The greatness of many Haute Horlogerie creations is often evident. Being objects of art, they are extrovert by nature. But some follow a different path. That of understated excellence. Watches that require the knowledge of a true connoisseur to be revealed for what they really are. Here are five watches that have that down to a T!
Cartier Tank Cintrée
A grey dial, grey strap, and a white metal case; it makes the Cartier Tank Cintrée an elegant understatement. That curved case is in fact crafted from platinum and sits perfectly on the wrist. Inside we find Cartier calibre 8971 MC, which is based on Jaeger-LeCoultre calibre 846, a small yet refined manual wind calibre. A perfect match for an exquisite watch!
A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Thin
37mm in diameter and fitted with a deceivingly simple dial and only two hands; there is nothing that tells you that the A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Thin represents, in fact, the best German watchmaking has to offer. With a height of only 5.9mm, the watch is indeed thin yet bears all the hallmarks for which A. Lange & Söhne is known for, among them the perfectly finished movement with hand-engraved balance cock.
Ulysse Nardin Classico
It might be the dial with guilloche pattern that gives away that this Ulysse Nardin is, in fact, something special. That dial is actually Grand Feu enamel. Inside of the Classico ticks self-winding calibre UN320, which is manufactured by Ulysse Nardin in-house and features a silicium hairspring and anchor escapement, because understated doesn’t mean that you cannot be progressive in the technology that you use.
Zenith Elite Classic
Zenith is, of course, best known for their superb chronograph calibres, but they also make a beautiful line of less complicated automatic movements, which they fit into watches like the Elite Classic. With its sunburst silver dial, leaf hands and minimalistic hour and minute marks it brings the watch back to its elementary self. With a diameter of 39mm is the stainless steel case the perfect balance between a modern size and vintage elegance.
Rolex Cellini Time
Can a Rolex ever be discretely understated? Here the opinions probably go in different directions, but the Cellini Time is distinctly different from what most people think of when they hear the name Rolex. While in Everose gold the watch is a bit more outgoing than the same model in white gold, it remains a classic watch that not everybody will take for a Rolex. Like all of its siblings does also the Cellini Time come with a manufacture movement, in this case automatic calibre 3132, the same movement that can also be found in the more sportive Oyster Perpetual and Explorer.