In this ultimate guide, you can explore digital as well as luxury watches, and consider in detail the best mechanical pieces offered by the very best brands, the best men0s timepieces arrived into stores in 2017.
We’re sure you won’t be disappointed.
LANGE & SOHNE, £68,000
If there’s one watch house that never disappoints when it comes to unveiling new models, it’s Germany’s A. Lange & Söhne. The brand’s offerings for 2016 ranged from a white-gold version of the existing Lange 1 to a Grand Lange 1 with a moon-phase display that glows in the dark and a reworked version of the Saxonia Thin, a simple-as-it-gets two-hand watch with an impeccable finish.
AVI-8, £110 – £600
The Avi-8 might just be the brand for you, with its fast-expanding range of vintage-look, and aviation-inspired models.
The Alpina brand has gradually increased its UK presence to the point where its watches are now available in 12 outlets across the country, in addition to being sold at Harrods. These are good-value, well-conceived, well-made pieces that really are worth a look. The Seastrong range of dive watches is impressive, with the focus on a contemporary, automatic model called the Diver 300, which offers 300m water resistance, a 44mm steel case and screw-down crown and case back
AUDEMARS PIGUET, £20,400 – £35,400
After showing us “the most sonically considered minute repeater” ever made, in the form of a 2015 concept watch we couldn’t buy, AP has now pulled the wraps off the Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie, a made-to-order production model with a state-of-the-art striking mechanism, a 478-part tourbillon chronograph movement. There’s a whole forest of new-look Royal Oaks this season, including an open-worked model with a double balance wheel and 42mm Offshore Diver Chronographs in fizzing orange, yellow and lime green. But nothing’s as good as gold, so we’re opting for the Seventies-tastic, 37mm Selfwinding Royal Oak with an 18-carat pink-gold case and matching bracelet.
BALL WATCH COMPANY, £2,000
The American-rooted, Swiss-made brand recently introduced a new customising technique called PaintPRINT, which enables buyers of Fireman and Engineer models to include an image of their choice behind a sapphire crystal case back. The Trainmaster World Time is a great-looking, 41mm steel, chronometer-certified watch which combines day and date indications with a world-time function that shows the hour in 24 cities simultaneously.
See also: Bucherer Blue Editions- Luxury Watches
BAUME & MERCIER, £3,500 – £3,900
The Clifton Chronograph Complete Calendar might actually hold broader appeal. Offering a beautifully executed Fifties aesthetic, it combines classic blued steel hands with a moon-phase display and a full calendar showing the day and month in adjacent windows below 12 o’clock, while the dates are arranged around the edge of the dial and indicated by a red-tipped pointer.
BELL AND ROSS, £2,800
Best known for its aviation-inspired creations, Bell & Ross has now jumped on the car-watch bandwagon. The B&R for us is the traditional-looking BR123 Aeronavale chronograph. Its deep blue dial and bezel carry gold highlights and the watch is supplied with a waxed blue alligator strap.
Blancpain’s 2016 show-stopper at Baselworld was a one-off called The Great Wave, featuring a dial made from Mexican silver and topped with an oxidised gold, filigree interpretation of a Japanese woodblock print called The Great Wave Off Kanagawa. Blancpain’s slim Fifty Fathoms Bathyscape dive watch gets a new case and bezel made from plasma grey ceramic, a lustrous blue dial, and luminous hands and hour markers so you can read it in the deepest oceans.
For looks, functionality and affordability, it has to be the Yachting Timer II, launched at Baselworld 2016. The 46mm case makes for a big, legible dial and easy use of the countdown function, the blackened steel case is supplied on a silicone strap with logo and the watch is water resistant to 100 metres.
The superb new Type XXI flyback chronograph offers a slate-grey dial, buff markings and a calfskin strap that gives the watch a vintage look, while the well-finished movement can be seen through a sapphire-crystal case back.
Stay tuned for the 2nd part of this Ultimate Watch Guide.