December is always the time when people will take the opportunity to go for a short getaway. After all, this is the period when the children get their school holidays, and many adults receive their bonuses and clearing their leave.
Whenever a watch collector goes overseas, he or she will probably face the difficulty of selecting a piece from their collection. While some might solve the conundrum by bringing along a few watches, realistically it might not be practical for the some. So, to solve the problem, we have selected six watches that we reckon are suitable for a short getaway. These watches should be pretty sturdy, versatile, and well-presentable.
What have we selected? Let’s find out!
Seiko Astron GPS Solar Worldtime
We begin the article with the Seiko Astron GPS Solar Worldime, also widely touted as the world’s first solar power GPS watch in 2012.
The Astron collection had an interesting history, most notably as the world’s first quartz watch in 1969. The Caliber 35 was announced in Tokyo during Christmas Day that year, and it boast a far superior accuracy of +/- 5 seconds per month. Moving forward, in 2012, the collection had outdone itself again. This time, they had produced a timepiece that automatically adjusts to the precise local time anywhere on Earth, utilizing GPS technology.
In Baselworld 2016, the Japanese watch manufacturer updated the Astron collection with the new 8X22 movement. It is noticeably slimmer, while achieving the same performance as its predecessors. It is available in seven different designs, with prices expected to be around ¥180,000 before taxes in Japan.
When it comes to reliability and robustness, few watch manufacturers come close to Rolex. After all, Rolex are known for their tool watches, which have been used for extreme activities such as diving and mount climbing. The Explorer, in fact, is linked to the latter. When Sir Edmund Hillary (and Tenzing Norgay) scaled Mount Everest in 1953. They were sponsored by both Rolex and Smith, and while Sir Hillary wore his Rolex that day, Tenzing wore his Rolex.
Moving forward, Rolex had updated the Explorer most recently in 2016. The latest model includes an improved movement, as well as subtle changes in terms of its aesthetics. It is still as robust, with the 904L Stainless Steel case and doubly certified by COSC and Rolex Superlative Chronometer. The Superlative Chronometer standards specifies a more stringent +2/-2 second a day timing result, performed after the movement is cased.
Priced at S$8,770, the Explorer is an excellent choice as a companion for any short getaways. It is extremely versatile, and we feel that its solid build quality comes as a plus point, especially if one is partaking any adventures or activities during the trip.
Bremont Regatta Oracle Team USA
Bremont is a British-based watchmaker, in which the roots of the watch manufacturer is in aviation, founded by two brothers. However, that is not the only thing that the English brothers are interested in. Together with their passion in sailing, they have partnered with both the America’s Cup and Oracle Team USA, which led to the creation of the Bremont Regatta OTUSA timepiece.
The main highlight of this timepiece is perhaps the regatta function, in which it is used to help the skipper to time his manoeuvres in a yacht race. This is combined together with the chronograph functions. Although it may not be useful for non sailors, but it is certainly an interesting complication and one which resulted in an aesthetically pleasing watch.
The 43mm timepiece is available in satin titanium case, or the more luxurious rose gold version. They are available in white or black dial, and it is fitted with the COSC-certified Valjoux 7750 movement. It retails at S$9,900, and we reckon this is a excellent timepiece for someone who wants a watch that is a tad different from the usual selections.
Breitling Emergency II
Following the Explorer, we have yet another timepiece from another watchmaker that is synonymous with adventures: the Breitling Emergency II.
The Breitling Emergency is an interesting collection, and one that shot to fame when it was launched back in 1995. The main highlight of the timepiece, as many will know, is its radio function. The Emergency II is now capable of simultaneously transmitting distress signals to the 406 MHz frequency intended for satellites, and a second analog signal transmitting on the 121.5 MHz homing and rescue frequency. It is a cool and yet functional feature that no other watch manufacturers can boast.
The watch is currently available in many different variants, each with a unique combination of dial and strap colours. The super quartz timepiece retails at S$21,000. It is certainly a cool watch to own, and one that is functional for anyone who is keen on explorations and adventures.
In the IWC line-up, the Aquatimer is often overshadowed by its siblings – mainly the Pilot and Portugieser collection. However, the divers’ collection, which was revamped in 2014, offers collectors a rather different side of IWC.
There are several variants of the Aquatimer collection, ranging from the basic “date-only” timepiece, to the highly complicated Digital Perpetual Calendar. Each of them have their unique characteristics, although they are generally solid in appearance. Amongst the different variants, our choice of timepiece for the short retreat is the Automatic 2000. We particularly like the way it looks, and we reckon it appears very robust in its build as well. It is also very clean and legible, which is an additional plus point.
With a retail price of S$13,900, we will say that this is a wonderful addition to any watch collection. It is a comfortable watch to wear, and we reckon that the well-designed timepiece looks fashionable and complements pretty nicely with casual wear.
Vacheron Constantin Overseas
Finally, we round up the article with one of our favourite watches this year. Cue the Vacheron Constantin Overseas.
The new Overseas aims to compete against the other two luxury sports watches, which are Patek Philippe’s Nautilus and Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak. The new watch, we believe, has the potential to unsettle their rivals. It features a nicely finished in-house automatic movement, which boasts a power reserve of around 60 hours. But the brilliance does not end there. We also like the looks of the timepiece, as well as its new ingenious quick strap change mechanism. The overall combination of the different aspects of the watch is simply amazing, and it had certainly won over our hearts.
In terms of pricing, the Overseas retails at S$30,800. It is actually quite decent, considering that you can think of it as getting three watches for the price of one! But that’s not all. We think that what makes this watch so special is the way it looks, as well as the great attention to detail. In short, the Overseas is a game-changer, and it definitely gives its counterparts from the “Holy Trinity” a run for their money.
When it comes to selecting watches to wear for a short retreat, the obvious choices are watches that are both comfortable and less ostentatious. This means that we can pretty much rule out watches that are either cased in gold, or those that are very heavy in nature (especially large steel watches with bracelets).
In our selections today, most of the timepieces are robustly built, and they are mostly fitted with a rubber strap for comfort. We think that it is important for one to select a robust timepiece as well, considering that some individuals tend to partake on adventures or extreme sports during their holidays.
Another important point to note is the destination. It is generally understood that in certain places, it is not wise to wear a high profile timepiece such as a Rolex. Hence, a Seiko will be an ideal timepiece for such a situation. However, if security is not much of an issue, then by all means go ahead and wear something that suits one’s preferences.
So, do you agree with the watches that we have selected today? What are some of the watches that you’ll bring along for a short getaway? Let us know in the comments section below!