Stainless steel is now de rigueur but when the original Gérald Genta-designed Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Ref 5402 was released in 1972, it was the world’s first luxury sports watch and overturned the prevailing codes with its steel case, octagonal bezel, “tapisserie” dial and integrated steel bracelet.
The Emmanuel Gueit-designed Royal Oak Offshore, launched in 1993, is an even more sporty, masculine take on that icon.
The Offshore Diver features a rotating inner bezel and is water-resistant to 300m. Sand Buff, Charismatic Khaki or Tropical Turquoise are the other new colours for 2018, applied to the “Méga Tapisserie” dials and matching rubber straps. POA, Picot & Moss 011-669-0500.
I cheated a bit here as this one was actually launched in 2017 but is still one of my favourites so stays on the list. Its retro styling fits with the revival trend yet still came as something of a surprise from a brand synonymous with innovative, futuristic designs, and slim timepieces in revolutionary materials. Named after the 18th century British explorer Captain James Cook, this dive watch is a reimagined collection of three watches for men and women, based on the original 1962 Rado with the same name. Priced at around R27,000. Swatch Group 011-911-1200.