Watches

These Are the Only Watches That Mattered in 2016

For the most part, we can all agree that 2016 has been something of an uneven year. If there was was one area in which it shone brighter than ever, though, it was in the world of horology. Below, you’ll find our discerning roundup of the year’s most essential timepieces.

Cartier

Drive de Cartier

01-Cartier

If your ideal weekend plans include driving gloves and a wooden steering wheel — whether or not you actually have either — this should be your weekend watch. With dial details reminiscent of a radiator grille and a crown shaped like an octagonal bolt, Cartier’s newest men’s timepiece calls to mind the golden age of motoring. Leather goggles are optional, but strongly encouraged. $11,100

VELVET JACKET ($800) AND VELVET BOWTIE ($95) BY HUGO; COTTON DRESS SHIRT ($180) BY STRELLSON.

Rolex

Daytona Cosmograph

02-Rolex

Despite the fact that this is generally considered one of the coolest chronographs ever made, Rolex still finds a way to continually upgrade it without compromising its winning looks. This year it received a black ceramic “Cerachrom” bezel, a nod to the black Plexiglass ring that debuted on the 1965 edition. $14,250

WOOL COAT ($350) BY BEN SHERMAN; WOOL-MOHAIR SWEATER (PRICE UPON REQUEST) BY MICHAEL KORS MENS; ACETATE SUNGLASSES ($170) BY MICHAEL KORS.

Tiffany & Co.

CT60 Chronograph 42mm

03-Tiffany

This watch from the famed New York City jeweller will banish all thoughts of blue boxes and Audrey Hepburn from your mind. With time and date functions, a high-end mechanical Swiss movement, and a handsome, vintage-inspired dial, it’s got the same mix of straight-up frankness and old-school luxury as the Big Apple itself. $10,100

SUEDE JACKET ($8,000) BY BRUNELLO CUCINELLI, AT HARRY ROSEN; CASHMERE SWEATER ($1,400) BY BURBERRY; COTTON SHIRT ($70) BY PERRY ELLIS; LEATHER BAG ($520) BY COACH.

Raymond Weil

Freelancer Skeleton

04-Raymond-Weil

While the contrasting rose gold and black colour scheme would be fetching enough on its own, the real star of this Swiss-made piece is its skeletonized dial, which is cut away to reveal the complex mechanics of the automatic movement within. You knew that your timepiece was a mechanical marvel, now you can display the proof. $2,780

CASHMERE JACKET (PRICE UPON REQUEST) BY GIORGIO ARMANI; WOOL TURTLENECK ($200) BY STRELLSON.

Chopard

Mille Miglia Zagato

05-Chopard

The Mille Miglia is one of the world’s most prestigious classic car events, a 1,000-mile road rally with origins stretching back to 1926. Chopard commemorates the annual event with this namesake watch, whose unique tire tread strap and speedometer-inspired dial put you as close to the checkered flag as you’re ever likely to get. $9,830

MERINO SHEARLING COAT ($3,600) BY OFFICINE GÉNÉRALE, AT HOLT RENFREW; COTTON-POLYESTER SHIRT ($150) BY 18 WAITS.

Tag Heuer

Senna

06-Tag-Heuer

There are few drivers as storied as the late Brazilian F1 champion Ayrton Senna and TAG Heuer, the racer’s for- mer official timepiece sponsor, honours his legacy with this new watch. With its combination of sporty looks and precision Swiss craftsmanship, it’s as formidable a competitor as Senna himself. $1,650

POLYESTER JACKET ($30) BY JOE FRESH; COTTON SWEATSHIRT ($140) BY TIGER OF SWEDEN; WOOL SCARF ($110) BY COACH

IWC

Portugieser Tourbillon Hand-Wound

07-IWC

The Portugieser, a timeless dress watch from one of the great Swiss brands, is the kind of timepiece you’d be forgiven for wanting to show off. Add a unique slate-coloured dial and a tourbillon (the highly complicated mechanism designed to counteract the effect of gravity) and you’ll be tempted to wear it over your shirt cuff. Resist this temptation. Price upon request, at Royal de Versailles 

WOOL THREE-PIECE SUIT ($2,200) BY THOMAS HENRY MADE; COTTON POPLIN SHIRT ($430) AND SILK TIE ($240) BY GUCCI.

(1/X)

A. LANGE & SÖHNE SAXONIA ANNUAL CALENDAR
The highest echelons of watchmaking are inhabited by brands like this one, whose mechanical movements are capable of incredible things. This one, for instance, displays the date, day of the week, and phase of the moon, only needing to be set once a year. Pretty impressive for a bunch of tiny gears. $70,900

GUCCI GREEN-RED-GREEN PLEXIGLAS
While this watch, sported by male and female models on Gucci’s fall runway, isn’t exactly the sort of thing you’d wear every day, there’s no denying the appeal of its deconstructed simplicity. Like a lot of the brand’s recent work it’s whimsical, elegant, and totally unexpected. $695

BVLGARI ROMA FINISSIMO
This Italian brand is known primarily for its ultra high-end jewelry, but it’s no slouch in the watch department, either. With a super-thin case, transparent sapphire crystal case back, and a bezel sporting an engraved logo inspired by Roman-era coins, this is a watch fit for an Emperor Caesar. Go forth and conquer. $33,340

JEFFREY SAWYER
It’s easy to root for the Raptors or buy the new Drizzy album, but when it comes to homegrown watches there’s not much to get behind. With the looks of a classic chronograph, a Swiss movement, and a range of luxe finishes, the debut from this Toronto-based startup provides a new way to wear your patriotism on your wrist. $1,300

MICHAEL KORS RYKER
Now that every woman in the developed world owns a Michael Kors watch, the designer has turned his attention to men’s timepieces as if to prove they understand us as well as they understand the fairer sex. The results are impressive. The Ryker Black Tone Chronograph is as sleek and rugged as you are. Tall, dark, and handsome: and that’s just your watch. $390

MONDAINE GIANT
If you’re looking for a timepiece that says, “I know the difference between Helvetica and Futura and would be happy to explain it to you,” this is it. Modelled after vintage Swiss railway clocks, this sleek, lugless watch is a statement in contemporary sophistication. $435

PATEK PHILIPPE WORLD TIME CHRONOGRAPH MODEL NO. 5930
The release of a new Patek Philippe chronograph is something like the announcement of a new Radiohead album. Most people don’t get it, but the people who do are really into it. Twenty-four time zones, a 30-minute chronometer and, most importantly, a name that will inspire envy. In certain circles, anyway. $91,000

SKAGEN CONNECTED HYBRID SMARTWATCH
If your problem with smart watches is that they don’t look smart enough (in the British sense), you may have met your match. The Skagen features activity tracking, message alerts, playback control, and multiple time zones all without the aid of a screen. What remains is Scandinavian design and high-tech functionality. A very smart combination. $270

RADO TRUE OPEN HEART
This limited edition watch’s automatic movement is partly obscured by a translucent layer of mother-of-pearl, giving it an air of cosmic otherworldliness. The lightness doesn’t end there, either: a featherweight hardened ceramic case makes it feel like it could float off your wrist and into the ether. $2,600

SHINOLA RAMBLER TACHYMETER
The latest release from Detroit’s hottest watch brand is dedicated to American daredevil Craig Breedlove, the first person to break the 600-mph land speed record. A large stainless steel case, nylon NATO-style strap and 1960s aesthetics make it the perfect watch for the man on the move, even if he isn’t going quite that fast. $1,040

VACHERON CONSTANTIN PLATINUM 1921
Vacheron Constantin traces its heritage back to 1755, and as such, they have plenty of gems in their archives, including the art deco masterpiece on which this model was based. The quirky sideways-oriented dial, the corner-mounted crown, and a prestigious hand-wound movement makes this one a collectors’ special. $57,900

THOMAS SABO REBEL SPIRIT
There are plenty of nice quartz watches out there, but few are as versatile as this one. With a blue and metallic colour scheme and a Milanese bracelet patterned after the stripes of a NATO strap, it’s equal parts refined and relaxed. $270

PIAGET POLO S AUTOMATIC
The late 1970s saw the introduction of some of the world’s greatest modern timepiece designs, including Piaget’s recently re-introduced Polo. Its unique rounded case is steel, with a dial engraved to recall a boat’s teak deck. Indeed, it’s just the thing you might wear to the yacht club, or the polo grounds for that matter. $12,500

RESSENCE TYPE
Not only does this revolutionary watch not have a crown (you set the time by twisting the back of the case) it also doesn’t have hands. Instead, discs on the face rotate, shifting constantly, changing places with each other and revealing the time in a totally unique (and totally mesmerizing) way. $27,000

MB&F HOROLOGICAL MACHINE NO. 8
Max Busser, the MB in MB&F (the F is for “friends”) is a maverick watchmaker whose outlandish, outrageously expensive inventions are coveted by the world’s most zealous collectors. His latest creation, which includes a frame milled from solid blocks of titanium, is inspired by Can-Am race cars of the 1970s. $109,870

LOUIS VUITTON VOYAGER CHRONOGRAPH
Following on the heels of the Voyager GMT, the Voyager Chronograph occupies a precarious space in the watch world, nodding at the rigorous demands of collectors, while appeal- ing to the fashion elite. The Swiss made watch has a 43.7 mm stainless steel case with polished and brushed finishes, anthracite skeleton luminescent hour and minute hands, and the choice between a taurillon calf strap or stainless steel bracelet (among other features) that will look powerful — super powerful even — on any man’s wrist. Price upon request

CHANEL MONSIEUR DE CHANEL
The Monsieur de Chanel distinguishes itself not just by being beautiful, but by being beautiful in very unusual ways. The hour is displayed numerically through a window at six o’clock, the minutes by a single “retrograde” hand above. At the end of every hour the minute hand snaps back, satisfyingly, to zero. The gears, visible through the crystal case back, are matte black, but perhaps most striking is the digital-style font, which was designed by Chanel specifically for this watch. Available in a limited edition of just 300 pieces, it’s a tantalizing glimpse of what’s to come from the watch world’s latest contender. Price upon request

Photography: Kourosh Keshiri
Styling: Mark John Tripp
GROOMING: RICHARD J USING MAC COSMETICS AND KEVIN MURPHY HAIR CARE