Selection Essential summer watches
This year, watchmakers are pulling out the big guns in a bid to dress every wrist on the beach. We take a look at their weapons of mass seduction.
There’s something for (almost) everyone. As we approach the end of June, watch companies are already focusing on the models they are going to be promoting throughout the summer. For most of them, it’s the watches they launched at Baselworld. But not in every case. There are also some models designed specifically with the warmer months in mind. Hublot, for instance, a few weeks ago unveiled a Big Bang Unico Teak Italia Independent, in Capri, with Lapo Elkann. The watch bezel is made of teak, and it has a carbon kevlar strap to give it a nautical touch.
Big Bang Unico Teak Italia Independent © Hublot
Women can enjoy the seaside spirit with the help of the new Happy Fish by Chopard. Its navy blue mother-of-pearl dial shimmers like the ocean depths. A fish in the centre of the dial remains discreet in the daytime, but glows at night. Five mobile diamonds, which also shine in the dark, and a small white gold fish swim around the dial as if in an aquarium. It is a playful and poetic watch, like the latest Mini Bubble models by Corum, which present a shot of concentrated audacity in a diminutive 17 mm package.
Happy Fish © Chopard
Mini Bubble © Corum
Deep sea diving
In the nautical register, diving watches still hold sway. Alpina, for example, is pushing its Seastrong Diver GMT, 44 mm in steel with titanium PVD coating. The luminous markers and hands stand out strongly against the blue or grey dial, with a pop of colour from the bezel in navy blue, burgundy, grey or orange.
Seastrong Diver GMT © Alpina
Seiko has brought out a new Prospex, which was unveiled at Baselworld in the presence of brand ambassador Patrick Cousteau. With its depth rating of 200 metres, and 47 mm case with silicone strap, this is an unapologetically technical watch for serious diving. The Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver can also cope with depths of up to 300 metres, and offers the unique feature of being the only modern diving watch with a square case, which comes in either blue or bronze flavours.
Prospex © Seiko
BR 03-92 Diver Blue © Bell & Ross
Two queens of the oceans
It would be unfair to wrap up without mentioning two essential pieces. First, the Italian diving watch: Panerai. This year the Neuchâtel manufacture has decided to focus on the new Luminor Submersible 1950 Amagnetic 3 Days Automatic Titanio. It is a reissue of the first anti-magnetic watch ever made by Panerai. Inside its very slender case sits the new automatic calibre P.9010 with a three-day power reserve.
Luminor Submersible 1950 Amagnetic 3 Days Automatic Titanio © Panerai
Then there is that icon of the deep: the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe three hands by Blancpain. For the first time, it comes in a plasma grey ceramic case with non-deforming Liquidmetal markers. It is one of the rare dive watches to be fitted with a silicon balance spring (which makes it amagnetic), and three barrels that guarantee five days’ autonomy.
Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe © Blancpain
For those who prefer dry land to ocean spray, Anonimo is currently advertising its Epurato Safari model, with a black matt case and antelope leather strap. Just the thing for the savannah.
Epurato Safari © Anonimo
But if you don't fancy being so adventurous, you can stick to the coastline and consider one of the many fine mechanical watches that are “nautically inspired”. Take a look at the limited edition Runabout, a tribute to the legendary Riva motor cruisers, designed by Frédérique Constant for its partners in the Riva Historical Society.
Runabout © Frédérique Constant
And for a few final options, the three Richard Mille RM 67-02 models dedicated to Alexander Zverev (tennis), Alexis Pinturault (Alpine skiing) and Fernando Alonso (F1) provide a touch of summery bling for devotees of extreme sports and haute horlogerie.
RM 67-02 Fernando Alonso © Richard Mille
Established in 1883, Alpina is recongised as the inventor of the sports watch as we know it today, having presented its Alpina 4 model back in 1938.Find out more >
Born in Italy, crafted in Switzerland. The history of Anonimo watches is unmistakably linked to the pioneering exploits of Italy’s naval divers and alpini militare.Find out more >
For Bell & Ross, each detail has a specific meaning and function: functionality is key, and minimalism – dispensing with superfluous ornamental details in favour of essential aspects – is vital.Find out more >
Blancpain is the archetypal Manufacture: with a watchmaking heritage dating back several centuries, it has successfully preserved its watchmaking tradition, whilst welcoming a spirit of innovation.Find out more >
Maison Chopard epitomises the alliance between watchmaking and jewellery. It has always known how to meet the expectations of its day, relying on four essential values: expertise, tradition,...Find out more >
Corum takes aesthetic daring to the heights of technical perfection. Through a number of collections, drawing on the fundamentals of traditional watchmaking, the manufacture continues to pursue its...Find out more >
Frédérique Constant has made a successful business out of offering affordable luxury, experiencing growth rates well above the industry average. The owners have a clear mission to make fine...Find out more >
From the outset, Hublot has embodied design and innovation that differ markedly from the established watchmaking order. With the impetus provided by Jean-Claude Biver, by 2004 these values had...Find out more >
Every Panerai watch is as unique as the story it tells. Since 1860 Panerai has produced high-precision instruments and watches, developed and created to meet the most rigorous military standards....Find out more >
Richard Mille did not simply try to find his place in the watchmaking world – he carved one out for himself, constantly striving not to take anything for granted, and to make innovation and extreme...Find out more >
The history of Seiko is a more than 130 year story of innovation. From the very start, Kintaro Hattori was determined to be at the forefront of the industry and his oft-repeated credo was that...Find out more >