SIHH 2011: My Picks part 1

Posted on January 21, 2011

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Lange Zeitwerk Striking Time: The most recent sibling in the Lange Zeitwerk family is endowed with a chiming mechanism that is visible in its face. It strikes the quarter-hours with high-pitched tones and the full hours at a lower pitch.

Top Luxury Men’s Watches from SIHH 2011

1. A. Lange & Sohne: German engineered, distinctive, understated, gorgeous. I would continue to describe this classically elegant yet manly luxury watch in single word superlatives but I shan’t. Needless to say, this timepiece from the German manufacturer is everything one would come to expect from haute horlogerie and more. For all its rootedness in tradition, the Lange Zeitwerk Striking Time is ahead of it’s time for it’s “digital” hour and minute readout. Throw in repeater chiming mechanism, this is one complication to beat.

RM033 Extra Flat Automatic Calibre: An extra flat movement is something most subtle and elegant in the world of horology since the expertise of the watchmaker resides in achieving something almost invisible. In the case of the automatic extra flat wristwatch the RM 033, one of its characteristic lies in the placement of the RMXP1 caliber’s automatic micro rotor to the side rather than the center of the movement, thus saving precious millimeters in total height.

2. Richard Mille: To be honest, this bad boy was running tied for 2nd place on this list until I noticed an additional point that pipped this piece of gorgeousness ahead of Roger Dubuis’ offering. The RM033 Extra Flat Automatic is super thin!

Additionally, it’s naked movements laid bare, a hallmark of most Richard Mille watches gives me the shivers- nudity rules (only when good looking watches or people are naked of course).

The thinness of 2.60mm is only possible because unique placement of the RMXP1 caliber’s automatic micro rotor to the side rather than the center (as is usual for most watches). The slender build belies the RM0033′s robust nature- balance wheel that is free sprung with variable inertia- what this means is greater shock protection- always good in any man’s book.

3. Roger Dubuis: Edged out by a hair width, Roger Dubuis’ Millesime Flying Tourbillon takes third place, capturing my heart with the open heart tourbillon and large date. Larger than life with 44mm platinum case, the signature silver satin sunburst dial (a signature of RD) is immediately attention grabbing. Even the movement is pretty. Good looks on the outside, great heart on the inside.

4. IWC: I had already spoken about the Portofino Handwound Eight Days before and IWC continues to surprise us with great looking designs and greater manufacture movements. With two German brands on this list, it’s sure to make diehard “Swiss-made” enthusiasts take notice. The Portofino Dual Time is eye catching and perfect for the globe trotting business executive. Extra marks for the Santoni leather watch bands- that’s extra class on a timepiece that exudes classic elegance.

5. Baume & Mercier: It’s not just because I’m a fan but also because B&M have always made luxurious yet affordable timepieces. It also doesn’t hurt that with the change of business direction and Gwyneth Paltrow helping Baume & Mercier herald in a new era for the Swiss Maison de’ Horlogerie, the new focus on Hamptons and tighter designs (not forgetting to mention all new manufacture movements) make Baume & Mercier the Swiss manufacturer to watch. Their Capelands watches rule. My personal favourite- their all new Classima Executives 10038.

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