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Comparison - Jumping hours

Comparison Jumping hours

An original complication that gives rise to some unexpected dial configurations by showing hours not with a hand but in an aperture

Like the tourbillon escapement, jumping hours were invented by Abraham-Louis Breguet in the first half of the nineteenth century. At that time, the hours jumped but were still pointed by a hand that remained fixed in its position for one hour, moving instantaneously to the next hour when the minutes hand completed its journey. While the principle remains the same, the display has evolved for greater legibility and the hours now jump in an aperture. Minutes can be by a traditional hand, retrograde, or can also jump.

Réservoir, CHF 4,800

This excellent value entry-level proposition does a great job with its modern interpretation of one of the rarer complications. The red and green palette of the retrograde minutes, which riffs on a dashboard instrument design, gives this watch a definite motor-sports vibe.

Heures Sautantes

Kanister 316 in steel, 41.5mm diameter, automatic movement with jumping hours and retrograde minutes, steel bracelet © Réservoir

Bulgari-Gérald Genta, CHF 22,400

A fun and (relatively speaking) affordable watch that happens to be an icon, from the creative mind of Gérald Genta, designer of the Nautilus and the Royal Oak, who uses Mickey Mouse’s arm to point to retrograde minutes.

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Arena Bi-Retrograde Mickey Mouse in steel, 41mm diameter, automatic movement with jumping hours, retrograde minutes and retrograde date, textured rubber strap © Bulgari

Chanel Horlogerie, CHF 41,450

Chanel isn’t only for women, as the aptly named Monsieur proves. It makes an elegant showcase for the watchmaker’s expertise. In a discreet nod to Chanel’s symbols, the aperture for the jumping hours is shaped like Place Vendôme.

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Monsieur in beige gold, 40mm diameter, manual-winding movement with jumping hours, retrograde minutes and small seconds, alligator strap © Chanel

Bovet, CHF 68,500

This watch of a thousand faces transforms from a wristwatch to a pocket watch, a pendant watch and a desk clock. Supremely classic in its style, it surprises nonetheless with a first execution in titanium while retaining a vintage salmon shade for the dial.

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Virtuoso V Salmon in titanium, 43.5mm diameter, manual-winding movement with jumping hours and retrograde minutes, alligator strap © Bovet

MB&F, CHF 85,000

Like every MB&F Horological Machine, the N°5 is anything but conventional. There is a simple explanation for its unique design: growing up, MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser dreamed of becoming a car designer. This Machine grabs inspiration from the Lamborghini Miura, an Italian supercar that looks as though it could break the sound barrier while standing still!

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Horological Machine N°5 in pink gold, 51.5 x 49mm, tri-dimensional automatic movement with jumping hours and trailing minutes, rubber strap. 66-piece limited edition © MB&F

A. Lange & Söhne, CHF 114,500

The legendary Saxony watchmaker is renowned for displaying the date in an outsize aperture. Here there are not one but two openings, for jumping hours and minutes. The translucent dial allows a peek of the hours and minutes discs below.

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Zeitwerk Lumen in honey gold, 41.9mm diameter, manual-winding movement with jumping hours and minutes, small seconds and power-reserve indicator, alligator strap. 200-piece limited edition © A. Lange & Söhne

Vacheron Constantin, CHF 118,000

Each year, Vacheron Constantin marks the lunar new year with a watch that associates a jumping hours complication with decorative arts. Apertures for hours as well as minutes, day and date are set against a hand-engraved dial in pink gold, enhanced with grand feu enamel.

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Métiers d’Art The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac - Year of the Rabbit in pink gold, 40mm diameter, automatic movement with jumping hours and trailing minutes, day and date in apertures, alligator strap. 9-piece limited edition © Vacheron Constantin

Louis Vuitton, CHF 464,000

This Tambour watch couldn’t be further removed from a simple monogram flower decoration. Here we have a grand complication whose jumping hours, retrograde minutes and power-reserve indication are joined by a mechanical automaton that brings the entire hand-enamelled, miniature-painted dial to life.

Heures Sautantes

Tambour Opera Automata in pink gold, 46.8mm diameter, manual-winding automaton movement with jumping hour, retrograde minutes and power-reserve indicator, alligator strap © Louis Vuitton

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