As with many brands falling under the style banner, watch companies frequently release seasonal offerings to bolster their core collection. The summer season often sees a slew of new additions that warrant just as much attention as those coming out around milestone events—such as Baselworld, SIHH or the holiday period. And this year has been no different. From historic design houses to industrial designer collaborations, the following seven grabbed our attention for their cleanliness of design, charming flourishes or unexpected functionality. And while we are excited for fall (because of, among many things, the release of Skagen’s $95 Hagen Connected smartwatch and activity tracker), and have already noted a handful of favorites thus far this season, these selections round up some of the summer’s best.
Shinola The Rambler 600
On the larger side of our watch preferences, at 44mm, is Shinola’s The Rambler 600 ($1,325). There are many colorways, and stainless steel iterations—but the limited edition solid titanium piece makes for something special. It’s the brand’s first ever tachymetric timepiece line—and was inspired by Craig Breedlove who broke the world’s land speed records. Naturally, it has a chronograph stopwatch function and a bezel with a tachymetric scale. But it’s the design cohesion of the total package that truly impresses.
NOMOS Glashütte’s Metro Datum Gangreserve
From their acclaimed Metro collection, NOMOS Glashütte’s Metro Datum Gangreserve ($3,780) features the first NOMOS caliber with an in-house built NOMOS swing system. The 37mm stainless steel automatic watch was designed by Berlin-based Mark Braun but sports NOMOS’ curious color palette—notably mint green and splashes of red. As for additional functionality, the watch carries a power reserve indicator and date function.
Filson The Smokey Bear Watch
Limited to 1000 pieces, Filson’s Smokey Bear Watch ($1,000) calls upon the iconic animated character and his role in nature preservation. For young Americans, Smokey encouraged fire awareness for generations. Filson, known for their outdoor-oriented products, has produced a 43mm watch ready for everyday use in challenging conditions. The stainless steel quartz timepiece comes complete with a four-piece, bolt-reinforced roller buckle style closure and uses scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. It’s not a childish watch, but a nostalgic one that’s ready for adventure.
Samuel Wilkinson + NOMAD
The result of a partnership between industrial designer Samuel Wilkinson and Scottish watch brand NOMAD, The LINE collection (£95) is presently fully funded on Kickstarter—with more than enough days left to grab one. With two distinct styles (Inline and Outline, each available in black or white) the brand’s focus here is clean, contemporary design. The 41mm case is composed of textured steel, with a touch that mimics cast iron, while a Swiss quartz movement makes it function. As for the two styles, the Inline moves all of the time indicators toward the center of the dial. The Outline combines the hour markings and the 12 numbers, setting them within an array of elongated minute indicators. Delivery is expected in December 2016.
F.P.Journe Élégante 48
One would be hard pressed to find a watchmaker more tenured, technical and imaginative than François-Paul Journe. And remarkably, quartz movements are the last thing one would think of upon hearing his name. That said, the heart of the Élégante 48 ($11,400) is something a bit different—it is a hybrid of mechanical and electronic components aimed at extending battery life and allowing the timepiece to rest when not in use. It’s a divisive but creative horological development from the brand, but the timepiece itself is truly impressive. It’s worth mentioning that this isn’t a typical 48mm watch, but measures 40mm by 48mm, making it a reasonable fit for most wrists. Rounding out the features, the entire dial on this titanium piece happens to be made of Super-LumiNova for a late-night glow.
Breitling Navitimer 46 Blacksteel
Breitling’s Navitimer happens to be one of the world’s longest continuously produced chronographs. This summer’s Breitling Navitimer 46 Blacksteel ($9,225) release, delivers an all-black iteration. This large 46mm watch, with a Breitling 01 (Manufacture) caliber, self-winding, is not without plenty of functionality, from its day calendar to chronometer. This is another limited edition piece, and one that’s begging to be used.
Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days GMT Automatic Acciaio
For a few years now, we’ve been in love with the idea of brilliant blue dials. With that in mind, the Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days GMT Automatic Acciaio (€8,400) does not disappoint. The 42mm polished steel Luminor 1950 case represents the brand’s signature design DNA, while the P.9001 calibre automatic movement keeps it ticking. Highly functional, this timepiece offers up hours, minutes, small seconds, date, GMT, a power preserve Indicator on the back, and a seconds reset function. But again, it’s the satiné soleil finish of the bright blue face (paired with the dark blue alligator strap) that makes this a stunner.
Filson image by Josh Rubin, Shinola image by David Graver, all other images courtesy of brands