October 14, 2008 Ultra-contemporary timepiece designs can sometimes let aesthetic considerations get in the way of actually being able to tell the time, but Swiss watchmaker Pierre DeRoche has struck a sophisticated balance with it's latest offering - the GrandCliff Double Retrograde Skyscrapers.

Described as "Both futuristic and classic by nature", this unique watch design features two sweeping half-moon counters set facing each other on a jet black background to provide a retrograde (and easily decipherable) read-off of the hours and minutes. The offset red hands are inspired by the Empire State Building and the dial is completed by a small inner seconds dial.

Polishing, satin-brushing and sapphire-blasting have been used to create the finish of the 55 part dial which sits under glareproofed sapphire glass. The steel polished case is water resistant to 100m and the strap is crocodile leather with a folding clasp made from the same 316L steel.

The Pierre DeRoche GrandCliff Double Retrograde "Skyscrapers" costs CHF16,100 incl. tax (approx. USD$14,200) and a limited edition gem-set model adorned with 64 black diamonds is also available for CHF21,800 (approx USD$19,250).

In brief:

  • Movement: self-winding, Dubois Dépraz calibre, cut-out and engraved oscillating weight
  • Functions: retrograde hours and minutes, small seconds
  • Case: polished and satin-brushed 316L steel, screw-locked crown, glareproofed sapphire glass, engraved case-back, water-resistant to 100 metres, with or without 64 black diamonds (1.28 cts)
  • Dial: black, double retrograde counters with rhodium-plated hour-markers
  • Strap: crocodile leather, folding clasp in 316L steel
View gallery - 4 images