It was back in the murky throws of January that the GQ’s crack watch team decamped to Geneva to take in all the brand-new men's watches from the Richemont Group stable.
From the ultra-elegant relaunch of Cartier’s Santos Dumont – our new dream day watch – to Jaeger LeCoultre’s smart new Reverso Small Seconds red (it’s more of a burgundy to our eyes, but hey ho), the watches on offer in the hallowed surrounds of the Salon International de la Haute Horologerie Geneve, were among the most intriguing in recent years – a return to form, if you will, for many of the world’s most beloved watch marques.
Where in recent years the brands have focused primarily on producing cheaper, steel takes on classic mechanical styles, for 2019 there’s been a noticeable return to savoir faire. Beautiful – and expensive – watches being made well, purely for horology’s sake. It was the same in Basel, with the likes of Patek Philippe, Rolex and Tag Heuer producing elegant, highly wearable pieces imbued with a new confidence, a luxurious ‘haute’ appeal.
Trends-wise? There’s definitely a thing for salmon pink dials (look to Montblanc, Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe for the best), while souped-up driving watches are going to be big news for the whole of 2019.
All of which is a long way round saying, there’s never been a better time to be interested in – or consider buying – a new men's watch. Helpfully, our chronometer-rated consigliere, Simon de Burton, has hewn the wheat from the chaff to deliver his final adjudication of what actually matters in the world of watchmaking. Enjoy.
How do I choose a men's watch?
1) Swiss brands are usually the safest bet
If the movement in your automatic or mechanical timepiece is built in-house by a major Swiss marque, it’ll most likely be of a better quality than one which has been mass-produced externally.
2) Check the lugs for sharp edges
If the lugs or case of your watch feature any sharp edges, the watch hasn’t been finished properly and is a wider sign of poor manufacture.
3) Make sure you can swim with it
Always opt for a watch which is - at the very least - water resistant to 50 meters. This doesn’t mean you can take your watch to a depth of 50 meters, but rather that you can swim with it normally.
4) Invest in scratch-resistant glass
Try and opt for a watch finished with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass. Anything less and the slightest bash will leave your watch in a very bad way indeed.