One of the latest trends in watchmaking is for timepieces that have a water resistance higher than the usual 3 bar/30 metres so that they can stand up to splashes and even surface swimming. Baume & Mercier have identified the category of people who could use these watches as ‘gentlesportsmen,’ the timepieces themselves are versatile enough to be used when sailing, surfing, cycling, riding and so forth, and are also smart enough to be noticed during the social events that are part of the sports scene. This type of watch often has a hard-wearing canvas strap which dries more quickly than leather and is not damaged by seawater.
A note on water resistance ratings: they can be misleading. 3 bar/30
metres is the standard water resistance, and a watch with this resistance can withstand raindrops or splashes, but should not be used when swimming, showering etc., and certainly not down to 30 metres depth. A watch that is resistant to 10 bar/100 metres can be used for water sports, surface swimming and snorkelling. Watches for scuba diving are generally rated at 30 bar/300 metres.
Baume & Mercier Clifton Club
Slim and elegant, 42 mm in diameter and 10.3 mm thick, the Clifton Club by Baume & Mercier slips easily under a shirt cuff. Like many all-weather watches, the Clifton Club has some diving watch characteristics, such as a unidirectional rotating bezel and screw-down crown and caseback, contributing to a water resistance of 100 metres. Its colour scheme of steel case, black dial and orange details, along with the personalised font used for the numerals, give it a lot of personality.
Related article: Baume & Mercier's Clifton Manual: an 1830s hand-wound dress watch
Montblanc TimeWalker Automatic Date
Montblanc’s TimeWalker Automatic Date has a water resistance of 100 metres and a unidirectional rotating bezel, but the inspiration comes from motor sports. The dial design, with its red arrow-tipped seconds hand and the numerals indicating minutes rather than hours, are reminiscent of dashboard instruments, and the effect is heightened by the knurled crown and the perforations in the rubber strap. In this piece the bezel can be used to keep track of a second time zone. The watch is tough enough for sports and smart enough for boardroom meetings.
Related article: Montblanc 2017: Italian sexy meets Swiss engineering
Chopard Happy Ocean
With their Happy Ocean watches, Chopard had some brilliant intuitions and translated them into fun, colourful timepieces. Five mobile diamonds bring the dial to life, sliding around between two plates of sapphire, while the rotating bezel is used to provide some extra colour. In the gem-set versions, the bezel is set with two-tone jewels, blue sapphires, and rubies or blue topaz for the first quarter section. A water resistance of 300 metres (100 metres for the gemset version) makes it perfectly feasible to take them out in the rain, for a swim, or a dive. At night the watch is given extra interest by two colours of luminescent paint used on the hour markers, hands and bezel.
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150m GoodPlanet
The Seamaster Aqua Terra 150m GoodPlanet is a beautiful watch by Omega, with a case in robust titanium, a lacquered white dial, and details in blue. The result is visually effective, with attractive details such as the hour markers that echo the shape of the minutes hand, and a neat date window. The watch has a water resistance of 150 metres, and a blue coated nylon strap. Part of the proceeds from sales go to the environment-protection organisation GoodPlanet.
Related article: Omega Speedmaster Automatic
Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic
Panerai has built its range from its origins as a supplier of technical diving watches to the Italian Navy, and their watches are generally very large. With the Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic, they have reduced the case size from the Submersible’s usual 47 mm to a more wearable 42 mm, while retaining all its underwater performance – 300 metres water resistance, crown with its patented crown protector, black rubber strap. The P.9010 calibre can be viewed through the sapphire caseback, in all its brushed-metal, precision-engineered beauty. Pretty much a contemporary legend.
Related article: The Panerai legends
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