The with trouble finally biting the bullet and buying a quality watch is that it becomes addictive.
Just ask anyone who has already broken that particular horological seal. Very soon not only do you start to look around at other options similar to the one you have on your wrist, you also begin to covet the models that represent holes in your burgeoning imaginary collection. What about a dive watch, something for evening wear or business trips? Then, once you do have a few from which to choose, you will want to travel with these timepieces to chop and change as the occasion dictates.
We’ve sourced not only three superlative watches that should see you through most social engagements (whether they take place above or below sea-level), but also the best vessel in which to carry them about and ensure they remain in pristine condition.
Bamford Carbon Fibre Watch Roll
An upgrade following the success of Bamford’s Aluminium Watch Roll, this UK-made design shown in the main image above has comfort and protection aplenty for up to four timepieces – as large as the 44mm x 17.7mm Rolex Deepsea – thanks to a combination of soft leather cushion, neoprene, scratch-proof lining and ultra-tough carbon fibre casing. The Japanese-engineered ceramic glide rails ensure it twists effortlessly and the leather pad is fully removable. £1,650 bamfordlondon.com
It may look remarkably similar to the old model, but actually the new Sea-Dweller contains myriad improvements over its predecessor. The Caliber 3235 movement alone has 14 new patents, the most important of which is the Chronergy escapement, where the escape wheel is skeletonised to reduce inertia. The obvious addition is of course the magnifying glass – the Cyclops – above the date. Rolex has also fashioned components using a nickel-phosphorus alloy, which is more resistant to magnetism, while larger 43mm case size and dial means a corresponding increase in Chromalight lume. This iteration glows for up to eight hours, twice as long as the traditional SuperLuminova, while its blue hue cleverly makes it easier to read underwater. £8,350 from rolex.com
IWC Big Pilot’s Watch London Edition
Restricted to 138 pieces, the ship design on the back of this limited edition Big Pilot adorns the façade of IWC’s London headquarters in New Bond Street. To complete the nautical connection, apparently Lord Horatio Nelson lived at several addresses on Bond Street. IWC’s ship, however, is thought to be a vessel used in the Americas, which is fitting since IWC’s American founder Florentine Ariosto Jones set sail in 1868 from Boston across the Atlantic, eventually leading him to Schaffhausen, Switzerland where he formed the International Watch Company. The 46.2mm x 18.5mm London Edition features the new in-house 52010 calibre and comes in stainless steel with blue dial rhodium plated hands. As well as a seven-day power reserve, the water theme ends with the piece being ready to be submerged to depths of 60 metres. £11,750 from iwc.com
Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time
If you are looking for a sophisticated timepiece that will withstand some serious derring-do, look no further than Patek’s high-end sport watch which also has a second-timezone function. This useful complication is shown using its fourth hand and two slots on the dial that denote if the piece is displaying local or home time. This GMT hand is independetly adjustable thanks to the pushers on the left of the 40.8mm case, but the date indication is linked to your home time. A 45-hour power reserve should serve for most, while the strap on the Aquanaut is composite rubber, nodding to the watch’s underwater capabilities: water resistant to 120 meters. £24,700 from patek.com
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