ONES TO WATCH
Assembling the ideal watch collection is easy: start with the ever-versatile Rolex Submariner and go from there. Assembling a money-no-object collection — that’s a whole different ball game. To get you started, here are five watches that should make every dream list. When it comes to high-end watchmaking there are no wrong answers, yet some are just that little bit more right than others. Let’s see if you agree.
PATEK PHILIPPE 5101P
It’s probably no surprise that the first is a Patek Philippe, but the £289,900 5101P is nothing short of a masterpiece. The small case, styled with art deco-esque curves, could, at a glance, be just an ordinary watch. A keener eye will spot the words “10 Days” and Tourbillon” on the dial and know that this is something special, because underneath beats the calibre 28-20/222, an engine of such fine artisanal presence that it should probably be viewed only on special occasions. Every other day, the wink of the diamond at the bottom of the case serves as a reminder of how spectacular this watch is.
JAEGER-LECOULTRE MASTER TOURBILLON
But what if a more immediate tourbillon fix is required? Then the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Tourbillon should make the cut. Something of a bargain in present company at a mere £41,600, the Master Tourbillon has a big window punched through it to display that marvel of a one-minute tourbillon. The rest of the watch is the usual Jaeger-LeCoultre Master affair: superb build, exquisite detailing, subtle design — all the better to frame what we all came here to see.
A LANGE & SÖHNE LANGEMATIK
No dream watch collection would be complete without something from the vales of Glashütte, and the A Lange & Söhne Langematik is a choice that should have heads nodding in agreement. First off, it looks stunning. Secondly, it has a tardis-like ability to squeeze a big date, moonphase and perpetual calendar — with leap-year adjustment, of course — into a case only 38.5mm wide and 10.2mm thick. Did I mention it’s stunning?
PATEK PHILIPPE 5170J
I know what you’re thinking for watch number four: oh look, another Patek, but bear with me. So far, all the watches have looked extraordinary from the front, but this £57,340 5170J looks even more so from the back. It’s like a work by Escher, except instead of stairs winding and weaving every which way, it’s levers, wheels and springs orchestrated into three-dimensional layers. The Escher metaphor is twofold, because every successive glance at the calibre CH 29-535 PS reveals another detail.
IWC GRANDE COMPLICATION
Having a collection is all very well and good, but only one watch can be worn at a time, right? So it would be prudent to get your money’s worth by having a watch with as many complications as possible. That’s where the IWC Grande Complication comes in, boasting — deep breath — time, date, day, month, year, moonphase, chronograph and minute repeater. This master of all trades does everything but make sandwiches; if it did, they would be delicious.
Andrew Morgan is Editor of WatchFinder & Co.’s digital publication The Watch Magazine. All watches — including a Rolex Submariner from £4,000 — are currently available through Watchfinder. Visit its Royal Exchange store or log on to watchfinder.co.uk