In 2023, the world of horology has its eyes set on the iconic Newport collection as it commemorates its 35th anniversary. The French watchmaking house, Herbelin, has taken this momentous occasion to reveal a special limited series, the Herbelin Newport Ceramic 35th anniversary.
A masterclass in design, material, and style, this two-hand timepiece impeccably mirrors the Newport identity codes while boasting a minimalist expression. Available in two dial diameters, 38 mm and 43 mm, and limited to 500 numbered copies for each size, this urban marvel powered by an automatic movement marks the continuation of the Newport saga.
The 1980s marked the subtle entrance of technical ceramic into watchmaking, a material that gained popularity in the 2000s due to its remarkable properties. Being lighter and harder than steel, scratch-resistant, and having a smooth reflective surface, ceramic became a favored material in the watchmaking industry. Herbelin, always up for a challenge, embraced this material to reinterpret its emblematic model with a minimalist approach. Mathieu Herbelin, the founder’s grandson and associate creative director of the French brand, emphasized, “It’s not just a ceramic watch. Our intention is to introduce new materials over time. After carbon and titanium, ceramic is perfectly suited to further anchor Newport in a sporty, chic urban universe.”
Drawing inspiration from the futuristic structure of stealth ships, the new Herbelin creation encapsulates the Newport DNA – central attachments, marine wheel-engraved crown, wide bezel – in pure elegance. The case, meticulously chiseled into three facets from ceramic, showcases a polished finish that enhances the ensemble’s lines and is protected by an anti-reflective treated sapphire crystal. Contrasted by touches of steel on the hour and minute hands, conical notched crown, and bracelet fixing screw, the black ceramic, resistant to UV and time, exhibits an ultra-resistant, scratch-proof surface with a hardness six times that of steel.
Designed for everyday wear, the Newport Ceramic 35th anniversary sits comfortably on the wrist, thanks to its lightness and a thin matte black bracelet made of high-performance FKM elastomer. This choice, while surprising, harmonizes with the ceramic to bestow a sporty chic style upon the limited edition. Beneath its sleek exterior, the timepiece houses a Swiss-made automatic movement (Sellita) with 25 rubies, oscillating at 28,800 alternations per hour and a power reserve of 56 hours. The transparent case back, rimmed with steel engraved with “Newport 35 years” and the watch’s number X/500, reveals the mechanism whose oscillating weight bears the Herbelin signature.
Rooted in the watchmaking expertise passed down through generations for over 75 years, the Herbelin Newport Ceramic 35th anniversary is a seductive blend of heritage and innovation. It reflects the vision of Jean-Claude Herbelin, who took over the company founded by his father in the early 80s, aiming to launch a collection embodying the fundamental values of the French brand. The Newport collection, inspired by the America’s Cup sailboats racing in Newport, Rhode Island, and the portholes of transatlantic sailboats, symbolizes adventure, escape, and freedom. Maxime Herbelin, the founder’s grandson and associate marketing director, stated, “A bit sporty, definitely chic, the Newport Ceramic 35th anniversary pays a beautiful tribute to our iconic collection while ushering it into a new era. Maintaining the course towards the future: that is our goal.”
The Newport Ceramic 35th anniversary, designed, conceived, hand-assembled, adjusted, and controlled at the HERBELIN workshops in the Jura massif, Franche-Comté, stands as a testament to the brand’s commitment to excellence and innovation. Limited to 500 copies for each dial size, this Made in France timepiece is a fitting tribute to the Newport collection’s 35-year legacy and a beacon guiding it into a new era.
© Photos: Herbelin
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