In this section we present the ten best brands of the year which stands out from the rest of their distinctive and exclusive craftsmanship. The criteria of choice are use of cutting edge technology ,newness of utility and concept, and uniwueness of style and design. We have presented some outstanding watches in this list over the years and hope to do the same this year too.
Jules Audemars Equation of Time
The new Jules Audemars Equation of Time has its eyes firmly fixed on the universe, as it admires and reflects the endless dance of the stars. This exclusive watch combines several functions: equation of time, sunrise and sunset times, as well as a perpetual calendar with astronomical moon.
The equation of time :
True noon, when the sun is at its zenith, depends on the longitude of the place where the observation is made, always taking into consideration the equation-of-time differential, save on April 15th, June 14th, September 1st and December 24th. This differential ranges from minus 16 minutes and 23 seconds on November 4th to plus 14 minutes and 22 seconds on February 11th. The equation-of-time pointer fitted on the dial’s central axis shows this differential, true noon corresponding to its position exactly over the minute hand, and the hour hand is providing the local time of solar culmination.
Sunrise and sunset times :
At the equator, the duration of days and nights is the same throughout the year. The greater the distance from the equator, the greater their seasonal variations; during solstices at the poles, the sun either never sets or never rises above the horizon. Sub-dials with 0-to-12 and 12-to-24 graduations show the times at which the sun respectively rises and sets all throughout the year at the latitude for which the watch has been adjusted, corresponding to the city of reference engraved on the flange.
The perpetual calendar :
All perpetual-calendar indications are positioned along the 12 o’clock – 6 o’clock axis. With no need for a manual correction before March 1st, 2100, it displays February 29th every leap year thanks to a special wheel that takes four years to effect a complete rotation.
The astronomical moon :
With a standard perpetual-calendar mechanism, the lunar cycle requires a correction every two years and seven months. Thanks to the astronomical moon which Audemars Piguet’s master-watchmakers have fitted on the Jules Audemars Equation of Time design, a watch adjusted in the year 2005 will require no lunar- cycle adjustment whatsoever until a simple press on the appropriate push-piece in 2127. Compared to the 59 teeth of a standard “horological” moon mechanism, the gear-train driving the Audemars Piguet moon comprises 135 teeth, and its differential with the actual moon cycle amounts to a mere 57 and 1/5 seconds compared to 44 minutes and 2 and 4/5 seconds for a standard “horological” moon.
Customised models :
Sunrise and sunset times depend on both latitude and longitude, whereas solar culmination time is determined by longitude. Given that each watch may be adjusted according to the location chosen by its owner, the sunrise and sunset cams are available for all cities of the world, apart from those located beyond 55 degrees North (Novosibirsk and Edmonton) and 55 degrees South (Auckland and the Falklands). The name of the city of reference is engraved on the flange carrying the equation-oftime graduations.
With a 2120/2808 calibre self winding movement it has a 28mm diameter and 40 hours power reserve. All parts of the watch are decorated by hand which includes bevelling and circular-graining of the mainplate and “côtes de Genève” patterning on bars and bridges. The watch is set in 18-carat yellow, pink or white gold case with transparent sapphire crystal caseback. The dial is silvered for the white or yellow gold models, black for the pink gold model and comes with a full-grain crocodile leather strap with 18-carat gold AP folding clasp.
The spirit of exclusivity has given rise to an extraordinary timepiece, the Mulliner Tourbillon chronograph. A rare model with only a few dozen made over the next few years, at a rate of two per month, it also brings along its share of privileges, since each Mulliner Tourbillon is customised by its future owner. According to his personal preferences, he can choose the type of case – in platinum or in yellow, rose or white gold – the dial colour or the exact shade of the crocodile leather strap. Even the precious wood decoration on the back of the watch comes in a choice of six types of veneer.
This masterpiece also has an exceptional heart in the shape of hand-wound Breitling Caliber 18B, a Tourbillon chronograph movement exclusive to “Breitling for Bentley”. Moreover, its “30-second ” type chronograph mechanism is distinguished by its central hand revolving around the dial in half a minute instead of the usual 60 seconds thus enabling extremely precise read-off for the fractions of a second, in this case 1/6th . It is also endowed with a 15-minute totalizer and a pointer-type date display. Each hour-marker on the dial is fashioned from natural hand-crafted mother-of-pearl. Both literally and figuratively, each Mulliner Tourbillon carries the hallmark of its owner, including his initials engraved on one of the movement bridges. Protected by a sapphire crystal, the precious wooden ring is available in the same shades and veneers as the Bentley Mulliner car.