The luxury sports watches is no doubt the talk of the town over the last few years, with many manufacturers seeking a slice of the pie with their interpretation of the watch.
Notably, over the last few years, we have seen some independent brands who have hopped onto the bandwagon as well. Unlike the mainstream brands and conglomerates, independent brands have more flexibility in their design language and requirements, which results in timepieces that are much more interesting and less generic as compared to the rest within the genre.
Given the nature of independent brands, we are definitely keen to see how they define the luxury sports watches genre, and how different they are from the current offerings. Hence, in this week’s article, we will be looking at a selection of six timepieces from independent watch manufacturers. What have we selected? Let us find out!
Czapek & Cie Antarctique
We begin this week’s article with the Czapek & Cie Antarctique.
The Antarctique is Czapek’s answer to sports watches. That concept was drawn from Xavier de Roquemaurel – one of the brand’s most active shareholders – during his family trip to Antarctica. The idea is to pay homage to the continent, as well as to draw more attention and emphasis to the environmental issues that are faced by nature – where Antarctica had since become a preeminent symbol of environmental degradation.
The watch is fitted with the Calibre SXH5.01. This is a self-winding movement with a micro-rotor, and it boasts a decent power reserve of around 56 hours. The movement is notably conceived in-house by the Czapek team, and it is a visual treat with reference to how the different elements of the movement were arranged.
With a retail price of CHF19,500 (approximately S$28,105), the Czapek offers collectors a much more accessible timepiece from an independent watch manufacturer. It is worth to note that the micro-rotor is produced with recycled gold, which reinforces the brand’s commitment to build awareness on the current environmental issues and promote sustainable practices.
Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Micro-Rotor Steel
The Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Micro-Rotor Steel may be one of the latest entrants into the luxury sports watch scene, but it may be one of the strongest contenders just yet.
Launched in the last quarter of 2021, the 40mm sports watch offers collectors a different take onto the genre – with a series of great finishing and beautiful details. This includes a stunning guilloché dial, the brand’s signature coin-edged bezel, and the magnificent Caliber PF703. The latter – with a power reserve of around 48 hours – has a platinum micro-rotor, with some nice finishing techniques employed as well.
Retailing at CHF21,000 (approximately S$30,268), the Tonda PF Micro-Rotor Steel is a great luxury sports watch that is priced rather competitively against the big boys. This is a brilliant and conversational piece for those who know their watches.
Laurent Ferrier Sport Auto
Following the Parmigiani, we have yet another new entrant to the scene. Cue the Laurent Ferrier Sport Auto, which was just introduced last month.
Inspired by a race victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans 1979 involving Laurent Ferrier himself and his partner François Servanin, the Sports Auto features some nice old-school touches with a grade 5 titanium case and integrated bracelet. The 41.5mm is rather curvaceous, with a blue-gradient opaline dial that contrasts rather nicely with the rest of the watch.
Powering the Sport Auto is the incredible LF 270.01 movement, which is entirely designed, decorated, assembled and adjusted in the Laurent Ferrier workshops. The finishing is impeccable, and we love how the different finishing techniques are all executed by hand.
The Sport Auto is priced at CHF46,000 (approximately S$66,300). This is another exquisite piece, with some rather fine work done to it. Granted, it is not inexpensive, but for what is worth, the Sports Auto is a luxury sports watch that is on another level altogether.
H. Moser Streamliner Flyback Chronograph Automatic
The Streamliner, launched in January 2020, is one of the most interesting timepieces in H. Moser & Cie.’s already sublime repertoire. Drawing inspiration from the 1970s, the organic-looking timepiece features a curvaceous case with an integrated bracelet. The watch is also fitted with a clean looking dial, but with the brand’s signature fumé and an additional griffé (French for clawed, or scratched) treatment to it. The end result is amazing, and it provides a visual treat to the collector. We also like the white and minute tracks on the peripherals of the dial, which accentuates the design cues of the 1970s.
Notably, the watch is powered by the Calibre HMC 902 – a movement that is co-developed with Agenhor. The self-winding movement has a power reserve of around 54 hours, and the winding rotor is fitted between the dial and the movement. This allows the user the pleasure to view the movement in full glory from the exhibition case back. The latter is certainly important, considering that the HMC 902 is a well-finished movement with all standard haute horlogerie elements ticked off as “well done”.
The 42.3mm H. Moser Streamliner is priced at S$60,700. The watch has a great design, and the movement is equally compelling as well. This is definitely worth a consideration if one is looking for a solid and bold timepiece that stands out in a crowd.
F. P. Journe Linesport Octa Sport
F.P. Journe is probably a brand that does not need much introduction, but we reckon the Linesport Octa Sports is an intriguing timepiece that is pretty much unlike anything that we have seen within the luxury sports watch segment.
This particular Octa Sports is striking, no doubts about that. This is achieved with a bright yellow dial, which juxtaposes really nicely with the anthracite grade 5 titanium case. We also like the inclusion of the large date display, and the brand’s signature sub-seconds dial which are derived from the iconic sub-dials of the Centigraphe. The Calibre 1300-3 is highly functional with a power reserve of 160 hours, with a dream-like finishing from a movement that is constructed using aluminum alloy.
The last known retail price of the Linesport Octa Sports is CHF36,000 (approximately S$51,887). There is a certain charm with F.P. Journe’s watches, and the Octa Sports is no exception to that. This is a highly original and unique timepiece, and one that will truly stand out from the crowd.
Greubel Forsey GMT Sport
We round up the article with the Greubel Forsey GMT Sport.
Greubel Forsey is arguably one of the top watchmakers in the world, and it is evident in the quality of its timepieces. By default, the 45mm GMT Sport is perhaps the finest luxury sports watch that money can buy, with the plethora of complications (such as dual timezone display, world-time indicator, inclined tourbillon, and a power reserve indicator) and immaculate finishing throughout. We do not expect anything less from a Greubel Forsey timepiece anyway.
The curvaceous timepiece is priced at S$700,000, while the more exclusive Sincere Fine Watches Special Edition (as pictured) retails at over S$900,000. The latter is also limited to a production run of a mere 5 pieces, and frankly, this is as close to what we reckon perfection is.
It is difficult not to like the indies. From today’s selection, we have seen a myriad of interpretations for the luxury sports watches genre, and they are vastly different from the mainstream brands in numerous ways. In addition, with the magnificent finishing and exquisite attention to the minute details, these watches are definitely special and rather precious indeed.
Now, here is the elephant in the room: These watches are not inexpensive. And rightly so, considering the amount of work and intricacies that has gone into the production of these watches. But if we are comparing to the higher-tier brands such as those within the “holy trinity”, then some of the watches in today’s article are relatively well-priced after all. Granted, the same cannot be said if we are comparing these watches to the more conventional ones, such as those priced below the sub-S$10,000 category.
So, what are your thoughts on our selection today? Would you prefer a luxury sports watch from the usual suspects, or will you take a leap of faith with the likes of Parmigiani or Czapek? Let us know in the comments section below.