4 stealth watches to help you fly under the radarJames Robinson
The very utterance of the words “must have” when talking about the ideal watch collection will almost always lead to, at the very least, enthusiastic speculation and, more often than not, heated debate.
But you know what? I don’t think there is any particular make or model of watch that you simply HAVE to possess in an ideal assemblage of timepieces. However, there are definitely certain styles/genres of timepieces that should always be a part of the perfect collection.
One such style is the stealth watch – a timepiece that you can slap on your wrist when you don’t want to draw undue attention to yourself.
Here are four first-rate examples of watches that go about their business without shouting it from the proverbial rooftop:
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36mm
Talk about a timepiece that’s not concerned with being produced by arguably the biggest watchmaker on the planet! The Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36mm is brilliant at doing one thing – telling the time. Every one of the Swiss marque’s Oyster Perpetual range does a great job of not drawing attention to itself, thanks to its understated brushed 904L steel bracelet and polished and brushed oyster case. But the OP 36mm, in particular, does a superb job of being very subtle on the wrist, especially when sporting the steel dial with baton indices.
Grand Seiko SBGA201
We’ll spare you the whole “finishing” spiel, but when paired with the gorgeously reserved champagne dial, this Grand Seiko SBGA201 is the mother of all sleepers. And it’s not even a particularly small-sized watch; in fact, it’s probably right on the edge of what we’d consider to be an acceptable size to remain stealthy, with the case coming in at 41mm and 12.5mm. But there’s something about this particular GS’s almost utilitarian approach to telling the time that ensures it’s not going to get unwanted attention. It also, like most Grand Seikos, has that proper “if you know, you know” factor, which definitely helps the sleeper sentiment.
IWC Pilot Top Gun
If the aforementioned watches in this article have inadvertently gained sleeper appeal, this IWC Pilot Top Gun is almost the complete antithesis. Everything about this timepiece has a very deliberate approach to being stealthy, whether it be the black textile strap, matt black dial or the black zirconium oxide ceramic case, which is specifically designed to reflect as little light as possible. What’s more, the case itself is a relatively svelte 41mm and just 11.4mm thick, which really is rather petite compared to the rest of the International Watch Company’s Pilot collection.
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer02T Nanograph
OK, yes, the TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer02T Nanograph isn’t a very stealthy watch when observed in isolation, not least for its prominent 45mm case and lime green accents. However, when you take into account that this Carrera is a self-winding, flying-tourbillion with a chronograph complication, it suddenly becomes one of the most subtle wristwatches on the market. I mean, the complexity of this watch’s movement is normally reserved for timepieces that have either six or seven figure price tags attached to them, whereas the Carrera Calibre Heuer02T Nanograph costs an incredibly reasonable $33,450 AUD.