In honor of its sesquicentennial, Minerva has re-opened its newly renovated workshop in Villeret, renaming it the Institut Minerva de Recherche en Haute Horlogerie. In partnership with Montblanc, the Institut has been dubbed a “think tank” of watchmaking—a place where young horologists can learn traditional Swiss watchmaking techniques while exchanging and developing new ideas. The anniversary also heralds the launch of a special edition watch, the Grand Tourbillon Heures Mystérieuses, as a new addition to the Montblanc Collection Villeret 1858. Crafted in extremely limited editions—one piece in platinum, eight in white and rose gold—the watch includes a tourbillon as a main focal point of the display (one of the most complicated mechanisms in watchmaking), and hands that appear to float above the face’s surface.
Boucheron is also celebrating its 150th birthday with a series of major launches, most of which are as glitzy as one of its diamond-encrusted tiaras. Following a gala at the Petit Palais in January, the house went on to introduce two new watch collections: a “supersized” version of the legendary Reflet style, dubbed “Reflet XL,” along with the “Hommage a Boucheron,” a Richard Mille collaboration whose visible mechanisms are made from colorful precious stones. Not forgetting its fine jewelry heritage, Boucheron also introduced seven opulent high jewelry collections under the umbrella of “Enchanting Boucheron,” (complete with matching Vertu mobile phones), while enlisting designer Harumi Klossowska to create a one-of-a-kind necklace and arm bracelet featuring snakes inlaid with emeralds, sapphires and blue turquoise. If a 25th anniversary calls for emeralds, a 50th means gold and a 75th is occasion for diamonds, we suppose a combination of the lot would be the only suitable way to commemorate a 150th.