Five Of Our Favorite Off-The-Beaten-Path Watches

Everyone loves a classic, but don’t you sometimes want something a little different? There are so many watches out there, with more being introduced all the time, that we occasionally like to take a look at those pieces that have been forgotten by the mainstream and skipped over by the casual enthusiasts but have so much to offer when you just look a little closer. 

    The Zenith Defy El Primero 21Zenith

The Zenith Defy 21 Chronograph can measure elapsed time up to one-hundredth of a second, courtesy of a central seconds hand that whips around the dial once per second. It’s the only current production chronograph in the world that can do such a thing. Zenith makes this happen through a unique, fully integrated movement inside that incorporates a second gear train with a high-frequency escapement that runs at 360,000 vph, or 50 Hz, as well as a second mainspring barrel. So there’s the normal timekeeping part of the watch that is similar to the traditional El Primero with its 5 Hz frequency, or 36,000 vph, and then there’s the secondary stopwatch-specific part of the movement that is isolated so that it doesn’t drain energy from the base timekeeping mechanism. How cool is that?

TAG Heuer Silverstone

TAG Heuer has done an excellent job of revisiting its archive in recent history, creating detail-oriented reissues of some of the most popular timepieces in its historic catalog. One of the first reissues to come to market from the brand was the blue-dial Silverstone, a design that first saw light of day in the 1970s. Released in 2009 to celebrate TAG Heuer’s 150th anniversary as a company, the Silverstone is a limited edition of 1,500 pieces (1,500 additional models were offered with a brown dial). 

Glashutte Original PanoMaticDate

Glashütte Original might just be the most underrated watchmaker working today. The company – owned by the Swatch Group – crafts all its movements entirely in-house and even owns its own dial factory where it creates some of the watch industry’s most interesting and detailed dials. What we have here, the PanoMaticDate, is an excellent example of the asymmetric style the brand has helped pioneer in the 21st century, featuring the company’s take on the traditional “big date.”

Patek Philippe Gondolo

You know all the usual suspects in Patek Philippe’s catalog. Everyone wants a Nautilus, an Aquanaut, or Calatrava. But only true watch lovers appreciate the intriguing nature of the Gondolo. We love the interesting ovoid case profile, the guilloché dial decoration, and the eye-catching Art Deco numerals, but the real star of the show is what’s ticking inside. The manual-wind 25-21 REC caliber inside is an absolute gem of a shaped movement. 

Rolex Yacht-Master

If you ask us, the Yacht-Master (not the Yacht-Master II) is one of the best-looking Rolex watches available today. And yet, it doesn’t enjoy the enthusiastic following that the Submariner, Daytona, and GMT-Master seem to attract. First introduced in 1992, the Yacht-Master is easily recognizable for its bezel execution, a graduated 60-minute, bidirectional design with raised numerals in relief. This solid 18k rose gold example is paired with a black dial with red accents – a perfect aesthetic fit for Rolex’s youngest, flashiest sport watch.

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