Hiding in plain sight – 6 sleeper hit watches you might have missed Hiding in plain sight – 6 sleeper hit watches you might have missed

Hiding in plain sight – 6 sleeper hit watches you might have missed

Zach Blass

You don’t always have to look to the usual suspects or pay a hefty price to get a quality watch. There is a wide spectrum of manufacturers in this industry and, with so many releases each year, it can be a bit of a challenge to follow every reference introduced. While the below list of watches are fabricated by well known brands, we wanted to shine a spotlight on some references that may not have received the recognition they deserve. A sleeper hit is effectively something that is not massively hyped, but has a level of quality that demands further exploration. Here are six sleeper hits we included in our Now Buying Guide

sleeper hits

Timex x Todd Snyder “Pride” Watch

sleeper hits

At 34mm, this watch can pretty much be worn by anyone, of any identity. The theme of the watch is literally pride and inclusivity. As I have said before, Todd Snyder and Timex have teamed up to create arguably the best value proposition in rainbow watches. The Pride Watch is a nod to the pride colours derived from artist Gilbert Baker’s Rainbow Flag.  The dial aesthetic is is the result of three rotating coloured discs. As the time changes and the discs interact, the dial reveals evolving shades of colour. Timex ‘Colour Flicks’ are nothing new to the market, with many schemes explored since their introduction in the ’70s. But this revival is for a great cause, Timex & Todd Snyder will be donating $10,000 from the sales of the limited “Art of Pride” watch to be split between the Sylvia Rivera Law Project and Rainbow Railroad Foundation. It’s quite a neat complication, and incredibly well priced considering the amount of entertainment the dial provides. Price: $199 USD

Autodromo Group B Safari 2

sleeper hits

Green has always been a desirable colour scheme from watch buyers as demonstrated by the Rolex “Hulk” Submariner, H. Moser & Cie Streamliner, and Patek Phillipe Aquanaut 5168G “Hand Grenade” among others. But alongside those aforementioned names there was also a much more affordable option that you may not have had on your radar. The Autodromo Group B Safari 2 is a great watch for many reasons, the foremost of which are its distinct aesthetic and profile combined with the value-driven price point. The case is forged from green-plated steel and titanium while the dial takes on a rich British racing green tone reminiscent of Aston Martin colourways. The integrated style watch is powered by a reliable Miyota movement, ensuring quality performance at a lower retail price. Price: $975 USD

Baume & Mercier Clifton Day-Date Moonphase

sleeper hits

For those looking for something more complicated for a reasonable price, Baume & Mercier is a brand to look into. The Richemont-owned manufacturer has made a name for itself in today’s marketplace offering high-tech timepieces for high-value. In the case of the Baume & Mercier Clifton Day-Date Moonphase you get a day-date and moon phase complication powered by a movement with 120 hours of power reserve and a silicon hairspring. Neatly displayed on the shaded grey lacquer dial and housed in a 42mm steel case, this is a definite value proposition. Price: $6,900 AUD

Fears Brunswick Salmon

sleeper hits

By no means the first time I have given this beaut a shout-out, the Fears Brunswick Salmon is a watch that should have far more mainstream notoriety. This heritage-driven manufacturer is a brand that gets knowing nods of approval from watch enthusiasts for the way it really pays attention to the details. The 38mm cushion profile here is very wearable on the wrist, and the dial shade is the perfect salmon tone. Fears is very transparent about its design process and where its components are sourced from. The brand enlisted a horological typographer to revive numerals found in their archives, each of which are diamond polished and then sandblasted before being applied to the dial. The dial itself is the result of galvanic coatings of 18kt rose gold and copper, the vertical brushing hand applied by specialists in Germany. Price: £2625

Gucci Grip

sleeper hits

When Gucci enter the mix, watch snobs will inevitably mutter “fashion watch” under their breath. But let’s be clear, the design language at play here is striking and original – the coveted few brands who do produce these kinds of envelope-pushing pieces tend to grab the attention of the most seasoned collectors. Sure this is powered by less prestigious quartz, but the design actually caters to it considering there is no deadbeat paced second hand revealing what is inside. The Gucci grip is a great entry watch for those looking to add a digital display watch to their collection. Available in 35mm & 38mm there is a size for everyone in nice classical proportions. Price: $2,745 AUD

Longines Heritage Small Seconds Tuxedo

sleeper hits

Another great value-driven option for those who want vintage vibes in the security of a modern watch, the Longines Heritage Small Seconds Tuxedo is an absolute retro-inspired delight. Longines has a wealth of heritage they are strategically reviving for the next generation of consumer. The design combines the simplicity of a black dial with a flair of contrast through its cream coloured inner dial. Tie in the tuxedo style dial with creamy faux-patinated hands and Arabic numerals and the result is a winning dressier watch that will pair perfectly with wardrobes for various occasions. Price: $3,050 AUD