The Watch-Insider´s Top 10 + 1 watches & brands 2015

Top 10 of the year

This is my very personal top 10 + 1 chart 2015 in an ALPHABETICAL order of course. Sorry, I could not mention  t h e  number one. I invite you to have a look and to let me know what you think …

 

 

Apple Watch Hermès Double Tour Fauve Barenia

I had to think for a long time if I should put the Apple Watch here… I would not have put the “normal” one, but I had to put the Hermès edition of the Apple Watch. Hermès acted as the “stirrup holder” for Apple to help the brand to enter into the world of real luxury… This was/is such an exceptional idea that the two brands teamed up to do the Apple Watch Hermès! The version you see here by the way was the most sought after Christmas gift. Impossible to get the Double Tour Fauve Barenia, sold out everywhere, worldwide …

 

Apple Watch Hermès Double Tour Fauve Barenia
Apple Watch Hermès Double Tour Fauve Barenia

 

 

Breguet Tradition Chronographe Indépendant Ref. 7077

This amazing chronograph belonging to the Tradition collection has two gear trains and two balance wheels. The one linked to the time indication oscillates with 21.600 A/h, the one linked to the chronograph with 36.000 A/h. By pressing the start-pusher one generates the power to let the chronograph run. An old Breguet pocket watch inspired the architecture of this complex movement. Simply stunning! Whatever Breguet does these days is simply stunning. This is definitively a brand that would deserve much more attention and acknowledgement.

 

Breguet Tradition Chronographe Indépendant Ref. 7077
Breguet Tradition Chronographe Indépendant Ref. 7077

 

 

Breitling Galactic Unitime SleekT

For a while I thought that Breitling could only manufacture chronographs and for me the brand appeared to be trapped in it´s bubble of chronographs. This year Breitling broke out of it´s bubble and presented it´s own automatic calibre. Of course the brand combined the new “B35” calibre with an useful and cool function: The Galactic Unitime SleekT was born. Respect! I like the Unitime function and I like the look of the watch. Hopefully Breitling will continue presenting more interesting non-chronograph watches…

 

Breitling Galactic Unitime SleekT
Breitling Galactic Unitime SleekT

 

 

Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite

There is no need to present this watch. Everybody who follows my blog knows that this is an amazing timepiece, it´s for sure the smartest in 2015. It´s high-mech and not high-tech, consisting of 430 mechanical parts! One can see the zonetime in 37 time zones, including zonetimes with half-hour- and three-quarter-of-an-hour-deviations. On top the watch shows Daylight Saving Time if one applies in a zonetime. Handling is pretty easy and readability simply perfect.

 

 

Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite
Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite

 

 

Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Universal Time

At first sight you might think it´s a quartz watch. By no means! This timepiece features the new True Seconds system. The latter causes the seconds hand to move forward while “beating the second”, meaning by performing a single jump every second. The movement powering the new Geophysic watch is the automatic Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibres 772. Once the universal time has been set, there is no need to adjust it while crisscrossing the zonetimes of the world´s time zones. Travellers only need to adjust their own time. Local time is automatically adjusted simply by moving the hour hand in one-hour steps forwards or backwards. Of course this is done independently of the minutes and seconds to avoid any possible loss of precision. Bravo Jaeger-LeCoultre!

 

Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Universal Time
Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Universal Time

 

 

Montblanc Heritage Spirit Quantième Perpétual Sapphire

This Montblanc timepiece is only a placeholder; I should show you almost all new watches of the brand here. In other words: Whatever CEO Jerome Lambert and his team showed me this year was amazing, a perfect mixture of good taste, style, best quality and an incredible price-value ratio. The newest perpetual calendar that follows the highly successful version in a steel and gold case shows that one can manufacture such a complication for almost no money compared to other luxury brands. I can´t wait to see what Montblanc will show me next year!

 

Montblanc Heritage Spirit Quantième Perpétual Sapphire
Montblanc Heritage Spirit Quantième Perpétual Sapphire

 

 

Nomos Glashütte Tangente neomatik

Little Nomos Glashütte stroke again and presented its in-house developed and manufactured, ultra-flat (3,2 millimeters in height) automatic calibre DUW 3001 equipped with the also in-house developed escapement called Swing System. The new calibre is incredibly flat, flatter than almost everything else in the entire watchmaking world that self-winds and is meanwhile manufactured in series in Glashütte. DUW 3001 is extremely accurate! DUW 3001 is a chronometer-capable, high-quality and very elegant in-house caliber. Very, very cool!

 

Nomos Glashütte Tangente neomatik
Nomos Glashütte Tangente neomatik

 

 

Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre Limited Edition

This Omega timepiece is only a placeholder; I should present you almost all new watches of the brand here. In other words: Whatever Omega showed me this year was amazing! In my eyes Omega offers the perfect mix of avant-garde technology, best quality, good design, understated style and a very good price-value ratio. One of my favorite Omega´s this year was the new Seamaster 300 Spectre Limited Edition. Not because the watch is linked to James Bond 007, simply because this Seamaster is a ticking beauty and masterpiece resisting magnetic fields even stronger than 15.000 Gauss. Can´t wait to see the Omega 2016 novelties guys!

 

Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre Limited Edition
Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre Limited Edition

 

 

Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time

The first Patel Philippe for a long time I fell in love with. This Calatrava was so unexpected, is so cool and so much not an average, conservative Patek Philippe. The fact that almost all major Patek Philippe collectors disliked the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time even made the timepiece more attractive to me. Well done Thierry Stern! What´s next? Thierry don´t be shy and please let us see something comparable in 2016. Guys, do you know what´s really weird? The smug and “cultured” mockers in the end all bought the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time and/or are still trying to get one. The watch is hard to find, an impressive waiting list does meanwhile exist.

 

Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time
Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time

 

 

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40

Rolex! Rolex!! Yes, Rolex!!! The giant of the Swiss watch industry still manufactures some of the very best wristwatches on earth. And so characteristic for Rolex revolutions always happen under the dial. This could be observed this year with new Rolex calibre 3255 that was launched in the new Day-Date 40. This was a silent, but sustainable revolution for the brand, since the new calibre offers a never before seen precision. Rolex has redefined the status of superlative chronometer with its new-generation mechanical movement… Hopefully this calibre and it´s derivates will quickly make it´s way into other models of the brand.

 

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40

 

 

This is the +1 entry in my 2015 list of my top 10 watches and brands …

 

 Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260

It took eight years to conceive this timepiece that is exhibiting 57 complications, several of which are entirely new and unique. It is still hard to believe that this was possible and that watchmakers could integrate them into only one pocket watch. The watch is a unique piece and was sold to a collector in New York.

 

Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260
Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260

 

 

Once again all its functions:

 

Time Functions

 

Regulator-type hours, minutes and seconds for solar meantime

Visible spherical armillary tourbillon regulator with spherical balance spring

Three-axis tourbillon

12-hour second time zone hours and minutes

Indication for 24 world cities for world-time

Day and night indication for the 12-hour world-time

 

Perpetual Calendar Functions

 

Gregorian perpetual calendar

Gregorian days of the week

Gregorian months

Gregorian retrograde date

Leap-year indication and four year cycle

Number of the day of the week (ISO 8601 calendar)

Indication for the number of the week within the year (ISO 8601 calendar)

 

Hebraic Perpetual Calendar Functions

 

Hebraic perpetual calendar with 19-year cycle

Hebrew name of the day

Hebrew name of the month

Hebrew date indication

Hebrew secular calendar

Hebrew century, decade and year

Indication for the number of months in the Hebraic calendar year (12 or 13 months)

Indication for the Golden Number with 19-year cycle

 

Functions of the Astronomic Calendar

 

Indications for the seasons, equinoxes, solstices and signs of the zodiac with “sun” hand

The sky chart (calibrated for the city of the owner)

Sidereal time hours

Sidereal time minutes

Hours of sunrise (calibrated for the city of the owner)

Hours of sunset (calibrated for the city of the owner)

Equation of time

Length of the day (calibrated for the city of the owner)

Length of the night (calibrated for the city of the owner)

 

Lunar Calendar Function

 

Phases and age of the moon, one correction every 1027 years

 

Religious Calendar Function

 

Indication for the date of Yom Kippur

 

Functions of the 3 column-wheel Chronograph

 

Retrograde fifths of a second chronograph – 1 column wheel

Retrograde fifths of a second rattrapante chronograph – 1 column wheel

12-hour counter – 1 column wheel

60-minute counter

 

Alarm Functions

 

Alarm with single gong and hammer striking

Alarm strike / silence indicator

Choice of normal alarm or carillon striking alarm indicator

Alarm mechanism coupled to the carillon striking mechanism

Alarm striking with choice of grande or petite sonnerie

Alarm power-reserve indication

 

Westminster Carillon Striking Functions

 

Carillon Westminster chiming with 5 gongs and 5 hammers

Grande sonnerie passing strike

Petite sonnerie passing strike

Minute repeating

Night silence feature (between 22.00 and 08.00 hours)

System to disengage the striking barrel when fully wound

Indication for grande or petite sonnerie modes

Indication for silence / striking / night modes

 

Further functions

 

Power-reserve indication for the going train

Power-reserve indication for the striking train

Winding crown position indicator

Locking mechanism for the striking

Winding system for the double barrels

Hand-setting system with two positions and two directions

Concealed flush-fit winding crown for the alarm mechanism

 

 

I think that says it all!

 

 

Top 10 of the year
Top 10 of the year

 

 

 

Guys, let me know what you think and please name me your top 10 watches 2015! I can´t wait to see your entries!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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19 Comments

  • Alex

    I really do get that you’re highlighting a special Apple Watch, but still. We who avidly read your news and observations live mechanical watches. In any case, like your selection with the exception of Apple.

  • You have lost me! If you think that the Apple “Watch” in whatever disguise deserves to
    be associated with the other brands you mention, you are insulting all the micro-engineers that design and manufacture mechanical movements. Which are wonders and can stand alone without batteries.

    • Sorry to have offended you! I just wanted to face the reality and as written I would have not mentioned the normal Apple Watch. But the exactly this Hermès Apple Watch I’d much sought after and has become an it-watch…

  • The Grand Seiko Spring Drive, as a re-invention of the mechanical watch and with an accuracy of less than 0.5sec/day and an immaculate presentation, should never be missed. Also the new limited edition Grand Seiko Quartz boosting an accuracy of +/- 5seconds/year would also be on my list. Furthermore the discontinued Shellman World Time Minute Repeater with its cloisonné dial and the all time sporty, but also discontinued, Piaget Upstream will always be on my list.

  • the new AP Perp Cal Royal Oak which was released in the last quarter of 2015 deserves to be on any top ten list of the year from my perspective.

    happy new year Alex and thank you very much for another year of enthusiastic journalism.

    all the best, Jay.

  • Hello Alexander,

    Your choices were truly great, but i would really like it if in the 10 watches you share your personal opinion about was also the “Ullyse nardin stranger”.
    And now that this year has come to an end, could you please give us another ” ESTIMATED WATCHES SOLD AND ESTIMATED TURNOVERS OF THE MAJOR WATCH BRANDS” like you did 2 years ago? It was very intresting to my eyes. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  • Hi Alex!

    I love my mechanical watches but the Apple Hermes Watch is an outstanding piece. I luckily got it in the first days on the market and I wear it on the right wrist in addition to a mechanical watch left. On a watch exhibition ( with mostly hight end watches ) it was very amusing to see, that the Apple Hermes Watch Double Tour Barenia was much more of interest than my watch on the other side! I love it as a fashion statement with additional benefit. Alex was right to put this watch on his list although it is not a mechanical watch.

  • Nice list, except the Apple watch. Regardless of the strap it doesn’t belong on a list with these extraordinary mechanical pieces. I’ll add a few more to lust after…in no particular order.

    MB&F Legacy Machine 2, Laurent Ferrier Galet Square, Ulysse Nardin Anchor Tourbillon, Omega Globemaster, IWC Portugeiser Hand Wound 75th Anniversary, Tudor North Flag, Arnold & Son Double Tourbillon, Oris Diver-Sixty Five, JLC Duometre Spherotourbillon Moon, AL&S Lange 1, Rolex Yacht Master, and too many more to mention!!

  • Thanks Alexander for your selection! As normal I would change a few of them, at least to give some space to the IWC Portuguese Annual Calendar! I’m very surprised by the inclusion of the Breitling Galactic Unitime in your TOP 10 selection as I am waiting for mine to arrive and I think that’s a watch very “under the radar”, almost no one talks about it. Of course, it’s not cheap for a Breitling, but it’s movement is super sofisticated and the design is truly unique!

  • You have chosen some truly fabulous watches as top 10 + 1, but I my selection would be slightly different from your selection.

    I would choose A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Minute Repeater instead of Apple Watch, then it would be Arnold & Son Constant Force Tourbillon instead of Breitling Galactic Unitime SleekT and then I would prefer Richard Mille Tourbillon Fleur RM 19-02 instead of Nomos Glashütte Tangente Neomatik.

  • Hello Alexander,
    I would take you seriously if you throw out the apple !
    This is not a “mechanical” watch at all in the way of
    the other HIGH CLASS ones !

    • I know, but we have to accept the fact that this particular Apple Watch is something very special and sought after … Hermès helped Apple to enter the world of luxury watches and it worked… Respect! As mentioned in the article I wold not have presented you the normal Apple Watch…

      • Interesting your choice and not everything can be equal to what we think.
        Just did not like the Nomos, because I’m not a fan of watches only with even numbers. I would choose, then the Orion 38 Datum White.
        Even so, I found a beautiful choice.
        I like Hermès

  • Nice collection, but Mr Biver wouldn’t be happy as he isn’t in the top teen and given number one spot to Apple.

  • Love your list but as usual one has to talk about the “left-outs”. Thus:
    Sistem 51
    Cartier 40mm chronograph

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