Oris Diver 65 Carl Brashear Limited Edition, $3750.
Carl Brashear definitely earned his commemorative dive watch. The first African-American Master Diver in the US Navy, Brashear also became the first amputee Navy diver after losing a leg while recovering a nuclear warhead in the Mediterranean. The bronze case on this stunning retro diver reflects the type of diving helmet that Brashear wore, while also complementing the deep marine-blue dial.
Omega CK2998, $7825.
Omega’s 1959 Speedmaster (or CK2998) if you prefer the less sexy official name) is a highly covetable classic. The reboot acknowledges the past by using the same movement used in the very first Omega Moonwatch. What’s new is the blue-and-white colour combo that really makes this stand out on the distinctive blue leather strap.
Henry London Richmond, $249.
Vintage watches are more revered than ever, but getting your hands on one can involve serious legwork and research. New brand Henry London has found a clever gap in the market to deliver a Sixties aesthetic at an accessible price and minus any second-hand wear-and-tear.
Frédérique Constant Manufacture Perpetual, $13,995.
The perpetual calendar complication is revered among watch boffins for its fiendish technical intricacy. Kept wound up, a perpetual calendar will track all short months (June, September, etc), as well as leap years, until 2100. Oh, and it also monitors the phases of the moon. Frédérique Constant has managed all this for thousands of dollars less than its nearest competitor.
Gucci G Timeless Automatic, $2445.
At first glance, it’s a classic dress watch with a Swiss-made movement in a polished-gold PVD (physical vapour deposition) case. A closer inspection of the guilloché dial, however, reveals a playful twist – the indexes are personalised with subtle motifs ranging from bumblebees to stars.
Rado Hyperchrome 1616, $3925.
From Mick Jagger in his prime to Old Fashioned cocktails, the retro swagger of the Seventies had a lot going for it. Rado taps into that mood with this cushion-dialled timepiece, complete with an old-school day-date window at 6 o’clock. The rugged looks belie a lightweight construction in grade 5 titanium. This is a real mover and shaker on an extra-wide leather strap.
Bremont Regatta Otusa, $9500.
Bremont launched a serious sailing watch to celebrate its role a social timekeeping partner for the America’s Cup. The satin-finished titanium case houses a graphical dual-countdown display that shows the time remaining before the start of a yacht race. Nautical but nice.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona, $15,700.
Evolution not revolution – that’s the mindset behind the new Daytona. The black bezel is now coated in Cerachrom, a corrosion- resistant and virtually unscratchable ceramic. Functionality also gets a boost with the addition of a tachymetric scale to measure average speed. Expect a very long waiting list for this one.
Tudor Heritage Black Bay 36M, $3000
This year, lots of brands experimented with smaller, vintage-inspired dials. Pick of the bunch was Tudor, which took a punt on a 36mm case that, in your hand, bordered on the dainty. On your wrist, though, this restraint was rewarded. This Black Bay on a woven camo strap punches well above its weight in the style stakes. $3000
Seiko Prospex SRPA21K1 PADI TURTLE, $699.
Seiko has always liked to get deep and meaningful. The brand is famous for its dive watches and now they’ve further enhanced their aquatic credentials to become an official partner of PADI. Water resistant to 200 metres, with an eye-catching blue and red “Pepsi” bezel, this is arguably the best-value watch from Baselworld. $699