This April, all eyes were on Watches and Wonders. Most of the industry’s biggest names revealed their 2021 releases at the virtual trade show. While Rolex, Patek Philippe, and IWC presented evolutions of their most popular models, Bvlgari broke a world record for the slimmest watch, and Jaeger-LeCoultre unveiled the most complicated Reverso of all time.
In this edition of our Editors’ Picks, we’ve hand-selected some special timepieces for you, all of which were inspired by new Watches and Wonders releases. To start, let’s take a look at a budget-friendly option from Glashütte, Germany: The NOMOS Tangente Neomatik 41 Update.
Great Watches Under $5,000
NOMOS Tangente Neomatik 41 Update Ref. 180
NOMOS presented an updated version of the Tangente Neomatik 41 Update at this year’s Watches and Wonders. The new version comes with a midnight blue dial. The patented ring date on the dial’s edge stands out in green and glows in the dark thanks to the use of SuperLuminova. This new color scheme gives the watch a sportier look, while the version with a white silver-plated dial and red date ring has a more classic appearance.
The Tangente Neomatik 41 Update ref. 180 has been part of the NOMOS catalog since 2018. The highlight of this model is, without a doubt, the in-house caliber DUW 6101. The German manufacturer is proud of this movement, and rightly so. It is the technology behind the characteristic date ring around the dial’s edge. As a result of this feature, the first Neomatik movement with a date display was very flat at just 3.6 mm. The finished 41-mm case stands just 7.8 mm high, making this watch perfect for the office. When fully wound, the DUW 6101 boasts a 42-hour power reserve, which isn’t record-breaking but absolutely sufficient for everyday use.
The original hand-wound Tangente from 1992 laid the groundwork for the model’s current success. Along with the Tetra, Ludwig, and Orion, it was one of NOMOS’ very first models. Its most important feature is undoubtedly its clear, Bauhaus-Inspired design characterized by slim hands, a small seconds at 6 o’clock, and alternating Arabic numerals and line indices. The look has certainly gained some fans in high places. Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and current German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier are both Tangente wearers.
Enthusiast’s Corner: Rare and Exceptional Timepieces
Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Chrono GMT Ref. 103068
At Watches and Wonders 2021, Bvlgari set a world record for the seventh year in a row. The manufacturer, which is famous for its extremely flat watches, presented the Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar. The case stands just 5.8 mm high, and the caliber BVL 305, just 2.75 mm. For comparison, the case of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar ref. 6586IP is 6.3 mm thick, and that of the Patek Philippe Nautilus Perpetual Calendar ref. 5740/1G measures 8.42 mm. The Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar has once again proven that Bvlgari’s engineers are masters at creating flat watches.
Back in 2019, Bvlgari wowed the watch world with the 42-mm Octo Finissimo Chrono GMT. This titanium watch is the thinnest automatic watch with a chronograph function and second time zone to date. Thanks to the ultra-thin 3.3 mm caliber BVL 318, the entire case stands just 6.9 mm tall. This is made possible by a peripheral rotor. When fully wound, the power reserve lasts a remarkable 55 hours. You can view the intricately decorated movement through the display case back.
The octagonal chronograph’s case and bracelet are both sandblasted and pair beautifully with the matte titanium dial. The dial features a 24-hour counter at 3 o’clock, a 30-minute counter at 6, and a small seconds at 9. The lines of the Octo date back to famed watch designer Gérald Genta, who is also the man behind the beloved Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and Patek Philippe Nautilus.
Iconic Timepieces: Great Value for Money
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Duoface Moon Ref. 3958420
Jaeger-LeCoultre recently introduced the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 Quadriptyque. With 11 complications, it is the most complicated Reverso ever made. It is also the first watch in the world to boast four dials. The reversible case design, a characteristic feature of the Reverso, is what makes this feat possible. The first dial displays the time, tourbillon, and perpetual calendar. If you flip the case over, you’ll find the digital jumping hour display and minute repeater. The inside of the case back features various moon cycles, including the next solar eclipse. On the true case back, you’ll find a moon phase display for the Southern Hemisphere. Since Jaeger-LeCoultre will only produce 10 examples of this extremely complicated Reverso, we’ve decided to look at a slightly more down-to-earth model: the Reverso Tribute Duoface Moon ref. 3958420.
The look of the latter model is based on the original Reverso watch from 1931, which Jaeger-LeCoultre developed with polo players in mind. At the time, the reversible case was designed to protect the watch crystal from knocks during matches. The current Reverso Tribute Duoface Moon displays two time zones; for instance, you can view the local time on the front and the time back home on the reverse side of the rotating case. Of course, this feature makes the watch less practical for polo players today but much more suitable for frequent travelers and businesspeople.
Moreover, the watch features a moon phase and pointer date display, which share a subdial at 6 o’clock. The moon phase is a highlight of this Reverso. The artisans from Jaeger-LeCoultre handcraft the display, giving the celestial body an almost 3D appearance. The silver-gray dial is paired with blue applied indices and classic Dauphine hands. The second dial is blue with a “Clous de Paris” guilloché pattern. In addition to the second time zone, it features an easy-to-read day/night display.
The 49.7 x 29.9-mm stainless steel case is predominantly polished and houses the hand-wound caliber 853A, which offers a 42-hour power reserve.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso is undoubtedly a legendary watch. The Tribute Duoface Moon boasts the original’s DNA and offers a lot of watch for the money.