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10 Best Luxury Watches for 2012

Nomos Orion
Price: About $1,717

If you held me down and forced me to choose, I'd say the single best watch of the year is the Nomos Orion. This understated, classic piece is the brainchild of the first-rate German makers from the watch-mad town of Glashutte. Nomos specializes in thin, discreetly elegant wristers that whisper style and elegance. The face is so easy to read, the case is so thin and the unit so light on your wrist that you will never want to take it off. Even better, Nomos has broken the Orion line down into several subtle sub-units that allow anybody to choose exactly the look they want. Between the anthracite black model, the off-red rose unit or the traditional white steel pieces, a set of Orions could be all the watches you ever own.

Watch geeks will be impressed at the mechanical so-called Alpha movement, which is factory-calibrated -- and visible from the back of the watch. I have heard that some purists dis this watch because Nomos is not making what is considered an originally designed mechanism. And the minimalist look is either in your blood or not. But for a legit, top-end manual winder at a comparatively reasonable price, the Orion is value watch of the moment.

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