As the worlds oldest watch manufacture in continuous production, Vacheron Constantin have produced some incredible timepieces over their 260 year history. Now, in partnership with the famous London department store Harrods, they have created two stunning 20 piece limited edition watches within the Tradtionnelle Collection. Two watches which both symbolise London luxury and display the Maison’s incredible artistic craft and Haute Horlogerie abilities.
It’s competition time here on The Gentleman Select. In partnership with Fossil in St Enoch Centre Glasgow we have an amazing Gen 4 Smartwatch to giveaway worth £249!
Being huge watch fans here at The Gentleman Select we are always excited at the new releases from the Basel watch fair, so much so we almost can’t contain ourselves waiting for certain brands to hit the stores. One such in this category is TUDOR and last week, curtesy of jewellers Chisholm Hunter, we were lucky enough to finally get our hands on some of the key new pieces, in which they were everything we had hoped.
Set in the historic Blythswood hotel, former home of the RAC Club, it was a brilliant location for a fascinating insight into a personal favourite watch house. A lovely welcoming cocktail reception was followed by a detailed overview of key dates through TUDOR’S history and for me, highlighted many points, hugely competitive prices and the Rolex relationship, as examples why this really is one of the best watch brands on the market currently.
Following the presentation it was straight to the action and for me, like a magpie to silver, the first piece I wanted to see was the new Black Bay Bronze ( £2,940). It was simple, I adored it the moment I attached it round my wrist. The 43mm case made of bronze, captures the essence of sea and maritime days of past magnificently. It is complimented by two straps that are interchangeable, an aged leather version, or a woven fabric resembling old rope you might tie your boat up with.
Within the Black Bay Bronze you will also find the adapted to fit, in house TUDOR movement bearing the reference of MT5601, MT referring to Manufacture TUDOR. For me this is the essential feather to have in your watch manufacturing cap as a brand, it gains ultimate respect in this industry and also keeps the aficionados smiling as they glance down at their wrist and fill their conversation at the bar with watch jargon.
Next on my hit list was the New Black Bay Dark (£3,130). This 41mm monster of the deep is coated in PVD or “Physical Vapour Disposition” resulting in a matte black finish which wouldn’t look out of place on the wrist of some special forces solider emerging from the sea in the dead of night. This dark appearance also helps to make the dial and large snowflake hands incredibly clear, with the hands themselves being powered by the in-house MT5602 movement housed in the robust casing.
From a personal point, on this watch, I would take the option of the black aged leather strap with PVD coated clasp and bag yourself an additional grey fabric strap in the box in the process. The model itself does come in a fully coated bracelet (£3,370) roughly, however I just don’t find it as impactful as a watch which is drawing on the history of the Black Bay.
In my opinion TUDOR have nailed it with some wonderful, fresh new takes on an already iconic time piece. Both highlighted I feel will be in huge demand and are sure to disappear quick. In my humble advice if you have a hint of interest in watches I would get along to Chisholm Hunter now and secure yourself one of these future collectors piece.
Accessories for men and women are growing rapidly now a-days in all forms, shapes and sizes, from necklaces to handbags, and now most recently, watch straps. The latest cool accessory brand to come to our attention then is Caliber Straps, a colourful alternative for any watch, male or female.
The British brand is new to the scene however is growing rapidly in popularity with its vibrant array of colours which completely change the look of any watch you may have. The woven Perlon straps, a nylon material, are easily changeable in which we found they very simply looped through the spring-bars of our watch and boosted the overall look of the watch beautifully. Comfort wise it was super smooth on the wrist with no discomfort at all in which the strap stayed nice and tight on the wrist.
Through their website you can see some truly bold colours which for us, will only go quicker as the summer comes around, colours which will look fantastic on the beach and even just now brightening up the dull winter months. For us this is the coolest watch accessory out there just now and we thoroughly suggest you check them out now at Caliber Straps.
If you are a fan of motorsport and rallying, you will be familiar with the borderline insane days of 80’s rallying, spectators would stand on the track, chasing the best photograph, until the last possible second they had to move. Thankfully the chaps over at Autodromo are not quite as ludicrous, just extremely creative. The Group B Watch is inspired by this holy era of rallying, capturing power, speed and colour, all within a light 52 gram case that can be yours for under £660. The watch is constructed from a lightweight titanium case which makes reference to the fiber glass used in the cars of that decade, with its 39mm case sporting bright, luminous style hands and hour markers which hark back to the dashboard dials of one certain Lancia 037 rally car.
The Autodromo Group B Watch is available in a variety of different colours with co-ordinating nylon straps to truly capture the soul and complete madness that was Group B Rally Racing. You can visit www.autodromo.com for the full collection and some stunning car snap shots to.
When we think of a safe, immediately a giant lead box, or the small digital one you find in your hotel room on holiday springs to mind. Never something we would consider a work of art anyway. That is because many of us are completely unaware of one particular German safe maker called Doettling. Put simply these safes are a mechanical palatial masterpiece, the pinnacle of metal craftsmanship.
Founded in 1919 in southern Germany, a region famed for mechanical ingenuity in its own right with names such as Mercedes Benz, Porsche and Bosch still based around the area today, these German landmark companies Doettling say act as both their inspiration and motivation. Currently the company is in its fourth generation in which they continue to build and restore safes with elaborate craftsmanship and passion like nothing you have ever seen.
We will throw you straight in with a safe quite literally fit for a king. Built in 1872 by the Morosini brothers in Milan, it was said to be commissioned by Victor Emmanuel II who ruled in Italy from 1861 to 1878. The royal origins of the safe are visable through the ornate brass fittings on both inner doors of the safe, culminating with the royal coat of arms of the House of Savoy, including crown, at the top. What is more fascinating was the safes functionality with its heavy bolt mechanism, despite being exceptionally opulent and highly decorative in its design. It was functional in the sense as well that according to decendants of witnesses at the time, it was used by the king to store love letters and memorabilia from his mistress and soon to be second wife Rosa Vercellana. Looking closer at the safe there is a nod by the Morosini brothers towards this amourous relationship with some beautiful detail on the inner doors, an engraved rose surrounded by a heart shaped crest which opens upwards, smartly linking then to the lady herself with Rosa meaning Rose in Italian.
To date how the safe found its way to southern Germany, were it was rescued by Doettling following a house demolition, remains a mystery. What can be said is that they have done the most beautiful job in fully restoring it to its radiant royal form which in actual fact, is ready to grace the home of a discerning connoisseur should you wish to purchase it.
Doettling not only restore safes back to their original form, they also create their own metal masterpieces. The latest creation from the house of Doettling is called “The Chest”. This stunning example is part of Doettling’s “Miniature Vaults” collection which deliver on style and performance as much as their restoration projects do. This particular safe was inspired by the Italian and French Tresor masterpieces of the late 18th century and although vintage in appearance, is as modern as you like with a fully functional boltwork and double safe lock. The finish on “The Chest” is truly beautiful using only the finest materials, nubuck calfskin which has been braided and patinated before finishing with large panhead nails to produce an almost pirate-esq, aged appearance.
Within the safe it is very tech savvy indeed. From the two options available you will find either four precision watch winders within “The Chest-8” or five within the two door “The Chest-15” complete with cushions to keep the watches secure on. Personally my favourite part is the optional GPS tracking device that allows pin point positioning should the safe be stolen, that is of course if said thieves can lift it, and are not deterred by the deafening alarm systems which sounds should “The Chest” be maliciously removed.
For me what is so refreshing about Doettling, even in this modern era of daily advancing technology, is that the company still works very traditionally by hand through their passionate restorers, locksmiths, goldsmiths, painters and upholsters who meet individual customer requests in a unique, tailor made way. Doettling are a company which represents a symbiosis of absolute technical perfection and consistent, timeless, elegant design. We have only just grazed the surface of what you can expect from the German maestros so I suggest you hurry over to the website to get a full look at their marvellous creations both past and present.
As James Bond’s tools of the trade go, Q Branch would be particularly proud of this one. Introducing the Omega Seamaster 300, the watch which Daniel Craig will be sporting in the latest, fourth coming Bond film franchise Spectre. Much like the previous James Bond editions, it will be in limited production, 7,007 to be exact, complete with 007 logo engraved on the strap holder.
For me this watch works on so many levels, and like the current stars film series, takes a further leap back to the Bond of old and its origins. More gritty. Direct. To be specific, we must look to Sean Connery in the 1964 film Goldfinger to when we last saw our sleek spy wear a NATO strap, albeit on a Rolex submariner. This is then a touch of old indeed as the NATO strap, as much a part of British military kit as the old boots, nods again towards Mr Bond’s past as a commander in the navy.
The watch itself is powered by the Omega Master Coaxial caliber 8400 movement, whilst also featuring a uni-directional diving bezel constructed from Omega’s special Liquid Metal (ceramic and zirconium) mixture, on top of which sits a 12-hour scale similar to that of a GMT function.
On the dial itself we see a fairly similar face to that of previous Seamasters, however it does feature a lovely lolli-pop esq second hand to which the classic grey and black NATO nylon strap runs underneath. You can expect the limited edition piece to hit stores next month. And you can also expect them to sell seriously fast.
Here at The Gentleman Select we take great pride in a well put together outfit which avoids those nasty fashion faux pas and pit falls. Follow our top tips to achieve stylish glory and set yourself apart from the crowd.
1. When wearing a tie bar it should be between the third and fourth button. It looks silly and pointless if its round your neck or hanging off the bottom of your tie. The idea is to keep both blades snug to your shirt.
2. If there’s no tie bar, do take a risk and wear it both tie blades loose in true Italian fashion. It will channel your inner Lapo Elkann like you are a true industrialist.
3. Don’t wear square toe dress shoes, unless you want to look like a Boyz to Men reject. Again keep it simple, a nice black or brown round toe should suffice, with lots of lovely brogues out there this season also. Just be different but not clown different.
4. Don’t worry too much about matching your pocket square, live a little and mix it up even if it has little hints of shirt or tie colour. Youll look more inventive than those sheep on the daily grind. Remember: a pocket square is not there to match, but to compliment.
5. Do have half an inch of cuff showing below your jacket. Take the time to get the jacket or shirt altered to show this. It will save you looking like you’ve shrunk your shirt in the wash or borrowed your dads.
6. Embrace and learn the art of tying a bowtie. Not only will it provide you with a stylish sense of accomplishment but it will also look far better towards the end of the evening showing off your effortless class. It will also save you carrying two of them around all night.
7. Jeans. Something we wear constantly so search for a pair or pairs which really fit well, casual and pairs you can dress up, get them altered if need be so you get the maximum benefit from them. As Tom Ford would say “The most important thing in finding the right jean is the fit”.
8. If you have a bracelet watch do get it fitted properly. Just a little movement is all you need so it isn’t cutting off the circulation or stretching the bracelet. And please don’t wear it face down unless you want to put wear and tear to the ultimate test. You bought it to look at the time, not the clasp.
9. Do get some simple, plain crew neck t-shirts, perhaps white and grey to pair with a nice leather jacket or those nicely fitting jeans. They will give off a timeless, cool 60s look.
10. With the summer coming up, try on a variety and invest in a pair of sunglasses that really compliment your face. Take into consideration your jaw line, how sharp or soft your features are and work accordingly to cap off your look.
Key Points: Invest the time to pick, learn and think a little bit differently.