The luxury watch industry’s obsession with stainless steel kickstarted in the 1970s. Audemars Piguet’s revolutionary Royal Oak was the timepiece that sparked the craze for “sports luxe”, a technical oxymoron until the trend caught on with other brands. Since then, the desire for stainless steel ro cketed before consumer trends dictated that more precious materials and other innovations in the field took over. This year, stainless steel is coming back but at a slighter price. This can be explained by the perceived downturn in the watch world but more brands have been offering stainless steel models and new collections as a way to bring the material back to the forefront. We’re hardly complaining. Steel is, after all, one of the most durable materials in the world of watchmak ing and a great way to buy into some of the industry’s best brands. From stainless steel dress watches to the resurgence of sports luxe, watch lovers who want a little heft on the wrist now have more options when considering their next piece.
blancpain Villeret Quantième Annuel GMT
There are two reasons why Blancpain’s latest should tickle a watch lover’s fancy. First, an annual calendar in steel is a rarity in the luxury watch industry. Second, it’s the only GMT that does away with a central GMT hand. Instead, the 24-hour subdial sits at eight o’clock, almost like a sub-seconds.
girard-perregaux heritage Laureato
The Laureato first made its appearance in 1975 alongside other sports luxe watches but its new incarnation isn’t quite the quartzcarrying watch it used to be. Re-released this year for Girard-perregaux’s 225th anniversary, the new Laureato boasts a mechanical movement with 46 hours of power reserve.
jaquet droz Grande Seconde Dual Time
One of the more contemporary offerings from Jaquet Droz in a while, the Grande Seconde Dual Time in onyx dial is a simple and elegant approach to the GMT function while maintaining the brand’s iconic figure eight aesthetic. The watches are a first in steel, outside of its sportier SW Steel series.
Glashütte original Senator excellence
A classic dress watch with a brand new in-house movement that boasts 100 hours of power reserve, a silicon balance spring, rigorous testing and a promise of accuracy to match, you can understand why we’re very, very happy that Glashütte Original decided to include a steel version in the mix this year.
vacheron constantin overseas chronograph
It’s safe to nod and say, “Sports luxe is making its return.” Vacheron Constantin’s newest (well, technically not) is by no means vintage. The new movement powering it bears the Hallmark of Geneva (a first for the Overseas) and features a column-wheel operation, all while looking every bit as stunning.
Rolex oyster perpetual cosmograph daytona
Last year, Rolex showed off the white gold version of its beloved GMT Master II with the ceramic Pepsi Cola bezel and the world took to it like ducks to water. Building on the success of reinvigorating past collections, the Crown unveiled a new version of the absolute fan favourite, the Cosmograph Daytona this year. Made in 904L steel, with a monobloc Cerachrom bezel in black ceramic, the new Daytona is a handsome tribute to the long history of this legendar y chronograph. It’s relatively close to the vintage 1960s Panda dial with full black sub-dials that we love. It might throw people off at first, but we’re confident that this v ersion (the reference 116500LN ) will soon have its own fans.