The culture of luxury watches represents some of the most refined, intricate and progressive designs of any machinery in the world. Countless, tiny moving parts are crafted precisely to fit into the greater machine, a work of mechanical art that is designed to display an abstract measure of life’s progress. These luxury watches will blow your mind with their ingenuity, their excess, their inspiration and their price tags. They represent the 10 best luxury watches of 2010, timepieces that should be truly celebrated.
The Devon Works Tread 1 Watch
When we first featured the Devon Works Tread 1 Watch, upon the time of its initial release, we didn’t think it was mechanically possible. Today, the Tread 1 Watch is worn on the wrist of a few lucky (and financially comfortable) luxury watch lovers, and it has proven our early skepticism wrong. The Devon Works Tread 1 Watch features four individual and interwoven bands that slide slowly to display the current time. The watch is produced by a prior aerospace company and inspired by the film culture in Los Angeles, the town of this watch’s birth. Have you ever seen anything like it? We certainly haven’t. Here’s video of the watch in action.
Devon Works Tread 1 Watch Gallery
Urwerk White Shark Watch
The Urwerk White Shark Watch is a special limited edition version of the famed Urwerk UR-202 model, a dazzling timepiece with a triangular spinning dial that is its trademark. The White Shark Watch is a cut above the UR-202 for its simplicity alone. The bright, neon color patterns of the 202 are traded for simple monochrome styling with a subtle red accent. It’s very Aston Martin to the UR-202’s Lotus Exige.
Urwerk White Shark Watch Gallery
MB&F HM3 “Frog” Watch
Amongst three major releases in 2010, the MB&F HM3 Frog Watch is this brand’s most playful watch to date. Maximilian Busser crafted this HM3 watch to look like its amphibious namesake, with two bulging dome pieces that rotate to display the hours and the minutes. This luxury watch may be playful in inspiration, but it is serious in design and craft. Those half-sphere dials under the crystal domes are hand-milled aluminum that weigh just half a gram each, perfectly balancing the weight of the watch on the wearer’s wrist. The result is a timepiece for the ages, especially for those who aren’t afraid to show their sense of humor in fashion.
MB&F HM3 “Frog” Watch Gallery
Romaine Jerome Moon Ivader Watch
The Swiss-made Moon Ivader Watch by Romaine Jerome showcases a middle ground between complexity and minimalism. The Moon Invader watch truly appears to be “space age”, designed for zero gravity exploring and built to stand up to the rough environments of the great beyond. Those strong corner clasps, anchored visually by the criss-crossed straps under the dial, suggest strength and masculinity. The screen in the display below those straps is reminiscent of high-performance machinery like precision automobiles, but in this case a moon-bound rocket is more likely. The success we see in the Moon Invader Watch by Romaine Jerome is that all of these elements fit together without appearing over-complicated, thanks in part to a uniform color styling. We’ll take the basic black above for our next visit to the moon.
Romaine Jerome Moon Ivader Watch Gallery
Pininfarina Bovet Ottana Tourbillon Watch
The beautiful Pininfarina Bovet Ottana Tourbillon Watch is part of a common theme in the world of luxury watch-making: the fusion of performance motorsports and high-end watch design. This devastatingly-handsome watch was designed by Pininfarina, the great Italian car design group responsible for some of the world’s most lust-worthy automobiles. Ferrari, Maserati, Rolls-Royce, Alfa Romeo and others have all featured designs by Pininfarina, so it was a sensible step to test their hands at the design of luxury watches. The result is a pocket or wrist-watch with a floating, gravity-defying tourbillon as its heartbeat, around which countless intricate wheels and dials spin to display the time. If you’re fortunate enough to drive a Pininfarina design, now you can wear one as well.
Pininfarina Bovet Ottana Tourbillon Watch Gallery
Defakto One Hand Watches
Defakto One Hand Watches can be simply described with their name alone. After you’ve done your double-take, you’ll notice that this Defakto watch only has one hand. The hour hand on this watch rotates around its circular orbit once every twelve hours, showing the approximate time by the distance between the bold-faced hour markers. The image above shows just before 7:30. This design begs the question– do we really need access to the exact time? An approximation is good enough for some people, and this watch was designed with them in mind.
Defakto One Hand Watches Gallery
Bell & Ross x Peugeot Watch
The marriage between the automobile and the luxury watch continues with the Bell & Ross x Peugeot Watch, the latest in the partnership between these two great brands. This big, chunky and bold case holds the trademark Bell&Ross display, but with a chipped-metal appearance that suggests masculinity. The corner rivets, common in Bell & Ross watches, suggests even more strength, ready for a high speed lifestyle in your Peugeot RCZ.
Bell & Ross x Peugeot Watch Gallery
Bugatti Super Sport Watch by Parmigiani
The world’s fastest production car needs a watch to match, and the Bugatti Super Sport Watch by Parmigiani is branded as the “fastest watch in the world”. Like it’s automotive counterpart, the Bugatti Super Sport Watch is also one of the year’s most expensive. If you’ve ponied up the million-plus for the Bugatti, spending another $260,000 on this watch will seem like spare change. Only 200 of these Parmigiani watches will be produced, so you’d better get your funds together, Bugatti fans.
Bugatti Super Sport Watch by Parmigiani Gallery
Ralph Lauren Sporting Watch
Speaking of Bugatti, the newly revealed Ralph Lauren Sporting Watch is inspired by the 1938 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic. Far beyond his passion for fashion, Ralph Lauren is a known collector of classic cars, the aforementioned Atlantic being his personal favorite. The Sporting Watch features an elm burr wood frame around a matte black dial, the same seen on the classic Bugatti’s instrument panel. The result is the perfect luxury watch to go with the ultimate in automotive luxury.
Ralph Lauren Sporting Watch Gallery
MBandF HM4 Thunderbolt Watch
In 2010, it’d be hard to argue that there was a better watch released than the MBandF HM4 Thunderbolt Watch. Maximilian Büsser and Friends were busy this year, releasing three ground-breaking watches, two of which are featured here. The HM4 Thunderbolt Watch is inspired by aviation, the designer’s early passion from childhood. Büsser spent his early years crafting model airplanes, and it was here that he learned the discipline of patience and intricate crafting. The design of the HM4 Thunderbolt Watch features a pair of jet-style display cases mounted on a central frame with the core machinery. One displays the hours and minutes, the other displays the power reserve status. The design itself feels almost weaponized, like a piece of the future is strapped to your wrist and the power you control is one over time itself. While some may argue, we feel that the HM4 is the greatest luxury watch of the year.
MBandF HM4 Thunderbolt Watch Gallery
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2010 saw a lot of truly amazing luxury watches reach the market, and these ten represented the best in our eyes. Your opinion may be different– what is your favorite watch of the year? If money were no object, which would you wish to own? Let us know in the comments. In the mean time, check out these other luxury-related features from TheCoolist.com: