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The 20 Watches That Impressed In 2013
watches Top 20 Watches of 2013
high quality replica watches for men It was truly stellar year for watchmaking. And as hard as it is to rank the wonderful mechanical timepieces I have seen over the last 12 months, I am going to take a few moments to discuss 20 of the best watches of 2013 I had the privilege to see.
high quality replica watches Jaeger-LeCoultre is often in a class by itself for the sheer number of varying and variable high-quality products its 1,200 employees come up with every year. It was admittedly hard to choose the best one between the devastatingly svelte Master Ultra-Thin Jubilee in platinum, the wildly complicated and compelling Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon 3 and the one I have ended up choosing as part of my “best” list for 2013: the Rendez-Vous Celestial.
all brand watches Forgoing the prevalent style of making a ladies’ watch by simply shrinking down an existing men’s version and making it “prettier” by adding embellishments such as enamel or gemstones, Jaeger-LeCoultre has created a masterpiece that is purpose-built for the female wrist. The Rendez-Vous Celestial blew me away with its scintillating mechanics – in addition to the current time, it includes a sky chart and celestial disk with zodiac indication and a star-tipped hand to indicate a personal “rendez-vous” time – combined with devastatingly beautiful visuals that include a lapis lazuli dial embellished with diamonds and guilloché engraving. All this is housed in what I consider the classic sweet spot in terms of size: a 37.5 mm white gold case.
swiss watches There is one “shrunk-down” complicated men’s timepiece that does make my list, however, and this must really be a first in a year full of firsts: the Hermès 38 mm Time Suspended. For in-depth information on this most unusual complication, read the full story here.
best replica watches Grand art of traditional watchmaking
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: this was the year of what’s known in watchmaking as grand complications. Aside from Patek Philippe’s incredible Sky Moon Tourbillon Reference 6002G, there was also the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication and the one I choose as part of this listing: the A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Grand Complication. This long-awaited timepiece inspired by the historical pocket watch with the reference number 42500 owns an absolutely commanding presence and perhaps the nicest chime I have ever had the pleasure to experience. If you would like to hear it, too, and learn a lot more about it, check out the full story here.
The Bulgari Commedia dell’Arte fascinated me from the get-go with its jump hour, retrograde minutes and a minute repeater on cathedral gongs and two hammers that move automaton figures on the dial. These figures are central to a hand-painted scene at home in Commedia Dell’Arte, a classic form of Italian theater from the sixteenth century involving masks and improvisational roles. When the minute repeater begins chiming, these exquisite figures come alive, singing, playing, and dancing against a painted backdrop of a sixteenth-century Italian palazzo with Venetian, Neapolitan or Bolognese décor. A delight!
Classic, yet different
When it came to Blancpain’s offerings in 2013, it was really very hard to choose between the Le Brassus Carrousel Répétition Minutes and the Le Brassus Tourbillon Carrousel. I ended up, however, selecting the timepiece that displays not only the time, date and power reserve (on the back), but also includes both a flying tourbillon (at the 6 o’clock position) and the carrousel first seen in 2008’s Carrousel Volante Une Minute (at 12 o’clock) that gifted independent watchmaker Vincent Calabrese created for this Swatch Group-owned brand. This highly unusual and rather complicated manually wound movement is laid bare on the dial side and aesthetically framed by a white grand feu enamel dial ring.
Sister brand Breguet likewise brought out many new models that were all quite capable of capturing my heart, including the incredible Classique La Musicale, the Reine de Naples Jour-Nuit and the Classique Chronométrie Ref. 7727, which extends the boundaries of classic horology to encompass post-modern components such as magnetic pivots. Its beautiful hand-guilloché dial boasts a full six different, hand-engraved patterns as well as classically blued hands and screws and a beautifully fluted bezel.
The Classique Ultra-Thin Automatic Tourbillon Ref. 5377, however, is my pick for this list. Its movement height is only 3 mm, and the case only 7 mm, yet it is automatic: a feat like no other solved by placing the rotor for winding the movement is in a fully different place than one would expect: it is a very clever solution involving a progressive, platinum, peripheral rotor eminently viewable through the large sapphire crystal case back. Housed in a typically styled, coin-edge 42 mm rose gold or platinum Breguet case, its silvered gold dial demonstrates the distinctive classic guilloché-and-blued-hands beauty one expects of a timepiece bearing the Breguet name.
It is admittedly hard for dyed-in-the-wool watch aficionados to imagine such a timepiece coming from this reputable fashion house; however, the 2011 takeover of complicated movement maker La Fabrique du Temps has made such pieces possible. The first incredible talking piece arrived at Baselworld 2013: the Tambour TwinChrono monopusher chronograph, which was developed in order to mechanically take the times of two boats in a Match Racing competition and display the difference in the times afterward. All shown on the same guilloché dial coated with translucent grand feu enamel. So simple, yet so complicated…and absolutely uncommon.
The Richard Mille RM 59-01 Tourbillon Yohan Blake is named for the Olympic Jamaican sprinter. While this watch has certainly divided watch community opinions thanks to its brash visuals, the translucent composite injected with carbon nanotubes comprising this asymmetrical case somewhat resembling Paleolithic amber are nothing short of highly innovative. The attention-drawing color is an added plus (or minus, depending on how you see it). Polarization is the important thing – and for me it is one of the most interesting watches 2013 produced.
Speaking of daring, Glashütte, Germany-based Nomos went out on a serious limb in 2013 with the introduction of its very first luxury line housed in gold cases. It’s not the gold – and therefore the pricing (this down-to-earth German brand is known for its excellent price/performance ratio) – that makes these timepieces so audacious, but in addition to the unaccustomed pricing structure, it is the shape of the oblong Lux in particular that will shock fans of this brand. And precisely this is what I applaud: Bauhaus-inspired Nomos rarely takes chances, preferring instead not to disappoint its loyal following. This daring watch with its audacious shape, fearless baby blue dial color, and adventuresome (and expensive) mechanics is for me Bauhaus transcended. I love it, unabashedly, from every angle.
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