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Best of the Best 2012: Men's Watches: Finishing: Audemars Piguet Millenary Minute Repeater

James D. Malcolmson

Over the last few years, Giulio Papi has transformed the exclusive complicated versions of Audemars Piguet’s Millenary models into showcases for his personal passion: movement finishing. The latest Millenary Minute Repeater ($470,200) incorporates such attention-grabbing elements as a distinct escapement and a strike mechanism, both visible through the upper crystal. Papi’s use of varying textures, however, truly makes the piece come to life, adding dimensionality and visually integrating the movement, case, and dial into a single metal sculpture. The finishing does not stray far from the familiar vocabulary of anglage (a techniquethat involvesbeveling the edges of a movement component), Geneva stripes, and mirror polishing, but Papi’s by-hand execution of the watch’s purposefully challenging curves and angles clearly places his workmanship in a higher league than the more industrial forms of decoration currently being practiced in Switzerland. (212.688.6644, www.audemarspiguet.com)

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