03/28/2024
 3 minutes

5 Swatch Group Watches I Like

By Kristian Haagen
Omega-Seamaster-Polaris-2-1

5 Swatch Group Watches I Like

When you look at the lineup of brands owned by the mighty Swatch Group, you’ll find plenty of beautiful timepieces to admire. However, the Omega Speedmaster and plastic models from Swatch seem to get the most attention. Thankfully, there are many other great watches that are worth an extra look, both new and old, and I’ve chosen five models that I find particularly attractive.

1. Omega Seamaster Polaris

Introduced in 1982, the Genta-designed Omega Seamaster Polaris is a quartz three-hander with a date function. This turtle-shaped watch offers an integrated bracelet design that has links to other celebrated Genta classics like the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak from 1972 and the Patek Philippe Nautilus from 1976.

The unique feature of this watch is the two-tone titanium bezel with a 2-mm layer of gold seamlessly inlaid into the metal. At the time, this stand-out detail was completely novel, introducing one of the most exciting launches in the troubled 1980s.

The Omega Seamaster Polaris is a Swatch group watch Kristian really likes.
Kristian likes the Omega Seamaster Polaris from the Swatch Group.

Since its initial debut, the Polaris line has evolved in several directions. The version in titanium and palladium, in particular, has captured my eye. The unconventional blend of materials, often associated with a premium price tag, sets this neo-vintage timepiece apart. The attractive watch can be acquired at a surprisingly reasonable price, as it’s often overlooked due to its somewhat smaller size of 32 mm.

2. Tissot Banana

Cartier has been on a roll recently, and people are lusting after the Cintrée. However, Cartier is not the only maison to offer a beautiful watch with an arched case. Tissot offered this design back in 1916, selling the first edition to a key Russian diplomat, according to Tissot.

We are going Banana's for this shape - aren't you too?
We’re going bananas over this shape.

This interestingly shaped watch was relaunched in 2016, and fittingly named the Banana Centenary Edition. This time, it’s not in solid gold nor powered by a mechanical movement. Instead, it’s a newer version in steel or yellow/rose gold plating and fitted with a quartz movement. Thankfully, the beautiful dial and “banana-shaped” case remain intact.

With its attractive dial and unique “banana-shaped” case, Tissot’s Banana watch deserves renewed attention and an honorary mention for its cool design.

3. Blancpain Bathyscaphe Annual Calendar

Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms collection of rugged diving watches is getting solid attention these days, not just because of its rich diving history and deep-sea legacy, but also for a renowned collaboration with sibling brand Swatch.

However, Blancpain is more than the Fifty Fathoms – there’s also the Bathyscaphe sibling. Of particular interest is the 43-mm Bathyscaphe Annual Calendar from 2018, which has captured my attention with its distinctive calendar windows, quaintly positioned on the right side of the black dial.

This intricate complication and the unique window placement draw inspiration from the Blancpain Villeret collection, namely the Villeret Quantième Annuel GMT from 2016, which also embraced this uncommon yet captivating dial layout.

4. Breguet Classique 5177

It is rather peculiar that Breguet, one of the most distinguished watch brands, does not enjoy the acclaim it deserves. Despite having one of the most impressive production histories in the Swiss watchmaking industry, many people fail to appreciate founder Abraham-Louis Breguet’s groundbreaking inventions, which include the oscillating weight, tourbillon, pare-chute protection system, and several other mechanical innovations that have become vital to modern-day watches.

The Classique 5177 clearly brings that tradition of craftsmanship to the present. The hand-engraved silvered gold dial and central hands named after the brand’s founder are proof of the exceptional craft and level of excellence that underpins Breguet.

Buy it now and express gratitude later for the Breguet Classic Ref. 5177.
The Breguet Classic 5177: Buy it now and express gratitude later.

Numerous models pop up when you search for this brand on Chrono24. Prices for these exquisite timepieces are surprisingly reasonable, considering the artistry invested in each one. I think it’s a good idea to acquire one now and express gratitude later. Breguet is a sleeper brand that is just waiting to receive the respect it deserves.

5. Longines Master Collection 190th Anniversary Salmon Dial

It’s been praised as one of the most beautiful watches in recent times, yet the Longines Master Collection 190th Anniversary with a salmon dial seems to enjoy more accolades online than on the wrists of happy owners. Admittedly, Longines is launching one beauty after another, but models that are not from the new HydroConquest or contemporary Spirit lines are not the easiest timepieces to sell, according to sources within the Group. What a shame.

Not salmon, but the silver dial Longines Master Collection 190th Anniversary.
Not in salmon, but the Longines Master Collection 190th Anniversary with a silver dial

The 38.5-mm Longines Master Collection 190th Anniversary is a stunning watch. It offers a perfect diameter and features one of the most spectacular dials with engraved Arabic numerals – something you’d expect from Urban Jürgensen or Breguet at a far superior price point.


What do you think about this article?


About the Author

Kristian Haagen

I've been collecting watches since I was about 20 years old. I like vintage watches most; they often come with a fascinating history or a cool provenance. Provenance makes a watch far more interesting than any brand-new watch.

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