At the end of the year it’s time to note our favorite 2023 debut watches. We continue our look at a few of our favorite timekeepers of the year.
Franck Muller: Colorado Grand
Each limited to thirty-four examples (to celebrate the 34th anniversary of the race), these new watches of the Franck Muller Colorado Grand limited edition expertly utilize the classic 45mm Vanguard tonneau-shaped case and dial as a canvas, creating dials inspired by automotive art and the technical details of vintage cars.
Notable is the silver perlage that graces each dial of the four-watch set. Set with bold hand-painted numerals, these dials recall vintage car dashboards. Four models are available, each with a colorful rendering of the numerals, crown-protector and minute track just inside the bezel. Three debuts are in steel-cases, one in titanium and the fourth cased in rose gold. Prices: $13,000 to $24,500.
William Henry: Legacy
The U.S.-based knifemaker’s first foray into wristwatches features dials created from meteorite, fossilized mammoth tooth and other exotic materials. A particularly nice example is this limited-edition Legacy Dinosaur model with a dial crafted from dinosaur bone; an extraordinary fossil material that ranges from 100 to 200 million years old. Initially it has a similar appearance to rock, but after the painstaking process of crafting a precision dial, the beautiful hues and patterns are revealed.
Surrounding the ancient dial is a forged Damascus case built with 300 layers of stainless-steel alloys and etched to reveal the individual patterns. Each watch in the debut collection is powered by a Sellita SW 400 automatic movement and housed in grade 5 titanium that is water resistant to 100 meters. Prices start at $3,750.
Louis Vuitton: Tambour
This year, Louis Vuitton updates Tambour with new finishes and a decidedly slimmer, sculpted case. The new collection is more luxurious overall and notably highlights an all-new in-house movement and a sleek integrated steel bracelet.
Two new steel watches launch the collection’s upgrade. One is a chic monochrome model with a silver grey dial and the second one sports a deep blue dial. Both are built to highlight the new unisex 40mm by 8.3mm case, its new caliber LFT023 and the new bracelet. A rose gold model and a two-tone gold and steel edition are also now available. Price: $18,500 or $52,500 (rose gold) or $26,500 (two-tone).
MB&F: Horological Machine Nº11 Architect.
This house for your wrist features four titanium ‘rooms’ radiating from a sapphire-domed central flying tourbillon. The surprising new watch recalls the designs of mid-twentieth century biomorphic-style houses, with four symmetrical parabolic ‘rooms’ emanating from a central atrium.
Each room houses a display, with one showing the time, the next showing the watch’s power reserve, a third indicating temperature and the fourth housing the winding crown. The wearer can choose which display is in direct eyesight when wearing the watch by rotating the entire housing, which will click into place as desired. Price: $200,000.
Nomos: Rose Gold Neomatik
In a year of terrific debuts by this Glashütte-based watchmaker, this rose gold designs stood out for its unusually luxurious dressing. The Tangente Rose Gold Neomatik is a limited edition 35mm model in honor of the 175th anniversary of watchmaking in Glashütte. Limited to 175 pieces worldwide, the new watch adds a sub-seconds dial and minute markers in rose gold to the original’s galvanically white silver-plated dial. And while the first Tangente series reveled in its manual-wind minimalism, the new model is powered by the Nomos DUW 3001, a thin automatic movement adjusted to chronometer standards. Price: $11,100.
Parmigiani Fleurier: Tonda PF Sport Chronograph
Parmigiani Fleurier replaced its Tonda GT collection with the Tonda PF Sport Chronograph and Tonda PF Sport Automatic, both more refined than its predecessor. We like the chronograph best here, as it combines the most attractive elements of the new Tonda PF collection (the knurled bezel, clean dials and revamped bracelets) with its 42mm by 12.9mm ‘panda’-styling.
Inside, the watchmaker fits its stunning Caliber PF070, a superb high-frequency (5Hz – 36,000 vph) manufacture movement with an integrated column wheel chronograph and a vertical clutch. The COSC-certified Chronometer offers a power reserve of sixty-five hours.
Prices: $50,200 (chronograph in rose gold), $29,000 (chronograph in steel).