Throwback Sundays: Six Recommendations for a Versatile Watch, from Our Archives

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Last week, we highlighted six casual timepieces that we reckon will be perfect for the weekend. However, there are some who prefers buying just one watch – one versatile watch that is good enough for any occasion.

So, what are the watches that will fall into this category? Well, there are a few criteria to take note of. First, the watch must be able to match nicely with office wear, and yet casual enough for the weekends. Next, it should also be robust as well, especially if one likes to partake on some adventures once in a while. Finally, an additional bonus will be the ability to interchange straps seamlessly.

Without any further ado, let’s begin!


Panerai Luminor


Panerai Luminor. This particular version is the PAM599, a special edition that was produced to celebrate Revolution's 10th Anniversary.

Panerai Luminor. This particular version is the PAM599, a special edition that was produced to celebrate Revolution’s 10th Anniversary.


We kick-start the article with one of the most obvious choices – the Panerai Luminor.

Last week, we featured the same timepiece as a suitable “weekend piece”, due to its slightly casual nature and fashionable facade. We think that it is also something that can be equally versatile as well. Panerai, as some collectors will know, are famous for their interchangeable straps. The availability of straps for Panerai watches are aplenty, and each strap has the capability to change the aesthetics and characteristics of the timepiece to suit the occasion. Think of an alligator strap on the weekdays, and a robust rubber strap on the weekends. It can be pretty adaptable.

Priced at around S$6,500 to S$7,000 for the base model, the Luminor is definitely a watch that can fit in different occasions. Furthermore, there are many choices out there, with different case and dial combination. But be aware! One wise Paneristi once said, “the addiction for Panerai is something that you need to be careful of…”


Rolex Cosmograph Daytona


The new Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, featuring the upgraded ceramic bezel.

The new Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, featuring the upgraded ceramic bezel.


“If you can have only one watch, what will you pick?”

Ask ten watch collectors this question, and there is a chance that majority will tell you that it is a Rolex watch. In the world of horology, Rolex is certainly not as expensive or complicated as other luxury brands out here. But there is something about it that keeps people coming back for more. It is the robustness, as well as its versatility, that makes watch collectors swear by a Rolex timepiece. We even wrote an opinion piece on the ubiquity of Rolex.

The Cosmograph Daytona perhaps encapsulates the ethos of Rolex watches perfectly. It combines both form and functionality, together with a solid Oyster case and a time-tested COSC-certified movement. It is very versatile as well – it looks good with either formal or casual attire.

The watch retails at CHF 11,800 (approximately S$16,180). It is not exactly an easily affordable timepiece, but if you are looking for a watch that is able to rise up to any occasion, the Rolex Daytona is perhaps one of your best bets.


Chopard Mille Miglia 2016 XL Race Edition


The Chopard Mille Miglia 2016 XL Race Edition.

The Chopard Mille Miglia 2016 XL Race Edition.


We move on to the sporty Chopard Mille Miglia 2016 XL Race Edition.

Chopard is high-regarded by collectors for its timepieces, especially for the excellent finishing and great designs. This particular Mille Miglia is no exception. The watch combines classic aesthetics with a solid racing pedigree. And the aesthetics help to make it a handsome timepiece. In addition, it is fitted with a new in-house movement: the Chopard Calibre 03.05-C. The COSC-certified movement features a chronograph function, as well as a date indicator.

This is a good looking timepiece, and one that will not look out of place with either casual or formal wear. It is priced at S$14,060, and it should be a hit with petrol-heads or racing enthusiasts.


Audemars Piguet Royal Oak


The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked are available in stainless steel and pink gold. With the latter commanding a premium of more than $30,000 over the steel.

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. Pictured is the new Double Balance Wheel Openworked, available in both stainless steel and pink gold.


Launched in 1972, the Royal Oak was one of the most controversial timepieces back then with its unusual design. Over the years, people have grown to adore it. The Royal Oak, interestingly, had even spawned other variants, such as the sporty Royal Oak Offshore. Click on the link for more history on the Royal Oak.

When it comes to versatility though, we feel that the Royal Oak nails it nicely. The watch, with a timeless and classic design, seems to fit well in different environment. In addition, the iconic octagon bezel and the integrated bracelet make it a rather conversational piece.

The Royal Oak comes in different variants, with different complications. One of the latest models will be the new Double Balance Wheel Openworked (US$44,100 for steel, and US$76,800 for 18 K pink gold), which offers something special. Alternatively, there are other classic options as well, such as the Chronograph (S$79,400) or the original “date-only” variant.


Patek Philippe Nautilus


Patek Philippe 5990/1A Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph.

Patek Philippe 5990/1A Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph.


Following the Royal Oak, we have another iconic timepiece that is designed by the late Gerald Genta – the superlative Patek Philippe Nautilus.

The Nautilus collection was born in the wake of the Royal Oak, in which the latter had coined a new category of luxury sports watch. The Nautilus also features a provocative design, which had remained timeless over the last few decades.

Similar to the Royal Oak, the Nautilus comes with a range of case materials and complications. We have previously reviewed the 5990 Travel Time Chronograph, which is one of the more complicated timepieces in the collection itself. The watch, which is fitted with the CH 28-520 C FUS movement, comes with a flyback chronograph mechanism and two timezone function. It is a functional timepiece, especially for a frequent traveller. And of course, its stylish design will look presentable in any occasion.

Alternatively, the basic three hand Nautilus with date suffices quite nicely too.


Vacheron Constantin Overseas


Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph 5200.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph, with a mesmerising blue dial.


Saving the best for the last, we complete the “Holy Trinity” with one of the latest novelties from Vacheron Constantin this year. Presenting to you the new Overseas collection.

The Overseas is a beautiful timepiece, no doubts about that. We like the different design elements of the watch, such as the Maltese Cross motif on the bezel and the interchangable bracelet and strap system. As alluded, one of the highlights for the watch is the new strap changing mechanism. The new mechanism, which features a clip system, is pretty intuitive and easy to use. More information about it can be found in our review article of the Overseas Chronograph.

Notably, versatility is the name of the game for this watch. It comes with three different strap options – leather, bracelet, and rubber. Each of them gives the Overseas a different characteristic, and the transformation is rather seamless and idiot-proof. Similarly, the watch is available in different options from time only, to Worldtimer to the Chronograph. For us, either the Blue Overseas Chronograph (S$44,500) or the World Time (S$56,900) will do quite nicely.


Concluding Thoughts


We have come to the end of yet another installment of Throwback Sundays.

This week, we featured six timepieces that we reckon fits the category of versatile watches. Coincidentally, a number of these watches are also sports watches. We reckon that it is because these watches are pretty adaptable, in the sense that most of these timepieces can be worn with a formal suit. This is unlike most of the dress watches, in which they might look a little out of place with say, t-shirt and berms.

So, what are your thoughts on our selections? What are some of the watches that you think deserves a spot on this week’s article as well? Let us know in the comments section below.

Once again, we hope that you have enjoyed this week’s episode of Throwback Sundays. Till the next article, cheers!


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  1. I agree with Bilanz. A versatile watch should be about to be worn to from board rooms to gyms, from weekend brunches to Gala dinners. Only the Rolex Daytona, PP Nautilus and VC Overseas meet such criteria. What do you base yours on Deployant? I see many comments here but no reply.

    Come on, a Panerai is versatile? Have you heard of Grand Seiko? Omega Planet Ocean? Frankly I rather see a Rolex President Day-Date than the Daytona. 3 Chronographs?

  2. A versatile watch that can be used both to smart casual and outdoors should not be too big, say 49-42 with and 10-11 height, typical candidates being IWC Ingenieur, the new GP Laureato or the new Piaget Polo. Chrono’s would be out. From your selection only the Chopard model was unexpected but at that size I would hardly qualify for formal wear.