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When it comes to dress watches, its design is somewhat always predictable: Simple, elegant, and unassuming.
Due to the fact that there are only so few elements for the watch manufacturers to explore, most of the dress watches have more similarities than differences. Hence, there are quite a sizeable number of collectors that find dress watches boring. But is that true?
In this week’s article, we will be looking at dress watches that have an interesting touch. What have we selected? Let us find out!
Cartier Tank Cintrée
The first watch that we have is the Cartier Tank Cintrée.
First launched in 1921, the new Tank Cintrée remains faithful to its roots. The highlight of the watch certainly lies in its design. The elongated curved case is simple and elegant on the wrist. It also features a beautifully crafted dial, with contrasting colour schemes to bring out the looks of it. The watch, in addition, is fitted with a JLC-based hand-winding movement. The combination is brilliant, and it is surely a lovely piece to behold.
The retail price of the watch is S$28,300 for the gold versions, and S$32,600 for the platinum variant. The Tank Cintrée, in our opinion, is certainly a beautiful work of art. It might be a simple two-hand watch, but it is one that has a unique appearance indeed.
Urban Jürgensen The Alfred
We move on to a lesser-known independent watch manufacturer, where its roots can be traced back to both Switzerland and Denmark. Introducing The Alfred, from Urban Jürgensen.
The Alfred, interestingly, is a model that pays homage to Alfred Jürgensen and the opening of its new workshop in Biel/Bienne. The Alfred is a 42mm time-only timepiece, with an unusual stainless-steel case (unlike its brethren). It is a classic timepiece, with Breguet numerals and two very beautiful pair of teardrop lugs. The design is subtle, but very well executed in the right places.
Powering The Alfred is the Calibre P4, a manual-winding movement with a power reserve of 72 hours. The finishing is excellent, with a variety of haute horlogerie finishes such as anglage, chamfering, blued screws, and perlage. It is sublime, and the attention to detail is exemplary.
Priced at €14,300 (approximately S$22,853), the timepiece is certainly priced very competitively against other independent watch manufacturers. The watch looks great, and its well-made as well. The classic teardrop lugs and Breguet numerals evoke a sense of nostalgia, and it offers unique design elements which are not exactly present in modern-day watchmaking. It is certainly a great dress watch to consider, especially if one is looking to purchase a timepiece from an independent watch manufacturer.
H. Moser & Cie. Concept Watch Fumé
When it comes to watches from H. Moser & Cie., the company tends to travel off the beaten path. In fact, the Swiss-based watchmaker is known to produce watches with a minimalist concept – most notably for its award-winning perpetual calendar.
Besides its clean design, the other thing that H. Moser & Cie. is famous for is its fumé dial. With that in mind, the watch manufacturer actually went a step further, by creating the most minimalist watch ever – so much so that it is completely devoid of any markings or branding on the watch itself. Named the Endeavour Concept Watch, the timepiece is stripped of any of its frivolity and does what it is supposed to do – and that is to tell time.
The 40.8mm timepiece is not only brilliant in its concept, but the execution is sublime too. With the extremely clean dial, the focus is now placed on the stunning fumé dial, which in itself is a sight to behold. On the other side, no expense is spared in the finishing of the Calibre HMC 343 movement as well. The 7-day power reserve timepiece is nicely decorated, and the manual-winding timepiece also features the trademark interchangeable escapement module. The Endeavour Concept Watch is available in 4 different options, with each limited to a production of 10 pieces. It is priced at CHF22,000 (approximately S$32,588), and we think that this is a fair price for an independent manufacturer with a low production count.
A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Thin in Copper Blue
It is not an open secret that we have a soft spot for A. Lange & Söhne’s watches, but the Saxonia Thin in Copper Blue certainly reinforces our love for this German watch manufacturer.
While the Saxonia Thin 37mm may be the brand’s entry-level piece, but the Glashütte-based manufacturer decided to go a step further with a stunning dial iteration. This particular version features a solid silver dial that is layered with goldstone, which is a man-made glass consisting of tiny crystals of copper dispersed within to create a glittering appearance. The sparkling stardust-like effect works brilliantly with the blue background, and it gives the watch a rather dreamy appearance. We think that the stunning dial – under different lighting conditions – will provide multiple effects, and give the watch a multitude of characteristics.
Retailing at S$31,500, the 37mm Saxonia Thin in Copper Blue is priced at a large premium as compared to the normal Saxonia Thin. However, the dial is definitely unique, and this surely makes the highly acclaimed dress watch a whole load more desirable than ever.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Kingsman Knife
It is always cool to see a timepiece being commissioned for a movie. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Kingsman Knife, as its nomenclature suggests, is one of such timepiece. And this watch is a very special one.
For this particular 40mm watch, Jaeger-LeCoultre combines its mastery in ultra-thin movements and past references to develop a dress watch. The timepiece, notably, is inspired by the 1907 “Couteau” (couteau is French for knife) pocket watch – which explains its namesake and the triangular bow which would have been used in the classic pocket watch to attach a chain. The broad bezel and fine profile – which resembles a knife blade – alludes to its name as well.
Powering the movement is the in-house Calibre 849. The evergreen movement is a mere 1.85mm thick, and it is featured in many of JLC’s Master Ultra-Thin watches. The hand-winding mechanical movement contains 123 parts, and it has a power reserve of around 35 hours.
This particular JLC is a very special and well-executed timepiece. We love how the maison had integrated a classic pocket watch design into a timepiece seamlessly, which results in a unique-looking dress watch. It is priced at S$44,200, and it will be limited to a production of 100 pieces.
Seiko Credor Eichi II
From the Land of the Rising Sun, we have a masterpiece from Seiko that was born out of the Micro Artisan Studio. The name’s Credor Eichi II, and it is probably somewhat a lesser-heard collection especially if one is not into the world of watchmaking in Japan.
The Eichi II is another simple timepiece, but this is Seiko’s way of letting the finishing shine. The Eichi II features an impeccable porcelain dial, which was produced by Noritake (a Japanese porcelain house which supplies bone china to the Japanese Imperial family) and hand-painted by the artisans back at Seiko’s Micro Artisan Studio. But the pièce de résistance lies in its Calibre 7R14 movement. The contemporary-looking movement is finished to the highest quality – which includes convex bevelling, anglage, and linear brush finishing. It also features a 60-hour power reserve indicator, as well as Seiko’s proprietary Spring Drive mechanism.
Sized at 39mm, the Eichi II is an excellent dress watch for numerous occasions. It is subtle, simple, but yet very elegant at all angles. The porcelain dial is an unusual touch, and its intriguing appearance certainly makes it a conversational timepiece. The Eichi II is available in many variations, with the platinum version pricing at ¥4,300,000 (approximately S$55,697).
As we have seen in the above selections, dress watches are not necessarily boring. In fact, with a bit of creative juices, watch manufacturers can actually turn something simple into a rather special timepiece. The JLC, for instance, is an excellent example of that. Even a dial swap can make a world of a difference as well.
So, what are your thoughts on our selection today? What are some of the other interesting dress watches that should have made it onto the list? Let us know in the comments section below!