3. Old is the New New
We don't expect the phenomenon to slow down a bit in 2017. As the adage goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. And we are already seeing that adage being played out in this year's SIHH.
The just-unveiled Master Control Date, Master Geographic and Master Chronograph from Jaeger Le-Coultre showcased exactly how it should be done. They are all endowed with a very mid-21st-century sector dial (meaning the dial is divided up into "sectors" by short, straight lines distributed around the watch face) while carry modern features such as the hour and minute hands with in contemporary shape. It's been a while since the watch community at large - whose affinity to vintage pieces have grown exponentially over the past few years - has become so excited about a timepiece debut as such. Old is definitely the new new.
We are now living in a world dominated by large watches, with the likes of 47mm Radiomir and 48mm Big Bang finding their way to people's wrists more than ever. 36mm is considered "mid-size" or for ladies. Which is ridiculous. As the watchmaking maestro Philippe Dufour once said, any watches larger than 38mm are already going out of proportion, which I feel is true. Sometimes when I try on even a 44m Panerai, I feel like I'm being engulfed by its sheer presence and dimensions - it's as if it is wearing me, instead of the other way round. But for some reason, the industry has been flirting with ever-increasing case size since I don't know when, which never fails to baffle me.
And luckily, in 2016 we see many watchmakers returning to normal, releasing a whole slew of sub-40mm timepieces that are pretty much perfect in their own way.
The Tudor Black Bay 36, or better known as "baby Black Bay", is a 36-mm, dressier rendition of the original Tudor Black Bay that retained several key aesthetic elements that nobody saw coming, but we're so glad it did. This is meant to be an unisex watch that works well both with a bracelet and a strap and more importantly, you can finally wear a Black Bay to the office without having to look ever so slightly out of place, thanks to its restrained appeal.
Until next time.