The "Yet another stupid list of best watches" award

I just finished reading Nick Hornby’s “Hi-Fidelity”, and for those who have not read it the main character is obsessed by lists: favorite songs, most painful break-ups etc…the book is brilliantly written and strikes a cord with anyone who’s been dumped at least once in his lifetime!

Well this got me thinking about lists.

Rest assured, I will not tell you about my love life even though considering the number of times I’ve been dumped I could also write a novel. My n° 1getting dumped music would be anything by Air Supply (those old enough know what I’m talking of The "Yet another stupid list of best watches" award )

Anyway to make a long story short this got me thinking of my favorite watches thus I am happy and honored to announce the “Yet another stupid list of best watches” award:

And the winners in the Vacheron Constantin Category and the Non VC Category are

click on the scans for a larger view

Best “a Night at the Opera” watch

VC

VC Patrimony Contemporaine manual wind, so simple that its achingly beautiful especially in its special boutique edition in rose gold and black dial

The "Yet another stupid list of best watches" award

Non VC

The Dufour simplicity because of the elegant and timeless design, because of the sheer craftsmanship of the movement and because this watch really has a soul, I can’t explain it but you just feel it. On top of it Mr. Dufour is such a passionate person.

The "Yet another stupid list of best watches" award


Best “Instrument for timing Pasta cooking”

VC
Here I have a problem because even though my two favorites are from VC one is a modern model the other is vintage.

The modern award would go to the Malte chronograph excellence platine with its severely cool monochromatic look.

The "Yet another stupid list of best watches" award


The vintage chronograph 4178 with tear drop lugs its everything a chronograph should be. Probably one of the most beautiful chronographs ever.

The "Yet another stupid list of best watches" award


Non VC

The Lange Datograph what else? Lange in 1994 came back with a bang and gave a big kick in the butt of a sleeping Swiss watch industry, its 1999 launch of the amazing Datograph was yet another kick, how many manual wind chrono movements have been launched in the last years which can even dare compete with the Dato? 0

The "Yet another stupid list of best watches" award


“Best” Instrument for cooking Pasta AND the sauce”

The IWC Portuguaise Rattrapante, a design icon with a wonderful bezel less case and elegant dial. IWC made the rattrapante accessible to many through this piece.

The "Yet another stupid list of best watches" award

Unfortunately no VC here but considering VC is working on its inhouse chrono movement this may become a reality in a not too distant future.

Best “wine drinkers” watch (aka tonneau)

VC

The Vacheron Constantin 1912 for the beautiful case, the mobile lugs and the overall vintage look. It is nicely curved and fit perfectly well on the wrist.

For me tonneau watches are the most elegant of all.

The "Yet another stupid list of best watches" award


Non VC

This one is non VC but not really tonneau either but what the hell, it’s my list The "Yet another stupid list of best watches" award My vote goes to the amazing Kari Voutilainen Chronometer 27, based on a high beat (36,000 vph) vintage Longines observatory movement from the 50s Kari has once again added his personal touch to make a timepiece oozing with quality and craftsmanship

The "Yet another stupid list of best watches" award

Best “how the hell am I supposed to read time on this thing” watch

VC

With no doubt the Vacheron Mercator. It’s a great idea, very well implemented. It’s as original as it gets and it really needs dexterity to tell the time correctly.

The "Yet another stupid list of best watches" award


Non VC

I’m hesitating between the Max Büsser and Friends Horological Machine n° 2 and the Urwerk 103 but just because Baumgartner used to work for VC I’ll go for the UR 103

The "Yet another stupid list of best watches" award



Best “why do you have a pigeon on your dial” watch

VC

I am a sucker for enamel dials and I can understand that many would find the Audubon dials gaudy and unwearable but the dial work is incredible

The "Yet another stupid list of best watches" award



Non VC

Patek made a limited series of Calatravas with enamel dials depicting birds. I don’t know the model number but was the only other brand I found with such dials. Must be a Genevan thing between watchmakers and poultry The "Yet another stupid list of best watches" award

The "Yet another stupid list of best watches" award

Best “your dial is broken and I can se that thinngy turning” watch

VC

One again I’m torn between two amazing tourbillons. The Saint Gervais made in 55 pieces for the brands 250th anniversary in 2005 which also has a perpetual calendar and a 10 day power reserve.

The "Yet another stupid list of best watches" award

The stunning Malte Black Nickel tourbillon made in 3 pieces for the Singapore and Kuala Lumpur boutiques in 2006, the perlage on the dial make it look like carbon fibre! Ultra modern severely cool watch.

The "Yet another stupid list of best watches" award

Non VC

The Journe tourbillon. I have a preference for the older “constant force” model as it has a more industrial look and as Journe so candidly says talking about chronometry in a tourbillon: “putting a tourbillon in a wrist watch is like breaking your leg to run a 100m race, putting a constant force device is like putting a cast on your broken leg before the race!”  You gotta love a guy who says such things!!

The "Yet another stupid list of best watches" award

Best “celestial” watch

VC

Not a true celestial watch per se but the amazing moonphase on the Malte perpetual calendar chronograph (especially in its Excellence Platine collection) is to die for.

The "Yet another stupid list of best watches" award

Non VC

I surprise myself with this choice but Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight in Paris with a rotating star chart is a true piece of poetic horology.

The "Yet another stupid list of best watches" award

Best “dude, your watch is making weird noises” watch

VC

No doubt the Vacheron Constantin minute repeater for the purity of the dial, the tear drop lugs and the chimes which sound like angels singing (corny I admit). I play the lotto every week in hope of one of these babies The "Yet another stupid list of best watches" award

The "Yet another stupid list of best watches" award

Non VC

Once again I come back to Philippe Dufour and his Grande Sonnerie, I had offered Philippe to exchange my super limited autographed Kiss poster in exchange of one and he refused…the man has no sense of business or humor.

The "Yet another stupid list of best watches" award



Best “It does everything except fry your eggs in the morning” watch

VC

The Tour de l’Ile, the gargantuan 47mm double sided mega complication made in only 7 pieces by VC in 2005 in celebration of its 250th anniversary. Considered at the time the most complicated watch it featured among others: minute repeater, perpetual calendar, tourbillon, dual time, sun rise /sun set time, sky chart etc…I actually saw a guy wearing one last year and it looked damn good on his wrist.

The "Yet another stupid list of best watches" award



Non VC

I guess the logical choice would have been the Sky Moon Tourbillon but no! My choice is the AP Jules Audemars Grande Complication beautiful dial and one of my favorite cases. I also have a soft spot for co-axial pushers for chronographs

The "Yet another stupid list of best watches" award

The all Time best watch in History and in the Universe

VC

There are just so many I could choose from but the one that immediately springs in my mind is the Chinese Mask from the Metiers d’Art Les Masques collection. Rarely has a watch had such a strong impact on me, it goes beyond horology to enter the purely subjective world of emotions.

The "Yet another stupid list of best watches" award

Non VC

The Lange 1

15 years after its launch this watch is still contemporary. The balance of the dial is just perfect, everything fits has equilibrium and harmony. Probably one of the best designs of all time. The problem with perfection s that you can’t make it better and all the modifications which have been subsequently made to the original Lange 1 (the Grande Lange 1, the Time Zone etc…) just don’t do it for me

The "Yet another stupid list of best watches" award

Thanks Alex for this superb trip! & sens of humour (nt)
08/01/2008 - 14:01

.

Fantastic selections, love your catagories you are
08/01/2008 - 15:54

one very complicated and interesting person. Strangely I agree with your selections though do not have your imagination to come up with such interesting catagories. Thank you.

John

my wife says I'm complicated but never interesting :-) What would be
08/01/2008 - 16:10

your choices?

Some very interesting selections Alex...
08/01/2008 - 17:42

and I would certainly concur with a number of them.

Must say, though, that the "categories" are what really entertained me.  Very funny!

Thanks,

Duncan

Great categories, photos, commentary & humor!!!
08/01/2008 - 17:45

Be sure to see the movie "High Infidelity" with John Cusack & Jack Black.  It is well done & very funny. 

  Nicholas

Very enjoyable Alex! LOL (nt)
08/01/2008 - 19:38

..

Quite impressive and
08/01/2008 - 19:38

"à propos" words.

Nice entertainment Alex.

Re: The "Yet another stupid list of best watches" award
08/01/2008 - 21:50

Ok Alex this is my best shot at it but not as creative as yours by a long shot.

Best night at the opera

 VC--------Agree with the Patrimony Contemporaine, exceedingly elegant.

Non VC--- Patek 2526 yellow Gold black enamel dial.

Best Instrument for timing pasta cooking

VC-------Agree again on the Malte Chrono Platine Excellence but I am biased.

Non VC--I would go for a single button by Moser, big enough dial that even I can read it and if get sauce on it who cares!!!

Best wine drinkers (AKA tonneau)

VC--------Also the 1912, love the hinged lugs and great style

Non VC---Patek 2442, like good wine just gets better with age. Love the age spots on the dial reminds me of myself.

Best “how the hell am I supposed to read time on this thing” watch

VC--------The Mask, love the artistry but try telling time at night...give me another glass of wine.

Non VC --Agree with your Urwerk 103, but it really looks cool

Best “why do you have a pigeon on your dial” watch

VC--------I love the Audubon dial watches

Non VC--All the others.

Best “your dial is broken and I can see that thinngy turning” watch I have no preference on this one. I find tourbillons a useless complication. Pretty to look at, great feat for the craftsman but has no true purpose. I hope I didn't hurt anyones feelings, I am sure I am alone on this one.

Best “dude, your watch is making weird noises” watch Again I have no preference on this one. My hearing is so bad it would have to be as loud as the westminster cathedral for me to hear it and how much do they cost?????? Best “It does everything except fry your eggs in the morning” watch

VC--------No doubt the Tour de l’Ile...magnifique

Non VC--Patek 5016, it doesn't have all the bells and whistles and I can't hear the repeater, I hate tourbillons but love the look of this watch. Go figure and I wonder why my wife is always confused when she asks me why I like certain things.

The all Time best watch in History and in the Universe

VC--------The Mask set have to be right up there, very creative but sooooo expensive.

Non VC---Just for the simplicity the patek 3450. Just a truly elegant watch.

no 1579 for the pasta cooking? :-) (nt)
08/02/2008 - 17:05

e

Not a bad idea but just not legible enough
08/03/2008 - 20:20

and I don't want to overcook it and end up eating out.

John

Re: Yet another stupid list of best watches" award
08/02/2008 - 00:17

A wonderful read and variety of noteworthy watches. Thank you Alex for sharing and posting the pics as well. Have a great weekend!! Regards, Matt

I'd like to cook some pasta...
08/02/2008 - 04:07

but which shall I choose?

I'll have to have a drink and think this through... Good thing I don't own a Dato (yet)

the 1st scan is mouthwatering!! (nt)
08/02/2008 - 17:07

e

LOL I love your categories
08/02/2008 - 11:47

Horny's book was on my to-read list, but I have now an extra chapter, a kind of uncut version of the book!

One of your best post ever...
08/02/2008 - 16:24

I really like it... did Kazumi help you write it?

I agree with a lot of your choices (and I`m quite happy you found a way to include the 47212)

I`ll have to go now, but I`ll try to come up with my own list later...

Cheers,

Francois

Fun categories, great watches! Air Supply in a watch forum is a 1st!
08/03/2008 - 04:57

Hi Alex,

Thanks for the fun post.  The categories alone deserve a prize for creativitiy.

I must say I have a strong bias for the Contemporaine boutique edition.  Even though it took me so many years to warm up to it (i.e., I could have enjoyed it earlier), I must say the hesitation paid off since it was only last year that VC came up with the stunning RG-Black dial combo.  If I had bought a regular one earlier, I probably would be feeling bad right now (although just a little maybe as the regular RG is cool too).  I think the bonus came with the story behind the purchase which, of course, you had a lot to do with.

I also like the VC chronos.  The Malte Chrono excellence platine is really something!!  As you said, the vintage VC chronos are on a league of their own, too.

I also had a kick reading your candid comment about Air Supply's music.  Yup, no one really makes 'em as mushy as they did.  I have to admit, even though it is not something I would openly brag about, their songs do hit the sport, especially when in a sentimental mood.  I actually checked them out at youtube last night, hahaha.  I guess that shows too that we are not getting any younger, amigo.

Thanks again for the great scans and the laughs, and enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Best regards,

Kazumi

Re: The "Yet another stupid list of best watches" award
08/03/2008 - 17:30

Great list Alex, and a really good laugh!

You're comments on the Urwerk (category) were 100% right on (IMHO)

Very nice bunch of watches too!

Joseph

Thanks Alex!
08/04/2008 - 06:00

Another far from stupid post from a great moderator!!!

Fun and funny with some excellent pics.

Glad to see the IWC Rattrapante included in such heady company--I'm a fan of that movement despite some controversy about whether it is 'in house' enough.

Thanks again!!!

Outstanding watches and quotations LOOOL
08/09/2008 - 12:24

Thank ou Alex for illuminating my week-end!! :)