The most important quarter of the year for watch journalists, retailers, etc. is behind us with the SIHH show in January and BaselWorld in March. It is now time to reflect and see which watches impressed us most this year! In this Top 10, we will include 5 watches from the SIHH and 5 watches from BaselWorld.
Lange & Söhne Saxonia Moonphase
From a technical point of view, A. Lange & Söhne introduced watches that are more complicated than this Saxonia Moonphase, but it isn’t always about having a very complicated or expensive timepiece. This classic-looking Saxonia isn’t simple by any means: It has a big date, a beautiful moonphase, and it still has that clean look typical to Lange & Söhne. The Saxonia Moonphase is priced below €30,000, which is still a significant amount of money, but in terms of high-end watchmaking, it is a very attractive price, especially when you consider that it’s a masterpiece from A. Lange & Söhne. And that’s exactly what you get: Lange’s skilled watchmaking.
Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days Ref. PAM00663
As always, Panerai is looking to their heritage to come up with new ideas and is turning them into great-looking watches. This year, they outperformed with this beautiful Luminor 1950 3-Days PAM00663. The brown dial reminds us of a vintage tropical dial Panerai, but by turning the watch, you can see it has a piece of modern movement manufacturing inside with their caliber P.3000.
Even though some collectors complain that Panerai is just a hype, the fact that they are still around, loved, and in high demand tells us otherwise: Panerai is here to stay.
IWC Schaffhausen Pilot`s Watch Mark XVIII Ref. 3270
Before CEO George Kern took over and created a global luxury brand, IWC watches were mostly considered tool watches, or professional watches. It’s not always a bad thing, but the downside is that the typical tool watch disappears into the background. Though purists dislike this, they are the minority of customers. This year, IWC Schaffhausen came back (hard) with a serious tool watch: the IWC Pilot Mark XVIII. They stripped the large aperture showing 3 dates and kept the design minimalistic, as it should be. It does come with a Santoni strap, but we don’t think that harms it.
We feel the love again. It made a huge impression on journalists, retailers, and consumers.
Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Chronograph Annual Calendar
Montblanc had some great years at the past two SIHH shows. You might think it becomes harder each year to outperform the previous year, but with the Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Annual Calendar Chronograph, they made a great show. The influences of former Jaeger-LeCoultre CEO Lambert are very visible, but no one seems to care about that. It is awesome to have a chronograph complication (very useful) and an annual calendar (very practical) in one watch. Although the watch appears a bit big (42mm) for such a classic-looking timepiece, it is by no means too big.
Oh, I almost forgot another great reason to give it a closer look: The price is very attractive!
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked Ref. 15407
Fans of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak collection reacted with a lot of enthusiasm to the new skeletonized version of the 41mm Royal Oak. The skeleton movement is not a novelty, seeing as Audemars Piguet has done that before, but now they’ve included a nice technical improvement called a double balance wheel. This cancels out the effects of gravity to a greater extent due to the two balance springs (in a nutshell). The caliber 3132 is of course an in-house manufactured movement from Le Brassus.
The Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel will be available in stainless steel and rose gold and will remain in the regular collection (not a limited edition).
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 116500LN
Rolex gave away a bit too much information in the period leading up to BaselWorld, so everyone was just waiting for the new Daytona. Some were a bit disappointed to see the only change appeared to be the use of a ceramic bezel, but the majority felt ecstatic about the new Daytona. The white dial version seems to be the favorite (also available in black) with its dark subdials and Cerachrom bezel.
Not only did Rolex put the movement of the Daytona through COSC for the chronometer certification, they also regulated it afterwards to be even more accurate (between -2 and +2 seconds deviation on average per day). And Rolex warranties this for 5 years. The new Rolex Daytona models are only priced a few hundred Euros more than the current model, which will be discontinued.
Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze Ref. 79250BM
Tudor does what you want Rolex to do, but never will do because Rolex is focusing on creating the best possible modern watch. Tudor, however, uses their heritage to come up with new, interesting watches. They appeal to those who are into vintage Rolex or vintage watches in general, but they use modern technology and materials. Heavily influenced by the Submariner of years past, Tudor came up with the Heritage Black Bay a couple of years ago.
This year, they – along with some other brands – introduced a model with a bronze case. Something to look forward to is the nice patina that will form on the case after wearing it for some time, but the downside of this model is the large diameter (43mm).
Tudor Heritage Black Bay Dark Ref. 79230DK
In the same line, but in the classic Heritage Black Bay size, Tudor has made a black PVD version and called it ‘dark,’ as the Heritage Black Bay Black was already introduced last year. Although some have commented on the use of PVD instead of DLC, PVD isn’t any more sensitive to scratches or dings. The vulnerability to scratches heavily depends on the material below the PVD coating. Think of all the tools you have in your shed or in the garage that are coated with PVD.
The straight-text writing on the dial indicates that the Heritage Black Bay (all models) are using the new in-house manufactured caliber MT5602 movement. This movement is COSC-certified and has a power reserve of 70 hours. What’s more is that it uses a silicon balance spring.
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Ref. 5327
First, there was the Patek Philippe 3940 that had a huge fan base. Its successor, the reference 5140, was slightly bigger than the 36mm of its predecessor, but the new 5327 is – for Patek standards – a large watch at 39mm. The case also has a slightly different design than its ancestors. It has a bit beefier lugs, but they also have a nice curve downward to the wrists. The Patek movement with perpetual calendar complication, the PP caliber 240 Q, remained the same.
Patek is continuously innovating, so small changes have been applied over the years. The 5327 will be available in white, yellow, and rose gold. The white gold comes with a stunning blue dial with sunray finish and the others have a more classical ivory dial. Similar to other pieces this perpetual calendar now comes with beautiful Breguet numerals.
Omega Speedmaster “CK2998” Limited Edition
Omega based the limited edition Speedmaster “CK2998” on the classic design features of the original second generation Speedmaster that was in production from 1959 until 1962. The 39.7mm case has the same diameter as the original CK2998, and the hands are leaf shaped like the original model. However, Omega used a nice combination of blue and silver (white) for the dial, blue ceramic for the bezel, and a nice blue leather strap with white stitching.
Production of the new Speedmaster “CK2998” is limited to 2998 pieces (of course) and it already sold out on the first day it was available to retailers and Omega boutiques, as did last year’s Silver Snoopy Award model. Inside, Omega uses the famous descendant of the Lemania-based caliber 861 chronograph. Historically seen, this is not entirely correct, as the original CK2998 reference used the Lemania-based caliber 321 movement with a column-wheel chronograph instead of a cam lever chronograph. However, it is not an exact re-edition, but more or less a tribute to the original.
Discover all of these fantastic watches here on Chrono24 soon: