Five Watches Of The Moment
MR PORTER selects the pieces that are really worth your time, from Zenith, Bremont, Ressence and more
Junghans Max Bill Automatic
You can tell a gentleman by his shoes, as the old adage has it. But your footwear isn’t the only part of your outfit that’s got the power to give you away at one glance. Not only does a proper watch serve as an impeccable gauge of your own success, style and connoisseurship, if well cared for, it may just look after you one day.
Vintage watches are on a hot streak that wilfully defies the financial climate, and the demand for the best-known brands is raising investment prospects across the market. They’re not going to triple in value overnight. In fact, like a new car, a new watch will depreciate in value at first. But if you buy sensibly and look after your watches, they will make a return in the long term. Here we have selected five timepieces from MR PORTER’s curated offering of fine watches that each tick the boxes of durability, simplicity and timeless good looks and thus represent worthwhile investments – both now and in the future.
Zenith Elite 6150
After a few years of unrestrained aesthetic exuberance, minimalism is back in a big way for watch designers. Zenith’s latest Elite is an exemplary specimen, with those smooth, polished spindly hands and hour markers, all set against a silvered sunburst dial. It’s free of a date dial, earning serious points with watch purists, and under the skin boasts a re-engineered movement that ups the power reserve to an impressive 100 hours.
Ressence Type 1B
It’s very rare indeed in the watch world that someone can genuinely claim to have reinvented the means of displaying time on your wrist, but that’s exactly what Belgian industrial designer and all-round inspired thinker Mr Benoît Mintiens achieved with the Ressence Type 1. Beneath its domed sapphire crystal, multiple dials rotate with the hours, minutes and seconds, meaning your watch face changes during the day. Note the absence of a crown to set the time: it’s all done by an innovative rotating caseback.
Bremont Kingsman ALT1-WT World Timer
Being asked to provide watches for tongue-in-cheek action movie Kingsman: The Secret Service was a measure of just how far Brit brand Bremont’s stock has risen in just over a decade since its inception. There’s nothing tongue in cheek about this watch, however, with world timer and chronograph functions and a rose-gold-plated case. Now also pursuing partnerships with Jaguar, Boeing and the America’s Cup, Bremont’s star is rising fast (unlike its prices), so it is a wise time to invest.
Zenith El Primero
It’s hard to think of a watch that better combines discreet elegance, practicality and genuine watchmaking history than the Zenith El Primero. So named because in 1969 Zenith developed one of the first automatic chronograph movements, it’s been in consistent production ever since – including a spell as the movement of choice for the Rolex Daytona. How’s that for reliability? This reference is several shades smarter than the usual El Primero, thanks to its glistening white enamel dial.
Junghans Max Bill Automatic
Investing in a design icon such as a Knoll chair or a Mercedes 190SL is bound to be steep, right? Not always. Bauhaus designer Mr Max Bill’s work for Junghans is some of the best mid-century typographical flair you’ll see on a watch, and the modern-day range is a very worthy tribute. Slim, clean and eminently practical, it’s got the edge on many watches 10 times its price.