Five best weekend watches

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HEY, it’s Thursday. Time to loosen up.

You wouldn’t wear a tie with your polo shirt, so once happy hour rolls around, you should take off that slim perpetual calendar and put on something a little more appropriate for the farmers market (or your kid’s soccer game). You can go full-on off-duty with a big, brash chronograph, or you can pump the brakes and opt for something that’s informal but understated. Whatever watch you choose, steel and titanium will take the place of gold and platinum (and you won’t have to manually wind anything).

Here are our favourite weekend warriors.

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Tissot PRS 516 Chronograph
The Tissot PRS 516 is an underappreciated icon. It often gets lost among the Daytonas and Carreras of the sport watch world, but the PRS 516 has been around since 1965, making it 50 this year. The newest models carry through all the recognizable traits from the original, such as the steering wheel-inspired strap and the hour markers that are suspended above the dial, letting the hands pass underneath. Tissot has added some premium touches, though, like a black ceramic tachymeter bezel that won’t get all scratched up and an automatic movement with 60 hours of power reserve. This is one you can beat up without a second thought. US$2,150 (RM8,053).

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Bremont Boeing Model 247 Ti-GMT
Bremont has designed a line of sport watches that are lightweight and wearable thanks to special titanium alloys developed by aviation giant Boeing. They’re also bulletproof, if crime fighting happens to be on the weekend agenda. The bright yellow GMT hand and blue stitching on the strap add some colour to the otherwise greyscale package. Short sleeves are suggested, since the watch is on the thick side, but a military-style spring jacket wouldn’t be out of the question. There’s also a basic GMT model sans chronograph (one of my favourite sport watches from Baselworld 2015), but this guy has a little extra edge that feels appropriate right now. US$7,495 (RM28,106).

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Shinola Runwell
The Runwell is Shinola’s flagship watch, and the basic design hasn’t changed much since the launch in 2013. But each season, Shinola brings out new dial and strap colours, giving the line a little refresh. You can go for a bright colour like blue or red if you’re trying to match your critter pants, but this grey-on-grey combo is my favourite. The straps are made in Florida from leather tanned in Chicago for a watch made in Detroit, upping the “Made in America” ante. If you’re looking for a basic workhorse watch, the Runwell ticks a lot of boxes. US$800 (RM3000).

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Breitling Chronoliner
When this watch was first announced, I nearly fell out of my chair. Typically, the divide between modern and vintage Breitling watches is vast. The former are shiny, oversized, and scream for attention, while the latter are rugged, all about functionality, and get the tiniest details right. This watch looks every bit the part of yesterday’s Breitlings, but with all the manufacturer’s modern tech inside, including an in-house chronograph movement. The mesh strap is perfect for humid days (no wrist sweat, please) and everything from the red tip on the seconds hand to the little luminous markers in that top subdial make you lean in for a closer look. The Chronoliner is one of the best Breitlings in years. US$7,575 (RM28,406).

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Tudor Pelagos Blue
Find me a better summer watch. I dare you. The bright blue colour is inspired by vintage Tudor Submariners that collectors are clamouring over right now and extends from the dial to the matte ceramic bezel and even to the moulded rubber strap. This new version of the Pelagos (previously only available in black)

also adds the same in-house Tudor movement found in the North Flag, a first for Tudor. At 42mm it’s a great size for wearing off-duty and because it’s made of titanium, it won’t weigh you down. The best part? It’s only US$275 more than the previous Pelagos, which used an ETA movement, bringing unbelievable value. US$4,400 (RM16,500). — Bloomberg

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on June 25, 2015.