Watchlist: the best timepieces for up to £5,000
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M
Since Daniel Craig leapt from a crane in Casino Royale, Planet Ocean strapped to forearm, respect for the more youthful version of the Seamaster has been unavoidable. The orange accents might rule out any incognito snooping, but for a hardy water baby it can’t be beaten.
£4,300; omegawatches.comAdvertisement - Page continues below
Zenith El Primero Open Dial Synopsis
The El Primero movement is the stuff of legend. It was the first self-winding chrono, launched on the cusp of the quartz crisis in 1969. The tools’ destruction was ordered, but a loyal watchmaker hid them in an attic. Here, its escapement can easily be admired at breakneck 5Hz speed.
Cartier Drive de Cartier
Like the Air-King below, the price point is almost unbelievable. Like all Cartier watches, the distinction lies in the unusual yet graceful case shape – an allusion to vintage motoring – but the fact there’s a hand-finished, in-house movement makes it as irresistible as a drive on a sunny day.
£5,000; cartier.comAdvertisement - Page continues below
TAG Carrera Calibre 17
Back in the day, Jack Heuer single-handedly invented the “motorsport” watch. Away from his duties as official timekeeper for F1 in the Sixties and Seventies, he worked alongside drivers to develop easy-to-read chronos. And they don’t get easier to read than this revival of the classic Panda dial.
The sci-fi numerals and coloured logo divided critics at this year’s Baselworld trade fair. But whatever your feelings, there is one indisputable sales message here: the fact it’s a Rolex for less than five grand, where you’ll find the same, unbeatable chrono movement and watertight Oyster case in models almost twice the price.
Chopard GPMH Automatic
Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, the co-president of Chopard, isn’t so much a petrolhead as a petrolhead, shoulders, knees and toes. So it was inevitable his family firm would be the sponsor of something as classily cool as the Mille Miglia, and (as this racer attests) the Historic Monaco GP.