When high-end fashion meets luxury watches
When haute couture and timepieces come together, the resulting watches are cool enough for their own fashion show.Neil Churchill March 2, 2015
Believe it or not, combining high-end fashion brands with luxurious timepieces is only a recent phenomenon. And frankly the lack of interest previously shown by the majority of the haute couture brands to watches was not only out-dated, but also completely baffling.
However over the last couple of years that's changed, with the fashion world starting to value the watch as an item capable of transmitting its values in its own right. In return, the watchmaking industry has also benefited from these stylish alliances by taking advantage of the extravagance of the designs created by fashion brands. What this all means is that there are now some seriously stylish timepieces on the market, which are every bit as reliable and functional as a gent's wristwatch should be.
Here are seven of our favourite fashion watches:
Ralph Lauren Stirrup
Since the watch’s debut in 2009, the Ralph Lauren Stirrup has been recognized as an expression of the brand's style and equestrian tradition. The bell-shaped stirrup watch has both male and female varieties, including the Rose Gold Chronograph, which is powered by an automatic, column wheel-controlled calibre RL750 made by Jaeger-LeCoultre.
Made exclusively for Ralph Lauren, this movement features a 48-hour power reserve and a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. Hublot Oceanographic 4000 Jeans
The luxury Swiss watchmaker has ventured into fashion territory that was previously unchartered by watchmakers by incorporating one of the most indispensable and basic items of clothing from our wardrobes, jeans. We never imagined the rough and ready material would look so good on a stylish watch, but then few other companies could have made it work as well as Hublot has.
Ermenegildo Zegna High Performance Chronograph
Taking its name from the Ermenegildo Zegna’s High Performance clothing line, the Italian brand have adapted it into their new range of timepieces, making sure they are robust and resilient as their namesake fabric. Crafted from black ceramic and equipped with ergonomic rubber coated pushpieces and winding crown, the High Performance Chronograph benefits from a 42 mm case diameter, with at-a-glance legibility of the dial and subdials further enhanced by the use of high contrast Arabic and baton hour markers. Bottega Veneta BVX
As Bottega’s first timepiece, there was a definite desire to transfer the quality of that the label embodies, to this watch. The unisex watch’s clean and minimalist look comes from its exotic cigar-coloured crocodile strap that bears Bottega Veneta’s signature intrecciato weave.
Function wise, it is assembled from elements of 18-karat rose gold, with an automatic movement that offers date and small second functions. The 41mm case, meanwhile, is made from brushed titanium, finished with a PVD coating in the brand’s signature brunito colour. Chanel J12 Automatic movement 312
Chanel’s J12 Calibre 3125 is equipped with an haute horlogery movement developed by prestigious Swiss watchmakers, Audemars Piguet. The timepiece looks to fuse elements of the AP3120 movement with the J12’s high-tech ceramic to create a self-winding watch with a balance bridge and black high-tech ceramic clad rotor. The J12 Calibre 3125 comes in 18k yellow gold and black matte high-tech ceramic. Louis Vuitton Tambour
Louis Vuitton’s latest creation, the Tambour Twin Chrono, is an in-house monopusher chronograph, with a 437-component movement and a three-layer column wheel. The timepiece was designed specifically to celebrate the America’s Cup and Vuitton’s 30-year association with the sport of sailing. Dior Chiffre Rouge
With a case made from stainless steel and measuring a sizable 42mm in size, there is no messing with this iconic Dior watch. Powering the watch is a Zenith calibre Elite 691 customized to Dior’s specifications, and is finished off with a luxurious black alligator leather strap with deployant clasp.