According to the jury of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, the best men’s timepieces in 2013 are MB&F Horological Machine No.5, Maurice Lacroix SA Masterpiece Seconde Mysterieuse, Urban Jürgensen & Sonner Montre Observatoire Enamel watch, as well as Volutiainen V-8R, Tudor Heritage Black Bay, H. Moser & Cie. Mayu Red Gold and Baume & Mercier Clifton 1830 watch. The best among them will be announced at the GPHG Awards Ceremony to be held in Geneva, on November 15. The list shows an interesting mixture of watches with innovative features and vintage models with superlative classic elegance and high-end mechanisms. Last year, the winner in this category was MB&F Legacy Machine N°1.
MB&F Horological Machine No.5 ‘On the Road Again’ Watch
MB&F created the 5th watch in its fabulous Horological Machine Collection, by combining mechanical and optical engineering. With the characteristic design and its nickname ‘On the Road Again’, the watch pays tribute to the 1970s ‘supercars’ and futuristic LED timepieces from that era. With its unique construction, it recalls a fastback car body style with rear-window flaps. Just like these attractive racing vehicles, the HM5 also features slits on the rear-side of its case which can be opened and closed on demand, by a small lever placed on the case side. Beside the fact that this is a pretty cool feature, it also has its practical purpose. When they are opened, the light goes in and charges up the SuperLumiNova on time-telling discs, so that they can be seen in the dark conditions.
Although it shows time on the case side like some popular LED watches from the past, discs with indicators are actually positioned flat on the movement. The trick is in a specially designed sapphire crystal prism which angles and magnifies discs, making minutes and bi-directional jumping hours visible on the side of the case. Along with their striking look, this unusual way of showing time allows a wearer to see the dial without moving a hand from a steering wheel.
MB&F Horological Machine No. 5 comes with a 49 x 51.5 mm body, made of titanium. It is built of 80 components and features inner and outer case. The inner one serves as a house for a mechanism and holds the sapphire crystal prism in place, while the outer case has an aesthetical role. If the water enters through the outer parts of the watch, there are dual exhaust holes to drain water, keeping it nice and dry.
The watch is powered by a self-winding movement, designed by Jean-François Mojon, as well as by Vincent Boucard of Chronode. It is built on a gear train from a Sowind mechanism (Girard-Perregaux) and then developed specially for the HM5′s design. It comprises 22 karat gold “battle axe” rotor which is revealed through a transparent case-back.
Limited to 66 pieces, MB&F Horological Machine No. 5 watch is available for CHF 58,500.
In order to change the traditional circular view of time into a thrilling linear expression, Maurice Lacroix engaged its high-end experts in terms of design and technology and result of their work is this great creation from the brand’s Masterpiece Collection. To make their task more complicated and the product of their work more spectacular, the Research & Development team of Maurice Lacroix explored new forms of linear displays, instead of using one hand to run along a flat line.
The mystery which is announced with the name of the watch takes place on the oversized small seconds sub-dial which is placed as the central component of the stunning interface. It features four linear segments that are splitted to four 15 second increments, over which flows a blue seconds hand, leaving the impression as if being suspended in air. It shows seconds alternately on the horizontal and the vertical scale.
The rest of the dial is skeletonized, presenting geometrically designed bridges with rhodium or ruthenium plating. At its top right part, there is an off-center sub-dial, displaying hours and minutes. A nicely polished and rounded case with the diameter of 43 mm is made of stainless steel. It houses an in-house caliber ML215. This self-winding movement oscillates at the frequency of 18,000 vibrations per hour and ensures 50 hours of power-reserve. It comprises 48 jewels and it is decorated with sanded finish and a Cotes de Geneve pattern on the rotor.
Maurice Lacroix SA Masterpiece Seconde Mysterieuse Watch is available with a black leather strap. This great model is made in the Limited Edition of 125 pieces and has a pretty reasonable price for this level of quality (CHF 12,500).
Simply saying, this is a beautiful classic men’s timepiece. At the first glance, it is totally clear that this talented watchmaker put everything on the right place, from the mid-size, extremely slim luxurious case with the transparent back, to the nicely arranged dial presenting the stylishness in the design simplicity.
The 18-karat red gold case with the diameter of 42 mm and the thickness of 8.85 mm is characteristic by its diamond polished surface that stays in an alluring contrast with satin-brushed lugs. A silver dial features red gold applied numerals and central hands, while the small seconds hand that runs over the 6 o’clock sub-dial comes in blued steel. The high-end elegance of the model is completed by a stylish black leather strap.
The new Baume & Mercier Clifton 1830 watch is powered by a Caliber 7381 hand-winding movement. Exclusively produced for Baume & Mercier by La Joux-Perret, this high-end mechanism that oscillates at the frequency of, 21,600 vibrations per hour, incorporates two main spring barrels that ensure 90 hours of power reserve. Through a transparent sapphire crystal case-back, you can see how this mechanical masterpiece functions, but also you can enjoy its aesthetics, including bridges decorated with Côtes de Genève striping, a circular-grained main plate and blued-steel screws.
This beautiful re-edition of the historical model that has inspired the entire Clifton collection is available for CHF 12,900.
Urban Jürgensen & Senner Montre Observatoire Enamel Watch
When it comes to the experience in the haute horology, then this renowned watchmaker with the Danish routs and Swiss knowledge has the great advantage over the most of its competitors. Just take a look at this classically designed model and you will see the centuries of extraordinary heritage invested in its design and performances.
Beside its vintage design, a nicely rounded case with polished surfaces features the diameter of 42 mm which is a characteristic of contemporary timepieces. It is crafted in red gold that perfectly fits a polished brown leather strap, attached to authentic lugs.
Each element on Urban Jürgensen & Senner Montre Observatoire Enamel Watch recalls the exceptional stylishness of classic men’s timepieces. Its “Grand Feu” enamel dial comes with a characteristic railway style minute track that runs over the outer rim. It frames stylish Roman numerals and a central circle with a unique power-reserve indicator on the top and the small seconds sub-dial at the 6 o’clock position. Another distinctiveness of this timepiece comes with Urban Jürgensen unique hand crafted steel & gold hands.
Besides its adorable aesthetics, the highlight of this watch is placed inside the case. It is Urban Jürgensen & Sønner UJS-P8 hand-winding movement with a pivoted detent escapement. Proved by COSC chronometric certification, this patented feature is the result of several years of development and it represents the first time that this high-quality mechanical component successfully used in the marine chronometer has been incorporated in a wrist timepiece. This shockproof detent escapement reduces friction and provides high accuracy, reliability and exceptional quality. The UJS-P8 mechanism oscillates at the frequency of 21,600 variations per hour and provides the power reserve of 88 hours.
Urban Jürgensen & Senner Montre Observatoire Enamel watch comes in the limited series of 20 pieces and costs around CHF 75,000.
Volutiainen V-8R Watch
At the first glance, this watch strikes the attention by its bold design and a nice looking combination of a matt black dial and red gold. A polished case comes with the diameter of 39 mm and the thickness of 11.4 mm. It nicely matches applied numerals, indices and hands. Blued steel rings on arrowed hands seem like a fine addition to the overall aesthetics. At the 6 o’clock position, there is a small seconds sub-dial with the beautiful guilloché pattern. Finally, at the 2 o’clock position, there is an interestingly designed power-reserve indicator, the addition to Volutiainen in-house mechanism.
The idea of Kari Voutilainen was to add the power-reserve indicator to a base movement, but also to limit the power reserve to the period of the best torque of a mainspring, in order to ensure the best chronometric results. Thus, this hand-winding mechanism provides 49 hours of optimal power-reserve.
New Voutilainen watch from the V-8R Collection is limited to 25 pieces and it is available for CHF 82,000.
Tudor Heritage Black Bay Watch
Inspired by the brand’s famous model from 1954, Tudor’s Heritage Black Bay comes with the entire set of vintage design elements which recall the early ages of diving watches. Among those features that evoke the brand’s past, there is a domed dial with “snowflake” hands, as well as a burgundy color bezel.
The case of the watch is made of stainless steel with the diameter of 41 mm. It features a unidirectional rotating bezel, with a matt finish. It is inscribed with luminescent minute indices for counting diving time intervals. Its coin edge is similar to those of Rolex watches. The black dial features large luminescent hour markers for perfect readability.
Tudor Heritage Black Bay watch is water-resistant up to 200 meters (660 feet). It is available with a black fabric strap and a steel bracelet or with a black fabric strap and an additional strap in exclusive aged leather that ensures an authentic vintage look. Each strap is equipped with a new folding clasp developed by Tudor. The watch is powered by a self-winding mechanism with the power-reserve of 38 hours and the frequency of 28’800 variations per hour. The price of this cool timepiece is CHF 3,250.
H. Moser & Cie. Mayu Red Gold Watch
Finally, as the seventh competitor on the GPHG list for the prestigious title, a new Mayu Red Gold watch by H. Moser & Cie. is another great example of classic elegance that testifies of some everlasting qualities in the watchmaking world. Its stylish, 38.8 mm case is made of beautifully polished 5N red gold that stands in the harmony with a tone-on-tone vintage dial and an elegant brown leather strap.
The alluring dial demonstrates extraordinary design simplicity, including tiny red gold markers, central hands made of the same material and a special small seconds sub-dial. Watch experts will immediately notice its unusually close position to a bezel rim. This technical feat became possible with the development of a large in-house mechanism that does not include a retaining ring to support the movement. Just as a beautiful design of the new Mayu, this movement is another proof of the brand’s watchmaking excellence.
The HMC 321 hand-winding movement incorporates an interchangeable escapement module which should be simplified after-sales service adjustments. It contains an original Straumann hairspring with a stabilized Breguet overcoil, completely created by H. Moser & Cie. In order to minimize friction, a pallet fork and an escapement wheel are crafted in hardened solid gold with a functionally-optimized surface.
Visible through a sapphire crystal case-back, the mechanism oscillates at the low frequency of 18,000 variations per hours and ensures 72 hours of power-reserve.
Available for CHF 16,500, H. Moser & Cie. Mayu Red Gold watch is definitely one of the most impressive classical timepieces which have been released in the last couple of years.