Here at Monochrome-Watches, we define our job not only as journalists but also as testers. We love watches, all sorts of watches (although we have a strong preference for anything that is made with passion and by skilled hands!) In order to let you know how it these watches actually are in their natural habitat (i.e. on the wrist), we write lengthy watch reviews in which we share our experience and our feelings. Reviews are essential for us as we think it’s the best way to inform you and to allow you to really understand how these timepieces work and feel on the wrist.
Brice and I sat down and choose our favourite watch reviews of 2014. It has been a spectacular year! We published many reviews, and we have much awaiting to be written and published. In the coming months we’ll show you our watch reviews of a Richard Mille RM 033, a De Bethune DB28z, a Glashütte-Original Senator Chronometer, an Armin Strom Gravity Racing, an Oris 110 Years L.E. and many, many more. So next year will be at least as interesting as this year has been. Now, on the last day of 2014 we’d love to thank you for reading Monochrome and let’s look back at our ten favourite watch reviews of 2014. Ten articles, ten totally different watches for ten times more pleasure.
A. Lange and Sohne Lange 1
Twenty years and not a single wrinkle. The A. Lange and Sohne Lange 1 is the essence of the dress watch. In twenty years time the Lange 1 has become an icon, it has become known for its striking looks and for its spectacular finish. The movement is superb, the functions are great. Even if the layout is unusual, it is never odd, showy or excessive. It has this superb retrained look and quality that properly defines an exceptional luxury object.
Omega Seamaster Ploprof 1200m
The Omega Seamaster Ploprof 1200m is an icon among the tool watches, with its massive, rugged, sporty construction. It remains however totally wearable and is a proper inspiration for other dive watches. Our contributor Ilias wrote a bible, a reference article, full of historical and technical insights, illustrated with magnificent photos. If you’re into vintage watches or diving tools, you have to read this story.
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Ref. 5270
This watch represents the superb know-how of Patek Philippe. It brings a chronograph and a perpetual calendar in a single watch. The 5270 is not a simple watch. It is the latest edition of a long lineage that began with the reference 1518, the world’s first perpetual calendar chronograph, introduced in the 1940’s. Because of this, it has to be seen as a pure Patek. The new movement, fully developed and manufactured in-house, adds a magnificent exclusivity to an already quite full package. Take a look at our review here to understand how it feels to have a real luxury watch on the wrist.
Roger Dubuis Pulsion Skeleton Flying Tourbillon
Complicated… What a stunning complicated movement here. The Roger Dubuis Pulsion Skeleton Flying Tourbillon might come with a sporty-styled titanium case with rubber strap, however it doesn’t pack a simple movement. Instead, it comes with one of the most beautiful, light, skeleton engines ever seen. The finish is astonishing. The Roger Dubuis Pulsion Skeleton Flying Tourbillon is an epitome of an ultra-high-end luxury timepiece, and it’s sporty at the same time. The Harvey Two-Face of watchmaking.
F.P. Journe Chronomètre Optimum
30 years of development… It took François-Paul Journe 30 years to create this watch, that combines all his ideas to improve chronometry. No tourbillon or split-second chronograph here. Just a hidden, but magnificent, technology to achieve the highest precision possible. The strength of the Chronometer Optimum is to offer a very simple watch in appearance HOWEVER with a high degree of complication. Nothing is showy and it remains really wearable on a daily basis. It’s a very egoistic pleasure that only the owner or a few watch enthusiasts will understand.
IWC Portuguese Chronograph Classic
The IWC Portuguese Chronograph is a classic. In 2013, IWC chose to introduce a new edition called ‘Classic’. No worries, if you are getting dizzy, it’s normal. However, this new version of the Portuguese Chrono brings a lot: new case, new dial, new movement, cool features, superb quality and a beautiful design. It clearly deserves it’s name. It has all the looks to support its name (Classic). The old one was great, and still is, however this new one is simple notch better in every way.
Swatch Sistem 51
If you’re visiting Monochrome-Watches frequently, you might have a strong interest in Haute-Horlogerie. We’re not used to talk about affordable watches here. However, the Swatch Sistem 51 deserves our attention: it is one of the most important novelties presented during the last 10 years. This watch may herald the future of mainstream watches. First, it is an astonishing industrial achievement, the first mechanical watch built without any human hands. Moreover, it ushers in more innovations, technology and content than any other inexpensive mechanical watch. It is clearly the trendsetter for the affordable segment of the watchmaking industry.
Breguet Type XX
This review was kind of special as the watch in question is owned by our Associate Editor for more than 5 years. The Breguet Type XX is clearly one of the best chronographs we know, especially among pilot-oriented watches. It has some faults but you can manage to accept them and admit that they are part of its charm. It has an extra upscale feeling that allows you to wear it as a flying instrument or as a business daily beater. That’s what makes it a great watch.
Habring² Doppel 3
This is a very special watch. The Habring² Doppel 3 is a double chronograph, with a single-pusher chronograph function and an additional pusher for the split-seconds function. This alone sounds interesting, however if you consider that the watch is made by Habring², and also consider that Richard Habring played a major role in developing IWC’s Doppelchrono, the importance of the Habring² Doppel 3 might become evident. The verdict of our review was also evident: we love the Habring² Doppel 3.
HYT H1 Red2
What a cool and fun watch, with a crazy movement, mixing gears and fluids. Just look at the pictures and you’ll know that we had some pleasure to wear the HYT H1 Red2. It is impressive because of its look, because of its complications, because of the technology employed and because it breaks with traditions. The use of a brand new way to indicate time is of course the main point of interest here. It is a concept watch but a very accomplished one, especially when you think that its HYT’s first attempt.