Big Boys Toys
They say that everyone who loves watches should have one from the year they were born. So, to aid your Christmas shopping, here’s Take Stock’s guide to the top watches of recent decades. Go on, indulge yourself while you can – the clock’s ticking!
THE SEVENTIES SEIKO DIGITAL
‘The name’s Bond, James Bond.’ Famous lines and a character synonymous with expensive cars, ladies and watches. In 1977 Bond’s trademark Rolex was ditched in favour of new kid on the block – a Seiko Digital watch. Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine something as commonplace as a digital watch causing a sensation, but Seiko’s launch of the first mass-market digital in 1975 ushered in a new age of watch technology. In The Spy Who Loved Me, Bond’s Seiko 0674 5009 came complete with a ticker-tape machine. Bond continued to wear Seikos with all sorts of enhancements from Q until 1985 in A View to a Kill.
Cost: expect to pay at least £450.
Beware of fakes – only buy from a specialist.
THE SIXTIES OMEGA SPEEDMASTER
As the 1960s drew to a close the whole world watched Apollo 11 blast off from the Kennedy Space Center, moon bound. The rest is history. Neil Armstrong’s ‘One small step’ radio transmission on July 20 1969 is as famous as quotes get. The mission saw Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin leave man’s footsteps in moon dust marking an effective end to the space race. And the watch on Armstrong’s wrist? An Omega Speedmaster.
Cost: still made today around £2,850. For one from the
60’s expect to pay an extra £1,000 – perhaps more!
THE EIGHTIES SWATCH
In 1983, the world of watches was turned upside down with the introduction of an affordable, Swiss-made, plastic watch. Swatch made watches a fun, colourful fashion statement that everyone wanted to be part of. Celebrities, artists, pop stars and Joe Public clamoured to buy and wear the latest editions, and this passion for all things Swatch has created sales that now exceed 330 million watches and a global fan base. There are specialist shops selling Swatch watches for every year since 1983.
Cost: from around £145
THE NINETIES TAG HEUER
A Swiss watch-maker of distinctive ladies and men’s watches, fitted with a stylish metal link bracelet that allowed the lucky owner to wear their timekeeping statement anywhere and everywhere – the boardroom, living room, gym, pool, or beach. Starting at over £400 Tag Heuers were not an impulse buy. Recognising this, Tag introduced the F1 range of plastic cased watches to coincide with its 1992 appointment as Official F1 timekeeper. Sold at launch for less than £100, today you’ll be paying around £200 for a nice example from an auction site.
Cost: under £200
THE NOUGHTIES CASIO WQV-1
In 2000, the world’s first wristwatch equipped with a digital camera was
launched. Whilst no match for a smartphone, it was certainly distinctive. Today, it makes a great talking point, especially when you can find one on eBay.
Cost: under £150
THE NEW AGE SMART WATCH
The age of smart watches is upon us, with global brands like Samsung, LG and Sony now competing with niche brands such as Pebble. September’s announcement that an Apple Watch will be on sale in early 2015 has intensified interest in the sector, so start saving!
WHAT CHEFS WEAR?
James Martin regularly wears an Omega Seamaster costing around £5,000 Tom Kerridge loves his £3,000 Bremont and Ken Hom’s watch of choice is a £15,000 Patek Philippe