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What to look for in a fine watch

Craftsmanship, material, customisation, bragging rights – there are many things to consider when choosing a watch. ‘Fine watch brands source the highest quality,’ says specialist Maxim de Turckheim. So our edit of the world’s best designers is a good place to start. But there’s more to it. Here, Maxim shares his insider knowledge.

‘The addition of high complications [additional functions] like tourbillons, which make a handmade mechanical watch nearly as accurate as your phone, will increase the value of the watch significantly. My personal favourite is the Ulysse Nardin Freak Out: the whole dial moves to tell the time. A complication is the best way for an established fine watch brand to show off its craftsmanship and know-how, and set it apart from its competitors. Complications create some pretty amazing pieces. A simple chronograph is a good start for those who want to measure speed, or opt for a moonphase to keep up with the lunar cycle.’

‘Buying a customised fine watch will ensure you never have to see someone else wearing the same one. French brand MAD Paris create unique pieces, made for individuals – a kind of extension of the wearer’s personality. A camouflage-patterned Rolex watch is just one example of the customisations on offer.’

‘Precious metals and stones tend to create the most amazing timepieces. Fine watch brands source the highest quality 18-carat gold, which they either brush or polish the watch with, to create a desirable warm sheen. Other materials favoured by fine watch experts to help create impactful timepieces include platinum, titanium and ceramic. All are beautifully manipulated and crafted to fit comfortably on the wrist.’

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‘When there’s a limited run on a watch, everybody wants it. Limited editions often sell out before they even hit the market as the world’s biggest collectors rush to secure a piece of history for their collection. The Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur is inspired by the brand's strong history of crafting chronometers for marine navigation. It has a distinctive military feel and is limited to 300 pieces, with the serial number of each engraved inside the watch’s second dial.’

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