And the Winner Is … A. Lange & Söhne

It may be early, but 2006’s Watch of the Year has been chosen—in Europe, anyway—and it’s not one, but two timepieces.

Fine watches are especially popular with European consumers, so much so that the international German-language newspaper Welt am Sonntag and the magazine Armband Uhren annually poll readers for their choices for Watch of the Year. The top 10 are announced and honored each spring at the annual international BaselWorld watch fair in Switzerland.

For 2006, for the first time—and in recognition of the growth of the market of women’s luxury watches—there were categories for both men’s and women’s watches.

For men, the No. 1 choice of readers out of 129 top models from around the world was A. Lange & Söhne’s Lange 1 Time Zone. The Lange 1 series, for 10 years the German company’s signature product, has twice (1995 and 1997) won the title Watch of the Year.

That’s followed by Chronoswiss’s Digiteur, Glashütte Original’s Panomatic Tourbillon, Rolex’s Prince, Breitling for Bentley’s Mulliner Tourbillon, Omega’s Seamaster Planet Ocean Co-Axial, Vacheron Constantin’s Tour de I’Ile, IWC’s Ingenieur Automatic, Longines’s Master Collection Chronograph, and Breguet’s La Tradition.

For women’s watches, the top vote-getter was Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Reverso Duoface. Following it were Glashütte Original’s SunRay, Cartier’s Santos 100, Longines’s Evidenza, Baume & Mercier’s Hampton Milleis, Rolex’s Lady Datejust, Patek Philippe’s Twenty-4, Rainer Brand’s Pezzo, Ebel’s 1911 Lady, and Chanel’s J12.