If your average Timex is a top 40 radio hit, the Bradley Taylor Paragon is a 20-minute free jazz opus from a composer with an unpronounceable name. Most people won’t understand and few will care, but those who do understand, well, they care a lot. This small community of deep-pocketed, semi-fanatic watch collectors is exactly who this Canadian watchmaker created the Paragon for.
“The Paragon is definitely not anyone’s first watch,” says Taylor, who grew up in Toronto and studied watchmaking in Le Locle, Switzerland, earning certifications at the renowned workshops of Patek Philippe and Hublot before moving on. moved to Vancouver at the age of 30. earlier this year. “Most of my customers have purchased many high end brands and want something that has been truly considered inside and out.”
The Paragon, Taylor’s first creation, is certainly that. The dial is made by Kari Voutilainen, a highly respected independent maker of six-digit Swiss watches and features guilloche hand-engraved and polished numerals. The movement is made by Vaucher, another Swiss specialist, and the finesse of its hand-finished surfaces can only be truly appreciated through a jeweler’s magnifying glass. The hands, meanwhile, are crafted by Taylor himself, who spends over 20 hours shaping, polishing, and heating each to achieve a specific shade of dark purple. A nod to national pride, the movement is held together by square head screws (a Canadian invention) and the Paragon is available on beavertail and salmon leather straps.
Taylor makes 12 Paragons, each priced at US$22,000. Although they sold out within six weeks of taking the order, more pieces are in the works. “It’s hard to explain what I do,” Taylor said. “But telling people that I make a few really high-end watches every year is pretty funny.” Funny for some, but serious business for connoisseurs.
For more information, visit bradleytaylor.ca.
The perfect watch doesn’t exist, but Louis Cartier came close to it when he designed the Tank in 1917. Its shape – a dial suspended between two parallel lines – is about as elegant as it gets, and the model is remained relatively unchanged for more than a century. The new Solarbeat Tank Must, however, marks what might be the Tank’s biggest update in years. As the first solar-powered watch in Cartier’s history, this new Tank is powered by a photovoltaic cell hidden under its Roman numeral dial and can operate for 16 years without requiring maintenance. It also features a vegetable-tanned leather strap, another first for the Parisian jeweler. This kind of ability to evolve while maintaining its essential form confirms that the Tank is as timeless as possible. –JF
Solarbeat Tank Must, $3,250 at Cartier (ca.cartier.com).
Clash of the Titans
Prized for its extreme durability, titanium is currently the hottest (and lightest) material in watchmaking.
A titanium case offers a luxurious take on a classic military design.
Hamilton Khaki Field Titanium Auto, $1,240 up to hamiltonwatch.com.
A solar-powered movement that automatically adjusts to 26 time zones is at the heart of this high-tech marvel.
Citizen Super Titanium Atomic Timekeeping, $1,450 up to citizenwatch.com.
This redesigned titanium diver is sure to make a splash on land or sea.
TAG Heuer Aquaracer, $5,250 up to tagheuer.com.
Worthy of a watch worn by the world’s favorite secret agent, the official Bond movie watch, no time to dieis as tough as it is refined.
Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Co-Axial Master Chronometer 42mm 007 Edition with stainless steel bracelet, $12,500 omegawatches.com.
A textured dial inspired by freshly fallen snow is the star here, along with Grand Seiko’s ultra-precise Spring Drive movement.
Grand Seiko Snowflake SBGA211, $7,300 up grand-seiko.com.