I have loved watches since admiring my grandfather’s gold-filled Omega retirement watch in ’65. To me, I was sure it was solid gold, and assembled by a team of engineers all hunched over a work bench with their eye loupes, attending to every click of the complication.
What a term -the complication! It was as if it was invented to seduce a young man to a love that could never be attained because the seduction moved ever forward; just out of reach! Because it was so ….complicated! And one could always make it, well…MORE complicated.
2017 – Watches are either the dying gasp of a generation gone by or the Dick Tracy fulfillment of all that the future has promised us! Patek Phillip has transcended timekeeping – they are jewelry. Rolex makes legacies, Tag Heuer is fighting obsolescence and the rest are fighting for those old school dollars.
This article is the unabashed, “fist-in-the-air” celebration of that promise of flying cars, spandex jackets and world peace that we children of the sixties bought hook, line and sinker. However, we have to be satisfied that our watch can only tell us which way to turn at the next light or that uncle Ricky is calling. Albeit at a cost of $60,000 USD.
This is capitalism at it’s best – a dying industry trying to re-invent itself. it might just work, because the offerings here are so well engineered, so forward thinking, so exciting, they might just inspire a new generation of aficionados like me in 1965.
Onward and upward.
Devon Tread 1 – $14,995
This smart watch from Devon trades the traditional gears, springs and levers for extremely precise ‘time belts’ which are powered by an onboard microprocessor.
The combination of jewelry and precision mechanicals makes this a thing of beauty.
Astronomia Sky – $680,000
An 18k rose gold masterpiece of the watchmakers art. The Astronomia Sky features a physical display of the 24 hour rotation of the earth along with the stars that are visible at night in the Northern Hemisphere. It contains over 395 moving parts and is displayed in a crystal encasement.
Horological Machine No. 6 – $230,000
A watch with a nickname like “the Space Pirate” better bring the goods. This platinum spaceship on a band from MB&F displays the time in capped sapphire domes.
475 individual components. Hence the term “complication”.
Vortex Primary – $199,500
Like a cathedral on your wrist. This watch by Hautlence has sapphire, ruby and blue spinel glass panels on it’s face. It is as much art as technology.
As for the fingerprint, it belongs to French soccer player Eric Cantona, who collaborated on the design. Why would you want a soccer player’s fingerprint on your $200,000 watch?
Art Piece 1 – $2,000,000
For your $2 mil. there is a surprise that must be viewed from the 23x magnification crystal mounted to the side of the case. A golden, 3 masted sailing ship riding the inner workings of your watch
You can learn more about this unique watch at the iW International Watch Magazine YouTube page.
UR-CC1 – >$200,000
This watch displays time as a linear continuum rather than circular. The display is reminiscent of a page or element loading bar on a computer. Urwerk does not shy away from the unusual and makes no apologies if you have to spend a couple weeks to get used to a new way to display time
Richard Mille 59-01 Tourbillon Yohan Blake – $620,000
Designed for Olympic gold medalist Yohan “The Beast” Blake, a sprinter from Jamaica. this timepiece is built to reduce wind resistance and absorb the level of shocks of a top-tier athlete. Note the colors of the Jamaican National team and the mechanism on the face, which is meant to mimic Blake’s style that looks like he is running with exposed claws.
UR-110 – $100,000
The UR-110 looks more like a set of precision automobile gauges than a precision timepiece, right down to the oil-change indicator on the watch face. This watch is worth more than most cars, however — it retails for approximately $100,000.In the UR-110, the time is shown on the right side of the watch. The rotating “satellites” follow a vertical line, graded from 0 to 60 minutes, in a downward motion. The UR-110 also features a control board on the dial side with indicators for “Day/Night” and “Oil Change”
UR-103 Phoenix – <$100,000
The 18k white gold and titanium Phoenix is a collaboration with master engraver Jean-Vincent Huguenin. The watch contains the same satellite movement of the UR 110 above with a little different display.
Excalibur Quatuor – $1,100,000
The emphasis on this watch by Roger Dubuis is accuracy. The watch employs a system of four spring balances that actively negate any effects of movement of the watch and eliminates micro-errors that can occur because of it.
This kind of accuracy in a mechanical watch does not come cheap.
T-1000 Time Machine – >$100,000
This Rebellion timepiece is manufactured for performance, the T-1000 is a tribute to car racing. Its chassis is precision machined in a single block of titanium. Boasting a revolutionary patented energy distribution system, the T-1000 employs a power reserve of 1,000 hours.