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About time: big shots

Abid Rahman

 

Napoleon has the indignity of having a complex named after him: the Napoleon complex, or short man syndrome, is said to lead men of a diminutive persuasion to be overly aggressive and obnoxious. Alas, Old Boney is the object of myth-making: sure, he had his insufferable moments, but he wasn't actually short. In fact, for the time, at five foot six inches, he was three inches taller than the average Frenchman. Why bring this up? Well, some people think watches with a big dial indicate a sort of complex, like the owner is compensating for something. But there are those out there with tree-trunk wrists who need to be catered for; and anyway, what's wrong with making a statement and just showing off sometimes?

Nothing makes a more visual statement than an oversized dial and among the most eye-catching monsters of 2013 thus far has been the Breitling Emergency II (above). With a titanium case measuring 51mm, this watch is big for a reason: it doubles as a dual frequency locator beacon. Other fancy features are a rechargeable battery, which stands to reason given how much juice the beacon will take up. There's also a battery-life indicator, a multilingual calendar, a second time zone and an impressive chronograph with analogue and digital displays. This beast of a watch packs a lot in and the bonus is you'll never be lost wearing it. The Breitling Emergency II is priced at HK$127,000.

Hamilton isn't widely known for oversized dials but a curiosity from its 2013 offerings is the Jazzmaster Face2Face (below left). Don't let the appalling name put you off: the watch itself is nothing if not interesting. The 53mm by 44mm stainless-steel case houses two movements, and a handy rotation mechanism means you have two watches for the price of one. Each dial is different in design and function, with one showing classic hours and minutes and the other a more sporty chronograph with three subdials. The strap is black with a trendy blue lining and stitch-ing and the watch is water resistant to 50 metres. Gimmicky? Possibly. Something different? Certainly. The Hamilton Jazzmaster Face2Face is priced at HK$48,100 and is limited to 888 pieces.

Finally, we have the HYT H2 (below right). The HYT H1 used capillary action to indicate the retrograde hours and the very notion of fluid inside a highly precise piece of engineering meant it had to measure 48.8mm. The H2 is no different, coming in at the same size but sporting a new, more pleasing and, according to HYT, more efficient V-shaped configuration. The retrograde fluid hours are still there and minutes are indicated by jumping hands. New additions include a crown position indicator, a fluid temperature indicator and a newly designed indicator for the impressive eight days of power the movement can store. The case material is black DLC titanium and the strap is rubberised alligator leather. Limited to 50 pieces, the HYT H2 is priced at HK$1.02 million.

 

 

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