A selection of the best luxury timepieces on the market for the holiday season.
The holidays are upon us and that means it’s time for some evening soirees, a black tie New Year’s Eve or some other exciting holiday event. Sure, it’s easy to don a tux or a nice dark suit, maybe even dress it up with an eccentric bow tie. But the real measure of elegance comes down to the watch you wear on your wrist. And don’t even think about going without a watch; that’s like being naked in a boardroom. Watches are a real status symbol today, perhaps more so than ever before. During the pandemic, many a collector (car, watch, coin, whiskey – you name it) indulged in their passions instead of traveling. That means sales of the finest timepieces were on the rise. Sometimes rampantly so. Additionally, interest in the certified pre-owned watch market surged as the waiting lists for new watches from top brands were too unwieldy for enthusiasts to grapple with. This all translates to a real cognizance about the importance of watches.
So, to look your best and to show off just a little this holiday season, don a watch. Don’t be fooled, either, into thinking that the watch needs to be a classic three-hands gold watch. There is a surge in the sales of stainless steel watches, as well. Including those with integrated bracelets. In fact, this go-for-the-steel concept has collectors all over the world vying for stainless steel watches – driving the prices of steel almost as high as gold, and in some instances, higher. With all of these new watch trends on the rise, now more than ever, elegance translates to a host of different styles. Longines may say it best in their tag line, “Elegance is an attitude.” It isn’t a price, it isn’t a style, it is what you want it to be. Sure, elegant watches can be classic watches, maybe even icons like the Cartier Tank or the Jaeger-Le-Coultre Reverso. They can also be timepieces that are re-editions of yesteryear watches or vintage-inspired pieces. Sometimes these watches, usually with a great back story, are real conversation starters and nothing says “elegant” like a watch inspired by the art deco era, the vivacious 1950’s and even the brazen 1970’s.
Cadanz by Kerbedanz Cruise Date
An all new line from Kerbedanz, the new Cadanz collection is decidedly modern and geometric in appeal. Thanks to the three different diameter sizes (32mm, 36mm, 41mm) that the contemporary Cadanz watches are created in, they are a perfect unisex watch. This collection marks the brand’s foray into series-production watches, in addition to its one-off s and limited edition timepieces. Distinguishing marks of the Cadanz line include a center dial that is beautifully guilloche’ and a crown at 2:00 on the case instead of 3:00 for better ergonomics. An automatic movement with 189 parts and 50 hours of power reserve powers the watches. This Cadanz Cruise Date watch boasts a silver dial with blue hands and a bold orange rubber strap. The case is bezel-less and allows for a much larger viewing of the dial, which is especially nice since this model boasts an arched aperture at 2:00 to display the date. This version is crafted in stainless steel with double-sided anti-reflective sapphire crystals.
Cadanz by Kerbedanz Signature Date
This Cadanz by Kerbedanz Signature Date watch offers hours, minutes, seconds and date display in a classical look, but with a twist. The crown is placed at 2:00 on the case for a contemporary appeal and for ergonomics. The small circular window display at 2:00 on the dial showcases the date. The navy blue sunray dial boasts silver hands and markers, as well as stylized numerals for great readability. The Signature Date watch is powered by the Automatic KRB-05 caliber with 189 components and 50 hours of power reserve. It is water resistant to 3 ATM. The bold blue matching strap is made of rubber with an orange lining on the wrist side.
ChronoLunar Officer DLC
Swiss-made to exacting standards, Ernst Benz watches are all about legibility and performance. Powered by mechanical movements meant to accompany the wearer anywhere, these instruments are also aesthetically appealing and make a statement all their own. A prime example is the ChronoLunar Officer DLC watch whose stealth black Diamond Like Carbon coating on stainless steel make this watch ultra-appealing. Aptly named ChronoLunar, the watch is combination chronograph offering hours and minute counters and central seconds hand, as well as a calendar complete with lunar or moonphase indicator. Thanks to an outer chapter ring, it offers date indication, and via apertures at 12:00 within the minutes register, it displays day and month. The layout offers both harmonious balance and incredible readability. The black dial is off set nicely by soft yellow accents and luminescent hands and markers. Available in 44mm and 47mm. It is powered by an automatic Valjoux 7751 movement.
A tried and true precision instrument with classic lines and contemporary appeal, the stainless steel ChronoLunar watch boasts all of the functions of the ChronoLunar Officer DLC (chronograph, moonphase, day, date, month), but does so in a way that offers city chic appeal thanks to the polished 47mm (also available in 44mm) case and the white dial with white luminous applied numbers and hands. The watch even boasts a transparent sapphire exhibition case back for viewing the automatic Valjoux 7751 movement with such high-tech components as Incabloc shock protection, Glucydur Balance, Nivarox Alloy Hairspring and more. The knurled crown is fitted with a double-O ring and the entire watch is water resistant to 50 meters. It is finished with a handmade alligator strap.
A great holiday gift or self-purchase, the entry-level Sparta Bold collection of watch winders are ideal for use in a safe since they are battery operated and don’t need to be plugged in. This single-watch winder is equipped with long-life lithium D cell batteries that operate on Orbita’s 8-minute winding cycle, 12-minute winding cycle or even an extended winding cycle that can be selected using a toggle switch behind the mounting cup. The longer the cycle selected, the longer the batteries live, with most lasting for years. Orbita American-made winders gently swing the watches on the mounting cup in a way that emulates the natural wrist movement.
A beautiful statement piece on any dresser, this three-watch Orbita Siena watch winder is classically elegant. When closed, the box features a beveled glass panel on the sloped front that allows for viewing of the three watches within. Superbly finished hinges raise the lid with little effort and securely hold it in place for easy removal of any watch. The interior of the box is finished in soft suede and the outer surfaces are crafted in wood that is lacquered with a high-gloss polyester finish. Naturally, the base of the winder is suede covered in order to not inflict damage on furniture tops. The rotor-wind technology is powered by batteries (beneath the drive modules) and can be set to different winding times.
Vortic Watch Company
The Springfield 439
A magnificent timepiece from Illinois Watch Company that Vortic has beautifully restored, this unique wristwatch was once a pocket watch. Vortic Watch Company is dedicated to finding useable American-made pocket watches of yesteryear and restoring them in their American workshops in Colorado. In an effort to preserve the legacy of American watchmaking, Vortic combines traditional and cutting-edge technology to create its small batch custom watches. This wristwatch is powered by a restored American-made pocket watch movement and boasts an original dial and hands. The watch measures 46mm in diameter and was originally made in Springfield, IL in 1920. The dial has garnered a beautiful patina and the beauty of the blue stylized numerals are underscored by the blued hands and a rich blue leather strap. The onion-type crown at 12:00 is accented in gold against the stainless steel case. From the sapphire case back, one can view the 101-year-old movement with rose gold gears and 17 screw-set jewels.
The Military Third Edition
Known for finding antique pocket watches, restoring the original movements, and converting them into wristwatches, Vortic takes its job seriously – paying close attention to every detail. Taking America-made watches of yesterday and updating them for today in wristwatch format, Votic just released its third-generation Military Edition wristwatch on Veteran’s Day, November 2021. Just 50 Military Edition watches are released annually. Each houses the original movement, hands and dial. This watch is the Master Navigation watch that was issued during World War II to the US Army Air Corps for bomber pilots. It was the first of its kind to keep 24-hour military time while also acting as a stop-watch. The dark black dial sits beautifully in a stainless steel wristwatch case with curved lugs and finished with a military style khaki canvas strap.