Motor racing continues to influence watch design due to a shared obsession with technical innovation and split-second precision. These watches bring that same va-va-voom to your wrist.
Bell & Ross BR RS17 $TBC*
Made from a whiz-bang combo of carbon fibre, ceramic and rubber, this is modelled directly on the steering wheel of the Renault F1 car with bold jolts of colour around a skeletonised dial. Not a watch for wallflowers.
Edox Sauber F1 $2650
Electric blue accents reflect the Sauber F1 team colours while the carbon fibre dial and black titanium case channel the tech DNA of a car that can go 0-100kmh in under three seconds.
CAST THE NET
If you’re only going to buy one timepiece, a diving watch is often the best value in terms of overall cost and functionality, whether you’re in a business suit or a wetsuit.
Rado Hyperchrome Captain Cook $2475
It’s retro-a-go-go with Rado’s elegantly restrained revamp of their 1962 model. Upgrades include a scratch-proof ceramic bezel and sapphire crystal, but the modestly sized dial – 37mm in the smaller model – ensures its fidelity to the past. The result: a diving watch for the purist with a soft spot for contentious 18th Century explorers.
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Rolex Sea Dweller $14,400
Water resistance to 1220m is testament to the fact that this diver is designed for professionals. A cyclops lens at 3 o’clock will enable you to read the date with ease when planning your weekly schedule beneath the waves.
Tudor Heritage Black Bay Chrono $TBC
The latest remix from Tudor’s Heritage Black Bay collection features a brushed steel bezel, date display and a new in-house movement made in collaboration with Breitling.
Seiko Presage Cocktail $850
George Bernard Shaw described whiskey as “liquid sunshine” and Seiko’s new collection of cocktailthemed dress watches evokes precisely that. The sunray dials all have a deep, pressed pattern whose shimmering quality is enhanced by seven (count ’em!) layers of gloss finish. Happy hours indeed.
Breitling Navitimer Rattrapante $14,980
Two kids are having a race. A split-second chronograph allows you to record the time of both - a fiendishly complicated mechanical feat. Two horological patents later, Breitling has nailed it in style.
BACK TO THE FUTURE
Vintage watches are more popular than ever before. Brands are increasingly plundering their archives for inspiration before reviving designs with cutting-edge tech.
Oris Big Crown 1917 $3000
Paying homage to Oris’ first pilot’s watch, the silver-coloured dial is distinguished by Arabic numerals and blue-steel hands brushed with beige lume to preserve the old-school charm.
Omega Railmaster $6675
All aboard! At 38mm wide, this re-edition stays faithful to the 1957 original but is souped up with modern touches of Super-LumiNova and an anti-magnetic movement.
Longines Heritage 1945 $2350
You don’t need to shout to get attention. The steel case and brushed coppery dial are set off by the elongated blue hands and textured leather strap.
Whether emerald, pine or olive, watchmakers are increasingly set on going green.
If you live a full-contact lifestyle, then make sure your watch is up to the challenge. These are some of the toughest customers around.
Luminox Tough Viking $TBC
Tough Viking is Scandanavia’s answer to Tough Mudder and this watch is built to withstand the challenge. Highly durable, lightweight and water-proof, it’s the timepiece of choice in Valhalla.
Casio G-Shock GPW2000 GPS Gravitymaster $1299
This is hard as nails and accurate as an SAS sniper. Bluetooth connectivity helps to deliver faultless timekeeping by receiving GPS satellite signals from up to six transmitters worldwide.
I.N.O.X. Carbon $1500
The I.N.O.X is famously indestructible – one of the 130 strength tests it must pass is being driven over by a 64-tonne tank. The latest evolution sports a case made from a carbon composite that’s protected space shuttles from re-entry temperatures in excess of 1260°C. The strap can hold its own too: it’s woven from parachute suspension lines and boasts a breaking strength of 250kg.
* The prices of many Baselworld releases are yet to be finalised