The Red Dot Awards are international prizes given annually for design excellence in myriad products, from eyeglasses to cars to household appliances. The 2015 winners in the watch category have been announced. (This is the first year that the Essen, Germany-based Red Dot organization separated watches and jewelry into two different categories for judging.)
There were two top winners, each earning the title “Best of the Best.” One was the most famous, most highly publicized, most vigorously hyped watch in history: the Apple Watch. No need to describe it here. The other was made by a company nearly no one outside the watch world has ever heard of: MB&F, or Max Büsser & Friends. Its “Best of the Best” watch was the Horological Machine No. 6 Space Pirate. The watch has five domes: two show the time and two are for, as MB&F describes it, “twin sphered turbines that spin horizontally, automatically regulating the winding system in case of excessive speed to reduce wear and tear.” The center dome covers a flying tourbillon. As if the domes weren’t outré enough, the watch has another unusual detail: the tourbillon can be protected from UV rays (which speed up oxidation of lubricating oils) by a retractable shield operated by a crown on the left side of the case.
There were 12 other winning entries. They included another model from MB&F: the Horological Machine No. 5 CarbonMacrolon (CarbonMacrolon is a black composite material). Maurice Lacroix was also a two-time winner, taking home Red Dots for its Pontos Date and its Pontos S Supercharged. Porsche Design, which began making its own watches only last year (before then, they were made by Eterna) won a Red Dot for its Timepiece No. 1.
Not all the winners were complete watches. The German company MeisterSinger, which specializes in single-handed watches, won a Red Dot for its Caliber MSH01, a manually wound, double-barrel movement with a five-day power reserve. The Hirsch watch strap company won for a sporty black and yellow strap from its Performance collection.
Apple wasn’t the only smartwatch Red Dot winner: Sony took home prizes for its SmartBandTalk and SmartWatch 3.
The watch winners were chosen by a jury of three that included Rüdiger Bucher, editor-in-chief of WatchTime’s German sister magazine, Chronos, and editorial director of the watch division at the magazines’ parent company, Ebner Publishing Group. Bucher was selected for the jury because of his broad knowledge of watches and watch design. Peter Zec, founder and CEO of the Red Dot Design Award, explained his choice thus: “Rüdiger Bucher’s invitation to serve on the jury of the Red Dot Award was a logical conclusion: he has brought attention to watchmaking design like no one else.”
The two other watch jurors were the German goldsmith and jewelry designer Günter Wermekes and the Dutch-born Herman Hermsen, professor of product and jewelry design at the University of Applied Sciences in Düsseldorf, Germany. Scroll down to see other winning watches from the 2015 Red Dot Awards.
This article appears in the July-August 2015 issue of WatchTime. Click here to download the tablet edition.