In a sea of hype that is aided by the omnipresence of social media, it is easy to lose track of things and get yourself caught up with trends. This is especially true with watches.
It is not a bad thing per se. After all, there must be some reason behind the madness, or the overwhelming popularity of certain timepieces. Having some of these trending pieces certainly does make one look good, but at what cost?
For this week’s article, we are moving towards the more poetic and romantic side of watch collecting. There is just something about elegant and classy timepieces, and we reckon that in today’s market, these watches are definitely very underrated and less-loved. But we are not just talking about dressy watches – beyond that, we are also looking at timepieces that exude a certain personality as well. Therefore, in today’s write-up, we will be looking at six stylish and sophisticated timepieces – each with its own take on design and aesthetics.
What have we selected? Let us find out.
Cartier Tank Cintrée
We cannot think of a better brand to begin the article with, other than Cartier.
Cartier has always designed some of the most stunning and elegant watches, and the Tank Cintrée is an example of that. First launched in 1921, the elongated and sensuously-curved watch is simple but highly sophisticated on the wrist. Couple with a simple but tasteful dial, there is something pretty special about how the watch looks. And this sort of result is rarely achieved by any other watch manufacturers around the world.
Priced at S$30,400 for the yellow and rose gold version, the manual-winding Tank Cintrée is the Cartier for collectors who want something iconic, but a tad different from the crowd.
Breguet Classique 5157
Breguet is a brand that is well-known by many for its complications and significant contributions to the horological world. But the Breguet that we are featuring today is something that is slightly different; it is a simple, but very clean, two-hand dress watch. Cue the Classique 5157.
The Classique 5157 is what we consider a textbook “dress watch”. Sized at 38mm, the watch also features an ultra-thin case profile at 5.4mm – which allows it to slip under shirt cuffs easily. This watch is one that focuses on the subtle details – from the guilloche dial, machine-tooled borders on the peripheral of the chapter ring, and the coin-edge motif at the side of the case. These elements, although minute, add up to the beauty of the piece.
The watch has a retail price of S$27,000. This is an example of a perfect dress watch for the gentleman, and it proves that you do not need to be superfluous to design a great timepiece.
Chopard L.U.C Heritage Grand Cru
The L.U.C series by Chopard is a well-kept secret within the watch collecting circle, with its incredible take on watchmaking and movement finishing.
The 38.5mm Heritage Grand Cru offers collectors a stunning tonneau-shaped watch, which is notably only the second-time that Chopard had opted the choice of using this case shape. Fitted with a porcelain-like white dial with roman numerals, the design is as classic and clean as it can get.
Personally, the pièce de résistance lies in the movement – in this case, the Calibre 97.01-L. The tonneau-shape movement is well-finished, with the movement anointed with the prestigious Geneva Seal. In addition, the watch boasts a power reserve of 65 hours, and it is wound by a 22k gold micro-rotor.
With a retail price of CHF24,700 (approximately S$36,097), the Heritage Grand Cru is a great piece that certainly places it amongst some of the most venerable manufacturers in the industry.
A. Lange & Söhne Cabaret
A. Lange & Söhne is a brand that is familiar to many by now, but the Cabaret is perhaps a timepiece that only the hardcore enthusiasts will know.
The Cabaret, with an unusual rectangular case, is one of the less loved (unjust, we know) models amongst the Lange family. What we particularly like is the simplicity of the watch, as well as the effort that Lange had put into this piece – in the form of a form-shaped movement that also incorporates the usual elements of a typical Glashütte-made timepiece (think three-quarter plate, Glashütte-ribbing, engraved balance cock, etc.).
Unfortunately, A. Lange & Söhne no longer produces this model – sans the limited edition Cabaret Tourbillon Handwerkskunst that was launched last year. We believe that the Cabaret is a stunning piece, and one that deserves much more attention than what it is currently receiving.
H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Perpetual Moon Concept
Speaking about quiet confidence, the H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Perpetual Moon Concept is the timepiece that best encapsulates the term.
The 42mm timepiece is indeed an intriguing piece, with a Vantablack dial that is almost completely devoid of any elements, sans the hands and an additional moonphase indicator at the six o’clock position. There are certainly elements that allow the enthusiasts to identify that it is a Moser, but otherwise, it may appear to others as an “unlabeled” timepiece. Not that it matters anyways, as the quality and finishing of the watch speaks for itself.
There is just something unique about this concept, and Moser is perhaps one of the very few brands that had the guts to pull something off as such. We love how minimalistic it is, and the boldness that this watch exudes. The Endeavour Perpetual Moon Concept is available in a limited edition of 100 pieces (50 for each of the steel and red gold variant), and it is priced at CHF35,000 (approximately S$51,144).
Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse Ref. 5738R
When it comes to Patek Philippe, the likes of Nautiluses and Grand Complications are perhaps the first few collections that will come to mind.
There is a lesser-known, but equally important collection, named the Golden Ellipse. Second only to the Calatrava in terms of age, the Golden Ellipse is an interesting watch that features an uncommon elliptical case with dimensions that respect the golden ratio. This particular edition, which was produced to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the collection, features a larger case that measures 34.5mm x 39.5mm.
While the watch might be simple, the executions are pretty much perfect. From the rich ebony black sunburst dial to the onyx cabochon on the crown, Patek Philippe managed to do the simple things right. The same can also be said for the legendary Calibre 240, which is unfortunately hidden behind a solid caseback. We have no doubts about the quality of the finishing on the movements itself, given that it is Patek Philippe.
Priced at S$40,700 for the rose gold model, this timepiece is also paired with a matching set of cufflinks to complete the package. It may not be everyone’s top choice, but it is surely a piece that speaks a lot about the owner.
The six watches that we have selected today are rather uncommon choices, but they are certainly overlooked by many. There is just something really special about these timepieces, especially with the level of boldness that they have shown in their design language. These watches are incredible in their own rights.
As watch collectors, we do appreciate when brands create such brilliant pieces. Personally, it really makes us happy to see manufacturers taking the less trodden path, and produce timepieces with a heart and soul. These may not be the most popular or profitable models, but collectors will certainly come to appreciate such watches (some day, perhaps, for certain pieces that have not caught on within the enthusiasts circle).
So, what are your favourite pieces amongst the six watches that we have selected today? Also, what are the timepieces that should have made it onto the list? Let us know in the comments section below!