Judging from the opulence in new movie The Great Gatsby, and all the media fuss surrounding it, one would think indulgent luxury is back. The clothes, the cars, the parties and the watches that signified the Roaring Twenties are enough to remind us all of those golden years in the early to mid-noughties when our collective cup ranneth over. Oh, to be young and reckless again. Alas, the reality is that the economic recovery remains, at best, anaemic.
So, if you’re looking for a luxury watch, it might be time to consider something with a bit of pizazz but which won’t cost the Earth.
We start with Emporio Armani’s AR6104 sports watch (above right). A snip at HK$5,500, it ticks all the fashion boxes – as one would expect with Armani – with a grey-tone steel case sized at a huge 48mm. The sporty matt-black face is a whirr of chronograph subdials that indicate small seconds, hours and minutes. There is also a date window at the four o’clock position and water resistance runs to 50 metres.
The masculinity on this watch has been amped up further with the addition of an oversized crown and two rather large and rather daunting chronograph push buttons. Another of the main features is the blue rubber strap, which has Emporio Armani logo detailing. Inside is what Armani is calling a “super quartz” movement. We’ve no idea what that means but the quartz nature of the watch keeps the price markedly down.
If large watches are your thing, then take a look at TW Steel, a brand that declares itself to be “Big in Oversized watches” (see what they’ve done there?). From the 2013 TW Steel range, the TW419 Pilot’s watch (below right) is perhaps the pick of the bunch, with its distinctive mix of rose-goldplated case, matt-black dial and black leather strap. The watch is another beast, with a 48mm case giving plenty of dial space for the three chronograph subdials. There’s also a date window at the four o’clock position and a nice added touch of tachymeter around the outer ring.
The design of the watch is all about emphasising size, so the indices and numerals are all enormous.
Inside is a reliable Japanese chronograph Miyota 0S20 movement and the watch is water resistant to 50 metres. The TW Steel TW419 Pilot’s watch is priced at HK$4,500.
Finally, we have something of a hidden gem in the form of the Dolce & Gabbana DG7 (below left). Dolce & Gabbana recently dropped its youthful D&G diffusion brand, ending the production of those rather garish “in-your-face” D&G watches.
Instead it’s decided to go upmarket and take watchmaking more seriously; and the results are impressive, with the DG7 shining brightest.
Classically designed and simple, the watch is notable mainly for being the antithesis of the old D&G watches. The case is sized at 40mm and provides the platform for a dial face that is uncluttered, with Roman numerals at only the 12 and six o’clock positions.
Inside, Dolce & Gabbana has deferred to Swiss expertise, with an automatic ETA caliber 2892 movement, which gives a respectable 42 hours of power reserve. The strap comes in either alligator leather or a steel mesh bracelet. Prices for the Dolce & Gabbana DG7 vary greatly depending on the materials used, but they start at a reasonable HK$29,000.