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What to Wear: Stealth Luxury & Undercover High End

So, you like high-end watches but you’re not the peacocking type? You like finishing at the highest level but prefer a bit of stealth as well? Don’t worry – I’ve got you covered. Below you’ll find three stellar watches that fly well below the radar.

1: NOMOS Lambda

NOMOS is best known for its relatively affordable watches which pair the ideas of the Deutscher Werkbund & Bauhaus with in-house movements. The price starts at a little over EUR 1.000 for the beautiful Club Campus, though most of them nowadays sit between EUR 2.000-3.000. Top-of-the-line are the Lambda and Lux models. The former, dressed up as reference 931, is my first choice for this Stealth Luxury list.

The NOMOS Lambda 931 has a white gold case, a silver-plated dial and rhodium-plated hands. The lines are clean, simple and balanced in the best NOMOS tradition. Minimal but executed to perfection. There’s nothing that will draw unwanted attention – though I must say it’d be nice to have the discrete white gold in 39mm too, as is possible with the more sumptuous rose gold variation. When flipping the watch truly shines. Here we find a beautiful hand-wound movement with 84 hours of power reserve, hand-made by NOMOS and finished with fine sunbeam polishing, gold polished and screwed chatons, hand-beveled edges. The balance cock is hand-engraved to read Mit Liebe in Glashütte gefertigt  a tribute to the rich watchmaking heritage of this small German town.  It’s in the Ace Jewelers eBoutique right here.

2: Bulgari Octo Finissimo

The Roman house of Bulgari is not typically known for its restraint designs. Paradoxically one of their biggest hits of recent years is the Octo Finissimo, a bold yet undercover watch. This watch is as sleek as it is comfortable thanks to its ultra thin movement, which at the time of release was a proper record breaker with a height of just 2.23mm .

My choice for this list is the original titanium version with titanium bracelet. With its fully sandblasted finish, matching titanium dial, and angular design it almost feels like a stealth bomber for the wrist. It’s thin and light and there’s not a single glare coming off of it. A discrete pleasure.

The Bulgari Octo Finissimo is available in the Ace Jewelers eBoutique right here.

3: Parmigiani Tonda 1950 Steel

Parmigiani Fleurier is a brand that isn’t as well known as say IWC or Omega and as such their watches not as easily recognized by the public at large. None of them is as discrete as the Tonda 1950 though. In this watch we find Parmigiani’s DNA stripped down to the essentials. Timeless design, careful proportions and finishing at the highest degree.

For this list I went with the Tonda 1950 in steel with the austere black dial. The case measures 40mm across at a height of 8.2mm. It houses the micro-rotor automatic caliber PF701 – which is similar to the movement used in the gold variations but fitted with a Tungsten rotor. You’ll find it in the Ace Jewelers eBoutique at this link.