Let’s face it, it’s just a matter of time until the Earth is overrun by brain-starving undead. Maybe global warming, a new mega-disease, or some kind of fancy science they’re doing at CERN will be the cause. But it’s happening, sooner or later. As an avid watch enthusiast, and novice collector, I deem it my civil duty to prepare you for the worst. I was also inspired by this post from a few years ago and wanted to create our own luxury version! Three pieces have been carefully selected to best secure your survival, and the survival of fine watchmaking as a whole. As an avid zombie and horror movie fan, and a card carrying member of Watches Anonymous, I will do my best to bring it justice and help you survive the Zombie Apocalypse!
Rolex Deepsea Ref: 116660
This watch is a tank. Water-resistant to depths reachable only by Cthulhu and James Cameron. Its merits above water translate to enhanced durability and reliable performance. With its extra thick sapphire crystal, chunky 904L steel case and bracelet, this watch can take a serious beating. When engaged in heated combat with a swarm of zombies, the Deepsea can be relied upon to take pretty much whatever you can throw at it and keep running efficiently. Rolex’s Chromalight lume is absolutely spectacular and will be useful with the lack of light due to the power outages associated with angry zombies overrunning the earth. In a pinch it could also be used as a melee weapon, and will likely keep running (don’t quote me on this assumption). The grade 5 titanium on the case back is significantly stronger than most titanium, which means it has a great combination of strength and corrosion resistance paired perfectly with the sturdy stainless steel case.
It’s weight can also be a drawback. Namely, if you can’t fight your way out, you’ll need to run. The significant mass of this stainless steel watch will only serve to slow you down. And if you’re facing a horde of super-fast zombies (think 28 Days Later) you may be in some serious trouble. It will also slow down your attack speed, and may become a bit difficult to hold in proper position while using a firearm. A serious amount of wrist-curls would be in order to prepare for wearing this without facing exertion too quickly. Start the curls and strength training now to prepare for the fight.
FP Journe Octa Sport Titane
Weight, or lack thereof should I say. This watch is feather-light. Seriously, try one on. It’s astonishing to think that a complicated and expertly hand finished Swiss movement can fit inside a rather sporty case, complete with a resilient bracelet, and weigh so little. Thanks to the titanium case and aluminum dial, it is possible! In terms of evading packs of zombies, this watch is a killer, pun intended. Your stealth will be increased exponentially, and your speed and agility will be maximized. Also, it’s nice to know that you will be carrying perhaps one of the most well-made, accurate, and stunning timepieces (invented and designed by arguably the best living watchmaker) to serve as a foundation to rebuild horology in this brave new world.
Durability is a major concern. While technically a sport watch, the Octa Sport does not have the same rugged construction as the other pieces mentioned. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not poorly constructed in any way, it’s just not quite as impact resistant by nature. The titanium case does weigh slightly heavier than it’s aluminum counterpart but overall weighs next to nothing on your wrist. If you choose this piece to take with you it’s probably best to stick with sneaking around, being as quiet as possible, moving quickly, and avoiding confrontation with the brain-chewers as much as possible. Be sure to get this on the titanium bracelet rather than the rubber strap to avoid any flat tires on your wrist.
Panerai Luminor 1950 Submersible Carbotech Ref: PAM 616
Strength and lack of weight. This new Carbotech material (based on carbon fibre) boasts to be as strong and resistant as ceramic, at the same time weighing considerably less. Once again we have a dive watch that is designed to perform under serious pressure under water. On dry land we can assume this watch will be able to keep accurate time while being covered in zombie blood, swinging around, and taking a serious beating. The screw in case back, originally designed to support the high degree of water resistance, is perfect to protect it against any blood that may come in contact with it or if you need to swim away from a threat. Also of note is its 3 day power reserve and great lume, which will make it easier and more reliable to read when cowering in a dark corner waiting for a rogue zombie to hopefully creep by without noticing.
This watch is rather large. This is an often heard gripe with Panerai in general. But a 47mm watch isn’t exactly a throw it on your wrist and forget about it type of timepiece. You’re going to know it’s there at all times. It may make it difficult to perform complicated procedures (such as doing your own sutures, or hot-wiring a car to get out of dodge). Also the lack of a chunky bracelet option could be drawback as rubber and especially leather straps have an inevitable shelf life. I would suggest stocking up on a few extra straps, which would add more weight to your already overburdened survival pack, and then being sure not to lose your Panerai strap-kit and tools. If the zombie apocalypse happens in the next two months, you’ll have to find a different watch. This was just released at SIHH 2015 and will be in retailers in October.
My Winning Choice:
The PAM 616. I could sit here and argue that it’s the best of both worlds, lightweight and rugged. That it’s sporty construction and design as a dive watch will render it reliable in most apocalypse scenarios. And that its space-age materials will serve to make it almost surreally light and versatile. It’s all black stealth look will certainly help you blend in and stand out less as zombie bait. These assertions are perfectly legitimate and defendable. But what I’m really hoping for is to be personally chosen to test this watch before, and during, the impending zombie apocalypse. I’ve been enamored with this watch since it was released at SIHH. The 616 has been talked up to ridiculous levels in the past few months, and it would only be right for me to validate my assertions, and quell my desires, while at the same time making sure humanity (and horology) stand a chance of surviving the next few centuries. See you on the battlefield.