Billions is a long running series on Showtime, featuring the battle between hedge fund manager Bobby Axelrod and Chuck Rhoades, who represents the US Attorney.
Billions, in a Nutshell
As the name suggests, the show is a battle of money and power. We have previously covered an article on the watches that Bobby Axelrod – the billionaire hedge fund manager – should wear, given his power and wealth.
Given that in a successful hedge fund like Axe Capital, where bonuses can go into the millions, it is not uncommon for the traders and portfolio managers to lead a seemingly extravagant lifestyle. Watches, flashy cars, and beautiful apartments are definitely items that these individuals will have within their possessions. In fact, in reality, it is not uncommon to see these successful and wealthy individuals living the high life as well.
Moving Back to Watches
Now, the show is currently in its fifth season. While we are watching the show, the watch enthusiasts in us thought: What are the kind of watches we will buy, if we had that level of wealth? In truth, with so much money, anything is technically possible. Our mind went a little distracted, and hence we thought we would pen our thoughts in today’s article. What have we selected? Let us find out!
The Daily Beater: Rolex Cosmograph Daytona
If one is looking for a daily beater, then perhaps it is wise to look no further than the trusty Rolex. After all, Rolex is known for its solid timepieces, and we reckon the Daytona is perhaps one of the best bets. We have in fact selected the same watch for a similar article, for good reasons.
The 40mm timepiece is the flagship of the Geneva-based manufacturer, and it is definitely one of the most popular collections as well. Interestingly, we do think that despite its sporty nature, the Daytona is a highly versatile piece – and one that can be worn during different occasions. Coupled with the reliable Superlative Chronometer-certified Caliber 4130, we can certainly concur that the watch performs as well as it looks.
Priced at S$18,140, the Daytona is certainly worth its retail price. But chances are, it will be an uphill task to get one from any authorised dealer considering the extremely long waitlist. However, if one is willing to pay, then perhaps the next best alternative is to get an example from the grey or used market – at a huge premium, of course.
The Luxury Sports Watch: Chopard Alpine Eagle
When it comes to luxury sports watches, there are several obvious options that are available out there. However, for today’s article, we thought that we might want to take a path that is less travelled. Cue the Chopard Alpine Eagle.
The Alpine Eagle, for the more veteran collectors, might be a familiar piece. This is because the collection is a reinterpretation of the St. Moritz, which is the first watch that was designed by Karl-Friedrich Scheufele in 1980 at a tender age of only 22. The design combines an angular case with a round bezel, coupled with an integrated bracelet that comprises of ingot-shaped links with raised caps. The combination, together with the textured sunburst dial that was inspired by the eagle’s iris, is certainly a sight to behold.
Granted, the likes of the Nautilus and Royal Oak (as well as the Overseas) might be more appealing to some. We do beg to differ, as the Chopard also offers a compelling option, at a relatively lower price point at S$17,200. This is a great watch for sure, and it is a great alternative for someone who wishes to explore something different from the rest.
The Quirky Independent: MB&F HM3
We have always been big fans of Max Büsser and his works, especially with his quirky interpretations on time-telling and his tendency to incorporate creative touches to his watches.
Amongst all his creations, the Horological Machine 3 (HM3) is perhaps one of our favourites. We like its polarising looks, with a pair of intriguing domes (for this particular version) that tells the time and also acts as a design element. When it was first launched in 2009, the HM3 was so ahead of its time, and we can still say the same almost 12 years on.
This version, as pictured, is a collaboration with Stepan Sarpaneva. Termed as the Moonmachine, the watch features Sarpaneva’s signature moonphase indicator which makes the enthralling timepiece a little more captivating.
The Moonmachine, unfortunately, is no longer available as it is limited to a production of a mere 18 pieces for each of the variants produced. But on the rare occasion that one of these watches do appear on the secondary markets (and if we had the cash), we will certainly get this watch in a heartbeat.
The Classy Independent: Grönefeld 1941 Remontoire
The independent watchmaking scene is very vibrant, which is why we are great fans of them. On one hand, you have the incredibly creative and outrageous pieces from the likes of MB&F and Urwerk. And on the other hand, we have the restrained yet stunning timepieces, such as the Grönefeld 1941 Remontoire.
The 39.5mm 1941 Remontoire, which was launched in 2016, is an award-winning timepiece that features the remontoire complication. The remontoire acts as a constant force, which means that it discharges an equal amount of energy throughout the entire power reserve of the watch. This maintains the watch’s accuracy, especially with a watch that features a large mainspring which contains a lot of torque when it is fully wound (resulting in an uneven discharge of energy as it unwinds itself, based on Hooke’s Law).
Aside from its complication, the pièce de résistance lies in the finishing of the watch. There is literally no expense spared, with each element finished to the highest order with the help of expert watchmaker Andreas Strehler. We also have a soft spot for Gronefeld’s manual-winding pieces (such as this example), as it allows us to admire the movement in its entirety.
The 1941 Remontoire is priced at €49,500 (approximately S$78,515) for the 5N red gold variant. Notably, only 188 pieces of the Remontoire will be produced, and Gronefeld also mentioned that they will not take in any orders for the rest of the year. Such is the popularity of the brand, and we do reckon that Gronefeld is certainly on its way of being one of the leading manufacturers in the independent watchmaking scene.
The Dress Watch: Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Ultra-thin Minute Repeater
On the note of dress watches, there are certainly many great names that will come to mind. But in our opinion, nothing ticks more boxes as compared to the incredible Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Ultra-thin Minute Repeater.
As its name suggests, this Vacheron Constantin is no ordinary timepiece. The watch is fitted with one of the most exclusive and beguiling complications ever: The Minute Repeater. For the uninitiated, the minute repeater is a mechanical complication that chimes the exact time when it is being operated, and this Patrimony possesses one of the most beautiful chimes that we have heard in the entire watch industry.
We really like how this 41mm watch flies under the radar, with its unassuming looks. In addition, we also do have to say that the finishing is sublime, with superb finishing techniques being executed on the case, dial, and movement. All these goodies certainly come at a cost, and in this case, at S$633,400. A princely sum for sure, but if your bonus is in the seven-figures range, then this should be something worth a consideration.
The Classic: Patek Philippe Ref. 5270 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph
We round up the article with a quintessential classic: Patek Philippe Ref. 5270 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph.
The Perpetual Calendar Chronograph is one of the most coveted and well-regarded timepieces in the world. It combines two highly complicated complications (in the form of a chronograph and perpetual calendar), with a stunning design that is considered one of the most iconic amongst the collectors.
Notably, this particular reference – the 5270 – is the best amongst all of Patek Philippe’s Perpetual Calendar Chronographs. It is all thanks to the fact that this piece features the first perpetual calendar chronograph movement that is fully-designed and manufactured in-house. This takes it to the next level altogether, although admittedly the predecessors which used the Valjoux or Lemania ebauches are no slouches either.
The 41mm Ref. 5270 is priced at S$271,200. This is a grail watch for many, and it is not difficult to see why. It ticks all the right boxes, and it is hard pressed to find a watch that is as legendary as this. This is surely a watch that we will add into our collection any day, if we had the funds to do so.
It is certainly nice to have money, and a seemingly large budget if you are a watch collector. There are so many watches to have, but for most of us, we can only dream. For the more fortunate ones, perhaps it is still possible to have the opportunity to own at least one or two of those watches listed. In our own humble opinion, that is indeed good enough for many of us. Of course, if the opportunity arises, do share the wealth with the less fortunate – if one has the means and the luck to do so.
Finally, what are your thoughts on our selection today? What will you buy, as a collector, especially if you have had a windfall? Let us know in the comments section below.