Yesterday, the results of the 2011 Concours International de Chronométrie were announced. This is a competition where brands submit their pieces to be tested under numerous conditions and shocks to see which keeps the best time. Unfortunately, my subject line will be the only of its kind in the industry, because really, who cares? This is one of many cases where I feel the watch industry is asking the wrong question. Guys, you've lost. Your watches that cost more than cars tell worst time in all tested conditions than a watch McDonalds gives for free with a Happy Meal. In fact, maybe next competition they should enter a McDonalds Happy Meal watch to end this silliness once and for all.
Of course these tests have a rich history. Before quartz, they made a lot of sense. It was important to focus on precision when no alternatives were present. But now that problem is solved. Precision is a weakness of mechanical watches, not a strength.
Every watch company and executive has to have a clear answer to one question: "Why make a mechanical watch?" "To strive for precision," is an answer that lies somewhere between insane and idiotic.
So congrats to the winner, Greubel Forsey's Double Tourbillon Technique. It is a fantastically beautiful watch for all the right reasons, not made one iota more interesting by this contest.