77 best watches of the year

CEO Magazine rounds up the most striking timepieces of 2012. Time to upgrade?
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Showstopping watch of the year \n\nRolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona \n\nFrom the moment we held it in our hands at BaselWorld the rainbow-hued Cosmograph \nDaytona was a sure-fire potential for this year’s Watches of the Year. Appealing to our inner love of colour we love its tongue-in-cheek appeal. It is crafted in solid 18ct yellow gold with a palette of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, mauve and pink sapphires, and more than 50 diamonds. This 40mm watch has Rolex proprietary calibre 4130, a self-winding mechanical chronograph and a 72-hour power reserve with details such as the pop-colour red chronograph and seconds hands contrasting the black lacquer dial and gold crystal counters. The Cosmograph’s case is crafted from a solid block of 18ct gold, while its fluted caseback has crystal made of virtually scratchproof synthetic sapphire. Meanwhile its calibre 4130 self-winding mechanical chronograph movement is, like all of Rolex’s perpetual movements, a certified Swiss chronometer that has passed the COSC tests. Yes it makes a statement, but we adore it for being that little bit more playful a timepiece from a brand that prides itself on tradition and classic styling. This rainbow-hued rebel was also revered by retailers and we’re sure it will be remembered for years to come — truly an icon of our generation.\n \nClick here to see the Luxury watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Most innovative watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Sports watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Classic watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Rising stars of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Ladies’ watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Fashion watches of the year.
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Showstopping watch of the year \n\nPiaget Rose Limelight Garden Party G0A37180 \n\nPiaget has used the rose motif across its watch and jewellery collections but this sublime timepiece adds new depth to its designs, creating a secret watch that is hidden under a blanket of diamond-encrusted petals. The 18ct white gold case is studded with 668 brilliant-cut diamonds totalling about 8.7cts, and houses Piaget’s own quartz movement. All those dazzling white stones are off-set by a sheer black satin strap, making this the ultimate dress watch that doubles as an elegant bracelet for those times when you’d probably prefer to sit and enjoy your evening without having to think about the time.
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Showstopping watch of the year \n\nVan Cleef & Arpels Bals du Siècle \n\nIn a tribute to the legendary balls of 20th century St Petersburg, Paris, Venice and New York, Van Cleef & Arpels created a dazzling collection of timepieces. The Bal du Siècle watch is part of this family and references the scenes of a splendid Venetian masquerade ball. The collection was created as a follow-up to a fine jewellery collection of a similar name and each watch is hand crafted, fitted with an automatic 24-hour movement adapted by Van Cleef & Arpels and has a 60-hour power reserve. The Bal du Siècle timepiece has a pink gold 38mm case, a bezel set with diamonds and a mother-of-pearl marquetry. Gold sculpted characters move around the dial to create drama, while the alligator strap adds the final finesse with its diamond buckle.
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Showstopping watch of the year \n\nChopard Imperial Tourbillon Full Set \n\nDescribed as a “double demonstration of excellence” by Chopard, this women’s watch wowed at BaselWorld with its uncompromising attitude to luxury. Underneath the swathe of diamonds set into the white gold case is a chronometer-certified tourbillon calibre L.U.C. 02.14-L, bearing the Poinçon de Genève hallmark. The tourbillion is visible at six o’clock, while the power-reserve indicator is highlighted at 12 o’clock in an arc set with amethysts. That’s the impressive thing about this watch — it might be ostentatious on the surface but it has the intelligence inside to quieten those unimpressed by diamonds.
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Showstopping watch of the year \n\nDior La Mini D De Dior \n\nThis 19mm white gold timepiece by Dior is part of a range designed by its just as colourful creative director Victoire de Castellane and is a tropical-coloured triumph. There are three new versions of La Mini D de Dior, adorned with snow-set brightly coloured gemstone dials, contrasted by myriad lizard straps and set with more than 200 gemstones. This version, with pink sapphires and rare Paraiba tourmalines might have a quartz movement but it is still a stunner and sure to turn heads. Castellane has made sure that no space was left un-gemmed – even the crown is set with diamonds and the hands are solid gold.
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Showstopping watch of the year \n\nMarch L.A.B. Yeti \n\nLooking like something a Bond girl might wear on the slopes, the Yeti watch caused a stir among the ladies attending Salon QP last year when it was unveiled to a London audience. This daring 25mm women’s watch, from a brand that specialises in straddling both the smart style of Biarritz with the glamour and vibe of LA, is made using special Orylag rabbit fur, produced only in France and adored by luxury brands. The fur is stitched to a lizard-style leather strap with a lining coloured with one of March L.A.B.’s signature colours — green.
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Showstopping watch of the year \n\nCartier Grand Complication Skeleton Pocket Watch \n\nThis beauty was part of the line-up revealed by Cartier at SIHH; an open-cased treat for the eyes. It is a pocket watch that clashes tradition and modernity and is an object that connoisseurs will no doubt admire. Crafted in 18ct white gold, this timepiece measures a hefty 59mm but, as one would expect from Cartier, nothing has been scrimped on. The crown is set with a sapphire cabochon and the open-work dial has been carefully snailed. Its movement is a manual winding calibre 9436 MC with a skeleton tourbillion, chronograph and perpetual calendar. And if all that isn’t enough, the watch is also supplied with an 18ct gold chain and its own rock crystal and obsidian stand from which it can be clipped to hang elegantly like a miniature clock.
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Showstopping watch of the year \n\nBreguet Crazy Flower \n\nCrazy by name and also by nature, this floral horological masterpiece features more than 600 white diamonds, all of which are internally flawless and cover almost every part of the timepiece. The most playful feature of this watch is that the baguette-cut diamonds that surround its encrusted dial tremble in a way that references high jewellery of the 20th century, with tiny mobile settings that quiver with every move of the wrist, making the diamonds sparkle even more and appear as though they are petals fluttering in a breeze. The stones themselves weigh a total 82.36cts while the tiny blued steel Breguet hands become the subtlest part of what is a truly unmissable timepiece.
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Showstopping watch of the year \n\nCorum Admiral’s Cup Legend 38 Mystery Moon \n\nDesigned especially for women, this diamond and mother-of-pearl galactic timepiece by Corum has a moon phase display and a date window that play a fascinating game of chase around the timepiece without ever catching up with each other. The Mystery Moon is powered by a self-winding calibre CO384 and boasts a jumping date and jumping moon phase functions while the shimmering Indonesian mother-of-pearl dial contrasts the satin-brushed metallic moon phase window, studded with gem-set stars. The attraction of this Corum is the fact that with all its beauty comes intrigue: the entire dial revolves around the centre of this watch, meaning it appears to be ever-changing on the wrist. The functions are adjustable via the single screw-lock crown engraved with the Corum key logo.
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Showstopping watch of the year \n\nDe Bethune DB25 s Jewellery \n\nDubbed a ‘dreamy depiction of the star-studded sky’, De Bethune launched this women’s timepiece ahead of BaselWorld, combining lightweight titanium with white gold and diamonds set into the watch to depict the stars. A stellar theme runs through this 40mm timepiece. It has a 3D moon-phase display — a platinum and steel sphere set with 44 diamonds and 44 blue sapphires, spinning on its own axis with a precision that amounts to a mere one-day difference every 122 years. The timepiece can even be personalised with whichever constellation you wish, reflecting the starry sky on a certain date or from a certain geographical location. The watch is powered De Bethune’s hand-crafted DB2024 movement and glitters with 61 baguette-cut sapphires set around the outside of the case. This is a watch that will be adored by dreamers also looking to stand out from the crowd.
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Luxury watch of the year \n\nBremont Victory \n\nIf history could be pulled onto your wrist, given a heart and a function to perform then Bremont has achieved something like no other brand this year in the creation of its Victory watch. The English watch brand worked closely with the National Museum of the Royal Navy to include original parts of the HMS Victory – Nelson’s battleship – in each of its Victory timepieces. The vessel was put into a dry dock back in 1922 and the many years there had taken their toll but in 2012 work began on a major refit of the ship to preserve not only its unique history but to enable future generations to visit and admire it. At this point in steps Bremont to create its own luxurious version of this restoration, producing a limited run of mechanical retrograde timepieces that include parts of oak timber and copper from the original ship. The associations are deeper, however. Bremont founders Giles and Nick English had long been fascinated with Nelson, with Giles attending the same school that Nelson had many years before. The brothers heard about the restoration of HMS Victory through their work with the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Heritage and say they knew they wanted to be involved. “With no hesitation we approached the Navy and discussed the possibility of creating a watch using original parts from the ship. Not only did we want to make the watch unique but we also want it to be a horological masterpiece,” explains Giles English. In fact, is it the first time that wood and metal so old has been released by the National Museum of the Royal Navy for use. And what a unique and spellbinding timepiece the Victory is. Watch retailers across the UK have offered this as this their personal Watch of the Year, and with its added historical kudos and its English brand roots, CEO Middle East is also pleased to crown the Victory its Luxury Watch of the Year 2012.\n\nClick here to see the Showstopping watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Luxury watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Most innovative watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Sports watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Classic watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Rising stars of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Ladies’ watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Fashion watches of the year.
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Luxury watch of the year \n\nGirard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 Tourbillon with gold bridges \n\nAs its name suggests, the Vintage 1945 Tourbillon pays homage to timepieces of the past and is a watch made with the utmost love and attention. For example, seven days is spent polishing its skeletonised bridges, while the design features guilloche and pearling and the tourbillion itself fits into a diameter of just 12mm, finished with a smart matte anthracite coating. This luxe self-winding 36.1mm timepiece certainly has the wow factor and Girard-Perregaux — a brand set to make a push in the UK in the coming year — dubs it watchmaking art for the wrist.
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Luxury watch of the year \n\nG-Shock Premium MR G \n\nThis might not be a brand new design but it is a new watch for the UK, and marks an exciting time in G-Shock’s development as it brings its most high-end timepiece to a new audience. The MR G is part of G-Shock’s premium collection and uses optimum materials to offer both a tough hardwearing timepiece — as per its heritage — and with a luxe aesthetic, designed for those G-Shock fans who have grown up but want a watch that has retained some of its edge. The watch has a titanium strap and case, a gold circuit mount, double-hardening treatment on its bracelet and has hand engraved details. And, not forgetting its touch of tech, it runs on solar power technology.
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Luxury watch of the year \n\nFrédérique Constant Worldtimer FC-718WM4H6 \n\nA brand renowned for its accessible luxury, Frédérique Constant has produced a striking high-end timepiece for 2012 – a new Worldtimer. While the brand has created world time watches in the past, many of those have been quartz models. This year however its Worldtimer has been upgraded to be its most high-end complication timepiece, with Frédérique Constant’s own FC-718 automatic movement. It has splendid details on its dial including an engraved world map, date counter at six o’clock and has a smooth, polished case that contrasts its dark navy alligator patterned strap. The movement is decorated with Côtes de Genève and the watch has a 42-hour power reserve. If there was ever a timepiece that your high-street watch shopper should aspire to owning, this is it.
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Luxury watch of the year \n\nFabergé Alexei Pavillon \n\nThis striking timepiece is part of Fabergé’s new Palais du Temps timepiece collection, updating the Alexei design with a softer look inspired by the brand’s Russian heritage. Its 18ct white gold case houses an extra-flat self-winding mechanical movement with a 72-hour power reserve, a fresh and icy complement to its understated egg-shell blue alligator strap and matte silver-white painted dial. As with all Fabergé designs, nothing has gone unconsidered, and the Pavillon’s dial decoration is its talking point. The geometric black pattern references the lattice-like glass roof of the Pavilion Hall in the famous Winter Palace in St Petersburg, built back in 1858. A slender watch that eloquently expresses the brand’s minimalist design side.
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Luxury watch of the year \n\nVacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle 14-day Tourbillon \n\nThe Patrimony tourbillion is, according to Vacheron, the art of watchmaking. It boasts an entirely new calibre — the 2260 — and has a massive 14-day power reserve. It is also the first timepiece from the brand to be approved under the new Hallmark of Geneva criteria. When it comes to such luxury timepieces in the case of this Patrimony it is all about its collectability and indeed, everything from its pink gold case through to detailed rounding off of the tourbillon bar which takes more than 11 hours to achieve, speaks of heritage. We adore this watch for its elegant details such as the Maltese cross on its Tourbillon cage and, as its name suggests, its beautifully traditional styling.
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Luxury watch of the year \n\nRolex Datejust II \n\nThis entirely steel version of the Datejust, with its smooth bezel and nod to more feminine styling, was a new release from Rolex at Basel. It is an update to the brand’s steel and gold Rolesor timepiece of 2009 and offers a sleek 41mm case, crafted from a solid block of 904L steel, in which Rolex’s COSC certificated Calibre 3136 nestles. But what we love about this watch is its understated take on luxury. While it might not be the flashiest, brainiest or most expensive of Rolex’s offer, it ticks the box for entry-level luxury that many aspiring watch fans will appreciate. Its smart sunray silver dial is modern and cool and the 18ct white gold hour markers are sharp in appearance without the ostentation. A great all-rounder and a timepiece deserved of its highly commended status in this year’s Luxury Watch of the Year category.
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Luxury watch of the year \n\nBlancpain VILLERET Flinqué Lacquered \n\nBlue has been an ongoing trend in watches for some time and the gorgeously rich royal blue of Blancpain’s Villeret, with its flinqué lacquered dial, is a sumptuous take on a commercially appealing colour. Built layer upon layer, the bright blue lacquer is a deep contrast to the sheen of the white gold 40mm case which itself houses an ultra-slim, self-winding movement. The Villeret range is Blancpain’s most classic collection and CEO Middle East is in admiration of its handsome styling and little luxuries such as the alligator leather strap, made to match the dial, and the brand’s delicately curved serpentine date pointer. And, without forgetting the caseback, even the oscillating weight is guillochéd with the Villeret collection’s shimmering striped design.
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Luxury watch of the year \n\nPanerai Radiomir 1940 Oro Rosso \n\nThe design of the Radiomir dates back as far as 1936, when the first prototypes for the case were presented to the Royal Italian Navy. After that the shape was steadily developed to the elegant cushion-shape of Panerai watches that we know today. The name Radiomir, however, comes from the radioactive material which made the dial luminous back in the day but luckily today’s models are a little better for your health. At SIHH Panerai presented a first for the brand: the Radiomir in rose gold, dubbed the Oro Rosso. This 47mm timepiece plays with historical elements such as Plexiglas crystal protecting the dial, but also has its sumptuous edge. The Oro Rosso’s brown dial is in fact made from a special rose gold alloy with a somewhat higher copper content to give greater colour depth. This historically-inspired watch has Panerai’s proprietary hand-wound mechanical movement a personalised alligator strap.
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Luxury watch of the year \n\nHermès Dressage Small Second gold \n\nThe Dressage watch was originally created by Henri d’Origny and though it was modified in 2003, it has once more undergone renaissance for 2012. The new Dressage line boasts a choice of 10 models, while the tonneau-shaped case offers a somewhat vintage look, echoing back to its roots. Of the 10 variations, we adore the rose gold Small Second timepiece for being an understated wristwatch from one of the world’s best-known luxury brands. It houses the brand’s H1837 calibre made for Hermès by Vaucher Manufacture and this version boasts a matte graphite dial and smart alligator strap — only the best leather for the equestrian-inspired brand. Details include a grained and snailed bottom plate and the Hermès H decoration on the rotor. Simple, stylish and effective, this is a modern classic in the making and a worthy highly commended Luxury Watch of the Year.
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Most innovative watch of the year \n\nHYT H1 titanium \n\nWater clocks might have been invented more than 3,000 years ago but making them work in a wristwatch was a technical challenge yet to be overcome until curiosity got the better of HYT and it dared to create a liquid mechanical timepiece. The H1 has two reservoirs filled with liquids – one fluorescent, one transparent – containing molecules that repel, meaning there is a consistent boundary between the two. As one compresses the other expands, resulting in the movement of the liquid in a capillary that surrounds the dial. As the hours tick by the fluorescent liquid advances until it hits six o’clock, when the fluorescent liquid returns back to its original position. The reservoirs are driven by two pistons which is where the watchmaking element of the timepiece comes into play. The mechanical movement is situated in the upper part of the watch, and propels a cam, which pushes the piston and activates the bellows at five and seven o’clock. The H1’s watchmaking team was led by Bruno Moutarlier, Jean-François Mojon and fluids company Preciflex, who together sought to create a waterproof watch in which mechanical and hydro systems could operate. HYT says that the creation of the H1 was a human adventure that propelled two world typically at odds with each other towards a new joint era. We were wowed by this watch, a titanium-cased marvel that takes watchmaking to an entirely new, uncharted territory – a worthy winner of the Most Innovative Watch of the Year 2012.\n\nClick here to see the Showstopping watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Luxury watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Most innovative watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Sports watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Classic watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Rising stars of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Ladies’ watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Fashion watches of the year.
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Most innovative watch of the year \n\nTAG Heuer Mikrogirder \n\nThe Mikorgirder is TAG Heuer’s most innovative creation to date, precisely able to measure time to a phenomenal 5/10,000th of a second. It beats at 1,000 Hz and features the fastest mechanical regulator ever crafted and tested, with dual girders that work with a linear oscillator — versus the spiral shape in a classic hairspring - that vibrates with the same frequency at a very slight angle. The angle means there is no loss of amplitude and thus the movement’s precision is significantly increased. At present 10 patents are pending on the Mikrogirder while the case design references the brand’s classical stopwatches of the 1920s, placing the crown at 12 o’clock. The dial allows the wearer to see the girder at work through a cut out at the centre and, like most of TAG Heuer’s other concept watches, the Mikrogirder is very well likely to become a fully realised commercial timepiece in the future.
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Most innovative watch of the year \n\nGreubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain \n\nThough the Contemporain is a limited-edition version of Greubel Forsey’s Tourbillon 24 Secondes, the watchmakers’ third invention takes the tourbillon as its focus. Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey, the duo behind this platinum and titanium creation, strive to create horological architecture. This 43.5mm watch offers just that: a 3D view of the movement and tourbillion, giving the impression of the regulator floating in mid air. The watch’s tourbillon cage is inclined at 25° which minimises negative effects of gravity on the oscillator, particularly when stable or still. The Contemporain’s movement comprises 267 components, 88 for the tourbillon cage alone, and is powered by two Co-Axial mainspring barrels in series that provide a power reserve of 72 hours. The tourbillon bridge has been crafted in transparent synthetic sapphire while its bright blue colour makes it truly unmissable.
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Most innovative watch of the year \n\nTimex Intelligence Quartz World Time \n\nThe Timex Intelligence Quartz range has wowed retailers and consumers alike over the past year and the brand has continued with new collections such as its updated World Timer 2012 model. Beneath the sophisticated exterior – it is styled like a watch several times its RRP – the World Time watch has Timex’s proprietary Intelligent Quartz technology, a system that drives independent motors and digital sensors to power the hands individually, thus offering the most accurate timekeeping it can. The World Time version can show the time in 24 cities worldwide, marks whether you are in winter of summer — depicted by the W and S letters on the dial — and also includes a date and striking decorated dial.
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Most innovative watch of the year \n\nMontblanc TimeWriter II Chronographe Bi-Fréquence 1,000 \n\nThe TimeWriter II Chronograph Bi-Fréquence was unveiled at SIHH in January as a watch that challenges the laws of physics. It has been dubbed a triumph of mind over matter, as a 50 Hz chronograph that can show 1/1000th of a second precision when stopped, when normally such a feat could only be achieved by a watch running at a frequency of 500 Hz. The TimeWriter achieves this at just 50 Hz by having a system that catches the balance wheel many times each turn, controlled by a two-level column-wheel: one level guides the start, stop and zero-return functions, the other level controls the thousandths wheel. This is a watch that could be considered a challenge to TAG Heuer’s Mikrotimer Flying 1000 concept watch that was unveiled in 2011, and is set to go into production – even if it is limited to just 36 timepieces worldwide. The other exceptional feature of this watch is in fact to do with its design: it was created as part of a project to support talented, promising watchmakers and was created by Hispano-Swiss watchmaker Bartomeu Gomila, who has even managed to get his name stamped on the front of the dial.
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Most innovative watch of the year \n\nChopard L.U.C. 8HF \n\nChopard revealed its L.U.C. 8HF model at BaselWorld in March and says it is a timepiece bound for the history books. A big claim, perhaps, but the brand has spent several years perfecting this new model, which features its first ever high-frequency movement to be chronometer-certified by the COSC – its L.U.C. 01.06-L. The watch beats at a \nfrequency of 8Hz, offering greater reliability of timekeeping, and has a 60-hour power reserve. The 42mm case has been crafted from lightweight titanium, and Chopard has added a touch of curiosity — a magnifying glass built into the half-open caseback, allowing the wearer a more detailed glimpse at its beating escapement.
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Most innovative watch of the year \n\nRessence Series One Type 1002 \n\nRessence timepieces tell the time in a playful way, with four elements that rotate on an axis. Interestingly Ressence’s founder Benoît Mintiens is not a watchmaker but he was able to envisage a new concept of telling the time, making the prototypes of the Series One with his own hands. The hours, minutes, seconds and an AM/PM pane are all part of a single rotating dial, flush mounted and revolving around a single axis that utilises 17 gear wheels. Naturally for such a lithe timepiece the need for lightweight aluminium and titanium components was a must and, despite being Swiss-made, Ressence doesn’t stamp it anywhere and opts for a closed caseback to ensure that the focus stays on the design.
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Most innovative watch of the year \n\nRado Hyperchrome \n\nRado is known for its technology and unusual meeting of materials, and this year its launch of HyperChrome – a high-tech ceramic case – has marked its place among our highly commended most innovative watches. The brand has worked with a superior method of injection moulding to create one-piece high-tech ceramic cases. This method means that the lugs and surrounding brackets are formed as part of the case. This 36mm white ceramic and PVD rose gold steel version is just one of about 27 different HyperChrome models launched by the brand. It is fitted with an ETA 2681 automatic movement, has a moving anchor symbol – seen through a small porthole at 12 o’clock – and a see-through caseback. A smart model, a smart new material and a commercial timepiece from Rado as it ups its game against other brands working with ceramic.
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Most innovative watch of the year \n\nSeiko Astron GPS Solar \n\nThe Astron GPS Solar does exactly as its name suggests – it utilises GPS technology to offer accurate timekeeping and is powered by solar energy. Such a watch could only come from the technical minds at Seiko; the brand has developed its own patented low-consumption GPS receiver, small enough to be fitted into a watch, and allowing all 39 world time zones and date data to be received using a global network of satellites. Once each day the Astron will receive an automatic signal and will update all of its information, its hands automatically adjusting as necessary to the correct local time. The Astron has resulted in no less than 100 patent applications and is due for global simultaneous market release later this year. Measuring 47mm and boasting a titanium case and bracelet, the Astron is a stellar timepiece that successfully combines gadgetry with good looks.
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Most innovative watch of the year \n\nMB&F Legacy Machine No.1 \n\nMax Büsser is a man brimming with ideas and he loves nothing better than transporting his dreams to your wrist. When Büsser wondered what he would have made had he been alive in the 19th century, the answer was the Legacy Machine No. 1 – MB&F’s first traditionally-styled timepiece, but with the complication and boundary pushing expected of the horological machine maker. Bringing in Kari Voutalainen and Jean-François Mojon, the movement of Legacy Machine No.1 was created from scratch, echoing the classic calibre designs of a century ago. It is the first time that Voutalainen has put his name on a movement other than his own. The LM1 operates two time zones independently and has the world’s first vertical power reserve indicator, while the balance wheel has been brought to the front of the dial.
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Sports watch of the year \n\nIWC Pilot’s Watch \n\nChronograph Top Gun Miramar\nThe Top Gun Miramar caused the CEO Middle East team to do a double-take when it was first announced at the very end of last year, as a teaser for SIHH. It was a timepiece hard to ignore and one that stood out against the brand’s typically classic offer. Made as a tribute to Miramar, California, a place where the elite pilots are trained, the Top Gun Miramar timepiece is an extension of the brand’s Big Pilot range and has the largest automatic movement ever made by IWC — the 51111 calibre — housed within a similarly sizeable 48mm case. It has obvious good looks; we adore its modest design and matte-finished black ceramic and titanium case. But there is also plenty under the surface for lovers of pilot’s watches or those looking for a timepiece that will stand tall and prove itself amongst others. The watch boasts a 168-hour power reserve and is one of the most robust chronographs IWC says it has ever produced. It has a flyback function as well as an analogue display for stopped minutes and seconds, a date counter, a screw-in crown and has been designed to cleverly withstand drops or changes in air pressure. IWC says it is a timepiece for watch fans who adore pilot’s watches but want the best of modern-day technology — something we agree with. It’s not often CEO Middle East finds itself racing about in the cockpit of a plane, but this is a winning watch that translates to everyday without a shred of the pretentious, making it our winning Sports Watch of the Year 2012.\n\nClick here to see the Showstopping watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Luxury watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Most innovative watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Sports watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Classic watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Rising stars of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Ladies’ watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Fashion watches of the year.
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Sports watch of the year \n\nLouis Vuitton Tambour Regatta America’s Cup \n\nThe Tambour Regatta is the first of two sailing-inspired timepiece to make this year’s Watches of the Year, and was tailored specially to the demands of the latest America’s Cup World Series. Its playful use of red and blue adds to its functionality, with a standout window divided into sectors, allowing for ease of countdown during a race. Its self-winding mechanical movement was adapted to create a five-minute countdown, in line with the changes to the rules of the America’s Cup, while its Dubois- Dépraz chronograph movement provides both flyback and regatta functions and has a 42-hour power reserve.
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Sports watch of the year \n\nFestina Chrono Bike 2012 \n\nFestina has been the official timekeeper of the Tour de France for 20 years, and has created a special 2012 edition of its Chrono Bike timepiece to mark its two decades of sponsorship. The brand’s designers focus heavily on the details of racing bikes, reproducing them as elements of the timepieces through details such as the sprocket-inspired bezel, indices which look like cranks or sub-dials that imitate wheels. The 48.5mm timepiece makes an imposing statement and, crafted in stainless steel, is probably better worn out of the saddle. But its celebratory connotations are something that consumers will adore. Cycling has been growing in popularity, and the brand is set to push its Chrono Bike collection as it gears up to sponsor this year’s Tour of Britain, carving out a whole new legacy for the famous Spanish watch brand.
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Sports watch of the year \n\nSeiko Sportura SNAE67P1 \n\nThe Sportura is a timepiece to be worn whatever the sporting occasion and thus provides all the fundamental requirements of a timepiece likely needed by an active gent. Precision timing, high durability and high legibility are its highlights as is its sub-$550 price tag, which has no doubt helped it in becoming a bestseller for Seiko It is finished with Seiko’s Hardlex glass, has a black ion-plated 42mm case, leather strap and slick yellow details on the dial and strap.
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Sports watch of the year \n\nLuminox Deep Dive 1500 Series \n\nAn automatic watch with plenty of substance, Luminox’s Deep Dive is true to its name and adds a fresh element to the brand’s sea, land and air design repertoire. The 44mm Deep Dive certainly isn’t a watch for splashing about in your local pool; it’s certified to comply with the ISO 6425 standard for diving watches and can tolerate pressures of 1,500ft. It has a smart bezel lock system, meaning it is protected during descents and ascents, has a helium release valve and a silicon strap so it can be worn over a wetsuit with ease. Like all Luminox watches the Deep Dive also features the brand’s Luminox Light Technology – tiny canisters of gas dotted at the hour markers around the dial and on the hour and minute hands of the timepiece, which glow for up to 25 years and are visible in even the murkiest of conditions. The brand has chosen blue for the Deep Dive as it is the last colour that the eyes lose sight of when deep underwater. Finally, details such as the diving helmet stamped on the caseback and a prong buckle inspired by Neptune’s trident add playful touches.
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Sports watch of the year \n\nBoss Black Regatta 1512501 \n\nThe Regatta watch looks every bit the part, with its striking orange details, designed to mimic the boats of the Alex Thompson racing team that Hugo Boss sponsors. In fact, the timepiece has been named the official watch of UK’s Cowes Week, and features a full Swiss regatta movement and count-down timer, which alerts the wearer with an alarm function to signal the remaining time during different legs of a regatta. It is made with a water resistant stainless steel case and has a silicon strap for added water resistance, fusing functionality and style with ease.
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Sports watch of the year \n\nGraham Chronofighter Oversize Referee \n\nDubbed the ultimate chronograph, this sport-inspired timepiece was created especially for the referees at the RBS 6 Nations rubgy tournament, of which Graham is official timekeeper. This oversized 47mm titanium watch is lightweight but also rugby-proof, meaning it can take a knock or two owing to its rubber-coated parts. The sizeable white dial adds to its readability while its modified Valgrande movement means the Referee has a minute counter to show intervals of 40 minutes for the halves of a rugby match. Graham has also utilised its left drive lever mechanism, which is unique to the brand, to allow for easy use of the chronograph during play. The final touch is the RBS 6 Nations logo, making this any rugger fan’s dream watch.
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Sports watch of the year \n\nOris Artix GT Chronograph \n\nOris has made motorsport-inspired watches for some time but its Artix GT Chronograph is a mixed material timepiece that we love for its sharp, modern take on classic dashboard displays. For example, its sub-dials include a small seconds counter designed to mimic an RPM counter on a racing car’s dash. The 44mm stainless steel case houses an automatic mechanical ETA calibre 7750 movement, while the matte black dial is complement by the sheen of the black ceramic bi-rotational bezel. The black rubber strap also continues the nod to all things motorsport, as it looks like a tyre and is made with a special good-grip coating. Against a palette of all black, its polished nickel hands and Superluminova accents give a high-gloss finish.
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Sports watch of the year \n\nCitizen Eco-Drive Titanium Golf BM7120-01A \n\nGolf is not the most obvious sport to make a watch for but Citizen was careful not to leave it out of its Eco Drive range and this year launched the Titanium Golf timepiece. As it is made with such a lightweight metal it will no doubt be the perfect wrist accessory for those fellows donning checked slacks and hitting some birdies. The dial is decorated with a dimple effect to mimic a golf ball, while the polyurethane strap has been selected for its comfort and flexibility when worn. A definite hole in one for the CEO Middle East team and a highly commended offer.
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Sports watch of the year \n\nTAG Heuer Ladies Formula 1 White Ceramic \n\nLast but not least, we can’t forget women in sport. While tennis, running and cycling have become sports where women shine, the rising number of female Formula 1 fans has lead TAG Heuer to create an updated steel and ceramic version of its women’s Formula 1 timepiece. Combining luxury, style and sporting substance, this 41mm quartz watch boasts a scratch-resistant white ceramic case and bracelet, 12 diamonds set as indices, date at 4 o’clock and small seconds counter at 3 o’clock. It is a little piece of luxury with enough edge to potentially contend with Chanel’s J12 or Dior’s Dior VIII; truly the amalgamation of glamour and strength and certainly deserved of its highly commended sports watch status.
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Classic watch of the year \n\nJaquet Droz Grande Dateivory Enamel \n\nFrom the moment CEO Middle East laid eyes on the Grande Date we knew it was a contender for our Classic Watch of the Year. Perhaps it was not the most obvious choice but that has been its winning point: it is a new watch rather than being an updated classic, and perfectly exhibits the skills and craftsmanship that goes on behind the scenes at Jaquet Droz. The Grande Date has a 43mm rose gold case and its Grand Feu ivory enamelled dial has a grain and soft hue carefully achieved by the brand’s master dialmakers using the traditional of techniques. This, and the dialmakers’ familiarity with “all the secrets of the enamelling process” are what have given it a finish so pure and so perfect. The hours and minutes sub-dial is set elegantly into the enamel, while gold Roman numerals add that further touch of tradition. Jaquet Droz says that the Grade Date Ivory Enamel is evidence that, sometimes, supreme simplicity is the mark of true luxury and CEO Middle East couldn’t agree more, making it our winning Classic Watch of the Year 2012.\n\nClick here to see the Showstopping watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Luxury watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Most innovative watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Sports watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Classic watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Rising stars of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Ladies’ watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Fashion watches of the year.
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Classic watch of the year \n\nLongines Saint-Imier \n\nThis steel model from Longines’ 2012 Saint-Imier collection pays homage to the brand’s roots in the village of Saint-Imier – a place that has been central to Longines’ development since it was founded in 1832. In celebration, Longines has launched a collection of mechanical timepieces designed to showcase the brand’s core values of tradition, elegance and sport. This, the most classically styled timepiece in the range, sums up the heritage of the brand’s watchmaking. It has a 41mm steel case, a silvered dial and traditional railway-track minute circle, a self-winding movement, a power reserve of 42 hours and a smart brown leather strap. A safe yet commercial wristwatch from a name that many regard as a legacy watchmaker.
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Classic watch of the year \n\nAudemars Piguet Extra-Thin Royal Oak \n\nA watch that stands out as one of the finest designs of Gérald Genta’s repertoire, and indeed a timepiece that continues to wow today, Audemars Piguet’s Extra-Thin Royal Oak is a timepiece it says will go down in history. The design is 40 years old in 2012 and to celebrate Audemars created the Extra-Thin with the brand’s classic Petite Tapisserie pattern on the dial. The watch has a 39mm case and the slim mechanical self-winding Calibre 2121. This stainless steel watch has a striking blue dial that is sure to stand out from the crowd as a modern update to a classic design icon.
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Classic watch of the year \n\nPatek Philippe Ref. 5204 \n\nSplit-Seconds Chronograph with perpetual calendar\nThis grand complication timepiece from the grand masters of watchmaking is said to come in “three degrees of complexity” that reflect its heritage as a manufacturer. Indeed, it is a smart timepiece with Patek Philippe’s proprietary chronograph calibre, a perpetual calendar and a split-seconds function, with the split-seconds completely re-designed by Patek’s in-house engineers to reduce the height of the movement. On the outside, however, the watch is a handsome example of Patek’s design repertoire. Its round platinum 40mm case has a soft white opaline dial that is in fact made from solid gold, while the open caseback can be replaced with a solid platinum back if the wearer is, as the brand puts it, “overwhelmed by so much beauty”. An unforgettable line from one of the world’s most classic watchmakers.
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Classic watch of the year \n\nFossil Utility Heather \n\nWhile fine watchmaking and classic design go hand-in-hand, this has also been a year when fashion brands have stepped up with a fresh array of timepieces to wow consumers. For Fossil, its Heather timepiece has made the cut as a highly commended Classic Watch of the Year with its combination of simple styling and wide commercial appeal. Travel and vintage workwear are said to have inspired the Utility collection of which the Heather is part, and while it has an oversized case – said to be a spin on the trend for ladies wearing their boyfriends’ watch – it is secured with a slimline camel-coloured leather strap that adds a richness. Paired with the gold-tone case and contrasting a silver dial this is a classic watch for a contemporary female consumer.
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Classic watch of the year \n\nVan Cleef & Arpels Pierre Arpels \n\nThe Pierre Arpels timepiece is based on the very watch that the man himself made to wear on his wrist back in 1949. It is a watch that has become a legend according to Van Cleef; a symbol of elegance that is both discreet and sophisticated. CEO Middle East couldn’t agree more. The Pierre Arpels timepiece is everything that the modern watch wearer would want from a timepiece that is luxurious yet utterly understated. For 2012, Van Cleef & Arpels presents a new, more contemporary interpretation of this iconic watch, with all superfluity stripped away. It has a clean, white dial with a matt finish, simple black baton hour markers and traditional Roman numerals. Its 42mm case is rose gold, while its fine strap is made in black leather. This is a beautiful timepiece that will last for generations.
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Classic watch of the year \n\nA. Lange & Söhne Grand Lange 1 \n\nThe Lange 1 first appeared back in 1994 and is said to have earned great acclaim for its traditional elements of Saxony watchmaking, while its off-centre dial and large date were design features of particular note. Since then it has won numerous awards but 18 years on the Glashütte-based brand is back with an update – the Grand Lange 1. Exhibiting a deliberate rearrangement of watch components, the Grand Lange houses the new manually wound calibre L095.1, making the watch a much larger model that its predecessor. It has a solid silver dial displaying the hours, minutes, seconds, date and power reserve, which is an impressive 72-hours. The added touch of luxury for 2012 is its choice of platinum or gold case, while its open caseback reveals a beautifully decorated movement.
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Classic watch of the year \n\nOmega De Ville Chronograph Co-Axial Calibre 9301 \n\nThe DeVille collection debuted in 1999 with its Co-Axial escapement and has since produced a number of striking timepieces. For 2012 the brand has utilised the trend for the hue of blue to make a punchy, luxurious-looking watch. The De Ville Chronograph Co-Axial calibre 9301 carries on the line’s technological appeal and is equipped with Omega’s Si14 silicon balance spring and an 18ct gold rotor and balance bridge. As a watch with two time zones, the hour hand can be adjusted without affecting the minutes or seconds, while the dial has two chronograph sub-dials, 18ct gold diamond-polished hands and classic Roman numeral indices. The De Ville’s 42mm rose gold case adds to the classic appeal of the timepiece, which is COSC certified and has an added element of luxury delivered by its blue alligator strap. A definite modern classic.
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Classic watch of the year \n\nTissot Carson Lady Automatic \n\nAs a white timepiece this watch is sure to snap up many contemporary female watch fans, yet Tissot also says it is the perfect watch for a bride on her wedding day. Thus suitable for all occasions, this is a great all-rounder for women. The watch has an 18ct yellow gold case with diamond hour markers on a white mother-of-pearl dial. The small date and subtle use of branding makes this women’s Carson an understated, elegant watch. It has an open caseback, too, allowing the wearer a view of its automatic movement, and a glossy white leather strap. A modern-classic timepiece and one we feel has wide commercial appeal.
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Classic watch of the year \n\nGlashütte Original PanoMaticLunar \n\nFor 2012 Glashütte Original’s in-house designers created noticeably larger, cylindrical cases for its array of mechanical timepieces and for the PanoMaticLunar this has meant even more impact from its off-centre dial display. The layout of this timepiece has been defined in accordance to the notion of divine proportion – that is, the law of aesthetic harmony that has fascinated artists and designers for centuries. As an artwork on your wrist, the PanoMaticLunar in stainless steel is a classically good-looking watch with a traditional moonphase. It is powered by Glashütte Original’s Calibre 90-02, a self-winding 47-jewel mechanical movement with a power reserve of 42 hours, and has final flourishes such as an off-centre skeletonized 21-ct gold rotor and blued screws.
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Rising Stars of the Year \n\nSchofield Signalman DLC GMT PR \n\nWhen we first discovered Schofield one autumn afternoon in 2011 we knew we had stumbled across something special. An English watch brand that was all about creating a timepiece of the best quality, with no corners cut or decisions too heavily influenced by budget. The brand’s founder Giles Ellis oversees every single design, complication and material choice in the manufacture of the Signalman timepieces, having decided to create his own watch after finding that the high street did not quite provide what he was looking for from a timepiece. After the trials and tribulations that come with launching a brand, Ellis introduced his two debut watches at Salon QP in \nNovember last year, instigating a buzz among discerning watch folk. The essence of the brand is hard to distil into just a paragraph, but the 44mm Signalman GMT, with its matte-black DLC-coated stainless steel case, has made our list despite being limited to just 100 pieces. This smart watch features a Swiss-made Soprod 9335 automatic movement and has a power reserve of 42 hours. We adore its tactile shape — it is not ashamed to be simple — but also the brand’s finer details such as the shark-skin strap, which is lined with green calf skin leather and the lighthouse engraved on the caseback.\n\nClick here to see the Showstopping watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Luxury watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Most innovative watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Sports watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Classic watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Rising stars of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Ladies’ watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Fashion watches of the year.
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Rising Stars of the Year \n\nKennett Watches Lady Savro \n\nScottish entrepreneur Tom Kennett launched his watch brand in 2009 and today his fashion-led watches are available in more than 10 countries and several online outlets including Asos.com, a coup struck with the help of Twitter. There has been a growing buzz around his affordable yet good quality designs and with that Kennett has recently launched its first women’s collection — the Lady Savro. As a scaled-down take on the brand’s gents’ Savro chronograph, the watch is a classic design with plenty of commercial appeal. Kennett is scheduled to launch a new women’s line each quarter and with several years of growth already under its belt, CEO Middle East is sure to keep an eye on this brand in the coming 12 months.
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Rising Stars of the Year \n\nBraun Classic Chronograph \n\nBraun first launched its watch collections back in 1971 with the famous German designers Dieter Rams and Deitrich Lubs at the helm. Fast-forward to 2012 and the brand has been scooping awards for its new timepiece collections and has been focused on making a push in the UK under distributor Zeon. Braun timepieces are characterised by their pure, highly functional and timeless design with little by way of superfluous details. They are fitted with German movements and aim to be timeless classics in the making and the Red Dot award-winning Classic Chronograph has become symbolic of Braun’s watch collections, exemplifying its modern design.
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Rising Stars of the Year \n\nNomos Glashütte Zürich Blaugold \n\nHere at CEO Middle East we’ve admired Nomos Glashütte for several years but the brand remains relatively niche in the UK, despite offering outstanding design, quality and value. Its German-made watches, still produced by a small manufactory team in the famous watchmaking town of Glashütte, retail for less than $6,500 and all are mechanical. We adore the brand for its tongue-in-cheek presentation: it knows it creates excellent watches, but it also has a sense of humour and aims to be the watch for the everyday man and woman. This year it launched two new Zürich timepieces, including the Yves Klein-inspired Blaugold. It boasts Glashütte’s sunray decoration — a polishing style used by watchmakers in the Ore Mountains — and has an elegant steel case, slender bezel and, like all Nomos watches, an easily readable, unadorned dial. The Blaugold and Nomos were a natural choice for this year’s Rising Stars section and we know there will be plenty more quality watchmaking from this German company.
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Rising Stars of the Year \n\nCertina DS1 Automatic \n\nThe Certina brand was founded back in 1888 and is today part of Swatch Group. It has been one of its lesser-known brands, but that is all set to change with Certina making a push into the market with new models and its attractive range of prices and models, retailing for upwards of $300. \nOf its new 2012 launches, Certina’s DS1 Automatic is a standout timepiece. It has classic good looks, based on one of its early 1960s models, a wearable 39mm case and, in the case of this version, rose gold PVD indices and hands that offer a fine watchmaking look. Details such as the Certina logo engraved on the crown and the open caseback are luxuries that this brand and the DS1 Automatic in particular can offer consumers – thanks to a long-standing heritage in watchmaking.
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Rising Stars of the Year \n\nGirard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 Large Date Moon-Phases \n\nGirard-Perregaux recently announced a change that marks a new drive for the luxury Swiss brand following its new model launches at SIHH in January. Among the watches unveiled was this striking vintage-inspired moon phase. Taking its strong lines from the Art Deco movement, Girard-Perregaux says the Vintage 1945 Large Date Moon-Phases is a true classic: pure in style and boasting perfect symmetry. Within its 36mm case beats one of the brand’s own manufacture mechanical movements while high-finishes, such as its diamond polished rhodium-plated mainplate, Côtes de Genève decorated bridges and black alligator strap, make it a luxury watch with a real sense of timelessness. CEO Middle East is looking forward to seeing where the brand will go in the coming year and believes it is truly deserved of its position among the highly commended Rising Stars of the Year.
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Rising Stars of the Year \n\nMühle-Glashütte Terranaut I Trail \n\nMühle-Glashütte dubs its Terranaut I Trail an “energy-charged instrument watch with a down-to-earth design”. Indeed, its sand coloured details, inspired by pilot’s watches, and all black PVD steel case makes for a watch that, while less ostentatious than others, has plenty of functions to offer. This watch has a chronograph movement with the brand’s woodpecker neck regulation, the Glashütte three-quarter plate and a 48-hour power reserve. Its 44mm case is complemented by a black Russian leather strap that closes with a butterfly clasp. The brand itself is no new player, however, having manufactured high-quality ships’ timepieces and marine chronometers for many years; something it still makes today. Its mechanical wristwatches are a growing focus, however, and the brand remains working from its manufactory in Glashütte where it is overseen by the fifth generation of the Mühle family.
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Rising Stars of the Year \n\nVivienne Westwood Cube VV008BKBK \n\nIf there is one brand that has been bought to CEO Middle East’s attention in the past 12 months, it has been Vivienne Westwood — or should we say her collection of licensed fashion timepieces that have been the must-have brand on many retailers’ buying lists. Those selling them have described their popularity as off the scale, while the sheer array of designs and styles covers men’s, women’s and unisex models created for all ages and personalities. The Cube timepiece, with its chunky leather strap doubling up as a form of cuff, has been a bestseller. It has a chunky square case and gold tone dial that makes it edgy enough to be a talking point and a fantastic alternative offer to typical fashion watches with steel bracelets or plain black straps. Playful touches, such as the heart-tipped seconds hand and the ability to swap the leather strap for a second colourway sums up this brand: an alternative choice full of commercial appeal.
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Rising Stars of the Year \n\nBering 11435-751 Women’s Ceramic \n\nDenmark’s Bering was founded only four years ago and made a push into the UK last year, becoming a rising star on the scene and causing a buzz among retailers looking for a quality brand with sub-$150 timepieces. Now, with a range of unisex ceramic timepieces and titanium and steel collections available, Bering is becoming a strong contender among its fellow Scandinavian watch brands. This women’s ceramic timepiece has been one of the brand’s bestsellers in 2012, with its subtle design and glittering crystal indices. It is simple, effective and highly commended in our Rising Stars of the Year category.
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Ladies’ watch of the year \n\nPatek Philippe Ref. 7140 Ladies First Perpetual Calendar \n\nHaving introduced the Ladies First Chronograph in 2009, Patek Philippe has wowed the women’s market again this year with the debut of another complication timepiece — the Ladies First Perpetual Calender. Looking every bit the part, this classically styled watch is the perfect amalgamation of the superior technology guaranteed from a Patek and the beauty that any women’s watch should boast. Made in 18ct rose gold, the Calatrava-style case is home to a subtle, shimmering cream dial. Inside beats a Patek Philippe Ref. 7140 movement composed of 275 individual parts, which measures a slimline 3.8mm, made possible by its recessed off-centre mini rotor. The watch boasts a perpetual calendar, a moon-phase display and has a mechanical memory of four years, recognising the days of each month, including leap years. This multifunctional marvel is finished with beautiful attention to detail. From its Breguet numerals to its hand-stitched alligator strap, this timepiece takes into consideration the lifestyle of most women. Its strap is interchangeable and is available in a neutral mink, a chocolate brown or a royal purple hue. It is details such as these, as well as small additions such as tiny diamonds set into the clasp, that make this perpetual calender a watch that stands heads and shoulders above others in the women’s market, and naturally it is crowned our Ladies’ Watch of the Year 2012.\n\nClick here to see the Showstopping watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Luxury watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Most innovative watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Sports watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Classic watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Rising stars of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Ladies’ watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Fashion watches of the year.
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Ladies’ watch of the year \n\nTAG Heuer Lady Link Steel and Diamonds \n\nThe Lady Link was launched at BaselWorld this year and is already being touted a must-have for all its cool commercial appeal - the line’s ambassador is Cameron Diaz – while its contemporary look, owing to its brushed steel finish, is off-set by the glitter of diamonds that orbit its guilloche dial. The steel version is sure to be a big hit over the next year and definitely fits the bill as a highly commended timepiece in this year’s Watches of the Year.
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Ladies’ watch of the year \n\nBoss Black women’s 1502279 \n\nBased on the notion of the little black dress – a wardrobe essential for every woman – this ladies’ model by Boss Black is a groomed timepiece that consumers will love for its dressy, polished look. Its slick satin strap, minimal dial and floating crystal-set bezel adds interest and makes this an expensive-looking timepiece suited to far more modest budgets, which is why it has made this year’s list. Interestingly the design was inspired by a Renoir quote in which the painter admitted that “the queen of all colours” was black.
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Ladies’ watch of the year \n\nGucci bamboo collection \n\nThe Bamboo timepiece exhibits two of Gucci’s most iconic designs – the horsebit and bamboo – and sums up the brand and its luxury in one timepiece as it celebrates its 40th year of watchmaking. Real bamboo is used in the making of the 35mm watch and each piece of cane is carefully hand-fitted to the dial. In a year that means so much for Gucci’s watchmaking arm, the Bamboo watch is a landmark in the Italian fashion powerhouse’s history. Perfect, whether you’re strutting the streets of Capri, Chelsea or Dubai.
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Ladies’ watch of the year \n\nDior VIII Grand Bal Plume \n\nLimited to just 88 pieces, this watch has been dubbed the timepiece for “princesses of a fancy dress ball”. It continues Dior’s iconic Grand Bal collection with its ceramic case and bracelet, Vietnamese black mother-of-pearl dial and detailed openwork oscillating weight. But for 2012 the brand has introduced a new lightweight luxury material to the design: feathers. This year the oscillating weight is decorated with a petticoat of white plumage and glitters with .89ct of white VVS diamonds as it swings around the dial.
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Ladies’ watch of the year \n\nMeistersinger Ladies’ Neo F \n\nMeistersinger has, until now, catered mainly for gents, but this year it has created a watch designed and marketed specifically for women. CEO Middle East soon picked up on this delightful little number. It has a sleek, minimal aesthetic that appeals, while its use of colour adds that feminine touch sometimes lost when male-focused brands court the women’s market. The Neo F is also the brand’s first two-handed watch to enter the UK market, and boasts a Swiss automatic movement and shimmering sunburst dial.
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Ladies’ watch of the year \n\nBulova Ladies Crystal Deco \n\nThis Art Deco-inspired Bulova watch has become a bestseller in the past year. With a vintage aesthetic, the watch’s launch couldn’t have come at a better time, as the fever for all things Art Deco goes global, ahead of what is set to be this year’s biggest film – the re-making of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel The Great Gatsby. A gorgeous design and a true high street hit.
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Ladies’ watch of the year \n\nOmega Constellation Day Date \n\nWith a sizeable 38mm stainless steel and 18ct rose gold case, this year’s ladies offering from Omega has all the commercial appeal expected from the brand, and is sure to pack a punch for retailers with its contemporary yet classic good looks. What’s more, this watch boasts one of Omega’s new movements – its Co-Axial calibre 8602/8612 – and has a jumping day/date complication. The brushed and polished bezel is complemented by 116 tiny diamonds set into the Roman numerals that surround the sheer dial. This is a watch that is simultaneously subtle and luxurious with brains to match its beauty.
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Ladies’ watch of the year \n\nBulgari Serpenti Jewellery \n\nBulgari has been creating its iconic Serpenti timepieces for several decades, and at the end of last year a version owned by Elizabeth Taylor dating from 1961 sold as part of her much-publicised auction for more than $961,000, some 65 times its pre-sale estimate. For 2012 the Italian brand has maintained its envious levels of luxury with a double wrap, fully enamelled Serpenti, available in black or ivory. Each Serpenti is made link by link using traditional goldsmithing techniques and every segment is hand-set with diamonds, totalling almost 400 per watch, before being cold enamelled and assembled into what has become one of this year’s most collectable timepieces.
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Ladies’ watch of the year \n\nTW Steel Kelly Rowland CEO Tech pink \n\nThe collaboration with TW Steel and Kelly Rowland has been one of the most talked about watch partnerships of the past 12 months, marking a new era of women’s fashion watch that crosses over between mainstream commerciability and brand quality. Both retailers and consumers have been anticipating the popstar’s collection and it hasn’t disappointed. The sandblasted PVD rose gold case of the CEO Tech is clean and contemporary while the baguette-cut pink zirconia stones give the watch that feminine quality that could only come from the world famous R’n’B singer and X Factor judge. And the final flourish? Rowland’s seal of approval through her signature, which decorates the caseback.
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Fashion watch of the Year \n\nTechnoMarine Night Vision \n\nWith its glowing green hue the TechnoMarine Night Vision is a watch for the urban night owl – someone who will be up all night and needs a timepiece with the stamina to match. Indeed, after several years of Cruise-style timepieces and colourful models for women, the Night Vision arrived with a bang. During the day it appears to be monochromatic but when night comes the 45mm watch transforms into a glowing accessory, in a choice of green — which we at CEO Middle East love — orange, white, blue or a special edition all-black. The brand has even made the Night Vision adaptable to differing social events: it has interchangeable straps and an alternative translucent case cover to smarten it up and also boasts a five year battery life.\n\nClick here to see the Showstopping watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Luxury watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Most innovative watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Sports watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Classic watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Rising stars of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Ladies’ watches of the year.\n \nClick here to see the Fashion watches of the year.
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Fashion watch of the Year \n\nMichael Kors Titanium Ceramic MK5679 \n\nWatches by Michael Kors have become synonymous with some of the best fashion models available in the market right now. Last year the brand’s Jet Set made it into CEO Middle East’s Watches of the Year, but this year it’s the turn of something a little more groundbreaking: the Titanium Ceramic MK5679. This model, set for launch later in the year, is said to be self-healing in as much as any surface scratches fade over time. The 38mm timepiece utilises a quartz chronograph movement, keeping it on-trend, while the titanium ceramic makes it durable and lightweight to wear.
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Fashion watch of the Year \n\nTW Steel CEO CE1023 \n\nWith its double A-grade PVD rose gold plating and an oversized 45mm case, this gent’s TW Steel is one of the brand’s most reliable models. The CEO collection is a high-end version of the brand’s Canteen range of watches, and is recognisable for its bold crown hook which, in the case of the CE1023, adds some toughness to the classic rose gold and black leather finish. The watch retails for just shy of £500 and has a Miyota movement housed within a steel case, with a black dial and reinforced mineral crystal glass. Each of the straps are made with Italian leather and all the models are water resistant to 100m, making them ideal watches for work, rest, play and a bit of swagger in between.
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Fashion watch of the Year \n\nTendence Gulliver Medium Glam \n\nTendence is a brand that has enjoyed a cult following for some time, having been founded in Switzerland in 2007 by two Italians, Fillippo Giardiello and Gabriele Ghielmini. Their aim was to create a brand like no other and Tendence’s oversized men’s and women’s watches certainly stand out from the crowd, but have the quality expected from a Swiss watch brand. The Medium Glam, which has Swarovski Elements set into the bezel and dial, combines a 41mm stainless steel and high-tech polycarbonate case with a smooth silicon strap and will appeal to women who want a watch that is dazzling and attention grabbing The brand is a growing contender in the oversized watch realm with an array of collections that include camouflage decorations, neon details and skull motifs.
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Fashion watch of the Year \n\nVivienne Westwood Orb VV006RSSL \n\nAs a brand synonymous with a punk rock, do-it-your-way aesthetic, Vivienne Westwood’s watch collection has been a massive hit and this model from the Orb collection has become a standout. The brand’s distributor says the results speak for themselves —this 30mm ladies watch is the number one selling timepiece in the Vivienne Westwood repertoire — and it’s clear to see why. With a playful charm, and combination of polished steel and rose gold PVD, it might be at odds with the typical notion of tartan and safety pins normally associated with Dame Westwood, but it has a wider commercial appeal that consumers and retailers equally adore.
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Fashion watch of the Year \n\nBering 11939-228 Men’s titanium Day/Date \n\nThe rise of Bering has been hard to ignore as the brand has gone from strength to strength, joining the CMJ and Houlden buying groups and being snapped up by stockists across the isles. It is certainly giving the other Scandinavian watch brands a run for their money, with most models under £200. The brand was founded by adventurer and businessman Rene Kaerskov in 2008, meaning that drive and ambition is at its very heart. Bering’s bestselling men’s day/date timepiece — a standout blackened titanium watch with eye-catching red sub-dials and sleek mesh strap — was an easy choice for the Highly Commended section of this year’s CEO Middle East Fashion Watch of the Year.
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Fashion watch of the Year \n\nHoller Crazies Womack \n\nThe Holler brand was created by an avid music fan who was inspired by old soul and urban record labels. The Crazies collection, references the album covers of old soul and rhythm and blues 12” records, and these sizeable 52mm watches have become standouts among this year’s fashion watch offer, with quirky picture dials that reference black music legends such as Bobby Womack, Walter Jackson and Clarence Carter. The timepieces are like nothing else on the market right now, and CEO Middle East has long been coveting the Womack watch with its quirky, clown-like dial design and playful use of colour, which contrasts its otherwise classic style.
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Fashion watch of the Year \n\nBurberry Black Ceramic BU1771 \n\nBurberry watch sales in the UK have soared in the past year, growing 27% in the last three months of 2011 – and it is no surprise when one considers the wider scope of its repertoire. Burberry watches have attracted both established fans of the classic English brand as well as those looking for a fashionable, aspirational timepiece to sate a desire for designer goods. This unisex black chronograph ticks several fashion-led boxes in one go: it has a black ceramic case and bracelet, is a chronograph and features the brand’s iconic checked design on its dial, making it a must-have for many watch retailers.
Mon 17 Sep 2012 10:51 AM