The love for mechanical watchmaking often goes hand in hand with defying its quartz counterparts. All these art-on-the-wrist talks may naturally result in some snobbery, and in order to remind ourselves that every corner of our beloved horological world has its highlights, we decided to pick some extremely cool quartz watches for men.
Let’s start with the Breitling Endurance Pro line presented at the recent Geneva Watch Days. A range of colorful chronographs brings the brand’s aesthetics to the extremely sporty territory. The 44-millimeter case is made of Breitlight, a trademark thermoset composite light as a feather. It is powered by a thermo-compensated SuperQuartz movement that can withstand some obvious active lifestyle shocks and runs for 3 – 4 years on one battery.
So far we’ve got five variations: red, orange, yellow, white, and blue, with most surfaces in black and only the rubber strap, the inner ring and the winding crown in color. The dial layout is slightly off-centered three-eye chrono, – a 1/10th of a second counter at 2, a 30-minute counter at 10, and small seconds at 6. The date window sitting at 4:30 is very subtle and color-matched, so purists don’t need to get overexcited. All in all, bearing a light footprint and a 10 bar water resistance, the new Breitling Endurance Pro feels quite fun and practical. The price is $3000.
Last year’s Cartier Santos-Dumont hasn’t lost its fire too. Being one of the entry-level brand’s offerings, it still maintains all – and we mean all – essential Cartier virtues. There’s your modernist aesthetic that has been around for a good century, a stunning dial with tons of little details, and case-finishing quality level expected of such a pedigree. It also comes in various metal options, in two very convenient sizes of 27.5 or 31.4mm – remember, it’s rectangular, so it wears way bigger – and in a way, can act as a ‘secretly quartz’ watch.
Powered by a high-end quartz caliber offering a 6-year run from one battery, it brings all the upper-mentioned goodies to your everyday routine without any fuss and.. well… any evidence. As a proper dress watch, it lacks the second hand, so those worrying of some status-related sweepings of the dial can take a break. But then again, it’s so beautiful, you’d likely be the first to introduce your friends to this marvel. The price varies from $3,650 for steel to almost $12.000 for fully rose gold version.
Accutron Spaceview 2020 is a surprising and hopefully long-running comeback of the 1960-s legend. It is driven by a trademark electrostatic movement involving a quartz resonator but managing without a battery. The energy stores in an accumulator being extracted from two turbines, rotating as a result of your hand’s motion. Pretty much the same way a rotor winds a conventional automatic movement. The difference is in the whirlwind speed and of course in the fact, that the whole show is played right on the dial side.
The accumulator then powers two motors: one for the second hand moving in sweeping style just like in mechanical watch, and one for the hours and minutes. You don't see similar watches every day, and thanks to all these visible action the grey open-worked dial with lots of green and lumed elements really stands from the crowd. Design-vise it's a sporty three-hander with some unmistakable retro vibe, andthe steel 43,5 mm case as well as a stealthy black leather strap nicely complement to the vibe. The price is $3,500
Sure, a lot of pieces from the F.P.Journe Élégante collection are meant for ladies, however the 48mm line is clearly reserved for men. When a guy widely considered among the greatest watchmakers of our era creates a quartz watch, he likely makes it very unconventional, both technically and aesthetically. First of all, it has some kind of energy saving stand-by mode: after 30 minutes without any kinetic motion, the wheel train and hands freeze. The tricky part however, is the built-in microprocessor that stays on timing duty. Put the watch on or just slightly move it in space, and it automatically adjusts the hands to the current time.
Thanks to an exotic technology like that, the watch provides from 8 to 10 years of daily use, from a single battery. But that’s still not the biggest wow-factor here. As you know, any mechanical François-Paul Journe calibers are literary made of solid gold and finished to the highest haute horlogerie standards. This quartz beauty is no exception. And if this isn’t the world’s most interesting quartz movement to behold through the transparent caseback, than it surely is the most beautiful. The price starts at $11,500.
Sep. 23, 2020