Favorites – one of those words that can mean so many things to so many people, is also a term that has the sometimes fascinating and equally annoying habit of changing. And that my friends can also be an expensive change, especially it is has been a “bought” favorite, such as in a watch collection.
I have two favorites at the moment and both are at the upper end of watchmaking. The first one, and you may find this odd, is a Ladies model and whilst I’m not much into decorated watches myself – if I were, then this might well tempt me greatly. Correction – it tempts me anyway!
This is the Ladies Chronograph Large Date (3626-2954-58A) with a white mother-of-jewel dial to showcase an unusual articulated twin chronograph display sub-dials in the lower segment dial. The sub pointers are in red Gold. The upper segment has a full dial @12 in Roman Numerals. Segments are delineated by the wave of brilliant-cut-set diamonds with 17 graduated diamonds in each side. All set against the white colored Mother-of-Pearl dial within which also sits the twin half moon double Date Window @6 plus a center seconds hand.
Chronograph functions are operated by the two right hand pushers. The surrounding bezel is fully complimented by a series of 40 matched gems and the complete ensemble is created within a decent size 18ct Red Gold 38.6 mm wide case with a white Ostrich leather strap.
The case features an exhibition back via which you can view Blancpain’s in-house mechanical self-winding movement – Calibre 26F8G, which is made up of 495 parts including the rather splendid petal-created oscillating weight. It also has a Power Reserve of 40 hours and is Water-Resistant to 30 meters.
I often see blinged up diamond encrusted Rolex models on many a wrist at all the best functions, but this is something rather special and I for one would be very pleased to wear it myself, Ladies or not! I simply don’t care – I like it!
My next favorite is from another slightly lesser “name” brand, though is probably more popular by way of price point. This is the Cartier Ronde Croisier model. This is a Gents watch this time and is what is referred to as elegant casual, which pretty much sums it up and it is certainly more affordable perhaps than the Blancpain.
No bling or decoration on this one and for Cartier it’s also a nice departure from their standard Ronde style and results in a more modern refreshing look and yet managed with style.
Unusually for a Time and Date only watch it sports skeleton hands, a feature usually only associated with multi-dial models to prevent the sub-dials being obstructed. Even the center seconds hand has a skeleton circle tip as opposed to a spot. Not being filled in of course means no luminosity here. The outer bezel has a Diver look but is fixed. Basically this adds presence and balance so that overall the watch is very clear to read and looks “right”.
I like the fact this model is really slim at just 9.7 mm and yet is 42mm wide with short lugs, which means small wrists are easily catered for and the watch sits flat on the wrist. The steel bezel is ADLC coated with inlaid 15/30/45 & 60 numerals and is matte black smooth material. The movement is the Cartier Calibre 1874 MC Automatic beating at 4Hz, which has a Power Reserve of around 42 hrs. It also has a decent 100 metres Water Resistance and a black calfskin leather canvas look strap.
The cabuchon insert crown is classic and overall the watch oozes class and certainly has that classic Cartier elegance set within a modern look (so that’s two Cartier models I really like – the other being the Cartier Solo in quartz).
So two favorites – a Blancpain for the Ladies that I reckon I’d love to wear if I had £20,000 to spare and a Cartier that I’d definitely wear at around £3300 can’t be bad.
Says it all really . . . . . but I have GOT to start saving – I really have . . .