They're designed for deep-sea diving — but certainly merit everyday wear.
A nod to the heroism of the Royal Italian Navy, the grit of the long-distance channel swimmer, and even Jacques Cousteau’s spirit of exploration, dive watches manage to be inherently inspiring.
In their first iterations in the 1920s, dive watches marked an important milestone. Advancements in water resistance helped popularize the use of the wristwatch (vs. the more typical pocket watch) by making them much more durable and practical for everyday wear. In the 1950s, when scuba diving was gaining popularity as a recreational sport, the dive watch became a truly necessary tool for keeping track of time while descending deep underwater, particularly when worn in tandem with a depth gauge. And as advancements in diving equipment and technology allowed for deeper dives, the watch industry kept pace with greater and greater ingenuity.
Van Cleef & Arpels has a long history of dreaming up amazing creations, and at this year's Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, two new dazzling timepieces were unveiled along with an equally stunning collection of unique pieces from the esteemed Parisian jeweler's archives. Each of the new releases—an incredible Automate Fée Ondine Table Clock and the wearable Lady Arpels Papillon Automate Watch—come to life during certain times of day, illustrating jaw-dropping animated scenes right out of an enchanted fairy tale.
These timekeepers look traditional, but they're packed with an array of smart features and advanced technology.
Important lessons learned from the first generations of smartwatches have brought about a new wave of wearable technology: the hybrid, analog-connected watch. These have all the cool, connected features and the fashionable good looks of a classic wristwatch, which means they'll have longevity even after the novelty of those smart features may wear off. Instead of trying hard to take the place of your phone, these watches work in perfect harmony with the rest of your devices.
A preppy staple, straight from France.
According to The Official Preppy Handbook, there are ten critical fashion principles of proper prep style for both men and women. Is it possible for a classic wristwatch from a storied high fashion French luxury goods house to address all these important all-American rules? You bet your Top-Siders it is. Behold, the Hermès Cape Cod.
The deceptively simple Cape Cod watch designed in 1991 and quickly proved to be a master class of these all-important prep dress codes. A few of these core principals? Neatness, practicality, and quality: Check, check, check. Excellent materials, heritage, humor? Most definitely, check.
In the pantheon of luxury goods, Rolex has a unique spot: The word conjures up not a logo or a covetable item, but rather the very idea of a beautifully made and enduring timepiece. It is nearly synonymous with the word heirloom, and for that reason, the watchmaker has earned an enormous and loyal following around the world.
For many, buying new gives them instant access to this legacy, but collectors and connoiseurs want something more, a watch with history as well as pedigree. The value of rare models reaches stratospheric heights at some of the biggest auction houses in the world. Phillips, Sotheby's, Christie's, and Antiquorum have all set records prices for notable Rolex watches that have come up for auction.
Lighthearted and whimsical may not be the first things that come to mind when you think of lifestyle brand Shinola, but a new ladies collection named Gomelsky flips the script on their masculine All-American ethos.
These unique watches—by the likes of Dali, Gilbert Albert, and Andrew Grima—are all the style inspiration you need.
Stephen Watson is a freelance stylist and watch editor.