THE MONTHLY EDIT: The Time+Tide team picks their favourite watch of January 2022Zach Blass
If you ask the Time+Tide editorial team what we do, unanimously we’ll agree that we are first and foremost watch journalists. At least for me, the mere idea of being an influencer in my role as Deputy Editor irks me. I do not want to influence your decision making, but I take pride in receiving feedback that I have empowered someone to buy a watch with greater confidence. That being said, the numbers don’t lie. We know you enjoy it when we take our reporter hats off from time to time and share our personal feelings. That’s why, at the end of each month, we’re going to start picking our favourite pieces that have been released in the preceding weeks. OK, no more prologue – let’s dig in!
Andrew’s pick: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 41mm 26240OR.OO.1320OR.04
On the day I learned that the green and gold Daytona (ref 116508) had gone up in value yet again (to a lazy 100k EU to be precise), it’s another green and gold combination I can’t get out of my head from the AP drop last week. Yes, it’s the khaki green dial and pink gold Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 41mm. When Zach and Eric were sending through pics on WhatsApp from the New York event and reveal, I felt something in me move. Literally, move. The truth is I lust after just about every Royal Oak in existence in pink gold, but this one with its muted, earthy tones, but undisputable gold watch gravitas, is nothing short of a new grail.
Luke’s pick: Zenith Defy 21 Chroma Limited Edition
Skeletonised or open-worked dials are generally not my “thing”. Visually, I just find them too busy and while I appreciate they expose the beauty of the movement etc, this isn’t something I need to be reminded of every time I glance at the wrist. I mean, I like the Pompidou Centre in Paris, too, but I wouldn’t particularly like to live there.
But the Zenith Defy 21 Chroma Limited Edition is a fascinating watch. Aesthetically, all those expanses of white – on the sub-dials, the ceramic case and the cordura textured strap – have a calming effect that anchors the open-worked dial and stops it from being too full-on. That whiteness also provides a solid base for all the multi-coloured accents that are strategically dotted about, from the crown’s yellow rubber ring to the chrono sub-dial hands and the rainbow stitching that enlivens the strap.
So aesthetically, this is a watch that I enjoy, but there’s also substance with that style. The snow-white 44m case is made of high-tech ceramic, which is a tricky material to work with, but brilliantly executed here with razor-sharp lines. Then, of course, there’s the movement that features a 50Hz escapement for the 1/100th of a second chronograph and 5Hz Hi-Beat escapement for the time indications. There’s nothing remotely lightweight about this watch, apart from that ceramic case.
Zach’s pick: Grand Seiko SLGH009 55th Anniversary Limited Edition
While I was absolutely blown away by the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin in yellow gold, the reality of its expense and availability makes it more of a pipe dream for me then a real feasible candidate for my collection. So while I may have drooled over it, it did not make me sweat as much as the new Grand Seiko SLGH009 Limited Edition.
This release ticks two boxes I am itching to check off in my own collection. While I am a big Grand Seiko fan, I do not have a 44GS cased watch in my collection, nor a 9SA5 powered watch. Previously, to be able to have both elements in your collection you would need to have two separate Grand Seiko pieces. The SLGH009, however, marks the first time the 9SA5 is utilised outside of the Evolution 9 case design – instead it’s housed in the 44GS case in honour of the 55th anniversary of Grand Seiko’s famous case geometry. The new ever-brilliant stainless steel case would mark another first for my collection, as I currently have only titanium-cased Grand Seiko timepieces in my collection, and the growth rings dial texture has caught my eye since its debut in the platinum SLGH007. The only barrier for me is the blue dial, a colour that saturates my collection. Were it a dark forest green I would be hounding my local AD to get me one, but the fact I am even considering further blueing my collection with this piece is a testament to its killer design.