You wonder why anyone in the age of mobile phones bothers to wear a watch. In reality it does not matter that a phone is more accurate than most mechanical watches, what matters is that phones are a dime a dozen where as watches reflect the personality of the wearer and are regarded as a piece of jewellery. So here are 5 of my favourite (relatively) affordable watches:
Bomberg 1968 Chronograph
A young Swiss watchmaking company reinvented the 1968 Chronograph with a sandblasted gunmetal PVD 44mm case and an orange dial.
This is the iconic Bomberg model representing the roots of the brand. The hands are ‘superluminous’ coated (glow in the dark) and the watch has a Ronda 3520D quartz movement and a silicone strap.
Water resistant to 10ATM. The 1968 Chronograph has a retro inspired “Bullhead” configuration, which means that the crown and pushers are positioned at 12 o’clock instead of 3 o’clock like most watches.
This is a design popularized back in the late 60s and early 70s due to the increased popularity of motor sports.
What is most unusual is the asymmetrical design of the watch case, allowing the watch to follow the contours of your wrist, making it a lot more comfortable to wear.
This watch is Swiss designed and assembled and has a striking appearance.
Sold online or at Fredman SVW in the Strand Arcade, Sydney.
Tissot Heritage Visodate Automatic
This lovely 40mm stainless steel watch is sold with silver dial on leather strap with folding buckle and a domed sapphire glass to accentuate readability.
A 1950s watch design when Tissot first integrated a date feature into their automatic mechanical watches to celebrate their centenary.
The watch is water resistant to 30m/3ATM and although bucking the trend for bigger watches this one has real presence.
This is a watch nerd’s timepiece, from most good jewellers, such as Grahams in South Australia, and good watch stores.
Mondaine EVO Swiss Quartz Watch
This watch always makes me smile. It looks exactly like a miniature version of the railway clock that hangs in every train station in Switzerland and is watched by millions of commuters.
Love the white dial accentuated by a red strap and foremost the red circle at the tip of the second hand. The design was commissioned by the Federal Swiss Railways in 1944 and designer Hans Hilfiker certainly came up with the goods.
The Bernheim family launched a collection of wristwatches in 1986 and the iconic design has spread to every corner of the world. It has to be one of the most easily readable watches on the market.
A 1925 Luminox Field Atacama Quartz
Luminox makes watches for ‘extreme’ use, be that government agencies such as army, police, navy, SWAT teams or divers and pilots, and the 1925 Field Atacama is part of their ‘Land’ series 1920s watches.
The field watch dates back to the 1880s and gained popularity during the WWI when trench fighting demanded a watch small enough to be worn on the wrist, easily readable and exceptionally waterproof and shock resistant. The Luminox Field Atacama 1925 met all those criteria.
It’s a big watch with a 45mm black brushed stainless steel case, brown leather band, black dial and brown markers, water resistant to 200m and extremely easy to read at night or under water.
View online and Fredman SVW, Sydney
Melbourne Watch Company ‘Carlton’ Chronograph
The Carlton is a classically-styled dress watch with a 42mm stainless steel, rose gold plated case and an ultra-modern Seiko VK64 mecha-quartz hybrid movement with a flyback reset and a 1/5 second chrono hand sweep.
On the back, the watch features a relief of Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building, a historic landmark located in the inner-city suburb of Carlton.
The hands are C3 super-luminous coated and the watch is water-resistant to 50m/5ATM. Designed in Australia and built in Hong Kong this is a reliable, elegant time piece that will serve you well for years.
Available from the Melbourne Watch Company.
* Franz Scheurer runs Franz Scheurer Photography and FSP Advertising Agency. He also writes about food, wine and travel at Australian Gourmet Pages, the website and e-newsletter he founded in 1998, and is an amateur horologist.
You’ll find Franz on Twitter as @blues_junkie.