Silver screen: The best grey-faced watches
by Simon de Burton
While coloured dials running the gamut from nautical blues to spring greens and eye-popping oranges have been dominating watch trends of late, for those with more discerning and understated tastes a new breed of elegant timepieces means it's time to step away from the safety of a black or white dial. For a watch face that betrays beauty and gravitas, it could be time to go grey says Simon de Burton...
Laurent Ferrier Galet Classic
Laurent Ferrier worked at Patek Philippe for 40 years before establishing his eponymous brand, which has become a by-word for horological excellence. This signature piece features a small, solid gold automatic winding rotor that allows a full view of the beautifully finished movement.
Case: 18k white gold, 41mm
Strap: Alligator leather
Movement: Calibre LF619.01 manual wound
Waterproof: 30 metres
Price: £37,800, laurentferrier.ch
Hermès Slim D'Hermès
Hermès claims it took four years to develop the thin H1950 automatic movement found in the ultra-flat, 39.5mm diameter Slim d’Hermès watch. Visible through a sapphire crystal case back, the mechanism is made by Vaucher and offers 42 hours of power reserve.
Case: Steel, 39.5mm
Movement: Calibre H1950
Waterproof: 30 metres
Price: £5,625, hermes.com
Bremont Airco Mach 2
The majority of Bremont’s aviation-inspired models take the form of tough and practical tool watches – but the new Airco Mach 2 has been designed as an elegant dress piece that combines 100 metre water resistance and a toughened steel case with a versatile, understated look.
Case: Steel, 40mm
Movement: Calibre BE-92AE automatic
Waterproof: 100 metres
Price: £2,895, bremont.com
H Moser & Cie Venturer Small Seconds
Remarkable standards of fit and finish combined with an exquisite hand-wound, in-house movement ensure that H Moser’s production volumes are low and prices are above average – but if ever there was an heirloom watch, this is it.
Case: White gold, 39mm
Movement: Calibre HMC 327 manual wound
Price: £13,700, h-moser.com
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra
The Seamaster was launched in 1948 to mark Omega’s centenary and was the first of the firm’s now famous “Master” series. This latest Seamaster features a 41mm case and an ultra-accurate, highly anti-magnetic co-axial mechanical movement.
Case: Steel, 41mm
Movement: Calibre Omega 8900 automatic
Waterproof: 150 metres
Price: £4,000, omegawatches.com
Moritz Grossmann Benu Power Reserve
Moritz Grossmann is a 19th century dial name that was revived 10 years ago and now makes small numbers of fine watches. The Benu has a 227-part hand-wound movement, a linear power reserve indicator and a stop seconds function.
Case: White gold, 41mm
Movement: Calibre 100.2 manual wound
Price: £35,200, grossmann-uhren.com