Rejoice! I’ve always wondered whether I have any influence beyond telling impressionable young men what watch to buy, but it seems Hollywood has been listening. ALF is coming back! If you’re confused, or not a regular reader, or both if we’re brutally honest, I posited a few months ago that given the current reboot/remake craze, Hollywood should revive ALF , the 1980s sitcom about an alien who lives with a suburban American family and eats cats.
My rather convincing argument went that the lead character of Gordon Shumway, literally an illegal alien, would be interesting subject for nuanced comedy at this time. Well, it’s happening, folks, and I’m taking all the credit. Although given how the Roseanne reboot went, we are probably going to find out that the puppeteer controlling Gordon is a racist and they’ll cancel it after one season. On second thoughts, keep the memory pure and your hands off ALF, Hollywood!
Anyway, watches. So, this week it’s sheer lunacy! Yes, we’re talking about the moon, in a specific sense and, in one case, rather tenuously. We’ll begin with a moon-phase I’ve loved since I first saw it, in January, the A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Moon Phase, which may just be my favourite luxury dress watch at the moment.
Virtually the same as the 2016 release, with a few design tweaks, the immediate thing that jumps out, of course, is the moon-phase complication at the six o’clock position, set against the black dial, giving it an elegant yet masculine look when coupled with the oversized, industrial-looking date indication that is the brand’s signature.
The moon phase here is just beautiful, you can see the painstaking detail, with the hundreds of individual stars painted on the display. The moon phase is also where the stop-seconds dial is located. This watch is the essence of classic German watch design – clean, simple and with an emphasis on symmetry. The case comes in white gold and pink gold and measures 40mm but actually looks bigger on the wrist. This being a Lange, the L086.5 movement, with its 72 hours of power reserve, is top class and where most of your money is going. Speaking of which, this watch will set you back HK$228,000.
Another watch that beautifully incorporates a moon phase, but this time isn’t solely a moon phase, is that old classic the IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar IW503406. For many aficionados, this is the fantasy watch, the one they would purchase if money were no object, and I can totally see why. Not only is it gorgeous to look at, it also has the full suite of functions inside its 44.2mm platinum case. There’s day, date, month and year indicators, the moon phase, of course, but this time rendered for both the northern and southern hemispheres, and a power-reserve display.
That’s a lot to pack in, but the watch doesn’t feel overwhelming or cluttered. Inside is a 52615 Calibre movement with a massive seven-day power reserve and the watch comes with an alligator strap from Italian leather house Santoni. All in all, an absolute gem. Limited to 250 pieces, the watch is priced at a princely HK$415,000.
Finally, we have a “moon” watch that has no moon phase, the Louis Vuitton Tambour Moon Blue GMT 41.5. OK, I’ll admit this is tenuous, but I wanted to talk about this watch so I was forced to shoehorn it in somewhere.
Essentially, I’m conflicted. Sometimes I think it’s rather nifty while at other times it strikes me as ugly. The things I like are the colour, obviously, particularly the flashes of yellow, and the Tambour shape, which has its detractors but has given LV an instantly recognisable silhouette.
The things I don’t like are the slightly naff strap (which, in fairness, is interchangeable) and the generic movement, which, given the HK$39,550 price tag, is a bit much. But then if you’re looking for a sporty watch with a GMT second time zone and you’re a fan of LV, this isn’t the worst choice you could make.