The luxury sports watch… A genre defined in 1972 with a new category that merged elements from high-end watchmaking and sports watches, watches with integrated bracelets made from stainless steel. And almost 50 years later, the most coveted category of watches, from accessible to ultra-exclusive. While the AP and PP models are the easiest choices, today we look at the other propositions, with the new luxury sports watches of 2020.
Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Steel Satin-Polished
If the Octo Finissimo Automatic is not per se a new watch, this year Bvlgari has rejuvenated its ultra-thin design statement with new finishes and several technical updates. First of all, this new Steel Satin-Polished model offers contrasting surfaces, from matte to glossy, emphasizing the architectural look of the watch – instead of the matte, sand-blasted finish used before. Second, it also gets rid of the monochromatic look and offers dials that contrast with the case material, including a black version and this brand new, summery blue model. Last, together with this new finish, the case has been reinforced and a screw-down crown installed, meaning now a healthy 100m water-resistance – and a case slightly thicker, at 6.40mm.
Quick Facts: 40mm diameter x 6.40mm height – stainless steel, satin-brushed and polished – 100m water-resistant – blue dial, lacquered with sunray-brushed pattern – calibre BVL138, in-house – ultra-thin automatic – stainless steel bracelet – ref. 103431 – EUR 11,500
Previously the apanage of the holy trinity (AP, PP, VC), the luxury sports watch has also been adopted by more mainstream brands, as well as independent watchmakers. Among them, the latest to enter the game is Czapek, with a new watch collection named ‘Antarctique’. Gathering all the usual features of this category, it comes with its own personality and beautifully executed dials, available in 4 different colours – this silver, tone-on-tone edition being very convincing. Inside is a brand new in-house movement, with a micro-rotor and superb design and decoration. For its first sports model, Czapek strikes hard.
Quick Facts: 40.5mm diameter x 10.6mm height – stainless steel case – 120m water-resistant – dial made by Metalem, with Lamé technique – in-house calibre SXH5 – automatic with micro-rotor – stainless steel bracelet – CHF 18,000
H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Chronograph
Another independent watchmaker that recently entered the race for the luxury sports watch and once again, a very personal approach to the genre. The H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner is defenitely a very unique watch, with its smooths lines that contrast with the usual sharp cases of the category. It also features a super-clean display for a chronograph, with central seconds and minutes, and no sub-dials. This is due to the impressive movement inside, the Agengraph designed by J.M. Wiederrecht. This automatic movement is packed with innovations and truly superb to look at. Even the steel bracelet is something special on this watch.
Quick facts: 42.3mm diameter x 14.2mm height – stainless steel case – 120m water-resistant – grey fumé and vertically brushed dial – Calibre HMC 902 developed with Agenhor – automatic chronograph, column-wheel and flyback – integrated steel bracelet – limited edition of 100 pieces – CHF 39,900
Wempe Iron Walker Automatic Chronograph
One of the newest offerings in the luxury sports watch category is the Wempe Iron Walker collection, which plays in the “accessible luxury” segment. Even though not as prestigious and thin as the other watches here, it is equipped with a beautiful, robust shaped steel case and an integrated steel bracelet. It also has a relatively clean look and doesn’t make too much of a statement, especially in the low-key 3-hander version. All the models are equipped with chronometer movements, including the very cool reversed panda automatic chronograph we’ve decided to present here – a diver’s version is also available. And with prices ranging from EUR 2,300 to EUR 3,700, it combines great quality with a fair price.
Quick facts: 42mm diameter x 13.95mm height – stainless steel case, brushed and polished – 100m water-resistant – blue or reversed panda dial – automatic chronograph ETA 7753 Valjoux, chronometer – stainless steel bracelet – EUR 3,675