The best watches of 2016 (Part 1)
There’s no secret about it, we here at Esquire Middle East love ourselves some watches. In fact, we love them so much that we attend most watch fairs en mass to scope out which pieces should be next on our (and your) shopping lists. In Part 1, our watch columnist Sam Truman, picks out which pieces from January’s SIHH watch fair in Geneva, make his best watches of 2016 list, so far.
1. Vacheron Constantin Overseas Ultra-Thin Calibre 1120
I’ve been looking forward to this upgrade for quite some time. At first glance the Overseas does not look that different, but on closer inspection you start to see the subtle upgrades. It comes in either stainless steel or pink gold with either a blue or sunburst silver dial. My pick is the stainless steel version with the silver dial – it’s crisp, sharp and not too fussy or flash. The new in-house movement is a cracker, with two mainspring barrels and a 40-hour power reserve, which is perhaps the most important upgrade. But perhaps the most newsworthy development is the interchangeable strap option. In addition to the stainless steel bracelet the Overseas will come with the option of a quick-change leather or rubber strap (pictured above). It adds so much versatility and would honestly make me go out and buy this watch.
2. Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days Automatic Acciaio 42mm
It’s been a while since a Panerai has graced my wrist and that is because I struggle to wear a watch that is over 42mm. There were lots of oversized (47mm) Panerai pieces as normal this year (good luck with those). Fortunately, they also offered this 42mm Radiomir white faced version. It’s a nice, clean, good everyday watch which I think could widen the brand’s appeal to watch wearers who favour more modest-sized timepieces.
3. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver Chronograph
My style has become quite restrained, which this watch is not. But I can’t help but have a soft spot for AP’s latest Offshore. It’s one of the original luxury sport watches and this new version is the perfect timepiece to accompany you to one of those rather chic beach bars that are popular here. Even with its flamboyant colours,
I would select this as the perfect Dubai go-to weekend watch.
4. A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon
This watch has certainly got it all going on in terms of complications, but remains crisp and clear. You only get to see the tourbillon if you turn the watch over and that’s the way it should be. I’ve never been a fan of showcasing the tourbillon from the dial side of the watch. It just looks too busy and a bit show-offy. The dial only has small hints of colour with a moonphase and power-reserve indicator. These discreet touches ensure the watch remains subtle in a way that Lange does so well. This was by far my favourite high-end piece from SIHH, with Lange setting a new benchmark. Now let’s wait and see what Patek Philippe drops on the table at Baselworld…