Elevate the gift of time with our picks of the most outstanding tickers launched this year.
Patek Philippe Ref. 7234A Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Singapore 2019
You can call this Patek Philippe Ref. 7234A many things, but just don’t call it a ladies’ watch. Of late, many male watch enthusiasts we meet have been opting for smaller timepieces, while women – as we all know – have been wearing larger watches for a very long time. Measuring a very versatile 37.5mm (as opposed to the 42mm diameter of its larger counterpart in gold), and featuring a blue-grey sunburst dial, the first steel Pilot Travel Time watch by Patek Philippe will adorn the wrist of either gender beautifully – if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on one, that is. This dual-time automatic watch was one of six South-east Asian limited editions launched at Patek’s hugely successful Watch Art Grand Exhibition that was recently held in Singapore, and only 400 pieces are available.
Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar
Few horological features that exist alongside a perpetual calendar garner greater attention than the latter. The “Twin Beat” dual-balance system in this watch does. This unique technical innovation lets the user select one of two frequencies: When the watch is worn and kept in Active mode, the watch operates at a frequency of five Hz and has a power reserve of four days. When it’s not in use, the Standby balance runs at a low frequency of 1.2Hz and can keep going for a staggering 65 days. This helps to solve the frustrating problem of having to reset the date and day settings on a perpetual calendar wristwatch after a period of not using it. We’re also fans of the dial of this 42mm platinum timepiece – it’s half sapphire crystal and half engraved gold, which gives this hand-wound watch a technical yet refined quality we find most intriguing.
Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 Re-edition
If watchmakers aren’t careful, we’re going to start thinking that they are – gasp – trend-driven fashion brands, considering the frequency with which they are bringing back models from the past and making the old new again. That said, a few models stand out in the abundant crop of vintage reissues, and the one that has us feeling like nostalgia can be a really good thing is the Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806, which is faithfully based on a 1959 edition. All the original details are here in this 40.9mm steel timepiece: the number of beads on the bezel (94), the plexiglass crystal, the dial design and the closed caseback. Where there are changes, it’s for the benefi t of the user, like an improved water resistance of 30m and a new manual-winding movement (calibre B09) developed just for this watch.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Self-winding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-thin
If you’re looking for a gift for a horology connoisseur, you might as well start looking at the top. Winner of the Aiguille d’Or top prize at the prestigious Grand Prix d’Horlogerie in Geneva this month, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Self-winding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin has a case just 6.3mm thick, making it the world’s thinnest automatic perpetual calendar wristwatch. The titanium timepiece is topped by a platinum bezel and is 41mm in diameter. To create a complicated watch this slim, the perpetual-calendar functions that are usually arranged on three levels were reduced to two, an undertaking made possible through patented innovations, such as the integration of the month cam and the month wheel.
Gem-studded MB&F Legacy Machine Flying T
With creations that take inspiration from objects ranging from spaceships to jellyfish, independent brand MB&F is known for some of the craziest – in a good way – timepieces around. So, you can bet that when founder Max Busser set about developing his brand’s first women’s watch, it wasn’t going to be just a regular watch covered with diamonds. Our favourite part of the Legacy Machine FlyingT is its striking domed watch glass of sapphire crystal, enclosing a flying tourbillon atop a tall column. Measuring 20mm in height, this self-winding watch is housed in a 38.5mm- diameter white gold case set with diamonds and has a black lacquer dial. If you’re feeling truly extravagant, there are also fully diamond-set versions.