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Category: Features

Style comes in many shapes and forms but, for all of us here, no one can be considered truly stylish without one important element: elegance.

Sure, many companies tout the claim that its products are elegant and, admittedly, they are, but few brands embody it as prominently as Longines. For nearly two centuries, the brand has adhered to producing timepieces that are equal parts contemporary and timeless and, with such a long history, it’s unsurprising that they’ve created pieces that would not be out of place in a variety of wardrobes.

So whether your personal style is sporty, tailored, or somewhere in between, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite pieces from some of Longines’ iconic watch families.

  • For the Sportsman: Longines Skin Diver L2.822.4.56.9
  • For the Minimalist: Longines Elegant L4.809.4.11.6
  • For the Maximalist: Longines Dolce Vita L5.512.5.79.7
  • For the Historian: Longines Heritage L2.819.4.93.2
  • For the Sophisticate: Longines La Grande Classique L4.709.4.11.2
  • For the Jet Setter: Longines Conquest V.H.P. L3.728.4.76.6
  • For the Artist: Longines Mini
  • For the Sportsman: Longines Skin Diver L2.822.4.56.9

    Have a passion for the sun, sand, and sea? Do you get your adrenaline rush from extreme sports? Do you absolutely adore the athleisure trend? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then the Skin Diver is for you. This 42mm piece features a black PVD coated steel case, a black rubber strap, and grained black dial. SuperLumiNova ensures that you’ll be able to tell the time whether you’re deep underwater, off to training, or simply heading to your next adventure.

  • For the Minimalist: Longines Elegant L4.809.4.11.6

    Minimalism is having a moment, and we personally love the look of sleek, uncluttered lines and paring down to the bare essentials. This piece from the Longines Elegant collection is the perfect embodiment of those ideals, and adds more than a healthy dash of elegance to any (possibly monochromatic) outfit. The 34.5mm case, matte white dial, and subdued numerals and hands of this watch are, in a word, timeless.

  • For the Maximalist: Longines Dolce Vita L5.512.5.79.7

    Sometimes, more is definitely more, and what could be more perfect for the maximalist than a watch that takes inspiration from all the classical markers of luxury. Even its name is luxurious: This piece from the Dolce Vita collection blends rose gold and steel, and punctuates the look with diamons and a silver-toned “flinqué” dial.

  • For the Historian: Longines Heritage L2.819.4.93.2

    Inspired by an actual vintage watch designed for the British Royal Air Force in the 1940s, The Longines Heritage Military is an ideal timepiece for the gentleman (or lady) who appreciates the beauty of a bygone age. This 38.5mm case features an opaline dial subtly misted with black, a beautifully aged green leather strap, and an automatic L888.2 movement.

  • For the Sophisticate: Longines La Grande Classique L4.709.4.11.2

    Rattle off its descriptions and this piece from the La Grande Classique de Longines collection would sound like your standard luxury timepiece: white dial, black leather strap, Roman numerals, etcetera. But, much like the sophisticated, expressive wearer for whom it would be ideal, it is so much more than its perceived qualities. We think it’s the combination of an ultra-slim 33mm case—housing an L420 quartz movement—textured alligator strap, sleek hands and dial, and uncommon architecture that make it a stunner.

  • For the Jet Setter: Longines Conquest V.H.P. L3.728.4.76.6

    Racking up the miles? Whether you travel for business, pleasure, or both, the Conquest V.H.P GMT Flash Setting will be your new best friend. Not only does it shift seamlessly from the boardroom to a night out, but changing time zones will never again be a problem, thanks to its innovative Flash Setting system, which uses pulses from your smartphone to adjust the time. And did we mention it has a perpetual calendar?

  • For the Artist: Longines Mini

    One to make an unexpected statement? Take a cue from fashion editorials and pile on the accessories: these adorably tiny watches—measuring only 16mm in diameter—with their bright leather straps, nacre dials, and diamond bezels, would make the most amazing arm party when worn together.

Minimalism may be in, but watchmakers will always take pride in showing off their artistry through visually striking pieces. From hand engraving and sculpting to unique jewelry settings and enamel art, artisans apply all kinds of techniques to turn timepieces into wearable works of art. These are the watches for people who aren’t afraid to make a statement.

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Knights of the Round Table III

 

Arthurian legend meets 21st century art in this stunning piece from Roger Dubuis. King Arthur’s valiant knights come to life as pink-gold low poly figurines who point their glistening swords at an Avalon-inspired table sculpted from solid blue enamel blocks. This scene is framed by an imposing pink-gold case with a fluted bezel.

The Excalibur Knights of the Round Table III houses a self-winding Calibre RD 821 with a 48-hour power reserve.

 

Jaeger-LeCoultre Rendez-Vous Celestial

 

 

Astrology lovers and New Age romantics will love this timepiece, which features a celestial map tracking the constellations’ movements across a hand-painted lapis lazuli sky. Its deep blue and purple hues take inspiration from the aurora borealis, and are complemented by a bezel set with gorgeous sapphires and diamonds. A star running along the circumference of the dial acts as a rendez-vous indicator—just use the crown to set it to the appointed hour of your meeting.

The Rendez-Vous Celestial runs on a Jaeger-LeCoultre 809/1 automatic movement with a 40-hour power reserve.

 

 

Patek Philippe 5077/101 “Birds and Clouds”

 

Birds take flight against a backdrop of white gold clouds and a blue lacquer sky in this piece from Patek Philippe’s latest Rare Handcrafts collection. A guilloché sunburst radiating from 6 o’clock adds depth to the dial, while hand-engraved feathers adorn rose gold dauphin hands. Diamond indices complement the bejeweled bezel and lugs.

One can admire the caliber 240 ultra-thin self-winding movement through the sapphire-crystal case back. The movement has a power reserve of at least 48 hours.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona in Everose Gold

The Rolex “Rainbow” Daytona has been much coveted since it was revealed at Baselworld 2018. Apart from its eye-catching sapphire-encrusted bezel, its dial features 11 baguette-cut sapphire hour markers to match. Its lugs and crown guard are set with 56 brilliant-cut diamonds as well, and its case and bracelet are made of 18 ct Everose gold. We particularly like the unique finish on the pink gold crystal chronograph counters.

Like any other Rolex, this timepiece isn’t just about looks: its Oyster case is guaranteed waterproof up to 100 meters or 330 feet, ands its winding crown is fitted with a Triplock triple waterproofness system. The Rainbow Daytona runs on a Calibre 4130 self-winding mechanical chronograph movement with a 72-hour power reserve.

 

 

Vacheron Constantin Metiers d’Art Les Aerostiers Bagnols 1785

 

Long before the Wright Brothers invented the first successful airplane, the people of France dreamed of flight. Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Aérostiers collection celebrates five historical hot air balloon flights undertaken in France in the 1780s. Our favorite? The Bagnols 1785, which features an ornate hot air balloon hand-engraved and microsculpted from yellow and white gold. It appears to float against a whimsical plique-à-jour enamel dial in various shades of blue.

Its disc displays include hours, minutes, day of the week, and date, all run by the self-winding Manufacture Calibre 2460 G4/1. It has approximately 40 hours of power reserve and is water resistant to 3 bar or 30 meters.

 

 

Hublot Big Bang Mr. Brainwash

 

Not all maximalist watches need to be covered in glittering jewels. In 2015, street artist Mr. Brainwash (also known as Thierry Guetta) worked his magic on a Hublot Big Bang Unico 45, resulting in an acrylic paint-splattered timepiece that was literally a wearable work of art. Needless to say, we don’t recommend you do the same to your watches.

Audemars Piguet Diamond Outrage


Nothing says maximalist like a cuff watch that looks like it could cut you. The third and final piece in Audemars Piguet’s Haute Joaillerie trilogy, Diamond Outrage is for the fabulous woman who is not to be messed with. Its bracelet is adorned with striking diamond-encrusted spikes of varying sizes, resulting in an explosion of glittering stalactites on the wrist.

Its quartz movement is housed in an 18-carat white gold bracelet entirely set with diamonds, with a mirror polished dial and blackened gold hands.

 

 

Breguet Be Crazy

 

As the house that created the very first wristwatch for the Queen of Naples in 1810, and counted Marie Antoinette, Empress Josephine, and Queen Victoria among its clientele, it’s no surprise that Breguet continues to produce watches fit for royalty. Case in point: the Breguet Be Crazy wrist watch, which features over 70 carats of baguette diamonds. Here’s the breakdown: Over 1,000 mobile diamonds set into the caseband, 57 diamonds in the flange, 133 diamonds in the dial, and over 200 diamonds set into the bracelet.

The case, dial, and bracelet are made of 18-carat white gold. With such an impressive watch, Breguet could easily have gotten away with using a quartz movement. However, the Be Crazy watch houses a self-winding Breguet Cal. 586/1, which has a 38-hour power reserve and can be viewed through a sapphire-crystal caseback.

 

 

Nothing can really prepare you for the day you’re asked to put together a watch movement. Nothing.

Not a week spent mulling the idea over in your head. Not the jealous proclamations from all your friends (ranging from “You’re so lucky!” to “Can I come?”). Not even the sense of security provided by the fact that this aforementioned watchmaking workshop would be hosted by one of the most respected watch manufactures in the world, A. Lange & Söhne.

To be frank, knowing just how much skill and precision go into making their legendary watches might have made me even a little more nervous than I should have been. But, alas, one must hurl oneself into the abyss for the sake of journalism, and so I jumped, proverbial guns blazing.

The Calm

It started off easily enough. After the requisite socializing over cocktails (coffee, thankfully, was not served, saving us all the worry of caffeine-induced jitters), Robert Hoffman, A. Lange & Söhne’s head of the Zeitwerk team, walked us through the painstaking process that each of the manufacture’s watch movements—and watchmakers—undergo.

A. Lange & Söhne’s Head of Zeitwerk, Robert Hoffman

Each A. Lange & Söhne movement that makes its way into one of the 4,000 to 5,000 watches produced annually goes through two rounds of assembly to achieve something as close to perfection as possible. The first to make sure that, well, it works, and the second for the laborious process of hand finishing each of the hundreds of miniscule elements that make up the movement.

From the plates and gears to the tiny blue screws—which, contrary to popular belief are not painted but rather, heated to a temperature that turns the metal a distinct cobalt blue—no piece is left to bear the slightest imperfection. As if that weren’t complicated enough, every movement utilizes up to 10 different finishing techniques, from hand-engraving to two types of graining and many more in between.

Every A. Lange & Söhne movement is assembled twice and contain hundreds of parts
 

Seeking Perfection

It would be easy to scoff at the impracticality of this amount of effort put into something that would be hidden during daily wear, but according to Hoffman, many of the brand’s clientele are so particular about watch movements that they even have their own versions of the microscope used by professional horologists, and use them to study the quality of the pieces they’ve acquired. The microscope in question is a sight to behold, and every blemish that mars the surface of whatever is placed under it is highlighted and put on display.

 

Many of A. Lange & Söhne’s watchmakers are in their 20s and 30s
 

To achieve this level of skill, watchmakers are typically schooled for three years, and released into the workshops to first perfect their talents on bigger movements (think clocks, pocket watches, y’know), before moving on to the jobs that require slightly more finesse. It must also be said, albeit anecdotally, that female participants of A. Lange & Söhne’s regular series of workshops typically have a much easier time than their male counterparts. Just saying.

The phrase “slightly more finesse”, I came to realize, meant superhuman steadiness, dexterity and really, really good eyesight, none of which I have. Nonetheless, off we went.

Up to Bat

Because none of the participants could chalk up to having assembled a movement before, despite being avid watch wearers, we were all given simpler (read: bigger) movements to work with. Hoffman and the A. Lange & Söhne team also considerately provided watch parts and tools clearly separated according to the order they were supposed to be fitted into the main plate. Apparently, our motley crew needed all the help we could get.

With these precautions in place, I thought, how could anything go wrong?

 

A steady hand is a priceless trait in a watchmaker

Surprise, surprise. Many, many things, I soon realized, could go wrong. From potentially losing one of the tiny parts and jeopardizing the entire venture—apologies to my seatmate who ended up dropping his movement’s balance wheel when I unwisely suggested “flipping it over to see if all the parts stay in place”—to misaligning plates and even possibly snapping a screw with overzealous twisting, a certain level of grace and polish are absolutely necessary in horology.

Once you get the hang of things, however, all the anxiety melts away and what takes its place is a feeling of calm collectedness, of almost Zen-like focus. It was easy to pretend that I was one of the manufacture’s talented watchmakers as I slipped my loupe on and off, squinting to see how each piece fit together on the tiny plate before me. I can say now that nothing makes a person feel as capable as when they’re literally single-handedly installing a screw with newfound dexterity. And when a piece is finished and the tiny gears all work in perfect harmony? The feeling of satisfaction is absolutely magical.

Art & Craft

The entire session lasted the better part of an hour. We were told a skilled watchmaker could assemble and dismantle a simple movement in about five minutes. But no matter; each participant was aglow with pleasure from having accomplished what they set out to do. In my case, it was to break nothing. Mission accomplished.

 

Some of A. Lange & Söhne’s 2018 Novelties

Watchmaking, from designing to assembly, is a noble craft, and practiced in its highest form, as A. Lange & Söhne has done for more than 170 years, it is elevated to art. To be a watchmaker of this caliber is to be part of an elite group that creates beautiful machines that measure and reflect our progression and existence through time itself.

In this sense, a watch is not as much a timekeeping device as it is a symbol of our drive to seek perfection and make sense of our existence. As much a work of wearable art as it is a machine, a watch, made with passion, is a clear testament to the creativity and expertise of each pair of hands that built it from start to finish, turning metal and stone into feats of engineering. A watch, then, is a symbol of how far we have come as a people—and what could be more amazing than that?

Illustrations by Mawee Borromeo

It comes as no surprise to anyone that Asia plays no small part in the Swiss watch market’s boom, with a notoriously discerning market that’s made centuries-old brands sit up and take notice of what Asians want—nay, demand—in their timepieces.

So, we wondered, what would the book’s (well, movie’s) unforgettable characters, to whom money is literally no object, hypothetically wear, watch-wise? Various other outlets have already discussed what would possibly be in their wardrobes. We, however, felt the need to theorize what these notorious jet-setters, fashionistas, and even royals would wear on the occasion they’d need to glance on their wrists and figure out which time zone they’re in, if their stocks need to be checked (care of their broker, of course), or whether it’s simply time for tea.

  • 01 RACHEL
  • 01b Rachel
  • 02 NICHOLAS YOUNG
  • 02b Nick
  • 03 ELEANOR YOUNG
  • 03b Eleanor
  • 04 ASTRID LEONG
  • 04b Astrid
  • 05 MICHAEL TEO
  • 05b Michael
  • 06 CHARLIE WU
  • 06b Charlie
  • 07 GOH PEIK LIN
  • 07b Goh
  • 08 COLIN KHOO
  • 08b Colin
  • 09 ARAMINTA LEE
  • 09b Araminta
  • 010 EDDIE CHENG
  • 010b Eddie
  • 011 OLIVER TSIEN
  • 011b Oliver
  • 012 PRINCESS INTAN
  • 012b Princess I
  • RACHEL CHU:
    The protagonist of the series, Rachel is an ABC (short for “American-born Chinese”) economics professor at New York University. The only child of a single mom, her middle-class upbringing has turned her into a pragmatic, practical, and driven young woman who isn’t afraid to speak her mind when she feels the situation calls for it.

  • WHAT SHE’D WEAR: The Omega De Ville Tresor: It’s stylish and shiny, but in an elegant, low-key way that marries looks with functionality—perfect for a tasteful young lady who’s just getting into luxury timepieces.

  • NICHOLAS YOUNG:
    Nick Young is practically perfect in every way: good-looking, of course, and brilliant—like girlfriend Rachel, he’s a professor at NYU—but although a scion and heir to one of Singapore’s (if not Asia’s) richest, oldest, and most esteemed families, he’s also incredibly kind and down-to-earth. Oh, and he speaks with a charming accent.

  • WHAT HE’D WEAR: The Patek Philippe 5320G: Classically, fundamentally Patek, it’s impressive without being showy, harks to a more genteel age, and looks as good with a suit and brogues as it does with a pair of chinos, a linen shirt, and boat shoes.

  • ELEANOR YOUNG:
    Imagine the quintessential Tiger Mom; that’s Eleanor Young. Nick’s overbearing mother, Eleanor is every inch the respectable society matron, a traditionally stylish and elegant figure who values family pride, prestige and, of course, pedigrees. Sure, she’s scary, but only because she cares, you know?

  • WHAT SHE’D WEAR:The Breguet Reine de Naples: What could be more fitting for one of Singapore’s queens of society than this refined piece, inspired by a watch created for a literal queen, Caroline of Naples?

  • ASTRID LEONG:
    Nick’s elder cousin, a double heiress, and always the most stylish woman in any room she enters, Astrid is the very definition of an It Girl. Uniquely beautiful, with exacting, unparalleled taste, she’s a study in contrasts in that she loves the traditional, highly coveted trappings of extreme wealth while remaining incredibly private.

  • WHAT SHE’D WEAR: The Chopard Fabulous Lady’s Diamond Tourbillon: Limited edition and studded with beautiful baguette diamonds, this watch isn’t just beautiful to look at, but features a technically impressive movement—equally a study in contrasts.

  • MICHAEL TEO:
    Astrid’s hunky husband, Michael is a combination of brains (he built his own IT startup) and brawn (a former military man, he first captured his wife’s attention modeling for a charity gala). His working class background is a major plot point in the book, and one of the reasons he’s developed, erm, issues being around Astrid’s family.

  • WHAT HE’D WEAR:The Panerai Luminor Submersible: No watch comes to mind as immediately as the Panerai Submersible if you’re thinking of a model for the sort of man who can go straight from a literal battlefield to a proverbial one like a meeting room. It’s sporty, chic, but also a statement.

  • CHARLIE WU:
    The son of Chinese billionaires, Charlie isn’t just a tech tycoon in his own right—he’s also Astrid’s former fiancé, who introduced her as a teenager to the finer things in life, like shopping for haute couture in Paris, blowing thousands on champagne brunches, or impulse-buying works of art.

  • WHAT HE’D WEAR:The Roger Dubuis Excalibur Aventador S: Performance and precision are embodied by this sporty, flashy, ultra-modern and uber-cool piece. It’s also inspired by another feat of engineering, the sports car, so how could it not be on every former-nerd-turned-hot-billionaire’s wishlist?

  • GOH PEIK LIN:
    Her family may only be millionaires, but Goh Peik Lin, Rachel’s college best friend, can probably outshop anyone on this list save for Astrid. She’s unabashedly flashy and unashamed to spend a good chunk of her wealthy dad’s fortune on designer everything, but she has a golden heart and still manages to place equal footing in the both real world and her privileged lifestyle.

  • WHAT SHE’D WEAR: The Hublot Big Bang Unico Sapphire Rainbow: A literal rainbow of baguette cut gems are the highlight of this statement piece, while a skeleton dial shows off its chronograph movement—it’s the perfect piece for this fantastically fun character.

  • COLIN KHOO:
    Colin isn’t just Nick’s best friend and ride-or-die: he’s also a scion of one of Asia’s richest families, in line to inherit his father and grandfather’s hotel and real estate billions. He’s the fun-loving, life-of-the-party type…all grown up, and about to be wed in the most awaited ceremony of the year.

  • WHAT HE’D WEAR:The A. Lange & Sohne Triple Split: Because Colin isn’t your typical rich bachelor, and this isn’t your typical watch. The Triple Split is elegant, yes, but a technical achievement as complicated (and dare we say, sought after) as he is.

  • ARAMINTA LEE:
    A runway model, a former McQueen muse, a hotel heiress, and the fiancée of one of Asia’s richest men: Araminta was destined to be society’s queen bee. Despite her highly-publicized life, she’s a surprisingly kind character who’s as comfortable in a hawker center as she is at Paris Fashion Week.

  • WHAT SHE’D WEAR:The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak: With its iconic shape and devotion to both aesthetics and performance, the Royal Oak is what we imagine this cover girl would wear when she’s hiding from the paparazzi on her days off.

  • EDDIE CHENG:
    Nick’s and Astrid’s elder cousin, Eddie is the sort of guy whose penchant for luxury screams “money”, whether it’s through expensive suits from the most esteemed designers, a posh flat, private jets, million-dollar sports cars, and, yes, luxury timepieces.

  • WHAT HE’D WEAR: The Rolex Skydweller: Synonymous with wealth and success, Rolex would be his watch of choice for various reasons: this model goes with his suits, is appropriate for a high-powered finance mogul, and is an icon recognizable from a mile away.

  • OLIVER T’SIEN:
    Dapper, stylish, and with an old-world sensibility and sense of style, Nick’s cousin Oliver works channels his finesse, passion for history, and exacting tastes into his work as an Ancient Asian Arts expert for British auction house Christie’s.

  • WHAT HE’D WEAR:The Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre: A technical masterwork, yes, but an aesthetic one too, this piece was designed as the historic manufacture’s attempt to push the boundaries of watchmaking, something this character would definitely appreciate.

  • PRINCESS INTAN:
    Sure, she may not have been in the book, but Kris Aquino’s portrayal of Princess Intan was definitely one of the highlights of the film for Filipinos everywhere.

  • WHAT SHE’D WEAR:The Patek Philippe Twenty 4: Elegant, and able to slip from casual events to more formal ones—pavé notwithstanding—the Twenty 4 is an ideal choice for a character played by a presidential daughter and our very own Queen of All Media.

Chopard may be famous for fine jewelry, but watch enthusiasts in the know admire the brand for its well-made timepieces—particularly those in its L.U.C collection. Named after founder Louis-Ulysse Chopard, this line is composed of limited-edition watches that have been manufactured entirely in their ateliers in Fleurier, Switzerland. This is where Chopard pulls out all the stops and shows off their ability to create complicated watches—each piece is COSC-certified, with either a Qualité Fleurier or Poinçon de Genève certification as well.

Such exceptional timepieces deserve to be promoted in an unconventional way, and that’s where Chopard’s “Gentleman’s Way” series jumps in. Each cheeky short—featuring a very dapper gent, of course—spoofs a conventional code of conduct. After all, what is a gentleman if not a master of wit and humor? Here’s a rundown of some of the style lessons we’ve learned from these videos, and the gorgeous watches featured in each.

Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.

This old maxim is certainly as true as ever, and it takes a very ambitious man to pull off a bowler hat.

 

 

 

The Watch: L.U.C Lunar One

Chopard L.U.C Lunar One

If you’re reaching for the moon, you might as well wear a beautiful moon phase watch while doing so. The L.U.C Lunar One stands out with its stunning moon phase display, in which the moon and stars revolve around the axis of the small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock.

Its perpetual calendar is displayed through a large twin-date aperture at 12 o’clock. It also features a month and leap year subdial at 3 o’clock, and a day and 24-hour indicator at 9 o’clock. That’s a whole lot of information on just one watch, but the Lunar One manages to display everything legibly on a blue sunburst satin-brushed dial. Its platinum case contains a self-winding L.U.C Calibre 96.13-L with a 65-hour power reserve.

Commit to your look.

The Chopard gentleman apparently loves his suits. Whether he’s playing football, riding a motorcycle, or being chauffeured by his dog, he does it in style with a suit that fits like a glove.

 

 

 

The Watch: L.U.C Perpetual Twin

This model’s L.U.C Twin Technology (two stacked mainspring barrels), together with its micro-rotor, allows it to run on a reliable 58-hour power reserve. Subtle touches make for a very legible watch: a silver-toned dial with matte subdials and polished applied Roman numerals, along with a black and white color scheme. Its perpetual calendar is displayed at 12 o’clock, while its three subdials indicate seconds, days, months, and leap-years. Its 96.22-L calibre is housed in an stainless steel case. With its unassuming yet elegant design, it’s a watch that you could wear pretty much anywhere, whether you’re headed to the office or a formal event.

Know how to roll up your sleeves.

There will always be occasions when you need roll up your sleeves, whether it’s feeding your toddler or adding a casual touch to a somewhat formal outfit. Being able to fold them up without wrinkling them is always a useful skill.

 

 

The Watch: L.U.C XP

Chopard L.U.C XP

The Chopard XP manages to be both casual and classy at the same time, with its blue cashmere strap complemented by blued steel hands and hour markers on a silver toned, dacron-finished dial. It may be the most minimalist watch in the L.U.C range, and it’s definitely for the gent who likes to keep things clean and simple. Its ultra-thin Calibre L.U.C 96.53-L is self-wound using a tungsten micro-rotor, and has a 58-hour power reserve.

Know your sizes.

A big part of dressing well is making sure your clothes and accessories have the right fit. After all, even the most well-made clothes can look sloppy if they’re the wrong size for your frame, and the same applies to watches. Whether you’re into tonneau, round, or square watches, make sure they’re the correct size for your wrist and fit comfortably underneath your cuff.

 

 

The Watch: L.U.C Heritage Grand Cru

Chopard L.U.C Heritage Grand Cru

With a 7.7 mm-thick case, the L.U.C Heritage Grand Cru slips easily under one’s cuff. Its unusual tonneau shape, together with its 18-karat rose gold case and bold Roman numerals give it a certain air of elegance, authority, and old-world charm. Its porcelain-type dial features a minute track and small seconds sub-dial with a date window at 6 o’clock.

Its in-house L.U.C Calibre 97.1-L automatic movement is powered by a beautiful 18-karat gold micro-rotor, and has a 65-hour power reserve.

If you find yourself underdressed, just power through.

Showing up to an event in less-than-appropriate attire can be pretty mortifying, but you can get through anything by laughing it off and carrying yourself with confidence.

 

 

 

The Watch: L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer

We love this model’s guillochéd honeycomb motif, which is echoed on its officer-type caseback. The caseback opens to reveal an engraving of Chopard’s old 1990s logo,featuring the words “Chopard Manufacture” surrounding a beehive, along with an ultra-thin L.U.C 96.01-L movement. The L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer features an 18-karat white gold case, and has a 65-hour power reserve.

Photos courtesy of Chopard.

Switzerland is the home of the largest and most revered watchmaking industry in the world, so much so that a lot of the country’s income comes from watches. Horologists all over the world look toward Swiss made watches as the best of the best. So if you’re a budding connoisseur, it’s no surprise that you’re looking to add a Swiss watch into your collection; it’s just natural that you’re moving in this direction.

 

 

“Swiss Made” vs “Swiss movement”

So what does it mean for a watch to bear the “Swiss Made” text on their dials? There are, after all, a lot that goes into making a watch, with it having so many moving parts. But before we get into what “Swiss Made” means, we first have to elaborate on one particular part of watches: their movements.

The criteria for a watch’s movements to be considered Swiss are as follows: at least 60 percent of its components (in value) should have been of Swiss manufacturing, the movement should have been assembled in Switzerland, and the movement should have been inspected in Switzerland.

Watches that qualify for these criteria can already have “Swiss movement” printed on their dials, but they’re not considered as part of the cream of the crop as “Swiss made” watches are. So what goes into watches that are “Swiss made”? It’s not that different from how Swiss movements are determined Swiss; in fact, the movements themselves having to be Swiss is already one of the criteria.  The second is that after the movement’s assembly, it has to be cased in Switzerland. And, of course, it should have a final inspection in Switzerland.

It’s a lot of hoops—though not enough, argue some, but that’s a story for another day—that watches have to go through in order to be deemed Swiss enough, but that’s what gives Swiss made watches their value and what makes the label “Swiss made” so special.

 

In-house versus Outsourced Movements

The making of movements is so elaborate and expensive that it demanded to be separate from the watch as a whole in the making of the 60 percent rule. Making a movement requires a watch house to have bigger factories and more artisans. Many watch brands choose to leave their movements to other manufacturers, the most prominent one being ETA SA Manufacture Horlogère Suisse (more commonly referred to as ETA). There are also other manufacturers such as Sellita and Soprod who are steadily gaining their share in the movement market.

There are, however, luxury watch houses dedicated to making in-house movements, which make them all the more desirable to Swiss watch enthusiasts. So if you’re the kind of person who likes a brand that’s committed to making every single component in their watch, this is something you should take into account when looking at Swiss watches.

 

 

Testing, 1, 2, 3
If you’re a stickler for precision and accuracy when it comes to telling the time, but at the same time still looking to stay away from digital watches, determining whether a watch is COSC—short for Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres, the institution that certifies a watch’s accuracy and precision—certified or not will be important to you. Even those that aren’t time-conscious, but rather, are just collectors, prefer COSC-certified watches, given that only 3 percent of the entirety of Swiss watches pass their tests.

 

 

The Price: Is it right?

At the end of the day, the price is still a determining factor. It’s important to look around carefully and rigorously and see what you’re willing to spend money on. More than likely, brands that tick everything aforementioned are priced higher than most.

So, in determining what you’re willing to spend on, it’s important to see what would suit your lifestyle the most, along with what would look and feel best on your wrist. After all, in our day and age, a watch is not just for telling the time; it can tell others what you value and who you are. And this doesn’t always mean that you need to buy the most expensive and sought after watch. (But sometimes, it definitely could. For those times when you just need to flex on potential clients or business partners.)

If you’re still undecided, don’t panic. It’s completely fine to delay your decision; no one’s judging you. After all, it is your decision. Just keep in mind that what could cost you thousands (or hundreds of thousands… or more) should not be something that you’ll regret, but rather, something that you can cherish for a lifetime.

 

Omega anchor why buy watches

Why Do We *Really* Buy Watches?

man looking at rolex watch why buy watches

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

In this day and age when a watch is no longer a necessity—we’re looking at you, smartphones—why do people still decide to strap these seemingly one-dimensional embellishments on their wrists?

Well, it turns out, there are several reasons behind our mania for all things horological.

As with most things, it all starts with biology: Research suggests that people—with then in particular—do things because they’re genetically programmed to find ways to attract their preferred sex. Think: peacocks. And because watches are one of the most luxurious items purchases, or in some cases, hard to come by, having an expensive watch, in a way, gives a person the sort of status that essentially implies that its wearer has made it to the ranks of the rich and the powerful. Having an expensive watch also provides the wearer with an internal sense of pride—and as the millions of women’s mag articles have told us, there’s nothing sexier than confidence.

Anecdotally, some admit that they purchase luxury watches because they’re status symbols …and this is totally accurate. A watch is and has historically been a symbol of wealth and power. If you’ve worked hard to get to where you are, chances are one of the first things you’ll purchase to show off your achievements is a pricey watch. More than just a mark of wealth, a watch can be a very motivating symbol, not just for yourself but for other people. A gorgeous timepiece has the power to make people think: ”I want to be like him.”

There is also the allure of collection. People are magpies: We’re drawn to shiny, pretty things, and when we get started, we—to paraphrase a popular game’s catchphrase—have to catch ‘em all. It’s ingrained in us to want more of the same, in the most nuanced of styles, and we want as much as we can get our hands on. Diving deep into the world of watches also means joining an exclusive club where its members might not only have a net worth that might equal a small European country, but also one that is passionate about the nuances and subtleties of watchmaking. Compound this ever-increasing knowledge and need to complete your collection with the desire to keep up with the proverbial Joneses, and what you’ll get is a very dedicated aggregator of all things horological.

man looking at rolex watch 2 why buy watches

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Beyond showing off, there are other factors, of course. There is a humble side to watches; contrary to popular belief, watches aren’t all about flashy materials and hefty price tags. For some people, buying, collecting, even just looking at or reading about watches can be an emotional experience.

Take, for example, how some watches were a fundamental player in some of history’s most iconic moments. Seeing astronauts in the space shuttle heading to the moon made children dream of piloting their own spaceships, driving their own racecars, or winning a prestigious sports trophy. For many, owning a watch that was front and center during those pivotal moments might be the closest one could get to achieving a childhood dream.

Certain watches have the ability to offer something that can’t be replaced with money: sentimental value. It’s idolizing your father and wanting to own the same watch he wore, or purchasing a watch on the day a child is born to commemorate their entry into the world. It’s receiving a watch on the day you step out of school into the real world, or to mark many, many years of service. It’s passing on a watch from one generation to the next, with the hope that the memories made with it live on.

old clock antique watches luxury

Watch brands are proud of their heritage, and what better way to showcase that by creating new timepieces that take literal inspiration from history?

IWC Tribute to Pallweber Edition ‘150 Years’ historical watches

IWC Tribute to Pallweber Edition ‘150 Years’

Named after Austrian watchmaker Josef Pallweber, who licensed his patented invention to IWC, this is one of the most iconic pocket watches the brand has ever produced. Although other Swiss manufacturers have the license to the invention, it is IWC’s take on it that is the most widely known.

For its 150th anniversary, IWC has revived the Pallweber pocket watch in the form of a wrist watch. The 45mm case, similar in size to its predecessor, caters to the modern appeal of large watches. Its most noticeable feature is the iconic digital display, whose jumping numerals’ smooth movements are made possible by the in-house caliber 94200.

Longines Legend Diver historical watches

Longines Legend Diver

The name says it all: The Longines Legend Diver is regarded as Longines’ best-selling heritage model, and for good reason. Based on the Longines Nautilus Skin Diver from the 1950s, both sport the iconic Super Compressor which features two crowns on the right side of the case, reminiscent of early divers’ watches.

Other familiar features include an internal bezel, and elongated minute and hour markers on the dial for increased legibility. Longines went as far as to put a faux patina on the luminous markers to recreate the look of a vintage Skin Diver. Not every feature was an aesthetic consideration, however; it now boasts of improved water resistance, rated up to 300 meters, and features a date window is added for functionality.

Panerai Radiomir PAM00687 historical watches

Panerai Radiomir PAM00687

With the yellow to orange gradient on the dial, the first impression of this watch is usually a reaction to Panerai’s unusual choice of colors. Looking back at this history of this design, however, reveals a much more serious, somewhat dark subject: the use of radium in watches in the 1920s. A highly radioactive and toxic material that can be fatal to whoever comes in contact with it, it was embedded into now-defunct Panerai-patented luminous paint, which was subsequently applied onto the original Radiomir dials by so-called Radium Girls. After the discovery of the element’s effects on health, Panerai stopped the use of radium.

The current iteration of the Radiomir replicates the aesthetic qualities provided by radium—such as the gradual discoloration caused by radiation on the originally black dial—albeit in a much safer way.

Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special historical watches

Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special

Zenith has nearly a century of experience making pilot’s watches—the first in 1909—and clearly has a firm grasp of what they should be, even manufacturing one for Louis Bleriot when he became the first man to fly across the English Channel. The idea of the pilot’s watch as we know it today, in fact, draws much of its looks and functions from Zenith’s original iterations.

The oversized case and dial, bold Arabic numerals, cathedral hands, and onion crown were all featured in the watch created for Bleriot, inspired by the onboard instruments also manufactured by Zenith. The current Extra Special is an ode to this iconic design that started it all.

Have you ever wondered how the different parts and functions of your watch came to be? Here are some notable brands and figures that have pushed the boundaries of watchmaking.

 

Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days PAM 1312 watch parts

Panerai – Crown Bridge

An external feature you can identify from afar, the crown bridge is a signature Panerai design feature, and is still regarded as one of the most ingenious inventions in watchmaking. Mostly seen on divers’ and pilots’ watches, Panerai’s patented crown bridge has inspired and been reimagined by other companies, which pay homage to the functionality and design of the iconic original.

Vulcain 50s President's Watch Cricket President 160151.325L watch parts

Vulcain – Internal Alarm

Only a few watch brands have this interesting, quirky function in their designs. Of these, Vulcain is the least popular, but this watch brand boasts a number of historical and noteworthy novelties—for example, the Presidents watch with the cricket alarm calibre. Though not the first to introduce the concept, Vulcain is credited for being the first to have a fully functional alarm strong and loud enough to wake its wearer.

George Daniels Four-Minute Tourbillon Wristwatch watch parts

George Daniels – Co-Axial Escapement

George Daniels has created some of the most extraordinary and technically advanced watches ever, and the Co-Axial escapement is a testament to his mastery of watchmaking. Daniels redesigned the Swiss lever by adding another escape wheel, resulting in its increased efficiency. It creates less friction, meaning the life of the movement is prolonged due to the absence of wear and tear.

Louis Moinet Memoris Chronograph watch parts

Louis Moinet – Chronograph Function

For years, Nicolas Rieussec was considered the inventor of the chronograph… until 2013 when the Louis Moinet pocket chronograph was discovered and history was rewritten. According to historians, Moinet created the modern chronograph in 1816, seven years before Rieussec famously created a chronograph for King Louis XVIII. Today, Rieussec is credited with developing the first commercialized chronograph and for coining the term.

Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Automatique 5367 watch parts

Breguet – Tourbillon

Some of the most thought provoking creations in horology came from Abraham-Louis Breguet, and the most exquisite of all is arguably the tourbillon, which acts as a deterrent against the effects of the Earth’s gravitational pull. Since the tourbillon was invented for pocket watches, it ensured that while in a upright position, most likely inside the pocket, the escapement rotates to counteract the positional errors caused by being stuck in the same position. Now that wristwatches are de rigeur, we are the tourbillon, thanks to our constant movements, making the complication a beautiful, albeit less than practical, feature in watches.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch parts

Rolex – Perpetual Winding and Water/Dust Proof Case

Because of all their technical innovations in watchmaking, many of which are still widely used today, Rolex’s reputation is held in high esteem by many watch aficionados. From improving on John Harwood’s original invention of the automatic winding movement which, admittedly, had limitations, to the water/dust proof case, embodied most prominently by the brand’s Oyster. Many features now taken for granted trace their early days back to the Swiss manufacture, thanks to Rolex’ spirit of ingenuity and ability to implement beautiful but practical features in their watches that have made them the most popular watch brand in the world today.

Rolex mainspring anchor

From similarly named complications with very different functions to long-standing watch myths that won’t seem to die, there are misconceptions about every facet of watchmaking.

Here, we compare six commonly confused or misunderstood horological terms, and break down what they really mean because, trust us, mixing these up could result in one hefty price tag you definitely weren’t expecting.

Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Perpetual Calendar watch terms

Photo courtesy of Patek Philippe

Annual vs Perpetual Calendar

Easily mixed up because: they’re both calendars, they look similar to one another, and they’re both complicated. Even watch aficionados tend to be confused when they see a triple calendar. You really do have to take a closer look to see the difference.

The difference lies in how often they have to be adjusted. The annual calendar has a day, date, and month indicator, unlike the normal calendar which shows only the date and, maybe, the day. The simple calendar has to be adjusted once every two months because it always reads up to the 31st, while the annual calendar only needs to be changed once a year, at the end of February.

As impressive as the annual calendar complication is, the perpetual calendar is in a league of its own, comparable in complexity only to the tourbillon and the minute repeater. It has a day, date, month, and a leap year indicator, and can accurately tell the time and date until 2100. You will literally never have to worry about it in your lifetime.

Rolex Deepsea Oystersteel watch terms

Photo Courtesy of Rolex

Waterproof vs Water Resistant

A disclaimer: no watch is completely waterproof. If used at depths exceeding what its manufacturers recommend, or if used in untested conditions, water can still leak into the watch’s case.

The more accurate term to keep in mind is “water resistant”. While a watch tested as and declared as waterproof can resist water pressure, it’s to a certain depth or limit. Extreme pressure—and improper or nonexistent maintenance— can still cause the water seal of the watch to fail.

 

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Lumen Up/Down watch terms

Photo Courtesy of A. Lange & Söhne

 

Luminous vs SuperLuminova

Lume, short for luminous, is a material used in watches that glows for increased legibility in low light situations—such as underwater where the depth of the water inhibits the light from passing through, or at night. There are different types of luminous materials: some need to be charged, whether through sunlight or anything that emits light, while some can produce light on their own.

SuperLuminova, on the other hand, is a brand of luminous material made by the Japanese company Nemoto & Co. Therefore, not all luminous material is SuperLuminova. SuperLuminova is known to hold light energy for long periods of time and provide the brightest glow. These make it a popular choice for Swiss luxury brands.

Longines Master Collection L2.893.4.92.0 L2.910.4.78.3 watch terms

Photo courtesy of Longines

Chronometer vs Chronograph

These two terms are only confusing because of their similar sounding names, but they are very different in terms of function.

A chronograph is a watch with a stopwatch function. It has various applications, from timing a race, calculating speed and distance, and getting your pulse rate with the use of a pulsometer. It’s a very common feature that is very popular because of its design and aesthetics.

A chronometer, on the other hand, is a timekeeping device that has a C.O.S.C. certification. This means its accuracy is within the parameters of what is considered to be accurate in watchmaking. The term is derived from marine chronometers that were used in sailing to guide ships’ direction. Marine chronometers are incredibly accurate, combining time with the placement of the stars and the sun to pinpoint their location. It’s a highly sought after distinction, as chronometer certification for watches adds value to a timepiece.

 

Rolex mainspring watch terms

Photo courtesy of Rolex

Mainspring vs Hairspring

This particular confusion is quite understandable; primarily because their names sound practically interchangeable. They also look alike, both coiled springs, with the only difference being that the mainspring is thicker and longer, while a hairspring stays true to its name as a thin, delicate spring comparable to—you guessed it—a strand of hair.

The main difference lies in their function a watch. The mainspring, found in the barrel, is where the power to operate the watch is stored, slowly unraveling as the hours go by, until it has to be wound up again. In turn, the hairspring is constantly in motion, going back and forth with each oscillation, and is responsible for stabilizing and swinging the balance wheel.

Hirsch Alligator and Crocodile Straps watch terms

Photo courtesy of Hirsch Straps

Alligator vs Crocodile Leather

Both exotic, luxurious materials, alligator considered the highest grade of leather used in watch straps. Though a notch below in terms of price and rarity, crocodile leather is still highly sought after.

They are very similar in terms of looks, boasting a checkerboard pattern. They’re often imitated by embossing the same pattern on calfskin. Crocodile leather, however, is more uniform in design and tends to be flatter. Alligator leather is more abstract, with uneven notches and lines that give it a more natural feel.

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