WristWatch Magazine - Page 52

AMERICAN HISTORY out the very best lluster and sparkle in diamonds. One thing led to another and within a relatively short period of time Black Starr & Frost had its first new watch in decades. Loke’s own resume of servicing and restoring some of the most complicated mechanical watches is bolstered by the forty-plus watches he’s designed behind the scenes for other luxury brands. Although we can’t mention most of them, one of Parmigiani Fleurier’s most successful offerings was a Don Loke design. This first collection created at the will of Mr. Molina, and the mind of Mr. Loke, offers a subtle balance of form and function. Chronograph registers on the dial imply a sporty bit of action at face value—and are well balanced by dual crowns on the case. But unless you look very closely you’ll probably miss the chronograph actuators that are so perfectly integrated into the profile that they almost disappear. Described by Loke as a “dress chronograph,” the ambivalent design accomplishes an ideal mix of sport and luxury rarely achieved. Having known Mr. Loke for more than two decades I was offered the unique opportunity of test-driving this watch as a proto- 50 WRISTWATCH | 2016 type and happily showed it off at both the Geneva and Baselworld fairs.. I m must admit to a certain pleasure in sporting a timepiece that a frie end and client had created. That, combined with the fact that friend not a sin single person at either of these venues could have possibly seen this watch before, brought with it more than a bit of pride in wear ring, if not ownership. Yes it was comfortable at a wearable 42 wearing, mm aand yes it was as accurate as any mechanical watch I’ve worn, but to be honest it mattered little as the form and rarity were the function for me. Aptly named, the Renaissance collection will be limited to 25 pieces in each version with black, blue, and brown dials set into a 42 mm polished stainless steel, black DLC, or 18kt (4N) pink gold case with sapphire crystals front and back. Functionally, the integrated chronograph pushers and crown at 3 o’clock work as per usual with the extra crown at 9 o’clock rotating an inner bezel marked in minutes, allowing another timing option for events up to one hour. Applied numerals reside on a hand-painted dial with elegantly tapered leaf shaped “feuille” hands reaching for the time. Inside beats the highest quality version (yes there are several options) of the Swiss Valjoux series 7750 chronograph and each watch is individually assembled, regulated and tested to 5atm water resistance right here in the USA by Mr. Loke’s own hands. Available only at Black Starr & Frost, the Renaissance collection is now available and retails for a remarkably affordable $5,800 in stainless steel, or $24,000 in 18-karat pink gold. www.blackstarrfrost.com