From a young age, I have always been fascinated with astronomy and the universe in general. When I hear scientists talk about a cosmological event called the ‘Big Bang that took place 13.8 billion years ago, it blows my mind. It is also inconceivable to think there are planets so far away from earth that it takes billions of years for light to reach us. In effect, we are getting a snapshot from a non-existent world, far, far in the distant past.
For someone with a highly active imagination, the thought of distant galaxies with trillions of Earth-like planets seems like a probability. Certainly, writers like Sir Arthur Charles Clarke have written several novels including ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ that explore the possibility of space travel. This book was later adapted into a highly influential movie (of the same name) in 1968 by iconic director Stanley Kubrick. As well as being exploited by the film industry this captivating topic has also inspired many watchmakers. Here are four watches that are literally out of this world.
Azimuth Predator 2.0
After years of anticipation, Azimuth has finally unveiled the second incarnation of the Predator. Version 2.0 was definitely worth the wait and is a huge improvement on its predecessor (which I also love). For example, the case is now larger and made from titanium, which makes it highly comfortable to wear. Other refinements include an upgraded customised skeleton movement, with aluminium bridges (available in several colours), domed sapphire crystal and a beautifully decorated ‘Perlage’ bezel. Certainly, if you want ‘Haute Horlogerie’ styling at a reasonable price then this timepiece is a must.
Vianney Halter Deep Space Tourbillon
Although Vianney Halter has produced many exquisite watches the ‘Deep Space Tourbillon’ is (in my opinion) his finest achievement to date. Originally released in 2013 this amazing timepiece wouldn’t look out of place on a Science Fiction show. In fact, this formidable watch is inspired by Star Trek and 2001: A Space Odyssey. What makes this creation so special is the magnificent three-dimensional Triple Axis Central Tourbillon encapsulated in dome sapphire crystal. Unfortunately, for CHF 241,500 (approximately $246,843) it is a galaxy too far for most buyers.
Christiaan van der Klaauw Midnight Planetarium
Christiaan van der Klaauw is a Netherlands based watchmaker synonymous for its astronomical themed timepieces. In 2014, the brand collaborated with Van Cleef & Arpels and created the sensational Midnight Planetarium. At the time this watch was the most complicated watch ever presented at the SIHH in Geneva and took three years to develop. What makes this timepiece so spectacular is the miniature three-dimensional representation of the six planets (Earth, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) revolving around the sun.
Konstantin Chaykin Mars Conqueror
Within the world of horology Russian watchmaker, Konstantin Chaykin is considered a bit of a trailblazer. Not only does he design innovative watches but also creates complicated movements to power them. Recently, he unveiled a prototype (on the annual commemoration of Yuri Gagarin’s pioneering space flight on Vostok 1 in 1961) called the Mars Conqueror. This incredible Sci-Fi inspired watch displays Martian and Earth times as well as other complications. I absolutely love the aesthetic of this timepiece and in particular the futuristic oversized titanium case.