We’re often asked the question, “What’s your favourite watch?” That’s easier to answer than you might suspect: it’s the next one.
Which doesn’t mean we don’t have favourites, plural, just that it’s hard to pick out just one.
Another way of answering the question is to let your memory do the work; what watches have we seen that we can’t forget?
Some of the more memorable recent pieces would have to include the Rotonde de Cartier Astrocalendaire (above); Jaeger-LeCoultre’s lengthily-named Master Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon and Girard Perregaux’s Neo Tourbillon.
Then there’s Maurice Lacroix’s Masterpiece Gravity; De Bethune’s Dream Watch and flying the flag for a daily wearer, Omega’s Seamaster 300.
Really driving us blue with envy would be Greubel Forsey’s Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain, a vibrant beauty shown at the Geneva watch fair in 2013.
The planned 33 pieces, featuring a titanium movement and red gold case, sold out on the spot, although we did have one in our hands for a few minutes. The depth of the blue on the mainplate and bridges highlights Greubel Forsey’s usual avant-garde architecture, and was achieved through a special oxidation process. Even better, its intensity changes according to the light.
As for tech-specs, the Contemporain houses a fast-rotating (every 24 seconds) tourbillon cage inclined at 25 degrees, which minimises negative effects of gravity on the oscillator. There are 267 components all up, 88 for the ultra-light (0.39 grams) tourbillon cage with power from two coaxial mainspring barrels in series, giving a power reserve of 72 hours. We can only dream on.