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Limited Love: A Look At Three of the Year’s Best Limited-Edition Watches

August 31, 2018

BY Paul Altieri

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There’s something special about having something in your collection that not everyone can have, or that takes a bit of work to get your hands on. Limited edition luxury watches are nothing new in the industry, of course, but with each passing year brands are releasing a plethora of interesting and unique limited edition that many wind up wishing would be more broadly available. That said, from a collectability standpoint limited edition models always retain greater value than their serially-produced siblings, and depending on the watch in question, there are times where these limited releases don’t even have the opportunity to depreciate whatsoever. On that topic, many new Richard Mille releases, as well as the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual in ceramic come to mind. While we could have easily fallen down that rabbit hole of highly or overvalued limited editions, we decided to focus on more personal favorites that have released within the past year.

 Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Limited Edition

Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Limited Edition

Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Limited Edition

Further expanding on the vintage-inspired aesthetics of their 1858 collection, the new Geosphere features a world time complication displayed on a pair of domed globes, packaged in a rugged diver-style 42mm case. Its production-run sibling is cased in stainless steel, however a bronze cased limited edition also hit the market this year, limited to 1858 pieces worldwide. Given the ever-growing demand for the unique case metal, adored for its ability to take on a unique patina over time, offering this limited bronze model was a smart move on their part. Having seen the piece hands-on earlier this year, we were also quite taken with its supple bund-style aged leather strap. At a practical level, the globe-style world-time indication is a touch less practical than more conventional world-time complications out there, but what it lacks in practicality it more than makes up for in aesthetics and value—coming in at a retail price of $7,700.

Excalibur Spider Pirelli – Automatic Skeleton

Excalibur Spider Pirelli – Automatic Skeleton

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Pirelli Skeleton Automatic

Roger Dubuis watches have always been a bit of an acquired taste—especially the skeletonized Excalibur collection—though if you’re a fan of their aesthetics, the design and finishing of their calibers and cases is a real sight to behold. Maintaining the highest of finishing standards, all of the watches in the collection receive Geneva Seal certification, acknowledging the hundreds and hundreds of man-hours involved in their completion. To be fair everything from the house of Roger Dubuis is limited, relatively speaking, though it the case of these new Pirelli partnership models only 88 examples will be produced. Aside its vibrant light blue accents throughout, the rubber used for its strap comes from a Pirelli Formula One tire that was actually used in competition. Of the many ways you can find a watch with some sort of tie to motorsport, it’s a legitimate statement to say this is just about as good as it gets in terms of direct connections to racing on the wrist.

Glashutte Original Sixties Green

Glashutte Original Sixties Green

Glashutte Original Sixties Green

Now in its third iteration, the vintage-styled Sixties (formerly Sixties Iconic) collection continues to garner attention for its stellar dial craftsmanship mated to high-spec and well finished caliber. Unlike countless watch brands out there—a list that stretches as far as A. Lange & Sohne, among others—Glashutte Original has its own dial manufacture in Pforzheim, Germany, and the texture of this particular dial is stamped using a die from the brand’s tool archives from decades past. While previous examples from the series were limited to as few as 25 examples per dial variation, Glashutte Original has taken a unique approach to how they are “limiting” its production. It is basically being produced as an on-demand piece, with a firm stop coming at the end of 2018. Depending on retail demand through the year, there are only so many pieces they will have the resources to produce, more than earning its place as a limited edition release in the grand scheme of things.

The DOXA Silver Lung will run you under $2,500

The DOXA Silver Lung will run you under $2,500

Doxa Sub 300 Silver Lung

Doxa’s recent limited-edition releases have been all the rage recently, and the new Silver Lung that dropped cover back in July is no exception. Modeled after an early Sea Rambler model designed and built in partnership with the famed dive equipment manufacturer Aqua Lung, this 300-piece edition is about as true-to-original as it gets. Aside from its bubble domed sapphire crystal and COSC chronometer certified ETA 2824 self-winding movement, the Silver Lung is a perfectly faithful recreation that simply didn’t require retooling in the same way that many modern reissues usually do. Of the countless dive watches on the market today, there’s something to the fit and feel of DOXA’s SUB 300 case strapped on the wrist that simply needs to be experienced to be appreciated. The relatively thin case profile, broad bezel, and short case lugs make the 42mm diver wear much smaller on the wrist than you’d expect from stock imagery, and the brand’s sleek beads-of-rice bracelet is to this day one of the most comfortable on the market, easily rivaling things like the Rolex Jubilee. In this Silver Lung form, you’re effectively getting the best of both worlds from a design and wearability standpoint. Its sunray silver dial is much more neutral than the bold orange of the limited edition Black Lung that launched last year, yet the old-school Aqua Lung U.S. Divers logo in black and yellow adds the right touch of historical throwback that helps the piece stand out when compared to the standard SUB 300 Searambler it is based off of.

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