What is the best Watch?
First Watch That Matters - Nomos Metro
Voting Category: First Watch That Matters
Nominating Judge: James Bassil
Nomos makes great, affordable watches because they don't try to make them affordable. That's to say that they don't check their ambitions in order to keep costs down. The proof: the 2014 Metro model, that uses the company's new "swing system" escapement. That's an in-house, mechanical movement - typically out of the reach of first-time buyers on a budget. Nomos has it priced at just over $3, 500.
A lot of watch companies offer models in this price range. Not many offer ones with custom movements. And only Nomos offers ones that serious watch nerds drool over. As my fellow judge Elizabeth Doerr phrased it, Nomos offers "the best price-performance ratio in the watch industry." The Metro is highly credible, in addition to being elegant and built to last. Put that in the context of a company that keeps making better and more interesting products (even the Watch Snob nominated their Lambda in his category), and you've got heirloom potential - and this year's best First Watch That Matters.
Heirloom Watch - Patek Philippe 5078R
Voting Category: Heirloom Watch
Nominating Judge: Jack Forster
The Patek Philippe 5078R is a minute repeating wristwatch, made by Patek Philippe. That alone should be enough reason to make it conclusively one of the most heirloom-y watches you could possibly imagine, but now that the dust's settled - vox populi, vox Dei - it's worth looking a little more closely at why.
If you're going to consider a watch for an heirloom, it's worth considering what you don't want. You don't want something disposable; you don't want something fashionable; you don't want something that lacks gravitas or that's not, within reason, the best of its kind. It's also worth considering what you do want - something of value, against that day when some descendant will have to flee across international borders and perhaps need a, shall we say, compact high-value negotiable financial instrument.