Throwback Sundays: Six Watch Recommendations to Celebrate a Bonus, from Our Archives

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The bonus season is around the corner, and many of us are already thinking of different ways to reward ourselves for the hard work and effort that we had put in this year. While there are various means to spend our bonuses, but Watch-Idiot-Savants (WIS) like us will probably use the money to get ourselves a new timepiece to add into our collection. 

For this week’s Throwback Sundays, we will be recommending six watches that you might want to purchase to celebrate your bonuses. These watches will cover a range of different price points, with different outstanding features to accommodate to collectors who have different taste and preferences. So, what have we selected? Well, let’s find out!


Swatch Sistem51 Irony


The Sistem Fly is one of the six pieces from the new Sistem51 Irony collection.

The Sistem Fly is one of the six pieces from the new Sistem51 Irony collection.


Perhaps to reflect the challenging business conditions this 2016, we start the series with a truly affordable watch. We begin this article with one of the most revolutionary timepieces over the last few years: the Swatch Sistem51.

The Sistem51 is an incredibly interesting timepiece. Launched in Baselworld 2013, the watch took the industry by storm with its movement – it is assembled entirely by automation, and the 51 components in it is held by a single screw. The movement also boasts a 90 hour power reserve, and a date indicator as well.

Fast forward to 2016, Swatch had introduced seven new watches in the Sistem51 line-up, with its Irony collection. The biggest difference between this and the other variants lie in the case. The Sistem51 Irony is fitted with a stainless steel case, which makes it less casual and more robust. In terms of designs, the Sistem51 Irony scored as well. We particularly like both the Sistem Arrow and Sistem Fly, especially the latter for its sunburst blue dial and the complementary brown strap.

Priced between S$279 to S$330, the Sistem51 Irony is an excellent choice for someone who wants to purchase a fun and affordable timepiece.


Junghans Meister Telemeter


The Junghans Meister Telemeter, shown here with the deliciously retro looking dial in a stainless steel case with gold PVD.

The Junghans Meister Telemeter, shown here with the deliciously retro looking dial in a stainless steel case with gold PVD.


Coming back to mechanical watches, we take a look at one of the more interesting offers from Germany: Junghans.

Junghans is a rather interesting watchmaker, with a long and illustrious history dating back to 1861. Before the Quartz Crisis in the 1970s, Junghans was one of the largest watch manufacturers in the world. Over the years, the brand had scaled itself down, but it had nonetheless continued to produce great looking watches at an affordable price range. The Meister Telemeter, for instance, is an excellent example. The timepiece follows a classic design, with a dial that was inspired by a particular watch that Junghans made in 1951. We really like the execution of the timepiece, especially with the use of a domed sapphire crystal and the vintage-inspired fonts. It accentuates the vintage vibes, thus giving it some style and character.

The watch is fitted with an ETA 2892 movement, with a Dubuis Depraz 2030 chronograph module. The use of an outsourced movement, in this case, allows Junghans to keep its prices competitive. This particular example, with a PVD gold plated case, is priced at S$3,440. It is definitely an interesting proposition, and we reckon that the bonus pay check might just be the catalyst to instigate a collector to go forward and acquire this gorgeous chronograph.


Rolex Air-King


The new Rolex Air-King, featuring a design that is much more casual and less serious than its usual offerings.

The new Rolex Air-King, featuring a design that is much more casual and less serious than its usual offerings.


The Air-King is one of the more surprising novelties from Rolex in this year’s Baselworld, especially since the Geneva-based watchmaker is known to be more conservative in terms of its design. The timepiece, with its striking colour and bold design, is definitely a tad different from most of its siblings.

Honestly, the Air-King is a controversial piece: it is an either love-it-or-hate-it timepiece. On one hand, critics may find that the new Air King is too outrageous and odd-looking. On the other hand, some collectors think that this watch is a breath of fresh air, and it is certainly something that will distance itself from the stigma that Rolex is a “boring” brand. We reckon that we belong to the latter group, as we feel that the new design makes the watch much cooler, and hence giving it a distinctive and stylish appearance. This might possibly attract the younger clientele as well.

While the watch had undergone a makeover, the Air King is still a Rolex through and through. It is still a solid timepiece, fitted with a robust Superlative Chronometer Certified movement that is now both amagnetic and more shock-resistant. The retail price is  S$8,260 (entry point to sports Rolex), the Air King is a timepiece that is worth its price tag. It is certainly an excellent timepiece to add into a watch collection, especially if one has yet to own a Rolex.

Montblanc Heritage Spirit Perpetual Calendar


The Montblanc Heritage Spirit Perpetual Calendar. Probably one of the most affordable timepieces that features this complication.

The Montblanc Heritage Spirit Perpetual Calendar. Probably one of the most affordable timepieces that features this complication.


When it comes to price proposition, we simply can’t get enough of the offerings from Montblanc. Over the last couple of years, the watch manufacturer had priced its timepieces rather competitively, with decent finishing and great design execution. It is no wonder that their reputation have skyrocketed.

Today, we look at another interesting piece from the Heritage Spirit series: the Perpetual Calendar. When it comes to complications, the Perpetual Calendar is perhaps one of the most challenging and highly desired features on a timepiece. It is complex, yet practical. The Perpetual Calendar knows when are the leap years, and hence it does not require any manual intervention up to a certain number of cycles. Notably, it is powered by a base Sellita SW200 movement with a Dubuis Depraz perpetual module. The automatic movement features a power reserve of around 48 hours, and it had also undergone a rigorous 500 hours quality test.

The 39mm Heritage Spirit Perpetual Calendar is one of the most affordable timepiece that features this complication the other being Frederique Constant’s offering). It retails at S$16,800, and that is almost a good ten grand away from its next closest competitor (the JLC MUT Perpetual Calendar). If you have received a slightly fat bonus pay check this season, we think that you certainly deserve an sublime timepiece like this one to reward yourself.


Vacheron Constantin Quai de l’Ile


The Vacheron Constantin Quai l’Île 4500S.

The Vacheron Constantin Quai l’Île 4500S.


Well, if you have received a nice bonus pay check this year, we reckon that you might want to reward yourself in style with an exquisite timepiece from the “Holy Trinity”. After all, we only lived once, right?

In today’s article, we pick something different from the catalogue of Vacheron Constantin, with its Quai de l’Ile collection. The Quai de l’Ile is an interesting concept, since it allows clients to personalized their watch by mixing and matching the different options that are available (for instance, dial colour, case material, etc.). But for the stainless steel version, it is presented without customisation. This makes it much more accessible and affordable, as compared to its precious metal counterparts.

The Quai de l’Ile is powered by VC’s Calibre 5100, an automatic movement that features a date indicator and a power reserve of around 60 hours. While it may not feature its signature gold rotor (a tungsten rotor is used for the series), the finishing of the movement is still stunning. In addition, it bears the Poinçon de Genève, which means that the timepiece is manufactured and finished with the utmost care and attention to detail.

Priced at S$23,200, this is certainly a great timepiece to get introduced into the world of high-end horology.


Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1P 40th Anniversary Edition


The Nautilus 5711/1P 40th Anniversary Edition. Definitely a watch for the big boys out there.

The Nautilus 5711/1P 40th Anniversary Edition. Definitely a watch for the big boys out there.


Finally, if you are a heavy hitter this year, perhaps you’d like to reward yourself with something extraordinary. Something like the new Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1P 40th Anniversary Edition.

The Nautilus is an incredible watch to begin with, featuring an iconic and unusual case design (thanks to the legendary Gerald Genta) with impeccable finishing. Over the years, the Nautilus has been the “grail” watch for many collectors, with its exclusivity andadmittedly high price tag. But this year, Patek Philippe went a step further, by introducing two new models to commemorate the Nautilus’ 40th Anniversary: the 5711/1P 40th Anniversary Edition, as well as the Nautilus 5976/1G 40th Anniversary Edition. The former, which is depicted in the picture above, is cased in platinum, and featuring 12 exquisite baguette diamond markers for its indices. This is certainly something not for the faint hearted. We find it to be quite restrained in the flesh, and breathtakingly beautiful.

The 40th Anniversary Edition is the perfect timepiece for a collector who had made big bucks this year, and is not easily satisfied with the stainless steel (or even the gold) version of the Nautilus. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but this is surely a timepiece that is a cut above the rest. The watch currently retails at S$ 149,300, and it will be limited to just 700 pieces.


Concluding Thoughts


The bonus season is always an excuse for us to splurge, and it is a good reason to reward ourselves for the amount of effort that we have put in over last 11 months or so.

While we might be tempted to pick up some of the usual suspects, such as a Rolex Submariner or an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore, we feel that it’d be interesting if we go for something that is slightly different. This is why we have decided to go with the new Air-King, as well as the underappreciated Quai de l’Ile from Vacheron Constantin. And our range topper for this series, the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1P. Al excellent pieces in their own right. An will certainly add some excitement and vibrancy into one’s watch collection. A collection with merely the essentials are well, a bit boring.

So, what are some of the watches that you will buy with a bonus pay-out? Let us know in the comments section below!



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