So you’re looking at the never-ending stream of highlights from the watch world this year and everything’s just a blur of gold and complications? You’ve complained time and time again that all you want is one watch that can take you through the week and then it’s back to your G-Shock, singlet and slippers? We hear you.
For the man who believes a watch should take you from work, to dinner, to an event – here are the latest honest-to-God daily beaters, decked out in steel (and one in titanium, for good measure).
Cartier produces icons and it knows it. With unique shapes like the Tank, the Ballon Bleu and more recent introductions such as the Cle and Drive, the maison knows when a collection sells and when it doesn’t. The introduction of a new Santos collection this year came as a surprise but a most welcome one. Replacing the Santos 100 collection, the 2018 variant sees a medium (35.1mm x 41.9mm) and large (39.8mm x 47.5mm) version available. It may not look different from its predecessors but the truth is in the details.
The brand has tweaked and minorly adjusted the profile of the watch, slimming the bezel, such that it seems to fit better even on my slightly skinnier wrists. Cartier has also developed a new system of changing straps that’s easier so the watches come with both strap and bracelets. The full stainless steel model is perfect if you’re looking for a daily beater with history that’s immediately recognisable.
Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight
We believe Game of Thrones said it best – “what is dead may never die.” The vintage trend has caught on and refuses to die but every once in a while, there’s a good example of why it’s not the worst. This year, Tudor unveiled the Black Bay Fifty-Eight, a more vintage-inspired timepiece that pays tribute to the brand’s first diver, the ref. 7924. The biggest news here is the sizing of the piece, at 39mm, two millimeters slimmer than the usual 41 that Black Bays (with the exception of the Black Bay 32 and 36s) come in. The gold tone that’s used for the hands, bezel and dial markings add to that vintage look.
If you happen to be looking for a more understated daily watch that could easily pass off as an older watch, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight is a good bet.
Breitling Navitimer 8 Automatic
What Georges Kern did for IWC was to make a brand once closely associated to a single facet of the world (aviation, that is) appealing and commercial to the mainstream consumer. In essence, that has been his goal at Breitling since taking over last year. Gone are the wings on Breitling’s logo, not quite clipping its wings but more of changing the bird to a, uh… more palatable animal across all boards. With the new changes on board, Kern recently introduced a spanking new Navitimer collection. In that collection, a new simple time and date piece, the Navitimer 8 Automatic made its debut.
While there is a blue-dialled version that may appeal to the slightly more fashionable, we’re going to have to go with the black Navitimer 8 Automatic for the gent that wants to get more mileage out of the watch. It’s a COSC-certified movement (as with most Breitlings) and arguably, one of the easiest to pull off.
Omega Seamaster Diver 300
Putting Omega on the list of daily beaters might seem like an absolute cop-out given its stature as one of the eminent brands in most men’s Wanted lists. This year, the Seamaster Diver 300m celebrates its 25th birthday and has been updated. In the modern form, the wave patterns on the dial are back but going across the horizontally, as opposed to the vertical waves from yesteryear. Sized at 42mm, it’s a formidable watch that’s bound to catch the eye.
Most importantly of course, is the fact that the new Seamaster Diver 300 is no longer using the old ETA 2892-4 movements that Omega used to depend on for some of its pieces. In its place is the new METAS and COSC-certified Master Chronometer calibre that Omega has been actively pushing into its ranges.
Zenith Defy Classic
Under the tutelage of Mr Jean-Claude Biver, it seems that most of the LVMH watch brands are shaping up to be formidable forces in the luxury watch world even more so than they were before. We’ve seen Zenith take a bit of a tumble over the years, what with strategy not clearly defined. From last year however, that seems to have changed and Zenith has been pushing its Defy range as an accessible sports luxury watch. While the Defy El Primero 21 (we covered it in a video here) is an impressive beast of a chronograph, this year’s Defy Classic will go down as one of the more interesting watches.
Zenith has put great effort into the finishing of a watch like this, the vertical satin finishing across the case and the bracelet makes for a highly polished daily beater and one that can still roll with the punches. The titanium case makes for a good value statement, what with its lightness and durability. At Baselworld, we remarked that the “Defy” font wasn’t quite for us and it seemed to be the general consensus. The jury’s still out though and we hope Zenith makes a slight change to it.
Casio G-Shock GMWB5000
G-Shock collectors are some of the most rabid fans out there and we’ve been told that countless limited edition releases tend to get picked up within the day of getting released in Singapore. This one however, might be a little harder to pick up. The DW has always been our favourite shape for the G-Shock (it’s the one we grew up with so bear with us) and to see it realised in stainless steel made us feel things we never thought we could.
Add to that Bluetooth connectivity for easy changing of timings and functions when you’re on the move across the world, and you’ve got a stellar watch that’s both functional and stylish.