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Which of your latest purchases have made the cut? We’ve rounded the top six watches for men in 2016, each a winner in its own right.
1. Drive de Cartier
Award: Best New Collection
The cushion-shaped case makes its first appearance on this year’s new Drive de Cartier collection.
Targeted at the man with good taste, Drive de Cartier gets inspiration for its timeless, masculine design from vintage automobiles. The guilloche pattern on the dial resembles the lines on radiator grilles and the winding crown is shaped like a bolt.
Three in-house calibres drive the three versions: the 1904-PS MC is used in the most basic model featuring hours, minutes, small seconds and date, while the 1904-FU MC adds a second time zone and day/night indicator.
The last version is a high complication timepiece powered by calibre 9452 MC featuring a flying tourbillon at six o’clock finished in accordance with the requirements of the prestigious Poincon de Geneve certification.
2. Saxonia Moon Phase
Brand: A. Lange & Sohne
Award: Best Moon Phase
A Lange & Sohne has put German precision to good use on the Saxonia Moon Phase launched this year at Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie. Taking centre stage at six o’clock is a beautifully decorated moon phase, developed for a 99.998 per cent accuracy, which means it will remain accurate for 122.6 years. This is definitely a feat as the average moon phase develops an error of one day every two years and seven and a half months, and will require adjustment then.
Housed within its 40mm case is the L086.5 movement. The moon phase disc serves double duty as a small seconds and at 12 o’clock is the signature oversized date aperture that marks this timepiece as a true A Lange & Sohne creation.
3. Ref 5930g World Time Chronograph
Brand: Patek Philippe
Award: Best World Timer
Arguably one of Patek Philippe’s most important releases this year, this timepiece is touted as the world’s thinnest world time-chronograph. At the base is CH 28-520, an in-house self-winding chronograph calibre. With the world time complication added to it, the movement measures just 7.91mm.
The 30-minute chronograph is located on a subdial at six o’clock. The 24 cities and 24-hour time display for the world timer are shown on rings around the edge of the dial. Because there is no seconds hand, the chronograph’s seconds hand plays dual roles, and is kept running at all times in the centre. The world timer can be controlled with a pusher at 10 o’clock. The movement has been cleverly designed so that the chronograph seconds hand as well as the hour and minute hands run undisrupted even when the time zone of the world timer is being changed.
4. Grande Seconde Off-Centered
Brand: Jaquet Droz
Award: Best Classic timepiece
Perhaps the best testament to the timelessness of the iconic figure eight design on Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde model is the fact that it was conceived in the 18th century. About 300 years later, it remains relevant and is now one of the brand’s most recognisable motifs. Formed by two overlapping subdials – the smaller one showing the hours and minutes and the larger one, the seconds – it was considered a revolutionary way to display time when it was first used as a pocket watch in the 1700s. Prior to this, it was unusual for any timekeeping device to prioritise the seconds display by framing it in a subdial that was larger than the one showing the hours.
This year, Jaquet Droz gives the figure eight a refreshing makeover. Now slightly tilted with the larger seconds subdial located at seven instead of six o’clock, it also features an edgy dial in black onyx framed by a 43mm stainless steel case – a much more casual and contemporary metal than gold. Adding to the watch’s minimalist beauty are the delicate slits forming the indexes, which are carved directly into the rings of white gold that form the subdials.
5. Overseas Self-Winding
Brand: Vacheron Constantin
Award: Best Everyday Timepiece
For Vacheron Constantin , 2016 is definitely the year of the Overseas. The brand has reinvented the line with three new calibres, all bearing the prestigious Poincon de Geneve seal. The Overseas Self-Winding may be considered the anchor timepiece of this revamp, it being the quintessential three-hand except for the date window at three o’clock. Powered by the new in-house movement 5100, it has a comfortable 60-hour power reserve and a 41mm case. Through the caseback, its wearer can admire the 22k gold oscillating weight. It comes in pink gold or stainless steel. The latter version has three interchangeable straps – a leather strap, a rubber one, and a bracelet.
6. Diagono Magnesium Chronograph
Award: Best Sports Watch
When the first Bulgari Diagono timepiece debuted in 1998, it caused a stir in the watchmaking community with its unorthodox case material, aluminium. Then, the new millennia rolled around, titanium became the material du jour among watchmakers and the Diagono received a fashionable update in the form of a titanium case.
But it’s not like Bulgari to rest on its laurels or follow trends. Last year saw a new incarnation called Diagono Magnesium, which features ultra-light, ultra-strong magnesium in its case. That’s not all. The watch case also used ceramic (for lightness and sturdiness) and PEEK (a material often used in aircraft and space shuttles). Lighter, tougher, more precise – these are the keywords guiding the creation of any good sports watch. The unique case composition of the Diagono Magnesium certainly lends itself well to this, which is why the Diagono Magnesium Chronograph released this year seems like a natural evolution for the line.