They at occasions appear to be on the point of extinction, and I used to be virtually prepared to write down their obituary (see The Death Of The Dress Watch: Is It Time To Write Its Obituary?): gold costume watches. And after I generally observe as we speak’s society, the traditional gents as properly!
However there’s a glimmer (no pun supposed) of hope as among the world’s most esteemed watch manufacturers nonetheless have a mechanical, gold-encased, time-only timepiece or two hidden someplace of their collections.
For many who would relatively not spend the time in search of them, right here I current you 4 gold costume watches for the consideration of the discerning modern-day, but classically inclined, gentleman.
Whereas Jaeger-LeCoultre really has fairly a number of choices in relation to time-only, gold-encased costume watches, I personally take into account the Grasp Extremely Skinny Small Second to be on the head of the pack.
The explanation for that is that the watch is definitely so good it will get all the small print good. Its pink gold case is 38.5 mm in diameter: not 38 mm. Not 39 mm. However 38.5 mm. And that’s giant sufficient to be modern, but sufficiently small to not look presumptuous. And at solely 7.58 mm in peak it’s thought-about ultra-thin: carrying it feels virtually like carrying nothing besides the tiniest flash of gold underneath the cuff.
This measurement additionally helps to point out off that lovely eggshell coloration of the dial, which matches so properly with the pink gold case. The dial is pure with dauphine palms, unobtrusive triangular hour markers, and an absolute minimal of textual content. That makes this watch such a robust creation as a result of there may be true synergy between all the small print.
It’s only while you flip the Grasp Extremely Skinny Small Second over that it loses a few of its reservation as a result of Jaeger-LeCoultre felt the necessity to showcase why it is likely one of the most revered names within the business by putting in a sapphire crystal case again to admire the manufacture motion.
Rightfully so as a result of a real gentleman will be modest but in addition know the right way to make the most of his abilities. So why not anticipate the identical from his watch?
For extra info, please go to www.jaeger-lecoultre.com/eu-en/watches/master-ultra-thin/master-ultra-thin-small-seconds-pink-gold-q1212510.
For the extra Teutonically-inclined gents, A. Lange & Söhne affords the attractive 1815.
This watch additionally options subsidiary seconds however is extra traditional in its design strategy than the Jaeger-LeCoultre, together with black Arabic numerals, blued palms, and a railroad observe to point the minutes.
It is a watch that brings all of it again to the essence, one thing that A. Lange & Söhne is surprisingly good at. Sure, it’s the model’s perpetual calendars and a number of rattrapante chronographs that often make the headlines, however beneath all that may be a regular, secure assortment of properly made, traditional costume watches.
This watch is 1.22 mm increased than the Jaeger-LeCoultre Grasp Extremely Skinny, and it’s not even an automated! However earlier than you decide, take a second to admire what the Germans have finished with the additional area: one have a look at the three-quarter plate fabricated from untreated German silver adorned with vibrant pink ruby bearing jewels set inside gold chatons secured to the plate by blued screws ought to make you greater than prepared to forgive the extra peak. And if that doesn’t work, the hand-engraved stability cock would possibly do the trick!
For extra info, please go to www.alange-soehne.com.
Whereas I’m personally no fan of costume watches with a date perform I can’t deny their sensible use – even in as we speak’s society.
For those who go for a costume watch with a date window, the Patek Philippe Calatrava Reference 5227J is one you most actually want to think about. Other than the date perform and the truth that it’s a Patek Philippe, there are two causes to buy it: the primary is the best way the lugs “merge” with the case; there may be nothing prefer it, particularly not on the earth of the costume watch the place most lugs are hooked up to the case, however not really a part of it.
The second motive is the lacquered dial. Just like the coat of paint in your (in fact) classic, Rolls-Royce, Patek Philippe’s dial manufacture has utilized 12 (!) layers of lacquer to present it probably the most stunning, deep gloss you possibly can think about.
One of many options that I like most about Reference 5227 is the invisibly hinged hunter case again, which hides the motion till you want to see it. Patek Philippe opted for a extra understated end on the motion itself: beneath the full-sized 21-karat gold rotor that winds Caliber 324 SC, there are not any hand-engraved stability cocks or blued screws, however you do discover a Gyromax stability wheel and a Spiromax stability spring for optimum timekeeping.
A real gentleman will recognize this sense of understatement, although, because the motion on this Patek Philippe is definitely even thinner than that powering the Jaeger-LeCoultre, but the model – true to its type – didn’t really feel the necessity to amplify that truth within the title of the watch or wherever else.
For extra info, please go to www.patek.com.
Are you able to think about that the Villeret line was really created again when Jean-Claude Biver was co-owner of Blancpain? The person clearly knew what was proper for the model as a result of the Villeret line has turn into a traditional – and likewise the very first gold costume watch I ever bought myself.
Blancpain additionally confirmed a knack for retaining the Villeret assortment recent and thrilling, and that included this model with retrograde seconds. Whereas it could increase an eyebrow with some, even gents prefer to have enjoyable and can most actually recognize this small twist on an in any other case completely proportioned gold costume watch.
Among the many remainder of this distinctive – if to not say elite – group of watches, the Blancpain is the one one which favors a stamped guilloche dial in an opaline tone, which matches notably properly with the pink gold case. The result’s a barely richer look than that of the Jaeger-LeCoultre, which tends towards the identical coloration palette.
Blancpain calls the motion of this Villeret, Caliber 7663, an “extremely skinny” (“ultraplate”), and it’s, however at a peak of 4.6 millimeters, it’s really on par with the A. Lange & Söhne 1815 as being the thickest on this rarified group.
Nevertheless, this Blancpain does function a full-sized winding rotor, and the retrograde seconds show can also be a complication that takes up some area. Blancpain included two mainspring barrels contained in the motion to supply it with a beneficiant 65-hour energy reserve, so the discerning gentleman can comfortably put on completely different watch over the weekend . . . possibly Fiona Krüger’s Chaos for one thing fully completely different?
For extra info, please go to www.blancpain.com.
Fast Info Jaeger-LeCoultre Grasp Extremely Skinny Small Second
Case: 38.5 x 7.58 mm, pink gold
Motion: automated manufacture Caliber 896/1, 28.800 vph, 3.98 mm in peak, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency
Features: hours, minutes, small seconds
12 months of introduction: 2014
Fast Info A. Lange & Söhne 1815
Case: 38.5 x 8.8 mm, pink gold
Motion: manually wound manufacture Caliber L051.1, 3 Hz/21.600 vph frequency, 4.6 mm excessive, 55-hour energy reserve
Features: hours, minutes, hacking small seconds
12 months of introduction: 2014
Fast Info Patek Philippe Calatrava Reference 5227J
Case: 39 x 9.24 mm, yellow gold, officer’s case again
Motion: automated manufacture Caliber 324 SC, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency, 3.3 mm excessive, Gyromax stability, Spiromax stability spring, Patek Philippe Seal, 45-hour energy reserve
Features: hours, minutes, seconds; date
12 months of introduction: 2013
Fast Info Blancpain Villeret Ultraplate Reference 6653-3642-55B
Case: 40 x 10.68 mm, pink gold
Motion: automated manufacture Caliber 7663, 4.6 mm excessive, twin spring barrels, 65-hour energy reserve, free-sprung silicon stability with gold regulating screws,
Features: hours, minutes, retrograde small seconds
12 months of introduction: 2015
Value: 20,500 Swiss francs (together with VAT)
* This text was first printed on October 5, 2018 at Four Gold Dress Watches For The Classic Gentleman: Yes, They Still Exist! (Gold Watches, That Is, True Gentlemen Are Even Rarer).