How to navigate the tidal wave of sports watches?

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Sports watches have never been talked about so much. By sport, we mean the exploits that follow the models or manufacturers’ support at sea, on land and in the air, which are linked to the world of athletes through their appearance and functionality. Currently, prestigious auction house Christie’s in Geneva is offering a sale around Patek Philippe’s Nautilus or Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak, which is 50 years old this year and not in a crease, but around a few iconic references.

Omega's Speedmaster 57 returns with a Master Chronometer version with a slim-profile case.

Omega’s Speedmaster 57 returns with a Master Chronometer version with a slim-profile case.

In terms of innovations, some base models – Breitling’s Navitimer and Omega’s Speedmaster 57 have been revisited recently, while others are new versions (Carrera x Porsche by Tag Heuer, Black Bay Pro by Tudor) or via new dials reaffirms its existence. (Longines Legendary Diver). Even classic masters like Grand Seiko get sporty elegance with the Evolution 9 collection, and the list goes on.

“For several years it has been putting a lot of pressure on all markets, such as sports, fashion, accessories and decoration. Adrian Verin, head of Sport and Lifestyle at Carlin trend office, confirmed. Watchmaking is not exempt from this wave, which has accelerated with Covid. Consumers are increasingly turning to these sports watches, which have the advantage of being hybrid in the way they are used. »

Propilot X Caliber 400 from Oris.

Propilot X Caliber 400 from Oris.

In other words, they look just as good in office attire during the week as they look for a casual cruise on the weekend. These watches, which are called diver’s watches, are appreciated not only for their durability and water resistance, but also for their appearance that has become a watchmaking classic.

In Oris, the best-selling Aquis represents 50% of the turnover. “The diver’s watch has a strong and recognizable identity, it has a quality side with its heavy materials and ceramic bezel, it’s somewhat equivalent to a 4×4 car in a watch version, Vincent Coquet, Oris’ France sales and marketing manager, explains. It also occupies a special place in France because France is a coastal country that is very dependent on the sea.

“Full metal is the achievement of the moment in terms of materials”

Nicolas Amsellem, editor-in-chief of the Les Rhabilleurs website

Along with this safe bet, the Swiss brand has launched the Propilot X Caliber 400, a model designed in steel from the case to the bracelet. “All metal is the achievement of the moment in terms of materials, Notes from Nicolas Amsellem, editor-in-chief of the Les Rhabilleurs website. However, the athlete practices other mandatory exercises, such as the chronograph, a feature that allows race times to be measured using a needle activated by a button. »

How to choose in the middle of this ocean of innovations and revisited models? “The first step is to identify a color, detail, aesthetic that catches our eye and will direct us to a particular model family”Nicolas Amsellem needle.

Breitling revisits the Navitimer specifically with colored dials.  (Franz J. Venzin)

Breitling revisits the Navitimer specifically with colored dials. (Franz J. Venzin)

With its sliding ruler, notched bezel and triple sub-dial, the Breitling Navitimer’s appearance has caught the attention of collectors many times, especially since its launch in the 1950s. It was greatly appreciated by pilots and is now used for navigation. .. out of life thanks to its modernized design and six dial colors. On the racing side, the Swiss watchmaker entered triathlon with the Endurance Pro, which has just introduced the new Ironman versions.

“A way to reconnect with success and, in a way, with your child’s spirit”

Vincent Coquet, Marketing Director Oris France

We didn’t want to be associated with a luxury sport like golf or Formula 1. Underlines Tim Sayler, Director of Marketing at Breitling. Triathlon brings together disciplines accessible to everyone: cycling, running and swimming. » The idea is to support the very broad movement of democratization of the sport without denying the extent of competitive performance: therefore, to obtain the black and gold Finisher model, the buyer must have completed an Ironman. The World Championship stamped model is reserved for the competition’s top athletes.

Louis Vuitton offers a Chronograph GMT version of the Tambour Outdoor.

Louis Vuitton offers a Chronograph GMT version of the Tambour Outdoor.

For the rarer athletes, an Ironman model of the Endurance Pro is available in permanent collections. “In the connected age, it is clear that sports watches no longer have a real practical function. Vincent Coquet of Oris concludes. We choose to buy one to wear the concentrate of a universe or a story on the wrist. It’s a way of reconnecting with success and, in a way, with your child’s soul. »

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