Watches: Selection of Steel Watches with Steel Bracelet

By Thierry Ané on November 12, 2013

There is nothing more multipurpose than a steel watch with a steel bracelet. It is sporty enough to be your watch of choice for the holiday, and, if the water resistance is high enough, you won’t hesitate to bring it to the pool. It is also formal enough to be your daily watch of choice for work and won’t be out of place if you have an impromptu evening out and no time to stop home and change before the theatre performance. In a nutshell, it is a versatile timepiece that has its place in all watch collections.

In my opinion, since it is supposed to be a universal watch, it should not feature fancy functions or displays: two central hands and a date window could be enough. The only other functions that make sense here are a power reserve (always useful), a second time zone or a chronograph. Ideally, the case should be of average size (versatility of use) and it seems rather sensible for this type of watch to house an automatic movement. Lastly, as mention earlier, one expects the water resistance to be at least 10 ATM.

With so many constraints, one could think that there is no room left for any of these watches to stand out. But it is precisely because the creative leeway is so small that a perfect case shape, a nice mix of polished and brushed finishes, a beautiful design for the links of the bracelet… will immediately make that watch noticeable. Thus, with the previous criteria in mind, I inspected again this year’s entire watch production to separate the wheat from the chaff and bring you the best examples of steel watches with steel bracelets.

Bvlgari Octo Automatic Steel

Like so many great watches, the Octo was initially designed by Gerald Genta but in 2012 Bvlgari breathed new life into this collection with the introduction of two Octo Automatic watches (one in pink gold and one in steel) with a redesigned case and simplified dial. This year the brand releases and all-steel version. The very structured case requires more than 40 operations. All its facets are meticulously polished or brushed by hand. The same attention goes to the bracelet that easily bears comparison with that or the Royal Oak or the Nautilus (another two great designs due to Gerald Genta). The watch offers the essential functions, namely the hours, minutes and seconds at the centre and the date by a window at 3 o’clock. The open case back allows you to admire Bvlgari in-house BLV 193 caliber.

Find out more about the Bvlgari Octo Solotempo Steel

Cartier Calibre Chronograph Steel

The house of Cartier is renowned for its ability to create immediately recognisable watch designs. The timepiece I have included in this review is another remarkable example of Cartier’ know-how: a very bold and sporty design with unmistakable Cartier’s design cues like the sword hands and the oversize Roman numerals. The 42 mm case with open back is finely crafted and, like the bracelet, relies on a contrasting combination of satin-brushed and polished finishes. The opaline dial comes in black or silver. Offering the time, the date and a chronograph function, the caliber 1904 CH is manufactured by Cartier and offers a 48-hour power reserve.

Find out more about the Cartier Calibre Chronograph Steel

IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Racer Steel

2013 is the year of the Ingenieur for IWC and the brand successfully revamped the entire collection. I refer you to Watches of 2013 to discover or re-discover the collection. The Ingenieur Chronograph Racer is without doubt the sportier watch in this compilation with its flyback chronograph with the hour and minute counters combined in a totalizer at 12 o’clock. The silver dial with blue accents of the version presented here strengthens this impression (there is a less sporty version with a grey dial and black chrono counters). Unfortunately you won’t be able to admire the caliber IWC 89361 through the back but you will have a nice F1 racing car to look at if you decide to flip the watch over.

Find out more about the IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Racer Steel

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 15000 Gauss Steel

Despite its apparent simplicity, the next contestant is a cluster of technology! Resistant to magnetic fields greater than 15,000 gauss, this timepiece is one of the most impressive technological accomplishments in recent years. To achieve this feast, the caliber Co-Axial 8508 makes an extensive use of silicon and non-ferrous components so that the movement itself is resistant to magnetic fields. This approach allows for an open case back, which is a first for an antimagnetic timepiece. The dial features the black teak design characteristic of the Aqua Terra models enhanced by yellow accents and a yellow and black second hand.

Find out more about the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 15000 Gauss Steel

Rolex GMT-Master II Steel

How could we discuss steel watches with matching bracelets without mentioning Rolex? Luckily for us, this year saw the arrival of a restyled GMT-Master II in steel. The watch is powered by the self-winding caliber 3186, like previous iterations of the GMT-Master II. It shares the same case, bracelet and black lacquered dial with its sibling released in 2007. The revolution is to be found on the bezel: a mono-block two-tone cerachrom (ceramic) with numerals covered with a thin layer of platinum. The GMT hand is no longer green but blue to complement the bezel.

Find out more about the Rolex GMT-Master II Steel

I hope you have enjoyed this small presentation and let me know which watches of 2013 you would have included in this category.