take a moment to lust after some
rather fine examples of the watchmakers’ art
1. Nomos Metro
A rising star in the premium watch firmament and with good reason.
Their understated award-winning time pieces ooze quality and class, feel
wonderful on the wrist and offer exceptional value. Discerning watch
fans will know that Glashutte, the German town that’s home to Nomos,
has a rich history of watch making. It’s this expertise that allows Nomos
to manufacture 95% of the parts in their watches, which includes their
own unique ‘swing’ escapement, designed to reduce wear on moving
components. Design is entrusted to Mark Braun’s studio in Berlin to
ensure their looks meet the standards set by their engineering. The Metro
is a prime example. With a manual winding movement and a power
reserve indicator in a lovely mint, red and white colour palette, it’s pure
urban sophistication. £2390 from Crouch.
2. Breitling Cockpit B50
Don’t jump to any rash conclusions just because it has a quartz
movement – as you’d expect of Breitling, the B50 chronograph is pretty
special. The movement is a Breitling trademarked SuperQuartz designed
to meet the rigorous standards expected by today’s pilots and watch
collectors. Amazingly, it loses less than 15 seconds a year, includes an
electronic tachometer and a “chrono flight” device that records flight
times whilst memorizing departure and arrival times and dates as well
as extending battery life by years. Add to this a rechargeable battery, an
onboard compass, hands that park to view data and finally a stunning
titanium case and you have a very special watch. £5280 from Crouch.
3. Hublot Big Bang Ferrari 2014
Hublot are on a roll. One of the world’s fastest growing prestige watch
brands, their Big Bang set the watch world alight when launched and their
Fusion in Art designs continue to be the time piece of choice for many
of the world’s most illustrious sports people. And this is the daddy of the
current range. Limited to only 1000 pieces, it’ll be a huge draw for Ferrari
fans, fashionistas and watch afficianodos. Totally designed in house, with
a movement visible front and back, it comes in either a black or white
ceramic carbon case and gets Ferrari’s official seal of approval as well as its
trademark prancing horse and red or yellow accents (dependent on case
colour). If Hublot’s good enough for Sparky, Fergie, the Chosen One and
Ferrari it’s good enough for us. £20,600 from Crouch.
4. Ballon Bleu de Cartier
Floating like a balloon and as blue as the sapphire safely nestled in its
side, the Ballon Bleu watch by Cartier adds a dash of elegance to male
and female wrists alike. Roman numerals are guided on their path by a
sapphire cabochon winding mechanism protected by an arc of precious
metal. So say Cartier and who are we to argue. With the convex curves
of the case, guilloché dial, sword-shaped hands, and polished or satinfinish
links of the bracelet, this modest and minimalist ultra-thin version of the Ballon Bleu de Cartier affirms the signature style of an iconic timepiece. A mere 6.9 mm thick, the slender 18k rose gold case houses the unstoppable mechanics of the 430MC manual winding movement. The pure refinement of this timepiece lends a distinctive elegance to the wrist. £13,200 from Parkhouse the Jeweller.
5. Omega Constellation
The wonderfully dramatic and enduring design concept of the
Constellation line is characterized by its famous “Griffes”, or claws, and
striking dials. This model features a silver dial with a date window at the 3 o’clock position protected by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. The bezel, with its engraved Roman numerals, is mounted on a 38mm stainless steel case, and presented on a stainless steel bracelet. The OMEGA Co-Axial calibre 8500, visible through the transparent caseback, powers this exquisite timepiece. £3,800 from Parkhouse the Jeweller.
6. Zenith Pilot Type 20 GMT
From the early days of aviation, Zenith have created onboard instruments
that have contributed to formidable achievements, such as Louis Bleriot's
inaugural cross channel flight in 1909. The 1930s saw the advent of the
famous Zenith Type 20, which the company is now reissuing complete
with vintage characteristics; luminescent oversized Arabic numerals
ensuring impeccable readability and large ratcheted crown enabling
adjustment while wearing with pilot gloves. Housed inside a generous
48mm-diameter case, the automatic Elite Calibre 693 26 jewel movement
is equipped with the GMT or dual -time function, while the engraved
caseback bears a medallion stamped with the effigy of Bleriots's plane.
£5,500 from Watches of Switzerland.
7. Patek Philippe Complications 5396
Patek are currently celebrating their 175th anniversary (for which a
number of stunning limited edition anniversary models have been
produced) so there’s no better time to invest in a timepiece by what
many horologists believe to be the finest watch maker in the world. The
5396 is a beautifully simple yet sophisticated piece. Available in white
or rose gold it has an opaline dial, and gold applied hour markers, day,
date and month in apertures, a moon phases 24 hour display and sweep
seconds hand. It comes with a sublime Calibre 324 S, 34 jewel, annual
calendar, manual winding movement. Wonderful, if you can afford it.
£34,700 from Watches of Switzerland.
8. IWC Portofino Automatic
A classic in its sheer simplicity with three hands and a discreet date
display: as the watch of choice for the discerning purist, it needs no more.
The solid, mechanical automatic movement reliably ticks away the time.
The evenly rounded sides of the 40mm rose gold case makes it appear
even slimmer. An intricate engraving of Portofino harbour adorns the
case-back with its silver dial and dark brown alligator strap. £8,500 from
Parkhouse the Jeweller.
Crouch, St Davids Dewi Sant, Cardiff.
Tel: 029 2039 9769 www.fraserhart.co.uk
Parkhouse the Jeweller, 27 The Hayes,
Cardiff. Tel: 029 2066 0890 www.parkhousethejeweller.com
Watches of Switzerland, St Davids Centre,
Cardiff. Tel: 029 2034 0300 www.watches-of-switzerland.co.uk