The watches of the year
To each his own podium
We asked them to choose 3 watches from all those of 2019. Here is the choice of our contributors.
Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater Carbon
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Bulgari continues to torpedo the received wisdom of watch aesthetics. Ultra-thin watches, considered by many to be a dated, dead-end concept, are back. The creativity of the Bulgari manufacture has made them sexy again, and devastatingly modern. This limited series shows that the Finissimo concept can be applied to any material or complication, giving it a welcome burst of new energy.
Vacheron Constantin, Traditionnelle Twin Beat Quantième Perpétuel
It was completely unexpected, but universally well received – including by the GPHG jury. A dual-frequency movement to cope with both everyday use and downtime – in the latter case achieving a power reserve of 65 days – is a brilliant concept, an idea whose time has come, magnificently executed here. Vacheron Constantin is back!
Hermès, Arceau « Heure de la Lune »
A double moon phase, for men, by Hermès, with an in-house complication – that’s quite ambitious. Hermès took a chance, made a significant investment, and multiplied the risk with a complication generally reserved for women. But CEO Laurent Dordet won his bet. Hermès Horlogerie dares to go where no one else will venture, following its own path in total independence. It’s a perfect 10, a textbook example of how watchmaking should be done, and a masterful achievement.
Better than mere transparency, a genuine microscopic architecture revealed throughout.
Quasar © Girard-Perregaux
Tudor Black Bay Chrono S&G
More than neo-vintage, Tudor demonstrates what timeless means beyond the usual, obvious tricks.
Tudor Black Bay Chrono S&G © WorldTempus / David Chokron
Jacob & Co Astronomia Fleurs de Jardin
A delicate revelation, great complication telling a story of feminine poetry, without even claiming it.
Royal Oak Offshore Chronographe Rainbow
I love how unapologetically bling this watch is, while continuing the story of one of the industry’s most coveted designs. Besides, who doesn’t love a rainbow?
Richard Mille Bonbon
I love this entire collection. Bonbon doesn’t take itself seriously, yet at the same time completely redefines fine watchmaking. A total game changer.
4 modèles Bonbon © WorldTempus / Ming Liu
Breguet Reine de Naples
Une beauté à l’état pur, et ce bracelet en denim, tellement inattendu et cool. De plus, ses références nautiques rappellent le partenariat de Breguet avec Race For Water, l’une des plus intéressantes associations oeuvrant à la préservation de l’eau actuellement.
Is this THE watch of the year? USD 179, sold online, quartz, the look of a diver although it’s not waterproof, and a Pepsi bezel without a GMT function! It shouldn’t work, but it does. Everyone wants one, it’s sold out as soon as a new batch arrives, and all the collectors I know have one!
Timex Q © Timex
Omega Speedmaster Moonshine Gold
The year’s most beautiful watch? We couldn’t let 2019 go by without mentioning THE Moon Landing Speedy. Everything about this watch is very well executed. A full gold Speedy was a bold choice, and Omega ran with it!
Omega Speedmaster Moonshine Gold © Omega
Seiko SLA 033
It’s the 40th anniversary of Apocalypse Now, with Marlon Brando and his Rolex. But in the end, Kurtz is killed by Willard. And Willard wears a Seiko 6105, reissued this year. Highly symbolic!
Vacheron Constantin Twin Beat Quantième Perpétuel
Because it offers the first-ever mechanical timepiece that has the ability to beat at two different frequencies as the user wishes. It beats at 5Hz when active and 1.2Hz when in standby mode. It has a patent-pending system that enables the transitioning between the two frequencies. So if the wearer puts the watch in standby mode he unlocks 65 hours of power reserve. If he doesn’t come back to it for two months, it will still be working and accurate.
Traditionnelle Twin Beat Quantième Perpétuel © Vacheron Constantin
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel
Six years in the design and development stages, this is one of the most complicated pieces ever produced by Jaeger-LeCoultre. Its fifth Gyrotourbillon, the watch was challenging to create because it was being built 15 percent smaller than any other version. Just the miniaturization of the movement took three years. Caliber 184, with a massive 1,050 pieces, is chocked with perpetual calendar, minute repeater with Westminster chimes and four gongs, and offers constant force. What’s not to like?
Bulgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic
Because once again Bulgari beats records in the world of ultra-thin watches. This chronograph and GMT combo measures a mere 6.9 mm in thickness — the sum of about three letter envelopes stacked. IT is also ergonomically comfortable thanks to the integrated bracelet and can be worn by a man or woman.