Well-Deserved Winners At Watch Of The Year (WOTY) 2017 By CH24.PL Include Singer Reimagined, Greubel Forsey, Hermès, And Jaeger-LeCoultre
The eighth edition of Poland’s Watch of the Year by CH24.PL saw a record total of 60 timepieces competing across six categories, all of which were nominated by the prestigious international jury comprising journalists from six countries (six seems to be the theme this year, doesn’t it?).
The winners of the various categories were celebrated on October 19, when more than 120 guests attended a gala evening at Warsaw’s Sobanski Palace.
Winner Classic Watch: Slim d’Hermès L’Heure Impatiente
Ten shortlisted timepieces in the classic watch category displayed just how widely diverse a “traditional” classic watch can be. These watches included chronographs, moon phases, ultra-thin, automatic winding, and a remontoire; opulence and good old-fashioned minimalism were both in evidence.
The top spot went to a watch that I also consider one of the best releases of 2017: the Hermès Slim d’Hermès L’Heure Impatiente, which provides a surprising function: it counts down the hours and then the last 60 minutes of waiting time for an anticipated event, ringing its arrival with a single, sonorous chime.
For more information, please see Hermès Continues Playful Watch Series With Eagerly Awaited L’Heure Impatiente.
Quick Facts: Hermès L’Heure Impatiente
Case: 40.5 x 10.67 mm, pink gold
Movement: automatic Hermès Caliber H1912 with impatient hour module by Agenhor; module contains 131 components and measures 31.96 x 2.2 mm
Functions: hours, minutes; impatient hour function
Price: $39,900 / 35,000 Swiss francs / €31,000
Winner Complicated Watch: Greubel Forsey Grande Sonnerie
Lukasz Doskosz of CH24.PL wrote that, “complications are for watch connoisseurs what sports cars are for petrol heads. It’s hard to come up with anything fresh and new here, but then again that’s not what watch complications are all about.”
While he’s right, the fact is that Greubel Forsey’s Grande Sonnerie is quite possibly the perfect repeating watch with its crystal-clear sound and technically advanced, perfectly finished movement.
For more information, please see Greubel Forsey Grande Sonnerie: Confounding Expectations In A Class Of Its Own and/or www.greubelforsey.com/en/collection/grande-sonnerie.
Quick Facts Greubel Forsey Grande Sonnerie
Case: 43.5 x 16.1 mm, titanium with white gold pushers and crown, convex display back and asymmetrical case band window onto tourbillon, 30-meter water resistance
Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds; petite and grande sonnerie, minute repeater on demand by crown-mounted pusher, strike mode selection by pusher (grande sonnerie/petite sonnerie/silence), striking power reserve indicator, movement power reserve indicator
Movement: hand-wound movement with patented 25-degree inclined 24-second tourbillon, two patents pending, 11 movement safety mechanisms, automatic winding (platinum mini rotor) for striking mechanism, two coaxial series-coupled fast-rotating barrels, security system disengages strike mechanism if crown pulled out, one-piece cathedral gongs on three levels, dedicated striking barrel maximizing hammer force and striking power reserve (about 20 hours in grande sonnerie mode), no quarters pause in striking rhythm, 855 components (movement only), superlative hand finishing
Price: 1,150,000 Swiss francs (excluding VAT)
Winner Sports Watch: Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Chronograph
Of ten quite different shortlisted watches, all perfectly suitable for everyday casual wear and/or real sports activity, the winner was the Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master Control Chronograph, a watch that created lots of buzz at the 2017 SIHH in Geneva.
The jury loved its casual character, sporty chronograph, and charm; it is a watch that each of us jury members are sure we could happily keep wearing all day, every day.
For more information, please see Master Of Control: The New For 2017 Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Date, Master Control Chronograph, And Master Control Geographic and/or www.jaeger-lecoultre.com/en/watches/master/master-chronograph.
Quick Facts Master Control Chronograph
Case: 40 x 12.1 mm, stainless steel
Movement: automatic JLC Caliber 751G
Functions: hours, minutes; chronograph
Winner Ladies’ Watch: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Frosted Gold
I am not surprised in the least that this watch won this category: as was so aptly pointed out in Quill & Pad’s panel discussion on the shortlisted Ladies Watches of the 2017 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, men are certainly going to prefer this feminized version of the classic Royal Oak over practically everything else (for reference: I am the only woman on the WOTY jury).
And that is okay: the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Frosted Gold is a gorgeous version of the classic Royal Oak with just the right amount of sparkle – and this is a sparkle not created by diamonds, but rather by a chiseled treatment of the gold case and bracelet created by an Italian jeweler.
For more information, please see Give Me 5! Five Fabulous Ladies Watches From SIHH 2017 From Audemars Piguet, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Piaget, Cartier, And Van Cleef & Arpels and/or www.audemarspiguet.com/en/new/frosted-gold.
Quick Facts Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Frosted Gold
Case: pink or white gold, 33 mm or 37 x 9.8 mm
Movement: quartz Caliber 2713 (33 mm) or automatic Caliber 3120 (37 mm)
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date
Price: 37,500 Swiss francs (33 mm pink gold), 42,500 Swiss francs (33 mm, white gold), 46,500 Swiss francs (37 mm, pink gold), 51,500 Swiss francs (37 mm, white gold)
Winner Innovation in Watchmaking: Singer Reimagined Track 1
Earlier this year, Ian Skellern wrote, “ . . . the Singer Reimagined Track 1 may already be a truly iconic chronograph: it certainly has both the pedigree and the style. And more importantly for an icon, the Track 1 looks like it’s been around since the 1970s.”
While this does not make up all of the charm of this beautifully designed chronograph, it certainly plays a big part in a watch whose timing can be just as easily read off as the hours and minutes thanks to collaboration with Jean-Marc Wiederrecht and team. Wiederrecht’s Agenhor has created a chronograph able to turn the traditional image of a mechanical stopwatch for the wrist upside down with its creative mechanics.
Quick Facts Singer Reimagined Track 1
Case: grade 5 titanium, 43 x 15 mm, transparent display back, water resistance 100 meters
Movement: AgenGraphe column wheel chronograph, 60-hour power reserve, automatic winding with peripheral rotor under the dial
Functions: hours and minutes on disks; central coaxial chronograph displaying jumping hours (to 60 hours), jumping minutes and seconds
Price: 39,800 Swiss francs (excluding taxes)
Winner Watch under 10,000 PLN: Longines Heritage 1945
This category is similar to the Petite Aiguille of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. The sum of 10,000 Polish zloty is equal to about $2,700, €2,350, or 2,700 Swiss francs.
The idea here is to honor an affordable watch, but one that creates the biggest interest among the public.
A crazy, complicated masterpiece is difficult to create, but designing a watch that stands out among its well-priced competition is quite a feat too. Longines is master of that, and this year’s Heritage 1945 is a great example as the watch has an interesting history and an original yet minimalist design.
For more information, please see www.longines.com/novelties/the-longines-heritage-1945.
Quick Facts Longines Heritage 1945
Case: stainless steel, 40 mm
Movement: automatic Longines Caliber L609.3 (base ETA 2895.2)
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds
Winner Public Prize: Tissot Heritage 1948
Continuing the apparent love of retro-styled watches that the Longines 1945 displays so ingenuously, the public voting also honored a timepiece with vintage flavor. CH24.PL received an astonishing amount of more than 12,000 Internet-based votes for the Public Prize category.
The winner comes from Longines’s Swatch Group sister brand Tissot for its Heritage 1948, a chronograph inspired by the rich history of the Swiss staple.
For more information, please visit www.us.tissotshop.com/tissot-heritage-1948.
Quick Facts Tissot Heritage 1948
Case: stainless steel, 39.5 x 11.9 mm
Movement: automatic ETA Caliber 2894-2
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date, chronograph
Price: $1,400 (leather strap), $1,450 (mesh bracelet)
And the special jury prize went to the Omega #SpeedyTuesday edition, which was initiated by Robert-Jan Broer of Fratello Watches. For more on that, see Social Media Phenomenon Inspires New Omega Speedmaster, First To Be Sold On Internet.