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Best of the Best 2012: Men's Watches: Multi-Complication: Loiseau 1f4

James D. Malcolmson

A grand complication watch’s ability to fire the imagination is far more important to the wearer than any of its individual functions, which is why so many enthusiasts find Dominique Loiseau’s 1f4 one the most compelling top-tier pieces to have been released in a long while. With its elegant swiveling lug system, the 1f4 ($2.2 million) is a workable, two-sided watch, and its exterior’s dual personality is also reflected in its movement. A unique central power system with two peripheral winding rotors operates the tourbillon and chronograph on one side and the perpetual calendar on the reverse; a separate system controls minute repeater and grande sonnerie functions. The fact that Loiseau—the man behind the Blancpain 1735 and the Rose des Temps clock—creates this piece entirely by hand, without the use of computer-operated machinery, underscores the watch’s unique level of craftsmanship. For this reason, expect examples of the 1f4 to trickle out of the workshops at extended intervals. The watch’s rarity only enhances its allure. (+41.21.806.1122, www.atelier-loiseau.ch)

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