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Timepieces that upped the ante in time-telling across the globe

Timepieces that upped the ante in time-telling across the globe

The iconic timepieces that upped the ante in time-telling across the globe.

Breguet Breguet
We say Breguet
There's no denying that Breguet's history is as old as that of Swiss watchmaking itself, with historical figures such as Marie Antoinette, Napoleon Bonaparte, Queen Victoria and sultans of the Ottoman Empire featuring in its list of patrons. It was with the backing of such a legacy that Breguet began its journey in Switzerland's watch-making districts. This year too, Breguet engaged onlookers with yet another reflective approach to time. Its pre-Baselworld showcase was Type XXII, an 18-carat rose-gold rendition of the first series-made mechanical chronograph with A 10 Hz frequency. The technical exploit, namely the 72,000 vibrations per hour and the high regulating power, is crafted in lightweight silicon to prevent lubrication issues. The flyback function allows the totaliser to instantly return to zero in the same operation. As for appearance, its luminous markers and distinct red hands offer a striking contrast on a chocolate brown dial. Watch connoisseurs now have something to talk about until Breguet makes its next release.


Zenith Montre d'Aeronef Type 20 Tourbillon
Zenith Montre d'Aeronef Type 20 Tourbillon
Zenith's tryst with aviation, dating back to the early 1900s, was through complex instruments that dealt with magnetic flux, temperature variations and aircraft vibrations. The Type 20 first appeared in 1938 on the instrument panels of a number of planes, with French fighter aircraft Caudron Simon C.635 being the most prominent. It's needless to say that the 2013 pilot watch is a worthy heir of the brand's airborne legacy. Powered by the automatic El Primero 4035 D chronograph caliber, the tourbillon has a patented date display on a disc surrounding the carriage, and a side case that bears the Swiss letters HB - a nod to Swiss aviation registration. The history best comes across in a classic 40 mm size and large luminous Arabic numerals, which offers impeccable readability to pilots. However, immediately attracting your attention to the titanium and rose gold model is the skeletonised rotating carriage positioned at 11' o clock. High-flyers now have another reason to spread their wings, and wrists.

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El Primero Chronomaster 1969 (2012) features a silvered sunburst finish that dramatically joins up with the 282 part open-worked movement

Raymond Weil Maestro 4830
Raymond Weil Maestro 4830
Raymond Weil Maestro 4830
Amidst the high-drama of Grande complications and haute joaillerie, there's always that one classic that holds its own. This Basel, its Raymond Weil's Maestro 4830. The neatly rounded 41.5 mm case has simple lugs and pushers that flank the RW-embossed crown. The dial is a classic two-register chronograph with two clean and simple dials that indicate running seconds on the right and a 30-minute counter on the left. Lovers of vintage must go for the rose gold case that has matching hands and comes in a classic brown leather strap. A dressier version is the one with the stainless steel bracelet, which showcases the play of blued steel hands on its sunburst pattern dial. The only aspect that won't appeal to purists is the lack of a mechanically wound movement, but the powerful caliber RW 7230 ETA-based automatic movement makes up for it with efficiency and convenience. Another draw for watch experts is the under-$3,000 price tag. With the undying charm of old- world simplicity and a price tag that doesn't burn a hole in your wallet, this one virtually slides into your collection.

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Maestro Moon Phases (2011), a stainless steel-finished mechanical wonder, features a sub-dial quietly mapping the phases of the moon.