Opened all your gifts, ate enough sweets and need a break from the Christmas carols? Then check out some stunning casebacks. The time that the back of a watch was nothing but a plain piece of metal is long gone. The vast majority of high-end watch brands now utilize the back of their watches to give you an insight into their technical capabilities.
Ever-advancing technology has for sure played an important role in this, as it is now possible to install a see-through caseback into a diving watch and still give it generous water resistance. This allows, for example, Blancpain, one of the pioneers of diving watches, to show the exquisite movements that power their watches. In a way, this also adds another dimension to the technical look and feel of such a ‘tool watch’.
That the possibility is there, doesn’t necessarily mean that all brands do this. While the Diver Deep Dive, by Ulysse Nardin, is equipped with a manufacture movement that is worth showing off they opted for a solid caseback instead. The reasoning behind this is two-fold; first of all does this eliminate the need for one additional seal. While they are very reliable, they do increase the risk of a possible leak. As diving is all about limiting risk as much as possible, there is a strong case (no pun intended) to still use a solid caseback. This also gave Ulysse Nardin the option to engrave one of the most unusual sea creatures on it, the hammerhead shark to which this limited edition is dedicated, adding a whole other level of appeal to the watch.
The ‘trend’ of showcasing the movement has also put a new emphasis on the finishing of the movements. One of the brands that have mastered every aspect of this is A. Lange & Söhne. While evident in every watch they create, it is the Triple Split that especially highlights their quest for perfection in this matter. Despite its complexity, all the parts, no matter how small, are finished to absolute perfection. This not only plays an important role in giving the watch added appeal and additional value to its owners, but also to keep the craftsmanship needed to achieve these finishes alive and pass it on to the next generation.
Engraving the back of a watch usually results in a touching memento, but often this has a negative effect on the resale value. Unless you are of course a celebrity. The engraving on the back on this Rolex Daytona played an important role in why this watch became the most expensive vintage Rolex ever sold at auction. They are the words of Paul Newman’s wife when she gave him this watch at the start of his very successful racing career. Words to live by, especially during the holiday season. From all of us at Haute Time, we wish you a Merry Christmas!