Mid-nineties Mavic for me, the later stuff. The 631 cranks were lovely in their quirky way, but the 631/2 really hit the spot, and the 571/2 HG hubs combined Mavic's beautiful finish with Hyperglide practicality. The hidden-spring brakes made by Dia Compe were also in a different class, much smoother and prettier than their Modolo-made predecessors.
Suntour Superbe Pro is another favourite of mine, prettier than contemporary Dura Ace and lighter than C-Record. Superbe Pro pedals (made by MKS) and brakes (Dia Compe again) are some of the nicest ever made.
Older bikes need older gear, of course, but things really moved up a notch in the nineties. With the exception of their track group, Shimano didn't make much that appealed to me before Dura Ace went 9-speed.
From C-Record, I'd have to pick and choose. The cranks and delta brakes are gorgeous of course, and the TBS pedals, but most of the other parts I can take or leave.
Nuovo- and Super Record are all very well, but you need to look back a generation or two before you get to the really good stuff:
I wonder if Old Ned remembers those...
Calmes dans le demi-jour
Que les branches hautes font,
Pénétrons bien notre amour
De ce silence profond.