What is the ultimate two-watch collection? The Time+Tide team have their say…Luke Benedictus
Today we defer to the shrewd counsel of Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock. As the eighties hip-
hop duo so wisely put it: “It takes two to make a thing go alright”. And such advice can
certainly apply to your watches. If you pick with true mastery then two watches are
potentially all you’d ever need. One of the pair would be sufficiently rugged to stand up to the
daily rigours of your full-contact lifestyle. The other piece would be a little more refined and
able to slide effortlessly beneath your dress shirt cuff. But what would be the ultimate two-
watch wardrobe? We asked the Time+Tide team to pick their perfect double-act.
The way I see it, an ideal two watch collection is comprised of daily wearer and fine dress
watch – this way you have all of your bases covered. For my daily, I am going with the Rolex
GMT Master II “Pepsi” on a Jubilee, not Oyster, because I am all about the robust elegance.
It is very much the cosmopolitan pilot’s watch, so it will fit right in at a boardroom meeting,
but it also has 100 metres of water resistance which makes it totally appropriate for the beach
as well. Considering it is made of 904L stainless steel, and has an eye-catching blue and red
ceramic bezel, it is an elegant looking watch that can stand up to shock and activity. Its GMT
complication will also come in handy considering I am an American working for a company
on the complete opposite side of the world.
For my dress watch… I mean c’mon its no contest. It really does not get better than a Philippe
Dufour Simplicity. As its name suggests, it is a rather simple watch in appearance – porcelain
white dial with Roman numerals and Breguet hands. The 34mm case is so classic, and while
some today would probably prefer the 37mm version I am sticking with the original. Its white
gold case and less-is-more dial aesthetic is the epitome of stealth wealth, and unless someone
gets close enough to me to read the branding of the dial, as well as register the name itself,
nobody would know I am rocking one of the most desirable wristwatches in the world.
Christ, choosing two watches when my box of 20-25 is in a constant state of flux, is like closing the chapter of my life’s journey of discovery.. That was a bit dramatic, as we’re all searching for that ONE piece of perfection, but for two? I’d first pick a great everyday watch that still exudes an air of exclusivity while flying under the radar. It is the $21,900 Murakamo from small Japanese atelier Kikuchi Nakagawa. A slender sub 10mm case with black polishing beating even Zaratsu, this Vaucher-powered, hand-finished beauty has it all in spades, like the shape of the hands (pun intended). It’s 36.8mm of subliminal craftsmanship.
My number two is the number one, literally by name and by nature, as this is a handmade one of a kind Greubel Forsey, their mindblowing Hand Made 1 in white gold. To give you a picture, the case was made in a hand-operated lathe, and the balance spring rolled in a hand-operated rolling mill.. With no price, but estimated at between $600,000 – $800,000 and requiring thousands of man hours to its name, this re-igniting of ancient techniques of manual tools and hand-finished intrinsic beauty represents, for me, the pinnacle of my love for horlogerie. No big brands in my list of two you say? Well, look closer and get lost in a hand-crafted world of details.
“I’ll take your guilloche dial and I’ll raise you.” That’s what the Breguet Classique 7147 is saying here with quiet assurance from its 40mm rose-gold case. The dial is a masterclass in texture. The centre of the silvered 18k gold dial is finished with hobnail guilloche that contrasts with the cheekily off-centre small-seconds dial that sports crosshatch guilloche instead. But it also takes the rough with the smooth, adding a wide brushed hour track to form a delectably glossy perimeter. Both highly detailed and spare at the same time, this has to be in with a shout of being the ultimate dress watch.
Housed in an 18k white-gold case, the standout detail of the Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5168 G is the finely embossed checkerboard dial that gives the impression of a super-deluxe hand-grenade (in a good way). These singular looks are further enunciated by that distinctive shade of green, presumably colour-coded to match the olive in your martini.
When you guys asked for this, it didn’t take long to think of the two watches I’d choose. The firstwould have to be the A.Lange & Sohne Odysseus. To me, this is the best brand take on a sports watch. Though I would probably pick up the blue dialled version, I would try my best to have it swapped out for the grey.
As for my other pick, it would have to be the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar, Ultra-Thin. That beautiful mixture of blue and gold is just too good to pass up.