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Throwback Sundays: Six Chronographs for Cooking, from Our Archives

Timed to Perfection
by Robin Lim on April 12, 2020
Reviews

Over the past few weeks, due to the evolving situation with regards to the terrible Covid-19, many are now facing some form of “lockdown” or are currently working from home.

Interestingly, many have begun picking up cooking during this period. All of a sudden, there are many social media posts from family and friends who shared some of the dishes that they’ve made during this period. Even the author finds himself doing that recently as well.

One of the more important elements of cooking therein lies in the timing. The concept of timing is important – a little too long and the ingredients get overcooked, and a wee bit under translates into undercooked food. Neither are desirable. This has thrust chronographs into the spotlight. You see, the author – being a watch enthusiast – certainly finds himself using the chronograph function of his watches more frequently especially when he cooks. It is useful, but more importantly, it allows us to finally put our prized possessions into good use as well. Honestly, how many times have you used the chronograph function over the last few years?

Hence, in this week’s column, we will be looking at six great chronographs – across a spectrum of price range – that should fit the bill. These watches are hardy, and they should be up for the task without breaking any sweat. What are the watches that we have selected?

Casio G-Shock GMW-B5000

We begin the article with one of hottest and most stylish pieces from Casio in recent years: G-Shock GMW-B5000.

Launched in 2018, the G-Shock GMW-B5000 is the first watch in the 5000-series to feature a full metal construction. The design brings out another side of G-Shock – away from the usual rubber-cladded watches that we were used to. This makes it one of the coolest G-Shocks that we have seen so far.

The G-Shock is perfect for someone who wants the iconic timepiece, but with a stylish twist. No doubt, the usual G-Shocks are very capable of functioning in tough conditions, but we feel that the GMW-B5000 takes it up a notch with a strong fashion statement. Priced at S$799, we think that this is one timepiece that will capture the attention of many watch collectors – regardless whether they are fans of G-Shocks (or for that matter, digital watches) or not.

Longines Heritage Diver 1967

The Heritage collection by Longines had constantly threw us surprises. Inspired by watches in their archives, the repertoire includes some of their finest and historically important creations, such as the Legend Diver, Lindbergh Hour Angle, and Avigation Big Eye.

We thought that another highly underrated timepiece from that collection is the Heritage Diver 1967 that was launched in Baselworld 2015. As its nomenclature suggests, the timepiece was originally conceived in 1967. Some interesting design cues of the 42mm watch includes the angled lugs, domed sapphire crystal, red bezel, and the asymmetrical sub-dials. The combination worked surprisingly well.

Powered by an ETA-based movement, the Heritage Diver 1967 boasts a power reserve of around 54 hours. The functions include a column wheel chronograph, as well as a date indicator at the 4:30 position. It is well-priced at S$4,770, and it is certainly a wonderful addition as a daily beater where its chronograph function can be useful for different activities.

Omega Speedmaster Mark II

The Omega watches from the 70s and 80s were a tad interesting. They are typically stylish in design, with extensive use of colours and different case shapes to make itself stand out. The Speedmaster Mark II, which was originally launched in 1969, is one of our favourite Omega timepieces from that era.

In Baselworld 2014, Omega had decided to launch an updated version of the Mark II. The 2014 variant still remains true to its roots. The watch retains its distinctive case shape, together with its dial design and the bracelet of the watch. However, the new variant features several updates as well. This includes the new Co-Axial Calibre 3330 self-winding movement, which features a Si14 silicon balance spring, a column-wheel chronograph mechanism, and a date display. In addition, the tachymeter scale glows in the dark as well, which adds a nice touch to the chronograph.

The Mark II is available in three different variants at the moment, although we have a slight preference for the model with the orange accents (the one that we have pictured above). Priced at S$8,050, we reckon the new Mark II offers collectors the best of both worlds – combining the latest mechanical bits into a vintage-looking timepiece from the yesteryears. It is also an interesting and slightly uncommon option for collectors who find the regular Speedmasters a little passé.

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona

The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona is a watch that probably needs no further introduction. The latest variant, which was updated in 2016, features some slight cosmetic changes with includes a new scratch-proof black Cerachrom bezel. Besides that, there are few differences as compared to its predecessor.

Powered by the in-house Caliber 4130, the self-winding movement is fitted with a column wheel and vertical clutch system for its chronograph function. It has a decent power reserve of around 72 hours, and the movement is certified to perform with an accuracy of +/- 2 seconds per day.

The 40mm watch is priced at S$17,640. It is virtually impossible to get the timepiece, with a waiting list that stretches for up to a few years. But the Daytona is truly a solid timepiece, and we dare say that it is one of the best all-rounder timepieces that is available in the market today.

Panerai Luminor Yachts Challenge (PAM00764)

Panerai is a much maligned brand, and it has certainly tried to revamp itself in the past few years to bring the brand back to its former glory. The Luminor Yachts Challenge – codename PAM00764 – is a good example of Panerai moving on the right track.

The 44mm timepiece has all the hallmarks of a Panerai watch. It features a gigantic Luminor case in titanium, with the instantly recognisable crown guard and dial design (in terms of the indices and numerals). This particular piece, with reference to the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge (PCYC), also comes with blue accents and a flyback chronograph function. We like how the watch is functional, and yet retains legibility and cleanliness in its design cues. It is also rather comfortable as well despite its size, all thanks to the case material.

Fitted with an in-house Calibre P.9100, the self-winding movement boasts a power reserve of around 72 hours. With a price of S$19,000, the PAM00764 is a robust and well-priced timepiece for what it is. In fact, with the additional flyback function, it can be potentially useful for many other situations as well.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph 5500V

Amongst the “holy trinity” of Swiss watchmaking, Vacheron Constantin has always been in the shadows behind the likes of Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe. But the Overseas Chronograph is a living proof that the Geneva-based watch manufacturer is pulling no punches.

It is hard to believe that the new generation of Overseas watches has been around for the past four years, but it is still a sublime timepiece that is capable of capturing our hearts every time we see it. The Overseas Chronograph is fitted with a beautiful in-house Calibre 5200, a self-winding vertical clutch chronograph with a power reserve of around 50 hours. Another highlight of the watch lies within its ingenious quick release mechanism for the watch’s strap. The latter is brilliant and seamless, and it allows the Overseas to be versatile enough for whatever occasion that it is being called upon – be it for sporty or dressy events alike.

With a retail price of S$44,500, we reckon the watch offers collectors a serious alternative to the likes of both the Royal Oak and Nautilus. The Overseas is truly an understated piece, and its versatility is something that makes the watch a rather unique and interesting proposition within its category.

Concluding Thoughts

These six watches, which costs between S$799 to S$44,500, are great options within its own price range. Of course, your mobile phone can easily do the job of telling the time elapsed – but as watch collectors, wearing a nice chronograph and utilising its functions certainly brings much more joy.

So, do you use your chronographs while you cook? What are some of the watches that have joined you in your cooking adventures recently? Let us know in the comments section below!

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