PRIMETIME – Best Of 2015 – Fine Watches To Give (And Receive)
Watches are even more precious when they are received and – even better – given. Of course, fine watches are not inexpensive gifts considering the work needed to conceive and manufacture them. But great timepieces exist that don’t break the bank.
We selected 5 models we would encourage you to consider if you are in the mood for making a fine watch part of your holiday shopping. Here they are in no particular order.
Tudor doesn’t make a lot of noise about its North Flag, but this new flagship model was entirely produced in Switzerland. This may look logical and natural, but in terms of its price positioning, it’s possibly record-breaking. In addition, this model integrates the first movement Tudor entirely developed in-house – and its precision is certified by the COSC as chronometer-accurate. It retails for 3,500 Swiss francs including taxes.
Let’s go to Germany for the Nomos Minimatik, which is powered by the new DUW 3001 automatic caliber, whose dimensions and performance are clearly above average. Its svelte height of 3.2 mm was made possible thanks to a new way to position the various components within the movement. It demonstrates a rare quality in watchmaking: applying real creativity and being able to think outside the box when working on mechanisms, the principles of which date from the 18th century. The precision of this new DUW 3001 is also remarkable because of the new Swing System regulator developed and produced in-house by Nomos, which cost €11 million in research and development. Because of its clever conception, the DUW 3001 consumes very little energy. In comparison with standard mechanical movements, it saves up to 80 percent of the power that is generally lost in friction between the components. You’ll need about 4,000 Swiss francs to get one for yourself or a loved one.
Coming back to Switzerland, we selected the revival of a vintage monopusher chronograph first designed for doctors and nurses: the Longines Pulsometer chronograph. Its very retro look was nicely modified to become a little bit modern without losing what made it so special in the first place. The pulsometer scale – used to measure the patient’s heartbeats – is indeed an important aspect of it. This automatic chronograph is powered by a caliber developed in 2008 almost exclusively for Longines by its sister manufacturing firm ETA. Like the Nomos Minimatik, this masculine model is sold for about 4,000 Swiss francs.
Speaking of reinterpreted oldies, the Oris Divers Sixty-Five caught our attention thanks to its domed dial and crystal. The soft “Deauville” blue color of the dial lends a fresh look to the watch that makes it quite desirable. Another detail is the very visible numerals printed with luminescent material, whereby the four positioned at the quarter hours are designed in an inversed way, meaning that the luminous material surrounds the shape of the number. The automatic Oris Divers Sixty-Five is also interesting because of its rotating bezel made of aluminum – not a frequently used material. This special edition is sold for 1,900 Swiss francs including taxes.
Become digitally connected with our last choice: the Frédérique Constant Horological Smartwatch, a timepiece that looks very traditional and classic from the outside but one that integrates a MotionX motion tracker on the inside. Powered by a quartz movement, it is one of the very first connected timepieces produced by a traditional brand. It shows how much Frédérique Constant and sister brand Alpina, which also contains a connected model in its collection, are concerned with this new trend and how they instantaneously adapted to this new environment, contrary to most other brands. Well known for its accessible prices, Frédérique Constant asks 995 Swiss francs including taxes for the steel version.