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.
Panerai Luminor Marina 8 Days Acciaio
While many brands tout their aviation heritage, Panerai, with its historical links with the Italian Navy, focuses on maritime (and sub-maritime) effectiveness. The brand prides itself on offering some of the very few timepieces that measure power reserve in days rather than hours and is releasing several new editions of its hardy Radiomir and Luminor models. The simplest and most handsome is the 44mm Luminor Marina 8 Days Acciaio, which will be available for one year. Featuring a completely in-house P.5000 manually wound movement with a power reserve of eight days, its everyday usability is largely a product of its Forties-inspired design, which keeps it simple with a stainless steel case, white dial with Arabic numerals, luminous dot markers, and a tan leather strap. [$7,700; panerai.com]