The T+T team picks their favourite waitlisted watchesTime+Tide
In a world where hype is seemingly king, there are watches that us regular mortals are unlikely to ever be able to obtain. Waitlist numbers that get passed down to the next generation have become increasingly common, but what if they weren’t a thing? The Time+Tide team has come together to pick out their favourite waitlisted watches, and to make the whole thing even less centred in reality, we agreed to the money-no-object-rule. Fair warning – a few of these choices will be unsurprising.
Borna – Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time 5164A
I would’ve never expected myself to like this watch. Sure, it’s cool and all, even more so when strapped to John Mayer’s wrist, all beat up and with that tiny Tiffany signature. I, however, am not John Mayer, so I thought that the 5164 would forever be just one of those watches that I see and go “oh, that’s neat”, before returning to my perusing of weird auction sites for broken vintage pieces. Naturally, there’s a twist in this story, which came after I got to try this watch on at a boutique. It’s just about the perfect watch, save for a dressier occasion. It’s slim, proportional, and practical – that last point only applicable if you forget to consider the significant effort and/or investment that it takes to obtain one. Knowing that, even with the funds to buy one, nothing short of a miracle will make it land on my wrist might be the thing that makes it so appealing. Do I genuinely love it, or is it just the worst case of FOMO imaginable? I’m not sure – but I am absolutely certain that this is my pick.
D.C. – Vacheron Constantin Historiques 222
Since we’re dealing in the hypothetical realm of no waitlists or budget restraints, my choice has to be Vacheron Constantin’s Historiques 222 reissue in yellow gold. Both unapologetically retro and timeless, it’s a more than worthy alternative to the luxury sports icons birthed in the 1970s from the other two thirds of the Holy Trinity, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and the Patek Philippe Nautilus. Unlike the Royal Oak and Nautilus, the 222 is not a Genta creation, but the brainchild of German designer Jorg Hysek, who penned the 222 at the tender age of 24. An icon in its own right, the 222 is also the spiritual forebear of the decidedly more contemporary Overseas. While bigger and brasher, the Overseas series definitely carries some of the original 222’s DNA. But honestly, it’s just too big and in-your-face for my tastes, so I’ll leave those to the hedge fund bros.
I prefer the ultra-thin dimensions and warm satin glow of the 222 – it’s glam without being gauche. A limited, boutique-only edition, snagging the new 222 is one of the toughest tickets in town. In fact, despite the hype surrounding the Nautilus and Royal Oak, I feel the 222 is far more exclusive. And with vintage steel references fetching astronomical prices, a near one-to-one reissue in solid gold becomes pretty attractive at US$74,000. Since we’re in fantasy land, I would have no problem ponying up for a timepiece that costs as much as two mid-priced cars, especially since secondary market prices are well higher than actual retail. The only thing that would make it more attractive to yours truly would be a white gold or platinum version, but beggars can’t be choosers.
Jamie – Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ‘Le Mans’
May the record show that the Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time and the Vacheron Constantin Historiques 222 would be my first and second choices – Borna and D.C. have exceptional taste. However, my third choice would easily be a Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ‘Le Mans’ (ref. 126529LN), because if you’re going to wait for a Daytona, you may as well wait for the coolest and most unique modern Daytona.
Firstly, as a motorsports fan, the Daytona is a watch that’s always resonated with me. But Daytonas are a dime a dozen. The Le Mans Daytona is a bit different, but it’s also a bit stealthy: being white gold, from afar it looks like a normal Daytona – but get up close and you’ll notice those ‘exotic dial’-inspired subdials and the red ‘100’ on the tachymeter bezel. It’s a bit of a subtle flex, which really appeals to me.
It’s also the only Daytona other than the platinum ref. 126506 to boast a transparent caseback, and I love a transparent caseback. Frankly, it’s a crime that Rolex don’t show off their movements more, something I’m happy they’ve rectified with recent releases like the Perpetual 1908. More importantly, it’s also got a unique movement, the calibre 4132, which allows the hours of the Le Mans Daytona’s chronograph function to be counted over twenty-four hours instead of the Daytona’s usual twelve – another tasteful nod to the iconic endurance race. Again, if you’re going to get a Daytona, may as well get the most unique one…
Zach – A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus
I have previously made it clear that a Philippe Dufour Simplicity is my ultimate grail, and it does have a queue of people waiting for theirs to be made. To spice things up, as a more grounded waitlist model I would love to cut the line for, I’ll go with the A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus. Since the titanium limited edition model has since sold out, the stainless steel model is the one to go for. While an entry into the ever-saturated luxury steel sports category, its distinctly Lange with its operatic day and date apertures. I actually find its bracelet underrated in finish and feel, and the 120-metre water resistance is ample enough for all the daily wear adventures. Very handsome, and unmistakably Lange.
Fergus – Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Frosted Gold Selfwinding 34mm
My taste in watches is most often aligned with the weird and wonderful, rarely crossing paths with anything so popular it requires a waitlist. If I did have tens of thousands of dollars to drop on a luxury watch, I’d most likely head straight to eBay and end up with a handful of vintage bargains. Truthfully, I’m not even sure which watches actually are waitlisted at the moment, but if I had to pick then I’d guess finding a Royal Oak at retail is always going to be a struggle. My reference of choice would be the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Frosted Gold Selfwinding in its 34mm case. The sparkling matte texture is a rare thing to see in watchmaking, and I appreciate how far it crosses into jewellery territory. The dial is also one of the few shades of blue that I really like, which would really stand out in my collection of mostly white-dialled watches.