2021 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

Audemars Piguet spearheaded the use of stainless steel in the luxury sports watch realm when it released the Royal Oak in 1972, and it’s tapping into that same pioneering spirit all over again, this time with the use of ceramics. This scratch resistant material has been widely adopted by the Swiss watchmaking industry over the past two decades, but it can be a little tricky to work with and a lot of manufacturer’s limit its use to certain components. 

This Royal Oak is a masterclass in the machining of ceramic, with its signature angular case and integrated bracelet made entirely from this contemporary material. The sharp transitions between brushed and polished surfaces can be seen on the fine bevels that run along the case and travel down the bracelet links. Balancing out its stealthy appearance are rose gold hands, markers and bezel screws. This reference takes AP’s technical expertise into the next realm. Recently sold on Watch Collecting for £38,690


2018 IWC Portugieser Chronograph Edition '150 Years'

Perhaps more than any other industry, watch brands love to capitalise on milestones and anniversaries. In a way, it makes sense that watchmakers with centuries of history lean into past achievements, but it also means we see some pretty tenuous celebrations. Thankfully, when IWC launched its Edition ‘150 Years’ series in 2018, it came to the table with some great releases on a pretty credible anniversary. 

Among the watches commemorating a century and a half of history was this very good looking Portugieser Chronograph. I think it's fair to say the Portugieser has always been easy on the eye, but the brand really enhanced the model’s attributes by introducing an inky lacquered blue dial and bright white printed hour markets. The result is a vivid dial with heavily contrasting elements that really jump out at the wearer. One of 2000 pieces, it’s a well-judged release that does justice to a historical model line from a great brand.  Recently sold on Watch Collecting for £3,600


2007 A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual

When talking about a Lange Perpetual Calendar, it’s best to start at the back of the watch first. Taking a glimpse through the sapphire case back, it’s easy to see why the German watchmaker is considered one of the best in the business when it comes to finishing and technical prowess. The L952.1 calibre consists of a mind-boggling 556 parts, with the calendar mechanism alone incorporating 223 of those. 

The Datograph Perpetual marks a pioneering achievement by Lange, being its first watch to combine a chronograph with a perpetual calendar. Thanks to that mightily impressive movement, the dial side  displays the date, day of the week, month, and leap year, meticulously engineered for precision and requiring no adjustment until 2100. Also on display is its chronograph function which offers precise short-time measurements, accurate to one-fifth of a second. The Datograph Perpetual perfectly sums up why Lange has become one of watchmaking’s most respected brands.  Recently sold on Watch Collecting for £64,856


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