MR PORTER strikes a chord with its latest curation of watches
From a jazzy IWC to the brassy ‘Pasha de Cartier’, the luxury retail destination has assembled an octet of incredible instruments…
The worlds of watchmaking and music-making march much to the same tune. Both are arts of precision, turning on the fine-tuning of incredible instruments. Both are steeped in traditions and techniques of centuries past. And both have the mellow, melodic ability to capture and captivate our senses.
Whether it’s the sweep of a symphony or a seconds hand, both crafts can self-evidently strike a chord. And MR PORTER, the award-winning retail destination, has celebrated this common ground with a curation of finest, most resoundingly remarkable watches of the year so far — a fusion of horology and harmony.
From IWC’s jazzy ‘Big Pilot’s Automatic’ to a brassy ‘Pasha de Cartier’, this octet of meticulously mechanical watches sing with more functions, innovations, bells and whistles than any other recent reveals. Take a look…
Panerai Submersible ‘QuarantaQuattro’ Automatic 44mm
Boldly blue and ideal for keeping the beat, Panerai’s latest azure automatic is a deep-diving joy. Resembling the timeless timepieces created decades ago for the Royal Italian Navy, it’s crafted from ‘Carbotech’ — a supremely sturdy material derived from carbon fibre, featuring a matte, slightly textured surface.
That strong, versatile dial colour is the highlight here — with luminous hours markers and dots keeping things legible no matter how far you plunge beneath the crashing waves (the rubber-strapped watch is water resistant to 300 metres). And, thanks to an ‘Incabloc’ anti-shock device in that innovative case, it’s tough both inside and out.
Panerai Submersible QuarantaQuattro Automatic 44mm
Baume & Mercier ‘Riviera’ Automatic 42mm
That twelve-sided bezel, if you were wondering, is a shape called a ‘dodecagon’. Chiming nicely with the number of hours on this handsome watch’s dial — and smartly secured with four firmly-turned screws — it tops this new version of Baume & Mercier’s evocative 1973 icon. And the watch has more hidden facets and features than its simplistic monochrome colour scheme suggests.
Firstly, that smoky grey sapphire dial is a dusky treat; decorated with a transparent wave motif and telling time with three faceted rhodium-plated hands. There’s a Baumatic movement inside that satin-finished steel case; one with a five-day power reserve and solid, reliable resistance against magnetic fields.
Baume & Mercier Riviera Automatic 42mm
Hermès ‘Slim d’Hermès' Automatic GMT 39mm
One of the key pieces in MR PORTER’s latest curation, this alluring Hermès is a harmonious piece of watchmaking. Showcasing circular shapes, a total of four round sub-dials sit inside that polished platinum frame — eclectically displaying everything from day of the month to a secondary time zone.
It’s a well-balanced thing. But, sitting pretty on its black, buckle-fastening alligator strap and showing serious restraint with another monochrome colour scheme, the ‘Slim d’Hermès’ decides not to wear its innate eccentricity on its sleeve (or under the cuff, as the case may be). Instead, this is humble innovation — and subtle idiosyncrasy.
Hermès Slim d'Hermès Automatic GMT 39mm
Cartier ‘Pasha de Cartier' Grille Automatic 41mm
The French fashion house sure knows how to bring the noise. And this brassy, caged ‘Pasha de Cartier’ is a statement-maker absolutely worth sounding out. Inspired by a gridded Cartier watch from the 1930s, the hand-polished grille is removable and cast from 18-karat gold. But it’s not the only feature worth trumpeting.
We’d also direct your plaudits to those signature blued-steel hands ticking their way across the silvered dial. Beyond even that, the Swiss-made calibre boasts a 42-hour power reserve, and the strap that holds everything in place can be easily swapped out thanks to the luxury brand’s ‘QuickSwitch’ system.
Cartier Pasha de Cartier Grille Automatic 41mm
Montblanc 1858 ‘Geosphere 0 Oxygen’ Automatic GMT 42mm
Few colour combinations bring together elegance and adventure like blue and bronze. Rough, ready and refined in equal globe-trotting measure, this Montblanc model is a beacon of intrepid exclusivity. It’s a call of the wild; with an instantly recognisable blue glacier dial detailed with both the Northern and Southern hemispheres.
Only 290 will be made — one of which was worn by mountaineer Nimsdai Purja when he conquered the summit of Everest without supplemental oxygen (setting a world record in the process). Imitating those harsh Himalayan conditions, the ‘Geosphere 0 Oxygen’ is also devoid of the gas: ensuring its utmost precision over time.
Montblanc 1858 Geosphere 0 Oxygen Automatic GMT 42mm
IWC Big Pilot's Automatic 43mm
Jazzy, jaunty and coloured with lashings of the most vibrant, verdant green we’ve ever clapped our eyes on, this big, bold watch from IWC is the showiest of MR PORTER’s picks. And yet, despite its impactful design, the watch is reasonably reserved. That case, for instance, is simple steel — and the automatic movement is fairly uncomplicated, too.
Even the numbers emblazoned on the stripped-back dial are basic, forgoing any ornate detailing to guarantee legibility (a quality further boosted by a luminous coating on both the hands and the indices). Our favourite feature? A ‘EasX-CHANGE’ strap system similar to that of the Cartier above, if all that green gets a little too loud.
IWC Big Pilot's Automatic 43mm
Roger Dubuis + Gully ‘Excalibur’ Skeleton Flying Tourbillon 42mm
Speaking of volume, few watches crank up the intensity as far as this limited edition collaboration between Roger Dubuis and sensational French street artist Gully. Look closely, and you’ll see that those multicoloured lacquered lines that criss-cross the watch’s skeleton dial actually spell out the graffiti prodigy’s own name.
It’s impressive stuff — as is the watch itself. Behind Gully’s prismatic tag, this ‘Excalibur’ ticks with a hand-wound flying tourbillon, kitted out with an 72-hour power reserve and anti-magnetic cobalt chrome carriages. Wrap it up in a 42mm DLC-coated titanium case and you’ve got an eye-catching, ear-splitting work of watchmaking art.
Roger Dubuis + Gully Excalibur Skeleton Flying Tourbillon 42mm
Piaget Polo Date Automatic 42mm
Something of a simple, quiet conclusion, this Piaget is still more than deserving of its place in this band of watches. With a piano-black guilloché dial and sword-shaped hands, it’s a masterpiece of minimalism — a watch that performs without pretension and hits every note you demand of it.
The durable rubber strap is a particularly practical touch, and it duets with that sturdy stainless steel case to deliver a truly capable timepiece. And, thanks to its ultra-precise, Swiss-engineered automatic movement, it’s just as dependable in function as it is in form — and horologically hits all the right notes.
Piaget Polo Date Automatic 42mm
Want to explore MR PORTER’s full range of luxury timepieces? Take a look here…
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