The holiday season is fast approaching and that’s the perfect time of the year to take off your suit… and the dress watch that goes along with it. Summer means seaside, boat rides, cocktails, unexpected jumps in a pool and all kinds of leisure activities. This means sports/dive watches on the wrist and for this reason, here are 5 cool pieces that will follow you from the deck of a boat to that fancy cocktail party in style.
Seiko Prospex Turtle “Save The Ocean” SRPC91K1 Special Edition
We know that many of our readers can’t afford most of the watches we cover on MONOCHROME so, from time to time, we try to show you some decent “value proposition” watches. This Seiko Turtle “Save the Ocean” is not just decent, it is great – like all Seiko Turtle watches. Not only does it look good, with its pebble-like vintage case but it also has an unbeatable quality/price ratio: 200m water-resistant, Seiko’s ultra-reliable movement, great quality of assembly… This year, the Japanese brand teams up with Fabien Cousteau for a good cause (protection of the oceans) and introduces a special edition with a gradient blue dial and wave pattern. Clearly, a watch that will be more than apropos this summer and that won’t cost you a lot – EUR 450 to be precise. No reason not to be tempted.
Quick facts: 45mm diameter – steel case – blackened unidirectional diving bezel with blue 60-minute aluminium insert – 200m water-resistant – Seiko calibre 4R36, automatic – black silicon strap – ref. SRPC91K1 – EUR 450 – more details www.seikowatches.com.
Tudor Black Bay Fifty Eight
If we have always had a soft spot for the Tudor Black Bay here at MONOCHROME (three members of the team own one), there has been one nagging complaint: its thickness. The vintage look is great, but the massive case was not ideal. This year, with the Black Bay Fifty Eight, Tudor solves this issue and launches what is certainly the hottest BB watch to date. 39mm in diameter vs. 41mm for the standard model, 3mm less in height and a narrower bracelet to bring hyper-balanced proportions, which perfectly echo the vintage inspiration behind this collection. The gilt dial and bezel might be a bit too fancy for some but, after all, it fits the concept. Last but not least: the quality is still impressive, the movement is still produced in-house and the price is still reasonable.
Quick facts: 39mm diameter – steel case – unidirectional diving bezel with 60-minute aluminium insert – 200m water-resistant – calibre MT5402, in-house, COSC-certified – automatic – steel bracelet, leather strap or fabric strap – ref. M79030N – EUR 3,360 on steel bracelet – More details on www.tudorwatch.com.
Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Master Chronometer
At Baselworld 2018, Omega revamped its entry-level dive watch, the iconic Seamaster Diver 300M – or as we like to call here, at MONOCHROME, the Bond Watch (the one that was featured in 1995 Goldeneye). For the occasion of this 2018 version, the 300M becomes more of a gentleman’s watch than a true instrument, with more luxurious elements than in the past: polished ceramic bezel, slightly redesigned case (1mm larger), new dial also in ceramic, new rubber straps and – a very good point – the new generation of in-house movements, with Master Chronometer certification. The comeback of the wave pattern on the dial is something that we have to applaud. Overall, the style doesn’t change drastically but the perceived quality makes a huge jump – but not the price.
Quick facts: 42mm diameter – steel case – unidirectional rotating bezel and polished ceramic ring filled with white enamel diving scale – 300m water-resistance – Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 8800 – automatic – steel bracelet or rubber strap – ref. 184.108.40.206.03.001 – from EUR 4,400 on rubber – More details on omegawatches.com.
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date 70s
If you want to combine a funky 1970s style (which is back big time) with luxury in the form of a watch that can be used across the board, Blancpain has a solution for you: the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date 70s. And in all fairness, it is one of the nicest dive watches the brand has created recently. The gradient dial, with bold markers and tracks, is stunning in the metal. The quality of the execution is, of course, above all suspicion but that doesn’t prevent this new vintage-inspired piece to be a proper diving instrument. A perfect summer all-rounder. The day-date complication, even if historically relevant, could have been removed though. Visible through the sapphire case back is the automatic movement with a 120h power reserve and good finishes.
Quick facts: 43mm diameter – steel case – ceramic unidirectional bezel with Liquidmetal™ numerals – 300m water-resistant – Calibre Blancpain 1315 DD – automatic – sail canvas strap or leather strap or stainless steel bracelet – limited to 500 pieces – ref. 5052-1110 – from EUR 12,000 – More details on www.blancpain.com.
Patek Philippe Aquanaut Chronograph 5968A
A Patek with an orange strap and orange accents on the dial…? We say YES, simply because it dares to be different. And who cares, it is summer! And if you don’t like it, a black rubber strap is also included in the box. With this new Aquanaut Chronograph, Patek explores new territories and incorporates – for the first time – its in-house automatic chronograph movement in the Aquanaut. The result could be quite shocking to some, but in the end, it feels balanced and perfectly executed. Certainly not a watch for most mortals because of its very-Patek price and its different look – but, like it or not, the Geneva-based brand is definitely playing a less conservative card.
Quick facts: 42.2mm diameter – steel case – 120m water-resistant – Calibre CH 28-520, in-house, Patek Seal – automatic flyback chronograph – black and orange rubber strap included – ref. 5968A – EUR 39,710 – More details on patek.com.