We are delighted to present the winners of the Eve’s Watch Awards 2017 in association with Urb-it. Each Award is testament to their contribution to horology in 2017 and accomplishment of creating standout timepieces that really do make a difference. See the winning watches below and click here to read the full story. Congratulations to the winners!
Whereas all the other categories are decided by those with the inside track on the industry, the Popular Choice Award is where the public get involved. There’s no questions about marketing or mechanics, just simply “what is your favourite brand this year?” It’s a heart not head response and this year, it was TAG Heuer that fired the public imagination.
When you get Cara on board and then follow that up with a Hadid, you are certainly going to get noticed. In the last couple of years, TAG Heuer has undergone something of a reinvention. Gone is the ultra-complicated Mikro series that dominated recent years and in its place are fashion-forward styles perfect for young women and clever reissues of vintage designs to get the watch connoisseurs salivating.
What hasn’t changed is TAG Heuer’s talent for making watches you just want to buy. The Aquaracer continues to be a watch every woman wants to own; a reputation recent successes such as the Link Lady builds on.
This is a brand that makes watches people want and markets them in a way that no other brand does. No wonder it has lodged itself in the watch-buying public’s mind and was the first name they thought of when asked to vote for their favourite brand.
Before anyone raises an eyebrow at the predictability of this winner, it is worth considering its effect on the women’s fashion watch arena.When it first launched its now- instantly recognisable over-sized gold-plate chronographs, the type of women it was pitching its styles to just didn’t wear watches.
They had their phones to use if they needed to know the time and for them, watches just weren’t fashion items. Michael Kors flipped that thinking on its head and had these women spending their pay cheques on a feminised take on the designs their boyfriends would have been wearing.
Fast-forward over a decade and although the over-sized chronos are still going strong, Micheal Kors has evolved. There are Art Deco influences, more modern shapes and even a smart watch.
It has continued to grow with the women that supported it in the first place and that’s why they didn’t desert it when it came to casting their Popular Choice vote.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Frosted Gold
“Audemars Piguet has hit a home run with a great way to feminise the evergreen Royal Oak.”
Elegant, timeless and yet so of the moment, Audemars Piguet has definitely hit a home run with this latest iteration of its iconic Royal Oak. To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the female version of the Gerald Genta’s original design, the team at Audemars Piguet looked to one of its sartorial champions – jewellery designer Carolina Bucci who is never photographed without her wrist adorned with her yellow-gold Royal Oak – to reinterpret the watch.
Various options were deliberated over, but eventually it was decided that Carolina’s instantly recognisable microhammeing technique, which was inspired by a similar way of decorating jewellery popular in Florence, Bucci’s home town. To create the sparkling effect of diamonds without the stones themselves, a diamond-tipped tool chips away at the surface of the gold, stippling it. It sounds like such a simple thing to do but the effect is wonderful.
As one of our judges said: “This is the most perfect luxury watch for women without a diamond in sight.”It’s feminine, fabulous and we didn’t want to take it off, which is why its our Luxury Watch of the Year.
Rado True Thinline (in green ceramic)
“Sleek, elegant, convincing and totally desirable. The colour of this Rado timepiece is gorgeous, it’s beautiful to wear and feels luxurious.”
Rado has really upped its game this year. There was the Hyperchrome Captain Cook that had every male watch journalist worth his press pass salivating, while the collaborations with designers from outside the world of watchmaking showed what was possible within a 40mm circle.
However, it was this forest-hued addition to its True Thinline collection that won our hearts. Apparently,this shade was devised to convey a mood of subtle luxury, such as that synonymous with butter-soft leather or the crush of velvet between fingers – both of which are major fashion touchpoints for this year.
We just thought it was an exercise in elegant restraint that looked even better on the wrist. As one judge so aptly put it: “as a predominant fan of fine watchmaking, this is a total guilty pleasure watch but I love it.”
We couldn’t agree more.
“It hasn’t put a foot wrong from the J12s to the Calibre 2, it’s been consistently amazing and always surprising. Chanel’s anniversary year has produced an exquisite collection of luxury watches. Hit after fabulous hit in the past year.”
It seems as though Chanel just can’t put a horological foot wrong. This trajectory was started with the launch of the Boy.Friend and continued with its rst in-house calibre exquisitely cased in the form of the Monsieur de Chanel, which the brand then followed up with the fashion-forward and fabulously fierce J12 XS. This collection shrunk the iconic form of the J12 and put it on S&M-style cuffs and Lagerfeld-esque ngerless leather gloves.
It then went from high fashion back to haute horlogerie with the beautiful Chanel Première Camélia Skeleton. This was the brand’s second in-house movement and one that was created to look like a camellia – one of the most famous iconographic elements of Chanel’s history.
That probably would have been enough to make most brands put their feet up and have a bit of a break, but Chanel mounted its strongest Baselworld to date. From the pop-art humour of the J12 Mademoiselle to the breath- taking gemsetting skills on display in the likes of the Mademoiselle Privé Décor Aubazine and the incredible table clocks featuring details from the famous Coromandel screens that are in Mlle Chanel’s private apartments on Rue Cambon.
It feels as though Chanel has a new-found con dence in it watchmaking prowess and it creating horological heavyweights to prove it And that’s why it just had to be our Brand of the Year.
“Dynamic, fresh, contemporary playful and artistic propositions – it advances its design and trends. Gucci’s range across the board is excellent, creative and desirable. Between its innovative marketing and bold designs, it has made a huge contribution to the world of women’s watches.”
In those years of horsebit bracelets, bamboo bezels and interlocking Gs everywhere, it would have been inconceivable that Gucci would be taking home an award for Brand of the Year. And it’s all down to the creative genius of Alessandro Michele. He’s created catwalk collections that the fashion pack are swooning over and has also sprinkled some of that fairy dust over the watches too.
The old shorthands for Gucci have been replaced with a small menagerie featuring snakes, lions and bees that jostle for position alongside moons, stars and rainbows.
And that’s not the only change. Under Michele, we’ve seen secret watches with enlarged lions heads made from brightly coloured resin and plexiglass rectangles in the Gucci team colours of red and green through which the quartz movement is visible. Even its automatics have been reimagined with stars, bees and hearts as indices and a snake as the GMT hand on its dual time.
Like our luxury Brand of the Year, Chanel, it feels as though Gucci is doing everything right. It knows it’s a fashion brand and is having a heck of a lot of fun with the parameters of that label.
And that’s precisely why we love it so much.
Aurélie Picaud has transformed Fabergé’s watchmaking department in just four years and this year she has been named the Eve’s Watch Awards in association with Urb-it’s Woman of the Year.
In just four years, Picaud has taken Fabergé’s watch department from “made under licence” to winning prizes at the Grand Prix d’Horlorgerie de Genève.
She has secured the services of such watchmaking legends as Jean-Marc Wiederrecht, the brains behind Agenhor and some of the most incredible and romantic complications around, and Giulo Papi of the legendary Renaud et Papi as well as bringing together Fiona Krüger and Anita Porchet to work on a new version of the Lady Libertine.
Picaud is an inspiration to both those women in the industry and those looking to start a career in watchmaking. We can’t wait to see what the next four years will bring.
“Rolex is subtly on trend but classically timeless.”
It seems like Rolex can do no wrong at the moment. Everyone who saw its Baselworld 2017 collection, featuring such instant classics as the Cellini moonphase and new Sky-Dweller, was doffing their hats to a brand that doesn’t ever sit on its laurels despite its place at the top of the watchmaking world.
However, this category isn’t about what everyone thinks, it’s about whether the brand has impressed the most powerful people on the high street – the buyers. Customers generate sales, it’s true, but they wouldn’t know what to buy if these people didn’t source the best watches from around the world to present to them.
And Rolex has certainly made an impression. “Its market dominance is earned through amazing brand placement, demand, and, most importantly, designs that have female shoppers in mind,” said one, while another praised them for being “subtly on trend but classically timeless.” Another called it an “inspiration”.
It is always the first brand on anyone’s lips when questioned about the watch they’d most like to own, and now it is the brand in the top spot for this Eve’s Watch Award. This may have been chosen by our panel of highly experienced buyers, but it’s a result with which we couldn’t agree more.
“Gucci is breaking all the boundaries and making us re-think our wristwear choices.”
The fashion pack have been going ga-ga for Gucci ever since Alessandro Michele took over as creative director and gave the House a much needed injection of pizazz. Luckily this also extended to the watches and jewellery and in the past few years, we’ve seen everything from plexiglass bangles to serpentine second time zones.
This could have worked well on the pages of glossy magazines and not so well with the watch buyers but that hasn’t been the case.
“The current marketing campaign for the fashion range featuring memes is like nothing we have ever had in the watch industry before – bold and witty, it even appeals to people that would never buy a watch,” was one of our panel’s comments. “This is an amazing new direction for Gucci,” enthused another and one other buyer said that “Alessandro Michele is breaking all the boundaries and making us re-think our wristwear choices.”
Or to put it another way, through Gucci Michele has redefined what we usually think of as a fashion watch, which is exactly what an award-winning brand should do.
Dior Grand Soir Botanic
“Dior consistently pushes the boundaries of ne jewellery, the Grand Soir Botanic is as much a work of art as it is a watch – could be framed and hung in a gallery.”
Every watch included in this category was a showcase of some of the most impressive haute joaillerie techniques in the industry today, but when you’re cutting mother of pearl into wafer-thin discs and building three-dimensional gardens of precious stones then you really are in a league of your own. And that’s precisely what Dior has done with its Grand Soir Botanic collection. Comprising eight unique pieces featuring a different exotic bloom, the variety of skills on display is simply mind-blowing.
While we’d have loved to have given this award to the entire collection, we had to choose one and this, with its multi-coloured sapphire pavé, exquisitely realised flower and smattering of diamonds, was deemed to just have the edge. That a watch of this calibre and carat-weight should be placed on a strap that is made from fabric also used for Dior’s Fusion trainers, shows the sense of humour at play here.
Not something you usually get from a haute joaillerie House and just another reason why Dior was out-and-out winner for this category.
Gucci Le Marché des Merveilles snake watch
“A perfect fashion timepiece – Gucci distilled in a watch. Even though it is the embodiment of fashion in watchmaking, it is also a great iconic watch. I would happily wear this watch 10 years from now.”
Since Alessandro Michele has taken the creative director hot seat at Gucci, it seems the brand can do no wrong.
His “geeky girl rummaging through her bohemian grandmother’s wardrobe” aesthetic has been a major hit with the fashion pack and, thankfully, he’s also taken control of the brand’s jewellery and watch arm too with wonderful effect.
Gone are the horse bits and interlocking Gs and in their places are menageries and celestial bodies.Tigers and bees jostle for space with moons, stars and rainbows and, as with this design, snakes slither up watch straps and onto the dials.
There’s so much to love about this watch from the embroidered kingsnake to Michele’s 2017 motto “Blind for love” stitched in French through the middle of the Nato-esque strap. There are some in the watch industry who are a little sniffy about fashion watches, but when it is done with this much aplomb and nesse, you can’t help but be impressed. This is a fashion watch in its truest sense – one directly inspired by a Maison’s catwalk output – which is why it just had to be our winner.
“L’aveugle Par Amour”? It looks like we’re all blinded for a love of Gucci instead.
Chanel Première Camélia Skeleton
“This Chanel timepiece is a revelation in terms of combining mechanics and feminine design that stays true to the brand. It represents the perfect synthesis of how to appeal to all the different levels of feminine horology. It’s beautiful, clever and wearable.”
When it comes to women’s watches Chanel has form – the Première, which it launched 30 years ago, has become an icon then there was the runaway success of the Boy. Friend. Every woman who wore it loved it and we gave it an Eve’s Watch Award too.
This year it is Première Camélia Skeleton that is going home with a trophy. For starters, it houses the brand’s second in-house movement the Calibre 2. The name doesn’t really sound like much to get excited about, but this is another incredible feat of watchmaking – a skeleton movement that is in the shape of a camelia, one of the many well-known symbols in Chanel’s iconography. Note it is a “skeleton” not “skeletonised” movement because the Calibre 2 was never a complete movement out from which pieces have been removed; they were never there in the rst place. Instead bridges have been shaped into a camellia and then the wheels placed within that structure to create a three-level oral pattern in which the mechanics are hidden.
And it is a beautiful watch.The instantly recognisable angled form of the now 30-year-old Première case, which takes its outline from the shape of the Place Vendôme and here is diamond set, acts as a contrast to the looping, almost hypnotic, DLC-coated bridges of the movement.
It is a quintessentially Chanel piece – feminine but without being overtly girly and unlike anything else. No wonder it’s an Eve’s Watch Award winner.
“There’s just nothing out there like it in terms of design. The watch’s dial is really innovative, particularly when you consider the myriad ways the head alone can be worn – like a cool compass watch. The Klokers is fun, modern and an extraordinary price, that’s a lot of watch for the money!”
If you’re familiar with a slide rule then this watch will feel like familiar territory. However, those of us with a less mathematical bent will find the daring design of this new brand Klokers a bit mind-bending.
Once you understand the principle however, telling the time couldn’t be simpler.There are no hands that rotate, only the whole dial itself – well, three concentric rings to be precise. One represents the hours, the other the minutes and the final one represents the seconds. Each rotate at different speeds, counter clockwise.To tell the time, you simply read down the numbers caught in the line of the slide rule – rather like Lyra reading her alethiometer for those of you who are His Dark Materials fans.
That isn’t the only clever design trait, the watch head has been formulated much like a Pop Swatch. It can be removed from the strap and attached to pretty much anything from an inside jacket pocket to the top of a notepad. It’s a modern, fun and eminently practical watch that could de nitely have a place in London’s Design Museum one of these days.
Omega Speedmaster 38 (in green)
“For sporty beauty Omega wins. The green tone is stunning whilst retaining heritage and elegancy. A true 24/7 watch – it will take you from the tennis court to a top table”
The Speedmaster could probably lay claim to being one of the most iconic watches of the 20th century seeing as it gets the accolade of “ first watch on the moon”. Worn by Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong when they made their “giant leap for mankind”, it has since retained its position at the top of the list of sports watches every man has on his watch wish list.
Until now, the size was a bit of a barrier to women getting a bit of this sports chrono action, but this year Omega shrunk it to 38mm and suddenly it was female watch journos that were singing the Speedies praises around the halls of Baselworld.
Given the number of journalists on the judging panel for the Eve’s Watch Awards, it is little wonder that it has taken the accolade of Best Sports Watch this year.
It is the perfect embodiment of this category’s criteria – it’s a chronograph, with 100m water resistance you don’t have to take it off when you take to the water and in this fabulous moss-green shade it even slips into the realms of fashion accessory. You can time your kid’s sports-day race, jump in the pool and still look chic at the end of the day – the Omega Speedmaster is the quintessential women’s sports watch and that’s why it’s our sports watch of 2017.
Urwerk UR-106 Flower Power
“There is no other brand that could pull off such a beautiful modern, interesting and complicated watch for women. Very technical, poetic and ferociously new. Hats off to Urwerk!”
If you’re going to use owers and diamonds to make a watch appeal to a woman then this is the way to do it. Urwerk’s UR-106 is like no other women’s watch on the market, which is precisely why it takes the trophy for this category.
Based on the man’s version, which came out in 2015, this features the wandering hours that were the standout design feature of the original. The hours are represented by the three rotating groups of numerals, which rotate so that the hour marker is used to point to the minutes scale, which is shown as a retrograde scale along the portion of the dial; a principle based on a 17th century watch invented by the Campani brothers who used it in clocks they made for the Pope. If that wasn’t enough, there is also a moonphase peeking out from what would be the six o’clock position in a traditional case.
While all this kit is impressive, what also swayed the judges’ vote was just how good this watch looks on the wrist. Despite a mixture of sartorial stylings around the judging table, it suited everyone. There’s not many watches you can say that about.
Rolex Yacht-Master 40 (aka the Tutti Frutti)
“This watch is fabulous in its brashness – it’s undeniably out-there bonkers. Collector’s will love it and you can’t deny Rolex’s re-sale value.”
Love it or loathe it, you cannot deny that this will be highly collectible in a couple of decades time.When Rolex unveiled its blinged- up take on theYacht-Master at Baselworld this year, it certainly provoked reactions from those that saw it.
The bezel set with 32 multi-coloured sapphires, eights tsavorites and one substantial diamond at 12 o’clock, all selected in Rolex’s own in-house gemstone evaluating and sorting department, makes a bold statement, but combined with the Oyster ex strap (Rolex’s titanium-and-nickel bracelet sheathed in black elastomer – just don’t call it rubber) you get a wonderful conflict between high jewellery and high performance.
It’s unforgettable, humorous and desirable. And we think, in 20 years’ time you’ll still have feelings for it, and the auction market will certainly have a place for it too.
Moritz Grossmann Tefnut Twist (classic)
“The Tefnut Twist is a proper watch, beautifully executed movement and innovative take on a traditional manually wound watch. Timeless and well designed!”
Genuinely new ideas in the world of watches are rare. However, this year Moritz Grossmann wowed Baselworld, and indeed us, with something really innovative – a watch that is wound by the strap via a cylindrical lug attached to its lower half, which goes into the case and winds the mainspring (though one of our esteemed judging panel has seen watches wound in a similar manner from the 19th century).
In order to stop the watch, called the Tefnut Twist, from being wound by micromovements of the wrist, Moritz Grossmann has created a ratchet wheel with only eight teeth, meaning that the strap has to be twisted through a minimum of 20 degrees before the pallet engages. A slipping bridle prevents excessive wrist action from affecting the movement. This is something that occurs in all self-winding movements and works by using friction to hold the outermost coil of the mainspring in the barrel. If excess pressure builds up the bridle will slip to relieve it. There is still a crown, but that is only used to set the time.
It’s an innovation that has a sense of fun but still serves a practical purpose and captured our panel’s imagination – we just had to award it the trophy.
“Sekford’s clean lines and design-led aesthetic are an instant hit. This is definitely a brand with a bright future ahead of it.”
Sekford is a brand from Blighty that we should be getting excited about – we got so excited about it, in fact, we had to give it an award.
It is the brainchild of Kuchar Swara, a man who knows a thing or two about style, having co- founded eclectic lifestyle magazine Port.
Along with Cedric Bellon, a watch designer who counts Hermes, Bell & Ross and Longines among his clients and Pierre Foulonneau – an industrial design who has collaborated with brands such as Tefal – he launched Sekford, which takes its name from Sekforde Street in Clerkenwell, an area of London that historically housed watch and clockmakers.
It isn’t just the name that references the golden age of British watchmaking; Swara wanted the design to emulate the 18th and 19th century pocket watches he saw while researching the project at the Clockmaker’s Museum, which now resides at London’s Science Museum. These trips also inspired the typography that was created specifically for Sekford called Sekford Undeground Tiny.
Despite all these nods to Britain’s horological history, apart from the straps, which are British leather, the watches are made in Switzerland but we won’t hold that against them.
The result is a coolly con dent watch brand that might be a newcomer, but has already made its mark.