Photography by Bryan Edwards
Styled by Jenny Wichman
Fashion watches have become synonymous with shoddy retreads that lack horological innovation and require little skill to produce. Despite these negatives, a number of fashion brands continue to overcharge customers who don’t know any better. While a vaunted and valued industry like fashion has produced such mechanical impotence, haute horlogerie has generated shock waves in the pricing sphere while retaining esteem with style icons from Cara Delevingne to George Clooney, who work with TAG Heuer and Omega, respectively. Here we’ve showcased our favorite dress watches from recent years with the standout pieces from the fall 2017 menswear collections.—Logan R. Baker & Shyam Patel
Montblanc’s Heritage collection is one of the industry’s best-kept secrets. With the Chronométrie Automatic we have a supremely elegant mechanical dress watch from a brand that provides some serious horological firepower. Price: $2,645; montblanc.com.
LEFT: Frederique Constant has made a name for itself during the past 20 years as a brand with incredible mechanical value. In fact, Frederique Constant may just be the antithesis of what has become of the “fashion watch,” simply by producing attractive watches with powerful mechanical heartbeats at affordable prices. The Slimline is a classic of the brand, noteworthy for its thin construction and sunburst dial.
Price: $9,795; frederiqueconstant.com.
RIGHT: Nomos Glashütte is best known as a German brand with a focus on design and in-house movement production. The company has also made a name for itself by producing great-looking watches that are available for a reasonable price. If the Lambda, Nomos’s first step into the $15,000-plus range, is any indicator of what’s to come, watch enthusiasts everywhere will have even more reason to keep their eyes peeled.
Price: $18,500; nomos-glashuette.com.
This high-end German watchmaker continually displays some of our favorite watches at Baselworld every year. The Senator Excellence is a hallmark of the brand, and this year it returned, in red gold and with a 100-hour power reserve. The printed red minute numerals and railroad chapter ring take obvious cues from German design and provide maximum legibility. Price: $17,700; glashuette-original.com.
Parmigiani Fleurier’s Tonda series could be described as the entry level for one of Switzerland’s most elite manufactures. The black dial imparts a sleek vibe that perfectly offsets textured wool. The seconds subdial, located at six o’clock, uses an attractive counter that speaks to the level of sophistication found at Michel Parmigiani’s eponymous manufacture. Price: $9,900; parmigiani.com.
LEFT: The IWC Da Vinci collection is one of the more comprehensive lines to debut at this year’s Baselworld. The collection features a variety of options, from moon phases and ladies’ models to a stunning perpetual calendar. Here, we have the simple time-and-date-only model with the Da Vinci’s trademark round case and curved lugs. The date window at six o’clock is highly legible but petite enough as to not feel intrusive.
Price: $5,400; iwc.com.
RIGHT: Cartier’s influence on watchmaking is well known. While the Tank was met with a great deal of attention, as this year marks its centennial birthday, the Drive de Cartier Extra-Flat was a standout for many journalists and collectors at SIHH. The watch fits snugly on the wrist, and the lugs curl down, making a seamless transition between suit and skin. Price: $15,300; cartier.com.
The Omega De Ville has always lived in the shadow of its sportier, more collectible siblings, but don’t be surprised to find a vintage De Ville hiding in the watch box of more mature collectors. It’s also recognizable for its appearances in major films, including George Clooney’s Up in the Air. This year, the De Ville celebrates its 50th anniversary with a high-class take on its five decades of life. Price: $11,600; omegawatches.com
When Piaget first introduced the Caliber 9P in 1957, it set a standard for crafting ultrathin movements that still resonates across the industry. The new Altiplano collection, released this year to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the 9P movement, uses bright dial colors to attract the eye. At 43 mm, the watch feels much larger on the wrist than it appears. Price: $23,900; piaget.com.