While many of us will admittedly be glad to bid farewell to 2020, the watch community will nevertheless be looking back fondly on the wonderful mechanical creations to emerge from this unusual year. That’s why, here at Swisswatches Magazine, we compiled a list of our favourite timepieces to come out of the horology industry in 2020. Here’s to another year of innovation and beauty in watchmaking.
Wearing this Overseas watch really leaves you in awe; staring at your wrist, trying to get your head around its beauty and complexity. The 18-carat 5N rose-gold watch, which is certified with the Poinçon de Genève, measures a mere 8.1 mm in height. Nevertheless, it manages to integrate a perpetual calendar into its slim case. Meanwhile, the completely skeletonised dial reveals the movement. The bracelet also deserves a mention, featuring an easy strap-changing system and excellent finishing.
Price: 128,000 euros.
If we were to give a prize for the most beautiful watch of the year, this piece from A. Lange would be a very strong contender. Aside from giving the highly complex rattrapante function the wings to fly solo for the first time, it also boasts stunning aesthetics; an 18-carat Honeygold case, solid silver black dial, and exquisitely decorated movement, which is visible via the sapphire crystal caseback.
Price: 126,700 euros – limited to 100 pieces.
It was inevitable that the OMEGA Speedmaster Silver Snoopy Award 2020, which pays tribute to OMEGA’s history with NASA, is on our list. Incredible feats of craftsmanship include a moon decorated onto the sapphire crystal caseback using micro-structured metallisation and an animated Snoopy in a Command and Service Module, who pops out whenever the chronograph function is in use.
Price: 9,160 euros.
Audemars Piguet’s Code 11.59 was introduced, in part, to demonstrate what the horology house is capable of. However, it’s really this one-of-a-kind watch that shows off the laudable design and technical abilities of the manufacture. The round-case AP is inspired by its 1533 model from 1943, and, as our editor Alexander Stilcken puts it, the limited edition chronograph “takes a look back into the past – and simultaneously allows for more freedom in the future.”
Price: 55,300 euros.
The Kingsman Knife Watch is basically a blueprint for how to be the modern-day gentleman. It’s refined, edgy, yet elegant. Both JLC and MR PORTER have outdone themselves with this collaboration. The dress watch is inspired by JLC’s Couteau (French for “knife”) pocket watch from 1907.
Price: 31,250 euros – limited to 100 pieces.
The new Oris Aquis watch has been a massive talking point for the last couple of months. This is not simply due to its attractive gradient blue dial, but rather, its calibre. The Calibre 400 is proof that Oris means business, offering an incredible movement with a five-day power reserve and 10-year warranty at a reasonable price. Time for its competitors to up their game.
Price: 2,900 euros with rubber strap or 3,000 euros with bracelet.
Bell & Ross drew attention to themselves this year with a genius and bold new watch. Its design inverts the normal principles of day to night legibility by giving the entire dial a full coating of green Super-LumiNova. Additionally, the watch meets the specifications of a diver’s tool watch, according to the international standard ISO 6425.
Price: 4,400 euros – limited to 999 pieces.
This unique piece from Roger Dubuis encapsulates the innovative blood running through the veins of this unapologetically daring brand. Featuring a minute repeater and a single flying tourbillon, the watch made its debut within a blue, turbulent storm, presented in a series of video clips via social media. From its functions and materials to its marketing, this watch is solid proof that CEO Nicola Andreatti, instated in 2018, is doing things right.
Price: 575,500 euros
It’s been over 50 years now, but we are still not over the El Primero – and neither is Zenith. This Manufacture Edition showcases the reproduction of a previously unseen dial, discovered within a box of old parts from the legendary El Primero A386, up in Zenith’s attic. The prototype dial, with three subdials in different shades of blue, never found its way into the market – until now, of course.
Price: 8,600 euros.
Hublot’s 40th Anniversary limited editions are proof that the brand know how to create not only highly complicated and eye-catching timepieces, but also minimalist masterpieces. These three watches, available in black ceramic, titanium, or yellow-gold, are likely to entice a new crowd with their effortlessly cool and almost futuristic look. However, inspired by the first models of the company from 1980.
Price: Titanium: 8,200 euros – limited to 200 pieces. Black ceramic: 10,300 euros – limited to 200 pieces. Yellow gold: 24,800 euros – limited to 100 pieces.
The sporty, redesigned Carrera Sport Chronograph 44 mm models are a sight to behold – not least the version with an eye-catching green dial and stainless-steel bezel. These are fast-paced, new-and-improved, slimmer-and-sleeker versions of what was – and always will be – one of the best chronograph models out there.
Price: from 5,450 euros.
Breguet went all out on creativity and innovation with this impressive timepiece. The platinum watch’s two tourbillons rotate once a minute on their own axis, beating independently of each other with their own mainspring barrel. The caseback bears an engraving of the façade of the house with the address in Paris where Abraham-Louis Breguet worked from 1775 onwards.
Price: 650,000 euros approx. (exact price upon request).
Part of the glory of this 2020 release from Patek was the discussion that followed it. Too modern? Looks like the Memovox? However, when you get to know this coveted steel Patek Philippe Calatrava for yourself, you realise that its design is pure, progressive, and drastically different to its prestigious predecessors.
Price: 25,506 euros – limited to 1,000 pieces.
CEO Chabi Nouri told us herself this year that “The Altiplano was the original Piaget and will continue to be.” The 2020 model confirms this statement. With a height of 2 mm, the watch is actually so thin that a mere 0.12 mm of cobalt separates the movement from the wearer’s skin.
Price: approx. 417,000 euros.
TUDOR Black Bay Fifty-Eight Blue
Men around the world fell in love back in 2018, when TUDOR released the black- and gilt-dial Black Bay Fifty-Eight. Earlier this year, TUDOR caught the eye of even more watch-lovers by introducing a “navy blue” version. A powerful story lies behind its inspiration and it exudes a handsome, chilled vibe. Can we take the black version for winter, and blue version for summer please?
Price: With a “soft touch” leather strap or blue fabric NATO strap: 3,060 euros. With a stainless-steel bracelet: 3,340 euros.
With the introduction of the Oyster Perpetual 41 mm models, I’m pretty sure everyone fell in love with at least one of the colourful new dials that accompanied them. Furthermore, the new models incorporate the excellent calibre 3230, featuring the horology house’s patented Chronergy escapement and a 70-hour power reserve.
Price: 5,350 euros.
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date Desert Edition
As soon as this watch appeared, it became clear that pretty much everyone was intrigued by this new design. The new Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date Desert Edition features a sand-coloured graduated dial with sunburst decoration, and boasts a 5-day power reserve. It doesn’t only meet specifications, but also has the look of a watch ready for adventure – something we’re all aching for right now.
Price: 11,470 euros.
The IWC Yacht Club Moon & Tide was the first of its Portugieser Yacht Club models to feature the brand’s newly developed tide indication. One subdial indicates times for the next high and low tide, while a double moonphase display at 12 o’clock shows “spring” and “neap” tides – thus providing information about the strength of the current tides. The calibre’s functions match perfectly to the sophisticated design of the watch.
18-carat 5N gold: 33,900 euros.
The return of the Chronomat: introduced in tribute to the 1984 anniversary models, Breitling’s new Chronomat timepieces are linked to the retro style from the past, but are interpreted with 21st-century high quality. The most striking – and so far, successful – feature appears to be the integrated Rouleaux bracelet, which has been re-issued for the first time since 1984.
Prices vary, starting at 3,509 euros.
From its warm and unusual colour scheme (a rose-gold case and ‘smoked-tobacco’ dial), to its unusual pulsograph scale, this breathtaking limited edition is something quite different. The vintage-looking wristwatch evokes the brand’s Minerva watches that were produced in the 1940s and 50s, and is inspired by what collectors call ‘doctor’s watches’, once used to measure a patient’s heart rate.
Price: 36,900 euros – limited to 100 pieces.
Richard Mille knows how to cater to its exclusive clients’ needs – and that’s exactly what this watch does. Despite the tourbillon and solid-looking design, this skeletonised watch weighs a mere 30 grams, not least thanks to the use of the brand’s TitaCarb® material for the case.
Price: approx. 900,000 euros – limited to 50 pieces.
Panerai made only five pieces of this watch – and every buyer was offered an exclusive expedition to the Arctic under the supervision of Mike Horn himself. But that wasn’t the only incentive; the wristwatch’s case is composed of recycled metal from Mike Horn’s sailing ship, and is the first Submersible to be equipped with a tourbillon.
Price: 190,000 euros – limited to 5 pieces.
Unlike some of the more colourful watches the brand launched at this year’s Watches & Wonders, the Patravi ScubaTec Black is a more serious-looking watch. It’s also a watch that does a lot of good; the black rubber strap with fabric is made from 100% recycled plastic bottles from the ocean. Furthermore, as the caseback hints, its design is inspired by the Black Manta Special Edition, and was created in partnership with the Manta Trust charitable organisation. Part of the proceeds from the new model will once again go to the “Manta Trust” foundation, a project close to the company’s heart. Finally, the ultra-lightweight case is made using titanium.
Price: 6,400 euros.
Earlier this year, the Highlife collection reappeared after a 20-year hiatus. As well as integrating a system for changing straps or bracelets with ease, the luxury sports watch features a powerful-looking guilloche globe on the dial. Powered by an in-house COSC-certified movement, it seamlessly combines affordability with quality and finesse.
Price: 1,795 euros.
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