Wow, so that was an experience I didn’t expect to have in 2020. A few days in Geneva, yes. But in August, with the sun out and zero time spent in Palexpo halls? Nonetheless, wherever there are new watch releases, Time+Tide is always on the ground. In no particular order, here are what I thought were five of the best watches at the Geneva Watch Days exhibition.
Girard-Perregaux Laureato Infinity 42mm
The new Laureato Infinity 42mm really floated my boat this week. GP’s Laureato sports watch is probably my favourite line out there, so I always get a buzz seeing a new iteration. And 2020, for all its other misgivings, didn’t disappoint. I like the Laureato for its no-nonsense dial and sleek hexagonal bezel, and to have it in black onyx with rose gold markings is a winning evolution. Not many luxury sports watches can be dressy but, once again, the Laureato has proved it can.
Bulgari Aluminium Chronograph
Few chronographs have taken my fancy this much of late, but it’s the combination of the playful spin on a late ’90s piece and the sexy rubber strap with aluminium links that’s done it for me. At a significantly lower price point to the Octo Fini pieces, for example, the Aluminium collection makes Bulgari all the more accessible (and appealing) to the ever-important millennial audience. Having Jean-Christophe Babin personally show me this piece was a bonus and it was a treat to chat to the man largely responsible for Geneva Watch Days happening. For both the Aluminium Chrono and GWD, we thank him.
H. Moser Streamliner
We may have to wait until 2022 for the new Matrix movie, but that’s OK because H. Moser has kindly launched a Streamliner Centre Seconds in Matrix Green, which we’re way more into anyway (sorry, Keanu). Moser are no strangers to green dials, but it’s the combination of the stainless steel integrated bracelet that has me swooning. Unlike most bracelets of this ilk, the inspiration extends past Gérald Genta to 1930s locomotive in the US, and I’m not the only person to be drawn by its more industrial, unique elegance. All aboard this train.
Ulysse Nardin Blast
Since Patrick Pruniaux took charge at Ulysse Nardin in 2017, the brand has come alive. After the Freak X last year, 2020’s statement piece is the Blast. And, boy, is it a blast. It’s hard to know where to begin with this piece; I’ll start with brilliantly unconventional. With a new case, a new movement and new buckle, it deserves your attention to come to terms with its design. It’s a groundbreaking piece, and with Ulysse Nardin turning 175 in 2021, the Blast pays homage to that heritage while firmly establishing its unashamedly contemporary credentials. Hat tip, Patrick.
Breitling Endurance Pro
To be honest, they had me at the Strava 500 minutes challenge. That is peak Georges Kern; I love it. Let’s make a watch for actual running lovers and then we’ll run a competition around it to drum up some extra buzz. Well, it’s worked, because as an active watch enthusiast, this is right up my street. The Breitlight alloy means you can actually take it trail running without the fear of scratching it. It’s tough, it’s masculine and it comes in five bold colourways, both as a rubber strap and an Outerknown NATO strap in collaboration with Breitling ambassador and surfing great, Kelly Slater.