Home Estate Planning All the latest watch news, from Victoria Beckham to the Moonswatch

All the latest watch news, from Victoria Beckham to the Moonswatch

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Barely two months into 2024 and the watch world is already running fast. Allow City A.M.’s London Time to reset, readjust and read-off what’s tick-tocking all the boxes: from Chinese new-year dragons, to ‘posh’ fabulousness, to Apollo-era lunar exploits celebrated in literal stardust.

Breitling x Beckham

There’s a new Beckham at Breitling: Victoria, this time. And rather than just wearing the watches – as did her husband before defecting to the historic pilot watchmaker’s competitor, Tudor – she’s actively collaborating on them.

As fashion designer for her eponymous brand, Mrs Beckham née Adams née Posh Spice has created a new Chronomat 36 collection with dials inspired by the ballet-rehearsal-costume shades of greys, greens and pinks inspiring Victoria ‘the brand’ Beckham’s SS24 line.

It’s limited to 400 of each dial colour in steel (from £4,700) and 100 of each in yellow gold (£23,750) – a unusually glam’ material revived by Breitling to use on this line alone. The look is very ‘VB’: fashion flirting with function… and certainly not out of place in a Rolls-Royce on the school run.

Rare Omega x Swatch ‘MoonSwatch’

The high-street hypebeast that is the Omega x Swatch ‘MoonSwatch’ is set to reach fever pitch from February 12th until the 24th, with NASA’s official astro-watchmaker Omega auctioning 11 suitcases examples of its collaboration with plastic-fantastic stablemate, Swatch – sweep-seconds hand rendered in ‘Moonshine Gold’ – through Sotheby’s.

This is the very first time that these rare models are offered together in one set, with 100% of the auction proceeds passed on to Omega’s long-term partner, Orbis International, who fight avoidable blindness and vision loss around the world.

Orbis’s work is especially valuable for children, allowing many of them to see their parents, the moon, the stars for the very first time. The ‘Flying Eye Hospital’ has provided care for millions of patients since 1982: a state-of-the-art teaching facility-cum-eye hospital complete with an operating room, classroom and recovery room, all aboard a wide-body McDonnell Douglas DC-10 jet. Available through Sothebys.

FP Journe x the Central Line

F.P. Journe is the watchmaker’s watchmaker. If you didn’t already know, you must get ‘hands’ on with a quick dash on the Central Line.

Monsieur François-Paul Journe has established his eleventh boutique at 33 Bruton Street, in an elegant eighteenth-century building located between Berkeley Square and New Bond Street. Mayfair being a no-brainer when it comes to one of the 20th century’s original, independent disruptors of ‘haute horolgerie’. 

The Swiss Journe, like Britain’s own George Daniels, was an academic fanboy of the 18th century’s Abraham-Louis Breguet, learning his craft through restoring several of the Parisian genius’s masterpieces for disparate collectors in the Eighties and Nineties – both finding themselves in even-hotter demand when mechanical timekeeping resurged following quartz tech’s reign.

F.P. Journe is what Breguet would be today: commercialised, classical brilliance with constant innovation where most would write things off as old-hat. Infinitesimal management of energy through a geartrain might sound fusty, but when it’s hand-crafted to such alluringly ‘steampunk’ beauty… well, London Time implores you to pay a visit to Bruton Street to see for yourself. 

•Boutique F.P. Journe, 33 Bruton Street, London W1J 6HH

Meteorite Lunar Pilot Limited Edition

A historic American watchmaker retreads the foot and tyre-treads of its impromptu moonwalk during NASA’s Apollo 15 mission.

Andy Saunders’ incredible Apollo Remastered coffee-table hardback (2022) is a jaw-dropping showcase of his revisit to the NASA archives and subsequent high-res digital scans of negatives captured by the original  ‘moonshot’ astronauts. Sure enough, in newfound high resolution, plenty of colour plates show Commander David Scott wrist’s duly adorned by the NASA-qualified Omega Speedmaster chronograph. 

What’s less clear, but no-less disqualified, is that, come Apollo 15th’s third ‘extra-vehicular activity’ on the 2nd February 1971 (this time on the ‘Lunar Roving Vehicle’; AKA the most expensive car of the time) Scott had to switch to his unofficial, US-made Bulova chronograph, since his Swiss watch had malfunctioned during EVA-2. 

For four hours and fifty minutes this unique watch took the punishment of the Moon’s temperature extremes and dust, and was last seen on Scott’s wrist aboard the USS Okinawa after splashdown. It disappeared into legend, eventually resurfacing in 2016 to be sold for £1.25M at auction; moondust still stuck to its Velcro NASA strap.

The new Meteorite Lunar Pilot Limited Edition Watch pays homage to Bulova’s historic role, 45 years later, featuring nothing less than a link to the origins of the universe itself: a dial rendered in ‘Muonionalusta’ meteorite, believed to be 4.5653 billion years’ old, with each of the 5,000 watches (£1,195) showcasing its own unique Widmanstätten crystalline pattern: figures of long, ‘octahedrite’ phases of nickel-iron, only found in iron meteorite.

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