Watches

Your next watch should be busier than ever

Whether dual-time, bi-metal or multi-dial, many of the handsome new timepieces from the major brands take multitasking in their stride. Chris Hall makes the case for investing in a watch that's got a lot going on

Two-tone

They say what goes around comes around, and nowhere is it more true than in the world of watches. In the Eighties, two-tone and bi-metal styles became popular among Wall Street’s real-life Gordon Geckos, before the look endured a period in the doldrums. But, just recently, brands have reintroduced the idea to an enthusiastic reception. The most typical, and most potent, combination is steel and gold. But advances in material technology over the last thirty-odd years mean watches are now just as likely to bring carbon fibre, titanium or ceramic into the mix.

From left

Rado Hyperchrome Chronograph Bronze 

Rado’s pedigree is in making high-tech ceramic-cased watches, which are lightweight, scratch-proof, hypoallergenic and long-lasting. Here it has added bronze, which is none
of those things, to create an appealing chronograph that
is full of personality.

£4,190, rado.com

Breitling Navitimer B01

The Navitimer is one of the watch world’s most enduring designs, having changed little since its introduction in 1952. Here, the archetypal pilot’s watch has been given a red gold lift, via its signature slide-rule rotating bezel (which is handy for all sorts of calculations, too).

£8,480, breitling.com

Omega Seamaster 300M

To mark 25 years since its release, the Seamaster 300M has been given a suite of upgrades. The statement design is still there, with features including a Master Chronometer movement
that’s highly accurate and resistant to magnetism.

£7,200, omegawatches.com

From left

Carl F. Bucherer Adamavi

With its black dial and sub-seconds dial at six o’clock, the Carl F. Bucherer Adamavi is well-suited to formal situations. It’s not too large either, at 39mm – a key consideration if you’re opting for a subtle kind of elegance.

£3,500, carl-f-bucherer.com

Rolex GMT-Master II

This year’s refreshed Rolex GMT-Master II might be more famous in steel with its ‘Pepsi’ bezel, but you can’t deny the rose gold centre links and bezel, paired with the black and brown ceramic bezel insert, make this version fizz.

£10,850, rolex.com

Motoring chronographs

As with the cars they love, there’s a chronograph (or perhaps several) to suit every petrolhead’s personal taste. From models that hark back to classic races to pieces laden with technology that references the current crop of Formula One cars, it’s just a matter of finding the right one, or two, or three…

From top, clockwise

Oris Martini Racing

Marking the 50th anniversary of Martini Racing – not a single team but an iconic set of colours under which many have raced, most recently Williams F1 – is this Oris chronograph, which pairs the red and blue stripes with a carbon fibre dial and tachymeter scale.

£2,180, oris.ch

Chopard Classic Racing Mille Miglia 2018 Race Edition

For the last 30 years, Chopard has sponsored the Mille Miglia, and every year it has awarded a watch to each finisher. The 42mm Race Edition chronograph available to the public is identical, save for the engraving on the caseback.

£4,540, chopard.com

TAG Heuer Monaco

Another world-famous set of racing stripes, the Gulf Oil blue and orange livery debuted at Le Mans in 1967. Steve McQueen famously wore a Heuer Monaco in the film of the same name. Now TAG Heuer honours both with a new version of the classic square design.

£4,750, tagheuer.com

Tissot PRS 516

A highly capable chronograph that wouldn’t put a dent in an F1 team budget, Tissot’s quartz-powered PRS 516 can time to 1/10th of a second and has the ability to split and add lap times on the fly. It also boasts a ceramic bezel and 100m water resistance.

£495, tissotwatches.com

Dual-time

Oddly enough, watches that could display the time in every timezone in the world were invented a good 25 years before models that simply showed time in two of them. The former were essentially demonstrations of watchmaking prowess, but when the jet-age arrived in the Fifties, the latter became useful tools. Now there’s renewed demand for the combination of practicality, simplicity and good looks that comes with a dual-time or ‘GMT’ watch.

From left

Bremont Waterman

GMT watches have a strong heritage as the choice of explorers and adventurers; in
a pinch, they can also be used as a rudimentary compass – and it’s that spirit that Bremont channels with the Waterman. For good measure, it’s also water-resistant to 500m.

£4,395, bremont.com

Tudor Black Bay GMT

Tudor’s Black Bay GMT follows the format laid down by sibling brand Rolex more than 60 years ago: a third central hand indicates the hour ‘at home’, while a distinctive two-tone
24-hour bezel (rotatable and bidirectional) shows whether it’s day or night at a glance.

£2,790, tudorwatch.com

Panerai Luminor Due GMT

Panerai’s Luminor Due range gives you all the brand’s design hallmarks in a slimmer, lower-profile case design that’s partly possible thanks to an in-house micro-rotor movement. Dual-time duties are handled by an AM/PM dial at nine o’clock and an oversized central arrow.

£9,400, panerai.com