COVID-19 has had a huge impact on many people’s lives both emotionally and economically. For me, it has been a time of reflection and it has encouraged me to pursue creative outlets like design, painting, writing etc. Over the last few months, I have been in contact with many watchmaker friends including Chris Long. For those (outside the industry) that don’t know Chris is the co-founder of successful Avant-Garde brand Azimuth. Even though the manufacturing side of the business is located in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, Chris resides in Singapore. Until two weeks ago he was on lockdown and that has inspired him to work on some new concepts.
It would be a real understatement to say I was an admirer of Azimuth. Over the last few years, I have featured their watches in three books (Independent Watchmakers, Limited Edition Watches, Luxury Design for Living) and numerous magazines including Escapement. I have witnessed them make the transition from an eclectic micro-brand to a serious watchmaker. However, unlike ‘Haute Horlogerie’ favourites like MB & F and Urwerk their watches are (relatively speaking) affordable. A great example can be found in the beautifully formed Gran Turismo.
Approximately two years ago I got my hands on the Gran Turismo Urban Camouflage. This particular variant is the most exclusive in the range and is limited to only 50-pieces. It’s not often that I would opt to review the same watch twice. However, in this instance, it warrants it because each model has a completely different aesthetic. For example, the polished steel version is sleek, the black and red is sporty and the frosted gold is sophisticated. Fortunately, I was able to get access to the latter model.
Chris Long cites influences like Sci-Fi and automobiles as the inspiration behind his designs. The Gran Turismo Frost Gold is reminiscent of vintage Porsche cars due to the tone and curvaceous silhouette. Normally, I don’t gravitate towards gold watches but on this particular model, it really works. Whereas the Urban Camouflage version is bang on trend this particular variant has a more glamourous aesthetic. This is really accentuated on the two-tone gold and black multi-layered dial. Essentially all models in the range are very effective and really boils down to personal taste.
As a perfect finishing touch the Gran Turismo Frost Gold is presented on premium genuine ribbed leather strap with contrasting gold stitching and 316L steel folding clasp. For more information about Azimuth follow this link