It is terribly rare in the world that anyone can point to any one thing or person and say, "That's the best there is." Too frequently debates arise over subjective counterclaims and thus create doubt. In the realm of art, deciding what or who is best is even more difficult. There is, however, one man alive today who holds universal acclaim as being the best at what he does. His name is Philippe Dufour. He isn't a household name, nor are his creations widely found. They're difficult to purchase even if you have the US$40,000 to $60,000 necessary to buy one of his works. Mr. Dufour works alone in his Swiss atelier with but one assistant and so is limited by his ability and desire to create. Philippe Dufour is a watchmaker. In the reputational aeire that is Swiss watchmaking, a handful of names stand out. These are relatively large operations employing many craftspeople, artisans, and engineers working to create fabulous mechanical pieces that do the most extraordinary things. One of the most breathtaking pieces is the Ulysse-Nardin Copernicus. It doesn't wash the dishes or take out the trash, but maybe it could with a little training. It is a brilliant watch, a grand complication that shows Earth in relation to the other five classical planets, the moon, and the sun, displays the position of the sun's horizon anywhere on Earth, has a perpetual calendar, tracks the procession of Earth through the zodiac, and even has a dragon hand to show eclipses. It also tells the time and it does this all mechanically. While there's no question it's a nifty watch, it's not one of the watches made by Philippe Dufour. Instead, Mr. Dufour's watches do just one thing and that's tell time. It's less how they tell time then the mechanism by which they do it. Mr. Dufour's watches are, by any definition of the word, the finest watches ever made. They're all made by hand, with most parts finished by Mr. Dufour himself. Robots cannot yet make some of the exceptionally minute and delicate parts that Mr. Dufour himself must make by hand. It is because of his skill at handworking, machining, designing, and fitting, that Dufour is the best at what he does. The tolerances he works with exceed those of every other watchmaker. He possesses the steady hands of a microsurgeon, and the methodical foresight of a chess grandmaster. It is, whether by providence or fate, the great luck of the world that Mozart discovered music, da Vinci the pencil, and Shakespeare the quill. Right now, in our lifetimes, the world is lucky that Philippe Dufour found an interest in watches because his creations, while deceptively simple compared to other grand complications, are the finest watches ever made. I invite you to look over a photo montage of Philippe Dufour's works done by a professional watch photographer. Put aside all thought of how much these watches cost and try simply to appreciate the human skill that went in to making these beautiful works.