Richard Mille RM 050 Jean Todt 50th Anniversary
Made in honour of Jean Todt’s celebrated motorsports career, of which he delivered a whopping 14 Formula One world titles to Ferrari, the RM 050 is in itself a trophy for the ages. With Jean Todt’s favourite colour being one of the standout aesthetic features of the piece, the RM 050 is a serious bit of kit. Sitting nice and flush inside the blue TPT Quartz Case lies a split-seconds chronograph and a tourbillon, along with of course your regular timekeeping necessities. The movement is predominantly made up of a carbon nano-fiber, as well as titanium, and this coupled with the expansive movement skeletonisation equates to the calibre weighing a light-as-a-feather 9.5 grams. Insane, and definitely one of our favourite Tourbillons released this year.
Retail Price: 900,000 Swiss francs (approx. $911,500 USD).
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MB&F HM6 Alien Nation
I don’t know if different can sum up the HM6 Alien Nation enough to be considered an accurate description. This world is, as the name implies, other worldly. It’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen, and for that reason it’s featured as one of our favourite tourbillons. The sheer amounts of ingenuity (or should I say insanity) that was needed to theorise, plan for and execute the HM6 Alien Nation is unfathomable. The HM6 Alien Nation really is an ode to MB&F’s ability to create outrageous timepieces that still appeal to the traditionalist watch enthusiast. The addition of the little aliens play tribute to MB&F’s playful take on an otherwise very serious industry, and for this I commend them as well. The HM6 Alien Nation is an outlandish timepiece that only adds to the appeal of this famed independent watchmaker.
Retail Price: $500,000 USD.
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Christophe Claret X-Trem-1 StingHD
The X-Trem-1 is a striking timepiece that embodies what we’ve all come to expect from the future of watchmaking. Christophe Claret calls the X-Trem-1 an “anti-conformist by nature”, and I think this is the most fitting description of the piece. So how, Christophe Claret must have pondered, could we make the X-Trem-1 even more insane. Well, let’s add a sprinkle of StingHD’s ultra-contemporary design flair to the watch and see what happens. Thus, the X-Trem-1 StingHD was born. The large tourbillon features a black chrome-plated aluminium skull with ruby eyes designed by StingHD. Replacing the sapphire tubes are black PVD-treated stainless steel ring-bound tubes. The sapphire crystal has a skull embedded into it. And the piece comes with, of course, two StingHD straps. You’d be forgiven to think that this novelty piece was all show and no go, but don’t forget the Christophe Claret is a highly accomplished haute horlogerie atelier, very much capable of producing some extremely high-end timepiece. And the X-Trem-1 StingHD is no exception.
Retail Price: $278,000 USD.
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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph Selfwinding
The Royal Oak is one of the most iconic shapes in all of modern horology. It embodies finesse, classicism, traditionalist styling and heritage. The Royal Oak Offshore, on the other hand, is the Royal Oak’s beefed up older brother, ready to beat you into a pulp if you ever question its legitimacy and standing. So, what happens when you throw in an exposed tourbillon and a chronograph into the mix? Well, you get one of the biggest, baddest and coolest Royal Oak Offshore iterations, ever. Audemars Piguet have hidden the rotor ingenuously, embedding it into the outer rim of the piece’s dial, thus abolishing any obscuring of the movement or dial. it’s a very wearable timepiece as well, sitting at just 44mm in width. The dial features the Royal Oak’s trademark waffle dial pattern as well. Definitely one of Audemars Piguet’s highlight timepieces.
Retail Price: $280,000 USD.
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Armin Strom Tourbillon Two-Tone
Another one of our favourites, the Armin Strom Tourbillon is a wonderful timepiece that gives the wearer both an impressive aesthetic spectacle, as well as the knowledge that there is a super complicated mechanism powering their timepiece. I very much enjoy the overall concept of Armin Strom’s timepieces. They’re all very similar visually, but they all function very differently. This level of consistency is unbeknownst to many watchmakers, and the Armin Strom Tourbillon, while being at the pinnacle of what they’re capable of movement wise, is still very much in line with the overall aesthetic of the brand. Beyond that, the Tourbillon looks a million bucks. Finished impeccably and to the standard of which we’ve come to expect from these high-end independent ateliers, the Tourbillon is an embodiment to just how capable Armin Strom are as a modern watchmaking manufacture.
Retail Price: $104,000 USD.
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Roger Dubuis Excalibur Carbon Spider
When push comes to shove, I find it very easy to refer to Roger Dubuis as being one of the world’s finest watchmakers. Contemporary, forward-thinking and very much doing things in their own stride, Roger Dubuis have time and time again appealed to my aesthetic and mechanical tastes. The Excalibur Carbon Spider is simply an extension of those feelings, embodied into a perfect watch. The exposed tourbillon looks grand against the darkness of the skeletonised dial. The red and black carbon merely add to the staggering visuals, and while dramatic they are at the same time soft and somewhat welcoming. The Excalibur Carbon Spider is a result of the modern market’s demands and tastes, yes, but at the same time it wonderfully personifies Roger Dubuis’ ethos and agenda. Quite possibly my favourite tourbillon of 2017.
Retail Price: 180,000 Swiss Francs (approx. $188,000 USD).
For more info. on Roger Dubuis, Click Here.
Richard Mille RM 50-03 McLaren F1 Split-Seconds Tourbillon Chronograph
Okay, so we saved the best for last. And this is our personal favourite. Here is the Richard Mille RM 50-03 McLaren F1 Split-Seconds Tourbillon Chronograph. A masterpiece of haute horlogerie. A beautiful symphony of aesthetics and mechanics meshing into one sublime work of art. There is nothing else that can compare to the RM 50-03. It is the best timepiece Richard Mille have ever released. It is the truest representation of what Richard Mille is and can be. This is one of the world’s finest modern timepieces. They say that there are seven new wonders of the world. Let’s expand that to eight and include the RM 50-03. It is seriously that good. This piece of haute horlogerie magnificence weighs less than 40 grams, costs $980,000 and reigns supreme as our favourite tourbillon of 2017.
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