Watches are inanimate objects; however, just like the people in our lives, we can appreciate them for many different reasons. Similar to humans, we are attracted to some watches because they are beautiful, while others we appreciate solely because of what’s inside. Additionally, some are not beautiful at all, but we appreciate them because of what they mean to us and the memories that we share together. Others may have rather plain-looking faces, but turn them around, and you will get a truly spectacular view… and yes, I am still talking about watches.
I can appreciate a timepiece for many different reasons, but when I look at the ones that I actually want for myself, they either need to be absolutely beautiful, or they need to offer something truly special inside (most people likely have similar criteria when deciding whether or not to go on a date with a person). Again, just like people, the ones we truly love always score big in both categories, but below are a few examples of watches that I love either solely because of their good looks or exclusively because of what they have going on inside their cases.
Watches with Pretty Faces
There is an old saying that “beauty is only skin deep” - which is completely fine when it comes to watches because sometimes all I need is just a pretty dial. Below are a couple watches that I love based solely on their aesthetics.
Rolex Datejust 36 Reference 126200 - Palm Motif Dial
There are several current-production Rolex watches that I would be interested in owning but as a whole, the standard Datejust isn’t particularly high on my list. However, if we are talking about the 36mm Rolex Datejust ref. 126200 with the green ‘Palm Motif’ dial, then the Datejust is the number one Rolex that I want to add to my collection.
The current-production Datejust 36 in full stainless steel is an undeniably great watch, but it is exclusively the green palm dial that makes me want one so badly. I thought it might have just been a brief fascination with the novel dial design when it first appeared last year, but it is still the number one Rolex watch I want to buy, even more than a full year later. I’m completely serious when I say that I would happily turn down a stainless steel Daytona if it meant that I could get my hands on one of these Datejust watches with a leafy green dial.
Literally Any Panerai Luminor
Panerai dials aren’t exactly beautiful - that honor would go to pretty much anything and everything produced by Grand Seiko. However, the only reason that I want a Panerai Luminor is because I think they look cool, and the model therefore falls into the greater ‘pretty face’ category, at least for the purposes of this exercise.
Compared to other watches at a similar price point, rarely is Panerai my first choice. Additionally, other than enjoying the Luminor’s aesthetic, I don’t have any type of personal connection to the brand that would explain why I feel the inexplicable urge to own one. However, there is definitely part of me that wants to strap a Panerai Luminor to my wrist, put on a Hawaiian shirt, and grill some cheeseburgers at the beach.
Watches with Great Personalities
As they say, “it’s what’s on the inside that counts” - and below are a few of the watches that I want to add to my collection, solely based on their internal movements.
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch - Caliber 3861 Movement
The Omega Speedmater is a great watch, and I appreciate it for a myriad of different reasons. In fact, I appreciate the classic Moonwatch so much that I actually own one (a ref. 3572.50 ‘Hesalite Sandwich’ to be exact) - and yet, I still want to buy one of the new models, exclusively because of their Caliber 3861 movement.
At a glance, my older Speedmater looks nearly identical to the current model, and it would be hard for me not to agree that owning both would be slightly redundant. However, I absolutely love the new Cal. 3861 Moonwatch movement, and I think it’s great that Omega’s most famous model has finally received a Master Chronometer caliber, complete with Omega’s Co-Axial escapement and all of the incredible magnetic resistance that comes with its METAS certification.
Oris Aquis Date Caliber 400
Generally speaking, I like the Oris Aquis but my aesthetic preferences tend to lean more towards the brand’s Divers Sixty-Five collection. With that in mind, when Oris first unveiled its new in-house Caliber 400 movement inside the Aquis, the new model immediately became one of the Oris watches I’d be most interested in owning.
The Oris Caliber 400 isn’t intended to be a high-end concept movement reserved for the brand’s most exclusive models. Instead, it’s supposed to be an ultra-reliable workhorse caliber that can be used to power some of its most functional watches. With a 10-year service interval, 10-year warranty, and a 5-day power reserve, the Oris Cal. 400 seems to offer quite a lot, and the movement is the single reason why I’d be most interested in adding one of these premium Aquis models to my collection.
*All images courtesy of their respective manufacturers.