History repeating If you're into comics and superhero movies, you may by now have seen the epic awfulness that is Fantastic Four. I don't have the room (nor the inclination) to go into detail about how bad the film is, but I have to wonder about the competence of everyone involved. After three horrendous Fantastic Four movies, did we really need another one? And one that stunk so bad even Adam Sandler would have been embarrassed to have been involved?
Why am I bringing up Fantastic Four if I so desperately want to forget about the horror, you ask? Because, beyond ruining my weekend, this film proved that rebooting and reimagining old ideas isn't a sure-fire path to success.
That concept should apply to the watch industry, too, especially if the brand has just added extra bling to a reheated design (here's looking at you, Rolex).
This isn't to say I'm against reboots, on the contrary, I just think watch brands (and movie studios) need to be smarter with them. One excellent example of a retread that pays tribute to the original and looks cool today is the Glashutte Original Sixties Panorama Date (above). The 1960s gave the world many good things but also the music of Johnny Hallyday, so, overall, it was a mixed bag. On the "good" list, however, is the inspiration behind this Glashutte Original. The watch features modernist typography for the numerals (which is, one must say, very un-German), and a domed dial, which tapers off at the edge, lending a sense of depth to proceedings. The midnight blue on the dial isn't necessarily retro but one can easily see Don Draper sporting a watch like this as he steps out on his wife once again (the cad). Features are kept to a minimum, with only the date window breaking up the symmetry of the face. The 42mm case is made of steel and inside is an in-house calibre 39-47 movement with a 40-hour power reserve. The Sixties Panorama Date is priced at HK$77,500.
One of my all-time favourite watches is the Omega Seamaster Bullhead, which has been given a new lease of life in the special edition Rio 2016 version (right). Inspired by next year's Olympic Games in Brazil, Omega was clearly looking to excite the nerds by using the bullhead design - a name coined by fans, not the company. Let's get the Olympic design motifs out of the way first: there's a blue strap with yellow, green, red and black stitching, representing the famed Olympic rings, with these colours repeated on the bezel. There is also a Rio 2016 logo stamped on the back of the case. Features on the watch include the chronograph with two subdials and a date window. Inside there's a thoroughly modern automatic Co-Axial calibre 3113 movement enclosed in a 43mm steel case. Limited to 316 pieces, the Omega Seamaster Bullhead Rio 2016 is priced at HK$74,900.
Finally, we have the best type of tribute. The Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1915 (below) is all sorts of vintage styling goodness, from the off-white dial and the cursive script logo to the classic numerals and, for the Breitling aficionados, the single chronograph push button (Breitling switched to two push buttons in the 30s). The 43mm case comes in polished steel and houses a new movement, the B14, which pumps out a stellar 70 hours of power. Limited to 1,915 pieces, the Transocean Chronograph 1915 with the steel-mesh bracelet is priced at HK$76,130.