Last month Breguet, a Swiss watch manufacturer, received three awards in MontresPassion magazine’s 19th annual Watch of the Year competition as the result of juried judging and popular online vote.
Breguet was founded in Paris in 1775, and over the centuries its clientele have included everyone from royalty to explorers, diplomats to bankers. The brand also has a storied clientele in literature, appearing on characters from celebrated works such as Leo Tolstory’s “War and Peace” and Alexandre Dumas’ “The Count of Monte Cristo.” MontresPassion is a Swiss magazine that is published in French, devoted to celebrating watches and those who make and wear them. The magazine has held its annual Watch of the Year compeition since 1994.
This year’s event was well attended by over 600 personalities, all gathered to honor the best watch creations of 2012. Despite the competition’s long history this was the first year that a single brand has come away with so many prizes. The two Breguet watches honored in the competition were the Héritage phases de lune rétrograde and Tradition GMT, both of which had been first unveiled at the 2012 Basil Watch Show.
In particular the Héritage phases de lune rétrograde was given two awards, Watch of the Year 2012 and 2012 Ladies’ Watch Prize. The Tradition GMT emerged as the clear winner in the Public’s Prize. For this prize a carefully selected list of 40 watches was presented to the public to consider and vote on through the magazine’s website. As such, Breguet can rest knowing that both experts and the public alike laud their timepieces.
The Héritage phases de lune rétrograde has a rose gold case shaped in a tonneau or barrel-shape. It’s hands are located in a center dial made of mother-of-pearl and its face features Roman numerals whose size and shape morph to fit in the space between the round center dial and the tonneau shape of its casing. However, it’s most striking feature is the rose gold moon located at one o’clock on the watch face which shows the phases of the moon. Looking at this elegant watch with its delicate lunar ode it’s obvious why it won two awards in Montres Passion’s juried competition.
By contrast the Tradition GMT has a solidly round casing, also case in rose gold. It features faces, both marked with Roman numerals—one white face for the primary time zone, and one black face for a secondary time zone. The two faces are set as two circles without the larger circle of the casing, each one with edges just barely tangent to each other. The gaps between the faces and the edge of the casing reveal the delicate gears that make up the watch’s finely-tuned interior, making the Tradition GMT a rugged contrast to the delicacy of the Héritage phases de lune rétrograde. Looking at the still picture of this watch one can easily imagine the hypnotic movement of the hands around their dial and of the layers of machinery beneath, making it obvious why this gorgeous timepiece was selected for MontresPassion’s Public’s Prize.
Congratulations to Breguet both for creating such beautiful timepieces, and for the prizes their hard work has won them. We look forward to seeing what Breguet has up its sleeve for 2013.