Steel-clad complications are no less valuable than their equivalents in gold and platinum; they’ve simply skewed their value towards their movements and designs. In light of this, watchmakers have used to delivering steel watches at even greater value points than watches made of higher precious elements.
If you’re curious in joining intriguingly precious timepieces made of this metal to your collection, we have the list for you. Here are our six picks of steel timepieces for watch aficionados.
Here are the two most useful complications to have. On one hand, the perpetual calendar minimizes its owner’s involvement by accounting for differing lengths of the months automatically to display the correct date — at least until 2100. On the other hand, the chronograph encourages more fiddling, to time any and every event that its wearer encounters. Combine them with an eye on symmetry and a premium on legibility, and a winning package emerges.
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What better way to display a second-time-zone than on another face? The Reverso Tribute Duo tells local time via its main face, which has a white grained dial set with blue hands and indexes in an unmistakably Art Deco execution. Swivel the case around, and the flip side presents a dial that’s almost like a film negative of the main one — blue is the dominant color here instead, accentuated by silver hands and dial markings.
The PanoMaticLunar is an exercise in asymmetry. Its dial elements may all be off-centre, but they form pleasing whole thanks to their exacting positioning vis-à-vis each other. There are, for instance, two vertical (and invisible) lines running down the dial, one connecting the centers of the hour/minute and small second indicators, and the other linking the large date and moon phase displays. In turn, the lines are joined by another perfectly horizontal one that bisects the small second and large date displays.
The Marine Chronograph Annual Calendar sports classic styling via its dial and hands to hark back to Ulysse Nardin’s past as a maker of marine chronometers, which contributed to transoceanic navigation. The movement beating within the timepiece is decidedly modern though, beginning with a silicium escapement and hairspring. Another fresh development here is the annual calendar that required just three additional wheels on top of the simple calendar mechanism, which has itself been pared down from 30-odd to around a dozen components.
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This is a Cartier through and through; there’s no mistaking the classical styling that stems from the combination of minutiae here. Note for instance the Roman numeral indexes, the railway track chapter ring, and the silvered dial with a flinqué guilloché pattern. The remaining elements lend a fancier edge to the timepiece, beginning with a large date display at 12 o’clock.
A world time complication isn’t exceedingly difficult to produce. Creating a world timer timepiece, however, is anything but, thanks to the sheer amount of information that must be presented on the dial harmoniously. Frédérique Constant has pulled it off here and even managed to put various touches on the dial to increase its visual punch. A high contrast blue and white color scheme ensure legibility, with dashes of red to anchor the GMT and Daylight Saving Time indications.
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