A Selection of Watches for the Year Ahead - Men's Folio
Editor's Pick, Time

A Selection of Watches for the Year Ahead

  • By Asaph Low

A Selection of Watches for the Year AheadStart the year right with a selection of watches to add to your collection, whether you are a seasoned collector or beginning your love affair with watches.

Montblanc Star Legacy Orbis Terrarum

Whisk away on the first trip of the year with the Montblanc Star Legacy Orbis Terrarum strapped on. Montblanc’s travel-ready complication is no stranger to the watch scene, yet this new colourway freshens things up a notch. Shades of black and grey lend a contemporary touch, while rose gold accents add warmth and glint to the Montblanc Star Legacy Orbis Terrarum. The worldtimer complication indicates 24 time zones at a glance with the help of the automatic calibre MB 29.20. At the heart of the complication is functionality met by simplicity — travellers set the reference city upon landing by aligning the city name to the arrow with the pusher. The time of the other 23 cities is automatically synchronised based on the hour differences of the reference city thereafter. A rotating day/night indicator aids in differentiating day from night, with light grey representing the former and dark grey for the latter.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms 70th Anniversary Act 1

Start the year afresh with one of the most legendary names in horology. The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms turns 70 this year, and Blancpain wastes no time celebrating the marquee timepiece in style. Born in 1953 and revived again later in 2003, the dive watch takes its rightful place alongside Blancpain’s portfolio of Haute creations after spending years forgotten amongst dusty archive records. The latest edition takes a leaf from the 2003 “renaissance” model in production numbers, with three series produced, each comprising 70 examples. Each series is dedicated to a region of the world – EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), Asia-Pacific, the Americas – and bears a number from I to III on the dial. Aesthetically, the hallmarks of what makes a Fifty Fathoms are present as you would expect — large Arabic fonts, block-type hour markers and a domed sapphire bezel inlay with a diamond-shaped pip. Connoisseurs will be thrilled with the 42mm case diameter (no contemporary Fifty Fathoms has ever yet been offered in this size) that pays tribute to the 1953 model. Flipping the watch over reveals the outstanding automatic calibre 1315 with a “Fifty Fathoms 70th” engraved platinum rotor.


A Selection of Watches for the Year AheadJump on the hype train and flex the newest collaboration project as Franck Muller teams up with Tokyo-based streetwear label #FR2 for a statement piece. Dubbed the #FR2NCK MULLER Vanguard, the watch amalgamates the brands’ signature touches. Franck Muller’s distinct tonneau-shaped case in the vein of the Vanguard and archetypal numerals are graced by # FR2’s distinctive design language and iconoclastic (luminous) rabbit motif. The result is an edgy, fashion-forward timepiece exemplified further by the highly graphic black and white colour code. A newly developed carbon and glass fibre composite case, reserved for Franck Muller Southeast Asia-exclusive models, set the narration for the #FR2NCK MULLER Vanguard. Other elements fell in place naturally after including a white nylon strap emblazoned with black text for a stark and bold execution. The #FR2NCK MULLER Vanguard is limited to 800 pieces and is available exclusively in Southeast Asia and Australia.

Longines Record Heritage

A Selection of Watches for the Year AheadElegance meets performance as Longines seeks to redefine watchmaking codes with the Longines Record Heritage. The latest debutant to the Record collection continues Longines’ many decades of excellence and elegance, one being in the realm of time measurement. Chronographs are tasked with recording elapsed time, and the Longines Record Heritage does it elegantly with its elevated aesthetics. Gold elements set against a matte black dial offers visual contrast without being vulgar. A measured approach to balancing proportions imparts the dial with a sense of balance and harmony, whether telling time or checking on a running chronograph. As with the Heritage treatment, therein lies a touch of old-world charm. The tachometer is executed in a period-accurate fashion; its numerals are set on the dial peripheral to prevent distraction. Despite the Longines Record Heritage’s perceived dated look, the state-of-the-art Calibre L895.4 is chronometer-certified and utilises a silicon balance spring to combat magnetic interference.

Grand Seiko SBGY011 Asaborake

Reconnect with nature on a daily basis with the Grand Seiko SBGY011 “Asaborake”. The revered Japanese watchmaker’s affinity with nature sees Asaborake as the source of inspiration for the Grand Seiko SBGY011. Housed in the evergreen 44GS case style, which was first released in 1967, the Grand Seiko SBGY011 bears the same distinctive design language decades on, even with its profile slimmed down for a dressy outlook. Asaborake is a fleeting moment as dawn breaks when light penetrates the morning mist and begins to reveal the mountain landscape of Shinshu, home to the Grand Seiko Spring Drive studio. A white dial captures the ephemeral beauty of Asaborake, with gentle textures mimicking the mountainscape. As time passes, the smooth, effortless glide motion of the seconds hand is characterised by the signature of Grand Seiko Spring Drive movements. Calibre 9R31 provides astounding accuracy and precision, with variance measuring at ±15 seconds a month. Coupled with three-full days of power reserve, the Grand Seiko SBGY011 is the ideal daily wrist companion.

This story first appeared in the February 2023 issue, click here to check out the rest of it.