In this era of digitisation, it would be reasonable to think that traditional wristwatches have become superfluous. With everyone checking their smartphones regularly, we can see the time directly. And in a time when smartwatches are booming amongst the younger generation, it is reasonable to think that we no longer need a watch on our wrist. But luxurious timepieces are much more than an instrument for showing the time: they are synonymous with style, an understanding of value and timelessness. Made from state-of-the-art materials and equipped with the latest technology, they reflect a master craft and are also a real investment. The sophisticated interaction between the wheels, hands and springs has been a source of fascination to style-conscious men for generations.
Elegant timekeepers: Diverse materials and state-of-the-art technology
Today’s elegant timekeepers are true masterpieces created to perfection in painstaking craftsmanship. Often, several years pass between the first draft design and the finished watch. Different materials are used for the case, depending on what design the manufacturers want to achieve. For example, stainless steel is often used for the lower-cost models for everyday use, while gold in its vast range of purity grades (yellow gold and white gold) is the material of choice for the classic, more costly versions. Red gold and rose gold are absolutely on trend. This warm gold nuance is no longer the reserve of ultra-fashionable ladies’ jewellery, but is now also considered hip for men. By contrast, carbon and titanium ensure an extremely light weight, are very sturdy and are often used in sporty models. The crystal most commonly used in watches is either mineral, sapphire or plastic (Plexiglas). The resulting properties can be advantageous or disadvantageous, depending on the purpose of the watch.
For example, Octo Finissimo for men from Bvlgari with its extra-thin design has become one of the mainstays of the Bvlgari collection. Its 1.95 mm calibre BVL 266 is one of the world’s flattest tourbillons. It comprises 249 parts and numerous finishings. The plates and bridges are chamfered and decorated with Geneva Seals. The watch is also water-resistant to 100 metres (10 ATM).
Top quality watch models for the discerning gentleman
Premium watches for discerning men can be broken down into three broad categories: mechanical, automatic and quartz watches. Mechanical models are currently being revolutionised and are extremely popular thanks to their quality craftsmanship combined with technical perfection. They are driven by a spiral-shaped spring and require professional maintenance at regular intervals (every five years). For mechanical watches, a distinction is made between manual winding and self winding. There are now even watch winders available for automatic watches. They replace the arm movement and use rotating and vibrating movements to ensure that the watch oil stays fluid and doesn’t harden and that the watch does not come to a standstill.
The watch winder would be suitable for the Monaco Calibre from Tag Heuer, for example. The water-resistant automatic chronograph (to 100 metres, 10 ATM) with a square case made from finely brushed, polished stainless steel and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal as well as a blue dial is as casual as it is original. The Monaco name is synonymous with elegance and prestige with a vintage flair. The strap is available in three different variants with a folding clasp.
High-quality watch movements
At the heart of the well-known and well-loved luxury brand watches, you will often find a quality watch movement from ETA SA Manufacture Horlogére Suisse. The history of the Swiss manufacturer, which now belongs to the Swatch Group, dates back to the year 1973. Stemming from the merger of several manufacturers, ETA has become a dominant force in the watch industry, selling individual movement parts, entire movements or building kits that in some cases are finished by the purchasers.
Watch innovations, classic watches, chronographs in the premium segment
Before buying a luxurious branded watch, you should decide which design and functions you prefer. For example, integrated date displays are very popular for business use. You should also be aware that mechanical watches do not show the time with split-second accuracy. However, a variance of up to six seconds per day is considered acceptable only in the lower price segments. If you prefer to have the exact time, we recommend what is referred to as a chronograph, which is subject to a separate accuracy test.
One example is the Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph from IWC for men. Featuring sapphire crystal, a stainless steel case, a self winding automatic movement, a black rubber strap and a quarter-second scale for stopwatch use, this sporty chronograph is also suited as a navigation instrument for your next sailing trip. Driven by a sturdy IWC calibre 89361 movement, the watch has a screw-down crown and is water-resistant (6 ATM).
Watch design to match the modern man’s wardrobe
The design of a watch is primarily a matter of taste, a question of personal sartorial style so to speak. Only second is it a question of functionality. For men in particular, luxury brand watches are viewed as an elegant and accepted stylish accessory that is often matched with a suit, shoes and belt. Classic, understated models tend to be favoured for day-to-day office wear, for example the Master Ultra Thin from Jaeger LeCoultre. It is made from stainless steel and features sapphire crystal as well as an ultra-flat automatic movement with top precision and reliability. This round watch for men with its silver-coloured face is a timeless classic for lovers of fine objects.
By contrast, there are no limits regarding what to wear after work. Fashionistas are free to wear bright colours and unusual materials or oversized and highly decorative models if these watches suit their personality.
- Two of a kind for gold: A classic gold watch worn on the left hand matches a yellow-gold wedding ring.
- Points for silver: Silver watches go well with other silver fashion accessories.
- Stainless steel as a real all-rounder: A stainless steel watch will complement any style of clothing.
- Sporty watches: Hinged bracelets made from carbon also go well with a suit, for example.
- Stainless steel watches as true all-rounders: They will match any look.
- Natural look and an attractive patina: Vintage watches with leather straps are in fashion and go well with corduroy jackets, denim shirts, check patterns and braces.
Dark dials are also very in, with younger men in particular tending to combine them with leather straps in natural or light colours. A black opaline dial, such as that of the Autavia Calibre from Tag Heuer, together with the strap, made from brown calfskin leather and featuring a pin buckle, results in a particularly sophisticated look. The case of the water-resistant chronograph (10 ATM) is made from polished stainless steel and has domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment.
If you would like to discover more luxurious timepieces from other well-known brands, we recommend the Watches category here at Red Dot 21.
Posted on 05.02.2018
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