D.C.’s top 5 from Geneva Watch DaysD.C. Hannay
It’s coming-out season for the brands of Geneva Watch Days, and given the relative quiet of the past few months, we couldn’t be more excited. There’s plenty to tempt fans of every stripe, and if you know me, you know I’m all about tool watches with a classic flair, along with a propensity for the odd left-field pick. Now, let’s get to it with my personal top 5.
Oris Divers Sixty-Five 12H Caliber 400
I always thought of the Oris Divers Sixty-Five as the sort of modern ideal of a classic-era tool watch after it was first released. The clean lines, uncluttered dial, and availability of vintage sizes hark back to Oris’ original skin diver-type watch from 1965, updated for modern times. But as the Sixty-Five settled comfortably into the Oris catalogue, its reliable-but-aging Sellita-based movement was surpassed in performance by Oris’ own Caliber 400, which boasts some pretty stellar specs, including a 120 hour power reserve, improved antimagnetic properties, and a 10-year service interval and warranty.
Well, Oris has now brought the 400 to the Sixty-Five line in this new model, improving an already-great everyday wearer into a serious candidate for a one-watch collection. In addition to the movement upgrade, there’s the Goldilocks-sized 40mm case diameter, the goes-with-everything black dial, a new 12-hour bezel, a sapphire domed crystal, 100 metres of water resistance, and those rather handsome vintage looks. It’s everything you need and nothing you don’t. The added functionality of tracking another time zone with the bidirectional bezel is just icing on an already tasteful cake.
Bulgari Aluminium Amerigo Vespucci
The original Bulgari Aluminium from the ’90s is a well-established design classic, as is the 2020 reissue. It’s a compelling package, deftly mixing clever touches with supermodel looks, and that goes for the special editions that have followed, including this one. The Amerigo Vespucci keeps those fashion-forward cues, including the circular 40mm aluminium and titanium case, “BULGARI BULGARI” rubber bezel, and articulated rubber and aluminium-hinged strap, but adds something new: a GMT complication.
It’s a well-reasoned choice for a travel watch that just happens to pay tribute to a famed Italian explorer. I personally love the yellow-gold accents of the dial and GMT hand, which brings a bright European pop to the bold black and white. The whole affair is sophisticated yet fun, looking like it was ripped right from the dashboard of an Italian grand tourer.
Doxa Army Bronze Bezel
The recent Watches of Switzerland limited-to-100 Army in sinister black ceramic was a heat-seeking stealth missile of a tool watch, and yours truly had a serious case of FOMO. Thankfully, that rare bird was a harbinger of things to come, as Doxa has now remade the Army in stainless as a regular production model.
It retains all the classic Doxa cues of the 300T it’s based on, while bringing back that distinctive checkered-look dial from the 1968 original, complete with the sand beige dial colour and the unique shape of its orange handset. The new model Army updates the original with a black ceramic insert, or my pick, the hunter green insert set into a warm bronze bezel. It’s a muted combo not often seen from the brand that usually focuses on bright, tropical-hued colourways, and I’m here for it. Available on the classic stainless “beads of rice” bracelet, you can also specify a stealthy black or green FKM rubber strap with deployant clasp.
Breitling Endurance Pro Green
Since its release two years ago, the outsized-yet-ultralight Breitling Endurance Pro has been something of an outlier in the catalogue: a tough, high-performance quartz chronograph at a premium price. I’ve always looked at it as sort of the ultimate flex G-Shock, but whatever your opinion, it is a pretty cool piece, and it looks great while being a durable and capable companion for whatever action you might get up to.
The composite Breitlight construction keeps the weight to a properly feathery 54 grams, even at a case size of 44mm in diameter with a lug-to-lug of 52.4mm. Breitling experimented with alternate materials in the ’70s with resin cases, but the Endurance Pro’s more immediate predecessor, the Colt Skyracer (also cased in Breitlight) had a tactical cool that the initial summery Endurance Pro colourways didn’t. Breitling has sorted that for fans of the stealthy with the new dark green model, and it looks absolutely badass. Highlights of military green adorn the rehaut and crown, and the thermocompensated, COSC-certified, 4-jewell SuperQuartz movement is definitely Not Kidding Around. 100 metres of water resistance, a sapphire crystal, and a green rubber “Hershey Bar” strap complete the bold, bad, and bombproof package.
Jacob & Co. Epic X Black DLC Steel
I’ll allow you a moment to pick your jaw up off the floor. As I was about to say, jewelled and hyper-complicated haute horlogerie pieces are not normally my jam, and Jacob & Co. are the rulers of everything bling, but damned if this isn’t a sleek, sinister monster that evokes the menace of a mid-engined hypercar. Originally released in 2015, the 44mm Epic X has been redesigned, with the black DLC finish on black rubber my favourite variant over the blingier polished gold or steel models.
The pink gold components of the manually wound vertical bridge movement offer just enough restrained contrast to the evil black aesthetic, and the red-tipped hands have precisely the right pop to jump out from the skeletonised dial. I’m also a fan of the hobnail-finished vertical bridges, which provide a more utilitarian look over the gold or steel versions. Given the looks and high level of craftsmanship of the Epic X, the overall package is one sexy beast, if I do say so myself.