Two or three hands that tell the time, sometimes with a date complication added to the mix or a power reserve indicator; the majority of the watches produced these days follow this format. Nearly every brand has multiple models like this in their collection, which makes standing out, or even going a step further and making a mark on the industry, challenging. The following four watches did, however, just that in 2019:
Ulysse Nardin Freak X
That this is the first Freak with a crown, instead of an innovative bezel construction to set the time, doesn’t mean that it has lost any of its appeal. On the contrary, with the Freak X has Ulysse Nardin made perhaps the most wearable version of this watch to date. Much of the movement of the watch cannot only be found on the dial side of the watch, but it also plays an active role in telling time as it doubles as the minute hand. The balance wheel is also an eyecatcher, which is crafted from silicon and fitted with nickel flyweights and stabilizing micro-blades. The diameter of the Freak X is smaller than that of its siblings, measuring 43mm, but more importantly is perhaps that the lugs are also shorter, making it wear very comfortable.
Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5168G-010
It is still incredible to see how a color can change the whole perception of a watch. Such is the case with the new Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5168G, which donned a khaki green dial and matching strap. It turns the high-end sports watch almost into a military creation, in part also because Patek opted for a matte finish on the dial. The watch has the same size case as its blue dialed sibling, which was introduced in 2017 to mark the 20th anniversary of the Aquanaut. With a diameter of 42.5mm does it have a nice size, while the white gold that it is crafted from adds some additional heft to it. As imposing as the watch is, so refined is its movement as this Aquanaut is powered by caliber 324 S C, an automatic movement fitted with a 21K gold rotor.
Greubel Forsey Balancier Contemporain
With the Balancier Contemporain has Greubel Forsey introduced earlier this year its smallest model. Yet make no mistake, as it packs quite a horological punch. The white gold case measures 39.60mm in diameter and was combined with the movement developed, especially to highlight the brand’s exclusive balance-wheel system. The balance wheel therefor, also takes a prominent place on the lower part of the dial, partly covered by the smaller dial for the hour and minutes, and next to a subdial for the seconds. A power reserve indicator occupies the space between ten and twelve o’clock and adds to the balanced design of the watch. As is the case with all Greubel Forsey’s is also the finishing on the Balancier Contemporain out of this world, and proves that also at Greubel Forsey, great things can come in small(er) packages.
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Huracán
Roger Dubuis uses its partnership with Lamborghini as a way to further innovate. For this Excalibur Huracán did they create a whole new movement in collaboration with Lamborghini Squadra Corse, the motorsports division of the Italian brand. The main feature is the balance wheel, which is placed in a 12º inclined position for increased accuracy. The movement is entirely skeletonized and becomes, therefore, an integrated part of the watch itself in terms of design. There are many references to the Lamborghini cars, such as the honeycomb structure in the main plate and the font of the date numerals. The bridges of the movement are shaped like the strut bars that we can also find in the Italian sportscars. Everything is housed in a 45mm large titanium case, which is as stunning to see as the bodywork of a Lamborghini.