It’s been less than a week since the 2017 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) closed its doors, but the dust is finally starting to settle. After six days of non-stop watch gazing in Geneva, the HODINKEE team returned home with full notebooks, thousands of photos, and more than a few opinions on the year’s first big batch of new releases. To kick off a short series of stories sharing our editors’ favorite picks from the hundreds of new watches, we asked each team member to pick the one all-purpose watch they’d want to wear day in and day out. It’s a tough question, but we got some pretty great answers.
Cara Barrett – Little Lange 1 Moon Phase
While some might look at this watch and think it’s not the most practical choice, I would totally rock this everyday. No question. The Little Lange 1 Moon Phase has just the right amount of elegant details that Lange does so well. The dial is solid gold with understated guilloché engraving throughout, and the soft rose gold (not too yellow or coppery) case measures a near-perfect 36.8mm in diameter. The manual-winding caliber L121.2 has a 72-hour power reserve and accounts for the phases of the moon
€38,500 (approximately $41,350 at time of publishing); alange-soehne.com
Ben Clymer – Cartier Drive Extra Flat
It’s as if Cartier could read my mind with this one, taking what was already the most interesting mens watch to come from the brand in years (the Drive was introduced this time last year) and making it even more reduced, more pure, more me! The Drive Extra Flat is smaller, down to 38.5mm, thinner, manually wound using a great Piaget caliber, and the dial is void of both guilloche and a date. It would be hard to design a better version of the Drive and a watch this special deserves the golden treatment (though steel would be great, as we all can agree). This is a Cartier men’s watch to be worn daily, but worn daily by a true purist, and it’s the first time in a while I can say that about a Cartier.
$15,600 (rose gold), $16,700 (white gold, limited to 200 pieces); cartier.com
Jack Forster – Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Extra-Thin In Yellow Gold With Gold Dial
The Royal Oak “Jumbo” in yellow gold is not exactly a wristwatch you’d ordinarily think of as “everyday” in the usual sense of the word. For one thing, it’s a Royal Oak; for another thing, it’s a solid yellow gold Royal Oak, which is probably one of the most unapologetically yellow gold watches you can wear short of a Rolex Day-Date. In a funny way, this is why I think it’s the perfect everyday watch. Certainly, it’s a wearable size and certainly it’s going to be comfortable on just about any but the largest or smallest wrists, but what really makes it great for daily wear is that it brings a definite bit of attitude to the table, especially with the gold-colored dial – when it comes to gold, might as well go all in.
Stephen Pulvirent – Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Date
Every conversation I had at SIHH this year eventually circled back around to the new Master Control Date with an old-school sector dial. The steel case is pretty much the ideal size at 39mm x 8.5mm and the two-tone sector dial looks extremely high-end. Honestly, I wouldn’t have blinked if the folks at Jaeger had told me this watch cost twice the price. Sure, a lot of folks could do without the date, but it doesn’t bother me at all, and I really like the open hands, which keep the look light and airy. Something tells me I’ll be seeing a lot of this watch later this year…
Arthur Touchot – Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Extra-Thin In Yellow Gold With Blue Dial
If you’re going to be wearing a single wristwatch day in day out, it’s got to be an icon. And it doesn’t get much more iconic than the Royal Oak Ultra-Thin “Jumbo.” After a short manufacturing hiatus, the yellow gold Jumbo is back in the ref. 15202, and boy did I miss it. This time it comes with two dial options and their impact on the overall look of the watch is not to be underestimated. I’m a fan of the vintage feel you get with the gold dial, but, if I’m honest, it’s not an easy wristwatch to wear on a regular basis. The blue tapisserie dial on the other hand would relegate my current daily-wear back to the watch pouch – for a little while at least.
Louis Westphalen – A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Annual Calendar
It is not a modest choice, but I really could see myself wearing the new A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Annual Calendar on a daily basis. It looks amazing on the wrist, with one of the most balanced dials you can find anywhere. I would not have expected to say that about a watch that went without the most distinctive of all Lange features, the split oversized date window, yet, there is no arguing that it looks much better without, even getting a bit of the golden Patek 3940 look with its stunning moonphase. This 1815 offers what Lange does best: a sumptuously finished manual-wound movement, a simple but beautiful 40mm case, and a single pusher on the right side reminiscent of the very first Saxonia released in 1994.
€37,500 (approximately $39,915 at time of publishing); alange-soehne.com