Inside-Out: Six brilliant watches with the movement on the dial side

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Have you ever looked at a beautiful watch movement and thought to yourself how brilliant it would be if one can wear his or her watch on the movement side?

Today’s article addresses exactly that. In this week’s article, we are looking at watches which were produced with that idea in mind. We will be looking at six watches, in which its movement designs and finishing were incorporated on the dial side, to allow the owner to appreciate the movement whilst wearing the watch at the same time.

So, what have we selected? Let us find out.

Glashütte Original PanoInverse

The PanoInverse is one of Glashütte Original’s flagship collections, with an interesting take that is unlike the “stereotypical” German watches.

The concept of the watch is simple – to invert the movement and allow owners to enjoy the finishing. However, this is more than just that. The movement has to be re-engineered, with the gear trains and components tweaked to incorporate the time-telling elements on the same side as well. The end result is pretty interesting, considering that it also features the signature German three-quarter plate, as well as an engraved balance cock.  

The 42mm watch is priced at S$16,300, which is rather reasonable for a well-made high-end timepiece. For collectors who are looking for a timepiece to elevate their collection, the PanoInverse is certainly worth a consideration.

Piaget Altiplano

Piaget, as a brand itself, is probably not the first brand at the top of the head when it comes to watches. However, they certainly do deserve more recognition, in our opinion.

The Altiplano is a great example. Touted as one of the thinnest watches in the world, the Altiplano is a testament to Piaget’s commitment to horological excellence. For this particular 38mm timepiece, this is achieved through extremely precision engineering, where every component is produced to be as thin as possible. In addition, for the watch to achieve its 3.65mm thinness, Piaget had to also incorporate the dial and movement onto the same plane altogether.

Priced at S$38,200, the Altiplano is a great timepiece that showcases the prowess of the manufacturer. We love the concept behind the Altiplano, and the entire execution. This is definitely a dress watch that will elevate one’s collection onto the next level.

Breguet Tradition 7067

When it comes to Breguet, classy dress watches with beautiful engine-turned guilloché dials are certainly images that would come to mind. However, we think Breguet is much more than that.

The Tradition collection is a timepiece that hopes to change collector’s perception of the brand, with its contemporary take. Featuring an openworked design, the movement – a key element of any Breguet watches – is revealed in full glory. Beyond that, the Tradition also retains the Breguet DNA that makes its watches special – and in this case, the guilloché dial, Breguet-style hands, coin-edged fluting on the band of the case, and Breguet hairspring. Talk about having the best of both worlds.

One of our favourite pieces from the collection is perhaps the Tradition 7067, which also incidentally features the dual time-zone display. It is a fine timepiece, with great finishing throughout. The Tradition 7067, in precious metal, is priced at S$59,700 onwards, and we reckon this is a sublime watch that showcases Breguet as one of the tour de force in the watchmaking scene.

Voutilainen 28 Ti “Inverse”

We then move on to master watchmaker Kari Voutilainen, and his incredible Voutilainen Vingt-8 Ti “Inverse”.

We have often waxed lyrical about Kari’s masterpieces, but the Vingt-8 Ti “Inverse” is perhaps one that offers something really interesting. Kari is often known for his impeccable finishing techniques, and this particular piece allows the owner to wear the watch “backwards” – allowing them to have easy access to the spectacular movement when it is worn on the wrist.

There is always something captivating about Kari’s timepieces, but this one is particularly mind-blowing. The concept is one that works very well, especially with the brilliant finishing of the movement. There is also proper work done to invert the movement, which lends further credentials to this timepiece. It is limited to a production of 8 pieces and originally priced at CHF 98,000 (approximately S$143,678). Needless to say, they have all since been accounted for.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra

The Bvlgari Octo Finissimo collection is one that has often fascinated us. We like how the maison often challenged itself to produce some of the thinnest watches in the world, resulting in watches such as the sublime Octo Finissimo Ultra.

The Octo Finissimo Ultra was touted as the world’s thinnest mechanical wristwatch in 2022, before this was usurped by Richard Mille shortly after. That, however, does not change the fact that Bvlgari had created an impressive and remarkable timepiece. Not just that, Bvlgari had also ensured that the watch did not lose its identity, with its unmistakable octagonal case and integrated bracelet.

Powering the 40mm Octo Finissimo Ultra is the Calibre 180, which measures only 1.5mm thick. The thinness is also achieved by doubling the caseback as a main plate – effectively turning the case into a movement. This exceptional piece is priced at €400,000 (approximately S$574,960), and it is limited to a production of 10 pieces.

Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture

Touted as one of the finest manufacturers with some of the best finishing techniques, Greubel Forsey naturally produces some of the most incredible timepieces that we have ever seen. The new Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture, which debuted earlier this year, is no exception to that.

Based on the concept of cities and its architectures (hence the namesake), the watch features a rather intriguing construction that sees the movement fully exposed and integrated into the design of the timepiece. This also allows the collector to fully enjoy the legendary finishing work of the timepiece, in which most are featured on the components of the movement.

The imposing 47mm features the brand’s now signature curved case, and it is priced at an eye-watering S$706,200. Every element of the watch is indeed excessive – but then again, Greubel Forsey operates at the extreme end of the spectrum. The good end, of course.

Concluding Thoughts

This week’s article focuses on watches on the higher end of the horology spectrum. It is not a deliberate choice, but rather, most of such timepieces demand great finishing and extensive modification to begin with, and hence it is only made plausible with watches of a certain calibre and price point.

Our top pick is perhaps the Breguet. There is just something enchanting about the Tradition line, which combines both modern and classic cues seamlessly together. It also possesses a strong provenance, and frankly, for most collectors, a Breguet is a quintessential piece in any serious watch collection (for those who are lucky enough to afford one).

We hope you have enjoyed this week’s article. Let us know what are your favourite pieces from today’s article, as well as watches that should have made it to the list.


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