The favorites 2011 watches of the Watchonista team.

Favorite watch of:
The Patek Philippe Aquanaut GMT 5164 rekindled the flame of the Patek enthusiasts who have sometimes rejected the Aquanaut. The major reason for this love loss for the basic Aquanaut is that it is devoid of lugs. These hinges, which are featured on the Nautilus, are designed to keep the case watertight and slim.
The buttons on the left side radically change the aesthetics, by drawing their inspiration from the Nautilus, the other sports icon from Patek.
Moreover, the 5164’s « Smokey chocolate tablet ( ?!) »dial is more beautiful than ever, its larger aperture (for a 40.5mm case) and its central pattern look deliciously 70’s.
The technical side was not overlooked. The push-buttons on the left side not only change the local time-zone hour forward as well as backward, but also control their respective dates, which is a technical feat,: hence, you can go backward the same way you do with the time zones.
The 23 k€ price tag also sits between a complicated Nautilus and an Aquanaut.

With its « swamp thing » look, the naughty-malicious Panerai Submersible PAM382 was criticized when it was launched.
With its 47mm bronze case borrowed from a diver’s « Copper hat », its « dirty green » dial and its « Tank turret » bezel, we are more in « Conan the Barbarian » than in « Barry Lyndon ».
At the beginning, it was overshadowed by two other pieces: the fabulous PAM372 (Luminor 1950 « Piccolo Egyziano ») on the one hand, and the PAM375, Luminor 1950 47mm (a clone of the PAM127 made of « composites ») on the other hand. Therefore, our friend PAM382 « Bronzo », as an ugly duckling, did not turn the Paneristi’s heads; Well, not right away.
But as the expectation increased, as the photos blossomed, it imposed itself as the SIHH Star.
Unexpected, offbeat, as « trashy » as it possibly could, virile, it impersonates the post-Panerai era with brilliance! Incidentally, Hollywood picked it up, it will be featured in « The Expendables 2 ».
When it used to be available for 7700€ (all of the copies preordered), an almost reasonable price regarding the testosterone burst, it is now only to be found for 15.000€ on the second-hand market …
The BronzO on WatchO.

The Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda 1950 fits into a heavy trend of the Sinophile watchmaking; the (colossal) Chinese market is fond of plain small watches with white dials. Subsequently, there were a tremendous number of reissues of pieces from the 50’-60’s, but often without the era’s magic.
Nonetheless, Lange&Söhne or Vacheron Constantin create very fine pieces with this spirit.
They have recently been joined by Parmigiani, who takes up the Quest for the Bauhaus’ horological Grail: the quintessential horological layout.
Minimalism is too often mistaken for dullness. But in this case, this Tonda 1950 design takes more after Frank Lloyd Wright than after Ludwig Mies van der Rohe…
In fact, the lugs design give to the 39mm case a very current look and make it seem bigger and dynamic than one could have thought. The eggshell/silver dial features the circled brand name, a reminder of the indexes and the sharp hands; this visual environment prevents austerity. Ultimately, the best way to understand this piece is to wear it while listening to a Bossa Nova tune, old fashioned, but not out of fashion.
The Tonda 1950 in the Parmigiani collection.

Max Busser had gotten us used to a festival of fancy « Horological Machines », straight from a « Space-Opera » movie or a “Cyberpunk” novel. When the concept of « Horological Machines » relegated the horological contents into the background. MB&F presents a new line, the « Legacy Machines ». The exercise is voluntarily « uchronic », not to say « Steam punk ».
Its postulate is: what machine would Max Busser and his Friends have invented one century ago?
While the « HM » proposed 3D cases, here the 44mm circular case is almost classic; the third dimension expresses itself inside the « LM1 ». The secondary dials indicate two independent Time zones, down to the minute.
The main dial is dominated by the gigantic « Chronometric » balance, whose large size (14mm) is further magnified by the domed crystal lens effect. The pocket watch size movement benefits from an exceptional level of finishes, implemented by Kari Voutilainen.
By presenting his new machine, Busser kills two birds with one stone: he surprises(again) everybody, but most of all gets himself out of the independent watchmaking  creativity dead ends.
Finally, he proposes the Voutilainen finish for a little more, 72k CHF for a Voutilainen branded piece, when a Busser         « Voutilainen finished » costs 85k CHF.
The LM1 on Watchonista.

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