I can’t imagine a greater privilege than to be able to share my passion with you guys, so I want to thank you for letting me bring to you what I think are some of the world’s most impressive watches! For this instalment of our regular series focusing on everything watch-related, we’ve got some very cool pieces from a couple of independents, something from Germany and a bank-breaking grail. So as always, sit back, enjoy, and welcome to another instalment of The Wind Up!
Laurent Ferrier and URWERK for Only Watch 2017
Regarded as one of the most beautiful brands in recent times, Laurent Ferrier have teamed up with one of the most dynamic and polarising brands, URWERK, to create an amazing timepiece for this year’s Only Watch event, to be held in November. Let’s scrap the usual technical talk of aesthetics and mechanics, and focus on this thing’s undeniable appeal. The curves, the flow, the symmetry and the proportions: all very well executed. I liken this piece to the flowing aesthetic of a beautiful woman. This watch is unconventional and super contemporary, but with a heart that beats of tradition. The joint effort between Laurent Ferrier (one of my absolute favourite brands, mind you) and URWERK could have led to one of two inevitabilities. A complete travesty that would have left both of their images in tatters, or this. Enough said.
So you’ve just won the lotto. Or you’ve inherited an absurd amount of money. Or you’ve discovered you actually live on top of the world’s largest oil reservoir. What do you buy? Well you can go down the traditional route: Patek, Vacheron or Audemars Piguet. Or you can go a bit further: Greubel Forsey, Richard Mille or Roger Dubuis. Or you can take it one step further and get the Krayon Everywhere, an incredibly expensive timepiece that has exceedingly redefined the term “haute horlogerie” for me. The Krayon Everywhere has a peculiar name, but it’s basic function (lol.. basic..) is to be able to indicate the sunrise and sunset times anywhere in the world. Now even if you’re not an avid reader of The Wind Up, or you don’t really get too amped up about watches, you have to appreciate the difficulty of a completely mechanical timepiece to be able to accurately display that information. Hell, it even takes Google about 0.00000000001 seconds to display that information. This watch is by far the most amazing thing to not come out of the typical Swiss watchmaking manufacturers (and I mean that with all due respect). As magnificent as this is, I can almost assure you with every ounce of my being that you will never see one. Incredible.
Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur
Plenty of show. More go than you can imagine. The Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur is an outstanding timepiece that is as versatile as it is gorgeous. It comes in three different model variations, but the one I’ve opted to show you guys is the stainless steel and blue dial variant. Sitting at 42mm in diameter, now we’re talking about that much revered “Goldilocks” zone. Anything small, then it’d be borderline laughable. Anything bigger, and it’d still be wearable but its proportions would be well and truly thrown right out of balance. The Marine Torpilleur is a Ulysse Nardin timepiece through and through. From the overly large Roman numerals to the super-slim bezel, it all works very well. Functional, wearable and dynamic, the Marine Torpilleur isn’t going to break the bank either. At $9,995 it does cost a fair amount, but it’s peanuts when you consider the quality you’d be purchasing.
Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar
I have a funny feeling that Glashütte Original have a tendency to be overlooked, especially when compared to their German counterpart, A. Lange & Söhne. I can understand that to an extent, of course. Lange produces some of the world’s most amazing timepieces. But the reason why we feature Glashütte here so often on Man of Many is because they actually produce some very special pieces. Take the PanoMaticLunar, for example. This is one of their better looking pieces, and to be honest with you it looks just as good as something to come out of Lange (and that’s saying something..). The asymmetrical dial with the big date window and moonphase window is absolutely stunning. The engravings on the sub-dials add an element of design-chic, and the polished finish on the bezel and case compliments the blue of the dial impeccably. There are quite a few people who I have spoken to personally who have explicitly stated that they don’t understand the appeal of an asymmetric dial, and I can fully appreciate their point of view. But when it comes to trying to pack in a hell of a lot information, dissymmetry just seems to work so much better in terms of clarity and legibility. Super impressive!
Richard Mille RM 67-02 Automatic Wayde Van Nierkerk
Richard Mille have created the worlds lightest automatic timepiece for Olympic medalist Wayde Van Nierkerk with the intent of actually being used. Gone are the days when a 6-figure costing watch was gifted to someone of esteem and then locked away forever in a safe. Richard Mille are all about functionality and dynamism, and their pieces reflect that ideology. Created with Van Nierkerk’s homeland in mind (ergo the red, green and blue representing the South African flag’s colours), the RM 67-02 is made of Quartz TPT, while the bands are made of Carbon TPT. The result? Super lightweight. The CRMA7 in-house made automatic calibre powers the RM 67-02, and the weight cutting has continued here as well. An interesting feature of this movement is the white-gold out mass on the rotor. This is done to ensure that the rotor can actually swing on its axis. If the rotor were made purely out of its mainly carbon composite structure, its ability to swing would be greatly reduced. White gold is a typically heavier material than carbon, therefore the minute addition of this material can be attributed to better mechanism winding. Now that you’re all geeked out, I want to give you an idea about the price. About as much as a brand new BMW M3. So yeah, expensive.
If you enjoyed The Wind Up and would like to continue reading about watches, you can head on over to my blog, Haulogerie, where I delve a bit deeper into the wonderful world of watches.