GPHG Finalists: Ladies’ Complication

Women are complicated. So are their watches. Well the complicated ones. Day two of our round-up of the finalists for the Grand Prix Horologie De Genève finds us highlighting three of the six finalists in the Ladies’ Complication category. (Descriptions edited. Click on image for complete text.) Winners all. But only one will emerge victorious. Will it be . . .

Jacob & Co Fleurs de Jardin – 387,720 CHF ($393,057)

Inspired by the movement of the Astronomia Solar, the 42.5mm Fleurs de Jardin features a three-satellite movement that rotates around the dial in ten minutes.

On one satellite arm is the Jacob & Co. flying tourbillon; on the second arm is the time display (using a sophisticated mechanism to ensure the time is always in the correct position) and on the third arm is a gemstone flower that turns counterclockwise.

Under these satellite arms are more gemstone flowers that are rotating clockwise around the dial, ensuring that no matter when you look at your timepiece, it will always look different.

OUR TAKE: Jacob & Co make some of the world’s most extravagant watches. Extravagant as in meticulously crafted and tacky as hell. Not this one. The Fleurs de Jardin’s got a ballet dancer’s beauty and charm. A strong contender, even though the trend is towards watches with less traditionally feminine cues (e.g., flowers and butterflies).

Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels™ Zodiac Lumineux watches – 157’000 CHF ($159,138.83)

Complicated movements, featuring 24-hour, dual time zone, “Quantième de Saison”, retrograde, planetarium or light-on-demand modules, allow the poetry of each passing moment to be captured.

The twelve women’s Lady Arpels Zodiac Lumineux models recreate the twinkling of the stars through an exclusive on demand lightning model. Delicately sculpted and gem-set, the signs of the Zodiac contrast with a glitter blue enamel background, echoing the celestial sky.

Specs: 38mm white gold case, round diamonds; white gold bezel, round diamonds; glitter blue enamel dial, enamel tracing; translucent blue enamel beads, sculpted yellow gold Aries, round yellow sapphires, round spessartite garnets, round blue sapphire eye; white gold crown, round diamond; glitter blue alligator strap; white gold pin buckle, round diamonds; DEF, IF to VVS diamonds; self-winding mechanical movement (Valfleurier Q020), 36-hour power reserve; numbered edition.

OUR TAKE: VC&A’s craftsmanship is off-the-charts. The design is relatively restrained for a timepiece with more diamonds than Marathon Man, Still, VC&A have won three out of the last six years, and this entry kinda sits there compared to the Jacob & Co. ‘s 3D entry. Which are all the rage this year.

MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT – 116’000 CHF ($117,676.90)

MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT – 116’000 CHF ($117,676.90)

A round case in white gold, with a steeply cambered bezel and slender, elongated lugs, fully set with diamonds. A high, extravagantly convex dome of sapphire crystal rises from the bezel. Beneath the dome, a subtly curved dial plate, liquidly black with layers of stretched lacquer or glittering with blazing white diamonds.

An asymmetric ventricular opening in the dial plate frames the heart of the LM FlyingT engine – a cinematic flying tourbillon that beats at a serene rate of 2.5Hz (18,000vph). The tourbillon projects high above the rest of the engine, a kinetic, dynamic column that stops just short of the apex of the sapphire crystal dome.

Affixed to the top of the upper tourbillon cage is a single large diamond that rotates simultaneously with the flying tourbillon, emitting the fiery brilliance of the very best quality stones.

At the 7 o’clock position is a dial of black or white lacquer that displays the hours and minutes with a pair of elegant serpentine hands in blued gold.

On the reverse, the automatic winding rotor takes the shape of a three-dimensional red gold sun with sculpted rays, providing LM FlyingT with four days of power reserve.

The intimate and personal nature of LM FlyingT led to the ultimate placement of the time indication at the 7 o’clock position on the dial plate, with the black or white lacquer dial tilted 50° to face the wearer.

The message is subtle but clear – that whoever the owners and wearers of Legacy Machine FlyingT may be, their time belongs to them and no one else.

OUR TAKE: It’s worth clicking over to the official entry to read the engineering behind MB&F’s extraordinary creation. Even without the mechanical innovations, the Legacy FlyingT is the clear winner. You heard it here first. 

[Click here for the GPHG (uncomplicated) Ladies watch finalists.]

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