It’s been one heck of a year for the watchmaking industry. New and resurrected brands, patented innovations, innovative materials, you name it. And while there are countless watches that I would consider noteworthy, a few stand out in my eyes. I could sit here and tell you the merits of each of them, but then I might find a white hair or two when I’m done. So I’ve picked my favorite five watches released this year, without taking into consideration any categories or merits. Why five? Well, the number 5 has always been my lucky number, so just maybe the stars will align for me in 2014 and I’ll find one of the watches in my small collection!
In no particular order whatsoever, here are my top 5 watches of 2013:
Best Watches of 2013 - Girard-Perregaux “Constant Escapement”
So my first watch might be a bit predictable and perhaps unoriginal, as it is the 2013 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève “Aiguille d’Or” award winning watch you’ll find in numerous “watches of the year” lists here on DreamChrono. But the Girard-Perregaux Constant Escapement is far from a hyped-up product. Having taken over 6 years to develop, the Constant Escapement is arguably the single greatest invention in watchmaking since the tourbillon escapement. An overstatement? Not in the least.
Girard Perregaux’s patented Constant Escapement is the veritable solution to the age-old problem of variable force, which results in inaccurate chronometry as a watch’s power reserve dwindles down. Not only is Girard Perregaux’s Constant Escapement a mechanical marvel, the final watch is also a real looker. (www.girard-perregaux.com)
Best Watches of 2013 – HYT H2
I guess topping the astounding HYT H1 with it’s unique and paradoxical liquid time display would be quite impossible, but this is exactly what HYT accomplished this year with the H2. With a movement designed and made in collaboration with high-end movement conceptor and manufacturer Renaud & Papi, the H2 is a fine example of how you can take an already powerful design and make it even bolder.
In terms of functions, the H2 is not so different from its breakthrough predecessor, in that it displays the hours with the brand’s proprietary micro-capillary fluid system; though there are some differences like the central retrograde minute hand and temperature indicator. What I particularly like about the H2 is its more coherent aesthetics, which sees the rearranged bellows in a slanted “V-engine” formation blend in more harmoniously with the black open-worked movement. But then again, any watch that displays the time with a fluorescent green fluid is cool enough in its own right! (www.hytwatches.com)
Best Watches of 2013 - Arnold & Son “HM Perpetual Moon”
Moon phase indications might not be the most functional of complications, but they’re certainly the most romantic. And when it comes to Moon phases, it’s hard to beat this year’s Arnold & Son HM Perpetual Moon. A brand that’s been coming out with true haute horlogerie that’s nothing short of spectacular, Arnold & Son’s HM Perpetual Moon hits all the right spots for this horophile.
For one thing, the moon phase itself is simply breathtaking. A photo-realistic sculpted metal moon suits on a guilloche disk; either in black for the stailess steel models or translucent blue enamel guilloche on the red gold models. But beauty isn’t only skin-deep with Arnold & Son, as the in-house designed and manufactured movement finished to the highest haute horlogerie standards is also alluring, and even comes with a secondary moon phase indicator for more accurately setting the moon phase, accurate to a deviation of one day every 122 years. (www.arnoldandson.com)
Best Watches of 2013 - Antoine Martin “Slow Runner”
Because sometimes we all need to chill out and take it slow, independent brand Antoine Martin by talented watchmaker Marin Braun brought out one of the most hypnotizing watches of 2013, and I mean that quite literally. While watchmakers look to bring out smaller balance wheels beating at faster rates for arguably increased accuracy, Antoine Martin have done the exact opposite.
Hidden beneath the relatively clean dial is one of, if not the largest balance wheels you’ve ever seen, measuring a massive (relatively speaking) 24mm. Beating at a 7’200vph or 1Hz, which is one beat per second. With its 20’000 price tag for the steel versions, there’s more to get your heart beating a little faster in the Slow Runner than just the slow rate. (www.antoinemartin.ch)
Best Watches of 2013 - Peter Speake Marin “Triad”
My 5th watch of the year is one that is completely superfluous but oh so poetic, English Swiss-based watchmaker Peter Speake Marin’s Triad. While I appreciate a newly (re)thought complication or revolutionary new case material as much as the next guy, there’s something about Speake Marin’s Triad that captivates me. The slogan “3 Notes: 1 Meaning” says it all really, but it’s philosophical (and maybe even religious) implications is what resonates in me.
The open-worked triple dial and gears, fashioned in Speake Marin’s signature topping tool wheel style, are perfectly complemented by his blued “foundation” hands. (www.speake-marin.com)
This article is part of “Best Watches of 2013” series for DreamChrono Blog :
http://blog.dreamchrono.com/2014/01/best-womens-watches-of-2013-by-tracey-llewellyn/ (2013 Picks of Tracey Llwellyn)
http://blog.dreamchrono.com/2014/01/best-watches-of-2013-by-matthew-boston/ (2013 Picks of Matthew Boston)
http://blog.dreamchrono.com/2013/12/best-watches-of-2013-by-angus-davies/ (2013 Picks of Angus Davies)
http://blog.dreamchrono.com/2013/12/best-watches-of-2013-by-michael-weare/ (2013 Picks of Michael Weare)
http://blog.dreamchrono.com/2013/12/best-watches-of-2013-by-ken-kessler/ (2013 Picks of Ken Kessler)
http://blog.dreamchrono.com/2013/12/best-watches-of-2013-by-eduard-osipov/ (2013 Picks of Eduard Osipov)