The Best Watches Of 2019 – From Our Editorial Team Our editors picked their favourite watches from 2019 by Robert-Jan BroerDecember 30, 2019 MIN READThe Best Watches Of 2019 – From Our Editorial Team
The best watches of 2019 according to our editorial team, an overview of over 30 different watches!
We’re looking back at a very successful year for Fratello. We grew tremendously, not only in reach but also in the quality and quantity of our content as well as the number of contributors to Fratello. We hired a head of operations, Daniel, who’s responsible for almost everything besides the content you see here (yet we asked him to chip in as well for this article, as he is a watch guy after all), we did a total redesign of our online magazine, we started with our podcast series, we opened our shop, we started to have our articles translated in other languages (live early 2020) and we are about to introduce a new (fulltime) face of Fratello very soon. We hope that we have entertained you, perhaps you even learned a thing or two, but most of all that you can look back at a wonderful horological year.
We asked our editors to come up with the watches that were introduced in 2019 that impressed them the most! Without further ado.
This year was very special, as a lot of things happened at Fratello, but also in the watch industry. A shuffle of brands that normally introduce their novelties at the big shows pulled out (or announced to pull out in 2020) and will go their own way. We also saw a lot of releases during the year, more than previous years it seems. We tried to cover the most interesting ones here on Fratello, in a regular article or in our weekly recaps that we call This Week in Watches.
Speedmaster Apollo XI Moonshine
A “Best of 2019” is not complete without this watch being in there, whether you’re a Speedmaster fan or not. This year was an amazing year for Speedmaster fans, with the re-introduction of the caliber 321 but also because of the 50th anniversary of Apollo XI. Omega celebrated this with two cool watches, the Apollo XI 50th anniversary in steel (with some gold elements) and with the one in 18k Moonshine gold. I already put this watch out of my head, as I knew the price tag would be (way) beyond my budget and decided to go with the steel one. Until I saw it on the day of introduction a week before Baselworld. Omega’s CEO Raynald Aeschlimann showed the prototype to me on that day, and I was sold. Getting funds was of a later problem and I ordered one on the spot. Probably being the first one to do so. And not only me, but also Michael and Bert pulled the trigger. This is probably the watch I wore the most in 2019 (I got mine in July) and I find myself wearing it almost daily. I am in love with this watch and I am grateful I received the number of my choice. I think this is one of the best Speedmasters that was ever made, and I even prefer it over the original gold BA145.022-69. We published a lot about it, so I won’t recap everything. Just click here.
Oris ProPilot X
I like that Oris is expanding their world with special watches like this ProPilot X. Based on the movement that was already out there a few years ago, designed in-house, but with a very modern twist. A skeleton watch is not for everyone, mainly because it often has this tendency of being too classic. Oris came up with a watch of today, or perhaps even tomorrow, with a skeletonized dial, in-house movement, and a wonderful bracelet. It isn’t a typical Oris watch, yet it is typical Oris to come up with something like this. The price tag might be something not very Oris-like, yet it’s a very fair price for what you get. It is something I often see, that watch fans can’t look beyond a price tag. Just look at the watch for what it is, and then look at the price if it makes sense or not. The Oris ProPilot X is not for everyone, nor should it be. It’s a cool and daring piece, I like it. Andreas did a wonderful review of this watch.
Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT
I have a lot of respect for a brand that achieves to put a new icon on the market in such a relatively short period. The design is fresh and not based on something from the past (looking at all the Genta inspired pieces we saw suddenly pop-up in recent times, trying to get a piece of the Genta-cake). To be honest, I picked the Finissimo Chronograph GMT, but almost any version from the Octo collection will do. They’re great and I can see myself buying a Bvlgari watch in the future for sure.
Blancpain AirCommand Chronograph
I had the pleasure to visit Blancpain earlier this year, during the Time to Move event by the high-end Swatch Group brands. I had not been there before, and I was amazed by how they work and what they do. I feel that Blancpain, and Breguet, for that matter, have something to show to the watch world, yet they seem to have difficulties finding the right way to get the attention they deserve. The AirCommand Chronograph was a very pleasant surprise for example, but as soon as the Time To Move event was over, the fuss about this watch went away as quickly as it came it seems. This also might have to do with the fact it was a very limited piece, which they shouldn’t have done in my opinion. Why not make it a time-limited watch? Anyway, I really enjoyed giving this watch a try and was blown away by its aesthetics. Here’s an article on this Blancpain, written by Mike.
Grand Seiko SBGY003
Amazing how – other than a Blancpain for example – Grand Seiko knows how to concur today’s world with their mechanical watches. Every time we put a Grand Seiko article online, the number of visits on Fratello peak like crazy. This year, Grand Seiko showed us a number of interesting models with a Spring Drive hand-wound movement. I covered this SBGY003 in an article that I titled ‘The Never Ending Flow of Amazing Dials” and it is exactly that. The only bummer with Grand Seiko is that the prices of their watches seem to increase with the same extent as the number of fans does and that’s where it might get tricky at some point. People love Grand Seiko for the incredible value they receive when buying them, especially compared to the Swiss and German competition. But once the value and price are equal to their competition, it might become a totally different game. Anyway, this SBGY003 is an amazing watch, with an incredible level of finishing and powered by the highly accurate Spring Drive movement.
MING 17.06 Slate
The MING 17.06 Slate was only released a couple weeks back – and consequently sold out its first year run of 200 pieces within 40 minutes – but it was and is such a fantastic watch that I had to mention it as one of my 2019 favorites. I was so taken by my first hands-on experience with a MING watch that I’ve resolved to pick one up at some point during 2020. How’s that for a New Year’s resolution?! For 1,250 CHF, the 17.06 Slate ranks amongst the best values I’ve come across at that price level. The finishing, dial construction and materials, and overall design are really fantastic. Aside from the use of a common, but reliable ETA automatic (that’s been adjusted, by the way), think of these as the new/old Grand Seiko – you know, when you felt like you were kind of cheekily getting a lot of something for nearly nothing.
anOrdain Model 2
In the anOrdain Model 2, here’s another independent watch that really struck my fancy and, therefore, ranks as one of my 2019 favorites. This Scottish company is really putting out some unique watches and with their boldly colored vitreous enamel dials, unique cases, and manual wind movements, they’re quite different than the norm. At 36mm, they’re also very wearable for both sexes. At 950 GBP, the Model 2 is an approachable and unique watch that deserves a look from those who are interested in a watch that’s taken some artistry to create. I took a look at a new Fumé dial version (1,450 GBP) here and Tomas took a look at the standard model here.
The new Seiko Sumo (SPB101 in black and SPB103 in green) looks fantastic to me and received some healthy upgrades versus the prior version. There was nothing wrong with those earlier versions, but this just feels and looks like a higher end watch. And, at 830 Euros, the new Sumo gets a sapphire bracelet, a snazzy new green option, and the 6R35 automatic. Sure, it’s 45mm in diameter, but a lot of people can pull that off with ease. And honestly, it’s far slimmer than the MM300 and 25% of the price. Yes, it gives up some specs, but it’s a great daily watch. We covered the Sumo when it debuted at Baselworld 2019.
Omega Seamaster 300M Sedna Gold
Ok, since the Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary in Gold is already taken, I’ll choose a different gold Omega that was a real favorite of mine during 2019. I’ve never owned a 300M and I’ve always struggled a bit with the helium valve that sticks out of the case, but this newest 300M is a real looker. I’ve gone hands on with steel versions, the limited titanium and tantalum model and with bi-color. But this year, Omega expanded the line with a full Sedna gold version on rubber strap and damn…. The 42mm diver comes in at a pricey 19,500 CHF, but no one said functional decadence is cheap. To quote our friend Eric Wind, “I could rock that!” Have a quick look at our review here if you’re up for taking a serious plunge.
Breitling Aviator 8 Mosquito
Here again, I know that the fabulous Navitimer 806 1959 Re-Edition has been chosen by a teammate, so I am going to go with an unexpected favorite in the Breitling Aviator 8 Mosquito. Breitling released this piece in October as a commemorative to the WW2 British De Havilland Mosquito. That’s cool enough, but I’m a real fan of the looks that are inspired by one of my favorite chronographs of all time, the 765 CP. The 43mm chrono uses the in-house chronometer B01 movement and costs 7,100 Euros. To me, it’s the best looking Aviator 8 chronograph on the market today and I really like that line. We took a look when the watch came out here.
My selection is an explicitly personal one. These are my favourite watches of 2019 as opposed to those watches that I would consider the “best”. Therefore watches like the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel, the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar and the Greubel Forsey Hand Made 1. I admire these watches and consider them milestones in watchmaking history, but these are clearly outside the budget that I am willing to invest in a watch.
Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph
This is “my” watch of 2019 because, for me, this watch made my dream of owning a watch with a classical Rattrapante movement in high-end finishing come true. All similar watches that were brought to the market before were clearly beyond my budget. That movement is a feast for the eyes! The rest of the watch is also nice. A comprehensive review will follow.
Oris Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 115
Another long-term target for my collection: A watch with a skeletonised movement, visible through the dial, but in a modern design. I was looking for such a watch with a rather technical than classical appearance. Now I’ve got it. It comes from a brand that I didn’t expect to be the one to come up with the solution. And there is not just an impressive movement. The whole watch has a complete new homogenous design. Please read my review for more details.
This watch bestowed a further big surprise on me. I didn’t expect this small and hardly known brand to come up with anything like this. A beautiful clean dress watch with a quite unusual day-and-night indication and a surprisingly elaborate movement for an even more surprising price. And they won the GPHG Petite Aiguille for this watch. What else do I need to say? Head to my review for an introduction to this watch.
Anonimo Nautilo Vintage Chocolate
And yet another surprise. Anonimo had been an insiders’ tip for a very long time. With this watch, they step forward to be recognised by the watch world. This is a rather beautiful and exceptionally well-designed diver at an affordable price. In my review, I have explained all the design details.
Certina DS Action Diver Sea Turtle Conservancy Special Edition
Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo XI ‘Moonshine’
Every time I see it and every time I try it on I am mesmerized by the beauty of the full gold Apollo XI ‘Moonshine’. Omega has achieved the ultimate in re-imagining the iconic 1969 classic and making it better than the original. This is on the top of the list of a number of Fratello team members for a reason, it really is that good!
Bulgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic
Every Octo Finissimo Bulgari has released is unmistakably an Octo Finissimo and you can spot it from a mile away. Even with the Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic Bulgari has added a true Octo Finissimo to the line-up. And it’s not always easy to stick to the original design when designing a chronograph watch. It shows the power of the design and the conviction of Bulgari to stay true to the original idea of the Octo Finissimo and I love that.
Seiko Prospex SPB105J1 ‘Dark Green Sunset’
It would have made sense to choose the new Seiko Prospex SPB101J1 ’Sumo’ for this list. Instead, I chose this SPB105J1 ‘Dark Green Sunset’ because I simply am in love with the looks of this watch. The black and green colour combination with the gold-colored details looks incredible. I love the classy retro-inspired looks of the ‘Dark Green Sunset’ and to me, this is the true modern re-interpretation of the iconic Seiko 1968 Automatic Diver.
Hermès The Hermès Arceau L’Heure De La Lune
I have to say I loved this Hermès Arceau L’Heure De La Lune from the moment I saw it. The concept of the watch is to indicate the current moon phase in both the southern and northern hemispheres at once. To realize that a pair of floating lacquer dials – one indicating hours and minutes and one showing the date – floats above a pair of stationary mother-of-pearl moons. The floating dials rotate around the dial once every 59 days, covering and uncovering the moons to indicate the current moon phase in both the southern and northern hemispheres at once. The version with the dark blue aventurine dial and white lacquered floating dials looks absolutely stunning!. It’s like wearing a piece of the sky on your wrist.
A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 ’25th Anniversary’
This year A. Lange & Söhne released a series of beautiful Lange 1 models to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their most iconic watch. I loved seeing the ‘standard’ A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 ’25th Anniversary’ the most because it shows the essence of the Lange 1. Ever since I first saw the Lange 1 in the early 2000’s I have always been intrigued by the design of the watch. It is a truly special design and a quarter of a decade after it was first released the Lange 1 still is as special and impactful as it was when it was first released and it has become a timeless classic for a reason.
Seiko 5 Sports
This was, in my opinion, thé most important watch introduced in 2019. Indeed, when expected numbers are concerned. Seiko 5 has been the entry watch to the mechanical watch world for many people. And with this new 5-Sports line, Seiko didn’t fail to tick the right boxes. A brilliant idea as well to introduce 26 different model variations at one. There’s one for everyone’s taste. I found mine in the SRPD73-K1. More about the Seiko 5 Sports here.
Oris Big Crown Pointer Date Oxblood
Not only for the beautiful intense red color of the dial, but I’m also a long time fan of the Oris Pointer Date model anyhow. Glad It’s available in many attractive colors and material combinations now, although I could think of yet another one…
For me, being an Apple Watch wearer (of course, as an extra on my right wrist), a totally useless product. But I saw this model, coming back from a trip to the new Swatch building, at Zürich Airport and was sold instantly. The design of this watch is so spot-on ‘Swatch’ to me. The simplicity of the dial, the readability, and boldness. Beautiful!
Grand Seiko Nature of Time
What a beautiful dial came from Grand Seiko again! The dark blue dialed Shubun (Autumnal Equinox) version of the Tribute to Nature of Time series is absolutely stunning. In combination with the automatic Hi-Beat 9S85 caliber, this watch, for me, is hard to withstand. Grand Seiko’s reference number for this model is SBGH273, find our article here.
Omega Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition
Last but not least, as we tend to say. To be honest, I was genuinely amazed by the latest Omega Seamaster 300M 007 Edition. A brushed titanium casing, a Milanese titanium bracelet, NO date, and not limited! What else would I look for? Absolutely fabulous, even if it comes at a list price of € 8.700,=. Our article on this almost perfect watch is here.
Oris Big Crown ProPilot X
Back in September, I traveled to Shanghai for the launch of the Oris Big Crown ProPilot X. It’s hard enough to come up with something new and unique but at Oris, they managed to do so with this watch. Most of the in-house movement is visible as it is skeletonized and it comes with a whopping 10-day power reserve. Fully made in titanium including the bracelet with that special ‘lift’ clasp. Try to beat that for less than 7K Euro.
Sinn 206 Arktis II
This will be the most affordable pick for 2019, yet a watch that will put a smile on your face. Sinn did a great job on the SINN 206 Arktis II with a stunning electroplated sunburst blue dial. It comes with all the features you could ask for in a watch. Chronograph, day and date, diving bezel and waterproof up to 300 meters. It also comes with Ar-Dehumidifying Technology which better protects the movement against humidity. Depending on your preference it comes on a metal bracelet, leather or silicone strap.
Omega Speedmaster Apollo XI Moonshine
This is definitely my favourite watch of 2019. Based on the gold Speedmaster from 1969, the year that mankind first walked on the moon. Slightly less yellow compared to 18K, the ‘Moonshine’ gold is simply stunning. It comes with a ceramic burgundy bezel, applied logo and hour markers with facetted black onyx. On the back side, it has a display of the earth and the moon which is created from an actual piece of lunar meteorite.
Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein Excellence Regulator
The one watch that I regret not reporting in time in a full feature! This year marks the 100th anniversary of the famous Bauhaus school. There is one man in the watch industry who is synonymous with the use of Bauhaus design elements: Alain Silberstein. Silberstein’s designs are instantly recognisable: primary-colourful, whimsical, geometrical. He’s created everything from a time-only watch to a tourbillon for his own brand (now defunct). A true modernist and ahead of his time, Silbertstein’s touch was most recently seen in MB&F’s LM1. I hadn’t heard about Silberstein for a while, and couldn’t help but wonder what had become of his works…
Then, bam! News spread from the inner circle of the launch of the LE x AS Regulator limited edition in mid-October. Alain Silberstein is back! The design is strong. It is ‘now’. The value proposition is compelling. The 40mm manual-wound Regulator is an instant success. Timing is everything. Silberstein is finally in the right time.
In parallel, I was presented Louis Erard for a serious look earlier in the year. As a respectable mid-volume independent brand, their collection was just too middle-of-the-road for me to get excited. Who could predict Louis Erard to suddenly step outside of its comfort zone, and work with one of the most vivacious designers of the last 30 years? Design-wise, the Regulator has clearly struck the right chord. The 2 variations of 178 pieces are already sold out. Word on the street is that more LE x AS collaboration series is in the works.
Singer Reimagined x GoS for Only Watch
It’s no secret I am a big fan of Singer Reimagined. My all-time favourite from their collection, hands down, is the one-off created in collaboration with GoS Watches for Only Watch (which we covered HERE). It is the first and only Black Damascus Steel version of the Track1 chronograph. I admire GoS equally as an independent watchmaker with a signature collection crafted with Damascus steel. The company has a combined 35 years of experience in Damascus steel finishing. I have never seen a black watch in their collection. But the case they produced for Track1 is just badass, and I honestly didn’t see it coming.
The Damascus steel is one of the most refined forging techniques commonly used in sword making. The elaborate finishing GoS selected for the Track1 Only Watch Edition combined deeply and lightly etched surfaces to reveal the Damascus steel pattern in different ways, specifically to highlight the shapes of the Track1 case. The case has a special true black coating that is the darkest black PVD available and the result of 10 years’ research. It blew my mind to see this super stunning baby born from 2 pedigree gene pools.
Chanel’s New J12
This may be a controversial choice. It enters my top 3 not because of the watch per se, but what it represents.
The Chanel J12 needs no introduction. It is easy to dismiss Chanel as fashion watches because of the label. I did. And the ceramic look back in the days never rocked my world. That said, their pursuit of haute horlogerie has been on my radar ever since the collaborations with Dubois Dépraz (high-end independent manufacture), and Giulio Papi of APRP (Audemars Piguet’s innovation manufacture). Things get creatively more interesting over the past decade, as Chanel has invested heavily with the acquisition of its own manufacture, a minor stake in the revered independent watchmaker Romain Gauthier, and this year in F.P. Journe.
Poised to gear up mechanical sophistication for the J12, Chanel has created an in-house automatic movement to raise the watch to a whole new level (and it’s only taken 20 years!). The caliber 12.1 was fully designed and made by Chanel, and is the fourth manufacture movement for the brand.
I equally take my hats off to MB&F and Schwarz Etienne for their first foray this year into woman’s watches, built from scratch with the ever-more sophisticated buyers in mind. But when it comes to shaping the landscape, as a mainstream watch high on popularity, wearability, and affordability, the J12 has the potential to introduce more women in their broad customer base to serious mechanical watches, and to develop further appreciation.
Breitling Navitimer 806 1959 Re-Edition
I have already covered this watch before in our holiday gift guide here and have no problem in covering it some more. The Navitimer 806 is one of my picks for best watches of the year because it is exactly what Breitling needed to do to respect their storied past. With vintage Breitling expect, Fred S. Mandelbaum (@watchfred on Instagram) consulting, you knew you could trust that every detail was carefully recreated. The watch was a key element of the success story of Breitling bouncing back and performing above their sales expectations in 2019. Not directly because of this watch, as it was limited, but because it provided that link to the aviation past that is part of the Navitimer and Breitling’s heritage. A feature that later halted me from getting one for myself was the sunburst brushing on the subdials. I would have preferred to have seen uniform finishing that covered the dial but overall, the 806 is a great release from Breitling.
Check out our breaking news story on the Breitling Navitimer 806 1959 Re-edition here.
For more on the watch, visit the Breitling site here.
Grand Seiko SBGA415 Sekki Collection – Taisetsu (Winter)
Truth time! It took me a while to appreciate Grand Seiko. Partly because of my association with Seiko as a well made but not luxurious brand of watches, but also the way Grand Seiko has only recently begun marketing in the UK. All changed with the opening of the Grand Seiko boutique in Knightsbridge, London when I was able to go hands on and see the quality for myself. From 2019, however, the best release came in the form of the SBGA415 that pays homage to the 62GS. Specifically, the winter model in the seasons collection that has a moody grey dial. The collection of 4 season watches is intended only for the US market and I haven’t held one yet, but based on my experience handling of the Grand Seiko Snowflake I can be sure of the high quality and smooth sweep of the seconds hand. The gloomy dial matches my personality perfectly too.
Check out our coverage of the Seasons collection from Grand Seiko here.
Richard Mille RM 07-03 Marshmallow
Now here’s something you probably weren’t expecting from me. The Richard Mille Bonbon Collection consists of 10 watches but the pick (and mix) of the bunch for me is the ladies’ Marshmallow piece. Using the RM 37-01 case shape rendered in TZP Ceramic, the candy-inspired uses Grand Feu (great fire) enamel and looks like Flumps. As you’d expect, at £133,000, it is ludicrously expensive. The audacity astounds me but the execution is so well done that it deserves some recognition. On the case flanks is the same marshmallow design but with precious coloured stones that wrap around the spline screws. Every element is cleverly designed to look delectable from the frosted gold finishing to the textured rubber crown. If it’s not for you personally, you can’t deny it’s not original at least.
Get a sweet tooth this Christmas and check out the full Bonbon Collection from Richard Mille here.
As you know my heart is always set on Omega’s watches. From the coolest platinum Moonwatch with Calibre 321 to high-tech engineering Seamaster Aqua Terra “Ultra Light” – for me, 2019 belongs to Omega’s iconic Constellation Manhattan in 18K yellow gold with blue aventurine glass dial, diamond hour markers and a diamond-paved bezel. This variation’s ability to generate hype is remarkable and here’s why. Going back to 1992 Omega released the most sophisticated and charming Constellation Star – this gold watch with blue lapis lazuli dial is simply outstanding (if you haven’t seen this model yet, you can admire it at the new Omega museum), but also the way how Omega delivered this model to its customers made the watch even more desirable. If you don’t know the story Robert-Jan tells it here. I choose this modernized version of the vintage Star due to two reasons. Firstly – it is a perfect tribute to the original model (we all love when Omega plays with its heritage). Secondly – it is the icon with a sophisticated twist. I simply can’t take my eyes off the aventurine glass dial. And the good news is if you’re not into gold watches (like I’m not), you can get this Constellation in stainless steel, Sedna Gold and 18K yellow gold (bicolor versions are also available). Currently, in the boutiques, you can find the 25mm model with quartz movement caliber 4061 and mono-rang bracelet, but the 29mm version with Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 8701 and mid-bar links bracelet will be available early next year.
anOrdain Model 2
The watch I took for a review and didn’t send back. I was hooked when it landed on my desk, and after a week I decided to buy it. There are a lot of microbrands, so it needs something to stand out from the rest. The vitreous enamel dial was enough for me. In real life, it is very spectacular. Delft blue pottery comes to mind when you see it. It almost looks liquid, as the white glazed topping on a cake. What I also like are the hands and casing. All that for approx. 1000 Euros? That’s a hell of a deal.
Yema Superman Heritage Bronze
The bronze re-edition that deserves a gold medal. No kidding. A classy diver with a serious refresh. If you want to argue the term iconic watch when referring to the Yema Superman Heritage Bronze, this bronze novelty definitely helps to build this status for decades to come. Successfully backed on Kickstarter, this limited edition was the first of three modern watches I bought this year. Delivered on time as promised, it is waiting to be sunk next year to see what ocean makes to the bronze case.
Timex S1 by Giorgio Galli
Delivered to my doorstep a few days ago. An automatic movement with a custom made rotor, skeletonised case, design crown and an innovative strap, that’s a whole of a load for 450 euros. Honestly, it seems like the deal of the year. Stay tuned, it is currently on my wrist, full hands-on review is on the way. And order it, before they are all gone.
Doxa Sub 200 (130th Anniversary)
I like Doxa as a brand, and what it stands for, no BS dive watches for enthusiasts. Unfortunately, I don’t like the typical tonneau case shape of their models on my wrist. Therefore, one of my highlights last BaselWorld was to go hands-on with this model. My choice is the now sold out 130th Anniversary model. I like the orange seconds hand, matching the orange “130 years” text on the dial and, of course, the aspect of it being truly limited, with only 130 pieces. But I do like the other models as well – especially as they offer some nice color variety (yellow, orange, turquoise, navy, black, and white).
The 2824-2-powered pieces ring in at 42mm and are available on steel (990 Euros) or rubber (950 Euros). For more info on the Doxa Sub 200, head to the official Doxa site.
Grand Seiko SBGH271
This year Grand Seiko paid tribute to the Nature of Time and Japan’s twenty-four seasons with four new timepieces in its Heritage Collection. I went hands-on with them at an event in New York. Although I usually am a sucker for blue dials, I did not choose the SBGH273 but the SBGH271 – representing “Rikka”: Early Summer. The vibrant green dial with the gold hands and indexes look mesmerizing and is just out of the usual. The case material is stainless steel (two models of the 4-Seasons collection come in titanium) The dimensions are 40mm in diameter and 12,9mm in thickness. The movement is the automatic high-beat in-house 9S85 caliber. The watch costs 6300 US Dollars. For more info on the SBGH271, head to the official Grand Seiko site.
IWC Pilot’s Watch Automatic Spitfire
I do have a soft spot for IWC. As, besides Rolex (my dad had two), it was one of the first luxury watch brands that I was mesmerized by as a teenager. As much as I like the current Mark series, the lack of an in-house movement rubs me the wrong way for what they cost. This Spitfire model finally has an in-house movement (caliber 32110), and it comes in at 39mm, which fits my wrist size very well. I don’t care for the NATO and would wear it on the nice brown calfskin strap that is available as well. It costs 4900 Euros. Robert-Jan did an excellent write-up about it here.
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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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