Guide To Luxury Timepieces
NakedWatch Saratoga - $459 - In the world of watches, complications are king; lately, so is size. The Naked Watch Saratoga offers day, date and 24-hour time indicator, as well as a cutout face and automatic movement in a limited edition finished 42mm case.
TAG Heuer Kirium Formula 1 - $1,995 - TAG has been at the forefront of chronographs for years. The Kirium is a unique piece, having both analog and digital components. It offers a perpetual calendar, a one-hundredth-of-a-second stopwatch function, multiple alarms, time zones, backlighting and a countdown timer, all in a classic look with a solid build and feel. Its 38mm case size might be small by todays standards, but the look is classic TAG. If you are used to a digital watch and cant live without the features, but want to step up to something nicer, this one does it all for a reasonable price.
Corum Bubble - $2,295 and up - This is a large, somewhat goofy watch that is a real head-turner. The large, semi-round enclosure that gives this watch its name magnifies the face and gives some great optical effects from off angles. It is available in quartz or automatic movements, multiple colors and faces, and a chronograph as well. This watch screams for attention and gets it. A truly unique timepiece if you have the personality to wear it.
Ball Engineer Master II Telemeter - $2,299 - From the company that standardized time in this country and ran the railroads comes the Engineer Master II Telemeter. The accuracy of this companys watches is where we got the saying on the ball. Shockproof, waterproof, antimagnetic and able to withstand extreme cold, they are accurate to minus 40 degrees Celsius. Ball watches have reached peaks on Everest, been to outer space and to the bottom of the ocean. Numbers, hands and hour markers are illuminated with tritium gas lights. That is 100 times brighter than luminous paints. You can almost read by the light these put off at night, and they require no charging to glow. Their large size and multiple complications, along with their virtually indestructible build, make them a great bargain in modern watches.
IWC Spitfire Chronograph - $4,200 - This watch is complicated yet affordable, with a movement made in-house. Offering day and date, as well as a 12-hour chronograph, eccentric second hand display and a 44-hour power reserve, this watch's 42mm case is big enough to draw attention, yet practical enough for everyday wearing. The rhodium-plated dial has a great three-dimensionality to it.
Panerai Luminor Marina Automatic - $4,900 - Big watches are all the rage these days and few make sizes like Panerai. Originally only made for the Italian military officers, Panerai has branched out into the consumer market. Their limited production and large demand have made them highly sought-after. Available in both 44 and 40mm versions, with alligator strap or bracelet, and boasting 300-meter water resistance, its easy to see why these watches have become so popular.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona in steel - $6,550 - You can't buy it, but everyone wants one. This is the hottest Rolex ever, and possibly the most sought-after watch in the world. The selling price shows it. Now produced with an actual Rolex movement, these are near impossible to find. If you must have a Rolex chronograph, try buying it in steel and gold; they are cheaper, but not as desirable.
Patek Philippe Calatrava 5119R - $13,800 - When it comes to watches, few names are held in as much regard as Patek Philippe and this one epitomizes their work. Simple, understated and profoundly elegant, the rose gold case and hobnail bezel accentuate a dial complicated only by the eccentric second hand display. The extremely thin case lets the watch easily slip under shirt cuffs and the exhibition back exposes the gorgeous movement inside. A timeless classic.
Hublot Big Bang - $18,400 - This watch is a fusion of rose gold, ceramic, carbon fiber and rubber. It single-handedly made Hublot a viable watch company. Winner of the Best Design prize in the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix, its modern look and large 44mm case size propelled this watch to the top of the wish list for many and have made prices soar. Hublot responded by expanding the Big Bang line and now there is one for everyone in all budgets from $8,500 on up.
Breguet 5197BA/15/986 - $22,400 - Creator of the tourbillion, Breguet is now using cutting-edge silicon pieces to lower resistance and lengthen life. This watch sports the classic Breguet hands. The 18K yellow or white gold case with exhibition back is self-winding. The face is silvered gold and hand-engraved. A small date rests in the six oclock position. This is one of the classiest watches made with a modern angle on the signature Breguet look.
Ulysse Nardin GMT +/- Perpetual Calendar Limited Edition in rose gold - $41,800 - This award-winning movement is the first ever to allow adjustment of all perpetual calendar functions, forward and backward, from a single crown. This might not seem like much, but on some perpetual calendars, you need to adjust forward for 100 years or send it back to the factory to have it reset if you slip up. The push buttons on the side allow adjustment of the second time zone instantly and the exhibition case back exposes an exquisitely detailed and decorated movement. The bulbous Sonata hands, named for another of their watches, add a distinctive flair to the limited edition. Also available in white gold, both with alligator strap.
Vacheron Constantin Tour de L'ile - $1,500,000 - Yes, you read that right. This watch was made especially for the companys two-hundred-and-fiftieth anniversary. Vacheron is the oldest watchmaker in the world. This watch has so many complications in it that they had to use both sides of the watch to include them all. Only seven will be made and each one is customized for you and the region of the world you live in, so the star chart will be correct. This watch has it all: a perpetual calendar, hour, quarter and minute repeater, moon phase, equation of time, sunrise and set times and, of course, a tourbillion movement. If youve got the cash, this is the watch that shows it.