More Sunday Meditations: 6 watch recommendations for those with new money

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A few weeks ago, we featured six watches for those with old money. This week, we turn our attention to the new money crowd. Very different requirements, as we would all imagine. On y va !

More Sunday Meditations: 6 watch recommendations for those with new money

The Oxford Languages dictionary provided by the Google dictionary box defines “new money” as “wealth that has been recently acquired, typically that which a person has earned rather than inherited.” By implication, we take this to mean that these are folks who because they have come to be wealthy recently, have not had the time to refine their tastes. To imbibe subtlety and understatement, and often outwardly show their wealth by their possessions. Watches, cars, clothing are often ostentatious. With bold designs and branding being treasured more than traditional workmanship and classical aesthetics. This does not mean that new money do not care about good craftsmanship, but often need a stronger expression rather than a discreet one. This is by not in any way mean or imply as a stereotype of new money, but we are using this particular nuance as the definition for the basis of today’s article.

Having said that…yes, we know it is as clear as mud…and intended to be so…let’s begin! No particular order, of course!

Richard Mille

This one is a toss up. We have seen many old money folks sporting Richard Mille, but for the most part, we feel this is a maison for the new money. Where ostentation is the order of the day. Where being able to boast of how much you spent on your watch is almost as important, or more important than the heritage, technical or finishing details of watch itself. Richard Mille, as a brand is the only watch which is on the Top 10 of the Morgan Stanley and LuxeConsult Report which is less than 100 years old! And thus itself fits the definition of new money.

We could have made our pick any of the watches from their rather extensive catalog. All fit the bill. But to select one, our choice is the RM50-03 Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph Ultralight McLaren F1.

Everything about the RM50 screams of new money. The linkage to McLaren helps to shore up the credibility to those who have no clue in watchmaking. But the RM50-03 does not need that. It stands on its own, even with among watch nerds (read that as snobs, which is us!). Read the specs: split seconds chronograph with tourbillon in a graphene impregnated carbon fibre layered case. The movement is made from titanium with carbon plates and bridges. Super light at only 38g including strap. Feel the watch on the wrist. Hint: almost like not wearing a watch. And finally look at the watch: unmatched complicated looking piece! Myriads of colours clamouring for attention. Touché for the new rich, and the bragging rights that the launch price of CHF 1million! And that it is now discontinued, makes it even more enticing!

Jacob & Co

And of course, the list have to have a Jacob & Co. Perhaps the epitome of new money, as Jacob Arabo himself is new money, having arrived in New York as a immigrant in 1979. The story is documented in one of his latest watches, the World is Yours Dual Timezone watch, which caught even the eye of Daniella Dufour who gave one to her father – the legendary watchmaker Philippe Dufour.

But our pick has to have more zest. More complicated. An easy task, given that almost the entire Jacob catalog qualifies. From elaborate watches like the Godfather, the Astronomia or even the Twin Turbo. Take your pick. They even have a model which they call the Billionaire! But for us, our top pick have to be none other than the Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon. For a beautiful blend of bling and technical virtuosity.

The white gold version we reviewed is as reserved as it gets for this collaboration timepiece with supercar maker Bugatti. Our thinking is that perhaps one of the other versions, either the one in full sapphire crystal or diamond-paved cases, might suit the new money wallet better. And the Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon gets our pick because there is plenty to love about the watch. It is beautifully designed and crafted and offers something novel in the form of its engine automaton and movement suspension. And what a spectacular delight. Apparently, based on what we saw on the wrists of the guests we met at Jacob’s Sicily Godfather event, we have new money market approval.

Hublot

Hublot, especially from the era of Jean-Claude Biver is certainly a watch for the new monied folks. Spotted on the wrists of footballers, rap artists, cyber currency billionaires and politicians, the brand has developed a bold, larger than life image that the new money folks love and identify with. Again, the Hublot catalog is rich with examples which will fit the bill. We don’t even need gemset encrusted watches. Their catalog is full of coloured sapphire pieces, and collaboration projects like the various collabs with Murakami. Or those with Orlinski. And the Sang Bleu series, which we are also very fond of. This is a collaboration with one of the most interesting artists of the century Maxime Plescia-Büchi. We loved the first one in 2017, and the Sang Bleu II in 2019 and again the Sang Bleu II in 2020. And even the Spirit of Big Bang Sang Bleu of 2023. But our top pick from Hublot is not a collaboration, enticing as they seem to be. As we need the technical spirit to fly high, we choose new MP-10.

We have just photographed the watch, (well actually just before we headed out for WWG on Mar 27) but are still working on a full comprehensive review of this magnificent timepiece. Coming soon. Watch this space!

Franck Muller

Franck Muller was a superstar brand made famous by rock stars like Sir Elon John. They fell into deep slumber, and lost their innovative edge for a while. But recently, with the injection of capital and a generous dose of enthusiasm by Raymond Lim, Chairman of Cortina Holdings who now hold the franchise for Asia, is now in an state of revival. The immense success of the FR2 collaboration is a case in point. And this year’s redesigned release of their Long Island collection is another. Our pick is from this novelty series, namely the Long Island Master Jumper. The Master Jumper is one of the first three launch models, and is the most technically interesting. Housed in a reworked Long Island case with an inner case to hold shape movements, the launch models were released with an inner case in pine green aluminium. A total of 5 discs, displaying the hour, the minutes (two discs), and the date (two discs), all jump simultaneously at the indicated time. With the entire spectacle is visible through the smoked sapphire glass.

Review forthcoming, but for now, we leave you with this comment from our writer Stanley who attended the launch in Geneva. His immediate feedback on handling the watch was that the Long Island Master Jumper is very wearable. Even n his smaller wrist. See his live photographs on our IG @deployant Story Highlites.

HYT

Another very new maison, built from what we might imagine to be new money. Mainly tech money from a technology originally intended for use in space, the capillary liquid display system is unique and very attractive. The watches are equally spectacular. With the early H1 and H2 models captivating our attention and those of our new money friends since launch. H3, H4 and H5 quickly followed, but then progress halted. The H0 was somewhat more limited in appeal, and the company filed for bankruptcy in March 2021. It did not just fade away though, but managed to came back in 2022 with Davide Cerrato as CEO. He introduced the Hastroid, Moon Runner and the Conical Tourbillon (recently updated with a 2024 novelty: Conical Tourbillon Panda). Davide lasted barely a year and left for Bremont in 2023. The company trudged on, and this year we learnt that Vahe Vartzbed, formerly from GP and Greubel Forsey has been appointed as GM of HYT. We also understand that one of the founders, Vincent Perriard remains on the board and is still steering the company. Again, pick any HYT, and we would say bravo for the new monied folks. But if you ask us, our choice is the Moon Runner Supernova Blue.

This is a watch which is easy to love. It is big. It is bold. It has bright blue accents! And very three dimensional. The physical dimensions demand attention. This is not a watch which one slips quietly under the bespoke cuffs. This is one to show off. The time display may seem intimidating at first, but once the learning curve is conquered, it is intuitive to read. The watch functions as it should, with no obvious quirks, though one has to take care not to move too quickly when setting the time, and allow enough time for the liquid to move between its reservoirs. But even this quirk is easy to get used to, after which it is second nature.

Audemars Piguet

Surprise, surprise. The grand old dame has it in her yet. AP has reinvented itself several times. With the Royal Oak in 1972, the Royal Oak Offshore in 1993 and again the Code 11.59 in 2019. We named the Royal Oak in our old money list, and the standout big, bold choice of new money is the Royal Oak Offshore. It has clout with the rap/hip hop culture. Though not all new monied folks share this culture, almost all rap/hip hop artistes have come to money in their own generation.

The Post Malone and Ty Dolla $ign song “Psycho” off the album Beerbongs & Bentleys has the opening line, “Damn, my AP goin’ psycho.” This line occurs several times throughout the rest of the song. And on the 2011 album, Watch the Throne, Kanye West and Jay-Z rap, “Ball so hard, got a broke clock, Rollies that don’t tick-tock / Audemars that’s losing time, hidden behind all these big rocks.”

Our pick is the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph in rose gold and ceramic bezel. And for AP, no bling is necessary; though AP is happy to oblige with gem-set numbers should the client require some more panache. But for us, the rose gold case suffices. It ticks all the boxes. It is big, with the case at 43mm but looking much larger and meaner with the bold contrasting ceramic bezel and angular pushers. The entire package presents a powerful and unstoppable presence on the wrist, that even today, no other watch comes close to. Thus is the aura of the ROO.

Concluding thoughts

Of course we are pandering to the stereotype of the new monied folks. And in particular, one exceptionally nuanced segment. Where the new money peeps are self-made, acquired through entrepreneurial endeavours, successful careers, or innovative ventures. And as such are less conservative, and open to showing off their new found wealth. While old money folks usually inherit their wealth which has been made via generations of family businesses, investments, or land ownership. And as such, are very conservative, very discreet and understated. Of course these categories are not hard and fast, but lie on a spectrum where these are extremes.

We are increasingly seeing new money coming into the old world of Pateks, APs, VCs and the like. Often driving prices up at auctions without regard to traditional values. From these, we see the records being made, like on the Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona “Paul Newman”. See our three part series. Part 2 and Part 3 linked here. Or on the non-precious metal Patek Philippes at OnlyWatch.

What do you think? Did we miss any new money favourites?

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