1. IWC Portugeiser Collection
The Portugeiser collection, one of IWC’s most popular watch lines since 1930, has received significant updates – both in regards to its mechanicals, as well as its styling. The classic Portugeiser Chronograph nominated this year is one of my current favourite watches for a variety of reasons. Firstly, I love the clean design of the latest version of the chrono. With the dial featuring two sub-dials, paired with Arabic numerals, the design is free of any extra addenda and looks just right. I’m also quite partial to the steel version, which is simply gorgeous. And, with the introduction of an in-house movement – the 69355 caliber – the Portugeiser Chronograph is one of the hottest ‘affordable’ watches on the market right now.
2. Louis Monet Memoris Superlight
While Louis Monet was the inventor of the Chronograph in 1816, the brand named in his honour claims to have reinvented the chronograph two centuries later. In the unique Memoris model, the brand has achieved this by disassociating the traditional movement and shifting the chronograph function to the front, while relegating the automatic winding mechanism to the back. This separation, along with the terrific blue and orange contrasting colours, paired with the titanium case in a dark finish give the design of the Memoris terrific visual appeal. And the benefit of this unique mechanism and construction is that every function of the chrono – start, stop and reset can be seen in its operation.
3. Vacheron Constantin
Overseas Ultra-Thin Skeleton
Overseas Perpetual from Vacheron is a range that I’ve admired for a long while now. This year, the range gets an even bigger attraction, with the Ultra-Thin Skeleton. Now, Vacheron has used skeleton dials in many forms in the past, but the final result of this design just makes the Overseas Perpetual more gorgeous than ever. The applied hour markers on the dial, paired with the floating white discs for the calendar indications, and a gold disc for the moon phase makes the watch a design classic already – and, of course, let’s not forget the skeleton design that lets you admire all its intricate architecture.
4. Greubel Forsey Hand Made 1
While watchmaking used to be a purely handmade endeavour, with the advances in machinery and technology, modern watchmaking is much less so – with machines contributing to a large percentage of a watch’s creation. The Greubel Forsey Hand Made 1 changes that tradition, and goes back to a time when almost the entire watch was handmade. This means that this Tourbillon creation, with 272 individual components and 36 case parts, took an amazing 6,000 hours of work to develop. That’s over 10 years in man hours! Given the time required to create the Hand Made 1, only two or three pieces of this timepiece will be created each year.
5. Romain Gauthier INSIGHT CARBONIUM® EDITION
Featuring a stunningly detailed and skeletised design theme, the interesting part of this Romain Gauthier is the different materials used – the case and dial is made of aerospace-grade Carbonium, while the main plate and bridges are created using ultra-light titanium. However, what amplifies the beauty of this timepiece is the amount of time spent on making sure that every visible surface of the watch is finished to an exemplary level. In fact, just the task of decorating the entire timepiece by hand, or by hand-operated tools – including anglage, hand-frosting, circular graining, straight graining and snailing – takes over 350 hours of work!