It’s often the watches at the top of the price range that get the most attention from writers and collectors. Yes, those incredible novelties deserve the ink! But attention should also be paid to the beautiful watches emerging today at less-than-stratospheric prices. The following five watches, all around $10,000, are produced by some of the most admired companies in watchmaking. They each represent design that is timeless, and are among the most popular models we offer at Westime’s boutiques in Beverly Hills, La Jolla, and West Hollywood.
The pure lines of Breitling’s Transocean call to mind the classic chronographs of the 1950s and 1960s. Everything is streamlined, from the understated 43-mm stainless steel case and slender bezel, to the smooth steel mesh bracelet and slim lugs that seem to mold to the wrist. This timepiece is powered by Breitling’s Caliber 01 automatic chronograph movement, which was entirely developed and produced in the Breitling workshops and rates as the company’s most accurate movement. The version with a brilliant blue dial is limited to 2,000 pieces, and is priced at $8,520.
Zenith’s El Primero Stratos Flyback was designed with the instrument panels of Europe’s great military air fleets in mind. The company’s highlyregarded El Primero chronograph movement, made entirely within Zenith’s own facilities, drives the hours, minutes, chronograph counters, and date display. This all-black version features a 45.5-mm case crafted from Alchron, a high-tech alloy commonly found in the aeronautical industry, known for being incredibly hard, light, and resistant to corrosion. Presented on a black alligator strap, the timepiece is $8,800.
Omega’s Seamaster Aqua Terra GMT in a 43-mm stainless steel case adds an additional complication to an already robust timepiece that features Omega’s in-house automatic movement. The GMT hand has a diamond-polished red arrow that completes one rotation every 24 hours, and therefore makes it possible to keep track of the time in two time zones. Additionally, the GMT hand can serve as a compass in the northern hemisphere. Available with a teakpatterned dial that evokes the wooden decks of luxury boats, the Seamaster Aqua Terra GMT is $8,500 on a stainless steel bracelet or leather strap.
For years, Hublot has employed the concept of “fusion,” the combination of surprising and unusual materials, to create exciting and innovative watch models. The result is often big and bold, but the Classic Fusion line shows how the result can also be sleek and sophisticated. The Classic Fusion All Black Blue features a 45-mm case made of microblasted black ceramic, and its matching bezel is fixed into place with six black PVD titanium screws that evoke the design of a ship’s porthole (hublot, in French). The automatic movement displays hours, minutes and date. And the blue alligator strap is lined with black rubber, making it one of the most comfortable straps in the business. Its retail price is $10,700.
Glashütte Original took inspiration from the “wild ‘60s” to create its popular Senator Sixties line. You may get an instant sense of nostalgia when you first lay eyes on the convex sapphire crystal and domed satinfinished dial it protects. Additionally, domed, skeletonized hands and extravagant numerals add to the retro styling. Chronograph totalizers are positioned at 3 and 9 o’clock on the dial, and pushers are subtly rounded on the side of the 42-mm case. The automatic timepiece is available with a silver or black dial, and presented on a crocodile skin strap. The Senator Sixties Chronograph is available for $9,300.