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

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Earlier this week, in our Spot The Watch column, my colleague Daniel shared some of the watches that a few of the more prominent bankers are wearing. Their choices were rather interesting, perhaps we were expecting them to be wearing dress watches. 

This brings us to the question: What are some of the watches that a typical banker wears? The industry is always known for its high annual salaries and bonuses, as well as individuals who are well dressed. Surely, they will need a watch that befits their status and position in the company.

Hence, in this week’s article, we will take a look at six different watches at six slightly different price points for a banker. Of course, the watches that we have selected today will minimally be mid-tier pieces, and going up to higher echelons for executives in the management level. What have we chosen? Let’s find out!


Montblanc 4810 Orbis Terrarum


The Montblanc 4810 Orbis Terrarum, together with the pocket watch variant.


When it comes to Montblanc, it is usually the pens and leather goods that would immediately come to mind. But in recent years, the perception towards the brand – especially for the watch collectors – have certainly changed. we noted this first when Jérôme Lambert took over the helm in 2013.

The Montblanc 4810 Orbis Terrarum is certainly one of the timepieces that caught our attention in recent years. The 43mm watch, which can be recognised by a world map at the centre of the dial, is a functional and beautiful piece. What is particularly interesting about the dial is that it is made up of several layers, and the difference in colour (either dark blue or green/yellow) displays whether the area is actually experiencing day time or night time. There is also an outer disc that includes the 24-hour ring to indicate the different times in the 24 cities displayed.

The timepiece is powered by the Calibre MB 29.20, which is a Sellita-based movement that is fitted with an in-house world time module. The self-winding timepiece has a power reserve of 42 hours, and we reckon the finishing is decent for a timepiece with such a complication at its current price point. The 4810 Orbis Terrarum retails at S$9,200.


Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Duo


Flip side of the JLC Reverso Tribute Duo.


The Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso is one of the watches that Deployant’s Daniel had spotted on the wrist of a prominent banker – Shayne Elliot, the CEO of ANZ Bank. It does not come to us as a surprise actually, as we think that the Reverso is a discreet but appropriate dress watch that is suitable in the boardroom.

Ironically, the Reverso was initially conceived as a sports watch. The idea was first created in 1930s, when a group of Polo players approached César de Trey to design a timepiece in which the watch face (and crystal) will be protected from the impact of the mallets. Over time, the Reverso had turned into a dress watch, thanks to its slim profile, modest case size, and classic design.

The Reverso Tribute Duo is our pick for bankers. Not only does it retain its classic and elegant aesthetics, but the inclusion of a second time zone allows the user to keep track of time of two different locations. This is certainly useful for a banker who is constantly travelling, or requires to track the time of a different time zone. Finally, the watch is priced at S$17,600, and it is certainly a discreet and proper choice for a someone who wants a functional and dressy timepiece that is a slightly uncommon.


Rolex Cellini Moonphase


The Rolex Cellini Moonphase. Perhaps the most underappreciated timepiece in the Rolex repertoire.


Rolex is probably one of the go-to brands for bankers who have made their first pot of gold (or with their first bonus payout). However, there are only a few usual pieces that are highly sought-after by many, and that accolade goes to the sports collection. We think that the Cellini collection, specifically the Moonphase, deserves more air-time that it is given.

The 39mm dress watch, which was launched in last year’s Baselworld, is pretty much unlike most of the Rolex watches that we are used to seeing. What makes this particular piece stands out is its classic and elegant design, coupled with a stunning white lacquered dial that is paired with an incredible blue enamelled moonphase disc. The attention to detail for the latter is amazing too, and the use of a piece of meteorite to represent the moon makes it even more appealing than many of its other competitors.

With a retail price of S$35,980, the Everose Gold Cellini Moonphase is certainly an interesting proposition for executives and bankers who are of a more senior position. It is still a Rolex watch through and through, but not only does one enjoys the reliability and robustness that comes with it, but the Cellini Moonphase offers a touch of sophistication that makes it a tad different from the crowd.


Franck Muller Crazy Hours


Franck Muller Crazy Hours soldat view

Franck Muller Crazy Hours has already almost 15 years of history. The brand’s shape of case, beautiful guilloche dial and the jumping hours complication are well known and loved between the collectors.


While we have highlighted that Master Banker is probably a preferred choice by many bankers for its multiple time-zone function, we reckon that there is another interesting piece from Franck Muller that is worth a look: Crazy Hours.

When the Crazy Hours was first launched in 2003, it caught many collectors by surprise. While the design was unusual, but it was certainly overshadowed by the watch’s interpretation of the “jumping hours” complication. Despite its seemingly “incoherent” display of the hours numerals, one can tell the time simply by looking at the number in which the hour hand is pointed at. To make it more interesting, once the minute hand reaches the 60 minute mark, the hour hand would “jump” to the next numeral (i.e. from 3 to 4, when it is 4 o’clock). This is definitely novel – even after more than one and a half decade on.

Powered by the self-winding Calibre FM 2001, the 203 component movement has a decent power reserve of 42 hours. The 32mm Tonneau-shaped timepiece is priced at S$40,104 for the white gold variant, and we feel that it is a conversation piece that would certainly stand out from the crowd.


A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Thin in Copper Blue


The A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Thin in Copper Blue. Definitely a stunner.


A. Lange & Söhne is known to produce some of the finest watches in the industry. Regardless of its collection, there is certainly something alluring for everyone. The same goes for the entry-level Saxonia range, with the new Saxonia Thin in Copper Blue.

The new Saxonia Thin is an interesting dress watch that will certainly appeal to many collectors. First, the watch is 39mm in size – which is a perfect size for modern day collectors who prefers their watches to be slightly larger in size. Next, with a side profile of a mere 6.2mm in thickness, the Saxonia Thin is a slender dress watch that would slip easily under shirt cuffs. Finally, and more importantly, this particular Saxonia Thin features a rich blue dial that is made with goldstone. This provides the shimmery effect on the dial, which makes it appear as though it is something that is seemingly out of this world.

The watch is fitted with the in-house Calibre L093.1. The manual winding movement boasts a power reserve of around 72 hours, and it features the usual touches of a German watch – such as the three quarter plate, engraved balance cock, and Glashütte ribbing. Overall, this is an exceptional piece. It is priced at S$31,500, and it is something that will stand out nicely amongst the usual dress watches.


Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse


The Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse, with a pair of matching cufflinks.


Finally, we round up the article with a slightly uncommon watch from Patek Philippe: the Golden Ellipse.

While collectors are constantly raving about the Nautilus and Grand Complications, the Golden Ellipse is in fact one of the most venerable collections in the Patek Philippe collection. Launched in 1968, it is second only to the Calatrava (which was launched in 1932). This year, for the golden jubilee of the collection, the maison had decided to produce a special edition of the watch.

The main highlight of the watch perhaps lies in its case. The elliptical case has dimensions that respects the golden ratio, which makes it look rather proportional and “right”. This particular edition is the “Grand Tallie” model, which means that it gets an upsize in terms of its case dimension. The watch now measures at 34.5 mm x 39.5 mm, instead of the regular 31.0 mm x 35.5 mm case size. This is perhaps made with the current consumers in mind, who seem to prefer a slightly larger timepiece.

The watch is powered by the legendary Calibre 240. The self-winding movement is only 2.53 mm thick, playing a key role in the watch’s overall slenderness. It is fitted with a 22k gold micro-rotor, and it also features the brand’s proprietary Gyromax balance equipped with the patented Spiromax balance spring for improved rate accuracy. This rose gold timepiece retails at S$40,700, and we feel that bankers will appreciate both the artisanship and discreetness that comes with this gorgeous wrist candy.


Concluding Thoughts


This week’s article is mainly for bankers, and hence the selections are mostly circling around dress watches. After all, bankers are always in office wear, and the dress watch is certainly the most appropriate choice for them on most occasions.

While the brands that we have selected are mostly well-known by many, but we took the liberty by selecting models or collections that are typically overlooked by the masses. This includes the Rolex Cellini, Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse, and the Franck Muller Crazy Hours. These are choices that are less obvious, but we believe it might be an interesting proposition for bankers who might want to buy something different from their colleagues.

So, what are some of the watches that you think deserves a place on this list? Or, if you are a banker yourself, what are some of the pieces that you own personally? Let us know in the comments section below.


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    Six watch blogs worth reading instead of deployant.