From the first watch to break the speed of sound to one that has volcanic ash encased in its bezel, we look at some of watchmaking’s most unique creations.

For some, a watch worn on the wrist is an extension of your personality; it reflects your beliefs, values, passions and your personality. In a world filled with people trying to fit in, there are those who wish to stand out and refuse to conform to conventions. 

To these individuals, a normal watch - no matter how difficult to pronounce the name is or how complicated its movements - would not simply cut it. They covet only the most interesting timepiece to add to their collection. 

Here, we look at 5 of the most outstanding, buzz-worthy timepieces that has been made and sold well over the years that has proven that the sky’s the limit when it comes to pushing boundaries in watchmaking throughout the past few years.



Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th

Millions of eyes were fixed on their screens on Sunday October 14 2012 as Felix Baumgartner was about to break the speed of sound in a freefall, creating history.

With him was Zenith, whose El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th was to become the first watch to break the speed of sound at the very doors of space.

This exquisite timepiece is now coveted by those who wish to own this piece of history in their own personal collection.


Corum Coin Watch $20

One of the most recognisable Corum watches, the coin watch is still available almost 50 years after its debut. A coin watch comprises a watch inserted into a coin or medal.

For this timepiece, also dubbed as the presidential watch as it has been seen on the wrists of most US presidents, Corum precisely installs a manual wind or quartz movement inside a $20 “Double Eagle” or a $10 “Liberty” coin to create this watches that will only get increasingly rare, as the supply for this historic coins diminishes.


Urwerk UR-CCI Black Cobra

Known for its outlandish watches, this striking timepiece stirred a buzz during its creation due to its unique mechanism and functions. On the UR-CC1, there are two horizontal indications displayed by two cylinders: one for the (jumping) hours, the other for the retrograde minutes. 

Don't be fooled by the apparent simplicity of the displays; the UR-CC1 is the result of more than three years of research, development, production and testing just to ensure that the rotation and instant fly-back of the large hour and minute cylinders is achieved without compromising accurate timekeeping.


Romain Jerome Eyjafjallajokull-DNA

After creating waves with timepieces incorporated with moon dust and bits of Titanic metal, Romain Jerome created history again with the introduction of the Eyjafjallajokull-DNA limited edition. This mechanical self-winding timepiece pays tribute to that moment when this Icelandic volcano erupted and caused a disruption in the aviation industry in Europe.

The watch showcases a bezel in black steel and volcanic ash bezel as well as a black lava dial stabilised with handpainted enamel fissures representing lava spurting up from the core planet. The hour and minute hands are designed after the grounded airplanes.


MB&F HM4 Thunderbolt

One of watchmaking’s most fascinating creations, the HM4 Thunderbolt is not a traditional wristwatch. The aviation-inspired case and engine of the Thunderbolt look like something that flew out of a Star Wars film.

Inspired by its owner Maximillian Busser’s passion for assembling toy airplanes in his childhood, the Thunderbolt's engine is the culmination of 3 long years of development. Each of the 300-plus components – including the regulator and even the screws – was developed specifically for this anarchistic calibre.


(Photos: Respective brands)


We recommend: 

© 2022 Tatler Asia Limited. All rights reserved.