Many of us are finding we have a little extra time on our hands these days. That means this is the perfect time to peruse the fifth edition of 13 Geeky Watches, a new selection of unusual, interesting, and maybe slightly strange timepieces that each have a certain geek appeal.
2020 is the Year of the Rat in the Chinese Zodiac, and what better way to celebrate than with the Vacheron-Constatin Métiers d’Art Year of the Rat watch—a handsome timepiece with an engraved rat (in platinum or rose gold) at the center of the dial. As if that weren’t enough, this watch is notable for having no hands, instead using Vacheron-Constantin’s Caliber 2460 G4 movement, which displays the hours, minutes, day, and date in four apertures. Limited to 12 pieces in each style, they cost $118,000 (platinum) and $98,000 (pink gold). Vacheron-Constantin also offers a Year of the Pig and a Year of the Dog varieties.
Undone’s first titanium timepiece, the Batman Caped Crusader 80th Anniversary Watch is a loving, detailed homage to Gotham City’s most famous resident. While the watch looks great during the day, it really shines at night—the hour indicators glow a subtle blue, the bat-signal (a disguised second hand) shines with a yellowish-green fluorescence, and a green “radar scope” design appears on the watch’s dial. The caseback is printed with the Batman 80th Anniversary logo, and a black leather strap with yellow stitching really brings it together. An excellent watch for any Batman fan. One small oversight: the crown is emblazoned with the Undone trademark U, not the Bat Symbol. $359.
The Last Laugh Tattoo from Mr. Jones Watches features a striking design by British tattoo artist Adrian Willard (whom I’d never heard of until I stumbled across this watch). According to Willard, he modeled his design on the iconography of the Mexican Day of the Dead festival. The Last Laugh is notable for having no hands. Instead, the hour and minute are displayed on the skull’s upper and lower incisors. $275.
You may remember Canadian MMA legend Georges St-Pierre from his short (and facial hair-free) outing as Batroc the Leaper in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. (If not, I discussed it on these very pages.) But watch aficionados know St-Pierre (nicknamed “Rush” because of his fast and efficient fighting style) as the namesake for and designer of the Égard Watch Company’s Rush watch. Originally launched on Kickstarter, the timepiece, cast in Égard’s trademark oblong style, features an engraved caseback depicting GSP delivering a signature “Superman punch.” A classy watch—if you can find it. $1,200.
If a regular old calculator watch isn’t geeky enough for you, then the Caliper Slide View might be just what you’re looking for. In addition to being a high-quality self-winding watch, it incorporates a working slide rule right into the bezel. Simply turn the crown to rotate the slide rule and make some quick calculations. Each watch also comes with a separate 3-inch circular steel slide rule. $500.
The dial of the What? Watch Company’s Radar Watch is designed to resemble a radial display from a cold war-era radar console. With just a push of a button (the red one, naturally), you can choose from between 200,000 different e-ink radar-like displays. $165.
The AVL II (short for automatic vintage lens), a striking watch from Tacs-Image, is designed to look and feel like a vintage camera, with focal length digits replacing the traditional minute indicators. Plus, the bezel rotates, mimicking the focusing of a camera lens. The AVL II also features a dome-shaped crystal to help sell the illusion, and the case even includes a miniature camera loop below the crown for added effect. $550.
Shinola’s first dive watch and flagship entry in their Monster series, the Lake Erie Monster, pays homage to Bessie, a cryptid also known as the Lake Erie Monster that was first spotted in its namesake Great Lake way back in 1783. The watch itself is has a very classic design, but the engraving of the Lake Erie Monster, complete with blue sapphire eye, on the caseback really makes it stand out. The Lake Erie Monster was released with a classy metal box, reminiscent of a fisherman’s tackle box, three different strap options, and a map of Lake Erie. $2,250 (though very hard to find).
Part of the collaboration series between Swedish watchmaker Triwa and Humanium Metal, the case of the Humanium 39 Automatic is cast from Humanium, which is made by recycling destroyed firearms confiscated from conflict zones. The classic design of the slate gray dial is enhanced with red second hand and a circular date window that really stands out. $700.
The Game Boy Watch is an official Nintendo watch designed to look like a mini-Game Boy that tells time. But you can’t play games on it. Bummer. $30.
The Premiere Watch from the Hollywood Watch Company is part of a series of classic-styled watches all named after famous Los Angeles streets—Rodeo, Beverly, Sunset, Melrose, Mulholland, and more. But that’s not the only connection to Hollywood—each watch is notable for incorporating metal from the original 1923 Hollywood Sign. $1,200.
The stylish Moon Invader Pac-Man Level III from high-end watchmaker RJ Watches in partnership with Bandai Namco hearkens back to the nascent days of cabinet arcade games. The dial features the familiar scene of Pac-Man and quartet of pursing ghosts (as well as a cherry power-up)—all in hand-detailed lacquer—set against raised walls of the classic blue maze. The entire diorama sits on top of a mirrored black finish that deepens the watch’s 3D effect. The caseback includes a classy Pac-Man medallion, and the blue rubber strap enhances the nostalgia. $15,700.
James Bond is famous for wearing high-end watches, but in the upcoming No Time to Die, MI6’s famous quartermaster has a new watch of his own. The Q Watch from Swatch features a round stainless steel case with blue indicators and red hands on top of a transparent dial that showcases the watch’s complex mechanism. It also has a character-appropriate tartan plaid leather strap. Oh, and it comes in a very cool box that looks like something right out of Q Division. $220.
If you’re an admirer of geeky watches, be sure to check out 13 Geeky Watches for Discerning GeekDads, 13 More Geeky Watches for GeekDads, 13 Geeky Watches — Third Edition, and 13 Geeky Watches — Fourth Edition.