THE BEST WATCHES OF 2016 (PART 3)
There’s no secret about it, we here at Esquire Middle East love ourselves some watches. In fact, we love them so much that we attend most watch fairs en mass to scope out which pieces should be next on our (and your) shopping lists. In part 3 of this series our watch expert Tariq Malik picks out which pieces from January’s SIHH watch fair in Geneva, make his best watches of 2016 list, so far.
1. Roger Dubuis Excalibur Automatic Skeleton Carbon
Roger Dubuis creations have a unique, almost medieval feel – the original Excalibur actually featured twelve miniature knights around the dial, or ‘round table’. The brand is also no stranger to skeletonised designs and is among the world-leaders when it comes to open-workings. This style of design leaves no margin for error, since each component is permanently on display. This latest offering is made from a carbon fibre and resin compound, which makes it incredibly light, and has an eye-catching texture.
2. Greubel Forsey Signature 1
Didier J.G. Cretin is the master watchmaker who created this piece for Greubel Forsey. It says something about the level of quality and innovation that, at over Dhs500,000, this is an entry level piece for the brand. What stands out for me with this design is the unique balance wheel and the fact that it’s a manually wound watch with three hands. The signature series is set to continue, and I can’t wait to see what Greubel Forsey will unveil in future.
3. Montblanc 4810 ExoTourbillon Slim 110 Years Edition
If there ever is a time to showcase creativity, then SIHH is it, and there are fewer more impressive pieces this year than Montblanc’s special edition 4810 series. It has a really slim case – only 4.5mm thick – and the special edition has three versions, each with a hand-painted dial, showing a map of Europe, North America or Asia, depending on the version. Each detail is perfect, and many hours of work went into the manufacture and design of this masterpiece. In fact, the watch was three years in the making, and only 36 pieces will be made in all.
4. IWC Mark XVIII
There’s nothing avant-garde about this brand’s work at SIHH this year. Instead, its timepieces are made to feel authentic and look a little vintage. This is an update of the classic Pilot’s watch, with a design that stays true to the original B-Uhr watches from WWII, inspired by the 1930s Junkers Ju 52 cockpit instruments. An image of this iconic war plane is even engraved on the back to emphasise this point. The cases are over-sized at 40mm wide, and they’re really easy on the eye. IWC remains one of my favourites. It’s sure to be popular this year.
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This article was originally published in the February 2016 issue of Esquire Middle East. To buy a copy, click here