A gold watch to reflect the time of your life
In four years I will buy myself a gold watch. I've delayed the purchase for two reasons: economics and self-worth. The former is self-explanatory. As to the latter, I've always equated gold watches with merit and age, indicators of how successful and how old you have become. I want a gold watch when I rightfully deserve it, when I have the success to back it up. When it looks like it belongs to me and not like something I borrowed from my father. But this doesn't stop me looking at the options available right now.
First on my list is Rolex, arguably the evergreen of watch brands. The Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona in Everose gold (4) has me salivating like a dog begging for scraps. Its main appeal for me is that it is both formal and casual depending on what clothes are worn with it. It would make a great statement with a suit, just as it would with an old pair of Levi's. This Cosmograph Daytona has the updated chronograph movement entirely designed and produced by Rolex.
It is extremely resistant to shocks and magnetic fields and is waterproof up to 100 metres. It also comes in white and yellow gold. Rose gold has been popular recently. Where it was once reserved for women's timepieces, it has now become one of the leading trends in men's watches. It can be shinier and more glaring than yellow gold, but it doesn't scream nouveau riche or bling. Perhaps because it hasn't been discovered and used to death by newly-rich reality television stars and hip hop artists. If you look at the limited edition rose gold Cape Cod Grand Hours watch from Hermes, there is nothing fanciful or over the top about it. Despite being made of gold, it actually looks like an exercise in restraint. Simple, elegant and timeless. It is the kind of watch that gets handed down from one generation to the next.
The same qualities apply to the latest watches from Chopard, Bulgari and Piaget. Chopard's L.U.C XPS (1) epitomises the ethos of less is more. It is super sleek with hardly any extra features and overcomplicated embellishments. It is a simple silvered dial with a rose gold bezel and markers. An update to this classic Chopard watch is the small seconds display at six o'clock. Flip the watch over and you can view the movement through the crystal sapphire backing.
Bulgari's 125th anniversary edition of the Sotirio watch (2) is also oozing with exquisite taste. The yellow gold bezel and hour and minute hands complement the sleek dial and tan alligator straps.
Piaget managed to create a watch that is simple and spectacular. Its new version of the Altiplano (3) is one of horological genius. On the surface, it looks pretty much like the old Altiplano in rose gold. However, there is more to this watch than meets the eye. Beneath the display lies another watch. Called the Piaget Double Jeu, it is literally two watches in one, perfect for frequent travellers. The outer watch tells the time at the destination and the inner one is set to the time at the place of origin. This is all housed in an ultra-thin timepiece.
What appeals to me most about these watches is their simplicity. They don't look pretentious or vulgar. They are the antithesis of vulgarity despite their shiny and glitzy surfaces. There's no equating them to ageing playboys or men who have a lot to compensate for. Cartier's gold Ballon Bleu (5) is so pure and so handsome, it erases all the negative connotations previously associated with gold watches. It is an elegant and modern watch that would go with almost any outfit, be it a dark tuxedo or a crisp white shirt and khakis. In four years, this should be top of my list. But for now, I'm happy with my stainless steel timepiece.
Bulgari: Chater House, Central, tel: 2523 8057
Cartier: Prince's Building, Central, tel: 8105 5008
Chopard: IFC Mall, Central, tel: 2805 0777
Hermes: The Galleria, Central, tel: 2525 5900
Piaget: 1881 Heritage, Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2301 2199
Rolex: Jardine House, 1 Connaught Place, Central, tel: 2249 8888