Electric 80s: Watches That Evoke The Era’s Spirit of Irreverence and Curiosity

Discover a crop of statement timepieces inspired by loud colours, digitisation, rock music, and the love of gold.
by Andre Frois
1980s watches

Photo: Girard-Perregaux

Girard-Perregaux Casquette 2.0 x Saint Laurent

The unabashedly retro Casquette 2.0 looks like something straight out of Blade Runner. First launched in the late 70s, this cult quartz-powered LED model is now available in a limited edition re-envisioned by Saint Laurent creative director Anthony Vaccarello. Its blocky case belies the lightness of its ceramic structure and a PVD-treated titanium caseback signed by the French fashion brand.

De Bethune DBD Evergreen

Photo: De Bethune

The signature aesthetic of De Bethune and its master watchmaker, Denis Flageollet, is flame-blued parts. This viridescent DBD Evergreen, therefore, comes as a pleasant surprise. Its Art Deco-inspired windows display time, day, date, and month — the design of which is meant to poke fun at digital watches. Flip the 42.6mm titanium watch over to admire Flageollet’s highly sought-after blued components.

Bell & Ross BR05 Skeleton Golden

Photo: Bell & Ross

Bold, architectural yet minimalist, the aviation-themed BR05 collection now bears this new 40mm steel rendition with a skeletonised dial in vibrant gold — a colour that was all the rage in the 80s and has made a recent comeback. The galvanised golden flange diffuses an amber glow, creating honey-toned reflections that enhance the beauty of the automatic mechanical movement.

Urwerk UR-220 Red Gold

1980s watches

Photo: Urwerk

The most famous owner of the Urwerk UR-220 Red Gold is basketball icon Michael Jordan, who happens to be a horology enthusiast. This watch’s three-armed satellite and wandering hours display indicate the time within a chunky red gold case inspired by the pop culture of his own vintage — Miami Vice and 80s sci-fi.

Ressence Type 1° Round Multicolour

Photo: Ressence

Ressence’s modus operandus is telling the time without any hands and designing watches in the purest ways. Its creations use concentric discs to keep time instead. This innovative independent brand recently released the Multicolour version of its popular 42.7mm Ressence Type 1° Round in a playful primary colour palette, breaking away from its trademark understated, monochromatic style.

Franck Muller Grand Central Flash

Photo: Franck Muller

One of Franck Muller’s most recent show-stopping conversation starters, the Grand Central Tourbillon Flash, marries technical sophistication with fun. “The idea was to create a funkier version of 2021’s Grand Central Tourbillon,” said its CEO Nicholas Rudaz, referring to the luminescent elements on a matte black dial inspired by nightlife and futuristic automobiles.

MB&F LMX Paris Edition

1980s watches

Photo: MB&F

During Maximilian Busser’s early days, he ran out of funds and came close to calling it quits. Retailer Chronopassion and its owner, Laurent Picciotto, helped his independent manufacture survive and succeed. Expressing its gratitude, MB&F created the LMX Paris Edition as an ode to Picciotto’s love for rock music, realised on a 44mm groovy purple sunray-brushed dial plate under a whirling balance wheel and dual sub-dials.

This story originally published on The Peak Singapore.

, ,

Type keyword(s) and press Enter