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Watch World RoundUp: April

As was to be expected in the wake of Baselworld, April was a relatively quiet month in the world of luxury watches. After all the big watch releases and developments of March, most watch brands are spending a month or two consolidating and starting production on their new lines. But of course, in such a highly competitive industry, there’s no time to rest on one’s laurels and a few watchmakers have indeed released some exciting pieces.

Amongst our favourites, was an uncharacteristically elaborate model from Montblanc, but it was IWC's Pocket Smartwatch, a surprising entry into the digital sphere from IWC Schaffhausen, which stole the show. Besides the new watches, there were a number of other stories and announcements from the watch world, so here are our picks for our monthly briefing:

Watch News

bruce wayne wearing breguet batman versus superman

Batman Wears a Breguet

Ben Affleck’s Batman, who hit the screens recently in Zack Snyder’s Batman vs Superman, is clearly seen wearing a Breguet Ref. 7047 PT Tradition Fusée Tourbillon, a high-end piece worth over £130,000.

Our utmost praise goes out to the Batman vs Superman costume production team, who understood that a man like Bruce Wayne would shoot for a brand that’s usually the target of wealthy watch connoisseurs or French royalty.

For the Tradition Fusée Tourbillon (pictured in the title image above), Breguet have taken some of their most advanced watchmaking techniques of the last two centuries and given them a modern twist.

stephen urquhart president of omega watches

Omega Chief Steps Down

After 17 years at the rudder, Omega President Stephen Urquhart has decided to hand the responsibility on to Raynald Aeschlimann. Omega, whose yearly turnover is topped only by Rolex, will be sad to see the back of Urquhart who spearheaded a very successful era for the brand.

Urquhart, who turns 70 next month, expressed in an October interview with Bloomberg that one of his main challenges has been appealing to a younger market, which is why he has placed such importance on the James Bond watch and celebrity endorsements.

Urquhart’s replacement, Raynald Aeschlimann, has been groomed for the position for a number of years and has a solid reputation in the industry.

Watch Releases

Montblanc’s Villeret Tourbillon Bi-Cylindrique 110 Years Anniversary 

Montblanc Villeret Tourbillon Bi-Cylindrique 110 Years Anniversary

Montblanc released a 110-year anniversary timepiece that’s raising a lot of eyebrows. The watch, based on a popular 2011 design, comes in a huge 52 mm rose gold case and features a serpent coiled around the edge of the dial. The serpent, a highly detailed and decorative feature that seems unlikely alongside their usual produce, is actually a homage to their first fountain pen collection in 1909.

The watch has a one-minute tourbillon and a double cylindrical balance spring. Only three pieces were made and they will be on sale at over £200,000.

Vacheron Constantin Quai de I'Île 

Vacheron Constantin Quai de L'Ile

Vacheron Constantin adds to the Quai de I'Île collection with a modern, original-looking timepiece.

Vacheron Constantin’s Quai de I'Île line, first introduced in 2008, has always been adventurous and fairly original. This model has a cushion-shaped case and a central date indicator on a rotating disc. These fairly unusual features combine well with the crisp Arabic numerals, which only mark even numbers, to create a tasteful and modern aesthetic.

The watch has a new in-house movement and comes in either a black or white dial. It’s priced at just over £10,000.

Xupes Magazine Top Stories

Amongst our most read and most commented articles this April are:

Making Money from Pre-owned Watches in 2016

Xupes’s editor, who’s now been working at the online watch marketplace for over two years, talks with director Joe McKenzie about the pre-owned watch trade. This feature-length article gives an idea of how the pre-owned watch industry works and what can be expected for any prospective dealer in 2016.

ap royal oak offshore hublot big bang chronograph

Head-to-Head: Hublot Big Bang vs Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore

The latest in our popular Head-to-Head series, which compares leading watch models, is dedicated to a watch rivalry that goes back to the 80s. The Hublot Big Bang and the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore are two high-end luxury sports watches that share many fundamental characteristics.

That’s all for our Watch World RoundUp this April, for more watch news and stories visit our home page.