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Innovation and performance – luxury watch manufacturers combine the best of both worlds while perpetuating their traditions

by 27 October 2010

Watchmakers and designers work hand in hand in a continuous effort to achieve greater precision and better design. “Precision is our greatest challenge. Sometimes it comes down to finding every millimetre of space, fitting every piece together and making the movement work,” explained Magali Métrailler, the designer of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s extraordinary men’s and sports watches, when I interviewed her at SIHH. While precision is a technical quality, the concept of time is something quite different. Whether you see it as an abstract idea, or whether you are someone who fights for every precious minute of the day, we have picked out this year’s most outstanding timepieces for you.

Rolex equips numerous explorers for their expeditions to the Himalayas, and is known for testing its timepieces in real-life situations. The first impression made by the Oyster Perpetual Explorer is one of “indestructibility.” Made from a solid block of 904L steel, the watch is exceptionally anti-corrosive, and it is water-resistant up to 100m. An extremely clean silhouette underscores the expertise that has created the self-winding mechanical movement. Greater precision and resistance are achieved by means of a Perpetual rotor, a Parachrom hairspring and Paraflex shock absorbers. This watch is discreet enough for everyday wear, and tough enough for the greatest adventure of your life.

You don’t have to be a connoisseur to appreciate Patek Philippe. The watchmaking giant has created new references for the Nautilus Chronograph to appeal to a wider public. Created more than 30 years ago, the new Nautilus Chronograph, with its rugged porthole design, is still equipped with the self-winding CH 28-520 C chronograph movement. The chronograph hand doubles as a running sweep seconds hand, and the minute and hour counters are both combined in a monocounter with three concentric scales. Worn on a leather strap for the very first time, the Nautilus Chronograph is proof that a great classic can stand the test of time.

Jaeger-LeCoultre first created the Memovox back in the early 1950s, at a time when Europe was recovering from the Second World War. Now, you can champion the optimistic and innovative spirit of the maison with the new Master Memovox International. This very contemporary watch is equipped with the mechanical automatic Calibre 956, which is entirely crafted, assembled and decorated by hand. Its alarm disc features different cities, and there are two limited editions, in 18-carat pink gold and steel. The robust 40mm case, with a beautifully engraved “Master Control” logo, is a great example of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s expertise in making timepieces for the action-oriented world.

Related articles:
A New Chapter in Iconic Watches
New Trends in Watchmaking at SIHH

Germany FW 2010