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For watch connoisseurs and enthusiasts, mechanical watches are often the only watches of interest.. Requiring no batteries, these watches function thanks to a complex mechanical movement made up of wheels, springs… a movement which can be either self-winding (i.e. operating thanks to the movements of the wrist which makes it possible to wind up and operate the watch), either manual winding (i.e. operating thanks to the manual winding of the spring of the watch thanks to the crown).
Mechanical watches, generally offered at prices often much higher than the price of quartz watches are fragile watches that require more maintenance, watches that are the result of the work of a watchmaker who assembles the elements piece by piece to give life to the movement of the watches. Watches generally handed down from generation to generation, adding an unparalleled charm to these fine mechanisms…
Today we offer you an overview of the mechanical watches made by the most famous luxury watch brands.
First presented in 1956, the Rolex Day-Date is a surprising mechanical watch, the first wristwatch to display the day of the week in full. Nicknamed the watch of presidents, the Day-Date is offered only in 18-carat gold or platinum.
Introduced in 1956, the Day-Date collection combines a classic Rolex design with a new feature: as its name suggests, it was the first watch to combine the date display and the day of the week on the dial. In addition to its iconic date display window with its magnifying cyclop glass at 3 o’clock, it also features a day of the week window at noon, which is available in 26 languages and is still a recognizable feature of Day-Date models today. As part of the Oyster Perpetual collection, the watch is equipped with the typical Oyster case, which protects the movement from external factors such as water or dust and is one of the brand’s greatest innovations. Even in the selection of material, Rolex has come out with an exclusive; the Day-Date is exclusively available in 18-karat gold and platinum.
The President strap was also introduced. Supplied with three rows of semi-circular elements, it underlines the high quality and elegant design of the model. Initially, the President strap of the Day-Date was equipped with the famous Crownclasp, sometimes seen on other Rolex watches but this one is more than an exception.
Over the years, the internal design of the collection has been revised again and again but it has always remained true to its original appearance and therefore still has a high recognition value. The first watch with the reference 6511 was equipped with the caliber 1030, which had a tendency to lose precision when changing the date. By 1957, the collection with the caliber 1055 received a new movement which gave the watch the inscription on the dial “Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified” and put an end to the problem. It was also one of the first collections to be scratch resistant thanks to its sapphire crystal, which replaced the plastic crystal used in the 1970s. Soon after, in the late 1970s, came the conversion to the instant date change movement. Since then, the day and date can be changed more quickly and easily with the fast complication. Visually, the watch has changed little, the case has been very slightly flattened by the change of movement, its diameter has also changed but the iconic appearance of the watch has remained unchanged through the last decades. The original model has a wavy bezel that remained the same for decades. In 2001, several models were introduced with a domed bezel.
Chopard Classic Racing
Chopard’s Classic Racing watch collection weaves the link between automotive engineering and mechanical watchmaking. Fruit of the passion of Karl-Friedrich Scheufele (co-president of Chopard) for the automobile, these models plunge us into the world of classic motor racing.
Launched in 1953, the Rolex Explorer is the mechanical watch for adventurers, a watch whose reliability has been tested in places with the most extreme conditions.. A sober and functional watch today equipped with a mechanical movement with automatic winding entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex.
Designed by Willy Breitling in the 1940s, the Breitling Premier watch is “a tasteful watch” dedicated to everyday elegance.. A self-winding mechanical watch with various horological complications: chronograph, date display, day display, etc.
Born in 1975 by designer Adolfo Natalini, the Girard-Perregaux Laureato is a sporty chic watch that is making a strong comeback on the watchmaking scene.. Originally equipped with a flat and ultra-precise quartz movement, the Laureato is now presented with a mechanical movement with automatic winding.
How to recognize a mechanical watch?
On a mechanical watch, the seconds hand does not jump from second to second like on a quartz watch, the second hand of a mechanical watch advances in a continuous and fluid movement, perfectly linear.
Bell & Ross Vintage
Bell & Ross Vintage watches are above all the round models of the French watch brand yet a specialist in square watches. Mechanical watches that take us back to the world of pilot’s watches from the last century.
Baume & Mercier Clifton
Equipped with hand-wound or self-winding Swiss mechanical movements, Baume & Mercier watches embody the contemporary elegance of the Geneva brand.. A model also available in several quartz versions for women.
Named after Blancpain’s birthplace, the Villeret watch collection represents the classic signature of the watch brand.. Mechanical watches for men and women of timeless elegance reinterpreted with various horological complications: date, moon phases, traditional Chinese calendar…
In 1984, the Chronomat marked the 100th anniversary of the Swiss luxury watch brand Breitling, a mechanical chronograph which saw its first in the 1940s under the impetus of Willy Breitling. A pilot’s watch marked by the spirit of the Swiss watch manufacturer.
It was in the 1930s that the IWC Portugieser watch was born, a mechanical watch with multiple facets which takes its name from its history, Portuguese merchants who ordered watches as precise as marine chronometers from the Swiss brand.
Longines Master Collection
Longines Master Collection watches are automatic or manual winding mechanical watches born in 2005. A collection of luxury watches that illustrates Swiss watchmaking excellence with the integration of watchmaking complications such as moon phases, chronograph, power reserve indication, date, etc.
Presented in 2015, the Omega Globemaster is the first Master Chronometer in the world, certification awarded by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology. A mechanical watch that demonstrates the level of quality and precision of this model that has quickly made a name for itself in the hearts of lovers of fine watches.
Tag Heuer Autavia
Launched at the instigation of Jack Heuer in 1962, the TAG Heuer Autavia is a mechanical watch whose name comes from the union of AUTomobile and AVIation. After production stopped in the 1980s, the brand relaunched the collection in 2012 for the 50th anniversary of this flagship model.
Vacheron Constantin Fiftysix
The FiftySix by Vacheron Constantin is a mechanical watch with a retro look that pays homage to the reference 6073 presented in 1956. A model presented in 2018 by the Swiss house and offered only with an automatic movement and a transparent back allowing the oscillating weight and the finishes of the movement to be admired.
Introduced in 1969 by the watchmaker Zenith, the Defy returns to the forefront of the watchmaking scene now with a retro-futuristic faceted tonneau-shaped case that houses a in-house mechanical movement. A sports watch available for men and women that can be found in chronograph, tourbillon, etc.
Tudor Heritage Chrono
Inspired by the iconic Tudor chronographs of the 70s, the TUDOR Heritage Chrono line offers mechanical timepieces that transport you to another age with their retro style.. Chronographs with a colored dial featuring an orange chronograph hand, a true hallmark of the collection.
Frederique Constant Manufacture
The Frederique Constant Manufacture collection houses a panoply of watches highlighting the watchmaking expertise of the Swiss brand. These mechanical watches are equipped with queen horological complications such as the flyback chronograph, perpetual calendar, moon phases, tourbillon…
The Montblanc Timewalker is inspired by the prestigious history of the Minerva branda fine watchmaking factory in the village of Villeret in Switzerland, acquired by Richemont in 2006. A collection of mechanical watches aimed at lovers of motorized sports with a chronograph and tachymeter scale on the bezel.
H Moser Pioneer
The H Moser Pioneer is an adventurous mechanical watch, a sports watch that finds its place on all terrains. The Swiss luxury watch brand offers automatic or manual winding models for its perpetual calendar model in particular.
The Nomos Autobahn is a German watch with an automatic caliberthis “new archetype of the sports watch” in the words of designer Werner Aisslinger is faithful to the philosophy of the Nomos watch brand from Glashütte, sober watches with a sleek design.