Omega and Rolex have long been the go-tos for Mr Bond. Rightly so. They are solid, and reliable, and they're very good at agile working, being able to flit between casino tuxedos and combat roll-necks at the drop of a Walther PPK/E. But what if you're less fieldwork, more lairwork? What if you've done your time trading bullets with law enforcement, and now, seek global domination from the comfort of a luxury ice palace somewhere near Vladivostok? Then you go for Audemars Piguet's latest watch.
As the first ever self-winding Flying Tourbillon in the marque's storied Royal Oak design (it is one third of a new batch of hi-spec pieces), this is the sort of meticulous detail that would not (and should not) be anywhere near the firing line. It is not a meaty pilot's watch. It's not a hard-wearing diver's watch either. It is, happily, a watch designed purely to look good, and work well. At its heart, a tourbillon is one of the most complex movements a brand can ever manufacture; the sort of machinery only bestowed to the finest watches on the top shelf. The fact that Audemars Piguet's latest is self-winding only adds to the craftsmanship: this beauty, unlike a lot of tourbillons, keeps itself moving by storing up the kinetic energy made by your wrist.
What's more, there's something incredibly precise about it. Methodical, even. It doesn't have the warmness of a gold or rose gold dress watch. Instead, it is made of titanium – the same material as the bomb-proof doors on your escape hangar – and doubles-down on the iciness with a sandblasted slate grey dial. Which is kind of understated. But look closely, and the devil is in the detail: this metal beast's beating heart can be seen to the south of the dial in an open window that allows the wearer to watch parts of the tourbillon's animation as it spins.
Because, ultimately, such watches are machines proper, and the new Royal Oak tourbillon embraces that. It revels in its man-madeness. It doesn't want to be warm, or approachable, instead leaning on an industrial aesthetic that is really quite cool. Look at the genius of man! And look at the genius wearing it, all moon-based laser beams and pitch black suits and verbose video conference threats to the UN. Those guys won't have your watch. The piece is limited to just 30 worldwide.
Rami Malek's turn as No Time To Die's leading antagonist has yet to announce his choice in watch. We can make some pretty good recommendations.
Available from audemarspiguet.com, price on application
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