About time: top gear
After a summer of sporting excess - by that I mean sitting at home eating junk food to excess, drinking beer before 11am to excess and, of course, watching an excessive amount of sport - it's time to dust down the tracksuit, lace up those trainers and tackle that gut. Getting the right kit is half the battle, so you should think about investing in a chronograph watch. You'll certainly look the part, even if you end up just measuring your split times between the couch and the fridge.
These days, the chronograph function is one of the simplest complications to manufacture. Which is why you have a wide variety of brands creating chronograph watches that come in all manner of shapes and sizes, colours and configurations.
Georg Jensen is not a brand one would immediately associate with sporty endeavours but with its new Koppel Black Edition chronograph (below right), the company has taken the short cut to sporting pedigree. Swiss-made but retaining that classic Georg Jensen Scandinavian aesthetic of clean design, this watch gets a shot of testosterone from the lovely black and yellow colour scheme and the Barenia leather strap with yellow stitching. The case measures 41mm and is made of coated stainless steel. Housed inside is a quartz chronograph movement that is impressive in terms of precision. The dial design retains the numberless minimalism Georg Jensen is known for with the added touch of racing-yellow hands on the chronograph subdials. Limited to 50 pieces, the Georg Jensen Koppel Black Edition is priced at HK$15,000.
Vacheron Constantin is a purveyor of some of the most luxurious timepieces but the company also makes a mean chronograph sports watch. Just released is the gorgeous Overseas Chronograph (above right), a steel watch that has both a sporty and nautical flavour, but I wouldn't recommend running with it in water. The flagship watch of the Overseas collection, the timepiece is marvelously detailed, with the Vacheron Constantin Maltese Cross logo built into the links of the steel bracelet. The 42mm steel case allows the eye to focus on the deep-blue dial with its three chronograph subdials, which indicate small seconds, 30 minutes and sweep seconds.
The design of the watch is atypical for Vacheron Constantin and all the better for it, as the brand commits to a sportier aesthetic. Other features include a distinctive date window at the 12 o'clock position as well as water resistance to 150 metres. The calibre 1137 movement allows for 40 hours of power reserve. The Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph is priced at HK$188,000.
Coming in last, but only because all that effort is a touch vulgar, is the A. Lange & Sohne Datograph Up/Down (below left) - a memorable name for an unforgettable watch. The Datograph Up/Down will likely never see the inside of a gym but that doesn't mean it doesn't have some of the finest chronograph credentials, with two subdials counting seconds and minutes. However, the chronograph function takes a back seat to the host of other features, including a jumping minute counter with flyback function and the wonderfully eccentric dial design. There is also the oversized date window at the 12 o'clock position and the nifty power reserve indicator at the six o'clock position, which give the watch its name. The 41mm white-gold case is complemented by a black alligator leather strap. A definite collector's item, the A. Lange & Sohne Datograph Up/Down is priced at HK$682,000.