I feel conflicted about fashion. On the one hand, I find the whole thing fascinating, exciting even, and can only admire designers such as Paul Smith and Vivienne Westwood, who can make something as mundane as clothing cool and interesting. On the other hand, there's nothing more ridiculous than committed fashionistas with asymmetrical haircuts, clad head to toe in black Comme des Garçons woollen clothing and heavy black boots in the middle of a Hong Kong summer (oh it happens, and with alarming regularity). Perhaps, as with everything, a bit of balance is needed, a third way between the laughable and the functional. Fashion watches also fall into fairly definable categories, from the absolutely ludicrous to the incredibly dull. This week, however, we take a look at three timepieces that tick all the on-trend boxes.
Bottega Veneta is taking its recently launched watch business seriously and, judging by its third release, it seems to know what it's doing. The BV Diver (right) is the label's latest timepiece, following the BVX and BVX Nero, and has been made in collaboration with Girard-Perregaux (unsurprising really, as both brands belong to the Kering Group). Bottega Veneta leans on the Swiss firm's expertise to ensure the inside of the watch is top class and it is, with an exclusive GP 3300 Calibre mechanical movement ticking away under the bonnet. The rest of the watch is all about Bottega Veneta's mastery of design; with no brand name or logo on the dial, the wonderful handwoven intrecciato rubber strap serves as the company's signature, being plaited in the iconic style of the label's leather goods. Other notable features include the off-centre crown and the black DLC titanium case. How does it rank as a diving watch? Well not all that badly, with 300 metres of water resistance and a dial that has all the required diving-watch markings. An intriguing addition to the Bottega Veneta watch range, the BV Diver is priced at HK$188,000, which isn't cheap but you get a well-made and eye-catching watch for your money.
Next up we have the master of the fashion watch, Diesel, although the brand doesn't refer to its watches as, well, watches, preferring "timeframes" instead. Ahem. Anyway, Diesel's watches are designed to be seen and the Double Down DZ4314 (right) is no exception. Measuring 59mm in case size and 14mm in thickness, this huge timepiece is not something for men with girly wrists. The outstanding feature is the gunmetal grey finish on the steel case, dial and steel bracelet, which fits in well with the sporty look of the watch. The dial has two chronograph subdials arranged one on top of the other to make room for the oversized two, three and four o'clock indices, a design feature that will appeal to some, but not everyone. There is also a date window at the eight o'clock position. The Diesel Double Down DZ4314 is priced at HK$2,450.
Lastly, we have the Emporio Armani Dual Time, from the more affordable and fashion-conscious label in the Giorgio Armani stable. Priced at HK$5,500, the limited-edition watch is feature packed, with not only the dual-time function alluded to in the name, but also a chronograph and interchangeable straps - one natural canvas (right) the other a stainless-steel gunmetal bracelet - meaning you get two looks for the price of one. The overall design is sporty with three chronograph subdials and a date window at the four o'clock position.