Naughty Or Nice? A Down-To-Earth (Under $5,000) Wish List Including Breitling, Baume & Mercier, Tutima, Nomos Glashütte, and Seiko Presage
Makin’ a list, checking it twice . . . The holiday season is almost upon us, and while “’tis the season to be jolly,” it is often also a time to hustle to find the perfect gifts for loved ones.
Haven’t we been good? I’d say we have been if we’re already working on this in November, so let’s take some time out to explore possible ideas for treating ourselves while waiting for Santa’s impending arrival and the mad rush of December.
Also – in case you needed another reason for watch shopping (I don’t) – a watch certainly would help navigate through stores to find everything on time. Here are five wallet-friendly suggestions that might just be the ultimate “tra la la la.”
Breitling Navitimer 1 Automatic 38 mm: the essence of an icon
Among the plethora of cool new pilot’s watch releases in 2018 (check some out in 3 Vintage-Inspired Pilot’s Watches For The Serious (And Less Serious) Aviator From Patek Philippe, Zenith, And Breitling), the Navitimer Automatic 38 mm is probably the most classically “Breitling” looking.
It’s perhaps surprising to find a 38 mm size in the model’s name as it is not a case diameter you often see from Breitling, with most going way beyond 40 mm.
Also, the case height of 10 mm is unusually svelte, but totally makes sense as the watch is intended for both men and women. And it does prove that a timeless design – the Navitimer harks back to the 1950s and has not changed much over half a century – works in smaller dimensions too.
The dial, available in three intriguing color options, features the distinctive aviation slide rule, the most recognizable element of the Navitimer and beloved by the many fans of this line. The redesigned ratcheted, beaded, bidirectionally rotating bezel further underscores this watch’s overall vintage appeal – a design reminiscent of the first generation of the Navitimer with the reference number 806.
Hardcore Navitimer fans might object that it is not a chronograph like most watches in this collection. But forgoing the totalizers makes for a very clean, purist dial design. With its smaller case, understated dial, classic styling, and matching leather strap, it could almost serve as a dress watch with a sporty-yet-elegant aura.
Three versions are available: a black and gray dial and a blue and cream dial with a steel case as well as a cream-colored dial with a two-tone case. With these appealing variations, the Navitimer 1 Automatic 38 could also make for the perfect partner watch.
For more information, please visit www.breitling.com/us-en/watches/navitimer/1.
Quick Facts Breitling Navitimer 1 Automatic 38
Case: 38 x 10.1 mm, stainless steel/pink gold
Movement: automatic Caliber 17 (based on Selitta SW300), power reserve 40 hours, official C.O.S.C. chronometer certificate
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds, date
Price: starting from $4,310
Tutima M2 Coastline: built to resist tough conditions
Earlier this year, the Saxon manufacture based in Glashütte’s mecca of fine watchmaking introduced a remarkably attractive and elegant sports watch at a very reasonable price point. As an extension of the M2 model family, the M2 Coastline draws some inspiration from the Tutima Military Chronograph introduced in 1984 and worn by the pilots of the German Federal Armed Forces through the 1990s.
As such, the 43 mm timepiece features a sturdy yet lightweight titanium case boasting a water resistance of 300 meters thanks to its screw-in crown and case back. The titanium case shimmers in a tasteful dark gray that goes very well with the dial’s graphite hue highlighted by a sunray finish.
Protected by an anti-reflective sapphire crystal, the M2 Coastline features luminous white hands and indices that contrast very well with the dark background.
The Tutima M2 Coastline is powered by Tutima Caliber 330, an automatic movement based on the reliable ETA 2836. It provides a day-date display at 3 o’clock.
For more information, please visit www.tutima.com/watch/m2-coastline.
Quick Facts Tutima M2 Coastline
Case: 43 x 12.9 mm, titanium
Movement: automatic Caliber 330 (based on ETA 2836), power reserve 38 hours
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds, date, day
Price: starting from $1,650
Baume & Mercier Clifton Baumatic: everyday luxury with a manufacture caliber
Folks were pretty impressed at the 2018 SIHH when Baume & Mercier presented the Clifton Baumatic with a new manufacture caliber featuring silicon technology in a very competitive price range.
It offers no less than four advanced technical features: a lengthy power reserve of 120 hours (which is about three times that of a standard movement), an official chronometer certificate, magnetic field resistance up to 1,500 Gauss, and a significantly longer service interval up to seven years.
The slim case and white-lacquered dial exude the classic elegance of the Clifton line, making for a picture-perfect dress watch. The elongated triangular markers and finely pointed alpha-style hands, as well as the crisp minute markers and Arabic numerals, contribute to intuitive readability.
With the intention of developing an affordable, well-designed and reliable timepiece, the very contemporary Clifton Baumatic is an ideal entry-level watch for everyday wear.
For more information, please visit www.baume-et-mercier.com/en/collections/clifton-baumatic-men/watch-clifton-baumatic.
Quick Facts Baume & Mercier Clifton Baumatic
Case: 40 x 10.3 mm, stainless steel
Movement: automatic Caliber Baumatic, power reserve 120 hours, official C.O.S.C. chronometer certificate
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds, date
Price: starting from $2,750
Nomos Glashütte Tangente neomatik 41 Update: a true classic with a clever twist
Fans of Nomos’s iconic Tangente line know that these timepieces present good value for money while pairing understated design with innovative in-house movements. At a glance the latest edition looks familiar, but closer inspection reveals a playful date display that is very typical for the brand’s refreshing personality.
Powered by the new Caliber DUW 6101, the Update – whose pun is surely intended – features an eye-catching date indication encircling its dial with two red marks that appear in alternating windows. Particularly legible, it can be easily set backward and forward.
The engine under the hood is true Glashütte-style sophistication: the first neomatik caliber with a date mechanism, it remains very slender at a height of just 3.6 mm, allowing for a likewise svelte case height.
Although some might object to the (for Nomos) somewhat larger diameter of 40.5 mm, this remains a Tangente through and through, just with an added very cool date indication that makes looking at it a real pleasure.
This model just won a prize in the Challenge category of the 2018 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.
For more information, please visit www.nomos-glashuette.com/en/tangente/tangente-neomatik-41-update.
Quick Facts Nomos Tangente neomatik 41 Update
Case: 40.5 x 7.5 mm, stainless steel
Movement: automatic manufacture Caliber DUW 6101, power reserve 42 hours
Functions: hours, minutes, central seconds, date
Seiko Presage SJE073: precision engineering meets fine craftsmanship
Here we go with another dress watch par excellence: a slimmer caliber and a new case construction provide Seiko’s 2018 limited edition Presage model with a notably elegant and contemporary appearance. Unassuming but handsome, well-endowed mechanically, and highlighting the art of engineering, it is an attractive proposal for a casual everyday watch with a pleasant price tag.
Caliber 6L35, accurate to within +15 to -10 seconds per day, was designed from the ground up to be thoroughly reliable, accurate, and very slim at a height of just 3.7 mm thanks to a clever case construction that sees the movement inserted from the front.
The round case polished with Seiko’s own Zaratsu technique and given a super-hard coating (both of which provide it with a mirror-like finish), sits comfortably and tightly on the wrist thanks to inwardly angled sides. A screw-in bezel allowing the watch to be opened when service is required is covered by a second bezel to hide the grooves, thus preserving the smooth lines of the original design.
Timeless styling also defines the dial, which features an intriguing texture. The blued steel of the second hand adds a dash of color to the purist style.
For more information, please visit www.seikowatches.com/global-en/products/presage/special.
Quick Facts Seiko Presage SJE073
Case: 40.7 x 9.8 mm, stainless steel
Movement: automatic manufacture Caliber 6L35, power reserve 45 hours
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date
Limitation: 1,881 pieces
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Love the Breitling and Presage. I actually love the Presage line and sincerely hope the new, predatory management at Seiko don’t ruin it. But for me, the Nomos is best.
And Tutima is definitely outclassed in this company.