1. Patek Philippe Twenty-4
“Who will you be in the next 24 hours?” asked the slogan of Patek Philippe’s 1999 advertising campaign, which accompanied the launch of the versatile Twenty-4, its more “affordable”, stylish, sporty, diamond-set steel watch with a quartz movement. The original “manchette” or cuff-style, Art-Deco-inspired watch featured a cambered rectangular two-tier case (30 x 25.1mm) with an integrated metal bracelet designed to follow the contours of a woman’s wrist. The dials were adorned with the two applied Roman numerals XII and VI and diamond hour-markers. Over the years this hugely popular design has appeared in rose, yellow, and white gold, with an array of dial colours. Due to increasing interest in mechanical watches from its female customers, in 2018 Patek launched the 36mm Twenty-4 Automatic with the same bracelet design, but with a larger round case to house the calibre 324SC self-winding movement. The dial of the “manchette” model was updated last year with Arabic numerals and, for 2021, the manufacture has introduced a new version in rose gold with a chocolate-brown sunburst dial (ref 4910/1201R-001).
2. Tag Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph Special Edition
The racy Tag Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph Special Edition was presented in celebration of the official union of old friends Tag Heuer and Porsche last month. As well as being mechanical legends with a shared nomenclature, the Porsche 911 Carrera and Heuer Carrera Chronograph are both inspired by the thrilling Carrera Panamericana Rally of the 1950s. The new chronograph, with its grey-asphalt dial, joins the iconic collection designed in the 1960s for professional drivers and sports-car enthusiasts. The chronograph is based on the Carrera Sport Chronograph design, with its distinctive tachymeter scale on its bezel, which is updated with a “Porsche” inscription. The watch features elegantly infused design codes of Porsche, such as the unmistakable font used for the indexes. Its 44mm stainless-steel case has a water resistance of 100m and houses the Calibre Heuer 02 manufacture movement with an 80-hour power reserve. The in-house movement also features a specially designed Porsche steering-wheel rotor, which can be viewed through its sapphire case back.
3. Bulgari Octo Finissimo S
The Bulgari Octo Finissimo, with its unique faceted design, has become the “it” watch of the millennium, sporting a new aesthetic language and numerous world records for outstanding technical achievement and thinness. First launched in 2014 as the ultra-thin tourbillon in a sandblasted platinum case, the collection has expanded to include award-winning models such as the Chronograph GMT Automatic, Tourbillon Automatic, and Minute Repeater. However, the simply elegant Automatic is the purest expression of the original architecture-inspired concept. The 40mm satin-polished steel Octo Finissimo S Automatic was introduced last year with black and blue dial options. For 2021, we have a vertical-brushed steel dial for a captivating monochromatic look. And, while slightly “thicker” in steel (6.4mm) than the original titanium case (5.15mm), last year’s update of a screw-down crown increased water resistance to 100m, turning this model into a very practical everyday wearer and a definite contender for luxury sports watch of the year. Inside, the 2.23mm BVL 138 automatic movement is a perfect fit, to be admired through its see-through caseback.
• POA, Bulgari Sandton City 011-883-1325.
4. Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Orange Sapphire
The 45mm Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Orange Sapphire was the most stand-out of Hublot’s novelties presented during the LVMH Watch Week. With the addition of orange sapphire to the existing model line-up in transparent black, yellow, blue, and red, the manufacture has once again achieved a world first by adding a completely new colour to its palette of through-tinted sapphires manufactured in its metallurgy and materials laboratory. This technical and aesthetic feat is accompanied by a new in-house calibre MHUB6035 self-winding tourbillon — a rare sighting — with a power reserve of 72 hours. The openwork architecture of the movement has also been reconfigured to display the micro-rotor on the dial side as well as three sapphire bridges. The perpetual movement of the grey, 22kt-gold micro-rotor set at 12 o’clock echoes the rotation of the tourbillon, its regulating organ, positioned symmetrically at 6 o’clock. Presented on a lined orange rubber strap, this timepiece is a limited edition of 50 and retails for around R2.75-million.