This Christmas Wish List list consists of some of my favourite watches this year, but not limited to this year’s models. They span a variety of brands, but share similarities in style and function. In essence, my watch choices are elegant and classic designs, with simple dial layouts with a few complications thrown in for good measure.
Vacheron Constantin Historiques Cornes de Vache 1955
The first on my list is the Vacheron Constantin Historique Cornes de Vache 1955. Cornes de Vache, french for Cow’s horns is the christened name of the original Ref 6087 which bears the iconic cow horn shaped lugs. Originally offered by Vacheron Constantin in 1955, the Ref 6087 consisted of only 36 pieces: 26 in yellow gold, 8 in pink gold, and 2 in platinum.
Released recently to the pleasure of many Vacheron Constantin fans, the Cornes de Vache 1955 is now part of the Historiques collection. The case retains the iconic cornes de vache lugs, but enlarged from 35mm to 38.5mm. The movement is also updated, and now features the VC Caliber 1142, which is the Caliber 1141 with Geneva Seal. The Caliber 1141 itself a VC modified derivative of the Lemania 2310.
As described, the movement is the rather magnificent VC Caliber 1142. Though a derivative of the Lemania 2310, it is produced by VC, as Lemania (now part of Manufacture Breguet) does not sell ebauches anymore. The platinum timepiece is sleek and exceedingly beautiful. It is priced at S$105,800.
Glashütte Original – Calibre 36 Senator Excellence
A simple yet understated 3 hands timepiece, my next selection is the Glashütte Original Senator Excellence timepiece in 18 K rose gold. Apart from its gorgeous dial side features, complete with the new blued hands set, the new Glashütte Original Senator Excellence models bear the calibre 36 movement and with it an exemplary signature of timekeeping excellence.
Each timepiece which bears the Q shaped quality seal goes through high degrees of rigorous testing. So rigorous it takes 24 days for it to pass the test. The timepiece is tested for performance under multiple wearing conditions and puts precision at the utmost of its requirements for a watch to leave the factory. The modest timepiece retails at S$26,000.
Credor Eichi II
A personal favourite of mine, the Credor Eichi II is the epitome of the “those who know it will know it” subtle watch archetype. As part of the most premium line of watches by Seiko, the Credor Eichi II reflects everything we love about the brand and more. The master artisanal aspects of watchmaking is fully embodied in this simple time only watch. From the porcelain hand painted dial, to the artfully tapered needle hands, to the hand finished movement plates and parts, the watch is carefully handcrafted and polished to the highest level of detail. The movement used is the 7R14 with 60 hours power reserve.
The movement is fully assembled by one watchmaker, atelier style. For the Eichi II, this is Yoshifusa Nakazawa, who has been with Suwa Seikosha (a Seiko company) since 1978. Here we see another parallel to solo artisan style of Philippe Dufour. For an interesting insight into the mind of Nakazawa-san, here is a Seiko produced interview.
Suggested retail price in Japan: 5.7 million yen (before-tax)
De Bethune DB25
Apart from the staple of brands De Bethune presents the DB25 World Traveller, an intelligent watch featuring a second time zone and world time expressed with a mysterious display. I found this piece to be particularly exciting because of its signature De Bethune characteristics, brilliant design features matched with well-made and finished movements.
The DB25 World Traveller is equipped with a Second time zone, World time, Day/night indicator, and Jumping date complication. Cased in white gold, it measures 45mm in width and 13.7mm in height. The case is De Bethune’s signature in part due to its iconic cut out integrated lugs design. To make the dial look even more stunning, the glass used is Sapphire crystal with with 1800 vickers anti-reflective coating. Another important feature of the case is the crown; designed to be thin but wide and slightly raised for greater ease in handling. It moves on three notches that are distinguished from one another by their markings. The watch retails at US$142,000.
Patek Philippe 5960/1A, Annual Calendar, Chronograph in stainless steel
Love the brand, the complication and the sportiness of the 5960. Love it better because it is rarely in steel, and fit on a bracelet. Now that combination is sweet. There are not that many Patek Philippe timepieces in steel and bracelet; a prerogative primarily reserved for the Nautilus and Aquanaut collection. Although not the latest release, since the watch hit the shelves in 2014, the Patek Philippe 5960/1A is still a delectable piece as is.
The watch measures 40.5mm in diameter with a height of 13.55mm and retails at S$63,100.