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.
IWC Aquatimer Automatic
When IWC sets its sights on a new corner of the watch market, it dives right in. This year, it's all about the ocean. Last overhauled in 2009, the Aquatimer Automatics, with their 42mm cases, are the smallest member of the Aquatimer family. The new collection keeps the same general aesthetic as the 2009 Aquatimer lineup but introduces several new technical innovations – the most prominent being the improved water-pressure rating from 120 meters to 300 meters (the same as the Aquatimer Chronographs). In addition to the Super-LumiNova markings –blue for time display and green for dive times – external rotating bezels and pure three-handed dials, an all-new concept is the IWC SafeDive System, a combination internal-external bezel system that replaces the traditional crown-based operation. In a nutshell, the clutch mechanism only allows the internal bezel to rotate counter-clockwise in one-minute increments, making it both precise and unidirectional so that it provides ease of operation. [$6,750 with stainless steel strap; iwc.com]