The Time Is Right

This article appeared in Elements Magazine in 2004.

 

A timepiece can tell a lot about a person: their dreams, ambitions, and desires all carried on a wrist. Even during a boring business meeting, one can look at one’s diving watch and be reminded of a vacation in a tropical paradise. While waiting on a bank line, just a glance at a bejeweled chronometer can cut the tedium like a diamond through glass. Yet, life is more than meetings or chores—it’s about doing, seeing, and enjoying one’s days. Just as one changes one’s clothing to suit different activities, so should a wristwatch reflect the moment.

Best Watch to Wear While Skydiving

Remember to synch your watch...and open the chute!

Skydiving is risky business and the last thing you want is your watch to, um, crash. I suggest donning a Bell & Ross Space 3 (around $2,000) because this high-tech timepiece has even traveled aboard the Space Shuttle (it’s the first automatic-movement chronograph to do so). The Space 3 features rubber stopwatch buttons that are ergonomically integrated into its brushed steel or titanium case. Besides, if you miss your skydiving plane, you can always boast that you’re wearing a real “astronaut watch.”

Best Diving Watch

Rolex's ulitmate "tool" watch, the Sea Dweller.

The ultimate men’s diving watch is a Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 (about $4,400). This is a rare model that comes sans the date magnifier on the crystal, but with a special valve enabling it to withstand decompression. Hewn from a solid chunk of stainless steel, the Sea-Dweller can withstand depths of up to 4,000 feet of the salty brine.

Hey, even fish need to see bling sometime.

For ladies, there’s Audemars Piguet’s  Royal Oak Gem-Set (around $15,000), which has a classic case and bracelet in 18-carat yellow gold and stainless steel, and a bezel set with diamonds. It’s water-resistant to only 165 feet. (What lady is foolish enough to follow her man down to 4,000 feet anyway?)

Best Automobile Racing Watch

Inspired by a legendary car race, the Chopard has a rubber strap with a Dunlop racing tire pattern.

Speed and style have always gone hand-in-hand, and the timepiece that most exemplifies this is the Chopard Mille Miglia chronometer chronograph (starting at approximately $2,500). Crafted of titanium, gold, or stainless steel, the Mille Miglia is named after a famous Italian road race. While the stopwatch function is useful, nothing comes close to the sensation of speed like the Mille Miglia’s 1950s racing tire-inspired rubber band.

Best Watch For a Black Tie Function (Men’s)

Why shoot for the stars when your watch costs as much as the moon?

Black tie events are a drag:  weddings, charity events, or some other affair where you’ll have to part with money. Yet, one should look the role, and the Patek Philippe 18-carat white gold Celestial Watch (about $160,000) looks so good it should receive an Oscar. The Celestial features a self-winding movement with a sky chart, plus the phases and orbits of the moon. After all, during a lengthy wedding toast or a tribute speech, a gentleman can gaze at the regal blue dial and dream about the heavens—acquiring them, that is.

Best Watch For a Black Tie Function (Women’s)

It's fit for a Queen alright--Naples, Italy or Florida.

For an elegant soiree, a lady best leaves the “flash” to her couture or her jewels; a tacky watch can ruin an ensemble. Simple is the key, and class is queen. Thus, I proffer to m’lady the Breguet Reine de Naples (about $26,000), which has a bezel set with 128 diamonds. This lithe masterpiece has a power-reserve and phases of the moon indicators. (A lady should match her gentleman and what better to have in common than the stars?)

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