Nautical Watches for Men
The majority of modern sport watches are based on design themes or functionality from well… actual sport or professional watches.
The idea of a sport watch is either to legitimately offer a tool that can be used while engaging in a particular activity that would normally be dangerous to a timekeeper, or alternatively to offer the mere suggestion that the watch’s owner may participate in a particular sporting lifestyle. These latter timepieces have become so popular – especially as luxury goods – that we find ourselves in a somewhat ironic state they some of the world’s most popular sport watches are mere lifestyle symbols are never actually used for any type of serious sporting activity.
This concept is especially true for nautically themed watches that often combine the aesthetics of diving watches with boating or sailing watches. Nautically-themed watches are all inspired by the look of boats or classic utilitarian marine watches but have since become much more fashionable than functional. Here are some top nautically-themed watch that almost no one uses for nautical purposes.
In 2004 the Big Bang watch put then over 20 year brand Hublot on the map thanks to its new direction by Jean-Claude Biver. “Hublot” literally means ship’s porthole, which was the original design theme for the brand’s iconic case designs. Most people today don’t even know that Hublot watches are nautically-themed, but that doesn’t stop them from being one of the world’s most popular luxury lifestyle watches.
In the early 1970s Gerald Genta designed the Royal Oak collection of watches for Audemars Piguet. The collection was to be a rather audacious line of steel sport watches with prices that immediately put them out of the hands on most people – especially those who would might normally wear the watches for boating purposes. Also inspired by the look of ship windows, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is another modern nautically-themed timepiece most people wouldn’t dare get wet.
Long ago IWC designed a watch for merchant sailors in Portugal that ended up calling the Portuguese. Based on the look of ship clocks, and attempting to marry strict legibility with wearing durability, the Portuguese has evolved into a classic looking boardroom watch more suited to formal business attire than anything even remotely resembling sailor clothing.
Rolex worked with the Italian instrument maker Panerai in the 1930s to create diving watches for some members of the Italian armed forced. Panerai may have designed the dials but the movements and cases were all Rolex inventions and based on a larger version of the Rolex Oyster case. For about 20 years Rolex worked with Panerai to create some of the world’s first diving watches and even today they look fantastic on the wrist. Panerai has long since divorced from Rolex, but the heritage of the brand’s original designs live on to much global fanfare. Outside of a few select models and perhaps owners, the majority of Panerai timepieces never make it under more water than necessary to wash one’s hands.
TAG Heuer at one point decided that it needed to get into the nautical watch came and introduced the apt named “Aquaracer”. Here is a watch (unlike most above) that actually has many versions which would survive perfectly well underwater while its owner was diving. Having said that, the TAG Heuer Aquaracer is most commonly known as an entry-level nautical lifestyle luxury watch with many versions in two-tone steel and gold and a healthy assortment of styles with diamonds. In fact, TAG Heuer’s top selling women’s watches are likely Aquaracers – and they aren’t being used for swimming.