Luxury sports watches are all the rage, and they are injecting some welcome variety into the collector’s landscape
The luxury sports watch segment has lately been rife with new options. While Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak and the Patek Philippe’s Nautilus are the reigning kings of this segment, collectors will appreciate that some big names are vying for fresh (re)consideration. The following watches are sporty and braceleted, but also uncomplicated and elegant, and as easy to wear as they are to make a statement with.
A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus
The Odysseus is noteworthy simply by virtue of being a Lange sports watch. There are those who never thought they would see one – and on a rubber strap, no less, which was just introduced this year in white gold (S$57,400). (Traditionalists will be happy to note that the steel and bracelet original released last year is still available, for S$40,700). The Odysseus is a particularly refreshing take in the crowded luxury-sports segment, and in true Lange fashion has a movement designed specifically for it. It features the brand’s signature outsize displays for day and date. On the surface it seems far removed from the much-loved Lange 1s and Datographs of yore, but the closer you look, the more Lange it becomes.
H. Moser & Cie Streamliner
H. Moser & Cie’s new sports watch is an understated, clean-looking piece that belies its technical innovation. Although in the established mould of steel-with-bracelet watches, the Streamliner (S$60,700) has a less angular take than most of its compatriots, with an early 20th-century (rather than ’70s) vibe. The chronograph calibre was developed in partnership with movement specialists Agenhor, and it is the first automatic chronograph with a central display to boast of a flyback function. Chronograph connoisseurs will also appreciate that the rotor is located between the movement and the dial, which results in an unobstructed view of the mechanics through the caseback.
Hublot Big Bang Integral
The Big Bang has been around for 15 years, but that it now has a bracelet will surely draw additional interest. Since its inception, a rubber strap has been a signature of the electrifying chronograph, but its design that so clearly echoed the classic ’70s would always have suited a bracelet. It arrives in a three-link design, one that stands out with its distinctively faceted links that mirrors the Big Bang’s distinctive angular case. In typical fashion, Hublot has eschewed steel for more exotic materials – the watch and its bracelet are available only in titanium (S$27,500), black ceramic (S$30,300), and Hublot’s own warm-hued King Gold (S$68,900).
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton
The Overseas is an interesting entry in the genre. It is clearly in the vein of ’70s design but was released in 1996, and hence presents a slightly updated take on that look. This year sees skeletonisation coming to the collection for the first time, in a particularly ambitious way – with a moonphase perpetual calendar. The complexity of its movement is a grand way to showcase the Maison’s expert skills in movement finishing, and the exposed components are finished to an exquisite level. It lends an additional eye-catching quality to the svelte profile of the Overseas, and despite the complications, this timepiece is only a mere 8.1mm thick.
IWC Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph
Nautical-themed watches are unusual in this category, but then again, a certain Gerald Genta did have a stab at an IWC Yacht Club back in the ’70s. This year sees the third generation of the modern Portugieser Yacht Club, the sub-collection that adds a sporty note to the otherwise dressy Portugieser lineup. The new releases include a particularly grand two-tone chronograph execution with combines steel and 5N gold (S$29,300). The Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph has a flyback function and cleaner layout thanks to the concentric hour and minute totalisers at 12 o’clock, and its in-house automatic calibre has a power reserve of up to 68 hours.