Tie Me Up With Leather – The Monogamous Wrist, Fall 2020

Our poor wrists bear the literal weight of our horological obsessions, and yet we never hear from them. It’s time to let our wrists speak!

ALLEN’S WRIST’S FALL STAPLE

Seiko SPB143 62MAS 200m Prospex Diver

  • 40.5m
  • Auto-winding 6-series movement with date
  • $1200
Seiko SRP143

If there’s one thing that makes me happy, it’s Allen pulling out his Tanner Good’s Hornween Leather NATO Strap, throwing it on one of his big divers for sweater season. Allen wraps me in that warm soft leather and then pulls on sweater – my goodness, it makes me want to roast marshmallows or smoke a sweet cigar. But I’ll end up holding a well thumbed copy of Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance as Allen reads it for the 23rd time this Fall. Honestly, though, I don’t care which watch he straps onto the NATO; as long as we’re snuggling in leather and wool, I’m good.

ALLEN’S WRIST’S FALL GRAIL

TANK LOUIS CARTIER SKELETON SAPPHIRE WATCH XL

  • Frickn’ sick double-barrel in-house movement.
  • $51,500

Allen needs to get this watch so that we wrists can be free of his constant google-n-drool routine. Seriously, I don’t really want this watch myself, as the whole “pressed ham” look through the dual sapphire crystal is not going to flatter this already-kinda-chubby wrist. Add in Allen’s Italian arm-hair, and man this watch could be a solid failure. But if Allen doesn’t get one, then we have to endure the far-worse consequences of his obsession, which include endless holding of the damn dumbphone while my buddy on the right endlessly scrolls wrist shots of this see-thru Tank. I’d rather have $51k worth of horology to hold up and that effing phone.

PEDRO MENDES’ FALL STAPLE

Seiko Alpinist SARB017

  • 38mm
  • $598.00 (Discontinued)

The transformation I see every year at this time is not the shortening of the days or the reddening of the leaves, it’s his metamorphosis from Neapolitan flâneur to English Country Gentleman. Or, at least, that’s what he thinks he looks like.

But I must admit, once the tweeds and Shetland sweaters and tattersall comes out, the watch in his collection that looks best on me is his Seiko Alpinist on cordovan leather. The watch, with its British racing green dial and compass bezel, evokes the brisk, outdoorsy lifestyle he fantasizes about. And the strap, which was custom made for him a couple of years ago by Oak & Honey Leather Goods, has a lovely, burnished patina and even a green leather lining to match the dial. And since I’m the only one who can see it, I’m sure he had the lining put on purely for my enjoyment.

PEDRO’S WRIST’S FALL GRAIL

IWC BIG PILOT’S WATCH PERPETUAL CALENDAR SPITFIRE

  • 46.2mm
  • $28,200

But if I’m going to be honest, and we’re talking about autumn colours of green and gold, aspirations for adventure and damn fine leather straps, then this IWC Spitfire is the pinnacle watch in this category. It has more than enough flieger elements to be a true pilot’s watch – 12 o’clock triangle, bold hour markers, thick hands, onion crown and a gorgeous, riveted strap. And I know he loves the Spitfire: we spent hours and hours building one last spring (ok, a scale model, but still). Oh, and it’s also a goddamn perpetual calendar. This is my kind of bling.

GREG BEDROSIAN’S WRIST’S FALL STAPLE

Steel Bracelets On Everything

  • Ref: My Entire Personal Collection
The daunting task begins…

The sunscreen is stored away, annuals have been replaced with mums, and the leaves becoming a nuisance. Summer is gone. It’s time for a change. I’ve been clad in rubber for too long. This is one of the few times that Greg will have all of his watches in once place at the same time. It’s a big change for a wrist like me. Besides the five square centimeters of caseback, the strap is what I come into contact with the most.
Forget trying to look cute matching dead animal hides to sweaters. The thought of obsessing over the right piece of leather to match both my espresso and my Red Wings seems like a waste of time. This wrist is over it. Leather straps turn a GADA (go anywhere do anything) tool watch from a Ferrari to a Fiesta. Clad me steel armor!

Proper execution of a steel bracelet is something special reserved for the best.

The bracelet change-over takes forever and I’m there assisting Greg with all of it. It’s rewarding at the end when Greg tries them all in rapid succession. I get the tactile pleasure of being wrapped in each one of the masterfully engineered steel bracelets in rapid succession. It’s an easy reminder as to why the world seems crazy for steel-on-steel watches. What I’m about to experience for the next six to seven months is the apex for stainless steel sports watches.

GREG BEDROSIAN’S WRIST’S FALL GRAIL

Omega Speedmaster Professional (Tokyo 2020)

  • Ref 522.30.42.30.06.001
  • MSRP ¥ 680,400

I know what you other wrists are thinking. Another limited edition Speedmaster (insert eye roll). No argument there. I do feel that this one is significant enough to chase down. The good news is that the MSRP price was only ¥ 680,400 (about $6,400). The bad news is that these Omega Speedmaster Tokyo 2020 Limited Edition watches could only be purchased n Japan. To obtain this unique beauty, this wrist would have to dig deep to get one on the secondary market.

The aesthetic would feel right at home within my existing collection while spicing it up by adding a little more red. These are surely going to become very collectible and valuable. This year has been one hell of a ride for every wrist. It’s surely a year that you will remember for the rest of your life. Why not commemorate the shit-show that was 2020 with a reminder from the Olympic games that never happened?

DAVID FLETT’S WRIST’S FALL STAPLE

Squale 1521 Originale Opaco Limited Edition

  • 41mm
  • ETA 2824-2
  • $1200 – $1500 pre-owned

Ah… fall… or Autumn as he used to call it in the mother-tongue. The shortest of the four seasons here in the north-east. A thin sliver of crisp, stable weather sandwiched between the swealteringly humid New York summer and the bitter cold of its winter. It’s the time when David finally packs away those ridiculous shorts and starts wearing sensible sweaters, shoes and jeans. There is nothing better for a coordinated wrist-shot than an Orvis wool crew combined with a coordinating watch strap and some contrasting stitching.

David’s autumnal watch choice this year is the Squale 1521 Originale Opaco with its Italian vintage brown leather band option: a limited edition celebrating the sterile-bezelled Blancpain Fifty Fathoms ‘3H Bund’ made in 1975 for the West German Bundeswehr Kampfschwimmers. The Squale-Blancpain connection is legit with Blancpain subcontracting Von Buren, now Squale, to create the water-resistant case for the ‘3H Bund’ that is now used for the contemporary 1521. The regular black sailcloth strap is a little stiff and coarse for my taste but the vintage Italian leather strap is as comfy as the vermont-sourced sweater that now surrounds it.

DAVID FLETT’S WRIST’S FALL GRAIL

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Military ‘3H Bund’

  • Rayville Cal.2873
  • 40mm
  • $10000-$15000

A lottery win for David this season would see me sporting his newly acquired, original Blancpain Fifty Fathoms 3H Bund. The sterile black bezel that makes the Squale so modern looking in 2020 is a literal copy of the 1975 original. Back then it must have looked out of this world. Ridiculously minimal, the look was born from a military requirement. The Bundeswehr Kampfschwimmers wore rebreathers rather than regular scuba tanks so dive times were measured in hours rather than minutes, eliminating the need for minute hash marks on the bezel.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms ‘3H Bund’. Image credit: longitudi.fi

The Rayville movement inside was a militarized version of the ETA 2873 movement and the case was manufactured for Blancpain by Von Buren, now Squale. The size is 40mm, exactly the same as the modern Squale version. The watch was made in very small numbers and was never sold to the public and so is notably rare and expensive as a result. If David does manage to find a mint example at a dealer, I think we are going to have to change that rough looking black nylon strap to the vintage leather from the Squale.
[David would like to thank longitudi.fi for permission to use their spectacular image of an original ‘3H Bund’ above.]

JAMES’ WRIST’S FALL STAPLE

Omega 265 in rose gold

  • 1950’s

The weather is cool enough that James has stopped rolling up his shirt sleeves at work under his white coat and throws on a zipped up sweatshirt on the weekends or when in scrubs. Now that case numbers have remained low, I may be attending some outdoor events this fall like the high holidays or even Thanksgiving. That’s why I need something a little more formal that will slide under the proverbial shirtsleeve with grace. This is an 1950’s era Omega in rose gold, with the 265 hand wound movement. I hate it when people call this a “Calatrava” or a “Dress Watch.” A watch like this is simply everything you need, nothing you don’t.

JAMES’ WRIST’S FALL GRAIL

Omega chronograph with pulsometer scale

  • 1940’s

Well, perhaps there is one thing missing. A doctor needs to check pulses doesn’t he? Look at this beautiful 1940’s Omega pulsometer. Elegant hands, roman numerals, oval pushers, big crown. An art deco masterpiece. Maybe one day…