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10 watches to borrow from your man (and vice versa)
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10 watches to borrow from your man (and vice versa)

Friday, 03 April 2020
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Marie de Pimodan-Bugnon
Freelance journalist

“One must be absolutely modern.”

Arthur Rimbaud

It takes passion, a healthy dose of curiosity and a sense of wonderment to convey the innumerable facets of watchmaking…

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5 min read

Looking for ways to pass the time during self-isolation? Try discreetly dipping into your partner’s watch collection. Here’s our choice of ten timepieces that look the business on his and her wrists.

Lockdown has given a whole new meaning to the phrase, “share and share alike”. As we enter our second, third or more week of self-isolation, entire households find themselves sharing the same space, the same office, the same hours, the same highs and the same lows. The living room has become a co-working space, the kids’ bedroom is doubling up as a classroom, the kitchen is now a canteen and the bathroom is looking more like a gym locker every day. Parents have turned into teachers, children have become co-workers, not to say office tyrants. Since the beginning of lockdown, roles have changed and nothing is quite the same… which gives us the perfect excuse to trade watches with our significant other. Consider it a way to broaden your (horological) horizons and keep an eye on the time while staying stylish (PJs are great but never suitable attire for a conf call with the boss). Classically styled, with diameters around the 40mm mark, these are watches that will have no difficulty moving from one wrist to another. All that remains is to decide which one to “borrow”, the second your other half’s back is turned.

Audemars Piguet Code 11.59

“This is the first time we’re presenting a collection that has been consciously designed for both men and women, with an arched ergonomic case that’s comfortable for all to wear,” noted Sébastien Vivas, Audemars Piguet’s Heritage and Museum Director, when describing the Code 11.59. Your only dilemma: how to choose among the 13 models and five complications that make up this unisex collection, with its 41mm case.

Code 11.59 © Audemars Piguet
Code 11.59 © Audemars Piguet
Blancpain Villeret Ultraplate

Masculine or feminine, the new Villeret Ultraplate? Let’s just say that with its 40mm red gold case, midnight-blue sunburst dial and clean contours, it makes a perfect match for every wrist. Beyond its good looks, this ultra-thin watch is driven by Calibre 1151, an automatic movement whose juxtaposed Côtes de Genève and honeycomb decorations are revealed through the sapphire caseback.

Villeret Ultraplate © Blancpain
Villeret Ultraplate © Blancpain
Chopard Alpine Eagle Large

Chopard’s new sport-luxe collection reminds us there is an often thin line between what’s masculine and what’s feminine. Rather than define its watch as being “for him” or “for her”, the brand has opted instead for Large (41mm) and Small (36mm) sizes. Let your personal preferences, and wrist measurement, guide you among the 10 styles in the collection. Two automatic movements keep them ticking with COSC-certified precision.

Alpine Eagle Large © Chopard
Alpine Eagle Large © Chopard
H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Centre Seconds Concept

The understated vibe of a 40mm case in white gold paired with a Funky Blue fumé dial, the whole thing powered by an in-house automatic movement: who said the Endeavour Centre Seconds Concept was only for men? Ladies, don’t let them get away with it!

Endeavour Centre Seconds Concept © H. Moser & Cie
Endeavour Centre Seconds Concept © H. Moser & Cie
Hublot Classic Fusion Cruz-Diez

No, this isn’t a lockdown-induced hallucination but a very real optical illusion on the two versions of the Classic Fusion created in collaboration with the Franco-Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez. The dial is on two levels, each treated in saturated Pantone colours. The hour hand on the first level and the minute hand on the second level rotate a transparent disc, printed with black lines, that generates the changing pattern. Colour, time and space interact in 45mm and 38mm case sizes (so there’s no arguing!).

Classic Fusion Cruz Diez © Hublot
Classic Fusion Cruz Diez © Hublot
MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT

When MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser imagined his first women’s watch, he thought about the female influences in his life. The result is a 38.5mm pink gold case and a soaring flying tourbillon that projects beneath a generous sapphire dome. First presented in 2019 in diamond-set versions, the Legacy Machine FlyingT returns with a guilloché dial/plate, finely executed by Kari Voutilainen. Gentlemen, ask nicely and perhaps you can borrow it. Perhaps.

Legacy Machine FlyingT © MB&F
Legacy Machine FlyingT © MB&F
Montblanc Heritage Automatic

Green is the colour of hope: another good reason to adopt the new Heritage Automatic in yellow gold. Proudly boasting a neo-vintage style, the 40mm case teams up with a lacquered dial in British Racing green and a coordinating strap in Sfumato alligator. Last but not least, heavy lifting is by the Calibre MB 24.27 automatic movement that delivers 42 hours of power reserve.

Heritage Automatic © Montblanc
Heritage Automatic © Montblanc
Omega De Ville Trésor Steel

Distinguished by a 40mm polished steel case surrounding a textured blue dial, this slim, elegant watch has the classic beauty that the De Ville range has been cultivating for more than 70 years. This version, taken from the Gents’ Collection, will be equally at home on a Lady’s wrist. Neither gender will fail to appreciate the reliability of the Master Co-Axial Calibre 8910, certified by METAS, the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology.

De Ville Tresor Steel © Omega
De Ville Tresor Steel © Omega
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony self-winding

While modern usage considers a 36mm diameter as more suited to a woman’s wrist, in the 1950s and 1960s this would have been the norm for a man’s watch. So go ahead, gentlemen, and give your gal’s new Patrimony self-winding a spin. The slim, pink gold case opens onto a midnight-blue dial. Calibre 450 Q6/2 sets the tempo. Be sure to take a peek through the sapphire back at the openworked gold oscillating weight.

Patrimony automatique © Vacheron Constantin
Patrimony automatique © Vacheron Constantin
Zenith Elite Moonphase

With its elegant case in pink gold and a sunburst guilloché dial framing moon phases and small seconds, the new Elite Moonphase is the archetypical classic watch. Powered by the Elite 670 SK automatic movement, it makes its home on every wrist, in 36mm or 40.5mm versions. Remember, share and share alike.

Elite Moonphase © Zenith
Elite Moonphase © Zenith
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