We’ve been charmed by Dior’s elegant Grand Bal collection with numerous finely decorated oscillating weights fanned out on the dial side and the magical gem-set dioramas of the Grand Soir. But the 38mm Grand Soir Étoile de Monsieur Dior is the maison’s first creative complication with a mechanical automaton and the watch that stole the hearts of the judges at the annual Fondation du Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) to secure the Ladies’ Complication prize this year. The Parisian nocturnal skyline of the dial comes to life as two diamond-set stars appear and disappear behind mother-of-pearl clouds.
POA, dior.com and Boutique Haute Horlogerie, 021 418 1889
The Dancing Hour
The retrograde display was one of the most popular complications in 2023, with luxury brands finding multiple applications. But an unusual piece from independent watchmaker Hautlence received the GPHG award for its reimagining of the passage of time through a multi-dimensional sculptural display. The TV-screen-shaped Sphere Series 1 features jumping hours that twirl under a dome while retrograde minutes fan out on the open works dial revealing the hand-wound mechanical calibre A80. Limited edition of 28.
Around R1.4 million, hautlence.com
Cracking The Code
There was much criticism of the Code 11.59 when it was launched in 2019, but Audemars Piguet has certainly proven naysayers wrong with four years of exceptional mechanical complexity. Taking home the “Aiguille d’Or” (best in show) at the GPHG, the Code 11.59 Universelle RD#4 is the brand’s first ultra-complicated automatic wristwatch, with the new Calibre 1000 featuring 40 functions and 23 complications, including a Grande Sonnerie Supersonnerie, a minute repeater, a perpetual calendar, a split-seconds flyback chronograph, and a flying tourbillon.
• From the December edition of Wanted, 2023.