Your week in watches

This week: Timex turns grey, Breitling's first loft in London, and Panerai celebrates The Transat with a punchy limited edition

Timex grey Mk 1 watches1. Timex turns grey

It’s easy to become fixated on the idea that a watch has to be an expensive 50mm tank of a thing for you to fall in love with it. Of course, there’s an element of truth in this, but alongside the realm of eye-watering luxury watches sits what we think of as the satisfying day-to-day watch world; designs that are inexpensive, good fun to wear, and something of a guilty pleasure.

Timex’s new Camper MK1 is one such watch. A chic all-grey take on the 1980s design originally adopted by the US Army for its functionality and durability, it’s been released in partnership with American workwear behemoth, Carhartt WIP. Both brands are built on their joint heritage of designing products to take a beating, making this a natural pairing.

Technically, it’s simple; a quartz movement, 30-metre water resistance and a lightweight resin case. It’s fitted to a matching grey Nato strap, and its unusual colour scheme lends the watch a contemporary, urban quality. Wear on dressed-down days with everything from a suede bomber and jeans to a cotton drill overshirt and chinos.


Breitling, watches, Jackal2. Breitling spreads its wings

When Breitling introduced its new strategy at the start of last year, alongside its product revamp, the brand’s retail concept also had a freshen up. CEO Georges Kern wanted Breitling’s stores to better reflect the brand’s pioneering origins in Swiss aviation time instruments, and has introduced a new ‘industrial chic’ design concept to stores, henceforth to be called ‘Breitling lofts’.

Now, the first of these concept stores has arrived in the UK – in London’s glittering Westfield to be precise. The resulting boutique is designed to replicate the feel of ‘an exclusive industrial loft in a dynamic city’, with product displays separating Breitling’s three watchmaking pillars into three clear propositions: water, land and air.

Whether you’re sold on the notion of a watch boutique emulating a loft or not, this is a significant moment for Breitling’s development in the UK, and a chic retail space, too. Pay it a visit to make your own mind up; there will be over 120 watches, plus some exclusive limited editions to peruse when you do.

Panerai watches, Jackal3. Panerai celebrates The Transat with a limited edition

Our final piece of news this week moves us into nautical watchmaking territory. The Transat, for those who might not be familiar, is the most formidable classic yacht race in the world – 3,500 miles across the Atlantic ocean from Lanzarote in the Canary Islands to St Kitts in the Caribbean, and Panerai is the principal sponsor.

It’s a gruelling race, around 8 days long at top speed, pushing racers and their crafts to the limit. To mark 2019’s race, Panerai’s produced a watch with similarly impressive credentials.

It’s called the Luminor Regatta Transat Classique, and its not for the faint hearted. The 47mm brushed titanium Luminor case makes a real impact, as does the royal blue dial, orange markers and rubber strap. Its functionality is tailored to the needs of hard-core nautical experts, too. Alongside the watch’s flyback chronograph sits a regatta countdown function, knots scale for calculation of boat speed, and a seconds reset, too.

To power all these bangs and whizzes, the watch houses Panerai’s in-house automatic mechanical P.9100/R calibre, with an impressive 72-hour power reserve and 100 metres of water resistance, too. Only 150 have been made, and a mere handful of those are available in the London boutique, so if you admire the watch, don’t wait around.