HARRY-WINSTON-HISTOIRE-DE-TOURBILLON-5

Like a unicorn, you’ll be hard pressed to ever see one of these creations in your lifetime. One of the world’s most exotic timepieces — and likely the last in the series given the brand’s acquisition by The Swatch Group — the Histoire de Tourbillon lineup, started in 2009, was simply a division that knew no creative bounds.

Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar

The Lange 1 is to A. Lange & Söhne what the 911 is to Porsche: an icon of design that transcends time. One of four timepieces first presented after the brand’s re-establishment in 1994, the classic Lange 1, with its asymmetric, overlap-free displays and iconic outsize date, receives additional prominence with the inclusion of perpetual calendar and tourbillon mechanisms.

To accommodate the new additions without sacrificing design, Lange watchmakers moved the months to a chic peripheral ring. The “hidden” tourbillon, meanwhile, is fully visible through the sapphire-crystal caseback. While the platinum version was introduced at the 2013 SIHH, it’s newly available in pink gold at A. Lange & Söhne’s Madison Avenue boutique in Manhattan.

Price: $332,500

audemars piguet royal oak offshore grand complication-2014-HouseOfmaliQ

 

Based off the iconic Royal Oak timepiece designed by Gérald Genta, the hallmarks of this Grande Complication pack a mighty punch into a universally wearable 44mm titanium case: perpetual calendar, minute repeater, and split-seconds chronograph. AP has been making such complications continuously since 1882 and this beauty showcases the watchmaker’s first “sport” Grand Comp.

In total, 648 unique parts — including a ceramic bezel, crown and pushers and 52 jewels — are combined to form this openworked masterpiece (or roughly 860 man hours), of which only three were made. Audemars Piguet is the king of coupling painstakingly produced mechanisms with the most unexpected of case metals and dial styles. Fun fact: The moonphase component is made with physical vapor deposition (PVD) metal deposited onto sapphire.

Price: $742,900

chopard l.u.c tourbillon qualité fleurier fairmined-2014-HouseOfmaliQ

As part of its commitment to sustainable and ethical luxury, Chopard, earlier this spring, launched the world’s first timepiece whose caseback, case, and bezel are made of Fairmined gold from South America. This elegant 43mm tourbillon with nine-day power reserve (placed over the 12 o’clock numeral) features alternating satin-brushed and polished surfaces making it the ultimate evening watch. Chopard’s grey dials are some of the most striking in the market — and this one couples a subtle sunburst on the ruthenium dial along with Roman numerals for a decidedly retro 1930s aesthetic. Beyond the use of its patented Quattro technology boasting four stacked and series-coupled barrels, what’s perhaps most striking about the timepiece is the gorgeous bridge cage in which the tourbillon is housed.

Price: $144,570

greubel forsey double tourbillon 30° technique-2014-HouseOfmaliQ

 

Limited to 22 pieces, this timepiece is arguably the ultimate of high-end niche watchmaking from a brand that’s just 10 years old. For those willing to cough up high-six digits to enter this very exclusive haute horlogerie club, this bi-color version of the impenetrable original hits a home run.

An inner tourbillon positioned at a 30-degree angle that rotates once every minute and an outer tourbillon that rotates once every four minutes? It’s like wearing a mini super-factory on your wrist; every single one of the 385 parts is beautifully synced with the next. The 47.5 mm platinum case boasts titanium sides and black chromium treatment on the bridges and main plate. Mechanically speaking, this is the Koenigsegg of watches.

Price: $620,000

montblanc villeret 1858 exotourbillon chronographe-2014-HouseOfmaliQ

One of five variations, this particular timepiece is the first to unite two of watchmaking’s most admired horological complications: the tourbillon and chronograph functions. Its ExoTourbillon name comes from the tourbillon having a balance larger than the cage — thus oscillating outside of said cage on a higher plane and with greater precision.

This equates to 30 percent energy savings, which are then used to power the chronograph’s functions. Aside from the hand-guilloched solid gold dial, what also distinguishes this series of timepieces is the hunter-style caseback reminiscent of vintage pocket watches. On the actual mechanism, meanwhile, is engraved the word Minerva, a respectful homage to the esteemed factory that now houses Montblanc’s Villeret facility — the only manufacturer in the world to produce all its parts (including balance springs) in-house.

Price: $264,500

richard mille rm 031 high performance-2014-HouseOfmaliQ

As its name spells out, this watch is performance at its pinnacle. Pushed to the extreme, each of the ten timepieces produced bears certification that ensures 61-days of non-stop testing. While this level of precision and detail housed in the massive 50mm platinum dial isn’t discernable to the naked eye, the two decade-old company is now recognized for its groundbreaking achievements in watchmaking.

The round shape, a deviation from the classic tonneau, houses a direct-impulse escapement developed by Audemars Piguet, basically guaranteeing perfect performance. It also promises a chronometric variation of just zero to 30 seconds a month (translation: high performance over 30 days, not just 24 hours). It’s no wonder connoisseurs obsessed with mechanical performance describe it as the F1 of watches.

Price: $1.05 million

roger dubuis excalibur quatuor silicon-2014-HouseOfmaliQ

As a watch brand seemingly built on the motto of “love it or hate it,” the 48mm Quatuor from Roger Dubuis represents the highest level of innovation. A feat of design that truly boggles the mind — the watch takes some 2,400 hours to build — the movement incorporates four sprung balances, not tourbillons, which continuously account for the effects of gravity and thereby increases the precision of the movement.

Housed inside the silicon case, chosen for its low weight and incomparable hardness, are four escapements, beautifully displayed at diagonal angles in an Excalibur case, from which sound is emitted in unison. Despite its complication of almost 600 parts, it simply shows the time in an atmosphere that’s comparable to art or theater. Now that’s rich.

Price: $1.1 million

vacheron constantin new traditionnelle world time-2014-HouseOfmaliQ

Thanks to an incredible Calibre 2460 WT movement, the flagship of the Excellence Platine collection, first introduced in 2011 and now available in platinum, takes the Vacheron brand to the next level.

Two significant hallmarks to note: the new hand-engraved center dial world map (with a shaded area on the map to reflect day or night) and a dial that is the first to reflect the upcoming time zone change in Moscow, effective October 26, which will change from being three to two hours ahead of Geneva. This 42.5 mm timepiece has three patents: for the indication of 37 time zones, for the day/night indication, and for crown-operated adjustments. Made of 950 platinum, as are its dial and folding clasp, it bears the sought after Geneva Seal.

Price: $98,500

hublot mp-05 laferrari

Where to begin? From the horizontally-aligned tourbillon at the base to the winding drill (yes, drill) that enables the wearer to wind the watch and set the time, this feat of engineering, of which 50 were produced, parallels the technological splendor of the flagship supercar for which it was named. This LaFerrari boasts a 50-day power reserve — a world record for a hand-wound tourbillon wristwatch — achieved through 11 barrels, of which two alone are used to indicate the hour and minutes.

With its see-through front and back, the barrels cascade down the watch in a spine formation, entirely reminiscent of Ferrari’s awe-inspiring engines housed under glass. The cylinders to the left indicate the power reserve while those to the right tell the time. Reinforcement bars — in red, naturally — are placed on either side as support. In total, this timepiece houses 637 pieces — the most components ever mastered by Hublot engineers.

Price: $345,000

Richard Mille RM 031 High Performance

Based off the iconic Royal Oak timepiece designed by Gérald Genta, the hallmarks of this Grande Complication pack a mighty punch into a universally wearable 44mm titanium case: perpetual calendar, minute repeater, and split-seconds chronograph. AP has been making such complications continuously since 1882 and this beauty showcases the watchmaker’s first “sport” Grand Comp.

In total, 648 unique parts — including a ceramic bezel, crown and pushers and 52 jewels — are combined to form this openworked masterpiece (or roughly 860 man hours), of which only three were made. Audemars Piguet is the king of coupling painstakingly produced mechanisms with the most unexpected of case metals and dial styles. Fun fact: The moonphase component is made with physical vapor deposition (PVD) metal deposited onto sapphire.

Price: $742,900

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