Last week, we experimented with ChatGPT by asking it to produce the perfect 6 watch collection. The results were mixed.
By no means, the six watches selected by ChatGPT were great. However, readers thought that the result by ChatGPT was a little, for the lack of a better word, boring. One reader also suggested that we should run the test again, this time by asking ChatGPT to select watches only from truly independent watchmakers.
So, in this week’s article, we did the same thing again, except that we asked ChatGPT to pick a six watch collection – only with independent watchmaking brands. Here are the selections.
F.P. Journe Chronomètre Bleu
ChatGPT’s response: F.P. Journe is an independent watchmaker who produces some of the most technically impressive watches in the industry. The Chronomètre Bleu is a stunning timepiece that features a 18k rose gold movement and a blue dial.
The first watch on the list is perhaps one of the hottest properties in the independent watchmaking scene right now: F.P. Journe’s exquisite Chronomètre Bleu (picture above courtesy of F.P. Journe).
There is certainly something charming about the Chronomètre Bleu, even though it may not possess some of the poetic complications that other F.P. Journe watches have. The 39mm timepiece features an unusual tantalum case, with slight funkiness from the typography of the numerals, hands, and an off-centre sub-dial. The watch is so quirky on paper, but the end result is an aesthetically pleasing watch that is unlike other three-hand timepieces. And let’s not even get started on the stunning 18k rose gold movement.
Similar to some of the watches that we have featured last week, the Chronomètre Bleu is almost impossible to attain. Word is that the production figure for this model is around 100 pieces annually, which is far from its demand. This is despite the fact that it costs a small fortune, with its last known retail price at US$37,400 (approximately S$49,945). Then again, what do we know?
H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar
ChatGPT’s response: H. Moser & Cie is a small, independent Swiss watchmaker that produces some of the most elegant watches in the industry. The Endeavour Perpetual Calendar is a masterpiece of engineering, with a perpetual calendar that can be adjusted forward and backward in time.
The H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar is a watch that we have often waxed lyrical about, given how the brand had managed to turn such a technical complication into a friendly-looking and clean timepiece.
We absolutely love how the brand had interpreted the perpetual calendar complication. Going by its ethos of being minimalist, the only indication that this timepiece features a calendar complication is through its “flash date” display and an inconspicuous arrow hand that shows the month. Otherwise, it appears to be a rather simple, but good-looking dress watch with a beautiful fumé dial.
The entire package is incredible, and we are hard-pressed to think of any timepiece that offers so much in terms of innovation and capabilities. The 40.8mm timepiece is priced at CHF 54,000 (approximately S$80,588), and we think that this watch (and dial) has redefined how we view luxury watches and the art of minimalism.
Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar Montre École
ChatGPT’s response: Laurent Ferrier is a relatively new independent watchmaker that has quickly gained a reputation for producing exceptional watches. The Galet Annual Calendar Montre École is a beautiful dress watch with an innovative annual calendar complication.
Laurent Ferrier is an independent watchmaking brand that has caught on in recent times. This is partially attributed to its stunning and well-designed timepieces, such as the Galet Annual Calendar Montre École (picture above courtesy of Laurent Ferrier).
There is something rather enchanting about the timepiece, which features a rather romantic 40mm École case that pays tribute to a time when watchmakers converted pocket watches into wristwatches. What is also interesting is that the brand takes a neoclassical approach in its design, with a rather sophisticated calendar display featuring two apertures that displays the day and month, and the date on the peripheral of the case. This is pure elegance at its finest.
Prices of the Galet Annual Calendar Montre École begin at CHF 52,500 (approximately S$78,350) for the stainless-steel variant. There is something really special about Laurent Ferrier’s watches, and this particular piece is certainly one of the best offerings from the famed independent watch manufacturer.
Kari Voutilainen 28SC
ChatGPT’s response: Kari Voutilainen is a Finnish watchmaker who has become renowned for his hand-finished watches. The 28SC is a stunning timepiece with a small seconds sub-dial and a power reserve indicator.
When it comes to independent watchmaking, Kari Voutilainen is one of the most revered names in the scene. There is no question that he is ranked amongst some of the best, and the 28SC is a living proof of that (picture above courtesy of Kari Voutilainen).
While the 28SC may just be a three-hand timepiece, it features all the signatures of the legendary Kari Voutilainen. This includes the engine-turned dial, in-house manufactured case, as well as the beautiful movement that features some of the best finishing that we have seen. The movement is almost out of this world, and it is further romanticised with the large balance wheel that oscillates at 18,000 bph.
The 38.5mm 28SC was last known to retail at CHF 74,000 (approximately S$110,435). It may be steep for a three-hand watch, but the beauty of Kari’s timepieces is that most of the components are produced in-house, and at the highest standard as well. Perfection certainly comes at a price.
Ressence Type 1 Slim
ChatGPT’s response: Ressence is a Belgian watchmaker that produces innovative watches with a unique aesthetic. The Type 1 Slim is a modern, minimalist timepiece with a patented display system that uses rotating discs to display the time.
Ressence may be a young upstart in the watchmaking scene, but it is already making a name for itself with its series of ultra-modern and original timepieces.
The Type 1 Slim (picture above courtesy of Ressence) is one of the mainstays of the brand, and it encapsulates what Ressence is all about. The watch, notably, offers an interesting take on watches with its unique aesthetics and mechanical engineering. Notably, the Type 1 features an egg-shaped case, as well as a huge domed sapphire crystal that gives the watch its unique looks. In addition, another signature of the brand is its convex “regulator-styled” dial, with eccentric satellites rolling on jewel ball-bearings inclined at 3° (hours) and 4.75° (seconds and day of the week).
There is something special about Ressence watches, and we do foresee a very bright future for them. The watch is not just all looks – the technical bits, especially the ROCS (Ressence Orbital Convex System) module, is a mechanical marvel as well. Finally, the 42mm watch is priced at CHF 16,800 (approximately S$25,070), and it is surely a nice addition to any watch collection that demands something unique and innovative.
De Bethune DB28
ChatGPT’s response: De Bethune is a small, independent watchmaker that produces some of the most technically impressive watches in the industry. The DB28 is a futuristic timepiece with a unique, asymmetrical case design and a tourbillon regulator.
The DB28 collection from De Bethune has attained a certain cult status amongst collectors, for its contemporary and avant-garde take on watchmaking. This includes the exposed movement, crown at the 12 o’clock position, as well as the patented floating lugs. The finishing is also as spectacular as it can get. This includes the Côtes De Bethune on the triangle bridge, black polishing on the concave dial plate, as well as blued moonphase sphere that the brand is often known for. In fact, we are certain that mere words cannot do justice to the finishing of this piece.
There are many exceptional pieces from the DB28 collection, and the Steel Wheels is one of such timepieces. The watches from De Bethune are simply mind-blowing, with original designs and unbelievable level of finishing. The DB28 Steel Wheels is priced at CHF 83,000 (approximately S$123,865), and frankly, this is one of the few timepieces that really captures what the fuss with independent watchmaking is all about succinctly.
We can conclude that ChatGPT’s selection this week should get all of us excited. The selections today are rather excellent, without the typical names that one would usually see.
Then again, there are some notable omissions which we felt were a little curious. Powerhouses such as MB&F, Urwerk, Gronefeld, Roger Smith, and Philippe Dufour weren’t on the list. Perhaps it may be an issue of availability, but it also just goes to show how strong the independent watchmaking scene had become over the last couple of decades. There are just so many options and diversity here, that even some of the biggest names do not have the opportunity to make it on the list.
Now, what are your thoughts on ChatGPT’s selection today? Has your horological faith been restored, or do you still find that AI is still falling short in this aspect? Do let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.