THE BIG WATCH BOOK

Esquire Malaysia Watch Guide - - Editor’s Note - Best Wishes, Leong Wong Watch Ed­i­tor

NEVER A DULL MO­MENT. I am talk­ing about the SIHH in Geneva and the Baselworld Watch & Jew­ellery Fair in Basel. Even when the mar­ket spirit is slow and low, the fair seems to al­ways buzz with life and vi­tal­ity. There is al­ways some­thing new and ex­cit­ing; some­thing un­sus­pected and sur­pris­ing to en­ter­tain not just the jour­nal­ists and re­tail­ers but even the pub­lic, who turned up in their thou­sands.

This year is def­i­nitely the year of aus­ter­ity—after pre­vi­ous years of prep­ping them­selves for the eco­nomic worst, most of the watch­mak­ers pre­sented sim­pler, pared down time­pieces both aes­thet­i­cally and tech­ni­cally. But that doesn’t mean that they are de­void of ex­cite­ment. The watch­mak­ers have in­stead looked for other av­enues and forms to make even the sim­ple de­signs ex­cit­ing. All in all it was still a very ex­cit­ing year for the watches.

A cou­ple of im­por­tant an­nounce­ments to make: Patek Philippe, Bul­gari and Oris are all cel­e­brat­ing big an­niver­saries this year. Patek Philippe cel­e­brated their 175th an­niver­sary with a brand new fu­tur­is­tic pavil­ion at Baselworld 2014 and an ex­cit­ing new col­lec­tion, and Oris is cel­e­brat­ing their 110th an­niver­sary with an in-house move­ment Cal­i­bre 110. Last but not least, Bul­gari cel­e­brates its 130th an­niver­sary this year with the best col­lec­tion of 2014. They have put their Octo through a thor­ough ex­er­cise pro­gramme in their ate­lier un­der the watchful eyes of their en­gi­neers and watch­mak­ers. The re­sult: The stel­lar Octo Finis­simo Tour­bil­lon, the thinnest Tour­bil­lon watch by far, sim­ple and el­e­gant yet com­pli­cated.

Re­gard­less of the re­turn to aus­ter­ity, the watch­mak­ers are now head­ing back to mak­ing real watches with sim­ple and ac­ces­si­ble de­signs. That’s made putting to­gether this watch guide even more dif­fi­cult, but we have still man­aged to nar­row down the most out­stand­ing time­pieces. They’re high­lighted in the Best Watches of the Year and In­no­va­tions of the Year, and are the most spe­cial and unique watches we’ve seen this year. I hope you the watch guide will give you a clue as to what lies ahead for the year.

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