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In A Heartbeat: Some of Our Favorite Open Heart (And Heart-Themed) Watches

Audemars Piguet Millenary Hand-wound Ref. 77247OR.ZZ.A812CR.01

‘Tis the season for love and romance, meaning there are balloons, flowers, chocolates—or all of the above—displayed and sold left and right. Another inescapable symbol of the season? Hearts, brandished on everything from storefronts and advertisements to the proverbial sleeve.

Inspired by this iconic image, we decided to round up some of our favorite pieces that put a timepiece’s movement—its heart, so to speak—front and center: open heart watches. Allowing us to appreciate the beating mechanisms of the watch’s movements, which operate much like an actual heart, these pieces are technical showpieces we could stare at all day.

Below are some of our open-heart picks, and a few bonus surprises perfect for your inner romantic.

Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Open Ref. 03.2040.4061/69.C496

Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Open Ref. 03.2040.4061/69.C496

Dressed in the colors of the historical El Primero, this timepiece has a lot to offer, both inside and out. Its COSC-certified El Primero 4061 movement can be appreciated from the front or through the transparent caseback; through the opening on the dial, one can clearly see the iridescent purple lever and the shiny blue escape-wheel that has the Zenith star on it. Both made out of silicone, this material allows for more time between trips back to the service center—up to 5 years!—as it doesn’t need to be oiled.

Equipped with a chronograph and a tachymetric scale, the beauty and usefulness of this watch would stop at its dial. At 36,000 VpH (5 Hz), this movement beats more than one in your average watch, while maintaining an impressive power reserve of 50 hours. And did we mention its water resistance holds up to 100 meters, and is luminous in low light?

Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre Chronographe (pink gold) Ref. 6012421

Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre Chronographe (pink gold) Ref. 6012421

Is it just us, or does the face of the watch look like an actual, smiling face? Whatever this Rorschach test of a watch looks to you, it still remains that it’s an interesting timepiece. The two main dials each sport a separate tone for their details, which cleverly persists through the rest of the watch: rose gold for civil time, and dark blue for the hours and minutes chronograph. Beneath them is the jumping seconds subdial, with the blue hand measuring the 1/6th of a second.

Aside from the dials, the face of the watch is certainly unique, with the exposed nickel silver-bridges and -mainplate. Above them are the power reserve indicators, whose hands are, of course, in tones matching the function they serve. There are also the second hands in the center, both of which can function concurrently (rare in chronograph watches!), and are also colored accordingly.

Audemars Piguet Millenary Hand-wound Ref. 77247OR.ZZ.A812CR.01

Audemars Piguet Millenary Hand-wound Ref. 77247OR.ZZ.A812CR.01

“Shining, shimmering, splendid,” is the phrase we’d use to describe this watch. While the Millenary is no Diamond Outrage or Sapphire Orbe, it gleams and glimmers all the same—a piece for the more subtle lady, so to speak. From the powder-pink gold printed Roman numerals, the pink gold hands, the 116 brilliant-cut diamonds on the bezel and lugs, right to the glittering brown alligator strap, it’s certainly an eye-catching timepiece.

But even without all the flash, there’s still a lot to look at. The off-centered, mother-of-pearl dial and seconds subdial allow us a look into the watch’s calibre 5201 movement. All of this is housed within an unconventional but not unwelcome elliptical case. Topping it all off is the crown, set with a pink cabochon sapphire.

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Tourbillon 43mm Ref. 99115-21-431-21A

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Tourbillon 43mm Ref. 99115-21-431-21A

At first glance, this watch looks much simpler than the previous pieces, but in reality, it is equipped with one of horology’s most sophisticated functions: the tourbillon. Visible through the opening at 6 o’ clock, the tourbillon comes with a bridge that is connected to arrow heads at both ends.

The manufacture has exercised restraint throughout the rest of the watch’s design, making the tourbillon the true star of this exceptional piece. The slate gray dial with the Clous de Paris hobnail pattern complements the white gold and titanium case. At 45mm, this piece makes for strong presence on the wrist without the need for loud colors or wild patterns.

Chopard Happy Hearts 36 Ref. 278582-3005

Chopard Happy Hearts 36 Ref. 278582-3005

Chopard certainly makes a clear statement with this Happy Hearts 36 watch. A melding of their Happy Sports watch collection and their Happy Hearts jewelry collection, this piece includes three diamonds as well as two big hearts that dance across the dial. One of the latter is diamond-studded—matching the Happy Sports theme—and the other made out of red stone—matching the Happy Hearts theme; both twinkle and twirl across the dial with the manufacture’s signature gems. The red stone heart ties in nicely with the glossy, red alligator strap, making it pop on the wrist.

Breguet Classique Phase de Lune Dame 9085

Breguet Classique Phase de Lune Dame 9085

Breguet is more subtle in the implementation of the heart shape in their watch—it masquerades as a pink, mother-of-pearl cloud in the watch’s moonphase function at 6 o’ clock—but we adore it all the same. This timepiece was limited to 14 pieces in celebration of last year’s Valentine’s day, but that’s not a reason to hold off on appreciating its beauty.

The rest of the dial is also made of iridescent mother-of-pearl: Its fluted rings match beautifully with the fluted caseband. The bezel and lugs aren’t only encrusted with sapphires and diamonds, but the gems also sport a subtle gradient from white to light pink, from top to bottom. The pink hue continues onto the satin-finished alligator strap.

 

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