To those searching out an uncompromising luxury timepiece to take the summer heat and activity, I'd say consider the Blancpain Leman Aqua Lung Grande Date. What makes this particular Blancpain watch so great as a summer companion is its long list of talents-the Aqua Lung watch is versatile (laid back enough for shorts and sandals, yet dressy enough to wear to a fine restaurant), it boasts the superlative degree of finish which has made Blancpain a watchword amongst connoisseurs, and on top of everything-it's very solidly built, and water resistant to 100 meters.

I've long found the Leman Aqua Lung watch to be one of Blancpain's most appealing all round offerings, because it gives me everything I enjoy in one tidy package. I can look through the exhibition back to take in the finely decorated Frederic Piguet automatic movement when I want to appreciate some very fine watchmaking skill, or take a minute to admire the tidy workmanship of the case or dial. I'm also a big fan of the durable screw-down crown, the strong sapphire crystal, and the resilient leather strap; the fact that I can wear the watch doing almost anything I enjoy doing-and not fret too much about my timepiece's well being in the process-gives me a sense that the Blancpain Aqua Lung is not just a luxury object, but a companion for my life. This adds volumes to the intangible sense of value, something that is undeniably important when purchasing a watch of this quality level.

On a technical level, the Blancpain Leman Aqua Lung Grande Date watch has a couple of features that are particularly endearing and useful in everyday life. One of these is the extremely legible date display, which relies upon a particularly sophisticated mechanism developed in-house by Blancpain. The other is the movement's long-lasting 70-hour power reserve, which enables you to put the watch aside (if, say, you wish to wear something else for a change of pace) and pick it up a couple days later, still running and keeping time like a champ.

Come to think of it, the Blancpain Leman Aqua Lung is the sort of fine timepiece that is fantastic all year round!