A four-sided Reverso by Jaeger-LeCoultre made its debut this Watches & Wonders 2021. A 10-watch limited edition, all bells and whistles and beyond, it stole the show, despite the ‘astronomical’ € 1.35 million, the murmurs still have the ripple effect among the global collector fraternity. While we pen this out, apparently 8 out of 10 have been sold! Let’s be honest, as much as we would ‘want’ a watch like that, it was inaccessible to the majority of mortals, unless you were some billionaire Avenger, to afford a € 1.35 mil tag. As Joss Whedon once said “Don’t give people what they want, give them what they need”.
So, we did the same and hunted out the under ₹ 5 lacs novelties of 2021, that add prestige to your wrists and envy within the onlookers, meanwhile ensuring that you don’t go about breaking your fix-deposits, for the same.
BAUME & MERCIER
The Riviera has seen it all in its more than fifty years, and it still doesn’t look its age. Inspired by the carefree lifestyle of the French Riviera, this is the watch of casual elegance: a symbol of freedom and fun, taking an easygoing view of refined watchmaking. In 2021, the Riviera unveils a new generation. Equipped with the in-house BAUMATIC caliber, which has been known and acclaimed for several years, particularly through its success with the Clifton collection. The BAUMATIC movement also drives the ultimate interpretation of the Riviera by proposing –among other features – a five-day power reserve, a daily precision of -4 s /+6 s, and a magnetic resistance of 1500 Gauss, which provides solid protection against magnetic fields on an everyday basis. A technical jewel, the BAUMATIC Riviera clearly intends on addressing the expectations of future watch owners seeking excellence and irreproachable quality, being offered at ₹ 3,05,700
Tank Must Andy Warhol used to say “I don’t wear a Tank watch to tell the time. Actually, I never even wind it. I wear a Tank because it is the watch to wear!” Timeless, sure of itself and of the purity of its design, the Tank watch captures the zeitgeist in 2021. After more than a century, it has been reinvented with the Tank Must. Whether it’s the QuickSwitch patent (2018), which allows straps to be interchanged at home, or the latest photovoltaic dial found on the Tank Must watch, a modern alternative with a quartz movement. The invisible perforation of Roman numerals, whose openings allow solar energy to reach the photovoltaic cells hidden under the dial. It took two years for the development team to integrate this SolarBeatTM movement, with a lifespan of over 16 years, into the Tank Must, the first watch to benefit from this technology.
A pioneering watch that also introduces a bracelet produced in an innovative material that guarantees a high level of both quality and comfort. It is composed of around 40% plant matter, produced using waste from apples grown for the food industry in Switzerland, Germany and Italy.
Approximate Price: ₹ 2,28,000 – ₹ 2,50,000
Pilot 41mm While in the digital age, the appeal for analogue, is more about a sense of perspective, a sense of belonging, an attachment to history, of reliving an era gone by. No other complication is as popular as the chronograph. It owes its appeal partly to a distinctive design featuring sub-dials and pushbuttons that are the very essence of a “tool watch”. Apart from the integrated design and column wheel construction, however, there is another reason for the unusually high quality of the 69000-calibre family. It lies in the fact that IWC uses an integrated quality management system to monitor the entire process, from the development of the movement through parts production and assembly to final inspection. As early as the type of approval stage, a new calibre must meet the most stringent requirements. On a specially designed test bench, for example, push- buttons are actuated 30,000 times to test their resistance to wear and tear. We find the new quick-change aspect extremely practical, changing between a leather strap and a metal bracelet, with just a push. But more so, the joy of having an exhibition case-back on this column wheel chronograph makes one want to just start-stop-reset the chrono, watching the mechanism click into action. Just like a fascinated child riding up and down the elevator.
Approximate Price: ₹ 5,06,000
Metro neomatik 41 UpdateMetro neomatik 41 Update is the new release from NOMOS Glashütte. With date markers in neon orange and a dark gray textile strap, Metro neomatik 41 Update has a sporty edge. The watch already has two patents to its name: One for the pioneering date mechanism, the other for the unique date display on the dial, making the passage of the entire month visible to the wearer. Metro sits flush on the wrist; its delicately domed sapphire crystal glass slips easily under any shirt cuff. Its wire lugs, the crown with fine diamond knurling (inspired by high-grade watchmaking tools), the perfect dots of the minute markers—these are all distinctive features of this timepiece. Richly equipped and luxuriously decorated: DUW 6101, the date caliber of the new Metro Update model from NOMOS Glashütte. The engraving on the rotor is embossed and gold-plated; the quick-set date functions both forward and backward.
Approximate Price: ₹ 3,75,000
AquisPro Date Calibre 400The new watch becomes one of the highest spec Swiss Made mechanical diver’s watches ever produced. Calibre 400 deviated by less than 10 seconds a day after exposure to 2,250 gauss. Oris also proposes a 10-year recommended service interval on Calibre 400 watches. This means that barring accidental damage or water-resistance checks, the Calibre 400 watch won’t need servicing until 2030 at the earliest. The new AquisPro Date Calibre 400’s spec list continues with a high-grade, lightweight titanium case plated in low-glare black DLC that makes its 49.50 mm case diameter extremely comfortable on the wrist, while in use as tool-watch, else the size could be overbearing for daily use. So, if you are a pro-diver, this would be one of the finest mechanical diver’s watches out there, equipped with a water resistance 100 bar (1,000 m).
Approximate Price: ₹ 3,53,000
Aquaracer Professional 300If you’ve been a follower of TAG Heuer’s history, the signature 12 faceted bezel with a contemporary upgrade on the aesthetics, might just be the one for you. Of what began 40 years ago, the engineers at TAG Heuer have also gone under the skin, re-engineering the bezel’s internal tooth profile so that the rotating mechanism becomes smoother, quieter and easier to set. The result is a highly ergonomic device that delivers tangible improvements to the watch’s functionality. The new model has a wider, more sword-shaped hour hand (reminiscent of the last of the TAG Heuer 2000 Series, introduced in 2004) and a narrower minute’s hand to create a clearer distinction between the two hands in low-light conditions. The case, bezel and metal bracelet have all been slimmed down, without compromising the watch’s core performance features, such as water-resistance to 300 meters (30 bar), while also improving durability.
The new watch’s lugs are now shorter, while the case edge has been chamfered and polished to give more harmony to the watch’s visual impact and add refinement. As a result, on the wrist, the watch now has a more sophisticated profile, and is lighter and more ergonomic.
With seven different references, two sizes and a new bracelet fine adjustment system, the choices are ample to help you decide.
Approximate Price: ₹ 3,48,000
Designed for both men and women, the Black Bay 41, 36 and 32 models retain the aesthetics of the Black Bay line, particularly the characteristic angular “Snowflake” hands, as well as its reliability and long-standing connection to TUDOR divers’ watches. They possess a multifunctional sporty chic that effortlessly adapts to both formal occasions and more laid-back surroundings. Like all models in the Black Bay line, the Black Bay 41, 36 and 32 models adopt TUDOR’s characteristic angular “Snowflake” hands, which first appeared in the brand’s 1969 catalogue. The result of a subtle blend of traditional aesthetics and contemporary watchmaking, the Black Bay line is far from simply being an identical re-release of a classic. It brings together nearly 70 years of TUDOR divers’ watches, whilst at the same time being resolutely anchored in the present. Although neo-vintage in conception, its manufacturing techniques, robustness, reliability, precision and the quality of its finish exceed today’s industry standards.
Approximate Price: $US 2,850 – $US 3,050