Cultural Perspectives • 09 Nov 2016

Bound To Please: The Jump Hours Is One Of The Coolest Complications Out There

by Low Ka Wei


While interviewing the co-founder of a shared office space in Singapore, I noticed a jump hours timepiece on his wrist and asked him about it.

(To those who need a primer, a jump hours – or jumping hours – watch shows the hour in an aperture instead of the traditional shorter hand, much like a date display, except that it “jumps” at precisely 60 minutes past every hour.)

He shares with me how he loves the barely audible click that the watch makes during the jump, which subtly informs him of the passage of time, something that is absent in the silence that accompanies conventional, rotating hands.

It was a fascinating observation that set me about scanning the watch catalogues for such pieces for today’s post. Here’s what I found.

MB&F HM8
With styling and architecture borrowed from Can-Am auto racing, the MB&F HM8 features powerful metaphors such as “roll bars” and transparent “engine covers”. The time display comes by way of a pair of discs, using prisms to project the numerals towards the side of the case – which incidentally, allows drivers holding on to a steering wheel to quickly tell the time sans wrist movement.

MB&F HM8

 

De Bethune DB28 Digitale
The star here, if you can pardon the pun, is the spherical moon-phase display, a particular obsession for De Bethune. The central moon is made of two polished hemispheres that is accurate to one lunar day per millennium (give or take a century), partially framed by a lyrical depiction of the sky between 9 and 3 o’clock.

De Bethune DB28 Digitale

 

RJ-Romain Jerome Spacecraft: Batman
What kind of watch would a superhero wear? For RJ-Romain Jerome, the answer would be the Spacecraft: Batman. In a Batmobilesque design, this high-tech piece is fashioned into a trapezium using tough titanium in stealthy black. The hour display is shown on the side of the case to be read off laterally.

RJ Romain Jerome Spacecraft Batman

 

Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Minute Repeater with Jumping Hours and Small Seconds
For those who truly enjoy an acoustic relationship with their timepiece, this piece offers a minute repeater on top of the jump hour. Inspired by 19th century pocket watches, the aesthetic is decidedly classical, and the hand finishing, second to none.

Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Minute Repeater

 

Rotonde de Cartier Jumping Hours
Cartier takes the “hands-off” approach to the extreme with this piece. The minutes are shown on a rotating disc, which leaves the beautiful guilloche dial uncluttered. A beaded crown set topped by a sapphire cabochon lends a luxurious contrast to the otherwise dominant slate-grey hues.

Rotonde de Cartier W1553751

 

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Low Ka Wei

Low Ka Wei is a freelance editor and writer. He cut his teeth at men’s lifestyle magazines NewMan and Arena and last helmed luxury lifestyle title The Peak where he was editor from 2009 to 2014.


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