Batman, Spiderman, Superman, Iron Man.... Our love of superheroes remains true and unadulterated. Just look at ‘Man of Steel’, the reboot of the Superman movie franchise, who has everyone buzzing today.
But what exactly is the appeal of a superhero: courage, character, determination, destiny? Storming into burning buildings to save other people’s lives takes guts. And upholding values nobody else seems to care about in a corrupt world is definitely a test. But, honestly we don’t really care so much about that.
I’d say the appeal lies in the extraordinary powers and the advanced technology on display. Shooting webs from your wrists or fire from your eyes, and doing your morning commute in a Bat Pod or flying armour is pretty cool!
As a man of marvellous time gadgets, in a manner of speaking, I have a certain appreciation for cool gadgets and would certainly think some of the watches below are superhero worthy, if not superheroes themselves:
Picture from engadget.com
Take the MB&F HM4, known as the ‘Horological Machine No 4 Thunderbolt’. It has an aviation-inspired case, a blend of high-tech titanium for its lightweight and a sapphire centre section offering a view into the engine. (This striking transparent sapphire section of the case requires over 185 hours of machining and polishing.)
The Thunderbolt's engine took three long years of development. Each of the 300-plus components was developed specifically for its anarchistic calibre. Each component has a technical purpose. Nothing is superfluous in this fast, menacing piece of advanced machinery worthy of Bruce Wayne.
Picture from rogerdubuis.com
Limited to 88 pieces worldwide, Roger Dubuis Excalibur Skeleton Double Flying Tourbillon is the most emblematic watch complication in existence. It compensates for the effects of gravity to improve the functioning of a timepiece.
Power, lightness and transparency: this is the triple register in which this incomparable time piece plays its role. The lightness of the material emphasises the ethereal appearance of the exceptional hand-wound RD01SQ mechanical skeleton movement made of 319 parts, beating at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour (2 x 3 Hz) for a power reserve of 48 hours. This is an exercise in high-level watchmaking acrobatics designed to ensure optimal performance. Spiderman would be pleased with it!
Picture from watchclub.com
Richard Mille RM011 Felipe Massa Flyback Chronograph White Gold RM011 combines cool, contemporary design with exquisite watchmaking. This superb watch features a self-winding flyback chronograph movement with annual calendar. The case is constructed using two white gold 'plates', whilst the centre part of the case is brushed titanium. On the back of the watch you can see the exposed automatic rotor through the sapphire crystal in a style that only Richard Mille has been able to achieve.
With a black rubber strap and buckle, this 50 mm x 40 mm watch is definitely a statement of masculinity, and with only 9 pieces available worldwide, of superpower too.
Picture from audemarspiguet.com
You can’t round up superheroes watches and ignore the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Michael Schumacher (a limited edition of 1,000 pieces) which features a substantial 44mm offshore chronograph case, with a few crucial modifications.
The one piece bezel is made of the ultra-hard CeraMet and is held down with automotive-inspired nuts. The dial, in anthracite grey, features the Mega Tapisserie pattern and is marked with seven stars between 12 o'clock and 1 o'clock on the tachymeter scale. These represent Schumacher's two championships with Benetton and five championships with Ferrari (his seven championships are more than any other driver in history). The minutes track is styled after checkered flags, and the chronograph registers recall automotive instruments. Tony Stark could not have done a better job designing this!