DB12 De Bethune Chronograph


De Bethune make wildly technical alien spaceships, right? Well, not always. At least it didn’t start that way. The early years of De Bethune were different, pre tenuous Starry Varius puns. This simple restrained chronograph, yes still made by De Bethune, is a magnificently uncommon thing. These were the early years of the manufacture, when…

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‘Everest’ Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph


I can count on two hands the number of times a watch released post 2018 from a non-independent stopped me dead in my tracks. Four of those fingers are taken up by Lange. And three of them are Vacheron’s. Two of Vacheron’s are what happens when a watch brand listens to its customers and isn’t…

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E335 Lecoultre Valjoux 72 Chronograph


Valjoux 72 is a broad church. Everyone thinks manual Daytona first. But the legendary chronograph calibre is behind much of great vintage Heuer, Universal, Breitling, and Enicar. Lesser known, its widespread adoption even intersects with the history of the esteemed ‘Grande Maison’ Jaeger-Lecoultre. And where V72 meets JLC, it is a bizarre, varied, but undeniably…

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Brushed Dial Movado M95 Sub Sea


There is a Scandinavian ideal known as Janteloven, which is a bit tricky to define but I’m going to try. Broadly, it’s a laughably egalitarian ideal that eschews any expressions of extreme individuality or success. In plain English, it’s a concept that aims to make the opposite of ostentation aspirational. Now, I enjoy a good…

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Tropical Mk2 Dial 1163 Heuer Autavia GMT


For all their motorsport ties and Ryan Gosling ad nonsense today, Heuer sure knew how to do a travel watch. And travel does suit the motorsport lifestyle, more than a simple chronograph. This Autavia would’ve been perfectly suited to time laps at Silverstone, fly to Monte Carlo, and time again while not loosing track of…

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‘Paul Newman’ Lip Genève 830 Chronograph


You know that meme that goes ‘Mom, can we get X?’ ‘We have X at home’. This might be the only meme-appropriate watch instance where X is both less expensive and just as cool, but fits the format. This is a Lip 830, but it’s know affectionately as the ‘Paul Newman’ Lip, for its likeness…

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A3817 Zenith El Primero


Vintage Zenith chronographs pull off a trick that very few watches can. Amongst enthusiasts, they wear totally without class. I don’t mean that how it reads. I mean they seem to be effortlessly ‘right’ in just about any social strata, equally at home at some brewery in a t-shirt or at the French Laundry under…

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12295 Universal Genève Tri-Compax


Post WWII, the Tri-Compax was it. Introduced at Baselworld 1944, the triple-complication (it’s often mistakenly assumed that “tri-compax” refers to the triple chronograph sub dial configuration) aviator’s offering was every bit as stylish as it was complicated. There aren’t many designs which feel perfect nearly a century on, this is one of them. In fact, as…

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