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Monday, December 16, 2013

Nine Timely Luxury Watch Gifts for the Holidays

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Contemporaine Ultra-Thin Caliber 1731 combines the complexity of a striking mechanism with the additional challenge of producing the thinnest minute repeater caliber and the thinnest minute repeater watch on the market—at just 3.90 and 8.09 mm thin respectively. It has a 65-hour power reserve, a silent flying strike governor, which steadies the rate at which the hammers strike the gongs. It is available at Vacheron Constantin boutiques.

Buying a luxury watch as a gift can be a downright terrifying experience. The choices are near endless in this day and age.

Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec Rising Hours Chronograph relies on two discs, one atop the other, to show not only the hours, but to also indicate whether it is day or night. This unusual time display is made possible by Montblanc’s caliber MB R220. The chronograph tallies 60 elapsed seconds and 30 elapsed minutes on rotating discs with motionless hands. It is available at Montblanc boutiques.

Fortunately, I put together a list of nine watches that cover a variety of mechanical variations, designs and lifestyle attributes. There are watches in all shapes, styles and prices. Some of the world’s most prestigious watch brands are represented as well as critically acclaimed independent brands. There are ultra thin watches. There are watches in line with a lifestyle pursuit, such as high-powered automobiles or world travel. Several watches on the list have fanciful complications. Then there are the timepieces that speak to history and heritage. There’s even a watch brand that’s made in America.

Arnold & Son HM Perpetual Moon boasts one of the biggest moonphase apertures on the market along with rich guilloché dials and three-dimensional big moon. The 42mm, 18k red gold case houses the Arnold & Son caliber A&S1512 mechanical hand-wound movement. It has a one day-deviation every 122 years, at which point a single push on the corrector will keep it in sync for another 122 years. It retails for $28,550.

Surely there is something on this short list that could be a perfect gift for that special man in your life.

Nomos Glashütte Zürich Weltzeit 5th Avenue watch was designed in Zurich built in its manufacturing facility in Glashütte, Germany, and dedicated to New York. It’s powered by the Nomos in-house caliber Xi. To view the time in another zone, press the button above the crown at 2 o’clock until the desired location is at 12 o’clock. The “New York” display is at the 3 o’clock marker in red typeface next to a 24-hour disc. It is available at Wempe stores worldwide, limited to 100 pieces. 

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Jaquet Droz Grande Heure GMT has 24 indexes in Arabic numerals set around a Grand Feu enamel dial make it easy to see all the hours of the day in two cities. The hands are designed in the form of a compass. The red hand indicates local time while the blued steel hand shows the time at the destination. When the two hands come together in the same time zone they merge into a single, bi-colored indication of the exact time. 

For the first time the Piaget Altiplano watch integrates a calendar and holds its place as the thinnest watch in the world in its category. The 40 mm watch has an 18k rose gold case set with 72 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 1 ct). The 1205P ultra-thin automatic mechanical movement is the thinnest in the world (3 mm thick), with small seconds and date and a 22k rose-gold oscillating weight.

The Dubey & Schaldenbrand Grand Dome R92 has a stainless steel tonneau-shaped column wheel chronograph combines vintage movements with modern craftsmanship and design. The R92 movement was originally fabricated in the 1950s. It uses a swivel-pinion design to synchronize the chronograph components. The dial is exposed providing full view of the movement. It retails for $16,700.

Graham Silverstone “RennSport” Skeleton reflects the accuracy and efficiency of automobile mechanics, showcases all parts of the caliber G1790 chronograph movement. The 46 mm steel case has polished bevel horns. A lateral porthole on the case at 10 o’clock provides a view of the escapement and balance wheel. Limited to 250 pieces it retails for $14,580. 


Devon Tread 2 Shining is manufactured in Los Angeles. It runs on Devon’s distinctive Time Belt movement and powered by a lithium-polymer rechargeable battery that can power the movement for up to 28 days. It retails for $9,950.

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