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The best watches that do more than tell time

 

Now that us metrosexual types are at our most stylish, gone are the days when we could sling on our dad’s old watch and head out (unless you’re one of those vintage types in skinny jeans who can pull vintage off). What you’ve got on your wrist can say something about what type of guy you are (to both work contacts and the ladies), so buying a new watch isn’t a shopping activity to be taken lightly. Particularly because there are so many models out there that offer far more than the time – whether you’re a runner, diver or geek. Presenting our guide to buying a new watch (pics below)…

ATHLETIC

Nike+ SportWatch GPS
Great for: The endurance runner in need of an all-in-one tracker
What it does: Powered by TomTom, the Nike+ SportWatch GPS is like having your own running coach. You can track, share and compare runs within the Nike+ community, while accessing in-run metrics of time, pace, location and distance. The pre-recorded run reminders and motivational messages from athletes and celebs, before and after runs, are a quirky feature.
Strap it: $279
tomtom.com

Longines Legend Diver
Great for: The underwater explorer
What it does: The self-winding mechanical movement Legend Diver retains the design of the 1960 original but it has been updated with a larger 42mm case, sapphire crystal glass, screw-in crowns and screw-down case back. The 300m water-resistant dial has a rotating bezel on the inside of the glass to prevent accidental turning and a power reserve of 38 hours so you’ll run out of tanks before your watch stops turning.
Strap it: $3,200
longines.com

Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Extreme
Great for: Something to match your sports car
What it does: An Aston for your wrist. The Pontos was designed by Henrik Fisker, the man famously responsible for the coquettishness of the DB9 and the Vantage. The case is made of Powerlite, an alloy of magnesium, titanium, zirconium, aluminium and ceramic that contributes to the lightness and hardiness of the casing. The three-counter chronograph watch has a time-regulating mechanism activated by a push-button, to protect it from unintentional movement.
Strap it: $6,900 
mauricelacroix.de

UNDERSTATED SUAVE

Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 5123R
Great for: Investing: Patek Philippe watches are known to retain their value
What it does: The iconic Calatrava with its 5N rose gold 38mm case comes with a dome-shaped dial on a brass plate with gold applied hour markers. The manual mechanical movement can be seen through the sapphire crystal case back and is marked with the Patek Philippe seal. Power reserve of 44 hours.
Strap it: $37,800
patek.com

Raymond Weil Maestro Phase de Lune Semainier
Great for: Werewolves, surfers and those who like to impress with lunar cycle knowledge
What it does: Four large hands on the galvanic dial indicate the hours, minutes, seconds, weeks and months while three smaller dials – at three, six and nine o’clock – indicate the date, the moon’s phases and days of the week. All are regulated by four push-pieces set in the steel case. An automatic winding mechanical heart forms the centre of the watch’s complex system and generates a power reserve of 42 hours.
Strap it: $6,495
raymond-weil.com

BERING 10540-404
Great for: A Scandic nod to sleek design
What it does: Keeping in line with Danish simplistic design, this chronograph watch features a white face with neat black hour markers. A tilted date indicator sits on the right side of the watch face and it comes complete with a black leather strap.
Strap it: $369
beringtime.de

BELLS & WHISTLES

Tissot T-Touch Expert
Great for: The outdoor adventurer, from professional mountaineers to extreme sportsmen
What it does: Besides telling the time, the T-Touch Expert comes with 11 additional functions including a barometer, altimeter, altitude difference meter, thermometer, dual time zone display, perpetual calendar, compass and countdown timer, which are activated by pressing on the crown and the touch-sensitive screen. Comes with either a rubber strap or titanium bracelet. Water-resistant to 100m.
Strap it: From $1,500
tissot.ch

BLINGED OUT

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 26129OR
Great for: Blinding the opposition
What it does: The self-winding Royal Oak Chronograph 26129OR features Audemars Piguet’s signature Grande Tapisserie embossed dial pattern, white mother-of-pearl counters, pink gold hour markets, a brown inner bezel and a rubber strap. The 18-carat pink gold bracelet and liberal frosting of 411 brilliant-cut diamonds reflects more light than a disco ball.
Strap it: Price on request
audemarspiguet.com

Rado Ceramica Quartz XL Jubilé
Great for: Showing off the world’s first platinum colour ceramic watch bracelet
What it does: The Ceramica’s 18-carat white gold dial holds a blinding 414 rare white 8/8 cut diamonds, of which 367 of them are at least 2-carat. To offset the striking dial, it comes with a platinum ceramic bezel, curved sapphire crystal casing and steel crown with platinum ceramic cap.
Strap it: $36,850
rado.com

Omega Constellation Sedna
Great for: Boasting rights to wearing a piece of just-invented 18K rose gold
What it does: You know Omega is serious when a new alloy blend of gold, copper and palladium, now patented as Sedna, is invented for the sole purpose of making the cases, indexes, hands and clasps in every one of the 1,952 limited-edition Constellation Sedna watches.
Strap it: $27,800
omegawatches.com

OLD-SCHOOL

Tissot Pocket Watch 1920
Great for: Turning up the 20s gentleman’s charm
What it does: The good ol’ pocket watch is given a modern touch with straight hands and line indices, with only the number twelve standing as an index. You can observe the intricate craftsmanship of its manual mechanical movement through its open heart at the front and back.
Strap it: $1,030
tissot.ch

Casio A159WGEA-1D
Great for: Reminiscing about the old times
What it does: We all owned one of these LED watches at some point in our life. Its no-fuss features include a daily alarm, backlight, and stopwatch. In the words of J-Lo: “Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got, I’m still, I’m still Jenny from the block”. Comes in a wide array of colours.
Strap it: $69
casio.com

ALTERNATIVE

i’m Watch
Great for: Hands-free phone control
What it does: i’m Watch interacts with your smartphone to receive calls, texts, emails, music, notifications and even photos directly on your wrist via Bluetooth. Designed and built entirely in Italy, this “smartwatch” is compatible with iPhone and Android.
Strap it: From US$399
imsmart.com

Nooka Zex Gold
Great for: Nailing the too-cool-for-regular-watches hipster look
What it does: The Zex Gold is unusual looking but relatively easy to read; the dots represent the hours while the bar represents the minutes. Its hexagonal face and case back are made of stainless steel and it relies on a battery for power.
Strap it: US$325
nooka.com

Kisai Adjust LED Watch
Great for: Eccentrics and MIT graduates
What it does: At first glance, it looks like a toy watch but with a little visualising (and practice), you’ll be able to translate the back-lit triangles into real time. It is USB rechargeable, comes in six LED colours and has a special disco function where the lit triangles “dance” in random patterns.
Strap it: US$179
tokyoflash.com

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