The confluence of engineering and artistry is perfectly represented in fine watchmaking. The following brands continue to create timekeeping masterpieces that offer different shapes, sizes, colors, and complications for the ever-discerning connoisseur. Fine gems, ultra-thin movements, Art Deco–inspired cases, and new breakthroughs in materials and movement assemblies are just some of the examples of the art and innovation these brands continue to create.
Royal Oak Concept Laptimer by Audemars Piguet
A.P. was one of the first brands to embrace the use of “Brand Ambassadors” to endorse their products. From Formula One drivers to professional golfers and famous musicians, A.P. adorns the wrists of a plethora of talent. The Royal Oak Concept Laptimer marks the first watch developed in full collaboration with one of their brand ambassadors. Michael Schumacher, of Formula One fame, asked the brand if it was possible to create a mechanical watch which could simultaneously record two consecutive lap times. After five years of development, the 44mm matte black beauty, with red gold push pieces, has achieved Schumacher’s vision.
Chronoliner Flight Captain’s Watch by Breitling
Breitling continues to remain true to its focus and affiliation with air travel. This new variation to the Chronoliner is both robust and masculine but with a touch of artistic refinement. The steel mesh bracelet offers a unique look which is sure to attract attention. The highly scratch-resistant bezel is a welcome addition because the bulk of the piece lends itself to a few incidental bumps and scrapes. A large case houses the brand’s COSC certified chronograph movement and the star cut bezel allows a working pilot the ability to easily grip the bezel and rotate it during flight.
Feldmar Watch Company, Los Angeles
Duomètre Unique Travel Time by Jaeger-LeCoultre
The JLC Duomètre movement, which utilizes the brand’s dual wing technology, differentiates itself in the watch world by housing two separately powered movements which are attached to a synchronizing regulator. This prevents the accuracy of the watch’s timekeeping from being compromised by the complications featured by the piece. This new model of the Duomètre line has added a world time feature, as well as several refinements to the watch. This new piece allows each movement to be wound by one crown, one clockwise and the other counterclockwise. The artisans at JLC have also added a distinctive touch—individually engraving each watch by hand chiseling the face. This means that no two faces will be identical and, depending on the light and viewing angle, the highly granular surface provides a unique look.
Jaeger-LeCoultre, Beverly Hills
Tonda 1950 Tourbillon by Parmigiani
The clean, refined, and uncomplicated look of this piece belies the engineering marvel created by the craftsman at Parmigiani. Two years of research and development have culminated in what the brand touts as the world’s thinnest and most compact flying tourbillon movement. Major adjustments were made to the rotor and the rotating cage in order to decrease the size of the movement to only 3.4mm in thickness. The five different aesthetic combinations and Tonda shaped case make this a flagship piece for the brand.
David Orgell, Beverly Hills
Ultra-Thin Self-Winding Perpetual Calendar by Patek Philippe
A brand synonymous with timeless elegance has once again created a piece to last for generations. This perpetual calendar is housed in the brand’s traditional Art Deco–inspired cushion shaped case. Its 275 parts are expertly fashioned into a movement which measures only 3.88mm high, but is able to maintain the proper day, date, time, and leap year until 2100 AD. At that time one adjustment will keep it accurate for another 100 years for future generations that are hopefully enjoying this timeless classic.
Polacheck’s Jewelers, Calabasas
RM19-02 Tourbillon Fleur by Richard Mille
Although a relatively new manufacturer in the world of Swiss watchmaking, Richard Mille continues to define the term “technical marvel.” This mechanical work of art gracefully mimics the blooming and pollination cycle of the magnolia flower. The flower surrounds the tourbillon escapement seamlessly blending the two focal pieces of the watch into a symbiotic relationship. As the tourbillon cage moves the flower opens and closes, but it also lifts vertically ever so slightly. The movement of the flower is powered by a separate winding barrel to maximize the accuracy of this highly complicated and highly visual timepiece.
Richard Mille, Beverly Hills
Datejust Pearlmaster 39 by Rolex
Baselworld 2015 revealed a Rolex brand that continues to push their dominance among luxury timepieces. The standard bearer for fine watchmaking is continuing to refine and improve on their highly recognizable product. The Datejust Pearlmaster showcases the precious gem setting which provides for a myriad of colors within the Datejust line. Enhancing this traditional watch’s eye-catching exterior is Rolex’s continued dedication to accurate timing. Their COSC certified movements are augmented by additional proprietary work on the oscillator, which acts as the heartbeat of the watch. All of these enhancements are completed in-house, with the brand continuing to utilize its vertically integrated expertise in all facets of production.
Gearys, Beverly Hills