An exclusive timepiece that pays homage to London’s most famous monument
The latest creation from the watchmaker Mido pays homage to one of the world’s most famous monuments. The Big Ben Limited Edition was inspired by the slender silhouette of London’s famous four-dial clock tower. From the case and bracelet to the dial and movement, this unique piece makes numerous references to the neo-Gothic architecture of this iconic monument. Released in a limited edition of 500 pieces, this exclusive timepiece is the result of the Mido Watch Design Contest, a watchmaking challenge that was won by Neuchâtel-based designer Sébastien Perret. By revealing the circle within the square, he has imagined a daring, timeless design for the Big Ben Limited Edition watch that is in keeping with the Mido brand spirit.
The Mido Watch Design Contest is at the origin of this new Big Ben Limited Edition timepiece. Launched at the 2015 Baselworld World Watch and Jewellery Show, this competition united three prestigious designers: Eric Giroud, Lorenzo Vallone and Sébastien Perret. They were invited by the brand to create a new timepiece inspired by Elizabeth Tower, the clock tower overlooking the Palace of Westminster. Following a vote that recorded the opinions of almost 100,000 participants and a panel of judges – comprised of Esa Mohamed, President of the International Union of Architects, and Franz Linder, President of Mido – designer Sébastien Perret was announced as the winner of this watchmaking challenge.
The Big Ben Limited Edition is a highly original watchmaking model that is best discovered over time. Just like the famous monument, it needs to be observed up close to appreciate the infinite details revealed in successive layers. Featuring multiple references to the monument’s neo-Gothic architecture, Sébastien Perret refined its style to give this timepiece a modern yet timeless look.
The case in 316L stainless steel with satin-finished rose PVD treatment and the polished bezel are inspired by the shape of the Westminster clock: the circle is symbolised by the bezel, which presents a large opening onto the dial, while the square-shaped case recalls the four corners of the clock and monument. The circle – an essential part of the Mido DNA – has been incorporated into the square. The Big Ben Limited Edition has thus succeeded in squaring the circle. The Big Ben Limited Edition reveals a sumptuous silver opaline dial with a sunray satin-finished centre. In a detail rarely seen in watchmaking, the number 4 is indicated as a Gothic-style Roman numeral, reproducing the numeral gracing the Westminster Palace clock. The black skeleton faceted hour and minute hands feature white Super-LumiNova® for easy readability at night, while an aperture positioned at 3 o’clock displays the day and date. Another subtle reference to the famous tower is the anthracite PVD ring placed between the case and the bezel, which recalls its cantilevered architecture.
Involving a highly technical four-part construction, the Big Ben Limited Edition is water-resistant up to a pressure of 10 bars (100 m/330 ft) and is fitted with the Caliber 80: a latest-generation automatic chronometer movement providing up to 80 hours of power reserve. This exceptional autonomy is combined with extreme precision, as the movement is certified by the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres. The satin-finished and polished bracelet in 316L stainless steel with rose PVD treatment is harmoniously incorporated into the caseband of the 42 mm diameter case. It is formed of successive layers and recalls the fluting adorning the building, while polished bars represent the orifices in the tower through which the sound of the 13.5-tonne bell reverberates across London. The square case back of the Big Ben Limited Edition also holds its share of surprises. The screws in each corner recall the trefoil-shaped motifs surrounding the famous clock, while on the movement, which is visible through the transparent case back, the rose-window design adorning the oscillating weight echoes the dial of the Westminster clock.
The Big Ben Limited Edition is released in a limited edition of just 500 pieces.