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Prime Time

Beyond the hype of the year’s high horology rarities is an array of intriguing watches for dreamers and realists alike
Laurie Kahle
From the Print Edition:
Ernie Els, November/December 2012

(continued from page 4)

Value is not necessarily about low price, making it a tricky issue when it comes to mechanical watchmaking. Some would argue that Jaeger-LeCoultre’s now discontinued steel Master Tourbillon was an incredible value at $56,500—the current models in gold, rose gold, white gold and platinum start at $73,000. Still, there are brands like Hamilton which have a reputation for value as exhibited by this year’s super stylish Pan Europ 2012 equipped with a modified Valjoux 7750 movement for $1,945.

Still, the ultimate badge of honor in mechanical watchmaking is the capability to design, develop and build your own movements. Once the claim of only a handful of old-guard houses, computerized production technology has expanded the ability to produce in-house movements over the past decade. Since 2001, Frederique Constant has developed and produced movements that have included various complications—even a tourbillon with an advanced silicon escapement wheel. This year’s traditional Classics Manufacture is based on a next-generation version of the brand’s Maxime movement decorated with Côtes de Genève and spiral colimaçon patterns. With its timeless design, Classics Manufacture puts an in-house movement within reach for many at a price of $2,250 in steel and $2,550 in rose gold–plated steel.

Laurie Kahle writes for Cigar Aficionado on watches and travel.

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