The Esquire editors pick their favourite new and upcoming watches, including launches from Breitling, Audemars Piguet, Omega and Cartier.
Code 11:59 (2020 versions)
im电竞官网-Described by Audemars Piguet as "the most important launch since the Royal Oak in 1972", the tongue-tying Code 11.59 (as in, "one minute to midnight") had a lot to live up to on its 2019 launch. Using genuinely new case architecture and a crystal that curved on two separate axis, you could see why AP hailed it as radical a design as the Royal Oak's iconic octagonal case and integrated metal bracelet. Code 11.59 didn’t convince everyone, and a new-for-2020 palate of colours is a welcome update. The focus is on sunburst lacquered dials in rich colours including blue, burgundy, purple and light and dark grey. All come on hand-stitched alligator straps matching each dials colour and, like the original run of 11.59s, are intended for both men and women.
Patek Philippe Limited Edition Commemorative Calatrava Ref. 6007A
im电竞官网-The completion of a corporate building project is typically marked with a glass of champagne and a few words from the company boss. Patek Philippe, though, has a history of accompanying key events in its history with a new watch. So it has proved on the completion of Patek's architecturally stunning new production building in Geneva, five years in the making. The Patek Philippe Limited Edition Commemorative Calatrava Ref. 6007A is limited to 1,000 pieces and features an unusual polished steel bezel surrounding a dial in a carbon-style texture, a nod to the world of high-tech. The caseback is marked with the brand's Calatrava cross alongside the inscription “New Manufacture 2019", denoting the year the company’s first departments moved into the building. Celebrations all round.
Built from a new material that combines “the lightness of titanium” with “the hardness of diamond” and looking like something from the distant future, this could only be a Richard Mille watch. The latest in a series of ludicrously high-end chronographs that began with the RM 011 in 2007, the RM 11-05 is topped off with a flyback function, a GMT indicator and an annual calendar. Richard Mille likes to describe his watches as “a racing machine on the wrist” and while watch/car comparisons are ten-a-penny, it's hard to disagree: with their sporty looks and bleeding-edge design and materials, Richard Mille’s inventions are truly the supercars of the watch world. Fittingly, this costs the same as a Ferrari Portofino.
Connected Golf Edition
Only a few months after Tag Heuer released its latest Wear OS smartwatch, the brand doubles down with a new version of its connected golf watch. As its name suggests, the Tag Heuer Connected Golf Edition is a golf-focused smartphone companion. It comes with an OLED screen, a 45mm matte black titanium case and a full suite of smartwatch functions including heart rate monitor, accelerometer and gyroscope. In addition, there’s detailed golf data for some 40,000 courses around the world, with game-focused features like distance to green and hazards, shot distance and score keeping.
Master Control Memovox
There’s something magical about a chiming wristwatch, doubly so if its made by Jaeger-LeCoultre, whose family of dress watches may be unparalleled. The first Memovox came out in the Fifties, one of the first generation of wristwatches to come with a chiming, vibrating alarm complication. The 2020 version has been slimmed down and tidied up, and (naturally) features a completely new movement. It’s beautifully proportioned, extremely stylish and surprisingly loud. A modern classic, we’re saying.
Big Bang e
im电竞官网-Following its 2018 FIFA World Cup smartwatch, Hublot has produced a second watch running Wear OS. The Big Bang e comes in two versions: titanium, with a retail price around £4,200, and black ceramic, priced around £4,500. Both feature a 42mm OLED high-definition touchscreen covered with sapphire crystal, and 8GB of storage. In addition to the ‘time only’ analogue function, the Big Bang e features interpretations of traditional watch complications, including one that tracks the lunar calendar and another that changes colour over the course of the day, as part of the #HublotLovesArt initiative.
Premier Bentley Mulliner Limited Edition (available from May 2020)
Breitling continues to roll out new watches for 2020 with the new Premier Bentley Mulliner Limited Edition. Bentley and Breitling have been partners for 17 years, ever since the watchmaker produced onboard clocks for the Continental GT during its initial production of its ‘everyday supercar’ in 2002. It is the longest-running association between a watchmaker and a car brand. Limited to 100 pieces, the watch features a solid 42mm polished steel case with a push/pull crown and rectangular chronograph pushers. The enlarged Arabic numbers and red and blue detailing lend this piece a vintage, dressy feel.
[Re]master01 Selfwinding Chronograph
Audemars Piguet rarely looks to its back catalogue. It has made an exception here, with a watch based on a 1943 chronograph. The two-tone steel and pink gold case with champagne dial is borrowed directly from the now-collectable original model, as is the old-school ‘Audemars, Piguet & Co/ Genève’ logo. Concessions to modernity include a revised dial for increased legibility and a glare-proof sapphire crystal case back. It is limited to 500 pieces.
Navi XL Automatic 41mm
When it was launched last year in a limited run, Timex's first military-inspired automatic watch sold out quicker than you could say, "An automatic watch for how much?" Those who missed out now have a second chance to grab a watch that channels Timex's military heritage but adds clever guts (a 21-jewel Japanese automatic movement) and will still leave you change from £230. With only 100m water resistance it's more a desk diving watch than a diverim电竞官网- diving watch. But at that price, we're not ones to quibble.
im电竞官网-A handsome automatic steel watch inspired 'by travel', from independent London watchmaker George Bamford. His eye for detail has led to work with big name watch brands including Tag Heuer and Zenith, but Bamford's own line is always worth your time. Designed with a bold blue and orange dial, the GMT hand function lets you simultaneously view the time in two different zones.
Classic Fusion Special Edition ‘London’
Designed in tribute to the UK’s capital, this limited edition is a showcase for Hublot’s core USP: statement-led design and technical prowess. For the former, see the sunray-finished racing grey dial engraved with a Union Jack motif, the caseback decorated with ‘Hublot Loves London’ and the black rubber strap with its City of London tartan theme. For the latter, see the 45mm black ceramic case, the hefty 42-hour power reserve and the watch’s 10 signature ‘H’ screws set into the bezel and case in contrasting polished titanium.
Max Bill Hand-Winding
Once this German company was the biggest watch manufacturer in the world. Today it maintains a pole position in the league of best-designed brands, noted for its clean dials and minimalist indices. Its relationship with the Swiss architect and typeface designer Max Bill dates back to the Fifties and lives on in 2020 with this smart and sophisticated, elegantly proportioned day watch.
Tetra Ode To Joy
im电竞官网-Nomos Glashütte, the German brand known for its minimalist, design-forward watches, marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig Van Beethoven (that’s 1770, for those who can’t do the maths in their heads) with a new collection in tribute to his greatest works. The four new models in the brand’s square-cased Tetra series – Tetra Devine Spark, Tetra Ode To Joy, Tetra Immortal Beloved and Tetra Fidelio – sport in-house mechanical calibers and vibrant dial colours: copper, olive green, turquoise and dark blue, respectively. Nomos is officially calling this a ladies’ collection, but the 29.5 x 29.5mm cases would suit most wrists. Plus we’re living in gender-fluid 2020, people.
In addition to blue, black and grey editions, a green execution joins the line up of Longines’ primary modern dive watch collection. Green is a fashionable colour in the watch world for 2020, and this model hits the sweet spot between being military-inspired and stylish. Available in two case sizes, 41mm and 43mm, it is water resistant to 300m.
Tag Heuer's third generation smartwatch, featuring a more refined design and added sensors for sport and fitness. A new dedicated Sports app uses GPS plus heart rate, compass, accelerometer and gyroscopic sensors for tracking activities including golf, running and cycling. Tag Heuer has also been able to make this itineration physically smaller by hiding the antennas underneath a new ceramic bezel, in addition to putting the screen closer to the sapphire glass. It also looks more like a traditional watch.
One of the nicest-looking chronographs and arguably the classic IWC dress watch now comes with a self-winding in-house movement that significantly lowers its entry price (at least in the steel version). Available with a silver, black or blue dial in steel, or silver and black dial in 18k red gold. The absence of a date keeps it classy.
£7,050 (steel); £15,500 (gold);
BR 03-92 Grey Lum
Grey and neon green is a winning combination, as any Air Max 95 fan knows. Bell & Ross, leaders in pilot watches, technical engineering and glow in the dark dials, has adopted that same colour way for its upcoming BR 03-92 Grey Lum. A fine addition to its ‘LUM’ (luminière, or light) line, introduced in 2017, it’s a showy timepiece – in all the right ways.
im电竞官网-Competitively priced, no nonsense steel watch that won’t let you down. Tissot’s T-Classic watch line is all about pairing Swiss-made tradition with go-anywhere appeal. Also available with a blue dial.
Captain Cook Bronze (available from April 2020)
A popular twist on an already popular model, the Captain Cook dive watch gets a 2020 update in a green dial/ bronze case combo. It’s a style that’s proved a winner for other brands, and Rado delivers it at a better price. Would look equally smart on a NATO strap.
Tag Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition (available from June 2020)
Tag Heuer marks 160 years at the pole position of watchmaking with this new Carrera Silver Limited Edition. A close reproduction of the original, much sought-after racing chronograph, the stainless steel revival keeps its forebear’s monochrome silver-coloured dial, polished case and trio of pushers, alongside the brand’s old ‘Heuer’ badge. But it’s been upsized from 36mm to 39mm and carries a sparkling new 21st century movement, comprising 168 components and an 80-hour power reserve. Limited to 1,860 pieces (as in the founding year, 1860).
Seiko Prospex Black Series
im电竞官网-Inspired by the world of night diving, which may be a first, Seiko’s new series of dive watches are distinguished by their none-more-black DLC-coated stainless steel cases. There are three models available: the SLA035J1 Professional, with water resistance to 1,000 feet (limited to 600 models), the SPB125J1 “Sumo”, a 45mm version (7,000 models) and the solar-powered SSC761J1, shown here (limited to 3,500 pieces).
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Chronograph
Omega had a big 2019, celebrating the 50th anniversary of ‘the first watch on the moon’, its iconic Speedmaster ‘Moonwatch’, with a raft of special releases. With 2020 set to be another banner year (Omega sponsors the summer Olympics and is James Bond’s timepiece of choiceim电竞官网-) it hasn’t forgone its space connections just yet. Its first release of the decade is a new version of the Speedmaster ‘Ed White’, named for the astronaut who wore it on America’s first spacewalk, in 1965. A justly celebrated piece of design, it is now available in non-limited stainless steel, putting it into orbit of those without the means to hit up the auction houses for an vintage model.
Richard Mille RM 61-01 Ultimate Edition (release date tba)
im电竞官网-A companion watch to the tourbillon RM 59-01, which Richard Mille created for Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake, the RM 61-o1 has been part of the Richard Mille line-up since 2012. The new ‘Ultimate Edition’ is limited to 150 pieces and will be the final version released in the series. As per all Richard Mille releases, the specs have more in common with a high-performance sports car than something you’d typically find on someone’s wrist. The case is crafted in carbon and quartz, it’s impact-tested to more than 5,000 Gs and features a skeletonised calibre made of PVD-treated grade 5 titanium. Ultimate indeed.
Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Satin-Polished Steel (release date tba)
Bulgari’s first release of 2020 is a new version of its Octo Finissimo Automatic, which debuted in 2017. Back then, it created quite a stir – at a scarcely-possible 2.23mm thick, it contained the world’s thinnest self-winding movement. The paper-thin sports watch has previously been available in titanium, stainless steel and rose gold, all with a sandblasted finish. Now that family is joined by two new models – in steel with a bracelet, or 18ct rose gold with a strap – that feature a fancy satin-polished finish, and also play up the contrast between the black lacquered dial and the polished hands and indexes.
Bell & Ross BRV2-94 Aéronavale Bronze (release date tba)
im电竞官网-One of three military-inspired styles that Bell & Ross is launching in the first quarter of 2020, all dedicated to ‘modern urban explorers’, this chronograph sports ‘tool watch’ functionality while adding a bit of extra panache. The bronze case will age over time, taking on a palette of unique shades, in a run limited to 999 pieces. The two other models are the aviation-inspired BRV2-93 GMT Blue and the khaki camouflage V2-92 Military Green, completing a trio of well-proportioned, robust models that will look good anywhere.
Hublot Spirit Of Big Bang Meca-10 (release date tba)
There are men’s watches, then there are Hublot watches. Available in three versions, titanium, black ceramic and ‘king gold’ alloy, the Spirit of Big Bang Meca-10 is named after its groundbreaking movement, which packs a 10-day power reserve, and represents one of a handful of strong 2020 releases for the brand. Hublot’s peerless technical design chops are visible in the trademark open working, topped off with a trademark chunky rubber strap, making this as impressive as it is unapologetically masculine.
Oris Aquis Lake Baikal Limited Edition
Oris has an enduring and authentic commitment to ocean conservation. That materialises in this extension to its Aquis family of dive watches, which is made in partnership with the Lake Baikal Foundation, an organisation that protects the world’s largest source of fresh water, in Siberia. Limited to 1,999 pieces – marking the year Russia passed the Baikal Law – it will help fund research and raise awareness of both pollution and the need for clean water. The gradient blue dial is novel (without being novelty) and comes housed in a stainless steel case, with a uni-directional rotating bezel featuring a ceramic insert. It looks good, and does good.
William Wood Valiant Collection (delivered from May 2020)
In 2018 Esquire held its first Self-Made event, where business start-ups had the opportunity to make an ‘elevator pitch’ to a panel of experts. The winner was Jonny Garrett, founder of William Wood Watches, a company with a singular story. Dedicated to Garrett’s firefighter grandfather, and the Fire Service internationally, each watch contains part of a Twenties British brass firefighter’s helmet, putting a piece of heroic heritage on your wrist. Launched on Kickstarter, the brand raised over £25,000 in less than a week and has gone from strength to strength. Its new Valiant line is now in production, a collection of five stainless steel automatic dive watches, featuring straps made from Angus Duraline British fire hose rubber, blue tinted double domed sapphire crystal (a tribute to the blue watch service) and a turning bezel inspired by firefighter’s oxygen tanks.
Air Command Chronograph Flyback Limited Edition
The Blancpain Air Command was originally produced in the Fifties, intended for use by the US Air Force. For this 500-piece limited edition, Switzerland's oldest watch manufacturer wanted to remain as faithful as possible to that original model – with a few concessions to modernity. To wit, the combination of an ultra-vintage look with modern materials and a modern movement.
Classique 5177 'Grand Feu' Blue Enamel
Available for the first time in a 'Grand Feu' enamel, this peerless dress watch has been rigorously thought-out. To ensure ease of readability, the moon-tipped hands are made of rhodium-plated steel, while the Arabic numerals, stars, diamond shapes and fleur-de-lis on the chapter ring are silvered and larger than normal. A fantastic piece.
Divers Sixty-Five Chronograph
Based on the design of the very first diver's watch that Oris created in 1965, this chronograph version has been updated to 2020 specs, and now features a robust stainless steel case, a sapphire crystal and a hugely reliable automatic Swiss-made mechanical movement. The bronze bezel edge and rose gold-plated dial details add to the watch's stylish retro look. Regular readers of Esquire and our annual The Big Watch Book will know we're of the opinion Oris has seldom put a foot wrong of late.
Captain Cook Automatic Green
im电竞官网-Under the founding philosophy 'if we can imagine it, we can make it', Rado proves that design innovation doesn't have to cost the earth. It has made pieces from ultra-slim ceramic, high-tech diamond and, in 1962, 'the first scratchproof watch'. Redesigning an original look from 1962, this has all the vintage details and styling true to the original.
Aviator 8 B01 Chronograph 43 Mosquito
The brand's latest model honours the de Havilland Mosquito, the British aircraft whose lightweight 'wooden wonder' construction made it one of World War II's fastest planes. The red and orange accents are particularly nice.
1832 Heritage Moonphase
Paying tribute to the year it was created, this model is a fair summation of the codes close to Longines's heart: mixing tradition with elegance and performance. The movement can be admired through the transparent caseback. For our money, Longines make some of the coolest, most affordable watches in the business.
Heritage 1973 Chronograph
The Swiss brand first engaged with motor racing during the Fifties, finding its greatest success in the Seventies sponsoring entrants at the Le Mans 24-hour endurance races and claiming a podium first place with French car builder Alpine at the Monte Carlo Rally World Championship in 1973. This year’s Heritage release revisits Tissot’s original mechanical racing watch, the Navigator, fairly faithfully while adding new tweaks. Inside the polished steel 43mm case, the three-dial panda layout is highlighted with green Super-LumiNova indices and sporty little neon-orange counters, the date window is repositioned between 4 and 5 o’clock, and it’s all mounted on a period-perfect black perforated leather racing strap. Limited to an appropriate 1,973 pieces, the race is on to catch up with one.
Alpine Eagle Automatic
Over the last few years, several companies have released watches with 'integrated bracelets' – that's to say, where the watch case and bezel flow continuously into a multi-linked bracelet, a trend that last took hold in the 1970s. Chopard's take is a reinterpretation of the St Moritz watch is launched 40 years ago, and is a particularly handsome piece. Simultaneously the rebirth of a watch icon, and the introduction of a new one, the Alpine Eagle Automatic also comes with 100 meter water resistance.
Code 11.59 26393OR.OO.A002CR.01
im电竞官网-Code 11.59 is a new family of watches from the storied Swiss brand, best known for its Royal Oak, an icon of modern watchmaking with its distinctive angular case, exposed screws and integrated bracelet. AP is calling Code 11.59 “the biggest launch since 1972”, the year the Royal Oak arrived: the plan was to make a splash with something contemporary and all-new that nods to its innovative past. Five years in the making and available in 13 references across six models with three new calibres, all Code 11.59 watches were launched simultaneously, a feat in itself. The self-winding chronograph version features a black lacquered dial, an 18k pink gold case and a double-curved sapphire crystal, something that plays with depth perception, a new design element for Code 11.59 that may yet become as iconic as the Royal Oak’s octagonal bezel.
im电竞官网-After its successful launch in 2018, Victorinox announces the second mechanical iteration of I.N.O.X, its sports watch line known for almost comical toughness — tests include being blasted by corrosive liquids and run over by a tank — while maintaining a cool, streamlined aesthetic. As its name suggests, this version is made from a carbon composite, something also used to protect space shuttles from atmospheric re-entry at temperatures that can exceed 1,260°C, where presumably checking the time would be the last thing on your mind. Scratch-resistant, hypoallergenic and with Super-Luminova detailing on the dial and the strap, it somehow weighs in at just a fraction under 100g. One of the toughest watches on this planet then, now fully space-proofed.
Black Bay P01
Based on a 1967 prototype watch for US Navy divers codenamed the “Commando” which was not accepted into service, Tudor has now raided its archives to expand its ultra-successful Black Bay range with this unusual tool watch based upon that blueprint. Uniquely built for the world aquatic where underwater and surface exploration merge, the hefty P01 is rated waterproof to 200m while its bi-directional bezel is marked off in hours for navigating sailors to time their chart courses. The crown being set lower at 4 o’clock offers it protection from the rough stuff under or above the waves, but the watch’s most notable feature is the hinged end link system on the leather-rubber strap which locks into the bezel’s teeth to prevent accidental movement from bashes and knocks. If extreme water sports are your thing, this is your watch.
Prospex LX SNR031
im电竞官网-Japan’s foremost watchmaker started as a jewellery shop in 19th-century Ginza, specialising in clocks. Now it’s famous for making outstanding watches at every price point, using entirely in-house processes, right down to concocting lubricating oils. Its new Prospex LX line is a three-part sports watch range encompassing land, air and sea, nodding to its Professional Diver’s watch from 1968; a fan favourite. Combining heritage looks with modern build methods, the Prospex LX SNR031 dive watch is a collaboration with the industrial supercar designer Ken Okuyama, noted for his work with Ferrari. Technical notes include a substantial 44.8mm case, a 5R spring drive movement, a 72-hour power reserve, water resistance to 300m and a titanium case that’s been “Zaratsu” (blade) polished, achieving that mirrored finish — just look at the light dance off it.
1858 Geosphere Limited Edition
im电竞官网-If you’re jaded with watch cases in brushed steel, white/rose/red gold, titanium, ceramic, carbon fibre et al, take a look at this adventurous offering from Montblanc in bronze. Inspired by the spirit of early 20th century mountaineering, the 1858 Geosphere Limited Edition is dedicated to the Seven Summits climbing challenge to conquer Earth’s highest peaks; and only 1,858 of this model will be manufactured. Beneath its rose gold hands, the outdoors-friendly khaki dial displays the date, a second time zone and two rotating globes representing the Northern and Southern Hemisphere’s 24-hour time zones with day and night depicted in contrasting colours. The rugged khaki woven Nato strap further enhances its explorer credentials — how far you venture with it is your call.
Skin Irony Skinblack
im电竞官网-The Skin Irony collection launched last year, combining elements from two of Swatch’s best lines: Skin and Irony. At 5.8 mm high, the result was the brand’s slimmest watch, and a great example of a storied brand continuing to evolve. This simple, elegant piece is the perfect wear-anywhere model and has plenty to say about the refined tastes of the wearer, without shouting it from the rooftops.
Classic Fusion Ferrari GT 3D Carbon
im电竞官网-One of the luxury partnerships that just makes sense, Hublot has been working with Ferrari on a series of special edition watches since 2011. Taking its cues from Gran Turismo cars through the years, the 45mm Classic Fusion Ferrari GT is a true collaborative effort: Hublot built the movement, Ferrari built the case. The latter is cast in carbon 3D fibre and designed at the Centro Stile Ferrari in Maranello, Italy. The former — Hublot’s Unico manufacture self-winding chronograph flyback movement — is made in Switzerland and comprises 354 parts. Besides black-on-black carbon, the Ferrari GT is also available in 18k “king gold” (£32,100) or titanium (£18,200).
Sixties Annual Edition 2019
Watch write-ups get nerdy quickly. With all the talk of tourbillons and power reserves, its easy to forget one of the most emotive reasons for any watch’s appeal is colour. Last year, German watchmaker Glashütte Original had a hit with its Sixties Annual Edition in retro green, where the dial graduated from a lighter centre to a darker, domed periphery — a successful experiment with colour. Duly encouraged, it’s launched the watch in orange sunburst, radiating from vibrant yellow in the centre to black at the edges. Each lacquered dial is unique, using tools and methods from the Sixties. Available with or without a date window, in a 42mm stainless steel case for the former and 39mm for the latter (and an appropriate price bump for the date version), the two new models have a one-year limited availability, making them as desirable as they are distinctive.
5212A-001 Calatrava Weekly Calendar
Time, day, date, month — the basic temporal measurements and functionality upon which watchmaking has been based since, well, time immemorial. Patek’s new high-end 5212A, however, goes one better by adding an additional refinement to its information display by keeping track of the weeks in a year. Beyond the three standard hands for seconds, minutes and hours, two red-tipped hammer pointers register the day and the week number (the latter also cleverly indicates the relevant month on a concentric outer scale). Design afficionados should note the technical lettering on the face is based on the actual handwriting of a Patek designer; a handsome and human detail on such an exquisite and captivating complication.
The Santos, Cartier’s style icon, was first introduced in 1904 and became not only a Cartier signature but also one of the defining wristwatch designs of the 20th century. The latest iteration takes the full Santos-Dumont moniker and steers the line in a new direction — thinner, smaller and more affordable. Key to that is its slimline quartz movement, which may offend the more mechanically minded, but in the flesh it barely registers because of the absence of the tell-tale ticking seconds hand of a quartz movement. It helps too that Cartier is claiming a punchy six-year battery life. The larger of the two models announced is only 31.4mm wide, although feels larger on the wrist, and is just 7mm thick. Mounted on a navy alligator hide strap, it’s chic, dressy and a lusty addition to the Santos canon.
Heritage BiCompax Annual
im电竞官网- The resurgent independent watchmaker’s latest model ticks off a number of current trends. The 41mm Heritage Bicompax Annual is based on a Fifties’ archive piece with a “bicompax” two-counter dial, giving it a mid-century feel (tick); it’s available in two-tone steel and rose gold (tick); and it’s also limited (tick). There’ll be 888 of both the two-tone and steel models, determined by the company’s founding year of 1888, rather than out of deference to gamblers. It’s decent value, too. Behind that balanced dial, there’s a clever movement fuelling a chronograph and an annual calendar with date and month indications that only need adjusting on 1 March. The steel is a touch over £5k, with a premium for the solid gold detailing in the two-tone. Modest by the industry’s lengthy yardstick.
Altiplano Automatic 40mm with Meteorite Dial
im电竞官网-Skinny watches are Piaget’s calling card, performing particularly well for them, as well as being award-winning marvels of engineering in their own right. Upping the ante this year, the brand has added a thin layer of meteorite to two of its Altiplano models. Since each sliver of rock is slightly different, each watch is effectively unique. In a weird galactic trend alert it’s not the only watch brand to incorporate meteorite in 2020, but we love what Piaget have done here: the combination of chic ultra-thinness and rugged stone dial really works.
Montblanc has been on a roll over the last few years, producing vintage-inspired watches with broad appeal. Frankly, you can take your pick of the recent releases but we’re pretty bowled over by the elegance of the Montblanc Heritage GMT. It comes in three automatic versions: a silver/white domed dial, a steel Milanese bracelet or a salmon-coloured dial with a grey alligator-skin strap. All three are 40mm, have Super-LumiNova hands and domed sapphire crystals.
Master Ultra Thin Moon Enamel
Next, a piece that shows off just a few of the remarkable in-house handcraft skills Jaeger-LeCoultre has maintained, including enamel dial-making and hand-guilloché, on a super-elegant moon phase watch with an incredibly thin movement. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon Enamel also has a power reserve of 70 hours – meaning you can wear it Monday to Friday and pick it up again at the start of the week, without correcting the date, moon phase or time. The case is white gold, the dial an eye-wateringly deep midnight blue and the hand-workmanship the best in the business.
Pilot's Watch Timezoner Spitfire Edition “The Longest Flight”
IWC makes other watch styles but it is best known for its pilot models, something it is doubling down on this year with the new additions to its Top Gun collection, including the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Top Gun, the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Top Gun Edition ‘Mojave Desert, the Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph Top Gun Ceratanium and the Pilot’s Watch Automatic Top Gun. Also of note is the Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Special Edition ‘The Longest Flight’, dedicated to the ‘Silver Spitfire – The Longest Flight’ project, which will see pilots Steve Boultbee Brooks and Matt Jones attempt to fly around the world this summer in a Spitfire. Everything, from the colour scheme to the black dial to the green textile strap, has been inspired by the cockpit of the classic warplane.
Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar
Not only is this an absolutely stunning piece of watchmaking, it will run for over two months, thanks to a clever ‘standby mode’ triggered by a pusher located at on the case at 7.00. The Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar includes an ultra-long power reserve when the watch is not in use, meaning the perpetual calendar needs no adjustment even if the piece has been packed away for 65 days. That’s an ingenious innovation, but we’re equally taken with this watch’s striking looks: the hand-guilloché slate-coloured gold and transparent sapphire dial, the 18k gold markers and the beautiful symmetry for such a highly complicated piece.
Toric Chronomètre Slate
The Golden Ratio is what you get when you divide a line into two parts so that the longer part divided by the smaller part is also equal to the whole length divided by the longer part. Got that? It doesn’t matter: it’s the maths that explains why we find some things particularly pleasing to the eye. The Mona Lisa,im电竞官网- for example, employs Golden Ratio proportions. So do pine cones. “The decoration is so captivating because it is based on the Golden Ratio,” says Michel Parmigiani, of the dial on his brand’s Toric Chronomètre Slate. “Reproducing a harmony that is everywhere in nature.” The elegance is topped off by a Hermès tan-coloured alligator strap and a red gold ardillion buckle.
Black Bay Chronograph S&G
Style journalists love to talk of ‘trends’ in watches, as though at some point in the years it takes manufacturers to develop new products, rival companies hold a clandestine meeting, probably in the Swiss Alps, and decide that, for example, 2019 would be the year of the two-tone watch (rather than it being odds-on that of the thousands of watches produced every year, chances are a few will share design characteristics). With this in mind, we’re pleased to announce... that 2019 was the year of the two-tone watch, and that trend is holding strong for 2020. A particular fine example is the Tudor Black Bay Chronograph S&G. The title refers to ‘steel’ and ‘yellow gold’ and adds another extremely desirable model to Tudor’s existing line of extremely desirable models. Essentially a blinged-out version of their Black Bay Chrono it looks great on both a woven or a steel/gold bracelet, staying just the right side of being, you know, a bit much.
We love this watch. Unisex, inspired by skateboarding and, once you factor in the different number of cases, strap options and the fact it comes in both 35 or 38mm, available in at least 30 different combinations, The Grip is unlike anything else on the market – idiosyncratic, cool, and strikingly different without being silly – which is just way Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele likes it. The cushion case is a joy to wear, while telling the time using three disks to reveal the hour, minute and date couldn’t be simpler.
Day Date 36
Last year, Rolex unveiled two refreshed takes on the iconic GMT: the ‘Pepsi’ (blue and red) bezel and the brown and black – both of which caused quite the stir. (We tried to coin the phrase ‘Mars Bar bezel’ for the latter, but it didn’t take.) This year, with perhaps a little less fanfare, Rolex delivered a larger, 42mm Yacht Master, a blue and black ‘Batman’ edition of the GMT (absolutely mega) and a seriously cool two-tone steel and 18ct gold Sea Dweller. But our pick is the Day Date 36, in gold. In line with the trend for Seventies-style watches, its green face and gem-set indices shout vintage chic, but it’s still low-profile enough to not make too much of a noise. Plus it’s fitted with the ‘President’s Bracelet’, the Rolex strap best loved by world leaders. Big energy.
Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic
Every time someone puts up a road block, the clever people at Bulgari (a team headed up by Fabrizio Buonamassa, an exceptionally stylish man: look him up) keep going one further. Previously setting records for the world’s thinnest automatic watch, the thinnest minute-repeater and the thinnest tourbillon, they have now created the world’s thinnest chronograph, the Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic. At just 3.3mm thick, the movement is an exercise in mind-boggling engineering. But the biggest triumph, perhaps, is that despite being a landmark of horology, the watch is understated, calm and seriously cool. This is not something that will shout from your wrist, rather whisper knowingly to those who recognise it for what it is.
Best known for its square watches, Bell & Ross has quietly been making covetable vintage-inspired round watches for some time. Last year, we saw the Racing Bird and Belly Tanker models, both of which harked back to mid-Century aviation and motorsport style without it being pastiche. This year, our pick of the new batch was the V2 92 in ‘Military' Beige. A simple two-hand automatic with a date in a 41mm steel case, and fitted with a natty elastic hook-over strap. It’s a great ‘everyday’ watch, and at just a touch over £2000, it won’t break the bank, either.