Wristwatches, mechanical or quartz, provide information on a flat 2D level. Sure, the hands are slightly suspended above the dial, and you can also include some recessed or elevated pointers for a chronograph or calendar complication, but it’s still on the horizontal plane. If you’re looking for a more dramatic and creative display time or something extra, narrow it down to a few brands. Certainly, the inclusion of a tourbillon escapement visible on the dial side changes this already, especially when it rotates on multiple axes. But what if you’re looking for more? Do you want a watch with 3D animated displays and/or complications? Well, you’re in luck because these five watches can provide exactly what you’re looking for!
Trilobe A crazy day
When Trilobe first burst onto the independent watchmaking scene, it made quite a splash due to its unusual and attractive continuous time display. The early Les Matineaux displayed the hours, minutes and seconds via three continuously rotating rings, and this has been the centerpiece of the trilobe ever since. With the Une Folle Journey concept released earlier this year, Trilobe took things a step further. Where previously the rings were set flush or under the dial on a flat plane, the domed rings now appear to float in the air. This sort of reconstructed build reveals the intricate mechanisms required to drive each ring. The hour, minute and seconds rings are mounted on titanium structures that project upwards. The outer one is for the hours, the middle is the minute ring, and the middle is the seconds. A red triangle helps to read the correct time if needed. at EUR 21,500, This is Trilobe’s most expensive model, not counting the gold models.
For more information, please visit Trilobe.com.
Quick facts – 40.5mm x 17.8mm – 10.8mm domed sapphire crystal – Grade 5 titanium case, brushed and polished – Sapphire caseback – Screw-down crown – 50m water-resistant – With rotating floating rings – Reconstructed display of time with fixed pointers – Black or Blue DLC-coated titanium rings – Caliber X-Centric, proprietary movement developed by Mozon and manufactured by Le Cercle des Horlogers – Automatic with micro-rotor – 196 parts. 33 Jewels – 28,800vph – 48h Power Reserve – Hours, Minutes, Seconds – Black or Blue Alligator Leather Strap with Titanium Pin Buckle – EUR 21,500 (including taxes)
MB&F LMX Steel & Brass
The LMX was created by MB&F to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the launch of the Legacy Machine collection. While the MB&F Horological Machine collection is known for its extravagant, hyper-creative and unconventional watches, the Legacy Machine concept revolves around traditional watchmaking techniques and executions. But, being MB&F, always with an exciting twist. The LMX Steel & Brass is the latest version of the celebratory watch. It features a frosted brass backplate for a fascinating 3D scene under a sapphire crystal dome. Two independently set hour and minute sub-dials display both time zones. These are facing towards you and can be read from a shallow angle. A balance wheel is sandwiched in the middle, suspended by a polished arch bridge. A spherical 168-hour power reserve and weekday indication are placed between the hands of the bridges. Limited to 33 pieces and cost CHF 108,000 This makes it very rare and very expensive, but it’s an absolute marvel of a watch!
For more information, please visit MB&F.com.
Quick facts – 44mm x 21.4mm – Stainless steel case, polished – Dual crowns – Ultra-domed sapphire crystal – Sapphire crystal caseback – Frosted brass plate – Two independent sub-dials for dual time display – Small seconds at 6′ – Holding a floating balance wheel Placed by arched bridge – Hemispherical power reserve display and weekend indicator at 12′ – Battleax escapement bridge – Manual winding – 367 components – 41 jewels – 18,800vph – 168h power reserve – 19th century style haute horlogerie with brown Lesstater finishing – Brown Lesstater steel Folding buckle – Limited to 33 pieces – CHF 108,000
The Urwerk UR-112 is a total odyssey
Looking at the more traditional side of LMX Expressive high-end watchmaking by MB&S, anything Urwerk does takes us years, at least in aesthetics. One of the craziest and most recent creations is the Urwerk UR-112 Aggregate Odyssey. The UR-112 is one of the more complex Urworks, which is saying a lot considering the mindblowing things it has done in the past. It features two cylindrical sapphire crystal containers that display a digital jumping hour and minute display. Each hour and 5-minute interval is engraved on prisms filled with Super-LumiNova. The steel and titanium case is also covered by a hinged hood that can be unlocked via pushers on the caseband. Flipping this hood up reveals the digital seconds above and the analog power reserve indication. Urwerk hasn’t communicated how many pieces it makes but it’s believed to be very limited. The price is also astronomical CHF 250,000.
For more information, please visit Urwerk.com.
Quick facts – 42 mm x 51 mm – Steel and titanium case – Polished and sandblasted – Hinged hunter style hood with unlocking pushers – Digital jumping hour and minutes on triangular prisms inside sapphire crystal cylinders – Digital jumping seconds and analog power reserve – Displayed under hinged UR hood 13.01 – Automatic winding – 28.800vph – Flat hairspring – 48h power reserve – Very limited production – CHF 250,000
Jacob & Co. Bugatti Chiron Sapphire
It would be impossible to compile a list of watches revolving around stunning 3D complications and displays of time and not mention Jacob & Co. One of the most outspoken and creative independent watchmakers in the business, Jacob & Co has made a name for itself with exquisitely complex machines. Like the Astronomia or the Jean Bugatti Tourbillon Chronograph. However, this is the Bugatti Chiron Sapphire that we will be looking at today. This large watch features a full sapphire crystal case (available in multiple colors), revealing every intricate detail. Caliber JCAM037 with inclined tourbillon escapement, suspended hour and minute dial, power reserve readable from top and side, and its unique party piece: the sapphire crystal W16 automaton, with spinning turbos and all. Most of them are presented as unique pieces; This sapphire and red model is limited to 7 pieces. Starting price EUR 1,300,000.
For more information, please visit JacobandCo.com.
Quick facts – 57.8mm x 44.4mm x 21.5mm – Full sapphire case with AR-coating – Sapphire crystal and titanium crowns and pushers – Chiron “Grille” with Bugatti logo – Index ring with EB logo color-tipped hour and minute hands – Red-and-blue PR indicator – Caliber JCAM37 – In-house manual wound movement – 578 parts – 51 jewels – 21,600vph – Working W16 sapphire crystal engine automaton – 30° inclined one-minute tourbillon – Rubber strap – Limited titanium with high titanium and unique pieces – Starting EUR 1,300,000
Ulysse Nordin Freak s
Freak, by Ulysse Nordin, can be seen as one of the modern-day precursors to 3D displays of time. It already broke all the rules when it was presented in 2001. The Freak was the first watch to incorporate silicon components and had a unique module suspended over the dial to indicate the time. The 2022 Ulysse Nordin Freak S is the most complex evolution of the iconic watch, as it takes the Freak concept into new territory. Suspended on the Aventurine base dial is a complex regulating system consisting of twin-inclined balance wheels, gears, worm screws and more. Shaped like a spaceship, it rotates on the dial once an hour, the nose of the entire structure indicating the minutes. The hours are indicated by a pointer suspended on the edge of the dial. Limited to 75 pieces, this Ulysse Nordin Freak S will set you back EUR 123,500.
For more information, please visit UlysseNardin.com.
Quick facts – 45mm diameter – Black ceramic and black DLC-coated titanium case – Rose gold bezel – Domed box-type sapphire crystal – Titanium and sapphire crystal caseback – 30m water resistant – Black aventurine glass base dial – Caliber UN-251, in-house – Automatic grinder with blades, flexible guidance and shock-absorber – Twin-balance beating at 18,000vph – 72h power reserve – Hours and minutes on carousel movement rotation – Extra-large inclined silicon double balance-wheel – Black DLC-coated alligator strap Titanium folding buckle – Limited to 75 pieces – EUR 123,500