10 Awesome Dress Watches That Were Introduced In 2019 Dress watches from Lange, Blancpain, Breguet, Cartier, Chopard, Grand Seiko, Hermes, JLC, Omega and Patek by Robert-Jan BroerFebruary 20, 2020 MIN READ10 Awesome Dress Watches That Were Introduced In 2019
2019 seems ages ago, but we’re only in February 2020 and Watches & Wonders and Baselworld haven’t even started yet (and fingers crossed they will).
It gives me some time to reflect on 2019 and think of all the watches that we’ve seen in those 12 months. At first, I thought that not much came out last year, but giving it a bit more thought by putting some effort into reliving the SIHH 2019 and Baselworld 2019 as well as the ‘spontaneous’ introductions (we’ve had many, actually), it struck me that we’ve seen quite some good pieces. As we all know the sports models, available or not, I thought it would be nice to sum-up some of the awesome dress watches that were shown to us last year. At age 42 (almost 43), there’s somehow this natural desire for a nice dress watch. I neglected them for quite a long time (or as long as possible, perhaps) but I think I could wear a dress watch also on informal occasions.
10 Awesome Dress Watches
A little warning upfront, my top 10 dress watches doesn’t show much entry-level priced things I am afraid. For me, but I know this is personal and different for everyone, a dress watch needs to be in gold. I think that adds a certain ‘weight’ to the watch, not only in grams. I did include two in steel though, to keep it a bit balanced.
A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Daymatic
I have a weak spot for this German brand, and I would have a hard time picking one of their references, to be honest. Last year, Lange introduced the Lange 1 Daymatic and although I have a little craving for red or yellow gold, this white gold Daymatic is pretty stunning too. For a retail price of €44.200,- you’re buying into this beautiful manufacture from Glashütte in Germany, where the movements are just as stunning as the dials.
With an estimated production number of around 6000 watches per year, chances are small you will bump into someone else wearing a Lange watch. And if you do, you’ll have something to talk about! The self-winding caliber L021.1 movement will be a hot topic for sure. This white gold Daymatic with a diameter of 39.5mm was limited to 25 pieces, for their 25th anniversary of the Lange 1 model. A young icon! More information via the official A. Lange & Söhne website.
Breguet Classique Grand Feu
A brand I started to rediscover since last year is Breguet. Besides the Type XX, I neglected it for too long, until I visit the manufacture (twice) in 2019 and witness with my own eyes how Breguet belongs to the absolute top of watchmaking. I am warming up a lot to their Classique collection, and perhaps even just for the two-hander (reference 5157) which is perhaps the most classic of them all.
However, I am talking 2019 dress watches in this article, and their 38mm Classique Grand Feu is just mindblowing. The blue dial of Breguet Classique Grand Feu reference 5177 is simply amazing and brings some kind of calming effect to the wearer (or observer). The self-winding caliber 777Q movement is impressive too. The retail price of this watch is CHF23.100 Swiss Francs. More information can be found on the official Breguet website.
Blancpain Villeret Extra-Thin
Another watch from the Swatch Group stable is this Blancpain Villeret in gold (also available in steel!). This red gold version is reference 6605 3642 55 and retails for CHF 17.000 Swiss Francs (the steel version is around CHF9.000). The diameter of this watch is 40mm, which is slightly larger than the aforementioned dress watches, but it is also relatively thin (7.39mm). I say relatively, as it is a hand-wound and only has two hands, so that helps a lot for becoming a thin watch.
This is a very classic watch and has a lot of cool ingredients: hand-wound movement, two hands only, applied Roman numerals and a red gold case. Even better, it has a power reserve on the movement indicating how much is left of the 95 hours in total. There’s no scale on there, but at least you have an indication. More information on the official Blancpain website.
Cartier Santos Dumont
Yes, it is quartz, but the watch is so nicely done that you almost tend to forget about that. Admitted, if it would have a mechanical movement the choice would have been easier. Yet I want to have this pink gold Santos Dumont (reference CRWGSA0021) in this article. The downside is the retail price of €11.500 which is quite hefty for a quartz watch, for sure.
If you’re in love with the style of this watch, you can opt for a stainless steel version that starts at €3.550 for the smaller version and €3.800 for the same large version (43.5 mm x 31.4 mm) as the pink gold one as shown. I guess the Cartier Santos Dumont is more about style than about movements, which is fine for some of us. That said if we forget about the movement for a moment, I really (really!) like the looks of this watch. More information via Cartier online.
Chopard XP Blue
Here’s my first steel dress watch in this overview, with almost the same dimensions as the earlier described Blancpain Villeret. I thought this was one of the nicest Chopard watches that they showed us in 2019, and I hope they did well with it. Not only the beautiful L.U.C 96.53-L movement is a treat, but also the combination of rose gold numerals and hands on a blue brushed dial are nothing but classy. The retail price is €8.100 for this steel dress watch on the blue merino wool strap. This will be a conversation maker for sure. More information can be found on the official Chopard website.
Grand Seiko SBGY002
Grand Seiko’s popularity is ever-growing and for a good reason: their watches are stunning. The dials are the big treat in my opinion, which is also valid for this Grand Seiko SBGY002 dress watch. It looks similar to the popular Snowflake dial, but now housed in a beautiful yellow gold case and powered by a hand-wound Spring Drive movement caliber 9R31. Yes, hand-wound! There’s more good news as well. Just like the self-winding versions, it also features a power reserve indicator. But luckily not on the dial (which is almost a dealbreaker for me), but on the movement. It keeps the dial clean and maximizes the snowflake motif on the dial. The diameter of this watch is 38.5mm, a perfect size for a dress watch. The retail price for this yellow gold SBGY002 reference is €27.000. More information via Grand Seiko online.
Hermès Arceau L’heure de la Lune
Quite a surprise, this Hermès Arceau L’heure de la Lune! And to be dead honest, I did forget about it completely until I gave this overview of 10 best dress watches of 2019 a proper thought. Without expecting too much when walking in the Hermes booth during last year’s SIHH (it is always in French, the presentations are slightly towards a very artistic (also: vague) side and not really aimed at us. However, and a big, however, the Arceau L’heure de la Lune was one of the highlights of the show. Available in two versions, one with this meteorite dial (see pictures) and one with aventurine.
It enables you to see the moon phases demonstrated simultaneously for the northern and the southern hemispheres. This is being achieved by the discs that gravitate on either the meteorite or aventurine dial, showing the moons (made of mother-of-pearl) to the wearer. It has a white gold case and the movement is their in-house caliber H1837 with an exclusive “L’heure de la lune” module for the gravitation of the mobile counter. The retail price for this watch is €23.000 but I assume all 200 pieces (in total) have been sold out a long time ago. Yet, they deserve a spot in this overview. Beautiful! More about Hermès via their website.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Small Seconds (in Red)
This is the one Reverso I would wear. I’ve tried many, but a rectangular watch isn’t for me. For this burgundy red Reverso Tribute Small Seconds I would make an exception. It doesn’t change the shape of the case, but the color is mesmerizing and if I look at myself in the mirror wearing this watch, it actually does look good. It is just when I look directly at my wrist, it doesn’t connect. This €8000 JLC Reverso is part of their normal collection, so there’s still time for me to make up my mind. I wrote about this watch in-depth on Fratello, and my opinion has not changed one single bit.
It is a beautiful piece with a somewhat hefty price tag, but those come after emotion. Also important, JLC increased its warranty period to 8 years. On the one hand incredible, on the other hand, it was about time that a luxury brand offers a warranty that equals their status and pricing strategy. I just wonder how ‘warm’ this watch (and burgundy dial) would be with a gold case. Mmmm. More on the Reverso via JLC online.
Omega De Ville Trésor (Blue)
Of course, if you know me, you know that Omega is a brand that’s close to my heart. That doesn’t mean I can’t be (or am not) critical towards their watches, perhaps I am extra critical as the brand has such a personal meaning to me (which you can read all about here). When they introduced their De Ville Trésor a few years ago (for men), I really liked it but was put off by the fact it only came in gold (and thus had quite an impressive price tag). Although I love the Globemaster, that’s not really a dress watch in the sense of being thin and having a ‘minimal’ design.
Enter the De Ville Trésor. The De Ville is a bit of a confusing collection, as it consists of a few sub-collections (Prestige, Ladymatic, Trésor, Hour Vision and a few Tourbillon models). So this is the Trésor, a dress watch that ticks a lot of boxes for me. I could live without a date, but I also know that most people really fancy a date feature. Nothing wrong with a bit of practicality I guess. What I like most about this watch is the blue dial with a beautiful texture. Sleek hands, applied hour indices and a trapezoid-shaped date window at 6. A 40mm steel case houses the manual wind caliber 8910 (in-house) movement. Priced at €6.200. More information on the Trésor can be found here.
Patek Philippe World Time 5231J
The most expensive fellow in this overview of 10 best dress watches of 2019 is this Patek Philippe World Time ref. 5231J. The retail price is €66.320 and I don’t fool myself that I am buying one of these in my life, ever. However, it is a watch that I really love since my interest in watches started to take off. I saw the Patek Philippe World Time in a window of an authorized dealer here in The Hague many years ago, and I was just in awe. Beautifully designed case, I love the hour hand shape and most of all, the city map on the dial.
Last year, Patek showed us their World Time with cloisonné enamel and it is just striking. You just know that everything has been done in such a good and thoughtful way, that is basically the only way. Powered by their beautifully finished caliber 240 HU movement, featuring a 24-hour and day/night indication for 24 time zones. The enamel center dial is entirely crafted by hand and shows a lot of depth and detail. Incredible. More information via the Patek Philippe website.
So what is your favorite dress watch? Let us know by using the comment field below.
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About the author
Ever since he was a young child, Robert-Jan was drawn to watches, even though it were digital Casio and quartz Swatch models at the time. In the mid-1990s, his interest increased when he started to read about mechanical watches in… read more
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