Horology - Time is money
We'll check the time. All the time. On our smartphone. The oven, the TV and all sorts of gadgets constantly show time as a digital fingerprint on our work. So maybe it's no wonder that fewer and fewer people wear an 'old-fashioned' wristwatch.
But a beautiful, exclusive watch is so much more than just a way to tell the time. And fortunately, for many men, the wristwatch is an essential - not to say indispensable - part of their attire. For them, it's about having the watch that no one else has. Or at least anything other than a digital Apple Watch or a random mass-produced one bought at the supermarket kiosk.
Because it doesn't have to be exclusive and expensive. It should reflect your personality and maybe even your success in life. That's why Swiss watchmakers like Rolex, Omega and Breitling are still popular. And for people with an extraordinarily well-padded wallet and horological collector's mania, it needs to be even more unique: like, for example, an uncompromising watch like the Minute Repeater from Patek Philippe for 2,992,200 kr.
But it doesn't have to knock the bottom out of your retirement savings to realise your dream of a beautiful wristwatch. And who knows? Maybe it'll be the start of a new private watch collection.
First and foremost, the advice from the experts is to buy with your heart. But also with a good eye for when the new wristwatch should be strapped to the wrist. There is a difference between wearing it with a classic suit, on a hunting trip or on the golf course.
"Ten years ago, the clocks could hardly get big enough. A diameter of +50 mm and a thickness of up to 14-15-16 mm was not unusual. It was the watch that came with the man," says Zabrina Gregersen of Klarlund Jewellery in Copenhagen. "Right now we are seeing watches getting smaller, or maybe just more moderate in size, around 40-42 mm in diameter. It's practicality that counts. The massive watches just don't work very well with shirts and suits. So it's the more classic and perhaps more 'dressy' watches that are popular today.”
She stresses that even if you're looking for an exclusive watch that doesn't fit on everyone else's wrist, it doesn't have to cost a fortune. There's a beautiful watch for every budget. We've found five watches to suit the modern man.
1. TAG Heuer: a good place to start
With fewer and fewer men wearing wristwatches on a daily basis, it's not prohibitively expensive to get started on watch collecting. For example, with a sporty watch from TAG Heuer. Not only do you get a watch from a quality Swiss manufacturer. You also get history in the bargain. It's the story of Edouard Heuer, who founded Uhrenmanufaktur Heuer AG in St-Imier. Over the years, TAG Heuer has produced watches for Luftwaffe pilots during the war and for racing drivers, among others. The most famous is probably the TAG Heuer Monaco, worn by Steve McQueen in the 1970 cult film Le Mans. The rectangular watch is still in production and can be purchased for around 40,000 kr.
TAG Heuer is the epitome of classic design, style and speed. A great example is the TAG Heuer Formula One Chronograph. A beautiful watch in a steel case and with a size of 43 mm in diameter. Complete with tachymeter (speedometer) and woven strap in blue, white and orange. At a price of around 10,000 Kr, it is certainly a watch to be noticed.
2. Omega: Moonwatch
If it's history that counts most, an Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch could be the thing. It's a replica of the watches worn by American astronauts during the Apollo missions in the 1960s. Omega produced a wide range of watches for NASA. The most famous even went on a spacewalk with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin when they landed on the moon on July 20, 1969.
The iconic watch with the domed crystal is now available in a 42 mm steel version with a black rubber strap. The price is just over 45.000 Kr.
3. Panerai: Italian elegance
Panerai is also a brand whose history goes back a long way. It is Italian design and Swiss watchmaking at its best. The story begins in Florence in 1860, when Panerai made precision instruments for the Italian navy. Today, precision watches are Panerai's metier. Take, for example, a Panerai Submersible 42 mm, an evolution of a watch the company designed for the Egyptian navy in the 1950s. For just over 72,000 kr, you get an iconic watch with the distinctive crown protector, which ensures that things don't get stuck around the crown or that the crown accidentally pulls out and water gets into the watch while diving. The watch can hold water up to 300 metres below sea level.
4. Glashütte Original: German precision
Glashütte is a small town south of Dresden in the south-eastern corner of Germany. It is a watch brand with a somewhat tumultuous history. The threads actually stretch back to 1845. But it's after the Second World War that things start to get messy. For in 1951, East Germany forces a merger with nine other watchmakers in the area. Only after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 does Glashütte Original appear as an independent brand. And now we're up in a class where watches easily cost 100,000 kr or more. A beautiful example is the Glashütte Original Senator Chronograph in steel and with a diameter of 42 mm. The price is just over 105.000 kr.
5. Blancpain: the world's first brand
With a Blancpain Villeret Quantième, we are in a price range - and horological quality - that attracts collectors who want a watch that is truly special. The case is in rose gold, the strap in alligator leather. This is a moon-phase watch, which in addition to the time also shows the moon's journey from new moon to full moon. Although today it is mostly of interest to surfers and recreational sailors who need to follow the moon's influence on high and low tides, it is still an exclusive timepiece that is sought after by collectors.
Blancpain was founded as early as 1735 by Jehan-Jaques Blancpain. It is quite simply the world's first registered watch brand. Production is concentrated in the two Swiss towns of Le Sentier and Le Brassus, where the watchmakers create the beautiful watches. The Villeret Quantième costs around 182,000 kr. But you also get a four-year guarantee!