Next up, Chester makes his top picks from this year’s Watches & Wonders.
Armchair Picks: Chester’s 3 of the Best from Watches and Wonders 2023
Watches and Wonders 2023 saw updates across the board with some exciting updates and some textbook additions. The following three are conservative choices for an everyday collection, three watches that can take you desk diving and fine dining.
Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Automatic Chronograph Tentagraph SLGC001
A chronograph is an interesting feature for Grand Seiko because its practicality depends on the user. When Grand Seiko introduced the Spring Drive Chronograph GMT, it met a need and boasted the highest accuracy of any self-winding chronograph. An essential part of a chronograph is the need for precision, which Spring Drive does incredibly well. Since around that time, fans and collectors of Grand Seiko have desired to see a mechanical chronograph.
The new Tentagraph Caliber 9SC5 was the perfect adaptation for Grand Seiko’s first mechanical chronograph. With all the said benefits of Caliber 9SA5 at its base, the high efficiency of the escapement becomes its most vital characteristic. Though modular chronographs typically experience a more significant loss of amplitude during operation, The Caliber 9SC5 reduces the loss of amplitude compared to other modular chronographs. It maintains a higher amplitude than many integrated chronographs. Because of this merit, retaining stable amplitude with the chronograph in use made it possible for Grand Seiko to make a mechanical chronograph worthy of the brand’s values.
The Grand Seiko Tentagraph SLGC001 will be a continuing production model, available exclusively at Grand Seiko Boutiques and Salons starting in June 2023 for $13,700.
IWC Ingenieur Automatic 40
The collection encompasses three references in stainless steel and one in titanium. The Ingenieur Automatic 40 is powered by the IWC-manufactured 32111 calibre with an automatic pawl winding system and a power reserve of 120 hours. In keeping with the tradition of the Ingenieur, a soft-iron inner case efficiently protects the movement from the effects of magnetic fields on its accuracy. Moreover, the case is water-resistant to 10 bar, making the Ingenieur Automatic 40 a modern and fully versatile sports watch.
The case is an improved 45.7mm lug to lug, with a functional screwdown bezel.
My favorite rendition is the Aqua, Ref. IW328903: stainless steel case, aqua dial, rhodium-plated hands and appliques, integrated stainless steel bracelet with polished centre links and butterfly folding clasp. The watch retails at CHF12,000.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Small Seconds
In watchmaking, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Reverso expresses this principle with utmost eloquence. Created in 1931 at the height of the Art Deco artistic movement, which emphasised geometric patterns, rectilinear shapes and clean lines, the original design of Reverso was governed by the Golden Ratio. While many variations of the Reverso case have been presented over the nine decades since then, the original proportions have remained as an anchor for the collection and the Golden Ratio continues to define the Reverso’s design today.
Four new Reverso Tribute Small Seconds models introduce new dials to the collection, in colour variations from classical silver to rich burgundy and black. Of the 4, my favorite is the black dial on gold case combination, which provides subdued luxury with casual flair. The watch retails at US$21,900.