Six Understated Watches That Will Score Maximum Points For Subtlety

02 March 2020
Watches, ROLEX, Favre-Leuba, F.P. Journe, Montblanc, Breitling, IWC
ITP Images
From Rolex to Breitling via IWC, these are the year’s low-key lux timepieces

The Ace Face: Rolex

Oyster Datejust 36, price on request, Rolex. Jacket, $290, Sandro. Trousers, $250, Mr. P at Mr Porter

There can’t be many watches that offer instant respect like the Datejust 36. A classic since its 1945 inception, then it housed all the brand’s innovations in one timepiece. Now, with two new variants, diamond hour markers in 18 ct white gold settings, and a waterproofness to 330 feet, you’re guaranteed to look on your game, whether underwater or on dry land.

Read More: These track-worthy timepieces will take you from 0-100, real quick

The Vintage Move: Favre-Leuba

Raider Sea King, price on request, Favre-Leuba. Shirt, $235, Sandro

To our mind, the best watch swerve can often be the most unexpected, but while Favre-Leuba might not always hog the headlines, it’s actually the second oldest watch manufacturer in the world. The Raider Collection, although built for beefy, outdoor pursuits, also considers your style, too, and the Sea King will fit snugly with any look, wherever you choose to take it.

Read More: These Watches Will Make Any Style Sweeter

The Big Gun: F.P. Journe

Octa Automatique Lune, price on request, F.P. Journe. Jacket, $690, trousers, $310, Paul Smith at Matches Fashion. Top, $230, Sandro

Hey, it’s nice to own a complication-packed watch, but even better to show mechanical brilliance with subtle styling. A big date display between 11 and 12, a power reserve indicator at 9, a moon phase at 7 and a small second between 4 and 5, is great, but a classic style and a small enough dial to elevate any cuff is greater.

Read More: The GQ Middle East cover star's watch proves that original is often best

The Peak Power: Montblanc

Heritage Automatic, price on request, Montblanc. Shirt, $150, Mr. P at Mr Porter

Yeah, you can opt for the clean, crisp face that works just as well post-work as it does post-gym, but nothing says heritage like a bit of red gold. Add in the smoked caramel face, the sandblasted ring that holds the indices and the tan leather strap, and you've got a watch that you can wear en route to any summit.

Read More: Six Swiss Diving Watches Worth Your Time

The Real Deal: Breitling

Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition, price on request, Breitling. Jacket, $270, Officine Generale Liam at Matches Fashion

Less a re-edition more an exact replica, this Navitimer is for anybody who wants classic but with a little extra in the tank. It matters little that you’ll likely never use the slide rule bezel for fuel consumption or air speed calculations, it’s there when you need it, and that’s all anybody can ask.

Read More: Breitling collaborate with Fursan Al Emarat

The Minimalist Classic: IWC

Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII, price on request, IWC. Jacket, $105, Mr. P at Mr Porter

While heritage abounds in the Mark XVIII, you can’t help but fall in love with the simple aesthetic of it all the minute you fasten the calfskin strap. The super-legible dial – it’s a pilot watch, after all – and the monochrome colour scheme that elevates any outfit you choose to wear put this firmly into ‘wearable icon’ category.

Read More: Tom Brady Really Loves His IWC Watch


Words: Andrew Nagy

Photography: Efraim Evidor

Styling: Rusty Beukes

Venue: Dubai Bowling Center

Model: Ruben C At Niche Models

Junior Producer: Malaika Naik

Fashion Assistant: Monalisa Wahba