AW18 MEN'S LUXURY WATCH EDIT
16th October 2018
The definitive directory of what you should be wearing on your wrist right now.
BIG BANG UNICO RED MAGIC
What goes on in Hublot’s furtive Metallurgy & Materials laboratory is borderline alchemy. Not only has the cult ‘fusion’ watchmaker magicked up an 18-carat gold that’s virtually scratchproof – its twee Magic Gold trademark actually forgivable in this case – but their materials scientists have also hit on a formula allowing the creation of vibrantly coloured ceramics. This year’s spectacularly vibrant, polished red has realised using a combination of extreme pressure and heat that sinters the ceramic without burning the scarlet pigments. The overall effect is irresistible – high-tech kinkiness with a top-flight mechanics whirring inside.
70104 | £21,700
GPMH 2018 RACE EDITION
Maison Chopard’s co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele is as fully signed-up a petrolhead imaginable, his garage boasting over 30 priceless vintage cars – cars he actively races in the Mille Miglia, justifying his brand’s long-term sponsorship. Less well known is Chopard’s support of the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique, where ancient, irreplaceable F1 cars are raced terrifyingly fast around the Principality’s notorious street circuit. Limited to just 250 pieces, this year’s horological tribute in chronograph form is as racy as it gets, mounted in a titanium chassis and fine-tuned to high-performance ‘chronometer’ standards.
70550 | £5,960
ROYAL OAK TOURBILLON EXTRA-THIN
Back in 1972, the Royal Oak wasn’t just groundbreaking for its octagonal design, integrated bracelet and the then-shocking supposition that there can be such a thing as a luxury sports watch in steel. The cross-hatched ‘tapisserie’ dial, still laboriously milled by Seventies pantograph machines chez Audemars Piguet has become just as iconic. So it’s something of a surprise to see AP’s designers (and boffins on the factory floor, let’s not forget) playing with the pattern for the first time in over four decades. Dubbed ‘Evolutive’, the new sunray tapisserie beautifully frames the tumbling tourbillon carriage at 6’clock.
71224 | £POA
BELL & ROSS
BR V2-94 RACING BIRD
When they’re not crafting instruments for the wrists of fighter pilots or Parisian S.W.A.T. units, Bell & Ross likes to hone its slick aesthetic via ‘what if?’ concepts in high-speed transport, making the companion watch in kind. It started with a B-Rocket motorbike straight from the pages of Judge Dredd, and continues this year with the futuristic BR-Bird – a similarly rocket-like V12 Rolls-Royce-powered monoplane, fit for the daredevil Reno Air Races. Satisfying any low-altitude hunger for danger is this accompanying chronograph – a crisply appointed flying machine that is pure Dan Dare raffishness.
71225 | £3,650
DEFY EL PRIMERO 21
The 100th-of-a-second Defy 21 chronograph burst onto the scene last year to deafening plaudits – quite rightly rendered in skeletonised dial configuration, all the better for bearing witness to Zenith’s first step-change, high-frequency evolution since 1969’s equally revolutionary 10th-of-a-second El Primero. For those who are happy to things under wraps, however, this year’s closed-dial option is the very model of sporty refinement. The clean dial design marries perfectly with the surrounding brushed titanium, and shows-up the seconds hand’s breakneck sweep with startling clarity. A true modern classic.
70648 | £9,900
MONACO GULF SPECIAL EDITION 50TH ANNIVERSARY
This year sees the 50th anniversary of an automotive legend: the curvaceous dominator of Le Mans in the early Seventies, Porsche’s flat-12-engined, 240mph ‘917’. Back in 1968, the German sports-car maker determined to win the 24-hour endurance classic as soon as 1970 – which it did, overtaking Ford and Ferrari as THE car to beat. It was Briton John Wyer and his JWA Gulf Team who became the factory’s official team, in Golf Oil’s iconic blue and orange livery, winning races in ’70 and ’71 but never Le Mans –except in fiction, when Steve McQueen drove a Gulf-917K in Le Mans (1971), wearing, of course, a Heuer Monaco. Enough high-octane heritage for you?
70159 | £4,750
S500 ENDURANCE NATO STRAP WATCH
Britain’s booming action-man watchmaker is as familiar with the depths as the skies, having evolved the pilot-watch design codes beloved of so many military personnel into 600m-water-resistant capabilities just a few years into Bremont’s lifespan. Their Supermarine diving watches derive their name from the 1930’s aircraft company, whose Schneider Trophy-winning Spitfire prototype – the Type 300 – led to one of Britain’s most iconic aircraft. Now in a smaller, more day-to-day 300m guise, the retro styling Bremont does so well looks especially dashing on every hipster’s favourite “NATO” nylon strap, still a standard MoD-issued part.
67840 | £2,995