Throwback Sundays: Six Complicated Dress Watches for a Gentleman, from Our Archives

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In last week’s article, we feature six complicated dress watches for a gentleman. Within this recommendation, we will see some which are mechanically complicated by keeping a simple and clean aesthetic, and others which look complicated. 

Either complicated and looking simple, or complicated and looking complex, all the watches we selected are beautiful. At least, we think so. What have we selected? Let’s find out!


NOMOS Zürich Weltzeit


NOMOS Zürich Weltzeit nachtblau. Photo by owner.


We begin the article with an amazingly good-looking timepiece: the NOMOS Zürich Weltzeit nachtblau.

NOMOS is a Glashutte-based watch manufacturer, and they are known to produce Bauhaus-inspired watches with excellent in-house movements at a reasonable price point. The Zürich Weltzeit is a good example. The seemingly simple-looking piece actually features a nifty complication – the World Timer. The complication allows user to set their own home-time, and concurrently keep track of the timing in the other time zones around the world. It is certainly useful for collectors who are often travelling, or have businesses that covers different locations regionally.

The 39.9mm watch is fitted with the in-house Caliber 5201. It is an automatic movement featuring the NOMOS Swing System, with a power reserve of up to 40 hours. The finishing is decent, with the distinctive three-quarter plate, Glashütte ribbing and sunburst decoration. It retails at S$7,570, and we feel that the blue dial variant (the nachtblau) is a wonderful watch for any modern gentleman.


Jaeger LeCoultre Master Ultra-thin Perpetual Calendar


The JLC MUT Perpetual Calendar. One of the most affordable, and well-finished, timepiece that features the perpetual calendar complication.


For collectors who are big fans of Marvel’s Doctor Strange, the one thing in the movie that you might have spotted on Benedict Cumberbatch’s wrist is his timepiece. No, it was not just any ordinary watch. Benedict was wearing a Jaeger LeCoultre Master Ultra-thin Perpetual Calendar.

The MUT Perpetual Calendar has been one of the most popular pieces in the collection since its introduction in 2013. Before the likes of Montblanc and Frederique Constant launched their own versions of the affordable Perpetual Calendar watches, this JLC was already there with the MUT. The watch, which comes with three sub-dials (indicating the month, day, and date) and a moon phase display, is rather clean and legible as well.

In addition, the movement – JLC’s Calibre 868 – is excellent. The self-winding watch has 336 components, with a power reserve of around 38 hours. What is remarkable is that JLC had managed to keep the watch thin, at 9.2mm. Priced at S$28,000, the MUT Perpetual Calendar is a remarkable timepiece, with an equally splendid price point.


Breguet Classique 7787


The gorgeous Breguet Classique 7787.


Breguet is often known to produce nice dress watches, and the Classique collection is probably one of our favourites from the manufacturer.

In this year’s Baselworld, Breguet launched the new Classique 7787. The watch, in our opinion, is a classier approach to its predecessor. We particularly like how Breguet have fitted a grand feu enamel dial for this piece, coupled with the “Breguet” numerals and fleur de lys hour markers which gives it a rather elegant look. It also features a moonphase display and a power reserve indicator as well, with the latter featuring a rather interesting design motif using small arrows as markers. The Classique 7787 dial also features the signature coin-edge case as well.

Powered by the Calibre 591 DRL, the self-winding movement boasts a power reserve of around 38 hours. The finishing, as per the usual Breguet standards, is excellent. The exhibition case back allow us to see the decorations on the movement as well, which includes the barley corn guilloché motif on the winding rotor, as well as chamfering on the edge of the bridges. The watch is available in both white and rose gold, and they are priced at US$30,200 and US$29,700 (approximately S$41,737 and S$41,046) respectively.


A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Timezone


The Lange 1 Timezone Honey Gold’s case has a subtle hue which is quite beautiful, and different from either pink gold or yellow gold.


When A. Lange & Söhne launched the Lange 1 in 1994 (together with three other models), it caught the entire industry by surprise. The Lange 1, in particular, is an interesting piece. The dress watch, with an off-centre dial and a jumping outsized date display, is certainly something unusual…back in the day. But the design and proportions are done perfectly, and it still remains timeless despite being more than twenty years old.

Over the years, there are a few different variations of the Lange 1 have been produced. Back in 2005, A. Lange & Söhne launched a timepiece with a rather useful complication: the Lange 1 Timezone, with the World Time function. Due to the inclusion of the complication, the watch underwent some tweaks – mainly to include a second time zone display, as well as a city dial. The 41.9mm timepiece is rather simple to operate (despite its complicated appearance), with one pusher to operate the big date function, and the other to adjust the second time zone display.

The Lange 1 Timezone is available in several variants, and we highly recommend the Honey Gold version. We feel that it is a tad different from the usual offerings (rose and yellow gold), and that it is much more subtle and mellow in its appearance. In addition, this particular version features some blue accents, and it uses Dresden instead of Berlin as the city for Central European Time on the city dial. It is priced at S$84,200, and there are only 100 examples available worldwide.


Chopard L.U.C Lunar One


The Chopard L.U.C Lunar One. A combination of modern and classic.


The L.U.C collection from Chopard is a remarkable one, although it is highly underrated in the watch community. But for those who knows about it, the L.U.C is definitely capable to beating the big boys at their own game.

The Lunar One, which features a perpetual calendar complication, is one of the main highlights in the collection. First launched in 2005, the Lunar One had undergone a makeover recently this year – to keep it more contemporary and relevant in today’s age. This year, Chopard produced the timepiece with a rather alluring royal blue sunburst dial. We feel that this dial, together with the platinum case, complements each other nicely. The dial layout is also very legible, and the moon phase display is certainly one of the nicer ones that we have seen.

Although the watch is slightly larger at 43mm, but we reckon that is still a great piece for a modern gentleman who prefers something slightly larger. In addition, the finishing of the watch – together with the Calibre 96.13-L – is solid. The watch, which comes with the Hallmark of Geneva, ensures that it is chronometrically precise and finished to the highest standard. This particular watch, with the platinum case, is priced at US$67,900 (approximately S$93,840). It is slightly pricey for many collectors, but comparatively, we reckon it is certainly one of the more reasonable platinum watches that is fitted with a perpetual calendar complication.

Patek Philippe Ref. 5270 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph


The 5270, coupled with the rich heritage of Patek Philippe, and the magnificently finishing lavished on the complicated movement. Certainly a keeper.


Finally, we end the article with a legendary timepiece from a legendary watch manufacturer: the Patek Philippe Ref. 5270 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph.

The Perpetual Calendar Chronograph, from Patek Philippe, is perhaps the most coveted and well-regarded timepiece in the world. This is because it combines two highly complicated complications in its construction, as suggests by its nomenclature. In addition, the watch is rather stunning and proportional in terms of its aesthetics, which to us means additional points.

But what sets the Ref. 5270 apart from its predecessors is the movement itself. Unlike the previous models, the Ref. 5270 is fitted with the Calibre CH 29-535 PS Q. It is the first perpetual calendar chronograph that uses a fully in-house designed and manufactured movement. All earlier iterations have been based on either the Valjoux or Lemania ebauches. Ebauches, especially when worked on and modified by Patek are excellent in their own right, but a full in-house movement just takes the cake with its allure. The movement is manual-winding, and several features include the Gyromax balance wheel, and the use of a lateral clutch system for the chronograph. The finishing is sublime – just like what you would expect from Patek Philippe.

Priced at S$216,500, the Ref. 5270 is the most expensive timepiece in the list today. It may be out of reach for many of us, but if you are able to afford it, we will definitely recommend this iconic 41mm timepiece to you, without a shadow of doubt.


Concluding Thoughts


In this week’s article, we have looked at six complicated dress watches. It is vastly different from what we have highlighted last week, where most of the timepieces that we have selected were simple three-handed dress watches.

Notably, the watches in this week’s selections are pricier – this is mainly due to the complications that were featured. Some of them include the world timer, others the perpetual calendar function. Although these watches, most notably the Ref. 5270, are pricey, but they are definitely not as expensive as the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Ultra-thin Minute Repeater that was featured in last week’s article. Not only was that watch cased in platinum, but the fact that it is a minute repeater, as well as it being an ultra-thin movement, makes it vastly more valuable too.

Anyways, we hope that you’ve enjoyed this week’s article. Do share with us what is your pick amongst the six pieces that we have selected, as well as your favourite complicated dress watches in the comments section below!


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