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  3. Best New Watches of 2012
December 18, 2012updated Dec 20, 2023


By Chris Boyle

Openworked extra-thin royal oak tourbillon / audemars piguet

Audemars Piguet celebrates 40 years of the Royal Oak in 2012 with eight new editions of this classic first launched in 1972. The top model is the Openworked Extra-Thin Royal Oak Tourbillon, a limited edition of 40 pieces in a 41mm platinum case attached to a platinum bracelet—both of which almost perfectly mimic the original while freshening it.

Extra-thin automatic Caliber 2924 has been skeletonized in a modernistic way to lend the piece a technical look. But don’t be fooled by the seeming simplicity of it: Its movement is top-notch in quality and finish. Alone the inward bevels—of which there are an astounding 110—took Audemars Piguet’s craftsmen 40 hours of painstaking work done by hand.

The Carl F. Bucherer Patravi TravelTec FourX continues the incredible triple time zone model that this Lucerne-based brand originally released in 2006. Containing practical technology, it masters three time zones: The crown sets the local time’s hour hand both backward and forward. Pushing the button located on the left side of the case at 10 o’clock moves the inner 24-hour ring, backward or forward, in one-hour increments, which displays the third time zone.

Bold in its wrist statement, the 46.6mm 18K rose gold, titanium, rubber and ceramic case interplays perfectly with the skeletonized dial revealing a view of the automatic mechanical movement inside.

The A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar is one of the most complicated wristwatches released by the Saxon company to date. Dressed in the characteristic low-key visuals typical of this brand, it also features automatic winding—a rarity for such a complicated piece. Additionally, the 41.9mm timepiece, available in rose gold or limited-edition platinum, does not wear its tourbillon on its sleeve—but rather buried deep within its movement. It is only visible through the sapphire crystal of the case back when the watch is turned over.

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