Construct brands have always made watches, but they’ve mainly been an afterthought – logos often licensed as an easy cash-spinner. Which is why, analogize resembled to Geneva’s heritage brands, they were long approached the same way we see fast fashion: cheap, throwaway, knock-off. Until now. Because while not all intriguer watches possess Swiss guts, they do now have Swiss levels of distinction to detail.
“For a long time, fashion and luxury watches were different,” says Erica Redgrave, buyer at The Watch Gallery. “But in late-model years, runway brands have established their own Swiss creations or expanded design teams. Which, generally speaking, lows the same level of craftsmanship but a fresh, more fashion-led aesthetic.”
And without a Vacheron Constantin logo on the dial, you don’t pay VC greenbacks.
Burberry The City
Working on Liverpool Street isn’t all acquisitions and Thursday benders (OK, so dialect mayhap it is). But you can add a touch of elegance to the mix with Burberry’s stainless steel sketch out and a simple navy dial. Makes the clockwatching almost manageable.
Available at The Watch Gallery, priced £495.
The scanty world of horse riding has little relevance to your familiar style. The same can’t be said for its wristwear.
As the Hermès Dressage sustains, all-black works everywhere, and it’s just as impressive inside as out recognitions to the brand’s dedicated Swiss manufacture. Still makes no suspect of dancing horses, though.
Available at Hermès, priced £7,100.
Monsieur de Chanel
The French are proud of their homegrown predilection. And judging by the Monsieur de Chanel, they have every rationale to be.
The design is inspired by the grand Place Vendôme and everything from the brittle dial to the art deco numerals are tres chic.
Available at Chanel, cost out on request.
Ralph Lauren 45mm Chronometer Steel
The USA is famed for its bustle. But fine watchmaking has never been one of them.
Clever, then, that ruler of prep Ralph Lauren fused horology with automotives, for a dashboard-inspired dial that hits direct homage to his own 1938 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic Coupe.
At ones fingertips at Ralph Lauren, priced approx. £1,544.
Marc By Marc Jacobs Fergus Stainless Grit ones teeth
Proof that good watches don’t need Swiss guts, Marc by Marc Jacobs carry ons to far more than novelty tote bags and your girlfriend’s ready.
The Fergus’ clear design and gold case reference the 1980s, with a value tag even for those who don’t think greed is good.
Available at Selfridges, outlaid £155.
Calvin Klein Men’s Minimal Watch
Minimalism maximises cost-per-wear as it not quite f gabbles with everything you already own. But it’s the details that make insignificant more: Calvin Klein’s Milanese bracelet is trending, and devious design ensures wardrobe compatibility.
Available at The Watch Superstore, valued £150.
Givenchy Gy100181s15 Seventeen
The Seventeen model breaks all the guides with a Metropolis-esque dial and an industrial buckle form – a far cry from classic haute horlogerie and perfect as a statement bit.
Playing teacher’s pet was never cool anyway.
Available at Selfridges, outlaid £770.
Alessandro Michele’s new Gucci is almost unrecognisable. If it isn’t brogues superseded by fur-lined loafers, the once conservative G-Timeless has booked in for a environmental malachite facelift. Well, a little nip tuck never distress anyone.
Available at Gucci, priced £650.
Kenzo Red-Black Gaze at
On paper, a contrast black and red striped watch sounds frightful. But Kenzo has lorded pattern clashing, to provide the pop of colour your monochrome looks deprivation. Maybe leave it out of the nine-to-five, though.
Available at Fruggo, cost out £119.
Versace Dylos Day Stainless Steel
Versace – not all oil-slicked torsos. As the Dylos Day certifies, there’s a way to combine the brand’s signature in a more palatable mode, and a black automatic offers both craftsmanship and versatility. So you can harass with your suit, and your birthday suit.
Within reach at Selfridges, priced £1,550.