Pushing the boundaries of horology design, the world’s most exceptional watches all exhibit heightened creativity and technological capability, reflecting the stature of the brand they’re made by. In a time when nano-technology, micro-machining and computer aided design come hand in hand with traditional craftsmanship the possibilities for new timepieces are evolving. With this in mind, the latest issue of Elite Traveler compiles the 50 best watches to have been created this year.
In addition to being launched in 2017, none of the watches have been featured in the pages of the magazine previously and each one retails at $10,000 or above, ensuring the final selection is representative of Elite Traveler readers. The 50 watches were then chosen by award-winning journalist, author and watch specialist Roberta Naas who, having specialized in watches throughout her illustrious career, with six books published on the topic, is a leading expert in the field.
“With more than 30 years in the watch industry, I have seen many innovative concepts come to fruition from both the technological and craftsmanship perspectives,” Roberta explains, “Thanks to that experience, I can honestly judge whether something is exciting, new, different, or an elevation of what exists out there on the market. There were many more watches I could have used in each of the categories, but I was careful to only allow one watch per brand so that we could spread the word about the vitality and pioneering spirit of the watch world.”
Compiled to represent the abilities of today’s finest watch brands, this list places the focus on the most outstanding timepieces falling under a series of categories from high-jeweled watches and the latest innovations to sport watches. While astronomical watches captivate with their integration of celestial charts and sunrise and sunset times, breath-taking creativity is seen in those that integrate art into the design.
Asked to name her personal favorites, Roberta tells us: “For me the most exciting categories in the Top 50 are Astronomy, Complications, Innovations and Metiers d’Arts. However, each and every category has its own merits. A few of my favorites are the MB&F HM6 Alien Nation watch, Hermes Slim d’Hermes L’heure Impatiente, the Vacheron Constantin Copernicus Celestial Spheres watch and the A. Lange & Sohne 1815 Annual Calendar. For me it is thrilling to be able to pick up an object that fits in the palm of your hand and study an artistic or complex dial, or the turn it over and get lost in the mesmerizing movement.”
With brands ranging from Dior, Cartier and Audemars Piguet to Bremont, Panerai and Rolex, these watches retail at up to $725,000 for the Richard Mille RM 27-03 Rafael Nadal Tourbillon and approximately $700,000 for the high-jeweled H Moser Swiss Alp Watch on the Rocks. Delve into the world of haute horology by discovering which 50 watches are the most astounding timepieces of 2017.
Images: Bovet Recital 20 Asterium®, Piaget Altiplano Radiant Feather Marquetry