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CROWN Editors Pick Their Favourite Watches For 2023 - Part 2

The Cartier Baignoire mini bangle watch.

As 2023 comes to a close, we get CROWN's editors and contributors to pick out their favourite timepiece of the year. Read Part 1 here.

Cartier Baignoire mini bangle - Erika Tania, Editorial Lead, CROWN (Indonesia)

When it comes to ladies’ watches, nothing tugs at my heartstrings quite like the Cartier Baignoire. Among the 11 new iterations presented at the 2023 Watches an Wonders, my choice is the mini gold bangle. This particular model marked the first time the Maison introduced “a hybrid, precious object: a watch that is also a piece of jewellery” with no diamonds or rare gemstones necessary.

The Cartier Baignoire mini bangle watch.
The Cartier Baignoire mini bangle watch.

Even though a fully diamond-set version is available, the 18K yellow or rose gold bangle speaks for itself. From the cult oval shape – inspired by a bathtub, which is ‘baignoire’ in French – to the seamless bangle, this unique timepiece is a testament to Cartier’s expertise in precise proportions. Just imagine the stacking possibilities of the Baignoire with your favourite Love or Juste Un Clou bangle, though it’s currently sold out!

Bulgari Diva's Dream Mosaic.
Bulgari Diva's Dream Mosaic.

Bulgari Diva's Dream Mosaic - Arinta Wirasto, CROWN (Indonesia)

Personally, understated, elegant pieces are more my thing. However, if I were to pick one bejewelled creation from this year’s novelties, it would have to be a watch that fills me with a sense of wonder – the Bulgari Divas’ Dream Mosaica. Fully gem-set and exuberant, it is, however, the inspiration behind its design that I’ve – a self-proclaimed art enthusiast – come to really appreciate.

The Bulgari Diva's Dream Mosaic is powered by the brand's in-house mechanical movement, making this a watch that's as powerful as it is stunning.
The Bulgari Diva's Dream Mosaic is powered by the brand's in-house mechanical movement, making this a watch that's as powerful as it is stunning.

The watch is a subtle homage to the mosaics in the Baths of Caracalla in Rome, a city Bulgari has always been a part of. The pièce de résistance is the dial decorated with fan-shaped blue sapphires totalling three carats in a range of blue sky to deep azure hues atop a bed of snow-set diamonds. It also echoes the Maison’s notion that time is, indeed, a jewel.

TAG Heuer’s Carrera Plasma Diamant d’Avant-Garde Chronograph Tourbillon.
TAG Heuer’s Carrera Plasma Diamant d’Avant-Garde Chronograph Tourbillon.

TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma Diamant d'Avant-Garde - Darren Ho, Editor, CROWN (Singapore)

There are many cool releases this year, but none as game-changing as TAG Heuer’s Carrera Plasma Diamant d’Avant-Garde Chronograph Tourbillon and Carrera Plasma Diamant d’Avant-Garde 36mm, for closely related but distinct reasons. First off, the former’s carbon nanotube hairspring is not new but groundbreaking, and Technical Director Carole Forestier-Kasapi is already thinking up ways to industrialise this competence.  

The TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma Diamant d’Avant-Garde 36mm has a pink diamond crown.
The TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma Diamant d’Avant-Garde 36mm has a pink diamond crown.

But the ability to freely integrate gemstones into any and every part of the watch is transformative, and to grow and then machine it into functional components of the watch is even more impressive. You could have a diamond bracelet link instead of a diamond-set bracelet link or a platinum-and-diamond rotor. The possibilities are endless. And that is exactly why this watch wins my vote for innovation and forward-thinking.

Check out Part 1 of our CROWN Editor's picks for 2023 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.


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