Three stunning new stainless steel sports timepieces from independent watchmakers
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Three stunning new stainless steel sports timepieces from independent watchmakers

Three stunning new stainless steel sports timepieces from independent watchmakers

There’s a rich bounty to be had from Laurent Ferrier, Parmigiani Fleurier and Czapek

Czapek Antarctique S Frozen Star

A lot has happened in the world of watches over the last few weeks. We had Swatch launch their Omega Moon Watch collaboration. We also saw the secondary market for Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet finally peaking, although with a slight correction to their still very inflated prices. Watches and Wonders put up an amazing show, although some of the brands that weren’t present at the show – Audemars, Bremont & MB&F – have over the last few weeks announced some very cool anniversary editions as well as partnerships.

With the secondary market inundated with people flipping watches to make a quick buck and certain retail brands no longer considered to be retailers (read Rob Corder’s piece in WatchPro), it is no wonder that collectors have switched their attention to some of the independents. Brands that previously struggled to get their watches into retail stores now find their pieces in heavy demand. Such is the itch that needs to be scratched by watch enthusiasts.

Whilst everyone hates comparison, there is no doubting the effect that not being able to buy a Rolex, Audemars Piguet or Patek stainless steel sports watch has had on the rest of the market. Watch brands across the spectrum have helped meet that demand with their Hulk, Daytona, and Genta-inspired creations.

Sticking with the independent brands though, I was delighted to get my hands on what can only be described as the next grail watch and – one could argue – much cooler than a Nautilus. Step forward please, Laurent Ferrier with their new Sport Auto Blue. The good news is that the Sport Auto has launched as part of their main collection (not limited). The bad news is the watch is already sold out for 2022, so get onto their website now and click on the “Inquire” button.

Laurent Ferrier Sport Auto Blue

The brand’s first attempt at a sports watch (ignoring their 2019 Grand Sport Tourbillion) is scarily good. The smaller case houses the brand’s own automatic 270.01 Calibre movement which will make the watch far more accessible and affordable. It features beautifully rounded curves and ‘sport-chic bodywork’ as well as a domed sapphire. The watch is everything you could wish for whilst still staying true to the brand’s aesthetics. Seeing is really believing, get your order in now as 12 months wait time for the next grail watch is nothing compared to what we have become accustomed to.

The Sport Auto Blue features a automatic 270.01 Calibre movement

Following in the trend of beautiful independent brand sports watches I was delighted to try the new Czapek Antarctique S – an elegant new 38.5mm case size featuring the Czapek’s signature ‘Stairway to Eternity’ pattern is presented in glacier blue and salmon. Equally impressive was the ‘Frozen Star’ dial edition which is made from the very rare Osmium, which when crystalised provides the dial with a unique bluish-grey sparkle providing an amazing contrast with the matt and polished finish of the stainless steel case and bracelet.

You may begin to see a trend here as we skip nicely along to Parmigiani Fleurier that has been a long-time exhibitor at the erstwhile SIHH, now known as Watches and Wonders.

Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante
Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante

I have never doubted Parmigiani’s technical watch- and clock-making ability, but have in the past struggled to understand what the brand was about. Anyone who remembers the Woodstock will back me up on this. But since they introduced the Tonda line, they have completely won me over and so the trend continues with beautiful in-house movement placed within a stainless steel case and bracelet.

I particularly liked this year’s Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante for its sheer simplicity. The push button setting on the GMT function is genius and adds an extremely useful function without interfering with the look and feel of the dial. I particularly like the fact that when I am done with the second timezone (as happens when one gets home) you can simply press the pusher at 8’o clock and the rhodium-placed hand moves on top of the rose gold hand…genius.

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