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WATCHES ONES TO WATCH


Just what will ‘those in the know’ be wearing on their wrists in the coming year? Jane Le Maistre Smith takes a look at the latest watch trends


WHEN IT comes to fashion, women, many might argue, have far more opportunity to express themselves than men. In the realm of the timepiece, however, men compete at least on an equal footing – some may even say they have the upper hand. As a fashion accessory, the watch takes


some beating for either sex. Even more so now, because in a world where everyone has a mobile phone, many of us are choosing to forego a watch entirely, leaving the watch wearers to stand out in a crowd. As a result, a watch speaks volumes about the person it adorns. As far as the major trends that filter


down to the shop floor from Geneva’s Swiss watch fairs are concerned, this year there are three that seem to stand head and shoulders above the rest: heritage, oversized and military. However, there’s always room for something different from most of the suppliers, be it quirky and cool or a whole new area that a brand isn’t known for. Here is exactly what we think you should be checking out this summer and autumn.


Classic style One definition of heritage is ‘classically derived’, and this is the trend that is proving to be the strongest theme this year, with reactionary design-led pieces having a revolutionary edge. As a general rule of thumb, there tend to be fewer ‘extras’ on these watches, but those that are included are very useful, such as longer power reserves and dual time-zone functions. The IWC Portofino Dual Time is a


good example. While its classic lines, slim elegant face and black alligator strap hark back to the 1930s, the decidedly modern twist of the second time-zone function brings it bang up to date. The fact that


Ebel’s Classic Sport collection


it is a large watch (at 45mm wide) means that it fulfils the other current trend on the market by being oversized as well. Ebel have included 38 hours of power


reserve time in their new Classic sport range – which is proving a worthy heir to the classic watches that the company launched in 1977. The Grande model has a fabulous red dial while the ladies’ watch has diamonds set into a mother-of-pearl face. Yet the whole range is uncluttered and timelessly elegant. The ‘monohull’ case design means that the watch case is one piece. Everything is put into place via the top, where a screwed down bezel and


sapphire crystal hold it all together. The result is simple and clean. Also worthy of note is the new JLC


Reverso Ultra Thin – another timeless example of superb design. However, while this piece seems to be attracting a lot of media coverage, when it comes to sheer wearability the standard production model may well have the edge for the man on the street. This rectangular-faced watch is, as the name suggests, very thin, and though you have to wind it manually, teamed with its black leather strap and white textured face it has elegance written all over it.


While heritage styles tend to have fewer ‘extras’, those included are very useful, such as longer power reserves and dual time-zone functions ➔ August/September 2011 businesslife.co 63


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