One of the greatest things about BaselWorld is the ability to see all the new watches and think about what watches I’d buy for what use. As Europa Star’s resident sports watch authority (I’ve been writing about sports watches for longer than I care to remember and I might be the only one on the staff to have broken a sweat since the last BaselWorld), I keep a special eye out for sports watches. I can see myself donning these watches before my run or to time my next sparring session, or any number of other activities.
This year, I was charged to group the new sports watches in different price categories, comparing apples to apples will be an interesting way to look at this year’s great new sports watches.
Under 1000 Euros
Under €1000 is a busy price range, as there is so much available. It’s really tough to get anything really robust under €500, and if you are a fan of Swiss mechanical movements, you are going to have a tough time finding something to buy. There are some mechanical watches under €500, but not with Swiss movements. It’s true that in watches, especially when you are in the lower price ranges, you get what you pay for. All the extra features you have come to love in sports watches (high water resistance, great luminosity and readability, rotating bezels, chronographs and other complications, better quality, great design, toughness and more) have a price tag attached.
Here are the best offerings this year for the under €1000 section.
The TechnoMarine Locker comes directly from the beaches of St. Tropez, with the strap modelled after the bracelets from the beach lockers there. This 40mm stainless-steel quartz chronograph is water-resistant to 200 metres and retails for €410-430, depending on the colour. The strap and the matching colour cover are instantly interchangeable as well.
The Divemaster from Victorinox Swiss Army was a big hit when it was introduced a few years ago, and now it comes in a smaller size, perfect for women who want a rugged, water-resistant timepiece that has feminine touches. The 38mm quartz Divemaster 500 comes in steel with a Black Ice matte anthracite coating and is still water resistant to 500 metres, rare for a women’s watch. This diver’s watch retails for €625 (€650 for the green/gold version).
The Locman Change is a watch where you can quickly and easily swap out the strap, depending on your mood and your outfit. It comes in a gents’ version, the One, and a woman’s version, the Donna. The One is a chronograph, which can be either mechanical or quartz, while the ladies’ is a three-hand quartz. The Change ranges from €315-595, with additional straps available separately.
Skywatch is a new line of watches from the former founder of Oceanaut watches. Very well priced and attractively designed, these watches, which are water resistant to 100 metres, are meant to be impulse purchases yet have the quality to last several seasons. The black and grey Skywatch Chrono pictured here retails for €395.
A limited edition for Tissot’s ambassador, basketball pro Tony Parker, the new PRS 330 Chrono Quartz Tony Parker features a quartz chronograph movement, Parker’s number 9 highlighted on the dial and the caseback, a bright orange strap, along with orange details on the watch. Limited to 4999 pieces, the PRS 330 Chrono Quartz Tony Parker retails for €465.
Alpina has had a resurgence of late, and last year’s introduction of the pilot’s watches was very successful. This year, Alpina continues with the very attractive Extreme Diver’s Collection. Powered by an automatic movement, this 44mm stainless steel timepiece is water resistant to 300 metres and comes on a rubber strap or a steel mesh bracelet. Alpina, since its relaunch, has been about value for money and the Extreme Diver collection continues this trend, priced at €995 on a rubber strap and €1095 on a metal bracelet. At BaselWorld, Alpina announced that actor/director William Baldwin will be the face of the campaign for this new collection. (Continued... Part 2)
Source: Europa Star June - July 2012 Magazine Issue