There are those who see watches as accessories; there are an even greater number of people who deem watches as a viable form of investment, a perennial hedge against inflation.
It’s common knowledge that some makes can be harder to procure than others – the Pepsi, the Root Beer, emblematic designs bearing Gerald Genta’s legacy and so on. Beyond the apparent, there is a kaleidoscope of brands waiting to be discovered, each with its own strengths and appeal.
Though they may fly under the radar at times, especially when the utmost consideration is about value appreciation (that the buyer would rather keep their prized investment pristine in the safe than to tangibly enjoy the ownership by wearing it), there is no doubting that these brands are similarly well made. But if my recent research proved anything, it is that there were worthy contenders that would have ticked the “asset” column.
So here is the second part (be sure to read the first part) of a long list of watches, from the ever-green sports models, to ultra-limited editions, to special commemorative or collaborative pieces, all bound by one commonality – sold out in Malaysia. Whether your intention is to invest or to luxuriate, pay attention to these brands and get your credit cards ready the next time something along the line pops up.
Boasting an iconic design that transcends trends and a slender proportion that anyone will agree, the Royal Oak is one of the most sought-after watches, let alone the “Jumbo”. The Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin marks the first time the configuration of 39mm, a full 950 platinum case and bracelet, and a smoked green dial adorned with a sunburst pattern is implemented in the 15202 collection. The minimalist aesthetic seems to resonate with many collectors and befittingly sold out in Malaysia.
Get educated on what other green-dial watches Audemars Piguet produces
Bell & Ross
Green dials have been simmering for the past number of years, but 2021 is the year they truly come into their own. Unveiled in 2020, the BR 03-92 HUD was among the pioneers paving the way. Limited to 999 pieces worldwide, the watch recreates the head-up display – a transparent glass screen spelling out all essential information – of a fighter jet so as not to distract pilots from their fields of vision. It seems there were quite a few prescient local buyers who knew green would be de rigueur too.
A brand known for its sports-chic portfolio of watches, Breitling caught many off guard by presenting several high watchmaking pieces in 2021. In the limelight is the Premier B21 Chronograph Tourbillon 42 Bentley Limited Edition, which is the latest rendition in the abiding partnership spanning in excess of 15 years between both initial Bs. Globally limited to 25 pieces and rather unfortunate for me, I didn’t get a hands-on session with the watch – it was sold out in Malaysia. I can only presume the buyer, or buyers, must have a Bentley or two in his car porch.
Learn more about the Premier collection
The Octo Finissimo collection is going from strength to strength, with each new model getting thinner and more complicated year on year. This world record holder, Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calander, is the slimmest perpetual calendar watch on the planet and the 7th Bvlgari creation to shatter a world record. When you consider the who’s who in watchmaking, who invented the complication, and whose bread and butter is the perpetual calendar watch, you might get a sense of what Bvlgari has accomplished. Neither the titanium version nor the platinum version are still searching for the elusive buyer in Malaysia, although it is said that the watch can be reproduced… I will conveniently leave out the rest of the details.
Check out what other watches Bvlgari produces
In celebration of the 100th birthday of the watch, Cartier quietly released the Tank Cintree 100th Anniversary Limited Edition early this year. “Quietly” because it was reported by Hodinkee that pictures of the watch were making rounds in the circle of tight-knit collectors. Being a homage, the latest edition follows the original 1921 design closely and exudes that je ne sais quoi no longer present in contemporary watches. With just 150 pieces produced, they were gone in a flash.
Dive into the world of Cartier icons here
Released on the cusp of Chopard celebrating the quarter-century anniversary of the Chopard Manufacture located in Fleurier, the L.U.C QF Jubilee was correspondingly made available in 25 pieces worldwide. Though rather minimalist in appearance, its execution is second to none. The watch is the first Chopard creation in steel to synchronously obtain the COSC and Fleurier Quality Foundation certification. Aesthetically, the watch is a true connoisseur piece thanks to the diminutive 39mm case, syringe hands, small seconds, gorgeous finishing and brilliant symmetry. To the Malaysian buyers, sir you have fine taste.
Discover the rest of L.U.C timepieces here
Launched in 2020, the Master Control Memovox Timer exudes the finesse of La Grande Maison. In a svelte 40mm timepiece, Jaeger-LeCoultre combines a beautiful movement with a unique chiming alarm that rings aloud to remind you of an important appointment. It is a complication that is largely forgotten in modern times but still requires high technical proficiency. A boutique exclusive and limited to 250 pieces worldwide, the allocation for Malaysia is depleted.
Learn more about what makes it so technically sound
H. Moser & Cie.
H. Moser & Cie. and MB&F joined hands for two groundbreaking collaborative collections in 2020. The gravity of it can’t be understated because in the industry where savoir-faire is fiercely protected, the two independent brands threw caution to the wind and invited each other to reinterpret and cross-pollinate their existing collections. The Endeavour Cylindrical Tourbillon is an amalgamation of Moser’s fume dial and the vertical movement composition synonymous with MB&F. Each dial colour is limited to 15 pieces and all are sold.
For more in-house Moser examples, click here
Operating on an atelier basis, Roger Dubuis keeps its production count low and channels effort into making each watch an avant-garde visual feast. Its 2020 novelties were sold out almost immediately upon release. One of them was the Excalibur Twofold, limited to 8 pieces worldwide, featuring twin tourbillons encased in Mineral Composite Fiber, a material taken years of research and development to realise. The Blacklight “Rainbow” in white gold Ref RDDBEX0804 also saw all 28 pieces vacate the shelves.
Take a tour of the Roger Dubuis virtual boutique inaugurated this year
Teeming with futuristic designs, Zenith’s Defy collection serves as a platform for the brand to showcase the future of watchmaking. Coupled with the legendary El Primero movement, it is impossible to find fault with any Defy watch. Released in 2020, the Defy El Primero 21 Land Rover Edition and the Defy El Primero 21 Carl Cox Edition, both limited (250 pieces for Land Rover and 200 pieces for Carl Cox) collaborative editions, are sold out in Malaysia, as is the Pilot Type 20 Blueprint, which is limited to 250 pieces.
Visit the official website for more information