These iconic mod­els from 10 lux­ury maisons set the trends in watch­mak­ing. By Ce­line Yap

Epicure (Indonesia) - - CONTENTS -

10 horo­log­i­cal gems

For an in­dus­try that’s been around for hun­dreds of years, me­chan­i­cal watch­mak­ing never really gets old. Thanks to lux­ury maisons that con­tin­u­ally rein­vent the clas­sics and evolve their icons, watch con­nois­seurs are treated to ever more in­spi­ra­tional mas­ter­pieces, whether it is a sim­ple three-hand time­keeper or a rare and ex­alted high com­pli­ca­tion. The se­cret – they’ll tell you – is to keep on re­fin­ing the prod­uct, lit­tle by lit­tle, year after year. That’s how a wrist­watch be­comes an eter­nal ob­ject, one that is as rel­e­vant to­day as when it was cre­ated.

De­signed to be an avi­a­tor’s time­piece, the San­tos de Cartier is strik­ingly el­e­gant com­pared to the av­er­age pi­lot’s watch.

This time­less icon ex­ists in sev­eral forms, but it’s the lat­est in­car­na­tion that has cap­tured both the con­nois­seur crowd and the fash­ion mavens. Sleeker, slim­mer and en­dowed with gra­cious curves, the new San­tos will con­tinue to make waves in 2019, just as it has al­ways done, since 1904. From $8,600

Women’s time­pieces have taken cen­tre stage at Harry Win­ston lately and the bounty is on the Av­enue col­lec­tion – the Amer­i­can jew­eller’s flag­ship and best­selling line. Com­bin­ing watch­mak­ing with the world’s most beau­ti­ful pre­cious stones, Harry Win­ston con­tin­u­ally adapts its sig­na­ture Av­enue case with gems of dif­fer­ent carats, colours and cuts. In the Av­enue Clas­sic Aurora, blue and pink sap­phires dance along­side white di­a­monds, let­ting the fire and bril­liance of the stones do all the talk­ing. Price upon re­quest.

With that un­mis­take­able crown pro­tec­tor, the Lu­mi­nor is Pan­erai’s peren­nial icon. Yet the man­u­fac­ture has found a way to rein­vent this ro­bust sports model, turn­ing it into an el­e­gant dress watch à la the Lu­mi­nor Due (mean­ing two in Ital­ian). Much slim­mer than the reg­u­lar Lu­mi­nor and ut­terly con­tem­po­rary in style, it is just as suitable for men as it is for women. Most im­pres­sively, Pan­erai has de­buted in­ter­change­able quick-change straps in the Lu­mi­nor Due line – a fea­ture that will not go un­ap­pre­ci­ated by the style savvy. More vari­a­tions are un­der­way, serv­ing to win Pan­erai new fans in the years ahead. $17,600

The Jaeger-lecoul­tre Po­laris col­lec­tion traces its lin­eage back to a watch named the Me­movox Po­laris which dates back to 1968. Com­pletely new, the Po­laris bal­ances a vin­tagein­spired de­sign with mod­ern touches, such as ap­plied hour mark­ers and nu­mer­als, as well as al­ter­nat­ing matte and shiny fin­ishes on the dial. The Me­movox Po­laris is one of the un­told great sto­ries of Jaegerlecoul­tre, of­ten over­shad­owed by the man­u­fac­ture’s de facto horo­log­i­cal heavy­weight, the Rev­erso. But with the Po­laris col­lec­tion just launched, it has clearly re­turned to the scene as a cult favourite, par­tic­u­larly among afi­ciona­dos. $11,900

A trib­ute to an his­tor­i­cal model from 1956 named Ref. 6073, the Vacheron Con­stantin Fiftysix in­jects a con­tem­po­rary vibe to the 263-year-old man­u­fac­ture. This brand new col­lec­tion bridges the gap be­tween sea­soned Vacheron Con­stantin col­lec­tors and those in­ter­ested in en­ter­ing the Vacheron Con­stantin uni­verse. It is the only clas­sic line of­fer­ing steel mod­els, although com­pli­ca­tions re­main very much the lifeblood of the col­lec­tion. $16,900 (steel) and $28,200 (rose gold)

The Omega Sea­mas­ter is a watch that al­most ev­ery­body knows, but the Sea­mas­ter

Diver 300m is a time­piece that is far less un­der­stood. This con­tem­po­rary model, made in 1993, was the first pro­fes­sional div­ing Sea­mas­ter as it comes with a he­lium es­cape valve and is rated to 300 me­tres. The Sea­mas­ter Diver 300m has been the of­fi­cial James Bond watch since 1995, worn by Pierce Bros­nan and then by Daniel Craig. In 2018, Omega in­tro­duced a re­freshed de­sign which re­ceived unan­i­mous praise from col­lec­tors, ex­perts and re­tail­ers alike. From $6,600

From time to time, the great house of Patek Philippe does some­thing al­most coun­ter­in­tu­itive, but amaz­ingly, al­ways to great suc­cess and with phe­nom­e­nal re­sults. The Cala­trava Pi­lot Travel

Time Ref. 5524 was one ex­am­ple, and so was the 2018 Aqua­naut Ref. 5968A with bright or­ange dial fea­tures and de­liv­ered on a bright or­ange rub­ber strap. Al­most un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally Patek Philippe, Ref. 5968A breathed new life to the Aqua­naut col­lec­tion which is too of­ten over­shad­owed by the pow­er­house Nau­tilus line. And when it’s so hope­lessly im­pos­si­ble to score a Nau­tilus these days, it’s high time buy­ers turned to the Aqua­naut in­stead. $57,700 (steel)

The Blanc­pain Fifty Fath­oms is the world’s orig­i­nal div­ing watch, hav­ing been cre­ated in 1953 by the man­u­fac­ture’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer at that time, Jean-jac­ques Fiechter, him­self an avid scuba diver. This sporty wrist­watch went through a re­nais­sance of sorts since Blanc­pain in­tro­duced the Fifty Fath­oms Bathyscaphe in 2014, which was a trib­ute to a 1950s his­tor­i­cal model – and it’s been on a roll ever since. The most re­cent pieces that set the buy­ers on a frenzy were the Trib­ute to Fifty Fath­oms MIL-SPEC, and the Fifty Fath­oms Bathyscaphe Day­date 70s which means Blanc­pain is now firmly back on watch con­nois­seurs’ hit-list. $9,200

Of­fer­ing Ital­ian de­sign and Swiss crafts­man­ship, Bul­gari has a dis­tinc­tive style of watch­mak­ing not found any­where else in the in­dus­try. That is how the man­u­fac­ture has man­aged to de­velop its award-win­ning Octo col­lec­tion in so many dif­fer­ent ways. From the su­per-slim

Octo Finis­simo to the clas­si­cal Octo Roma, whether sim­ple or com­pli­cated, this multi-faceted time­piece has truly come into its own, find­ing ar­dent fans among men as well as women. The fount of cre­ativ­ity never stops giv­ing at Bul­gari and the Octo lines prom­ise many and more sur­prises for 2019. $18,350 (steel) and $61,100 (rose gold)

It was the mai­son’s top of the line range be­fore, but now Mont­blanc has ex­panded the 1858 col­lec­tion to in­clude rea­son­ably en­try-level pieces that bal­ance value with qual­ity. Some of the most ap­peal­ing mod­els here in­clude the 1858 Geo­sphere which prof­fers a unique world time dis­play, the 1858 Mono­pusher Chrono­graph, the 1858 Au­to­matic Chrono­graph in bronze, as well as the 1858 Au­to­matic in bi-colour bronze and steel. Poised to be­come the next-big-thing in lux­ury watch col­lect­ing, Mont­blanc is ag­gres­sively of­fer­ing ex­cep­tional prod­ucts at an at­trac­tive price tag – for now. It won’t be long be­fore prices start head­ing north, so if you’re set on a Mont­blanc watch, best not to daw­dle. $7,500 (bronze)

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