There are no shortage of great new watches released each year, so no list of purchase options is ever complete. That doesn’t mean there isn’t value in various great watches at diverse price points that are available right now.
Rolex Datejust 41
Adhering to Rolex’ new fantastically strict in-house “Superlative Chronometer” standard and powered by a brand new movement, the Datejust 41 is a reason to fall in love with the phenomenon which is the Datejust. For decades Rolex’s most popular model, the Datejust is entirely its own category of watch in the industry. Not a dress watch but not a sports watch, the Oyster-cased Datejust is an everyday wear for people who simply want to say: “I’m elegant and wealthy but not too impractical” and “I like how it feels to wear a little jewelry”. While inspired by the screw-down construction of the original Oyster cases, the fluted bezel on the Datejust is now all about 18k gold catching the light, especially in the two-tone steel and 18k yellow gold “Rolesor” guise. The Jubilee bracelet, which has now returned to the men’s Datejust on the Datejust 41, is also designed to play with the light with the finely shaped links. This is the closest a man can get to showing off without being ostentatious.
Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Ref. 5396
A return to the classics in a modern package is the basic appeal of the Patek Philippe ref. 5396 Annual Calendar Moonphase. This is everything you want: the deeply conservative yet richly elegant design appeal from the valued Swiss brand. Offered in a 38.5mm wide case, this handsome watch contains a well decorated automatic movement with annual calendar that only needs to be adjusted once a year at the end of February. This is Patek Philippe at its best.
MB&F HM8 Can-Am
Pictures don’t do MB&F’s latest Horological Machine justice. In pictures the HM8 merely looks like an old-fashioned version of the HM5 wedge-shaped driver’s watch. In person the true nature of its “open design” reveals itself, styled in a way that is meant to encourage a view into the movement. Similar to that in the HM5, but totally different technically, the automatic movement in the HM8 Can-Am displays the time on discs which are projected horizontally to the user via sapphire crystal prisms. It’s a return to what made MB&F great, a true and new horological machine for the wrist.
F.P. Journe Octa Quantieme Perpetual
It took several years after the original launch for Geneva-based F.P. Journe to deliver his highly anticipated perpetual calendar, the Octa Quantieme Perpetual. Beautiful yet useful, the entirely in-house movement is all about making the perpetual calendar a pleasure to use. Comfortable to read and easy to adjust using the ergonomically-conceived display and crown – rare in the watch industry – the Octa Quantieme Perpetual isn’t just available in multiple precious metal forms, but also in two different case sizes of 40mm and 42mm.
If you love German watches and Bauhaus design, then there is little chance to resist the value-laden Nomos Neomatik. Produced right across the street from great, high-end brands such as Glashütte Original and A. Lange & Söhne, Nomos wins with sheer value for money and affordability. Intrinsically simple, Nomos watches are all about functional minimalism. Where they can go wild is in colors and finishing, which is where you find variety in the various Neomatik watches. Choose them for their in-house automatic movements and a look that will still look good decades from now.
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