I had extra time this year to look at watches online. Even though I don't own many of the luxury kind, looking at them through the screen brings me ample happiness. I grew fonder to watches I didn't like before, started appreciating brands I was incurious about and discovered all the new watches that sprayed my feed through the stay at home era. I have always been attracted by the design of the face, the bezel and the watch hands. As much as I love a good movement inside the watch, I am the person who treasures a watch per their aesthetics.
Out of the hundred's of watches that I loved this year, these were my favorite children (everyone has favorites, mate).
TUDOR BLACK BAY GMT
It is a perfect one watch collection. The charm of GMT is unlike any watch complication. In the year 2020, the romanticism of a GMT watch hits you different. The closest thing to a Rolex GMT Master at half the price point will be a forever classic. Controversial but I personally favor the Pepsi bezel on Tudor more than Rolex's big brother. The snowflake hands have the watch world divided but it is just the right amount of funky and historic. Is it the perfect sports watch? I don't know. Is it very close to being one? I think so.
ZENITH CHRONOMASTER REVIVAL EL PRIMERO A384
The original revival of the 1969 automatic El Primero looks like it is from the future and also a classic, all at the same time. I have always been attracted to the distinct shape of an El Primero but always revered Omega Speedmaster as the holygrail of chronographs with all the history behind it. Once I started understanding the origin story of Zenith, I realized that Zenith El Primero is 'THE' chronograph. Not only were they the first brand to have an all integrated automatic chronograph movement, but the science and design may not have seen the new millennium without a Zenith watchmaker named Charles Vermot. During the quartz crisis, Zenith decided to destroy everything El Primero because they assumed that quartz will take over the industry and end the movement forever. Charles Vermot thought otherwise and against the wishes of the ownership, he decided to hide the design, prototypes, plans, parts and tools to manufacture an El Primero behind a fake wall in the attic of the building where he worked. The man and the concept of a watch literally saved the past and guided a whole industry into the future.
BELL & ROSS BR S BLACK MATTE
Watches created by aeronautical control panel specialists look exactly like you are in the cockpit. A perfect tool watch with a unique look makes it a very fascinating watch. The 39mm size makes BR S more wearable for the mass. Their motto of functionality driving design can be seen at every juncture of the watch alongside the undeterred uniqueness.
GRAND SEIKO SBGW262
The dial showcases the Japanese craftmanship of Urushi Lacquer. The dial is made from long lasting Urushi that comes from trees grown in and around the town of Joboji under Mt. Iwate. The jet black dial and the 18k yellow gold makes this the best looking dial of the year. The is a dress watch in it's own stratosphere beholden by none but it's namesake, elegance.
SEIKO 1965 DIVER'S MODERN RE-INTERPRETATION - SPB143
If I had to choose one kind of watch for the rest of my life, I would go with a dive watch. The idea of the watch being as close to indestructible as possible in any part of the earth has an appeal unlike any other. Even though, I can't swim and I am scared of getting within 5 feet of a pool with lifeguards, the idea of having a watch I can dive with when I learn to swim (eventually) makes me dream of a future I want to be a part of. The remake of the first ever Seiko dive watch from 1965 makes the desire burn even brighter. The design is simple and it is iconic. I like a date window with my watches, so there's that. This year I have transitioned from a leather strap to a bracelet person and the SPB143 just calls me like very few watches do. You might own a Submariner but the SPB143 will pull on your strings alike.
NOMOS METRO DATE POWER RESERVE
Metro Date Power Reserve is the Nomos you see everywhere on the internet. Then I saw it in person at the MoMa design store and my love for this watch has never been more elevated. The integral part of the power reserve in the design is unique and hip while being reserved and modest as an overall concept. I prefer a smaller watch given my miniature wrist, this watch delivers. This watch checks all the boxes alongwith it being from the future mecca of watchmaking- Glashutte.
CARTIER CRASH, 18K YELLOW GOLD
The iconic crash keeps heightening in glamour. The crash was inspired by a badly melted watch from a car accident of a Cartier employee. The watch also reminds me of Salvador Dali's work in 'The Persistence of Memory'. I first saw it on Kanye West's wrist (Kanye knows his watches). The Cartier London edition went for a whooping $225,000 at the Christie's auction this week. Cartier Crash is the greatest dress watch ever made. If Jean-Jacques Cartier designs something, it is the true timeless. Over 2020, I have fallen in love with everything Cartier from Santos-Dumont to Tank Asymmetrique. Only Louis Cartier can make the Crown of a watch become the crown jewel of the watch industry.
BVLGARI OCTO FINISSIMO CHRONO GMT
Except for a water-resistance to 30 meters, everything else about the chrono GMT exudes perfection. The shape of the watch is so different yet the most Gerald Genta design ever. The caseback is as gorgeous as a A Lange & Sohne or a Cartier. Eventhough the watch has broken boundaries of horological innovation, the deep seated intrigue of Octo Finissimo lies in the aesthetics and luxury that comes with Bulgari. I have no doubt that this Bulgari will become one of the most important watch in the coming decades & millennium.
TUDOR BLACK BAY FIFTY EIGHT NAVY BLUE
Tudor has not taken a wrong step since it's relaunch and the 39mm fifty eight navy blue really made me shed tears of joy and absolute awe. It was synonymous to Taylor Swift deciding to drop 2 albums in the year of pandemic or like Liverpool winning the league for the 1st time in more than 30 years. There is no bad time to wear a dive watch and this one can compete with any dive watch at any price point. Special shoutout to the bezel and crown being at par with a Rolex. The world deserved the BB58 Navy Blue in 2020 more than ever and like always Tudor's French navy inspired twist on history did not disappoint.
MIDO OCEAN STAR DECOMPRESSION TIMER 1961 LIMITED EDITION
The multi-colored decompression scale pulls you towards the watch like a bug gets pulled to the street lamps. The limited edition run made it difficult to accrue but at the same time more desirable. The watch is for the serious dive watch lovers who don't take themselves very seriously. This watch often reminds me that it is a watch afterall. Under the cloak of grand complications, a watch is still about finding a part of yourself in something you enjoy. Not only does this watch tell time but also who you're from within.