Watchlist: the best timepieces for up to £3,000
Bell & Ross Aéronavale BR 123
The preferred brand for French pilots takes to the high seas with this sumptuous affair. Designed with the officers’ mess of the naval air arm in mind, it’s the little details that count here, right down to the gilt indices – perfectly setting off the medals pinned to your Admiral’s jacket.
£2,150; bellross.comAdvertisement - Page continues below
Bremont Solo Polished
If anyone is going to carry the torch and bring industrial-scale mechanical making back to these shores, it’s Bremont, which has recently established a facility near Silverstone. This watch reminds us of what it’s always done best – solid, contemporary takes on the trad pilot watch.
Rado HyperChrome Ultra Light
Not only is the case a cutting-edge cocktail of silicon nitride ceramic, anodised aluminium and titanium, but it has somehow managed to do away with a crown in favour of touchscreen-style control, operated by stroking your finger on the side of the case. No, we don’t know how, either.
£2,350; rado.comAdvertisement - Page continues below
Oris Williams Chronograph Carbon Fibre Extreme
Every watch brand with petrol in its veins boasts a “carbon-fibre” model, but that’s a misnomer – the tolerances required by a watertight watch case were impossible to achieve in carbon weave. Until now. Oris’s long-term F1 partner, Williams, has pioneered a monocoque carbon chassis.
Nomos Glashütte Metro 38 Datum
People talk about “manufacture” makers, where nearly all the components and assembly are done under one roof. Well, German Nomos does that, but for about half the usual price of its Swiss counterparts, and with a desirable Bauhaus design philosophy thrown into the bargain, too.