Throwback Sundays: Six Watch Recommendations for the Last Purchase in 2017, from Our Archives

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It is coming to the end of 2017. With the upcoming festive season, as well as the year-end bonus payout, it is probably a good time to purchase one more timepiece before we start the new year in a week’s time.

However, the question therein lies on what to buy. There are simply too many watches out there in our wishlist, and if there aren’t any criteria to narrow down the options, we would certainly have a hard time deriving the final decision. Hence, in this week’s article, we are breaking down our selections based on budget, ranging from below S$1,000, up to an unlimited budget (of around six digits). What have we selected? Let’s find out!


Below S$1,000: Casio G-Shock GA-700


A simple and affordable timepiece for the masses: the G-Shock GA-700.


The first watch in today’s list is a rugged and functional timepiece: the Casio G-Shock GA-700.

G-Shock is a collection that is recognised by many. Since its inception in 1983, it has enamoured collectors of all age group with its robust and fashionable timepieces. The latest addition – GA-700 – retains its masculine aesthetics and rugged construction. As seen in one of our reviews, the GA-700 had undergone a series of tough tests and it had performed exceptionally well. In fact, the watch had survived at the end of it, despite the different rounds of torture that it had undergone.

Priced at S$169, the Casio G-Shock GA-700 is a reasonable timepiece with an excellent value proposition. The combination of analog and digital display is useful as well. For someone who wants a watch that can be thrashed at rugged situations, the G-Shock is certainly an excellent choice.


Below S$5,000: Staudt Praeludium


The Staudt Praeludium, by one of the latest kids on the block.


If you are in the market for something slightly different with an interesting story, we highly recommend you to take a look at Staudt Watches.

Yvo – the founder – was interested in watches since young, and his passion grew when he started reading up on this subject in his teens. He subsequently began to experiment with old watch movements, and eventually decided to produce his own watches after he couldn’t find timepieces that matches his budget and criteria. He had subsequently launched Staudt Watches in 2014, after his girlfriend had broken her back during an accident (and ditching his professional musical career in the process).

The Praeludium is one of the first collections in Staudt’s repertoire. It is a simple three-hand watch, featuring a hand-wound Unitas movement that is modified to his specifications. It is self-assembled, with three-quarter gold-plated bridge, enhanced beat rate (21,600 instead of 18,000, swan-neck regulator and the use of chatons, jewels, and blued screws. Every other component, such as the case, dial, and hands are also designed by Yvo himself.

The 42.5mm watch is priced at €2,349 (approximately S$3,745), and we feel that this is perfect for someone who wishes to own a timepiece that is unique. The story behind the brand is amazing too, and it certainly deserves more attention in the horological world.


Below S$10,000: Rolex Explorer


The new Rolex Explorer, featuring some upgrades such as the inclusion of lume for the numerals on the dial.


Owning a Rolex is a sign of achievement, and what would be a better way to end the year by acquiring a new Rolex timepiece?

There are several range of Rolex watches that are wildly popular with many, but we have selected something that is rather understated: the Rolex Explorer. The Explorer, which was first launched in 1953, is best known for its association with Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay. The latest iteration – Reference 214270 – is a modern interpretation of the classic timepiece from Rolex. It features the classic 3,6, and 9 dial layout, with the “Mercedes” hands and signature Oyster case (and bracelet). The build quality is solid as usual.

The watch is powered by Rolex’s Caliber 3132. It is a self-winding movement, with a power reserve of around 48 hours. It is also subjected to the stricter Rolex Superlative Chronometer standards, which specifies a more stringent +2/-2 second a day timing result. The watch retails at S$8,770, and we reckon it is well-priced for a timepiece that of such quality.


Below S$20,000: Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Memovox Boutique Edition


The JLC Master Memovox Boutique Edition, with a stunning blue dial.


There are many JLC watches that deserve a spot on this list. But if there was a piece that had really attracted our attention in recent times, it would have to be the Master Memovox Boutique Edition.

Launched in 1950, the Memovox collection is known for its alarm complication. The Memovox leverages on a striking mechanism, in which it will vibrate when the indicated timing is up. It is certainly functional, and many collectors have found multiple uses for it. What is also interesting is that JLC had also produced a few special variants of this collection, such as the “Memovox Parking” which helps the collector to keep track of their parking charges.

What makes the Boutique Edition stands out is its exceptional blue sunburst dial. The shade of blue for this piece is alluring, and the combination with the light blue minute track works pretty nicely. The semi-vintage design cues for this 40mm watch add a nice touch as well.

The Master Memovox Boutique Edition has a retail price for S$17,000. For a collector who wants an iconic piece with a modern touch, we think that this timepiece from JLC is certainly worth a double take.


Below S$50,000: A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1


Lange 1

The Lange 1, an icon in design, first introduced in 1994, still as fresh as ever.


When A. Lange & Söhne launched their initial collection back in 1994, the Lange 1 was probably one of the most memorable pieces amongst the quartet. The timepiece, which follows an unusual dial layout, was rather difficult to fathom. On one hand, it is so unconventional. And yet, it is rather aesthetically pleasing to the eye, and the proportions are just perfect in all aspects. It is simply incredible.

The design of this 38.5mm timepiece is an icon in its own right. The off-centre dial and sub-seconds indicator, coupled with an oversized date display, is instantly recognisable by watch collectors. But that is not just it. The other reason behind our love for the Lange 1 is its finishing. As per the usual Lange standards, the finishing on the Lange 1 is sublime. Some of the signature touches by Lange includes the Glashütte ribbing, the three-quarter plate made from German silver, as well as the intricately engraved balance cock.

While the Lange 1 may be more than two decades old, but it still remains rather timeless till this date. The watch is priced at S$47,200, and this is definitely something that you might want to acquire if you have yet to own a German timepiece.


Unlimited Budget: Patek Philippe Reference 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.


Saving the best for the last, we have the Patek Philippe Reference 5270.

The perpetual calendar chronograph from Patek Philippe is perhaps one of the most coveted wrist watches in the world. The holy grail. Since the first iteration of the timepiece (Reference 1518) was created in 1941, the perpetual calendar chronograph had retained its stature as in the highest echelon of haute horlogerie. The latest model – Reference 5270 – was rather revolutionary. It is said to be the first time that Patek Philippe had produced the entire movement in-house, whereas the previous generations had movements that were based on ebauches from Lemania or Valjoux.

The 5270 is an icon – no doubts about that. The classic proportional dial layout, and in this case coupled with a stunning blue dial, is truly spectacular. In addition, the finishing on the 5270 is nothing short of amazing as well. While its price point of S$216,500 is definitely steep for many, but then again, perfection sometimes do come at a price. This is a good example of that.


Concluding Thoughts


Decisions. They are certainly tough to make, especially when we are faced with so many choices. While we have highlighted only six pieces in today’s article, we are sure that there are many other timepieces that are included in your considerations as well. After all, there are so many excellent choices at each of the price points that we have categorised.

So, what was your final incoming for 2017? Or, what is the last watch that you are planning to buy in 2017? Share with us in the comments section below! Oh, before we forget, here’s wishing you a blessed Christmas, and a happy new year!


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1 Comment

  1. The sub-$5000 category is really very broad and deep. Pretty sure there are many better choices out there than the one chosen here with a Unitas movement.

    However the explorer really is the king of the sub-10k category and hits the nail on the head.