The pandemic changed many things in our lives, among these is a decline in formal attire and sartorial standards. Now that we are progressing out of lockdown, it is time to make a case for a return of formal elegance, to get back to some kind of classic, refined style. In watch-related terms, it is time for a comeback of the dress watch… If the dress watch may once have been seen as bringing anonymity and some sort of conformism, now it’s the opposite. You definitely stand out with a thin, refined watch. Here are 5 models presented on the occasion of Watches and Wonders (and the Geneva watch week) embodying their definition of elegance.
A. Lange & Söhne Grand Lange 1
With the new Grand Lange 1, A. Lange & Söhne’s signature oversized model comes in a slimmer case and with a younger face. The main novelty of this third-generation Grand Lange 1 is the reduction in case thickness from 8.8mm to 8.2mm. The second novelty is the new granular texture featured on the solid silver dial bringing a contemporary flair. The watch still uses the magnificent hand-wound calibre L095.1 with off-centre hours and minutes, small seconds, power reserve indicator, outsize date with a push-piece rapid corrector. More details at www.alange-soehne.com.
Quick facts: 41mm x 8.2mm – 18k rose or white gold case – hand-wound Lange manufacture calibre L095.1 with off-centre hours and minutes, small seconds, power reserve indicator, outsize date with push-piece rapid corrector – alligator leather strap on pin buckle – EUR 45,900
Cartier Santos-Dumont with Beige Lacquered Case
Cartier updated their signature Santos-Dumont, the wristwatch inspired by the model designed for aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont in 1904. This limited-edition watch is cased in rose gold covered with ivory lacquer. The matching colour dial features a concentric square pattern. With it, the Santos feels somehow vintage yet modern. Inside is the hand-wound 430MC calibre based on the ultrathin Piaget 430P. More details at www.cartier.com.
Quick facts: 43.5mm x 31.4mm – 18k rose gold case, beige lacquer on the bezel and top of the lugs – 430MC mechanical movement with manual winding (Piaget 430 base) – dark green alligator leather strap – numbered limited edition of 250 pieces – EUR 12,000
Chopard L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer
One of the most elegant watches presented at Watches and Wonders 2022, this version of the Chopard L.U.C XPS stands out with an exquisite green guilloche dial and yellow gold case combination. The solid hinged cover over the back of the watch case allows you to discover the beautifully finished L.U.C 96.01-L calibre and its micro-rotor. The watch is a chronometer with COSC certification and is stamped with the Geneva Seal. More details at www.chopard.com.
Quick facts: 40mm x 7.20mm – 18k yellow gold case, officer’s case back – self-winding L.U C 96.01-L mechanical movement – brown alligator leather strap on pin buckle – numbered limited edition of 50 pieces – CHF 33,500
F.P. Journe Automatique
In 2021, FP Journe celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Octa. The limited-edition model presented on this occasion now becomes part of the regular collection, now with a movement crafted in rose gold. The F.P.Journe Automatique is available in 40mm or 42mm cases, in 950 platinum or 18k red gold with matching gold dials. The asymmetrical dials are gold with whitened guilloché silver areas for the hours, minutes and small seconds. More details at www.fpjourne.com.
Quick facts: 40mm or 42mm x 10.7mm – 18k rose gold case – automatic F.P. Journe calibre 1300.3 in 18k rose gold, off-centre hours, minutes, small seconds, power reserve indicator on 120 hours, large date – alligator leather strap on pin buckle – CHF 42,500
Patek Philippe Calatrava 5226G
The Calatrava is largely regarded as the archetypal classic, formal-wear dress watch. With the 5226G, this classic comes with a modern twist – just like its more complex brother, the 5326G. In particular, the anthracite grey dial features a textured finish and beige lume, and is paired with beautiful syringe hands. The 40mm round case for which the Calatrava has been renowned since 1932 has been revisited with a smooth bezel and flanks adorned with a Clous de Paris hobnail pattern. This new model is driven by self-winding Caliber 26-330 SC with hours, minutes, central seconds, aperture-type date and stop-seconds mechanism. More details at www.patek.com.
Quick facts: 40mm x 8.53mm – 18k white gold case with clous de Paris pattern – 26‑330 SC mechanical movement with automatic winding – interchangeable calfskin, nubuck finish and black calfskin with an embossed fabric motif straps on pin buckle – CHF 33,000