Every watch enthusiast is always on the lookout for the ‘perfect watch.’ But, while perfection remains subjective, what really is the metric for it?
Must the perfect watch be defined by the number of tourbillons, the vertical clutch on your chronograph, and the tiny complications? Or is it the quality of the watch’s abilities? Is it the readability or its natural way of time-telling?
Perfection is when nothing more can be taken away. There are no flaws to pick and everything that remains is classic, necessary and important. What else embodies this better other than simple two-hand horology?
Let’s take a look at the top 5 two-hand watches.
1. Breguet Classique 5157
The engine-turned dial is one of the oldest and most sophisticated ornaments in watchmaking. These highly embossed dials, which are hand-made using closely guarded traditional techniques, have come to symbolize the Breguet aesthetic, which is best represented by the Classique Extra-Plate.
The watch is made of rose gold and has a finely fluted caseband. It has a classical “Clous de Paris” hobnail dial and offsets the iconic blue Breguet hands. This watch proves that you do not need to be extraneous to create an exquisite timepiece.
2. A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Thin
With its simple design and breathtaking movement, the Saxonia Thin is a striking item in and of itself. With a beautiful dial composed of goldstone, this variant kicks it up a notch. The effect, which resembles a night sky filled with sparkling stars, is quite fascinating.
The watch’s internal caliber L093.1, which features the same hand-finished details that Lange is known for, powers it. But, the case size is new, measuring 39 mm in diameter and 6.2 mm in thickness. This exquisite piece would undoubtedly look beautiful in any watch collection.
3. Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse
When you think of Patek Philippe, watches like the Nautilus, Calatrava, and perpetual calendar chronograph come to mind. Have you however ever seen the Golden Ellipse?
2018 saw Patek Philippe add a new rose gold/black dial grand taille model to their standard Golden Ellipse collection. Even though the watch is straightforward, its the simplistic aura it exudes that makes it flawless. Patek Philippe did the small things well, down to the onyx cabochon on the crown and the rich ebony black sunburst dial that inspired the timepiece’s name with its elliptical shape. The iconic Caliber 240 is concealed beneath a sturdy caseback. The hands, crafted in rose gold like the hour markers, stand out spectacularly against the perfect black background. This watch defines the art of understated elegance.
4. Cartier Drive De Cartier Extra-Flat
In 2017, the Cartier Drive de Cartier Extra-Flat was released, although it was solely marketed in white or rose gold. This step was not completely unanticipated given that the French jewelry brand still unveils the majority of its new models in precious metals.
People begged, and Cartier duly obliged. With a 6.6mm thickness, it remains equally flat and delicate on the wrist. The casing still features an enchanting combination of brilliantly polished and exquisitely brushed details, which dances with the light enough to highlight the sunburnt finish dial and the two discrete channels on either side of the minute markers.
5. Laurent Ferrier Bridge One
The Bridge One is an intriguing sculpture that bears the name of Geneva’s renowned Passerelle de l’Île. Laurent Ferrier’s decision to design a timepiece with a distinctive rectangular case form and mesmerizing curves is what makes it so captivating. This watch’s design makes it difficult to produce, including the sapphire crystal, which must be carved from a sphere of glass.
Aside from the case, the Caliber LF107.1 and the grand feu enamel dial are excellent additions. Overall, the craftsmanship is almost impeccable; the unconventional shape balances the classic features which makes this watch like wearing a piece of art.
Two-hand watches do not feature complications or superfluous details and that’s the challenge. With less to work with, how do you accentuate the watch’s elegance? How do you transform simplicity into an iconic design? With years of studying what ticks and what doesn’t it appears like we may have just found a few who truly embody the art of less is more with ease.