Sure, a mechanically marvellous timepiece is well and good, but it’s the watch’s dial – its face – with which we form a day-to-day relationship. In both its overall effect and in its miniscule details – barely noticeable at first – a watch with an alluring dial is a watch we keep returning to.
Montblanc Star Legacy Orbus Terrarium
A dial that packs in a planet might well be striking. But then this Star Legacy model ups the ante with a world time function, allowing users to display the time in multiple zones around the world. That impressive dial, though, is actually made of two discs, one in transparent, rhodium-coated sapphire, the other in shades of oceanic blue.
HYT H5 Limited Edition Hand-Wound 48.8mm
Green is the stand-out colour of the limited-edition H5 from experimental watchmakers HYT, but, oddly enough, it’s liquid proving most memorable in this model. The H5 mechanism displays the time by means of a tiny tube containing two immiscible liquids, one green and one clear, moved via mechanical bellows. Needless to say, it’s a big watch with big ideas.
HYT Soonow Instant Rainbow Limited Edition
Similar to their H5 model, the limited-edition Soonow Instant Rainbow takes green and yellow liquids and snakes them around the shape of a skull to create a most unforgettable model. As if that’s not enough, the timepiece is festooned with an array of 313 vertical gold pins and 668 coloured gemstones. Crazy? Maybe a little bit. But wonderful, too.
Bovet Récital 27 Limited Edition
Equally maximalist but in a more classical style is Bovet’s 46mm, hand-wound Récital 27. Three time-displays may seem excessive, but that’s for three different time zones, each one adjustable to a corresponding city. Somehow Bovet has squeezed in a domed double moon-phase display for both northern and southern hemispheres too.
Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Light
It’s impossible to talk about striking faces without mentioning the Laureato Absolute Light. The skeleton watch may date to around 1760, but here Girard-Perregaux brings it to the 21st century, with a movement in grade 5 titanium and distinctive 44mm octagonal case machined from transparent sapphire crystal. The result is a lightweight play with light.
Piaget Altiplano Hand-Wound 38mm
Piaget’s Altiplano, in contrast, takes pared back approach to its facial styling. Sure, the uncluttered deep blue dial and rose gold indices make this dress watch an exercise in restraint. But, at just 6mm deep, this is also the thinnest hand-wound mechanical watch yet, from a brand recognised as the leader in ultra-thin watchmaking.
Centurion Magazine has partnered with MR PORTER to bring you this coverage and may receive commission for purchases made through the affiliate links in this article, at no additional cost to you of course.