The Tribes Part VI: The Expeditionary
As we approach the final chapter of our watch wearer clans, we’ve crossed the Dandies, the Techies, the Neophytes and the Purists but as we broaden our horological horizons, we look to one adventurous chap in particular – the Expeditionary. A watch can be a passport to the world.
For many, accomplishment lies in a decent job, a decent house, 2.4 kids and a wife that you fancy who also fancies you – and there’s nothing wrong in finding concord in the conventional. But for some chaps, hindsight is by no means a beautiful thing and dreams of dashing the Himalayas and traversing the Taj Mahal are constant pangs of regret. What use is a 9-5 when Niagara Falls calls and the Amazon awaits? What happens when you’re geared for the Gobi Desert but instead land at Goldman Sachs? Well, this group of horologically-inclined gentlemen belong to the Expeditionary Tribe – a man that lives the Bear Grylls lifestyle on his wrist.
For decades, brands like Bremont, Breitling and Bell & Ross have backed a spirit of adventure; be it sponsoring desert-wide expeditions or high-octane air shows that render even the hardest of men queasy. In turn, watch wearers the world over have aspired to channel the same fast-lane lifestyle, investing more than a few quid on an adventure-friendly timepiece. For the Expeditionary, a luxury pilot’s watch means more than a complicated movement and a set of cool chronographs: it represents everything only a lucky few get to experience.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. The Expeditionary enjoys these stories and although imagines themselves in the vine-swinging seat, invests fully in a timepiece that contains a world beyond. Indiana Jones may be out of reach but at least there’s a slice of action in your watch.
Worthy of the wrist of a WWII wonder (apologies, that is a lot of Ws), this bold Bell & Ross piece tells an aviation story without going overboard; a classic choice for the Expeditionary.
Key Features: Swiss made, automatic movement, 42mm black PVD, scratch-resistant sapphire glass, 100m water resistance.
Expeditionary Qualification: The appeal with the BR 03 42mm lies in heritage; a vast story can be told with just a glance to the wrist.
Breitling are the kings of bold, belligerently masculine timepieces and the Chronomat 44 Airbourne is no exception. Perfect for the Expeditionary that prefers Bruce Willis to Brian Cox.
Key Features: Swiss made, 44mm, in-house automatic movement, minimum 70 hours power reserve, 30th anniversary special series, engraved caseback with anniversary inscription – outline of Aermacchi aircraft flown by Frecce Tricolori.
Expeditionary Qualification: The Frecce Tricolori name says everything – if you don’t know who it is, you’re most certainly not an Expeditionary.
When it comes to extreme pursuits, Bremont back everything from desert treks to record-breaking skydives so the MBII is a most befitting choice for an Expeditionary.
Key Features: Swiss made, 43 mm, stainless steel case, pin and buckle clasp, 28,800 VpH with a power reserve of 38 hours, Bremont modified calibre 13 1/4” BE-36AE automatic chronometer.
Expeditionary Qualification: Bremont is considered a fine fusion of both expert craftsmanship and rugged rough-and-ready charm – perfect for this Tribesman.
Expeditionaries come in all shapes and sizes and so too do their horological companions. The SevenFriday P2/01 is a sharp way of incorporating three areas: expertise, style and originality – something hard to come by in modern watches.
Key Features: Japanese manufacture, Swiss design, 47mm, black PVD case, brown leather strap, 24 hour display, hardened, anti-reflective mineral crystal glass, 30m water resistance.
Expeditionary Qualification: A different approach to the usual Expeditionary template, SevenFriday largely cater to the younger adventurer.