If the smart phone made the wristwatch optional, it also gave men the opportunity to make a statement with less practical timepieces. The latest crop of high-end watches runs the gamut from Samsung's touchscreen Pebble, which relays emails to your wrist, to the Weiss Company's Field Watch, which is constructed by a century-old process, but each piece is fundamentally about revealing its owner's identity as a man of action. Navy and dive watches have risen in popularity along with timepieces inspired by automotive racing. In short, watches have gotten a bit burlier and a hell of a lot more fun.
Here are the best of the new breed.
CT Scuderia Corsa
Enrico Margaritelli was a motorbike racer before he followed his father and his father's father into the watchmaking business. Even after making the pursuit of Swiss precision his day job, Margaritelli nurtured his affection for Italy's raucous café-racer culture. Motorcycles and speed became the inspiration for watches designed by the company he founded, CT Scuderia (the name means "stable" and refers to racing teams). The brand's newest collection leans even more heavily on racing culture by embracing stopwatch design.
The first thing anyone notices about Scuderia's Corsa collection timepieces will inevitably be the pronounced crown sticking out at 12 o'clock and the ring surrounding it. The second thing everyone notices is the numbers, which count seconds rather than hours. The watch is, in short, built to measure speed. And these watches' practical heritage is a key part of their surprising appeal. Instead of looking like other high-end statement watches, Corsas, with their green and red chrono pushers and bold subdials, recall the gauges on a great custom.
The watches are a bit heavy and have thick, 46mm cases but look good on the wrist thanks to clean lines. Our favorite piece of the collection, which features silver and black finishes and a variety of Italian leather straps, is the CS20105, which pairs a black face and black case with tan leather. The dark finish makes for a subtler touch while playing up the design's sporty elements. It is the sort of watch you'd expect to see on the circuit. [$1,395; ctscuderia.com]