caseback allows users to view the 82100 automatic-winding movement, which has a 60-hour power reserve, since the soft-iron inner case of previous Big Pilot models has been removed.
Panerai Submersible Chrono Flyback
The Pannerai company has expanded its partnership with Jimmy Chin, who won an Academy Award for his high-octane mountaineering documentary Free Solo. Chin, a climber and filmmaker, was selected as a global brand ambassador in 2019. In a joint effort, Chin and Panerai have created their first watch together, a 47 mm titanium Submersible Chrono Flyback. The watch is water-resistant to 1,000 feet and has a three-day battery life. You'll have to climb Panerai's VIP list to get your hands on this $19,400 watch, which has a gray strap made from PET recycled from plastic bottles.