For more than 300 years, navigating the oceans and timing have been inseparable. It all started with mankind’s desire to discover uncharted territories, creating the need for ultra-precise timepieces for navigating the water. A watch inspired by the ancient concept of the marine chronometer, the nautical-inspired timepiece features a summery, laid-back elegance. Designed to look good on land or on the deck of a boat – and in time for sailing season, we decided to take a closer look at some of the best nautical-inspired watches available on the market today.
The Breguet Marina Hora Mundi 5557
The Marine collection is dedicated to the exploration of the seas. Directly inspired by the brand’s past when AL Breguet was Chronometer of the French Royal Navy, it is the brand’s vision of a sport-chic watch, with a more robust case and comfortable water resistance (100m). This year, Breguet adds the Hora Mundi 5557 to the collection for those who intend to cross time zones by sailing the oceans. A true travel watch, it has an instantaneous time zone jump mechanism and synchronized date and day/night indications. Displaying a map of the world on the dial against a guilloché sea of choppy waves, the Hora Mundi is a GMT watch with an ingenious technical twist that lets you switch between two time zones at the touch of a trigger.
READ MORE: Transition in time: Breguet Marine Équation Marchante 5887
The Louis Vuitton Tambour Outdoor Chronograph
The Outdoor Chronograph watch is the latest addition to Louis Vuitton’s Tambour collection. Inspired by the luxury house’s love of travel and penchant for all things nautical, it’s the perfect watch for the modern sailor. It is cleverly equipped with two essential functions designed for urban explorers: A perfectly readable and ergonomic chronograph to keep track of the time and an intuitive GMT allowing the adjustment of a second time zone. The Nautical Steel Outdoor Chronograph comes in a polished, winch-like design with its blue to navy gradient dial and striking blue strap, the obvious hints of ocean inspiration, as the Tambour Outdoor Chronography GMT Nautical Steel reflects Louis Vuitton’s affinity with the sea.
Panerai Radiomir Eilean Experience Edition Watch
Panerai taps into its nautical heritage with the release of the Radiomir Eilean Experience Edition watch, in a timepiece that encompasses the codes of nautical-inspired Italian design. Limited to 50 pieces, the watch is inspired by the classic shape of the yacht, Eilean, designed and created by boatbuilder William Fife and restored by Panerai. It’s a natural tribute for the brand, which began by supplying watchmaking instruments to the Royal Italian Navy. At 45mm, the new piece cuts a slimmer silhouette, the surface of its organic shape adapting over time thanks to the bronze on the bezel, crown and case back, which will take on its own unique patina – a tribute to recycled metal recovered from Eilean. Elsewhere are other nautical nods, like the textured surface of the blue dial that recalls the ripples on a boat’s teal deck.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Mariner Collection
A tandem of more sporty diving watches, Jaeger-LeCoultre presented the new Polaris Mariner Memovox and Polaris Mariner Date. Inspired by a diver’s wristwatch from the 1960s, the Polaris manages to be both sporty and slightly retro. The gradient blue dial (or fumé or fumé) is used again. The watches have been upgraded from their 2018 counterpart – water resistance is now 300m instead of 200m – and features a white “lume”. Where previous Polaris Limited Editions relied on Super-Luminova Cream for the faux distressed look, the new Polaris Mariner sticks to clean white luminous paint. The contrast between the white lume and the blue dial gives it a decidedly more contemporary look, which is further accentuated by the touch of orange on the dial and hands.
More importantly, the Polaris Mariner pair has also received some functional upgrades, which means it meets the ISO6425 standard for a diver’s watch. Among the new features are the screw-down crowns, which is most crucial for the second crown which rotates the inner bezel in elapsed time. The crown attachment prevents accidental rotation of the inner bezel, which can be used to record the duration of time spent underwater. And the screw down crown also incorporates an orange safety band which is visible when the crown is unscrewed, reminding to screw down the crown before entering the water.
Rolex Yacht-Master 42
An original refinement for an emblematic sailing timepiece: the Yacht-Master 42 is available in 18 ct yellow gold. Launched in 1992, the Yacht-Master was designed specifically for sailors and skippers. Embodying the rich heritage that has bound Rolex and the world of sailing since the 1950s, this professional-grade watch offers the perfect blend of functionality and nautical style, making it equally at home on the water as it is in out. An emblematic nautical watch, it is easily recognized by its bidirectional rotating bezel graduated 60 minutes entirely in precious metal or fitted with a high-tech ceramic Cerachrom insert.
The latest design’s unique gold alloy is created and cast in the brand’s foundry in Geneva, Switzerland. It offers unequaled resistance, making the new Yacht-Master 42 an unbeatable ally on the high seas. Its Oysterflex bracelet is equipped with an Oysterlock safety clasp, also in 18 ct yellow gold, which prevents any accidental opening, as well as the system Rolex Glidelock extender that allows the wearer to adjust the length of the bracelet quickly and easily. The black lacquered dial with simple geometric indexes, the anti-reflective crystal and the optimized Chromalight display combine to provide excellent readability in all circumstances. The Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42 is equipped with caliber 3235, a movement at the cutting edge of watchmaking technology.
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