In the early hours of the Australian morning, the watch industry was celebrating its night of nights – the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) – more commonly known as the Oscars of watchmaking. Fifteen awards were given – along with a special jury prize for the George Daniels Educational Trust – adding up to a solid mix of safe bets and surprises. So without further ado, here are the best watches of 2016.
Montblanc introduced a pair of new world-time watches in its TimeWalker collection, called Montblanc Timewalker World-Time Hemispheres, at SIHH 2013. Each of the watches has a dial with a world-map motif as seen from the poles — one for the northern hemisphere, one for the southern. The cool twist is that the Northern Hemisphere watch only has northern cities indicated on the world-time disk; the Southern Hemisphere only has southern cities (some of which, Montblanc admitted, were rather difficult to find, since much of the Southern Hemisphere is made up of ocean). The Montblanc Timewalker Northern Hemispheres watch (pictured) comes on a leather strap and costs $4,900; the Southern Hemisphere version, on a steel bracelet, comes in at an only slightly budget-busting $5,270.
The 158-year-old Montblanc Manufacture (that you probably recognize more easily when I call it by its former name, Minerva) in Villeret, Switzerland, is where the brand’s halo products come from, and you can always look forward to their cutting-edge work. The Montblanc TimeWalker Pythagore Ultra-Light Concept watch released today is all about being ultra light, as is explicit in its name. How light is it? Montblanc claims it is one of the lightest watches in the world, at just 14.88 grams. This is achieved through Montblanc’s use of materials as well as skeletonization, so let’s discover exactly how this is done and some wonderful new lightweight composites.
Here’s a welcome surprise with the beautiful commemorative Montblanc Collection Villeret Tourbillon Bi-Cylidrique 110 Years Anniversary Limited Edition. The limited edition tourbillon watch pays tribute to more than a hundred years of artistry and superb craftsmanship with a gorgeous in-house piece that further cements their dedication to produce high-end wristwatches that are a force to be reckoned with.
The World-Time GMT Automatic offers ease-of-use , and some bragging rights, in a very attractive package. This watch incorporates a patented system that allows the setting of all displays via the crown, and it won the 2011 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in the “Petite Aiguille” category.
The case measures 42 mm x 12.6 mm. On the dial, the silver 12-hour hand shows the time in the wearer’s present location. The smaller, red-tipped GMT hand tracks a second time zone on a 24-hour scale that uses dark and light colors to create a simple but effective day/night indication. The outer ring indicates the corresponding world time. The patented setting system controls all dial indications from the crown, and disconnects the movement from the GMT and world time indicators whenever a time zone correction is made. This means the movement continues to keep accurate time while the watch is being reset. The mechanism is integrated into self-winding Swiss-made caliber that is visible through a sapphire caseback.