10 reasons to ignore smart watches and build a collection of classic horological pieces
It was about time the Foundry team started to build apps for Apple Watch and Android Wear Smart Watches. In our initial research and early tests we found interesting the integration of traditional functions (time, chronograph and world timer ) with the ability to additionally search the internet using your voice, tracking your exercise over GPS and make payments without grabbing your wallet.
However, we are passionate about classic horological pieces and nostalgia about different movements makes us re think if we would actually wear a Pebble Time or a Gear G2 with the same pride as an Omega Speedmaster, Patek Nautilus, Monaco Heuer or even a Montblanc Star Retrograde.
We must applaud initiatives from traditional watchmaker house Tag Heuer to bring to the market Tag Heuer Connected which at first sight looks like a regular Tag Heuer watch, but after getting it on your hand you notice it’s quite a bulky piece.
But, whilst we are aware wearable technology and smartwatches in particular are here to stay, we found 10 reasons to stick to manual and mechanical pieces for our personal enjoyment. Those 10 reasons are our 10 favorite watches. Not only the pieces are beautiful and the movements perfectly designed, but their websites are excellent portfolios which we admire for their functionality, design and creative balance.
We hope you enjoy our selection and agree with our collection of websites and key master pieces per brand.
1. Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch
The OMEGA Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch is one of OMEGA’s most iconic timepieces. Having been a part of all six lunar missions, the legendary Speedmaster is an impressive representation of the brand’s adventurous pioneering spirit.
For well over half a century, the OMEGA Speedmaster has witnessed events that have tested the limits of physical endurance and human courage, including the first manned lunar landing in July of 1969 and every one of NASA’s piloted missions since March of 1965.
2. Patek Philippe Nautilus
The unparalleled renown and prestige that Patek Philippe has acquired amongst connoisseurs is not due solely to the perfection of the watches and the resources of knowledge and skill contained in the workshops.
This undisputed supremacy also stems from the consistency with which the company has applied its philosophy of excellence ever since it was founded in 1839. That spirit is embodied in ten values that have always represented the very essence of Patek Philippe and will continue to do so for generations to come.
Designed by the horological legend Gerald Genta, the 1976 Patek Philippe Nautilus burst onto scene as Patek Philippe’s first steel sports watch. Sealing the case from water were two ‘ears’ that gave the Nautilus its distinctive shape, whilst the integrated bracelet was like no Patek Philippe seen before.
3. Jaeger Le Coultre Reverso
Jaeger-LeCoultre is an authoritative brand of luxury horology, revered among watch connoisseurs and aficionados. Over the years Jaeger-LeCoultre have produced eye-wateringly exquisite timepieces, a noticeable feat includes inventing the smallest mechanical movement ever made in 1929 and ever since striving to break the boundaries and create timepieces that push the limits of what was thought possible of a wristwatch. Enter the upper echelons of the luxury watch world and become part of the history of a brand that promotes and treasures the passing on of specialist knowledge.
The Reverso is one of the rare true icons of luxury watchmaking. It is the legendary reversible watch invented in the 1930s for polo players who wanted to be able to protect the crystals of their watches, which featured pure, geometric silhouettes inspired by the Art Deco movement. This model in steel features a silvered vertical Guilloché dial with black alligator leather strap. An enticingly professional-looking watch, steeped in tradition yet accommodating to the needs of the modern man.
4. IWC Portugieser Annual Calender
With its passion for innovation and technical inventiveness, IWC Schaffhausen has established an international reputation. Since 1868, the Swiss watch manufacturers have been creating masterpieces of haute horlogerie that combine precision engineering with exclusive design.
IWC’s newly developed annual calendar Portugieser (Portuguese) is another attractive complication. Located at “12 o’clock” on the dial, the annual calendar shows the month, date and day in three separate, semicircular windows.
The newly developed annual calendar shows the month, date and day in three separate, semicircular windows. The date advance system takes the different lengths of the months into account. Only February and the leap years need to be corrected manually using the crown. The new IWC-manufactured 52850 calibre has two barrels that together generate a seven-day power reserve.
5. Officine Panerai Radiomir 1940 Equation 8 Days
When the Royal Italian Navy turned to Panerai in 1936 for a reliable, water-resistant watch, the result was the Radiomir. It was followed by the equally iconic Luminor, which, like the Radiomir, takes its name from the luminescent material Panerai developed to make its watches legible in dark conditions.
The Radiomir 1940 Equation of Time 8 Days displays a sophisticated complication called the “equation of time” by a linear indicator on the dial. The difference between the mean time indicated by a watch and the true time indicated by the solar meridian is called the “equation of time” and it is the result of the combination of the Earth’s inclination and its elliptical orbit. The linear equation of time indicator displays this difference in time and it is set automatically when the date and the month are set on the watch.
6. Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT Master II
Although the GMT-Master was designed essentially for professional use, its combination of peerless functionality and rugged good looks has attracted a wider travelling public. As well as appreciating its ability to display different time zones, these travellers admire the robustness and versatile appearance that make the GMT-Master eminently suitable for globetrotting and, indeed, for any occasion.
Pioneer of the wristwatch since 1905, Rolex is at the origin of landmark innovations in watchmaking, including the first waterproof wristwatch – the Oyster – and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism. For over a century, Rolex watches have accompanied explorers and achievers around the world, from the top of the highest mountains to the deepest reaches of the ocean.
7. Tag Heuer Monaco
This Monaco is a faithful update of TAG Heuer’s square-cased original. All the design cues from the 1969 original are there: the retro blue dial, those square, round-edged subdials with sporty red hands and of course, the iconic square case. The sapphire crystal case back through which the automatic movement can be viewed is a modern touch, and a welcome one at that.
8. Breitling Navitimer
The favorite watch of pilots and dedicated aeronautical enthusiasts since 1952, the Navitimer 01 combines a technical and original design with Manufacture Breitling Caliber 01 – a true gem of reliability and performance.
This legendary model is distinguished by its steel case and its black dial with a red seconds hands, silver chronograph counters and applied hour-markers or numerals. It is also available in a red gold version with other dial colors. Its bidirectional ratcheted rotating bezel ensures smooth and easy handling of the famous circular aviation slide rule.
9. Cartier Tank Anglaise
The Tank story takes an unexpected turn with the Tank Anglaise. This variation on the distinctive features of the Tank recreates the perfect alignment of the original with a winding mechanism seamlessly incorporated into the case. Featuring a concentrated form and emboldened lines, the reinforced design reinterprets the original model with proportion to spare.
10. Montblanc Star Retrograde
Watches from Montblanc are extraordinary timepieces, uniting traditional craftsmanship with modern technology and innovative materials.
In finest Swiss watchmaking tradition, the skilled hands of Montblanc’s expert watchmakers create watches of exceptional calibre. Their pursuit of ultimate perfection and performance is rooted in knowledge and passion handed down over generations and fueled by groundbreaking innovations. Immaculately crafted with an eye for refined detail, these timepieces make the craft of watchmaking an art form.