2012 Top 10 Watches in the World
Top watchmakers have turned to their rich history to create the best Swiss mechanical watchesby Cheryl Chu
This year, the world's top watch manufacturers have turned to their rich heritage for inspiration, reinterpreting some of their bestselling collections with technological breakthroughs. Your favourite watches are better than ever before and brand new timepieces are worth exploring, from proportions to materials, and movements to haute horlogerie finishings. History speaks volumes and there is no better moment to invest in your precious time than now.
A. LANGE & SÖHNE - Grand Lange 1
Lange 1 has been A. Lange & Söhne's most iconic collection since its launch in 1994. Director of Press and Public Relations Arnd Einhord said, “With only 18 years on the market, Lange 1 is one of the youngest icon in the long history of watmaking.” Grand Lange 1 debuts as a larger model with the new Calibre L095.1. It displays the hours, minutes and seconds, as well as the outsize date (even larger than the classic Lange 1) and 72-hour power reserve without any overlap, offering greater legibility. Grand Lange 1 is only 8.8 millimetres thick. The time can be set with just the crown, where one push will also let you correct the date.
JAEGER-LECOULTRE – Duomètre à Quantième Lunaire
This new Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètres à Quantième Lunaire displays hours, minutes, seconds, jumping stop seconds with zero-reset system, date, age and phase of the moon for both hemispheres and power reserve – all in an elegant and well-proportioned design. Artistic and Design Director Janek Deleskiewicz said, “We take traditional designs, colours and materials from historically successful collections and make them contemporary again, but the real innovation lies in the movement.” You only need one crown to wind the watch and adjust the hours and minutes, only one push piece to correct the date and one corrector to change the moon phase. The jumping seconds hand even measures a sixth of a second. It’s precision at its best.
JAEGER-LECOULTRE – Duomètre à Sphérotourbillon
The innovative Duomètre à Sphérotourbillon houses an adjustable tourbillon in a grade 5 titanium carriage. The revolutionary dual-wing concept lets you wind the watch, set the time, adjust the date and travel time-zone with one crown, while you can activate the small seconds flyback mechanism, adjusting the tourbillon to the second, with just a push piece at the 2 o’clock position. Artistic and Design Director Janek Deleskiewicz said, “We take traditional designs, colours and materials from historically successful collections and take care of the evolution...the real innovation lies in the movement.”
Jaeger-LeCoultre first created the Memovox back in the early 1950s. Since then the collection has achieved iconic status with a number of re-interpretations. You can experience the Memovox in a brand new way with the innovative Deep Sea Vintage Chronograph mechanical diver watches, equipped with hour, minute counters and a central sweep seconds hand.The contemporary watch is powered by the mechanical automatic movement Calibre 751G, boasting a water resistance of 10 bar and a 65-hour power reserve. The matt black dial with Superluminova hands and hour-markers are proof of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s expertise in making sports watches.
PANERAI - Radiomir 8 Days GMT Oro Rosso 45mm
Red gold has never looked so good. Panerai’s unique alloy 5NPt has a high percentage of copper and 0.4% of platinum which prevents oxidation. Add to this the beautiful P.2002 movement with its skeletonized bridges and barrels, visible on the back. This GMT watch displays the hour, minute, small seconds, second time zone and 24-hour indication. The 8-day power reserve is a function, which the Panerai watches from the1940s already had, now made even more legible with a linear display. Practical solutions such as removable wire loops allow you to change straps effortlessly. Suggested retail price: €26,000
Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT Ceramica 48mm
Ceramic has never looked more sophisticated than in this new Panerai watch, where a synthetic ceramic based on zirconium powder has been meticulously treated to create a very matt, uniform black colour, resistant to scratches, corrosion and extreme temperatures. This Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT watch is powered by the P.2005/B movement that echoes the aesthetics of the case. On the back of the watch, you can see the tourbillon that makes a full rotation every 30 seconds and the 6-day power reserve display. The tourbillon indicator at 9 o'clock with dot markers and the 24-hour indicator at 3 o'clock completes this new generation Luminor 1950.
AUDEMARS PIGUET - Extra-thin Royal Oak Tourbillon
Audemars Piguet celebrates the 40th anniversary of its iconic Royal Oak collection with new references. The Extra-Thin Royal Oak Tourbillon steals the show with its hand-wound in-house Calibre 2924, just 4.46 millimetres thick. You can see the power reserve on the back of this pink gold watch. The historic blue ‘Petite Tapisserie’ pattern on the dial – which takes 15 operations to manufacture – has been recreated using the original vintage machines, meticulously restored to function and produce the pounced ornament technique. Price upon request in boutiques.
Royal Oak Quartz
The Royal Oak Quartz is a perfect interpretation of the world's first luxury sports watch in a smaller dimension - just 33 millimetres in diameter - powered by a quartz movement. The white ‘Grande Tapisserie’ pattern on the silver dial has been recreated using the original vintage machines, meticulously restored to function and produce the pounced ornament technique. The stainless steel is elegantly complemented by a diamond-set bezel, making this new Royal Oak a sophisticated women's watch.
MONTBLANC - Princesse Grace de Monaco
Montblanc launches a new watch and jewellery collection in honour of the style icon. Get to know the feminine side of Montblanc with the new Princesse Grace de Monaco timepieces. Two limited editions – one set with baguette-cut diamonds and the other with premium diamonds – boast an 18-carat red gold case engraved with the princess’ monogramme, a Montblanc patented diamond in the crown, and are powered by the in-house 4810/160 movement. The stainless steel reference with a white alligator leather strap is perfect for active women who do not want to sacrifice elegance. Price upon request in boutiques.
PIAGET - Gouverneur
Piaget launches its first men's watch collection with Gouverneur. It intricately balances round and oval designs to create the classic, yet contemporary watches, which look just as fabulous on a woman's wrist. Choose from pink gold or diamond-set white gold references, all powered by an in-house movement by Piaget. Gouverneur Tourbillon has the world's thinnest tourbillon and the astronomical moon phase indicator requires adjustment only once every 122 years! Imagine all this comes with haute horlogerie finishings, making the Gouverneur Piaget's new star this year. Price upon request in boutiques.
RICHARD MILLE - RM 037
The rugged RM 037 is packed with user-friendliness with the new automatic Calibre CRMA1. The skeletonized Grade 5 titanium movement displays hours, minutes, oversize date and function. A pusher at the four o’clock position lets you select winding, neutral and hand setting, while the pusher at ten o’clock lets you change the date. A patented crown mechanism prevents damage to the movement. Innovative materials include micro-blasted Grade 5 titanium Titalyt treated baseplate, DLC-treated bridges, as well as two Nitril O-ring seals, which ensure water resistance for up to 50 metres. Suggested retail price: €62,000 titanium, €77,500 red gold, €83,500 white gold
RICHARD MILLE - Tourbillon Split Seconds Competition Chronograph RM 050 Felipe Massa
Lighter, stronger and more precise – the new Calibre RMCC1 marks a new departure for the chronograph. The manual winding tourbillon movement with grade 5 titanium baseplate and bridges lets you time separate events with greater precision and reliability. You can start and stop the chronograph function with a button at the 8 o’clock position, and reset the hands with a pusher at 10 o’clock. Start and stop the split seconds hand to time an event with a button at 4 o’clock Pushing it again will reset and you’re ready for the next measurement.
VAN CLEEF & ARPELS - Pierre Arpels
Van Cleef & Arpels celebrates Pierre Arpels’ legacy with a new rendition of his eponymous timepiece collection. The new Pierre Arpels watch looks just as elegant as when it was first created over 60 years ago. This is a classic round watch with a white lacquer dial, decorated with the honeycomb pattern of a black-tie shirt front. The watch sits elegantly on the wrist and slips discreetly under the cuff. Powered by Piaget 830P mechanical manual winding movement, Pierre Arpels comes in pink or white gold, in 38 or 42-millimetre diameters. Diamond-set references easily make Pierre Arpels every ladie’s man.