The Watch Column: The Future Classics You Can Buy Right Now

James Gurney picks out three new models that will stand the test of time

Look in any jeweller’s window: the majority of the men's watches on display will be slight updates on designs from decades ago. These watches dominate because they succeed. Designing a watch that is genuinely new and unlikely to date quickly is trickier than might be assumed. Even with designs from the last decade, it’s hard to find many contemporary styles that are neither too niche nor too transitory. Here, though, are three:

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1 Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887 Automatic Chronograph 43mm (MAIN IMAGE)
For the last decade, Christoph Behling has been key to Tag Heuer’s development, emphasising innovation but retaining a link to its past. From the Mikrogirder Concept to the Carrera Calibre chronograph, Tag has introduced a clean, spare aesthetic putting readability at the heart of a contemporary look and feel. It’s so carefully put together you hardly notice that minutes replace hours on the dial, or the flashes of red. £4,095

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2 Bell & Ross BR-X1 Hypersonic Chronograph Red Boutique Edition
 

Bell & Ross drips with design cool, so it’s always a relief when it splashes a little colour around, as on the BR-X1 Hypersonic Chronograph Red. Born out of CEO Carlos Rosillo’s and creative director Bruno Belamich’s joint fascination with aviation, the BR-Instrument watches were totally unexpected when launched in 2005. An immediate hit, they are now an established and envied part of the brand’s catalogue. £14,000

3 Nomos Glashütte Lux Weissgold

Nomos Glashütte has ridden a wave of popularity thanks to a more evolutionary approach to watch design. Arguably, its timepieces are quite old-school, more a result of the simplicity it champions. With the Lux collection, it’s easy to imagine a Fifties or Sixties precursor design, but there is none. And if you look at the detail of fonts, colours and shapes, the 21st century origin of these designs becomes clear. £13,800

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