It is the start of a brand new year! For many, the start of a brand new year also includes building a list of resolutions for one to work towards during the year.
In the mind of a watch collector, watches definitely play an important role in our lives. The reason why we work so hard, partially, is so that we can afford some of the watches that we like – amongst the other important things in life. No doubt, this is a good motivation, the positive kind that will spur us on when the tough gets going.
So, for the start of 2022, we thought that it might perhaps be a good idea to inspire some of our readers, with six incredible watches that one can work towards this year. What have we selected? Let us find out!
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona
We begin the article with arguably one of the most desirable watches over the last few years: Rolex Cosmograph Daytona.
Rolex has always been synonymous with success, and perhaps at this age, nothing says more about that with the new generation of the Cosmograph Daytona. Being able to attain one, notably, is extremely challenging – and if you have been selected as one of the lucky few to have the opportunity to own it, then you must have certainly made it in life.
The 40mm Daytona needs no further explanation, and understandably so. The timepiece is manufactured to the highest standards, with a self-winding movement that boasts a power reserve of 72 hours and an accuracy of a mere 2 seconds of deviation per day. It is as good as it gets.
Based on the latest pricing guidance, the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona is now retailing at S$20,040. It is not a small sum of money, but frankly, cash is the least of the problems in this equation.
A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1
Launched in 1994, the sublime A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 had cemented its position as one of the most celebrated pieces with its unusual design and impeccable finishing.
On paper, it is rather difficult to fathom the Lange 1. The watch is unconventional, with an atypical off-center dial and a host of the other elements (big date display, power reserve indicator, and another off-center sub-dial) incorporated into the 38.5mm timepiece. It sounds so wrong, but the end result is phenomenal. Together with its incredibly finished movement, the watch is simply breathtaking.
The Lange 1 is a classic, and surely a must-have in any collection if you can financially afford it. Our pick is the classic yellow gold variant with champagne dial, and it is priced at S$54,100.
Vacheron Constantin Historiques Cornes de Vache 1955
Vacheron Constantin is a maison that produces nice watches, but we reckon the exquisite Historiques Cornes de Vache 1955 is a timepiece that is on another level altogether.
As its nomenclature suggests, this watch is based on a similar chronograph that the manufacturer had produced in 1955. The most distinctive feature, which can be found in its namesake again, is the stunning pair of cow horn lugs. This, together with its classic dial design and the Lemania 2310-based movement, makes the timepiece a rather extraordinary package indeed.
The 38.5mm timepiece is available in stainless steel, gold, and platinum. Prices begin at S$62,500, and we reckon this is a great piece for anyone who wishes to add a little bit of flamboyance into one’s collection.
Patek Philippe World Time Ref. 5231J
The World Time is a complication that is synonymous with Patek Philippe, since it was introduced by the brand in the 1930s under a collaboration with Louis Cottier to use his patented method to display various time zones across the globe. The Reference 5231 is one of the latest iterations to join this illustrious collection.
As with most World Time watches, the Ref 5231 is a functional and useful piece for the globetrotter. However, for this particular piece, Patek Philippe had injected an element of artisanship in this reference with cloisonné enamelling. This process involves soldering metal wires – gold, in this case – which are bent to the outline of a design (which are the continents in this case) and filling the cloisons with vitreous enamel paste. The result is stunning.
Driving the Ref. 5231 is the tried and trusted Caliber 240 HU, a self-winding movement that is fitted with a 22k gold micro-rotor. It has a minimum power reserve of 48 hours and operates at a traditional 3 Hz beat rate. It is splendidly finished, in accordance with the standards set by the Patek Philippe Seal which this movement bears.
The 38.5mm watch is priced at S$104,500, and we think this is perhaps one of the nicest modern World Time watches that Patek Philippe has produced to date. This is not just a timepiece, it is a piece of art on the wrist.
MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual
In the scene of independent watchmaking, MB&F remains one of the forerunners in the scene with its slew of evocative and attractive timepieces. Regardless of whether the watches are from the Legacy Machine (LM) or Horological Machine (HM) collection, each of them has a compelling story to tell.
The LM Perpetual is one of our favourites from the brand. As with MB&F, the watch does not just feature complications. The independent watch manufacturer had revamped the perpetual calendar mechanism with this particular piece, with a system that omits the grand levier and thus allowing the calendar to be easily set (as compared to a traditional perpetual calendar). In addition, this also allows MB&F to suspend the signature balance on the dial side. For more information on the mechanism, please refer to our review article on the LM Perpetual.
The LM Perpetual (S$226,000, in red gold) is a totally different timepiece from its siblings in the collection – it appears to be an antithesis to the classy and simple watches that the series is synonymous with. But that does not reduce the appeal of the watch, and we think that MB&F have outdone themselves again with this timepiece.
Grönefeld 1941 Remontoire
We round up the article with another brilliant timepiece from an incredibly talented independent watchmaker: Grönefeld 1941 Remontoire.
The 39.5mm 1941 Remontoire, which was launched in 2016, is an award-winning timepiece that features the remontoire complication. The remontoire acts as a constant force, which means that it discharges an equal amount of energy throughout the entire power reserve of the watch. This maintains the watch’s accuracy, especially with a watch that features a large mainspring which contains a lot of torque when it is fully wound (resulting in an uneven discharge of energy as it unwinds itself, based on Hooke’s Law).
Aside from its complication, the pièce de résistance lies in the finishing. There is literally no expense spared, with each element finished to the highest order with the help of expert watchmaker Andreas Strehler. We also have a soft spot for Gronefeld’s manual-winding pieces (such as this example), as it allows us to admire the movement in its entirety.
The 1941 Remontoire is priced at €49,500 (approximately S$76,240) for the 5N red gold variant. Notably, only 188 pieces of the Remontoire will be produced, and Gronefeld have also mentioned that they will not accept any new orders until further notice. Such is the popularity of the brand, and we do reckon that Gronefeld is certainly on its way of being one of the leading manufacturers in the independent watchmaking scene.
The six watches that we have featured today are nothing short of extraordinary. They are perhaps some of the finest, and most desirable, timepieces that are currently in the market. Of course, six is just an arbitrary number – there are certainly many more watches (especially within the independent watchmaking scene) that deserves a spot on this list. Maybe a follow-up article might be on the cards, just to do some justice for the other deserving pieces.
So, what are your thoughts on our selection? What are some of the targets that you have for your collection in 2022? Let us know in the comments section below. Till the next article, ciao!