Ten of the best luxury watches for everyday wear
These classic timepieces are reviving the sporty category with verve and ingenuity
Cartier: new Dumont XL
Sometimes you want a watch that’s easy to wear, refined and suggestive of discerning style. If anything has these attributes in spades, it’s the XL version of Cartier’s Cartier-Dumont.
Measuring a generous 46.6mm x 33.9mm, the watch is powered by a hand-wound mechanical movement and comes in three models: all steel, a steel case with pink-gold bezel, and full pink-gold, each delivered on an alligator strap.
Steel version £5,400; cartier.com
Montblanc Heritage Monopusher Chronograph
For fans of vintage-feel chronographs, the handsome Montblanc Heritage edition looks the part right down to its subdials, narrow bezel and dauphine hands. Then, of course, there’s the striking salmon colour, expertly texturised thanks to sunburst brushing and grainy stippling. It’s large, at 42mm x 14.7mm, so stands out on the wrist, which can only be good.
Rolex: new 41mm Oyster Perpetual
The iconic Oyster Perpetual is now available in a 41mm size and dials come in seven colours including tangerine orange and baby pink. The hero model is this retro looking version with silver sunray dial and 18-carat gold hands and hour markers – details which radiate a lustrous blue when lights are low thanks to a coating of luminescent Chromalight. All models are equipped with the self-winding calibre 3230, also waterproof to depths of 330 feet, so it can be worn during high impact water sports, such as scuba and saturation diving.
Bremont has teamed up with Rolls-Royce to become the official timing partner for its all-electric speed record attempt. Taking flight in early 2021, Rolls Royce’s Spirit of Innovation aims to be the fastest zero-emissions aircraft in history. Bremont’s involvement is twofold: it has installed a Bremont stopwatch in the cockpit, and test pilots will be equipped with this vintage-inspired 43mm chronometer called the Bremont ionBird. The watch’s clear GMT function is buffered by some serious anti-shock technology while its case is hewn from lightweight aviation grade titanium.
From £4,495; bremont.com
Longines Heritage Military Marine Nationale
Based on a vintage design first commissioned by the French Navy in 1947, this 38.5mm model encapsulates what Longines does best: classic watchmaking. Nods to the original are obvious: see the rounded boxed glass, screw-down crown, cream dial with large numerals and blue steel hands. The thickly set bezel also connects it to military watches of the past, as does the inscription “Fab Suisse” (for Fabrique Swiss) on the dial, which replicates the stamp employed on the Longines wartime pieces.
Grand Seiko 60th Anniversary Mt Iwate
This new steel limited edition, made in celebration of the Japanese watchmaker’s 60th anniversary, evokes the radiant blue sky over Mount Iwate at dawn that greets the watchmakers of the Grand Seiko Studio in Shizukuishi. The red tip of the slim seconds hand represents the rising sun that punctuates this landscape. Turn the watch around, and you’ll see a red ring around the oscillating weight - apparently a visual metaphor for the warm light that floods through the studio every morning. Rather beautiful, then, in both form and spirit. Limited to 2,550 pieces.
Piaget: the new Polo
Born in 1979, the Piaget Polo is a watch designed for tastemakers. Worn by the likes of Andy Warhol, it combines understated masculinity with an economy of line. Recognisable from its cushion-shaped dial set into a round case, this 43mm version is limited to 888 pieces. The rich green guilloche dial is paired with pink-gold coloured hands, gold indexes and date window frame. The timepiece is powered by Piaget’s 1110P self-winding movement whose slate-grey oscillating weight can be admired through a sapphire crystal caseback.
Hublot Classic Fusion 40 Years Anniversary
In 1980, Hublot shook up the watch world with its unconventional Classic Fusion timepiece, a gold watch on a rubber strap. To mark its 40th anniversary, the brand has reinvented the sporty luxe model noted for its angular case and circular bezel with visible screws. Now powered by a high performance self-winding mechanical movement, the 45mm model with black-lacquered dial is arguably the most understated design of the Hublot family – and yet is still cutting-edge. It is available in a choice of yellow gold, titanium or black ceramic.
Titanium model £6,900; hublot.com
IWC Portugieser Automatic 40
IWC’s popular Portugieser family has been enhanced with a host of new additions this year. The complex Portugieser Yacht Club Moon & Tide is the first watch from IWC to feature a new tide indication. Purists will be thrilled to see the return of the iconic Portugieser Automatic 40 which has all the sleekness of its predecessors only in a more compact form. Its movement is powered by a Pellaton pawl-winding system with components made of virtually wear-free ceramic, which ensure a power reserve of 60 hours.
Jaeger LeCoultre Polaris Memovox Mariner
Reborn in 2018 to mark the 50th anniversary of the marque’s classic diving model, the Polaris has become a hero piece. Now comes the closest match to the 1968 original: a serious dive watch with a mechanical alarm function. Don’t be deceived by its smart look: the new Mariner is water-resistant to 300 metres. In fact, it actually exceeds the ISO 6425 certification test, the official standard for diver’s watches. Its alarm function is a wonderful nod to the past – a signifier of the brand’s belief in art for art’s sake.