Enzo Ferrari used to say that his favourite car was the one he had not built yet. I feel the same way about watches. The fun is always in the search, as I often say. It’s the thrill of the hunt. It’s lusting for a target or a grail and obsessing about buying one (or trading for one). So what is TimeCaptain aiming for these days? I am glad you asked…
There are a couple of specific watches, and a couple of types of watches, that I really yearn for these days. Let me explain.
Panerai. Ba-boom! I am starting to crave yet another Panerai. After focusing on smaller, dressier watches for the past year, I am getting the Panerai itch again. Panerai, above all watchmakers, has captivated me. The whole military history, tool watch aspect, gorgeous designs and high quality form a perfect blend of “cool horology.” The fact that my pal just purchased a Radiomir 1940 for his 40th birthday probably adds to my recent wanting of another Panerai! Sure enough, my own target Panerai include some Radiomir 1940. My dream piece right now would be a PAM00514 or a PAM00619.
What’s really cool about the 514 is that combines a manual movement with a date function, which I rarely see. I love manually wound movements and I recently defected to the “date” camp in the “date vs. no date” debate, so the 514 must have been made for 2016-spec TimeCaptain. I have tried on a 514 and it wears remarkably well for its 47mm size, it fits under dress shirts beautifully. PAM00514 is a fairly elegant interpretation of Panerai timekeeping and would be a fantastic PAM for the modern businessman.
The 619 is like the “Bizzaro 514” — it’s the opposite. It has an automatic movement and no date. Its Calibre P.4000 uses Panerai’s micro-rotor and keeps the movement slim. The movement is housed in a 45mm Radiomir 1940 case, which I suspect is an ideal size for me. While these technical characteristics sound more elegant or dressy than the 514, the 619 has a “dirty dial” and “assolutamente” strap, which give a far more casual look. As well, the 619 has a titanium case. This is cool for the lightness and the colour. Despite having a small-seconds at 9 o’clock, the 619 retains the cardinal numerals, 12, 3, 6, and 9, in that fabulous, famous Panerai style. The 619 really captures the essence of Panerai, while throwing in some cool, high-end and modern watchmaking features.
I’m not only into Panerai right now. There is another piece that is high on my list — the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39mm with dark rhodium dial. Two years ago, I would have dismissed this piece based entirely on its size. Today, with 38mm and 39mm watches in my collection, I feel differently. And when I tried the OP, it was… perfect. I mean, this piece is just perfection on the wrist. I had a Datejust II for a while, and you may have read how much I liked that watch. The OP has a much more attractive rhodium dial and it uses brushed steel, which I like way better than the polished steel of the DJ2. On the wrist, the OP is just perfect in terms of size, feel and comfort. It is a watch that you would just wear ALL the time: to the office, to a BBQ, to a Grand Prix or to a gala. My only issue with the OP is the absence of a date function. I really want a date on a watch that I would wear all the time. Having no date has plenty of advantages, but I would prefer a date on an all-purpose daily wearer. Nevertheless, the OP is an absolute favourite of mine right now and it is actually the entry-level Rolex. It offers versatility, coolness, quality and a serious movement for less money than many mass luxury watches. And it’s a Rolex!
Way way down on the price ladder is a super cool watch that I have wanted for a long time, the Archimede Pilot 45mm Hand Wound. This piece is sweet. For barely $1000 CAD, you can order one from Germany. It has a gorgeous, classic pilot style with the legendary workhorse ETA Unitas movement. I love the look, I love the movement, and it’s a bargain. This watch offers such a classic timekeeping experience in such an attractive package that I find it irresistible. For sure, this makes the list.
Which one will it be? Or which ones will it be? As always, for me, the fun is in the search…