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Dear Santa: A Christmas Wishlist
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Dear Santa: A Christmas Wishlist

by Frank Chuo on December 18, 2017

Yes, it is true. Deployant writers are not actually robots, but human beings filled with hopes and dreams just like you. In moments of weakness, we do lust over some of the watches we review.

They say: “ask and it shall be given”. Last I heard, Santa’s an avid reader of Deployant and also a generous soul. I hope you’ve got your reading glasses on, St. Nicholas – here’s my concise two-watch Christmas wishlist for 2017:

A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Decimal Strike

Not going to lie, I talked smack about the Decimal Strike when I first heard news of it at SIHH 2017. I remember texting my friends on the other side of the world calling it “redundant”. My reasoning was that the watch is too similar to the Zeitwerk Striking Time. Admittedly, I may have felt back then what the kids on the internet today refer to as “butthurt” because of this. But not long after, I’ve found myself caring less about the likeness of the Decimal Strike to the Striking Time and appreciated more, its unique traits and aesthetics to the extent that I now want to have it in my collection.

 

A stunning mix of contemporary design and traditional finishing.

 

What I adore most about the Zeitwerk Decimal Strike is threefold: 1) the characteristics and aesthetics of the honey gold material, 2) the soothing warmth of the chimes, and 3) the tremblage finish. Of course, while the movement looks exactly the same compared to the Striking Time, I still can’t help but stare at it; it strikes me as one of the most picturesque of Lange movements, second only to the chronographs. As a collector, the fact that the watch is limited to only 100 pieces is also a boon. A watch with such transcendent technical and aesthetic merits deserves to be exclusive.

 

The Decimal Strike possesses the same power reserve as the Striking Time in spite of the fact that it chimes 1.5x more frequently. This is made possible by improving the efficiency of the movement.

Lang & Heyne Georg

I have been a closet admirer of the Lang & Heyne Georg from the day it was announced. Why a closet admirer? Weirdly enough there are many of my peers out there who dislike this beauty, and I don’t get why. The Georg is as perfect as a rectangular watch has ever been, in my humble opinion. Those who have known me long enough know that I love cases that have some heft and presence to them, and that is exactly what the Georg case has. It is the most beautifully crafted and nuanced rectangular case I’ve seen. Add to that the luscious enamel dial, the contrast between the rectangular minute track and round seconds track, and the evocative typography and you have one hell of a classy watch.

 

The dial is a class act in its two layered enamel coat.

 

But as pretty as the front is, the back is prettier still (this seems to be the prevailing trend in German watches these days). My absolute favourite thing about the Calibre VIII that powers the Georg is the steel cocks. They are skillfully rounded and polished, with the deepest, most resplendent jewel countersinks ever. The use of these cocks allow most of the mechanics to be viewed unimpeded – a wet dream for watch geeks like me. From the expertly snailed ratchet wheel to the evenly flame-blued screws and frosted main plate, the Calibre VIII is undoubtedly the most lavishly decorated, non-round movement you’ve ever encountered.

 

The movement is rather unusual. The wheels are held by massive stainless steel cocks which featured a curved surface. The effort required to finish these cocks is immense.

Final note

Can you tell how much I love German watchmaking? Santa, if you place these two timepieces under my Christmas tree by Christmas morn, I will personally arrange for a lifetime supply of milk and cookies to be delivered to the North Pole. Bitte und danke!

 

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