Many of you are likely to have come across at least a few heated discussions of “finishing,” a topic that seems to fascinate, and divide, watch enthusiasts. Like many people, my starting point for serious watches was with a well-priced brand long known for its expertise in developing movements, justly viewed as offering good value for money – but not necessarily for the refinement of its movement finishing, at least on its less expensive pieces. What have I learned since then?
Read about my recent purchase of the lovely Breguet Classique Chronométrie Reference 7727, which is not only the 2014 Aiguille d’Or winner of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, but also an excellent example of how classic can successfully meet high-tech and live to tell about it.
The Tradition Fusée Tourbillon is the most incredible modern Breguet that I have ever seen. I make no claims as to its innovation, its complexity, or its everyday wearability. I simply make the claim that if you wanted a true Breguet timepiece with all of the brand’s history rolled into one, the 7047 would be the one.
Now we get to the real nitty-gritty at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.: the Aiguille d’Or. There are no ifs, and or buts any more, just a decision on which of the 72 pre-selected watches is the best overall timepiece of the year. It is the most prestigious of the awards given.
Which could be our panel’s favorite to win? The Margot by Christophe Claret? Urwerk EMC? Perhaps the De Bethune DB29 Maxichrono Tourbillon? Or will it be something else entirely?
If you’re looking for a fun work of fiction with a serious watch theme to take on your holidays, you might want to go for ‘The Grand Complication’ by Allen Kurzweil. ‘The Grand Complication’ is a quick read, steeped not only in the legends of modern watchmaking, but also appealing to bibliophiles with its many references to literature and libraries.
Early American historian and Harvard professor Laurel Thatcher Ulrich titled her 2008 book ‘Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History.’ Ulrich would probably be very interested to know about three famous Swiss and French brands whose very first wristwatches were made for – and in a way by – women. Their watches have made history.
The last few years have seen a slow but steady increase in the number of ladies’ watches with both serious artistically decorated dials and cases and high-quality mechanical movements.
Here we highlight just five of the stunners that caught our eyes from Patek Philippe, Blancpain, Bulgari, Breguet and Delaneau.
Not everyone gets to check out Breguet’s factory from the inside, and those who do generally don’t get to take photographs of what they see. This modernized factory in the heart of the remote Vallée de Joux with its many annexed hallways, secretive doors and interesting manufacturing capabilities has long been a jealously guarded secret.