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Three hands are all well and good for the traditionalists, but what about something a little… different? Brands seized upon the occasion of SIHH to release timepieces with a little more visual punch than the basic, centrally driven hours and minutes hands. These watchmaking auteurs, located in the Carré des Horlogers, had a variety of interesting things to say on the subject…

H. Moser & Cie

Endeavour Flying Hours

Always subtly elegant, H. Moser has released a model that combines its general muted refinement and a completely different way of doing things. A disc with the minutes across a 240º arc interacts with three hour discs arranged around it. The appropriate hour shows in white, while the other fade into the rich blue background of the dial. The discs are all constantly in motion, performing a slow, compelling ballet. A raw-finished beige strap underscores the piece’s elegance.

Endeavour Flying Hours from H.Moser&Cie Subtle elegance: The Endeavour Flying Hours from H.Moser&Cie Photo: Modern Luxury

Hautlence

Vortex Gamma Tron

Named for the sci-fi classic, Hautlence’s Vortex Gamma Tron looks like something an ambitious set designer might dream up for a futuristic epic. The case is crafted from six three-dimensional sapphire crystals, with contrasts between the blue and white elements, and luminescent outline effects that recall TRON . Retrograde minutes dominate the middle of the dial, with Hautlence’s infinity logo at the center of it all, rotating with the minute pointer.

Hautlence Vortex Gamma Tron Hautlence Vortex Gamma Tron Photo: Modern Luxury

A jumping hour chain at the lower left and a power reserve display arc in the upper right complete the fascinating set of indications. The high-tech, loose-knit white fabric of the strap complements the case and dial, down to the bright blue stitching it uses.

Hautlence Vortex Gamma Tron Hautlence Vortex Gamma Tron Photo: Modern Luxury

MB& F + Sarpaneva

MB&F collaborated with Finnish watchmaker Stepan Sarpaneva to bring us this innovative, moon-focused timepiece. Like the Horological Machine Nº 5, the Moonmachine 2 features a bottom-edge, or “heads up,” as the brand likes to call it, time display, with hours, minutes and moonphase displayed at the edge of the case.

MB& F + Sarpaneva MB& F + Sarpaneva Photo: Modern Luxury

An optical prism refracts these elements, projecting them to seem as though they are perpendicular to the engine, and magnifying the hours and minutes by 20%.

MB& F + Sarpaneva MB& F + Sarpaneva Photo: Modern Luxury

Ressence

Ressence long ago abandoned traditional hands, using their lack as the basis for a watchmaking philosophy. Its perfectly smooth dials (adjusted to the micron) present instead a deceptively simple series of circles nestled inside each other, all operating on precisely the same plane.

Ressence Type 1° Ressence Type 1° Photo: Modern Luxury

The crown is gone, replace by a system wherein the user winds and sets the watch simultaneously using a rotating caseback. The Ressence TYPE 1 2 uses a cushion-shaped case in stainless steel (42mm), while the Ressence TYPE 1º is housed in a thinner, round case in titanium (41mm).

Ressence Type 1° Ressence Type 1° Photo: Modern Luxury

Urwerk

Urwerk’s unorthodox approach to time display is legendary in the industry. The UR-210 boasts an unusual time display, which uses the hour marker itself (on a rotating satellite arm) to indicate the minutes. At the end of the hour, the retrograde minutes snap back to the start. The brand-new black platinum case translates this palpable force into tangible ripples that radiate out from the face. “We’ve added an extra tactile dimension to a 3D watch,” explains Martin Frei, URWERK’s co-founder and designer. “The rotations of the hours satellites are replicated in the metal of the case. As if we had created a shockwave powerful enough to displace matter and bend platinum. The deep furrowed arcs also accentuate the smart hexagonal design of the case.”

Urwerk Urwerk Photo: Modern Luxury