This summer’s heatwave meant only one thing: holidays galore. We recently wrote about the dive watch as a must-have summer accessory, but what other watches were deserving of a spot in your suitcase? We’ve put together our handy guide to what you should have worn on vacation, and what you might want to consider for next year. From flight to dinner to the after party, we pick our favourites.
For the flight ☟
The Air-King pays tribute to the pioneers of flight and to the Oyster’s role in the story of aviation, making it the perfect cabin companion. It’s classy and understated, not least thanks to a distinctive black dial and the same font that was designed for the model in the 1950s.
Montblanc 1858 Geosphere
The Montblanc Geosphere isn’t your average world timer; it actually displays the world time complication with two turning hemisphere globes. Inspired by military watches from the 1930s, it includes a second time zone display so you can simultaneously know what time it is where you’re coming from and where you’re heading, at a glance.
IWC Big Pilot’s Heritage Watch 48
Not for the faint of wrist, the IWC Big Pilot’s Heritage Watch is a sight to behold. Its simple design and huge face give it amazing readability, perfect if you’re actually piloting the plane (we can always dream). Cased in titanium, hence its astonishingly light 120 grams, it is fitted with the IWC calibre 59215, the same movement as in the Portugieser Hand-Wound 8 Days.
For swimming ☟
Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Memovox
The first ever dive watch with an alarm function, the Memovox Polaris was originally released back in 1965. This timepiece, a remake of the 1968 version, is a legend among dive watches and set social media on fire when released at SIHH 2018.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Deepsea
Baselworld 2018 saw the ‘watch of the deep’ appear newly equipped with calibre 3235, a redesigned case with a broader bracelet and a resized Oysterlock folding clasp. This is a professional diver’s watch that is waterproof to 3,900 metres. The unidirectional rotatable Cerachrom bezel with a 60-minute graduated insert gives divers the ability to monitor their underwater and decompression time for their safety.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver
Released in five colours in 2018, from ‘tropical turquoise’ to ‘charismatic khaki’, the Royal Oak Diver isn’t to be sniffed at when it comes to underwater ability. This brutish but no less beautiful version of the Royal Oak Offshore features a date function, a crown-operated internal rotating dive bezel and, of course, is water-resistant to 300 metres.
For daytime ☟
Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Baumatic
The Baumatic is a simple yet sophisticated timepiece. Its joy lies in the fact that it works with any outfit, whether you’re enjoying lunch at a pavement café in St. Tropez or browsing the souk in Marrakesh. Everything about it says versatility, from its 40mm case size and slim profile to the perfectly clean dial. Here’s a watch that’s made to be worn.
Patek Philippe Aquanaut Flyback Chronograph
In 1997, Patek Philippe released the Aquanaut. It wasn’t their first venture into sports watches, but it was a new step into something bolder for the brand. Much like the grunge style of the 1990s, it was a watch with attitude from a brand better known for its more staid designs. In 2018, the Aquanaut got its first chronograph. The hardy stainless steel case and rubber strap make it the perfect companion for a more active traveller.
Nomos Autobahn Neomatik 41 Date
While a splash of colour on a white dial can ruin the simplicity and elegance of some timepieces, Nomos Glashütte has succeeded in creating a colourful yet understated sports watch that is sure to turn heads wherever it is worn. Its name, Autobahn, translates to “freeway”, which matches the free spirit of this timepiece perfectly.
For dinner ☟
Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Automatic 910P
Piaget’s thinnest ever timepiece, a mere 4.30 mm high, is nothing short of a mechanical marvel, having a level of complexity matched only by its beauty. The dial is located in the upper-left corner with the rest of the space being taken up by the gear train. A showstopper if ever there was.
Blancpain Villeret Quantième Complet GMT
The triple calendar with moonphase is a staple for Blancpain. The new GMT version is the perfect travel companion. Like so many of the brand’s watches, it dazzles with understated beauty and elegance.
Carl F. Bucherer Manero Tourbillon Double Peripheral
Here’s a question: how does one completely remove the cage of a tourbillon and still have it ‘float’ in mid-air? Carl. F. Bucherer had the answer at this year’s Baselworld, where it revealed this Manero with no bridges, upper or lower, to support the tourbillon. Instead, the mechanism is supported by its peripherally mounted cage between three ceramic ball bearings. Technically brilliant, it’s one good-looking watch, too.
For parties ☟
Hublot Big Bang Unico Red Magic
If your dance moves aren’t enough to get you noticed (not in a good way, at any rate), this might help. The Red Magic shows the advances that have been made in ceramics in recent years, especially by Hublot. Red ceramic components have always required a complex process that usually results in uneven colouring. After years of research in conjunction with EPFL institute of technology in Lausanne, it displays a true red colour that will never chip or scratch off. A showstopper of a timepiece released at Baselworld this year.
The HYT H²0 is a conversation starter on any night out, and the new version released at SIHH 2018 certainly got people talking. The brand compares it to a smooth stone that has weathered time to perfection. It of course features HYT’s unique fluid time display. It’s a truly poetic timepiece with a great backstory set in aerospace engineering.
Zenith Defy Zero G
This year’s new offering from Zenith, the Zero G, pairs the high-beat El Primero movement with a patented gyroscopic module that ensures horizontal positioning of the regulating organ. This stunning timepiece, which features a fully skeletonised movement, would fit in (and stand out) at any party, anywhere in the world.