All you need is two hands As the epitome of minimalist chic
Watches with two hands are undeniably refined. They may just very well be the next big thing in watchmaking
Like fashion, like any sector that lives or dies by the trend, watches are perpetually oscillating between two major ones. The very definition of an oscillation, which we're quite familiar with in the watchmaking business, is to go from one extreme to another in a fixed period of time. These great mutations happen according to ten year cycles, more or less, and are generally heralded by internal mutations of the preexisting trend. If one is to believe that calendar and the growing sophistication of the sport-chic watch (which is not very sporty anymore, but ever increasingly chic), one can reliably assume that the classic dress watch is setting itself up for a comeback.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo ref.16202ST © David Chokron / Worldtempus
However embryonic at that stage, it could grow from the epitome of subdued chic, the ultimate pared-down class, also known as the two-hander. No seconds hand, no date (or as an option only), no yielding to any form of practicality or complication, all it tells is hours and minutes. We know how easy it is to do away with the date. We know of some flagship models that have thrived without the seconds (I'm looking at you, Royal Oak Jumbo). That's also what Parmigiani Fleurier has been aimed for with the Tonda PF, on top of a guilloché dial that's so subtle it easily passes for a grained texture.
Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF © David Chokron / Worldtempus
Many of today's two-handers go back a few years. Brands aren't rushing to release hosts of new ones (yet ?). But the ones that remain have a lot going on for themselves. How could one look down on the minimalist chic of a Saxonia Thin ? How can any decent 1980's fan pass on the Grande Classique by Longines ? Why not enjoy the simple pleasure of wearing a diminutive Patek Philippe like the 35 mm Calatrava 7200R ? And why, oh why isn't Chopard releasing more of their L.U.C XP instead of the small-seconds XPS (OK, we know why : they need the seconds hand to pass chronometer tests, but still!!)
A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Thin © David Chokron / Worldtempus
Piaget has long been a great manufacturer of two-hand watches, with several Altiplano references that are only identifiable by drab numbered references. But their much expected comeback will most likely happen with a two-hander. Just look at what Cartier has been doing after digging in their recent archive : they resurrected the very unadorned Tank Must. By the way, this is the biggest launch of a minimalist-chic timepiece in recent history. Which just goes out to prove there's actual craving for less sportiness, less clutter and a lot more class.
Piaget Altiplano © David Chokron / Worldtempus
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