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Throwback Sundays: Six Watches for the Last Purchase of 2018, from Our Archives

It's the final countdown.
by Robin Lim on December 30, 2018

It is the end of the year once again. There are many things to be thankful about – especially for surviving yet another wonderful but challenging year.

What would be a better way to celebrate the achievements with the purchase of a good timepiece, especially for a watch collector? In addition, it is the year-end bonus season, which means it is probably a great time to splurge on a timepiece without feeling much remorse.

So, what are some of the timepiece that we have recommended? Let’s find out!

Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical 38MM

We begin the article with the timepieces that has one of the best value proposition of 2018: Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical 38mm.

This Hamilton was based on the historical military watches that were issued to the ground troops in the past. The watch is faithful to its original aesthetics, and what is interesting is that Hamilton had fitted the watch with faux cream luminescence to enhance the classic looks of the watch.

The watch is fitted with the ETA 2801-2 ébauche – a manual winding and dateless version of the renowned ETA 2824-2. It is a three-hand timepiece, with a decent power reserve of around 42 hours. The Khaki Field Mechanical 38mm is priced at S$690, and it is probably one of the most affordable mechanical Swiss-made timepiece. It will certainly be a great casual watch for the weekend.

Citizen AQ4020-54Y “The Chronomaster”

Citizen is a brand that is not pretty well-known in the realms of fine watchmaking, but it is definitely myopic to write them off before getting a better picture of the company itself. The Japanese watch manufacturer – which celebrates its century-old existence this year – has a deep and rich history in watch making, and there were notable “firsts” when it comes to the field of innovation.

The Chronomaster is perhaps one of Citizen’s finest works. The 39mm super titanium timepiece might look simple in picture, but the attention to detail is amazing. The case and bracelet, for instance, features the “Zaratsu” finishing with gives it a mirror-shine effect. The Washi paper dial also gives the watch an interesting texture and appearance as well. Finally, the watch is powered by the Calibre A060, which is one of the two ultra high precision quartz movements that Citizen produces. The combination is simply phenomenal.

Priced at ¥330,000 (approximately S$4,089), this Citizen is tad more expensive that its usual offerings. However, this is a very well-made and reliable timepiece, and we reckon might be a nice addition to any watch collection.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Reserve de Marche

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Reserve de Marche

The Master Ultra-Thin Reserve de Marche is one of the classic collections in Jaeger-LeCoultre, and this time round the watch manufacturer from Le Sentier had made it even better.

First launched 25 years ago, the Master Collection is known for its arduous 1,000 hours testing process – which ensures that the watch movement is manufactured to the highest standards. The Ultra-Thin Reserve de Marche is also known for its interesting dial elements. The watch features 3 different sub-dials: a sub-seconds display, a power reserve indicator, as well as a date indicator. It is legible and useful, although some might feel that the dial might be a tad cluttered with the three indicators. We think it works just fine.

The 39mm watch works well as a dress watch, in our opinion. It is elegant, subtle, and sized appropriately in modern standards. The Calibre 938 is a darn decent movement as well – in terms of its finishing and technical finesse. It is priced at S$13,000, and we believe that this is a great watch for any occasion that warrants a formal attire.

Glashütte Original Senator Excellence Panorama Date Moon Phase

We have a thing for blue dials, and the Glashütte Original Senator Excellence Panorama Date Moon Phase might just be one of the best ones we have seen.

Updated this year, the new timepiece comes with three dial variants – including an alluring midnight blue sunburst dial. We think that the blue dial complements the stainless steel case and indices very well, and it is very classy and elegant in its aesthetics.

Powered by the Calibre 36, the self-winding movement is well-made and rigorously tested for 24 days. The watch features a large date and moon phase indicator, as well as a decent power reserve of around 100 hours. It is a very well-made movement admittedly.

The Senator Excellence Panorama Date Moon Phase is priced at S$17,900. It is a fine timepiece, and we think that this is something that is worth a double (or triple) take for a corporate warrior.

Rolex Cellini Moonphase

Forget about the likes of Submariner and Daytona. When it comes to Rolex watches, the Cellini Moonphase is probably one of the best timepieces that is produced by the Geneva-based watch manufacturer.

The Cellini is not a well-known collection. In fact, it is one of the least popular series of watches from Rolex. But for those who knows it, the Cellini is one of the best kept secrets from the famed manufacturer. The Moonphase, for instance, is one of our favourite pieces when it was launched in last year’s Baselworld. It is still one of our favourites right now too, for its elegance and impeccable attention to detail. The latter is especially pronounced in the moonphase indicator, in which is crafted with an enamelled disc and meteorite moon. Stunning is an understatement for that.

The 39mm timepiece is priced at S$35,980. There might be other Rolexes that are priced within the same range too, but we reckon that this Cellini is worth taking the leap of faith. After all, you only live once – so do something different if you can.

Singer Track 1 Geneva Edition

For car fanatics, Singer certainly rings a bell. The brand is known for its meticulously restomod Air-cooled Porsche 911s, and they are some of the most desirable cars on the road today.

The same ideology had led to the creation for Singer Reimagined. The brands founders decide to bring its ethos and vision into the watchmaking world, starting with the Track 1. The design of the watch seems to be inspired by the 70s, in which its tonneau-shaped 43mm case draws some semblance with the Omega Speedmaster Mark II and the Heuer Autavia.

But the watch is not just a pretty face either. The Track 1 is fitted with the AgenGraphe – a 67-jewel, 477-part movement that has a minimum power reserve of 60 hours and operates at a traditional 3 Hz beat rate. It is an incredible movement, with an equally attractive level of finishing.

Priced at CHF 72,000 (approximately S$99,960), the Singer Reimagined Track 1 is not exactly an affordable timepiece. However, this is a fine work of art – both technically and aesthetically speaking – and we reckon that this might be one of the brands to look out for in the next few years or so.

Concluding Thoughts

For the last Throwback Sunday column of the year, we have decided to go with some of the more unusual pieces in our selections. After all, it is the end of the year – so why not end it with something special and different?

The Rolex and Citizen, for instance, are choices that collectors would not usually select. However, we think that such watches are highly underrated and they do deserve more love that what they are receiving currently. The Singer is also another interesting choice, and we are certainly excited to see how the brand will continue to grow over the next few years.

So, what are your thoughts on our selection? What are some of your last watch purchases in 2018? Let us know in the comments section below.

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