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CROWN Editors Pick Their Favourite Watches For 2023 - Part 1

The Patek Philippe Ref. 5308P-010 in platinum case.

As 2023 comes to a close, we get CROWN's editors and contributors to pick out their favourite timepiece of the year. See what they've chosen. Part 2 here.

Patek Philippe Ref. 5308P-010 - Joshua Yap, Contributing Editor

Headlining the slew of special editions Patek Philippe introduced during its Watch Art Grand Exhibition in Tokyo, the Quadruple Complication Ref. 5308P-010 is essentially an evolution of the revered Ref. 5208 but one-ups the predecessor with an added split-seconds mechanism. Rather than listing its complications and technical innovations – it holds several patents, including two new ones – we’d rather marvel at how gorgeous the 15-piece limited edition looks.

The stunning case and dial of the Patek Philippe Ref. 5308P-010.
The stunning case and dial of the Patek Philippe Ref. 5308P-010.

From its elegantly appointed dial conveying a wealth of information across a rose-gilt opaline mien to its 42mm case with pierced lugs in platinum (a notoriously challenging precious metal to work with) and the tasteful pairing with a chocolate brown alligator leather strap, this timepiece is a winner on multiple fronts.

The Caliber R CHR 27 PS QI by Patek Philippe can be seen through the sappire caseback of the Ref. 5308P-010.
The Caliber R CHR 27 PS QI by Patek Philippe can be seen through the sappire caseback of the Ref. 5308P-010.

Oddly, it comes with two interchangeable casebacks – sapphire crystal and platinum – as we can’t fathom why any of its lucky owners would want to have the beautifully decorated R CHR 27 PS QI movement covered up.

The Hublot Big Bang Unico Golf 45mm in carbon fibre and grey texalium.
The Hublot Big Bang Unico Golf 45mm in carbon fibre and grey texalium.

Hublot Big Bang Unico Golf 45MM - Thu Huyen Nguyen, CROWN Vietnam

Hublot has taken the luxury sports watch concept literally, dedicating the Big Bang Unico Golf to the prestigious sport in a high-end yet rugged package. The case is made of carbon fibre with a Texalium upper layer, which is a fusion of fibreglass and aluminium, keeping the watch under 100g. The watch is paired with two interchangeable straps in white leather-on-rubber and a self-fastening technical fabric.

The Hublot Big Bang Unico Golf 45MM has controls to read your golf performance.
The Hublot Big Bang Unico Golf 45MM has controls to read your golf performance.

But what we like is how it’s really taken the sport to heart and integrated it into the design – the pushers are putt-shaped, and the dial hosts three separate counters to keep track of one’s game, all of which can be reset via a single pusher at eight o’clock. Texalium’s unique woven pattern gives the watch a dynamic look that would not be out of place in the boardroom or on the green. Score.

The Jacob & Co. Billionaire Timeless Treasure features a fully gemset timepiece with over 216 carats of yellow diamonds.
The Jacob & Co. Billionaire Timeless Treasure features a fully gemset timepiece with over 216 carats of yellow diamonds.

Jacob & Co. Billionaire Timeless Treasure - Leong Wong, CROWN Malaysia

I challenge anyone out there to find another watch more striking than Jacob & Co's Billionaire Timeless Treasure this year. You can't deny its powerful glittering presence when it enters the room wrapped around its owner's wrist without even trying. The watch is fully set with 425 Asscher-cut yellow diamonds totalling 216.89 carats, and it significantly reduced the market of high-quality yellow diamonds.

The skeletonised movement is on display in Jacob & Co.'s Billionaire Timeless Treasure.
The skeletonised movement is on display in Jacob & Co.'s Billionaire Timeless Treasure.

It took the brand three and a half years to source diamonds of the desired sizes and almost the same colour - Fancy Yellow and Fancy Intense Yellow. The skeletonised dial is framed by emerald-cut green tsavorites, enhancing the entire aesthetics and drawing your attention to the exquisitely crafted JCAM39 toubillon movement with yellow diamond-set yellow gold-plated bridges. You will not find another piece quite like it in terms of its opulence and striking good looks.

Read more of our editor's picks for 2023 in part 2 of this story here.

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Editor

Darren has been writing about, and admiring the craft of watchmaking for over a dozen years. He considers himself lucky to live in a golden age of horology, and firmly believes that the most difficult watches to design are the simplest and the most intriguing to discover.