Top 8 Conversation Starter Timepieces

Top 8 Conversation Starter Timepieces

Nirja Dutt
22 Mar 2024 |
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The highest compliment for a watch enthusiast is a cajolery for the watch on their wrist. There is no better feeling than explaining ‘your story’ with the timepiece you are donning, here’s a list that will ensure this reaction every single time.

While most watches deserve an immediate pause coupled with an interrogation about its origin, a discussion about the highlights of its inner workings and showers of praises of its appearance, its unfortunately not the case every time. But there are some watches that invoke that reaction, this list celebrates ten such head-turning reverberations.

1. Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day Date 36


Starting this list with any other watch would be a disservice. Rolex shocked audiences in 2023 by reimagining the classic Oyster Perpetual Day Date 36 with emotions, emojis and a puzzle on the dial. Entirely created using champlevé enamelling, the dial is striking for the depth and intensity hued in turquoise blue, red, fuchsia, orange, green and yellow pieces fit together on a single-colour background, each representing one of the key moments in life. In addition, instead of days and dates we witness a 12 o’clock display of inspirational keywords—Happy, Eternity, Gratitude, Peace, Faith, Love and Hope and at 3 o’clock a display of 31 exclusive emojis comes alive. While the classic edition may be known as the ‘president’s watch’ this edition sets the president for emotions with a reaction to match.

2. Jacob & Co Billionaire Timeless Treasure


True to its name in every way possible, the Jacob & Co Billionaire Timeless Treasure is a unique piece for all the right reasons. A never been seen before array of Written 425 asscher-cut fancy yellow diamonds come together in a seamless setting exuding nothing less than sunshine. While most Jacob & Co timepieces are built to dazzle, this one in particular took three years to come to life. No small feat by any means, the invisible set piece then opens into a skeleton dial that is further framed with a green glow of tsavorites. Inspired by the impossible, “We've browsed the entire world for three and a half years in search of an unprecedented number of perfect gems, says CEO Benjamin Arabov.

3. Konstantin Chaykin Zebra Watch

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In the words of Konstantin Chaykin himself, the ‘wristmons’ collection looks at haute horlogerie from a different, non-standard point of view, reinventing watches as cinematic works of art. He dares to surprise by creating a whole new level of watch movements, ever-changing, spectacular and provocative. The zebra watch embodies the animal in every way possible, reimaging time and complications in true Konstantin Chaykin style. Reminiscent of the Minotaur Special Chinese New Year 2021 watch and joker time watches, the Zebra watch has a new-state-of-the-art calibre, K.33.3, for both the basic mechanism and the joker-indication module, marking the first automatic movement with a mini-rotor entirely designed and manufactured in Russia. The dial is relatively complex and comprises 40 parts, hours are shown in the left eye, and minutes in the right. The two letters that indicate the day of the week in Russian are indicated in the nostrils via two discs. And the tongue visible just under the nostrils functions as a crown-position indicator: when the crown is pulled to set the time, the colour of the tongue changes from white to red. All in all, a wild way to live in the moment.

4. Audemars Piguet John Mayer Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar

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Reinventing the Royal Oak with cache is something only John Mayer can do. While the quintessential grail watch always turns heads, this John Mayer edition is sure to lock eyes with everyone who sees it. The perpetual calendar dazzles in a ‘crystal sky’ dial which is essentially a brass dial plate finished with irregular shapes resembling crystals, whose sharp angles and facets add relief and brilliance to the piece. The almost osmium type dial gives rise to four subdials for month, day, date and moonphase. While the subdials are identical to the classic variant, smaller changes like a staggered ‘1’ in the date dial against 31 and 1 for easy visibility are what truly add the subtle nuances only a true watch enthusiast like John Mayer could add.

5. Franck Muller Heart

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Known for their loud and proud creations, Franck Muller has always been known to go all out with their creations. While most of them don’t hold back, the Heart series in particular truly embodies femininity and love in every way. The bezel is snow-set with diamonds and the signature ‘crazy numerals’ are emblazoned in red with a heart coupled with the elegant shape. Always jumps off the wrist, the watch is ideal as a gift for a loved one, to mark a romantic occasion or even a declaration of self love—ideal to make a statement.

6. Czapek & Cie Antarctique Frozen Star S


One of the most promising independent watch brands, Czapek & Cie’s Antarctique series makes a great case for a unique daily watch. The Frozen Star S is made of the rarest precious metal on Earth—Osmium. 1,500 times less of it than gold and 2,500 times less of it than silver, this material it is very hard to work with and extremely brittle. Presented in a 38.5mm stainless steel case and 10.6mm tall, it features contrasting brushed and polished finishing, which extends from the case onto the beautifully engineered integrated bracelet, with polished C shaped links that offsets the osmium dial perfectly.

7. Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tromp l’oeil


The minute the Bulgari Octo came in 2010 it has been setting ripples of virality ever since. The multi-record holder most recently was reimagined in its original artist’s most raw form—Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, BVLGARI Product Creation Executive Director’s sketches in the dial itself. For the house’s 140th anniversary, these special editions were created whilst keeping true to their beginnings. A preview into the artists' mind the tromp l’oeil skeleton watches are depicted and drawn via the movement's view with full text to explain different parts like the dial plate, jewels and more. A definitive sketch to summit effect, these Octo’s are meant to make an impact.

8. Simon Brette Chronomètre Artisans


Crafted with a true love for horology, Simon Brette only began in 2021. The label has since then been nominated for GPHG, has turned the world of horologie in a tizzy with its fine finishing and even been spotted at the Oscars this year. “During the pandemic, these craftsmen started to sell their tools and machines since they didn’t have enough work. So when I decided to work on my own watch, I collaborated with them. I wanted them to come up with their suggestions and fresh ideas for my watch, something they would be genuinely proud of. I wanted them to have a say in the final outcome while sharing their invaluable craft and know-how with me. Chronomètre Artisans is the first of the many such collaborative efforts that will bring them much-deserved recognition and glory, I hope,” explains founder and namesake Simon Brette. Chronomètre Artisans is a love affair of 20th century watchmaking with a contemporary flare, sure to invoke the reaction of ‘what’s that’ every time it's donned.

But while this list is only indicative, it's how you wear the watch that you love which truly sets it apart and more importantly, makes people pause time.