Driven by a market that wants to distance itself from the oversized, bling watches that symbolized economic excess, and eager to please sober Chinese consumers, many top-end watch brands this year have turned back time. Carrying on the trend that started last year, cases continue to shrink in size and thickness. Classic designs from brand archives are being resuscitated and everyone is talking “heritage".

(anticlockwise from left) Breitling Transocean Chronograph: Breitling launched the original Transocean in 1958 for aviators. This tribute will be available in limited edition steel and red gold, approx. $7,500; Chopard LUC XP Tonneau: The elegant piece has one of the thinnest automatic movements, made in-house, in the world, approx. $23,000 (around 10.28 lakh); Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Art Deco: The watch has an exquisite mother-of-pearl dial with two finishes—plain for the small hours and minutes, and a sculpted Arabesque design for the rest, 15.65 lakh (with diamonds), and 11.35 lakh (without diamonds); DeWitt Twenty-8-Eight Regulator ASW: The limited edition watch has several art deco embellishments on the front, back and case, and a new movement with a peripheral rotor that maintains optimum torque, approx. $280,000.

For watch connoisseurs it is a good time to buy some classic designs at contemporary prices.

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