With Melbourne’s world famous Spring Racing Carnival now in full swing, there’s a fair bit of chatter about what sort of watch you should be wearing to accompany your (let’s face it) inevitably blue suit.
Now, if you’re planning to rock a three-piece, firstly kudos to you, and secondly, definitely consider a pocket watch – Longines has just released a great example, which actually honours their long affiliation with the noble sport of horse racing.
However, for the rest of us who are planning to keep time via a wrist-worn timepiece, there are a great many options for such an occasion, and while we understand that personal preference will always dictate the end result, there certainly are criteria that should be abided by.
For a start, suit means shirt, and shirt means cuffs, so the watch you wear absolutely cannot be some 45mm, 20mm-thick leviathan that sticks out like a horse’s … you get the picture. No, a shirt cuff requires a watch that’s relatively thin and preferably no larger than 41mm.
In addition, the timepiece you don for a day out with the ponies should be relatively elegant and simple, free from gaudy colours, OTT dial designs or obscene rubber bands/textile straps.
Anyway, with all this in mind, here are our top four picks for a great watch to wear for a day at the races:
The Longines Heritage Classic L2.818.104.22.168
There’s been a huge amount of hype around Longines’ latest and greatest addition to their Heritage collection – the Longines Heritage Classic L2.822.214.171.124, and we totally understand why. This is a timepiece that has nailed not only its aesthetic but also its proportions, with the steel case measuring a very civilised 38.5mm. And, let’s be honest, it looks positively resplendent with its vintage-inspired sector dial, blued steel hands, and small seconds sub-dial located at six o’clock. Add all these positives to Longines’ aforementioned storied relationship with equine racing, and you’ve got a recipe for a winner at the races. Giddy up. $2900
Grand Seiko SBGK005
One of my personal favourites from Grand Seiko’s elegance collection, the Grand Seiko SBGK005 is a limited edition iteration of the new SBGK models that were first released at Baselworld this year. Featuring a svelte 39mm steel case that measures a mere 11.6mm thick, the SBGK005’s blue Mt Iwate pattern dial is gracefully restrained and, when paired with its blue crocodile leather band, this makes a great dress watch for the more reserved race-goer. $9600
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 5
Those looking for a timepiece that’s a little bit more flamboyant, yet still carries a certain amount of dignity, should definitely consider this TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 5. The 39mm steel case of the Calibre 5 features fetching splashes of rose gold that can be found on the bezel, crown, date aperture, hands, baton hour indices and TAG Heuer logo. And, when paired with the brown alligator leather band, this watch would excel with any outfit incorporating brown leather shoes and a brown leather belt. $4850
Breguet Classique 5140BB/29/9W6
For any high rollers out there fortunate enough to be invited to one of the many star-studded marquees found at this year’s Spring Racing Carnival, the Breguet Classique 5140BB/29/9W6 might well be one of the best dress watches I could recommend. The 40mm solid white gold case is beautifully proportioned, and when finished with the white grand feu enamel dial and Breguet Arabic numerals, it makes for a devastatingly handsome timepiece. $26,800