Welcome to our pick of the most memorable trends, events, and watches of the last twelve months. And It won’t be an overstatement to say, that fine watchmaking was more or less on the rise.
2019 was a year of several top brands with clearly different identities launching their versions of a sport-bracelet-watch. This segment seems to dominate the today’s market so much, that even A. Lange & Söhne, a company previously known for dress-watch-only catalogue has rushed into the game with the Odysseus. And while the first ever casual (and the very first serially produced in steel) Lange was very likely the biggest surprise here, the inception of Chopard Alpine Eagle and Bell & Ross BR05 collections definitely deserve a thoughtful revisit.
While the casual-friendly options have obviously stolen the lion’s share of spotlight, 2019 was still quite a nice year for mega-watches. Minute repeaters, triple-axis tourbillons, perpetual calendars, automatons or a combination of all the above, – we’ve seen plenty of it. There were even some previously unknown complications like Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Twin Beat, allowing you to switch between two balances beating at different frequencies or vibrating alarm function in Richard Mille RM 62-01. Oh, and don’t forget the crazy over-the-top stuff like the Jacob & Co. Oil Pump actually having a liquid inside the pump or peculiar time telling in Genus GNS1.
The complication-heavy segment gave us the new world’s most expensive watch – Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime was sold at the Only Watch auction for the unbelievable CHF 31,000,000. A lot of our personal favorites were also awarded in this year’s Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève, including the super-slim Audemars Piguet Royal Oak with perpetual calendar, the truly innovative Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic and fantastically elegant Hermès Arceau L’heure de la Lune.
2019 was also keen at revisiting some solid classics. Rolex lovers, for example, saw the return of the mighty ‘Batman’ – the Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II with black and blue bezel, this time on a Jubilee bracelet. Omega, on the other hand, had several important anniversary pieces and re-launched the legendary caliber 321 that was powering the actual Moonwatch 50 years ago.
As always, the lady’s segment was full of stunning gem-set pieces, creative decorative motifs, and exceptional designs. There’s no way you could miss the new Bvlgari Serpenti Seduttori line – a perfect mix of the classic Serpenti and Lvcea, the first true feminine Moritz Grossmann watch Tefnut 1001 Nights, and several Jaeger-LeCoultre Rendez-Vous novelties. And then there was the other-worldly MB&F FlyingT, of course! By the way, the independents were really pushing the watchmaking art forward in 2019, and we’ve had a great pleasure of covering their new experiments throughout the year.
Looking back, it was a pretty exiting year for watch collectors and watch enthusiasts alike. We wish you all the best in 2020, and let the watchmaking industry bring us countless reasons to fuel our enthusiasm further! See you in 2020 on Watchj.com.
Dec. 29, 2019