Welcome to our annual “Watch Guide,” where we take a close look at what goes into the making of some of the finest watches in the world — from astonishing creativity to startling technical advancements and jaw-dropping aesthetics. Akin to the supercar and hypercar industries, watchmaking tests the skills of the finest mechanics, challenging them to meet higher standards than ever before.
This article appeared in our November 2022 Issue.
Introducing the November 2022 issue of duPont REGISTRY, #450, starring the new Pagani Utopia. To get your hands on a copy, either buy a single issue or subscribe.
In the world of automobiles, especially race cars, engineers work side by side with mechanics to shave hundredths of a second off race time. In the world of watches, engineers, scientists, master watchmakers, and master artisans also work side by side to find solutions to challenging problems —sometimes taking years to reach their goals. In watchmaking, top brands vie for pinnacle positions when it comes to setting records and accomplishing something never before done in the industry. They turn to fields like aviation and automotive to find new high-tech materials, new methods, new designs, and new solutions. Take a look at our carefully curated list of luxury watches by clicking on the links below.
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Bell & Ross BR 03-94 Mulitmeter
Exactly what you would expect from a brand that deftly blends instruments into its timepieces, the Bell & Ross BR 03-94 Multimeter measures more than just a single lap time. This brightly colored watch boasts five different scales of measurement, including three tachymeter scales, a pulsimeter scale, and an asthometer to measure the number of respirations per hour. Powered by an automatic movement, the 42-millimeter black ceramic case and black dial are the perfect backdrop for the concentric circles. Only 500 pieces will be made.
Edifice Sospensione ECB-2000
From Japanese brand Casio, the new Edifice Sospensione watch features a case inspired by the double wishbone-like suspension of a race car. Crafted in high-tech, lightweight carbon fiber resin, the ECB 2000 uses the brand’s Tough Solar charging system to convert light to energy. The watch can connect to a smart phone via Bluetooth. It can be paired with the Casio Watches app for a host of other functions.
Ernst Benz ChronoLunar Automatic Officer Dial
Paying tribute to its rich roots and technical prowess when it comes to building chronograph watches, Ernst Benz exudes sporty elegance in its ChronoLunar Automatic Officer watch with bold blue sunburst dial. A journey around this dial showcases the date on an outer chapter ring with a pointer hand and red pitchfork end. Hours and minutes are displayed using baton hands with Super-LumiNova coating. There is a central seconds hand, and subsidiary dials total the hours and minutes elapsed. Day and month are shown in apertures, and a moonphase indication in the subdial at 6 o’clock completes the sophisticated look.
Louis Moinet Time to Race
Cited by Guinness World Records as the inventor of the chronograph, Louis Moinet creates some of the most advanced and alluring chronograph watches. Crafted in titanium, the Time to Race self-winding mechanical watch is designed to recall the days of gentlemen drivers. Collectors can select a one- or two-digit numeral as their lucky number to serve as the backdrop for the hour and minute hands in the dial at 6 o’clock. The openworked watch showcases the chronograph mechanism on the dial side, so when the pusher is activated, the mechanics come to life. The watch boasts a tachymeter scale and a Racing Green rubber strap.
IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Top Gun Edition Woodland
IWC Schaffhausen has long been affiliated with aviation and pilot watches. In fact, this is the brand that first brought the inner iron case to fruition in the 1930s to offer antimagnetic watches to pilots. Now, the brand brings its Top Gun Pilot’s watch to new heights with a ceramic Woodland green edition. (Yes, it has a long-standing relationship with the elite fighter pilot school.) The mechanical automatic watch boasts chronograph functions, small hacking seconds, and that coveted soft inner iron case. Only 1,000 pieces will be made in this high-tech ceramic.
Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda GT Chrono
Make no mistake, the 18-karat rose gold case of this sporty Tonda GT Chrono does not mean it isn’t a serious tool. It is. The 42-millimeter watch features an integrated self-winding high-frequency chronograph that beats at 36,000 vibrations per hour and measures time to 1/10th of a second. The 331-part movement is made in house at Parmigiani’s Swiss workshops. The silver guilloche dial (in hobnail pattern) is the perfect backdrop for the Quantum Gray subsidiary dials and date aperture at 12 o’clock.
Angelus Gold & Carbon Flying Tourbillon
Swiss watch brand Angelus is known for its open-worked timepieces with advanced mechanics and high standards of elegance. This Gold & Carbon Flying Tourbillon brings high-tech carbon material together with precious 18-karat rose gold for an edgy, almost sporty look. An ultra-lightweight carbon composite accents the 5N rose gold case in a mixed matte and polish finish. The 18-karat gold bridges offer great contrast to the black carbon mainplate. The hand-wound mechanical movement boasts a flying tourbillon escapement at 6 o’clock that is visible through a large aperture. Only 18 piece will be made.
Franck Muller Grand Central Tourbillon Curvex CX
Since its inception in 1992, Swiss watch brand Franck Muller has been synonymous with outrageous designs. The barrel-shaped Curvex case is a signature for the brand and the case of choice for some of its most advanced complications. This Grand Central Tourbillon is housed in the large Curvex CX, ergonomically engineered for comfort on the wrist. The over- size aperture at the center of the dial showcases the constantly rotating tourbillon. Thanks to an innovative movement construction, the hour and minute hands are neatly placed around the tourbillon cage. It is offered in several colorways.
Purnell Escape II Marcell Jacobs Edition
Independent Swiss watch brand Purnell made its debut two years ago with a huge bang — quickly garnering the attention of watch collectors around the world. The brand offers a unique specialty that it bills as “the world’s fastest double triple-axis tourbillon.” That’s not double talk. The Double Spherion timepiece boasts two tourbillon escapements in round cages; each has three axes that rotate at different speeds within one another to achieve optimal precision. For this version, the brand teamed up with Marcell Jacobs, winner of the European Championships and record holder for Europe’s Fastest Man competition. Crafted in 18-karat white gold, the 48-millimeter watch is bedecked with 304 brilliant-cut diamonds and additional baguette-cut diamonds. The movement consists of 386 parts. Only nine pieces will be made.
Grande Seiko Kudo Constant-Force Tourbillon
Japanese watch brand Grand Seiko is like a sleeping giant to the American market, as state-side sales were allowed only a few years ago. Since making its way across the pond, it has stolen the hearts of watch lovers with its complex movements and alluring aesthetics. This Platinum Brilliant-Hard Titanium–cased Kudo (which means “heartbeat” in Japanese) is no exception. It houses a constant-force tourbillon, meaning the power is released in a constant, even flow for precise isochronism. No easy feat, the watch brings both the constant force mechanism and the tourbillon together on a single axis— something never before achieved in watchmaking. Only 20 will be made.
Chopard L.U.C Full Strike Tourbillon
When a watch brand combines multiple top complications into one watch, it is referred to as a grand complication. Such is the case with the recently unveiled Chopard L.U.C Full Strike Tourbillon that also incorporates, as its name suggests, a minute repeater function along with its patented one-minute tourbillon regulator and patented monobloc pallet lever. Sound complex? It is. Exactly 568 tiny mechanical parts, including a monobloc sapphire crystal and gongs to chime the time, come together harmoniously and precisely on time. Just 20 pieces will be made in ethically sourced 18-karat rose gold.
Breguet Tradition Tourbillon 7047
From the brand whose found- ing father, Abraham-Louis Breguet, invented the tourbillon escapement, this Tradition Tourbillon is anything but traditional. Devoid of a main dial, the watch showcases much of the mechanism, including the fusée-chain tourbillon, on its “dial” side. The fusée-chain device optimizes the isochronism of the watch by offering constant torque no matter the winding level. The 41-millimeter watch is crafted in platinum, an ideal house for the 542-piece movement. Breguet uses high-tech materials such as silicon for certain movement parts. Only 88 pieces will be made.
Calendar & Astronomy
De Bethune DB25 Perpetual Calendar
Newly released from the independent Swiss brand De Bethune, the DB25 Perpetual Calendar showcases the moon and stars at 12 o’clock in a bright blue circular display. The moon is a spherical globe that turns within the outer blue display. Harmoniously positioned opposite the date indication that resides in a subsidiary dial at 6 o’clock, it also indicates the leap year. Day of the week and months are shown via apertures at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock. The mechanical watch measures 40 millimeters in diameter and is crafted in Grade 5 titanium with a transparent sapphire case back.
Glashütte Original PanoMatic Calendar
German watch brand Glashütte Original unveils the PanoMatic Calendar watch in 5N 18-karat rose gold. It houses the brand’s all-new Caliber 92-09 automatic movement that showcases the hours, minutes, small seconds, moon phases, an annual calendar with a panoramic date, and a retrograde month display (from 3 to 6 o’clock on the dial, on an outer ring that runs until 12 and then jumps back to 1 o’clock). The watch is so precise that the date indication only needs an adjustment once per year, on March 1, following the short month of February. It is fitted with a sapphire crystal for viewing the finely finished movement.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Hybris Artistica Caliber 945
A brand steeped in history and watchmaking tradition, Jaeger-LeCoultre this year follows a theme of Stellar Odyssey, unveiling mechanical timepieces that beautifully portray astronomy in all its glory on the wrist. The Grand Complication Caliber 945 offers a sky chart with celestial bodies, a zodiac calendar, a minute repeater, and a celestial flying tourbillon that Jaeger-LeCoultre refers to as a Cosmotourbillon. Not only does it combine some of the most difficult watchmaking feats, but also some of the most advanced métiers d’art illustrations. Only five pieces in 18-karat rose gold will be made and an additional five in white gold.
Jacob & Co. Astronomia Clarity
The Jacob & Co. Astronomia watch is a magnificent mechanical and aesthetic feat of art and watchmaking. This 50-millimeter Astronomia Clarity features an 18-karat rose gold and transparent sapphire case. That provides a view of the three-dimensional display of the constantly rotating, lacquered magnesium Earth opposite a rotating sun, created using a Jacob-cut diamond with 288 facets. The manual wind movement houses an impressive 365 parts. The dial side displays the brand’s Gravitation Triple Axis Tourbillon whose three elements rotate at different speeds. The watch moves like a carefully orchestrated dance.
HYT MoonRunner Supernova Blue
Reentering the watch world with a bold directive, the relatively young, independent Swiss watch brand HYT is building on its unique process of using fluid to indicate the time and is playing off of the love of astronomy. This 50-millimeter black titanium watch has a manual-wind movement and indicates the hours, minutes, day, month, and moon phases along with a retrograde hours display. The moon takes center stage on this watch, with the days and months indicated in circular rings around it. Only 27 pieces will be made.
Bovet Recital 20 Asterium
Crafted in 18-karat gold, this exquisite Bovet 1822 watch is a unique timepiece that depicts the sky as seen from Earth and showcases the hours, retrograde minutes, seconds, day, date, month, year, and moon phases, along with a tourbillon escapement (at 6 o’clock), a day/night solstice indicator, the equation of time, and an astrological zodiac display, among other functions. The center sky map features the stars and constellations laser engraved on translucent blue quartz and filled with Super-LumiNova to glow in the dark. The incredibly complicated watch, with a movement consisting of a massive 771 pieces, boasts a patented double-faced tourbillon and so much more. Only one version is currently being made.
Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon Samuel Ross
Blending high-tech looks with graphic geometric motifs and outstanding mechanics, the Big Bang Tourbillon Samuel Ross embodies the vision of the multidisciplinary artist who collaborated with Hublot on this piece. A Hublot brand ambassador, Ross was inspired by a sculpture he created for Hublot a few years back. The watch boasts an industrial look with titanium honeycomb mesh and a hexagonal interpretation of the Big Bang. Powered by a 282 part movement, the watch is created in a limited edition of 50 pieces.
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Countach
Made of ultra-high-tech mineral composite fiber, this 47-millimeter watch honors the brand’s relationship with Lamborghini. The Hyper-watch boasts a unique caliber designed to recall the supercar engine of the Lamborghini Squadra Corse. It features V-shaped apertures to display the double flying tourbillon escapements that are angled at 90 degrees to ensure even greater precision timing. The design of the RD112 movement is patented.
Ulysse Nardin Freak S
Few watches are as Space Age in appearance as the newest Ulysse Nardin Freak S, with its spaceship-like center time indicator. Crafted in 18-karat pink gold, titanium, and ceramic, the high-tech self-winding watch is equipped with a silicium escapement ensuring longer wear and needing no oil or servicing. It features a tourbillon and special escapement with two oscillators, a differential, and a proprietary grinder. The entire movement makes a single rotation on itself in the center of the dial every hour. Devoid of crown, the time is set by rotating the bezel. Only 75 units will be made.
Greubel Forsey GMT Balancier Convexe
While some watches put the moon or sun at center stage, the GMT Balancier Convexe, with its 423-part movement, puts Earth in the limelight. Using a round, hand-painted titanium globe that rotates, this mechanical work of art includes a GMT function for telling time in another zone; the world’s 24 key timezone cities are listed on the caseback. The balance wheel is angled for added precision, and the case is convex to ergonomically fit the wrist. Just 66 pieces will be made.
Accutron Spaceview x La Palina
Created in cooperation with La Palina cigars, the Accutron Spaceview deftly blends the past, present, and future. Powered by the brand’s proprietary electrostatic movement, the 2020 release finds inspiration in a watch from the mid-20th century. The Spaceview is equipped with twin turbines that rotate with the movement of the wrist at very high speeds and then transfer the energy. The dial is crafted in tobacco brown to honor La Palina, while the electrostatic movement parts are finished in signature Accutron green and brown. The 43.5-millimeter watch is created in a limited edition of only 222 pieces.
MB&F Legacy Machine Sequential EVO
This Swiss independent brand is a leader in the realm of 3D watchmaking, well-loved for cases that often resemble spaceships, animals, and other objects. Plus, the mechanics are consistently cutting-edge. The brand’s first chronograph is a manual-winding double chronograph in a zirconium case. The watch offers chronograph, split-seconds chronograph, lap timer, and cumulative timing modes and is equipped with a proprietary “FlexRing” shock protection system.