2020 has arrived with a bang. We have barely scratched the end of the first quarter and it already feels as if the end of the world is upon us. The new coronavirus outbreak acting as an emergency brake for the entire industry, including watchmaking has also led to the cancellation of two of the most significant events for the luxury watches business – Baselworld and WatchesAndWonders Geneva (formerly SIHH Geneva). This has caused a stir among most watchbands whos entire marketing strategies revolve around said two events. The current stop of economic activities has forced brands like Patek Philippe to take a decision not to introduce any new models this year. Rolex has decided not to release new models at the moment while other brands may have delayed introductions of new models due to the replanning of marketing activities and vastly uncertain economic environment. However, we are not short of choice in some great wristwatches and why not pull the trigger? Facing the end of times could be a tad less intimidating with a quality watch on your wrist.
I have curated the bellow selection so that it could answer your needs for almost any situation and any budget. The models listed below may not particularly be released on the market in 2020 but are in current production at the time of this write-up.
The outdoorsy guy
He has more important stuff to do than admiring his wristwatch for lengthy parts of the day. He is always busy with some action outside and needs a reliable, long-lasting watch that he can connect with. A rugged and high-quality tool that can run for many years to come as practicality is key and how many watched does one really need?
Hamilton Khaki Field Titanium Auto
This military-inspired design features 24-hour military time in a lightweight sturdy case. Available also on a bracelet.
Retails for around $660 but it can easily be found for a discounted price.
- 42mm stainless steel case
- Hamilton H10 movement with 80hrs of power reserve
- Sapphire crystal (but no anti-reflective coating)
- Water resistance – 100m (328 ft)
For the traveler
He is always on the move (although not at the moment due to recent self-isolation and quarantine measures all around the globe) and likes finely made things without going overboard with his spendings. He needs a sturdy but stylish companion to relay on.
2. Oris Aquis Date GMT
The Oris Aquis Date GMT features a well balanced but striking design with an additional complication to show two alternative timezones.
Oris is one of the very few independent watchmakers left in existence with a rich history dating back to 1904. The quality, fit and finish of their watches often surpasses the one offered by more expensive luxury brands. It can be had for around $2,000
- 43.5mm stainless steel case (but wears smaller)
- Oris Cal. 798 GMT movement with 42hrs of power reserve
- Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
- Water resistance – 300m (984ft)
The active gentleman
He is always dressed up and his looks speak for himself. He values style over most things in life and wouldn’t wear a watch that does not compliment his demeanor.
3. Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight
Coming from the house of Rolex, the Fifty-eight brings quality and tradition to new levels at a bargain price.
With a stunning blend of design, color scheme, heritage and a Rolex heart beating inside, this Tudor is hard to pass up. Price around $3,600
- Certified chronometer accurate to -4 to +6 seconds a day
- 39mm stainless steel case with aluminum bezel
- Tudor MT5402 with over 70hrs of power reserve
- Sapphire crystal with no anti-reflective coating
- Water resistance – 200m (660ft)
This category describes pretty much every man on the planet. He wants to be a do-it-all, know-it-all hero that can’t be stopped and won’t stop until he gets what he wants. And what other watch to complement his lifestyle than Mr. Bond’s own watch itself. Well kind of. The updated version.
4. Omega Seamaster 300m Professional
A true icon of Omega that has been named the Rolex Submariner killer for a good reason. It packs a really strong punch for its price.
This absolute cracker of a diving watch could be had for around $4,200 or thereabout. It currently stands as one of the best watches money can buy.
- 42mm stainless steel case with 300m (984ft) water resistance
- METAS certified movement accurate to +-0 to +5 seconds a day
- Anti-magnetic movement with 55h of power reserve
- Domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on both sides
- Helium escape valve at 10
He is fueled by fast cars, planes, jets and everything else that gives you the thrills of high speeds. He likes his toys and would want a new one of unquestionable built quality that comes with both heritage and historical recognition.
5. IWC Spitfire chronograph
This IWC chronograph comes with an unmistakable character and style that is instantly recognizable.
This excellent chronograph comes at around $6,700 to deliver clinical execution in the pilot’s watch segment.
- IWC 69380 Calibre with 33 jewels and 48h of power reserve
- 41mm Stainless steel case
- Chronograph complication with a day and a date display
- Sapphire glass with anti-reflective coating on both sides
- Soft-iron cage around the movement to improve magnetic resistance
His fascination with engineering and gadgets powers his life. He adores engineering marvels and would love to have one on his wrist to admire it 24/7. It has to be something special that is in a class of its own. A benchmark.
6. Zenith DEFY El Primero 21
Coming from the R&D lab of Zenith, the Defy 21 Chronograph is the evolution of the legendary El-Primero model. It features a chronograph module with an unprecedented for a mechanical watch 1/100 of second timing ability.
This Zenith El-Primer Defy 21 comes with supreme technical innovations and unquestionable influence of the living legend Jean-Claude Biver for a price of around $9,000
- 1/100 of а second timing ability via chronograph module working at 50Hz
- 100m(330ft) water resistance
- Skeletonized design in 44mm Grade 5 brushed Titanium case (ceramic also available)
- 50h power reserve by movement consisting of 293 parts
The Rolex guy
What luxury watches ranking could exist without a Rolex watch? The crown appeals to а wide range of people for a number of reasons and has become a trademark of every successful man in modern times. Having even one Rolex is a lifetime achievement and many would never be able to afford one. In that case, why not go with the boldest one of them all?
7. Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea
The biggest and meanest Rolex ever in serial production still remains unappreciated but offers exceptional collectors value combined with unmistakable wrist presence.
This extreme depth dive watch from Rolex is possibly the last sports model from the brand that could be had under its retail price on the secondary market. Given the recent trends on sizes of watches going smaller, it is likely that soon Rolex discontinues this model which makes it an instant collector’s item that will certainly rise in value. MSRP is $13,230 but don’t forget to check the pre-owned market out.
- 3235 Rolex in-house caliber with superlative chronometry certification (-2/+2 sec. a day) and 70 hours of power reserve
- 44mm case in highly corrosion resistant 904 stainless steel
- 3,900 meters (approx. 12,800 feet) of water resistance and a helium escape valve
The grown man
He has nothing to prove at this point. He exudes confidence and authority in all of his actions. He knows his watches and does not want to be associated with common luxury items. His choice is understated and well known only to the connoisseurs. His watch is simple on the surface but yet highly elaborated.
8. Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Duo in pink gold
This reversible two-faced watch is produced by the watchmaker of watchmakers – JLC. It is a sports watch in its origins but has become a modern icon in the dress genre.
Once created for the English polo players in India it has now become the choice of those for those who want to differentiate themselves from the luxury crowds. Priced upwards of $15,000
- Reversible face and a second timezone
- Manually wound Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 854A/2 with 42 hours of power reserve
- Case made of gold
Money is no object and he needs a piece of art on his wrist to confirm his membership in the club. He has carefully selected a model that is modern but remains a forever classic in an unmistakable Patek Philippe way. Practicality has not been neglected and his watch helps him keep track of home time whilst on the frequent journeys with the private jet.
9. Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time 5524G
One may need to go on a waitlist to get this dual time Calatrava in white gold but the wait is well worth it.
As Patek’s own advert stipulates, one never truly owns a Patek Philippe but merely takes care of it for the next generations. You may take care of this Patek for around $50,000
- Power reserve of 35 hours to 45 hours
- Patek’s own automatic caliber 324 S C FUS with 294 parts and rotor in 21K gold
- Dual time and day/night indicator for both time zones
- 42mm case in white gold and 60m water resistance
When one needs to show the entire world that he has made it, especially to the guys in the previous category. He wouldn’t accept anything conventional or God forbid traditional. The new leadership position commands something innovative and extraordinary to make sure everyone understands that he is something more. He is the new-gen and wears a watch that demonstrates exactly this.
10. Richard Mille RM 67-01
The RM67-01 is not a new model but remains an exceptional piece of engineering for those who can afford it.
This statement horological item could be yours for north of $100,000
- Case made of Tituanum grade 5 (also available in gold)
- RM skeletonized extra-flat calibre CRMA6 with around 50 hours of power reserve
- Movement baseplate and bridges made of Titanium grade 5
- Platinum winding rotor
Bonus pick – The maximalist
In his realm watches come second. He is more interested in having the very best of everything. When it comes to watches he wants the most precise wristwatch of them all, the best of quality, the most elegant look and the list goes on. In that case, the choice isn’t very logical but would be one to answer the highest of standards.
Bonus: Citizen Caliber 0100
This Citizen features the most precise autonomous watch caliber in the world that works in the frequency range of 8.4MHz to achieve accuracy of +-1 sec per YEAR.
The solar-powered quartz Caliber 0100 is a limited edition of 500 pieces and can be had for MRSP of $7,400
- 8.4MHz quartz movement with accuracy of 1 second per year
- Anti-backlash seconds hand system for precise jumps of the second’s hand
- Movement thermal self-compensation performed every 1 minute
- 38mm case of reinforced titanium for improved scratch resistance
- Eco-Drive technology for powering the movement from any light source
What are your favourite watches? Let us know in the comments bellow!