In the world of fine watches (or haute horlogerie if you want to sound Swiss and proper), statement pieces are more divisive than any wide leg trouser. Too gauche for the purists and too, well, statement, for the rest, a quick search on a dedicated forum will reveal keyboard wars of near-nuclear proportions.
Though just as the trend for smaller watches has inclined, so too has the taste for grandstander wrist trophies says Erica Redgrave, a buyer at luxury etailer The Watch Gallery. “Mirroring the recent release of Dolce & Gabbana’s first tourbillon line, the appetite for more statement watches has grown thanks to the likes of Hublot and an ever swelling market for novelties – one-of-a-kind pieces that normally err on the side of peacocking.”
If the beauties below are anything to go by, the peacocks are fighting a winning battle, too. Just remember that not every statement watch has to look like something Diddy would wear.
Bell & Ross BR03-92 Black Camo
With a history rooted in aviation, Bell & Ross didn’t look to the skies at this year’s Baselworld, but placed boots on the ground. The Black Camo – a monochrome take on an enduring menswear trend – adds stealth to the statement by co-opting military fatigues into an all-black watch. This is what they meant by special forces.
Available at Bell & Ross Boutique London, priced £2,900.
Projects Watches Crossover Steel
If you believe time to be an abstract construct, opt for an equally cerebral piece from Projects Watches. With a clean, clear dial that can flit between multiple looks, this Pick Up Stix-inspired ticker is more Centre Pompidou than Fisher Price.
Available at Projects Watches, priced £113.
U-Boat 8105 Classico U-47 AS1
It doesn’t get much more statement than a U-Boat. Clocking in at a mighty 47mm in diameter (essentially big enough to rest your pint on, but please don’t do that), the Swiss-made Classico line is designed for big tastes and even bigger wrists.
Available at H.S. Johnson, priced £1,500.
Swatch À Coté
You don’t need diamonds or rubies to make a statement. Sure, it helps. But if you’re without a Swiss banker’s bonus, Swatch’s À Coté watch packs a head-turning colour pop at a fraction of fine prices – affordable horology can shine just as bright as any Aladdin’s Cave ticker.
Available at Swatch, priced £38.
Movado Museum Black
Minimalist watches can still be baller. And statements can be made without causing a shriek on your bank statement. Plus, with a luxe black and gold dial and more curves than Ashley Graham, this classic Movado will have any Wolf Of Wall Street whimpering.
Available at Goldsmiths, priced £450.
Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze
Statement watches needn’t flex garish quirk to qualify. As Tudor’s Heritage Black Bay Bronze proves, one simple feature can provide just as much volume; in this case, a rarely-used bronze metal that develops a unique patina over time.
Available at Tudor, priced £2,760.
Dolce & Gabbana Otello
A likely proponent of uber extravagance, Dolce & Gabbana’s Otello is a cross between an Italian opera house and Liberace’s mantlepiece. Which sounds dreadfully OTT. But with a restored manual-wound mechanism inside, it’s a watch that levels outlandish style with substance.
Available at Dolce & Gabbana, POA.
Nixon Acetate Timeteller
Acetate may seem better suited to a pencil case, but it packs a punch wrist-side. Nixon’s iteration, available in Mr Ripley-ready tortoiseshell with the brand’s signature case shape, is a modern piece that puts fantastic back into plastic.
Available at Nixon, priced £110.
Hublot Classic Fusion Aerofusion TWG
If Cartier is the Mayfair members club, consider Hublot a booked table at a 2 Chainz Vegas club appearance. And you can multiply the extravagance tenfold when there’s a limited edition at play, much like The Watch Gallery’s fourth partnership with the brand. Expect lacquered rings, blood red accents and the perfect companion to your Lamborghini Mercy (swerve).
Available at The Watch Gallery, priced £13,800.
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Rainbow
Nothing says pride like a rainbow watch, but with over 56 diamonds and a six-figure price tag, you’d be best advised to keep the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Rainbow from any public march. Love may be love, but in this case, it’s incredibly expensive.
Available at Chrono24, priced £168,500.