From design to advertising campaigns, watch brands are proving their willingness to include gender neutral choices in their collections. For some – like Nomos – this is not new. From the word go their watches have looked good on any wrist; the simplicity and economy of their design breaking down all kinds of barriers of appeal, may that be age, gender or anything else. An excellent example is their square classic collection, Tetra. My pick is the Ode to Joy (£1,660), with its elegant ash-olive green dial and harmonious design. It measures measures 29.5 x 29.5 x 6.5 mm and is powered by an Alpha hand-wound movement. Read more HERE.
The Nomos Tetra Ode to Joy pays tribute to Beethoven’s eponymous piece in his 9th Symphony, which became the anthem for the European Union…
In order to keep this article to a reasonable length, I’ll just focus on a few of the pieces I have seen this year at Watches & Wonders that comfortably fit the neutrality brief. I’d go in order of affordability so you can stop reading when you start getting dizzy. Like with betting, when the fun stops, stop.
Montblanc presented novelties inspired by their love of the mountains. Their 41mm 1858 Iced Sea Automatic Date model in stainless steel – their first-ever diving watch – is inspired by the Mar de Glace glacier, which can be clearly appreciated in the design of the dial (available in blue, green and black), which resembles the structure of ice thanks to an ancient technique known as gratté-boisé. The timepiece comes in a 41mm stainless steel case with a unidirectional bi-colour ceramic bezel, an engraved case back and an interchangeable blue rubber strap. The timepiece conforms to the ISO 6425 norm for diving watches and is water-resistant to 300 metres. Starting at just £2,435 this watch is a total steal. Read more HERE.
The Montblanc 1858 Iced Sea features a 3D relief engraving of an iceberg and a scuba diver on the case back.
Another great sport watch very well priced (£2,450) is the Tag Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph, which features an innovative solar-powered movement (calibre TH50-00). Its 40mm black DLC steel sandblasted case contains a black sunray brushed dial which, together with the bezel present Super-LumiNova details to maximise the light. Further application of this photoluminescent material in green colour combine with carbon inserts on the turning bezel for a striking effect. Read more HERE.
The new Tag Heuer Solargraph needs only two minutes in full sunlight to run for a whole day.
The new ProPilot X calibre 400 by Oris is a great first pilot’s watch. High-performing, no-nonsense and just £3,300 … what is not to like? Technically, this is a very competent watch. The movement features elevated levels of anti-magnetism and a five-day power reserve. The 39mm case is made of titanium as is the bracelet. There are three dial colours available. I prefer it in blue, which nicely contrasts with the indices and hands coated in Super-LumiNova for easy legibility in any light conditions. Read more HERE.
The see-through sapphire glass on the case back of the ProPilot X depicts its premium movement.
If you are in search of a watch which would look as comfortable at work as it would at a black tie event, then look no further than the new black and steel Cartier Santos-Dumont, released together with another two versions (burgundy and platinum or beige and gold), all of them coated with a thin layer of lacquer, smoothed and polished by hand. I have the feeling that once you put it on your wrist, this watch will stay there for the rest of your life, easy, timeless, impervious to the futility of passing fashions. The dimensions of the case: 43.5 x 31.4mm add to the presence of these new Santos-Dumont models while the alligator leather straps follow the original from 1904. Read more HERE.
The finesse of the lacquer adds brilliance, relief and depth to the dial of the new Santos-Dumont.
Talking about classics, Rolex released their first ever Day-Date 40 featuring a 950 platinum fluted bezel with an ice blue dial. Creating the fluted bezel in such metal was no small enterprise. It took years of research to adapt the process to working with platinum and achieving the perfect shape and sparkling surfaces. This new iteration of the “presidents” watch is powered by Rolex’s own self-winding perpetual calibre 3255, of course housed in an oyster case. The dial features a blue seconds hand as well as faceted, deconstructed Roman numerals and faceted hour markers in 18K white gold. Elegant, practical and the favourite of many a political figure in modern history. £50,850. Read more HERE.
The President bracelet on this new Day-Date 40 includes a concealed folding Crownclasp and ceramic inserts inside the links.
Last, I would like to introduce you to the latest gem in Vacheron Constantin’s Historiques collection: a to-die-for version of the “Jumbo” Historiques 222, originally launched in 1977 to celebrate the Maison’s 222th anniversary. Among the various existing 222 references, the one chosen to mark the return of the legend has been 44018. All in 18K yellow gold, with a 37mm dial, its retro look couldn’t be more fashionable if it tried. With its monobloc flat-based tonneau-shaped case topped by a grooved bezel and its integrated bracelet, this timepiece displayed a solid, functional and sporty spirit with the elegance provided by the purity of its design. This re-edition (£53,500) is faithful to the original model, with just a few adjustments for a better fit on the wrist and enhanced reliability. Creative and Heritage director Christian Selmoni has been, once again, spot on in his choice of inspiration from their archives. Read more HERE.
Vacheron Constantin’s re-edition of the 37 mm-diameter yellow gold 222 “Jumbo”: an iconic timepiece from the 1970s.
Words: Julia Pasarón