Our last article for the “Best in 2018” series is dedicated to some of the best watches launched in 2018 that feature horological complications.
To read our other selections in the Chronographs, Sport Watches, Dress Watches and Ladies Watches categories, just follow the related links.
Selected watches are listed alphabetically, not in order of preference.
Armin Strom Masterpiece 1 Dual Time Resonance
The Masterpiece 1 Dual Time Resonance is a watch like no others. Housed in an unconventional oval case crafted from ultra-light titanium, two independent movements display two independent time zones — not simply one movement with two displays — while beating in resonance for increased precision. The key element of the system is the Resonance Clutch Spring, the result of three-years of intensive research and development. In order to connect the two sets of oscillators, its shape is so sophisticated that Armin Strom had to create it in-house. The two independent movements enable the Dual Time Resonance to indicate GMT, or a second time zone, but the second sub-dial can be used for additional functions: for example it can be used to measure the length of an event by setting the time at 00:00 or as a count-down timer. Read the full article.
Blancpain Villeret Tourbillon Volant Heure Sautante Minute Retrograde
The Villeret Tourbillon Volant Heure Sautante Minute Retrograde combines a flying tourbillon with jumping hours and retrograde minutes. Rather than being supported by a bridge on the dial side and a bridge on the movement side, a flying tourbillon is only secured to the plate on one side offering an unobstructed view of the tourbillon’s key components. With this model, Blancpain took this concept even further by removing the lower bridge and replacing it by a clear sapphire disk. This way, the tourbillon cage, its balance wheel and its escapement seem to be floating in space above the tourbillon’s fixed wheel attached to the clear disk. This new timepiece also marks the debut of the jumping hour and retrograde minute complications within Blancpain’s collections. The two displays are grouped together, with the hours window placed on the retrograde minutes counter. Read the full article.
Bovet Récital 22 Grand Récital
The Bovet Récital 22 Grand Récital was the winner of the “Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix 2018, the highest distinction honouring the finest timepiece of the year. This exceptional tourbillon timepiece, housed in a 46.3 mm red gold case, displays three heavenly bodies: sun, earth, and moon. The sun is represented by the flying tourbillon, whose carriage bridge evokes its rays. The striking hemispherical earth rotates on its own axis and shows the hours on a natural 24-hour cycle. Finally, a spherical moon orbits the earth according to the exact length of its synodic period, i.e. 29.53 days. Retrograde minute and power reserve indications are displayed on hemispherical sectors curved to mirror the globe. The back side displays the perpetual calendar indications. Read the full article.
Cyrus Klepcys Vertical Tourbillon
The Klepcys Vertical Tourbillon by Cyrus features a sophisticated tourbillon placed in the middle of the dial on a vertical axis. This is a complete first in watchmaking. In fact, the tourbillon is usually positioned horizontally and at 6 o’clock. The dial indicates the time by means of two symmetrical displays: the left-pointer indicates the retrograde jumping hours in Arabic numerals while the one on the right reads off the sweeping retrograde minutes. Housed in a 44 mm cushion shaped case, the hand-wound manufacture movement beats at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour and offers a remarkable power reserve of 100 hours thanks to the two parallel barrels. Read the full article.
Greubel Forsey Differentiel d’Egalité
On occasion of SIHH 2018, Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey presented a timepiece that contains their 5th Fundamental Invention: the Différentiel d’Égalité. This invention enables steady distribution of power from the mainspring barrel to the regulating organ, which maintains a constant balance amplitude during the 60 hours of the power reserve. The new model is also the first of the Maison to integrate dead-beat seconds making it easier to read and to set the time precisely. They are displayed through the sub-dial between 4 and 5 o'clock while a smaller continuous seconds sub-dial is visible near the balance wheel. To guarantee excellent mean/averaged balance wheel performance, the 30° angle of the balance wheel and escapement minimizes the effects of gravity and ensures efficient movement performance in stable positions. Read the full article.
IWC Tribute to Pallweber Edition “150 Years”
The Tribute to Pallweber is the first IWC wristwatch to incorporate a digital hours and minutes display. The Schaffhausen brand started using this form of time display in pocket watches back in 1884 after securing the rights to the display system developed by the Salzburg watchmaker Joseph Pallweber. A total of 775 watches will be produced and, more precisely, 25 pieces in platinum with white dial, blue display discs, blued seconds hand, 250 in red gold with white dial, white display discs, blued seconds hand and 500 in stainless steel with blue dial, white display discs, rhodium plated seconds hand. Beautifully finished and enriched by a Jubilee medallion in 18-carat gold, the movement is visible through the sapphire-glass case back. Read the full article.
Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Moon Black Enamel
With this model, Jaquet Droz integrated a moon phase complication into one of its most emblematic models, the Grande Seconde. The brand successfully preserved the key elements of the dial and, in particular, the purity of the two interlaced dials which form a figure eight. The Grande Seconde Moon Black Enamel is characterized by a fascinating double-level dial in black Grand Feu enamel with an applied satin-finish ring, 18-carat red gold star appliques, and 22-carat gold moon crowning a black onyx moon disk. Beautifully framing the dial, the 43 mm red gold case houses the self-winding Jaquet Droz 2660QL3 Calibre equipped with silicon balance spring and pallet horns. Read the full article.
Moser Endeavour Flying Hours
With the new Endeavour Flying Hours, H. Moser & Cie. revisited its time-display for the first time by introducing a new disc-based system. Framed by a 42 mm white gold case, the blue dial features several planetary gears mounted on star wheels: in the centre, the main disc in sapphire displays the minutes on a 240° sector while three smaller discs bearing the hour numerals are arranged around it. Each planetary gear rotates on its own axis, revealing the hour in a display inspired by the original planetary systems. To enhance the mechanism’s legibility, the current hour numeral appears in white, following the minute disc as it completes a revolution before disappearing to be replaced by the next hour. Read the full article.
Innovation and high quality watchmaking are combined in the new L’Astronomo Luminor 1950 Tourbillon Moon Phases Equation of Time GMT, the first Panerai reference to have moon phase indication. It features a tourbillon regulator, calendar, equation of time, display of the times of sunrise and sunset, GMT, moon phases and an original system for displaying the date using polarised crystals. This watch is made to order, and the skeletonized movement, the P.2005/GLS (standing for Galileo Luna Scheletrato), is personalised to operate in accordance with the geographical coordinates of a place chosen by the client. Read the full article.
Patek Philippe Ref. 5531R World Time Minute Repeater
Patek Philippe has a tradition in the production of watches featuring sophisticated functions like minute repetition and world time. But until 2018, these two complications had not yet been combined together in a single watch. With the new Reference 5531R World Time Minute Repeater, for the first time in Patek Philippe’s history, the watchmakers of the brand were able to integrate the two functional mechanisms into one another. Differently from all other minute repeaters with 24 time zones which strike home time even if they are far away from home, Patek Philippe’s Ref. 5531 chimes the time at its current location, corresponding to the city aligned with the 12 o’clock position. Coupling the chiming mechanism with the rotatable city and 24-hour rings represented a big watchmaking challenge. Read the full article.
Patek Philippe Nautilus Perpetual Calendar Ref. 5740/1G
Sporting a unique style with an octagonal bezel and a porthole-inspired design, the Nautilus watch by Patek Philippe was launched in 1976 quickly gaining cult status. Over the years, Patek Philippe presented several model variations, but it was only in 2018 that a perpetual calendar was added to the collection. The Nautilus Perpetual Calendar Ref. 5740/1G-001 is also Patek Philippe’s thinnest perpetual calendar with a total height of 8.42 mm. The three-part white gold case is water resistant to 60 metres / 200 feet and has a diameter of 40 mm. Visible through the transparent case back, the self-winding calibre 240 movement features a recessed 22K gold minirotor. Read the full article.