#3: Patek Philippe Aquanaut Advanced Research
Housed in a 40.8mm wide, 11mm tall white gold case, the latest addition to the Aquanaut lineage is poised to wear substantial on the wrist. And to make it absolutely clear that it's not a watch for those who wish to fly under the radar, for the very first time in Patek history, the manufacture bestowed the watch with a semi open face, exposing the "flexible" time zone setting mechanism on the left side of the stunning, gradient blue dial. The mechanism is important in that it essentially replaces the need for pivots and leaf springs by turning to the elasticity of the material itself (stainless steel in this case) as a way of regulating the time zone setting functionality. It also eliminates the need for applying lubrications and prevents energy loss by friction. To understand more about the innovations that went into the conceiving of the Ref. 5650G, do check this video out.
And here it is, a Patek that looks marginally quirky, but totally capturing at the same time. I'd argue that this isn't even a case of acquired taste: you either love it, or you hate it. And given how a faithful embrace of the tradition is core to the Patek identity, it is certainly refreshing to see the watchmaking giant step out of the line just a little to deliver something unique and relentlessly well crafted.
#4: The Omega 1957 Trilogy Reissue
The three pieces could either be purchased individually (limited edition of 3,557 each), or together as a box set (limited edition of 557, which by the way has the most endearingly nostalgic packaging ever). And what make these reissues so great is how they were modelled exactly and faithfully after their predecessors. Same case size. Same bracelet style. Bascially same everything except for the movements, which are rightfully modern. In the case of the Seasmaster 300 and the Railmaster, the movements are METAS-certified caliber 8806 which can endure magnetic field of up to 15,000 gauss, a feat not to be frown upon. Whereas for the Speedmaster, the trusty caliber 1861 is again deployed, just like the standard Speedmaster Professional currently in production.
#5: The Rolex Cellini Moonphase
The last references from the Crown that saw a moonphase indicator are the Ref. 6062 and Ref. 8171, both auction rockstars nowadays (such as this one that fetched north of CHF1,000,000) and were only in production for a few years in the early 1950s. So unless you have some HKD10,000,000 set aside for it, chances are you have never had the opportunity to own a Rolex moonphase. Until today.
The revived Rolex Cellini Moonphase is cased in a now-conservative 39mm rose gold case (kudos to Rolex for not crossing the 40mm mark) with a gorgeous, austere white lacquer dial, coupled with a date indicator hand and of course, the generous moonphase indicator at 6 o'clock. The moonphase disc is enamel-treated and the silvery moon itself is meteorite applique (let's settle with meteorite as the material of choice here before moondust gets anywhere near ready for commercial use, shall we?) and man, tell me the contrast between the white and the blue on the dial is not capturing.
Rounding off the ensemble is caliber 3195, an automatic chronometer-grade movement, created completely in-house by Rolex, of course. For the longest time, the Cellini line has been somewhat overshadowed by its almighty sister models from the sporty families such as the Submariner and the Daytona. But with the moonphase indicator making a convincing comeback this year, one can only speculate that the rise of the Cellinis is around the corner.
Until next time!