The 13 Best Watches at Pitti Uomo, From Big Rolexes to a Dainty Piaget
The crown, unsurprisingly reigned on many wrists, but a few well-heeled attendees dared to venture beyond.
At Pitti Uomo, wrists came dripping in mostly Rolex. It’s no surprise really. The crown is the crown because of its endless appeal across all personalities and for an event where men come to parade in their refined finest, a Rollie is the most versatile choice for all occasions. Submariners seemed to reign supreme, closely followed, naturally, by Daytonas for those that can afford their astronomical modern-day prices. It’s proof that whether or not you are a finance bro keen on flexing the most obvious choice in the boardroom or a stylish gent preening for the cameras at the world’s most fashionable menswear event, Rolex remains, undeniably, the trophy watch for them all.
But there were a handful that chose to venture beyond the obvious. A TAG Heuer was worn with a camel colored double breasted suit topped off with a fringe-adorned matching puffer, a quietly unassuming square-faced Patek Philippe Ref. 3555 popped out beneath the cuff of a soft military green trench, and a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso accented an all-white suit that was so perfectly paired it looked as though they had been meant to go together since inception. One particularly creative gentleman in shirt and tie befitting of Dwight Schrute of The Office with an ultra-cool cherry red Barbour-style jacket thrown over and pinstripe pants was keen on being so far off the “norm” grid, he chose a vintage Nivada watch a Tiger’s Eye dial.
While there’s no denying that Rolex will always be stylish—it has remained as synonymous with watchmaking as Kleenex is with tissue for a reason—one wishes that a little more fun could be had pushing the style boundaries on the wrist. Those that did certainly stood out from then endless parade of sports models. A dainty Piaget Protocole dress watch, for example, looked entirely unexpected and charmingly hip in the sea of overtly masculine tool watches.
Regardless, each timekeeper matched its wearer so exactly one couldn’t help thinking how these tiny mechanical marvels can transform so radically from wrist to wrist. Here are 13 that ticked all our boxes.
Rolex Daytona Ref. 6263
Alessandro Squarzi is the creative director of Fay Archive, owner of the Fortela label, a vintage-clothing afficionado, watch collector and a street-style photographer’s favorite—for good reason, as you can see. Here, multiple layers (multiple shirts, a scarf and a Fay Archive jacket) complete this ruggedly cool look, but its the wrist that’s the crowning touch. What looks to be a rare Rolex Ref. 6263 with a reverse panda dial and a jubilee bracelet signals serious collector status.
There is often a fear with full yellow-gold watches that it could come off as “kingpin” attire, but Kenji Cheung, of Brycelands, shows exactly how to rock it. Peeping beneath a classic checked shirt, turtleneck, jeans, and an overcoat, it looks as boss as it did in the ’70s and ’80s but with an entirely new perspective.
This is how we imagine spectators used to dress to watch a game of polo in the ’30s when the flip face Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso was developed for players on horseback who needed their timekeepers protected on the field. Both the suit and the watch look as elegant today as they did in their heyday.
Rolex “No-Date” Submariner
What’s more hip than rocking a Rolex “no-date” Submariner a.k.a. the everyman’s watch, known for its universal appeal, than wearing it with a belted mahogany leather bomber jacket with fur accents in a butterscotch hue? Ethan Newton, also from Brycelands, is known for his eclectic style, but always looks put together, however the mood takes him.
An Omega Speedmaster suddenly takes on new dimensions when worn with an otherwise dandy mix of a velvet jacket worn over a check blazer with a cream turtleneck and burgundy silk scarf, as well as wide-leg dress pants. The thin metal bracelet also adds an element of surprise that hits just right. Nice work here, by photographer Robert Weng.
There is a quiet micro trend of gentlemen wearing near dainty dress watches that is so utterly confident and cool it’s bound to become more pervasive. This gold Piaget Protocole is the perfect example. When first introduced in 1957, its caliber 9P was the slimmest manual-wound movement ever made at just 2 mm thick.
Patek Philippe Ref. 3555
The Patek Philippe Ref. 3555 is an unusual square-faced time-only watch rarely seen today. It was first introduced in the ’60s and thanks to its clean, classic look it’s a truly handsome model versatile enough to go with a myriad of looks. And the vintage model can be snagged for under $15,000…a relative steal in this watchmaker’s realm. Worn here by Buzz Tang from bespoke tailors The Anthology.
For this funky mix of midtown hedge fund analyst meets downtown hipster artist, this Rolex Submariner is the perfect touch. It satisfies the style appetites of both personalities, looking just as at home in the boardroom as it does on a Thursday night at Gagosian Gallery.
Rolex Submariner; Cartier Baignoire
Cheers to this quiet luxury couple, who look rather chic and unassuming in sneakers and soft overcoats. A closer look reveals (yet another) Rolex Submariner and an elegant gold Cartier Baignoire on their respective wrists and, not to mention, a grey crocodile Hermès Birkin bag.
One of the most eccentric and fun looks from Pitti was from this man dressed in a cherry red Barbour-esque jacket, a shirt and tie fit for a ’70s suburban dad, pinstripe pants, and a scarf with designs that look like those on a medieval tapestry. It was team with a vintage-looking Nivada watch with Tiger’s Eye dial.
Rolex Explorer II Ref. 16570
There’s a lot going on here, but Nicola Radano carries it off with aplomb. The plaid overcoat, tailored cotton pants, loafers, and scarf combo is nicely combined with his ’80s-era Rolex Explorer II Ref. 16570, that shares its owners sense of flair, with its red accented 24-hour hand.
TAG Heuer Chronograph
Nothing could be more unexpected than a TAG Heuer steel chronograph on a bracelet with this look. Yet, inexplicably, the camel-colored combination of a double breasted suit, fedora, hiking boots and fringe-adorned Cowboy-style puffer jacket somehow works wonderfully with this sporty but elegant timekeeper.
Rolex Two-Tone Datejust
This handsome overcoat, allowing a peek of grey Prince of Wales double-breasted suit underneath, is paired with a two-tone Rolex DateJust, giving the whole vibe an ’80s feel. The beard, handle-bar ‘stache, and sunglasses the color of an Aperol Spritz gives the look even more power.
Subscribe to the Newsletter
Recommended for you
Seven celebs flaunted stylish wrist candy on the streets this week.
February 15, 2024
The new model debuts alongside a new line of integrated rubber straps—win-win