The 00/24 European Watch of the Year Awards 2013 gala took place on September 24 at the May Fair Hotel

The winning watches are:

Category 1:
Up to £2,500

Winner: Tudor Heritage Black Bay
Comment from organisers: “Tudor entered the competition with a dive watch that some have declared a retro-modern classic. For its finishing and design, Tudor won on points.”

Category 2:
£2,500 to £10,000

Winner: Zenith Pilot Doublematic
Comment from organisers: “Zenith’s Doublematic took the judges by surprise. What in pictures may look over-complicated is – on the wrist – a satisfying, stimulating watch with 439 parts, assembled by two watchmakers who normally work in Zenith’s haute horlogerie department.”

Category 3:
£10,000 to £25,000

Winner: Chopard L.U.C 8HF
Comment from organisers: “Chopard’s high-frequency piece, the first 8Hz chronometer, was a clear winner, being the equal of its peers for quality and beauty, but in a class apart for innovation.”

Category 4:
£25,000 to £100,000

Winner: Breguet Classique Chronométrie 7727
Comment from organisers: “The really remarkable thing about the Chronométrie 7727 is the use of magnets inside the movement, as a way aiding the stability of the balance and therefore the performance of the movement. Breguet has innovated dramatically with this timepiece.”

Category 5:
£100,000 and up
Winner:
Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre à Sphérotourbillon
Comment from organisers: “Jaeger-LeCoultre’s latest take on the multi-axis tourbillon is a breathtaking piece of haute horlogerie that stunned and fascinated the jury.”

Category 6:
Women’s watches
Winner:
Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda 1950 Set
Comment from organisers: “The introvert beauty of Parmigiani’s piece – a watch adaptable for dressy or every-day occasions – matched with its horological excellence including a free-sprung balance and micro-rotor, saw it declared the winner.”

Special Awards
Comment from organisers:
“This year the jury had the opportunity to give two special awards, one for Technical Innovation and the other for Watchmaking Artistry, if they so chose. In the end, while Jaeger-LeCoultre was awarded the prize in the blue ribbon category, the jury felt two other watches were strongly deserving of recognition.”

Technology Award:
Winner:
TAG Heuer Carrera MikrotourbillonS
Comment from organisers: “The MikrotourbillonS contains two tourbillons, one for timekeeping and one for its high-frequency chronograph. The latter is the fastest tourbillon in the world, making a rotation every 5 seconds that ensures chronometer accuracy while the chronograph is running. A dizzying achievement for TAG Heuer’s technical team.”

Arts & Crafts Award:
Winner:
Laurent Ferrier Galet Classic Tourbillon Double Balance Spring
Comment from organisers: “The Galet Classic Tourbillon Double Balance Spring, with two balance springs and chronometer certification, is an achievement of meticulous classical skill and modern innovation.”

Reader’s Award:
Winner:
Maurice Lacroix Pontos S
Comment from organisers:
“Thousands of readers of our magazines and of the London business newspaper City A.M. voted online to decide which watch would win the Reader’s Award. Most of the votes went to the mid-class (category 2) Maurice Lacroix Pontos S. A chronograph with a striking NATO strap.”

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I bet this Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronometer would look better with a marble dial

Ulysse Nardin contribution to Only Watch 2013 is a Marine Chronometer Manufacture Only Watch featuring a handcrafted enamel dial produced by Donzé Cadrans, a world-recognized enamel dial specialist and a member of the Ulysse Nardin group of companies. The snow-white dial is offset by black Roman numerals and accents of cherry red. The rose gold beveled case measures 43mm in diameter. Inside is the UN-118 automatic movement conceived and executed entirely in-house that features a 60-hour power reserve and corresponding indicator on the dial. An oversized small seconds register is combined with a date display at six o’clock. The watch is delivered on a black leather strap with folding gold buckle.

I believe this watch would be more stunning using an opal or marble dial.

English watchmaker Speake-Marin introduces the Spirit MK II DLC

The three-dimensional, black matte watch features numerals and hour markers in white Super-LumiNova, which contrast against the light-absorbing finished case, making it easy to refer to. This watch has an automatic movement.

With the help of a second barrel, the watch has a five-day power reserve. The dial is framed by a hand-finished circular grained bezel and the 42mm sandblasted stainless steel case is coated with anthracite DLC. The case back is solid and slightly domed with a message on it that reads “fight, love & persevere”.

Casio Edifice Solar EF331 is one of the “must have” under the series

The Casio Edifice series is one of the successful watch lines under Casio. A lot of tie-ins with sports and teams were made with the Edifice series. The most recent is the Formula One Red Bull Team.

The watches are designed to be robust. Although not stated as robust as the G-Shock, but based on my experience with this sub-brand, it is as robust. Moreover, with solar power, practically maintenance free.

This particular specimen, the EF331, is basic without chronograph function. Cheap yet excellent everyday watch to have. A lot of the models under this series comes with chronograph function or with Ana-digi display.

If you are a serious watch collector, you need to have at least one Casio Edifice in your collection. I chose this for my collection.

Bell & Ross 02-92 dive watch is mixture of DNA

Bell & Ross has a specific DNA that defines the designs of the watch. When it decided to create the 02 series dive watches, the company started to tweak its DNA.

Out goes the square shape that is classic B&R. Instead, a tonneau shaped watch casing was chosen instead. Nevertheless, some key components that identifies it as a B&R remained such as the screws on the watch face and the wide straps.

B&R also decided to go deep. Instead of the typical 300 meter depth, the company went deeper to 1000 meters. An automatic helium escape valve (HEV) was designed into the case. To add an additional WOW factor into the design, the bezel became an internal bezel, manipulated by a crown at the 2 o’clock position.

The watch is all black using PVD technology. However, B&R did not use DLC material for the process.

The lume of the watch is bright. Below is a shot of the watch taken in total darkness. The 12 o’clock pip on the internal bezel has a different coloured lume than the rest.

Overall, a comfortable watch to wear.  The large rubber strap was able to spread the weight of the watch evenly.

Christopher Ward’s C900 Worldtimer is a beautiful watch

The movement of this watch is a modified ETA 2893 which has been given a reference Calibre JJ03 by Christopher Ward. The modification allows the adjustments of the hour, minute, GMT as well as the reference city as indicated by the airport code in the window at the 12 o’clock position by manipulating a single crown.

Moreover, the choice of the airport code also translate to a red dot to be shown of the geographic location chosen on the C900’s 3-dimensional world map dial.

The modification made to allow a single crown to control all the complications in the watch is an achievement. In fact, I was made to understand a patent has been applied for it.

There is a display window at the case back to see the movement in action. All around the metal part of the case back, the definition of all the airport codes to the respective cities are listed.

For a traveler, this watch has a complication that makes tracking timezones a very simple affair. I like it and, if given the opportunity, I could get one.

The Charming Bird by Jaquet Droz is a Marriage between Horology and Robotic

For 2013, in celebrating its 275th anniversary, Jaquet Droz introduced The Charming Bird, a watch that combines high end mechanical movement design and a miniature mechanical robot. This timepiece has a tiny singing bird in a 47mm-diameter casing.

The intricate mechanism incorporated in the watch allows the bird turns, flaps its wings, moves its head and tail, and opens its beak to chirp. The complication is powered by a piston-driven bellows system.

The crown at the 12 o’clock position provides power and adjustment to the watch mechanism while the crown at the 2 o’clock position provides the same for the robotic bird as well as initiate the performance.

The bellows system used in this timepiece is unique and a patent has been filed for the design.

I suspect Jaquet Droz already has a number of other robotic wristwatches planned using this new design. Just can’t wait to see them.