Newport at 25 – The Evolution of Michel Herbelin’s Flagship Line

When Jean-Claude Herbelin took over the reins of his father’s company in the early 1980s, one of his key objectives was to launch a new line which would embody the company’s core values and watchmaking heritage.  The line was to become the company’s most enduring and identifiable collection.Drawing on his own love of sailing, Jean-Claude Herbelin created NEWPORT, a range of timepieces that took its inspiration from the America’s Cup and the race to Newport, Rhode Island. NEWPORT stood for a love of the outdoors, a spirit of adventure, freedom and ultimately the pursuit of happiness.

Early Newport designs from the 1980s had round cases reminiscent of port holes and were either in stainless steel or two tone stainless steel and gold plated versions.Essentially a sports collection but smart enough to be worn as a dress watch, Newport watches were, from the outset, water resistant to a minimum of 5 Atmospheres with sapphire crystals, screw down crowns and beautiful lacquered dials with applied indices. Nautical detailing included a ship’s wheel motif on the dial with rope design around the edge as well as a ship’s wheel on the crown.

As the company invested heavily in international advertising campaigns in this decade, Newport became identifiable around the world as the flagship range of Michel Herbelin.

1980's Newport advertising leaflet

1980′s Newport advertising leaflet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the 1990s, Newport evolved away from its reliance on stainless steel. New Newport timepieces were launched utilising titanium treated steel in a unique indigo ink blue colour. These blue Titanium treated Newport watches became iconic Michel Herbelin creations.

Newport Blue Titanium covered Stainless Steel

Newport Blue Titanium covered Stainless Steel – model 36697-BLA42

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Between 2000 and 2010, Michel Herbelin made two important  developments to the Newport collection.

Newport Trophy

Newport Trophy

The first was the introduction of the Newport Trophy collection a range of Newport watches with all the technical reliability and quality of the traditional Newport collection but with a slightly younger appeal and at a lower price point.

 

 

 

 

 

The second was the launch of the Newport J Class and Newport Royale collections.

J-Class

J-Class model with solid 18ct gold elements and a decorated automatic movement

Drawing on the company’s watchmaking heritage, Newport J-Class watches were hand assembled and finished automatic timepieces with all the technical know-how and craftsmanship associated with the J-Class yachts from which they took their name.

J-Class automatic mvt2

 

 

 

 

 

Newport Royale with diamond set dial and solid gold elements - model 12898-BAOR89

Newport Royale with diamond set dial and solid gold elements – model 12898-BAOR89

 

Newport Royale timepieces utilised 18ct gold and steel to create a collection of precious metal watches with details such as diamond dials.

 

 

 

 

 

Ever in tune with current trends and modern materials, since 2010 we have seen the launch of Newport Trophy Grand Sport  a collection of rugged sports timepieces and chronographs utilising ceramic and rubber with stainless steel.

Newport Trophy Grand Sport - model 36690-BAC24

Newport Trophy Grand Sport – model 36690-BAC24

More in line with the original Newport watch, the modern Newport Yacht Club collection offers mens and womens timepieces that are as practical as they are refined. The Newport Yacht Club Chronograph ref 36655/AN65 has all the detailing of its predecessors but with a modern flair. The caseback has an embossed ship’s wheel motif and so too does the crown. The blue titanium tachymetre bezel is a nod to the iconic Newports of the 90s. However, the double date window, 42mm case size and hatched finish to the blue leather strap are all pointers that this watch has its feet firmly in the present day.

Newport Grand Trophy Sport model 36655-AN65

Newport Yacht Club model 36655-AN65

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Newport this year, Michel Herbelin has created a limited edition Newport watch.This special timepiece is Swiss Made with an automatic movement and see-through caseback. In the true spirit of Newport, it is in a royal blue colour.Even the hour markers are in the shape of the hulls of the yachts that inspired its creation 25 years ago.

Royal Yacht Club 25th Anniversary - model 1666-45

Royal Yacht Club 25th Anniversary – model 1666-45

Please contact us for more information about this special timepiece-   sales@michelherbelin.co.uk


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