The watches we know and love but with a fresh face for 2018. It might be a new complication or a new design entirely, but which icon suits its new guise best? Meet the contenders for The Icon award 2018…
Not all watches that are described as 'iconic' warrant their description, but in the case of the five timepieces shortlisted for this year's award the name couldn't be more fitting.
Square Mile's Icon Award goes to the watchmaker who has successfully taken one of its most recognisable models and somehow given it a new lease of life – trust us, that's no mean feat.
Whether that's through a new movement (Patek Philippe) or a subtly tweaked design (Rolex), sometimes the finest details can make the world of difference.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak RD#2 Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin
The Royal Oak sits alongside the Nautilus as the finest work of arguably horology's greatest designer, Gerald Genta. Since its creation in 1970, it has taken on numerous guises to suit the taste of modern wearers, but the work of Audemars Piguet’s R&D department are now preparing the timepiece for the future. This model may be a concept for now, but creating a highly complicated perpetual calendar movement that fits inside a jaw-droppingly thin 6.3mm-thick case is simply staggering. audemarspiguet.com
Breitling Navitimer 8 BO1 Chronograph
Under new CEO George Kern, aviation watch specialists Breitling underwent a wholesale rebrand at the beginning of 2018. The new focus is on elegant, timeless aesthetics like the tweaked Navitimer 8 BO1 Chronograph. It has a lot in common with the original Navitimer design, but it has tidied up the dial and removed the slide rule to create a more minimalist expression. breitling.com
Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Skelet-One
Watches like the Nautilus and the GMT Master-II may be global icons, but Jaquet Droz’s Grande Seconde is the timepiece responsible for hauling a brand that dates back to the middle of the 17th century back into the consciousness of watch fans in 2002; quite the achievement in its own right. New for this year, the timepiece receives a radical facelift in the form of a dramatic skeleton design that highlights the impeccable watchmaking usually hidden beneath an enamel dial. This is a fresh take on an often underrated timepiece. jaquet-droz.com
Patek Philippe Nautilus Perpetual Calendar
Few watches match the design prestige and sheer covetability of Patek Philippe’s Nautilus collection. The latest model, however, is the first time we’ve seen the Swiss brand add one of its Grande Complications to the iconic timepiece. Not only does the resulting perpetual calendar look right at home on the design, but a little watchmaking trickery means that the case is only a hair’s breadth thicker than the original case. patek.com
Rolex GMT-Master II ‘Pepsi’
The GMT-Master II ‘Pepsi’, so called because of its immediately recognisable red-on-blue bezel, is a watch that holds a special place among collectors. For 2018, Rolex has brought the icon back in a more attainable stainless steel construction (a full £18,000 less than the white gold version released in 2013), added a new movement with improved efficiency and power reserve, and switched up the bracelet. rolex.com
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Which watch do you believe should win the Icon Award?