It certainly is way too early to claim that we’re in front of some of the best watches of the year, and even though the industry isn’t in the best mood (sales aren’t expected on the rise, China’s situation could affect exports), we expect to see some great news to be launched. Still, and even if it’s only early February 2020, we’ve already seen some pretty impressive new models introduced. We’re not talking entirely new products, but instead evolutions of known watches… But that maturity has resulted in 4 very, very desirable watches. So here are some of the best watches introduced in 2020, so far.
Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Satin-Polished Steel
The Octo Finissimo Automatic is a watch that needs no introduction anymore. It has been well-accepted by the watch community, thanks to its bold, modern design, its sleek colour scheme and, reinforcing Bvlgari’s investment to be seen as a real manufacture, an automatic movement that is among the thinnest in the world.
While only available in monochromatic styles, with sand-blasted matte cases/dial – whether in steel, in titanium, in gold or in black ceramic – the brand adds new versions this year. First, the case is combining classic brushed and polished surfaces, making it a bit sportier and accentuating the architectural design of the watch. Then, it now features a contrasting dial, again more traditional but also sportier. Finally, and that’s the main aspect of this watch, it gains 0.1mm in height, for a good cause though, as the case is now water-resistant to a very decent 100m (vs. only 30m). Altogether, a very mature product that keeps its desirability while adding some daily-wear proofness. Possibly the best edition so far (and also the most accessible one)
Quick facts: 40mm diameter x 5.25mm height – stainless steel case, satin-polished – 100m water-resistant – Calibre BVL138, in-house – ultra-thin automatic movement – integrated steel bracelet – ref. 103297 – USD 12,000
IWC Portugieser Chronograph 3716 with in-house movement
This could be the watch version of the 911… Don’t change anything, keep what’s good, just update what needs to be and make it better overall. Launched in 1998, the IWC Portugieser Chronograph is a treaty on continuity and minimalism. Since its introduction, it hasn’t changed a bit and retains its easily recognizable, extremely clean design, as well as its Valjoux-based, largely updated movement…
Well, until this year, with the launch of the new ref. 3716 (replacing the 22 years old ref. 3714). Main update: it finally gets an in-house movement, calibre 69335, an integrated, automatic movement with column-wheel – and it can be seen through the caseback now. For the rest, except for minor updates, nothing has changed – and that is great. The case is 0.1mm larger and 0.3mm thicker (unnoticeable), the logo is a tiny bit different and there’s a new folding clasp, thinner and more comfortable. That’s all! The 6 existing variations (steel or gold) are still present and the increase in price is minimal (EUR 250). Now available at retailers and boutiques.
Quick facts: 41mm diameter x 13.1mm height – stainless steel case, brushed and polished – 30m water-resistance – sapphire crystal caseback – Calibre 69355, in-house, automatic – integrated chronograph with column-wheel – alligator strap with triple folding clasp – ref. 3716 – from EUR 7,850 in steel
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 Stainless Steel “Ed White”
While we haven’t seen the watch yet (no one has), we’re 100% confident that this new, rare, exclusive Speedmaster is a must-have… Just look at it! Based on the historically-relevant “straight lugs” case, Omega re-issues the so-called “Ed White” watch – the 105.003ST, the third generation Speedmaster introduced in 1963, also nicknamed the “Ed White”, reference to astronaut Ed White who used his personal Speedmaster during an EVA – June 3rd 1965, during the Gemini IV mission. Externally, we have a dot-over-90 ceramic bezel, a flat steel bracelet (again, historically-relevant), a stepped dial with applied logo and light-cream lume… But the real deal is under the sapphire caseback, with the newly-recreated Calibre 321, the same as used from 1957 to the late 1960s, based on a Lemania ébauche. Superbly-designed, 100% faithful, hand-crafted by a dedicated team… This watch is a future grail that won’t be easy to acquire, but that ticks all the boxes.
Quick facts: 39.7mm diameter x circa 14mm height – stainless steel case, brushed and polished – 50m water-resistant – Omega Calibre 321, in-house – historical reproduction – hand-wound chronograph with horizontal clutch and column-wheel – 9mm flat steel bracelet on folding clasp – ref. 318.104.22.168.01.001 – CHF 13,000
TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition
The Carrera is an icon, no doubt about that. Still, for the past 4 to 5 years, we’ve seen some debatable offerings in this collection, with ultra-modern models, with modular cases and skeleton dials. However, TAG Heuer is changing direction and brings back to good-old stuff, with this new Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition, a watch made to commemorate the 160th anniversary of the brand. This model, with its restrained diameter, its super-clean dial and its classically-shaped case is a clear reference to the early-1960s Carreras. Inside is the brand’s in-house calibre Heuer 02, a modern column-wheel chronograph with all the required delicacies. But clearly, the star here is the design, with the right proportions. Limited to 1860 pieces.
Quick facts: 39mm diameter – stainless steel case, polished – 100m water-resistant – Calibre Heuer 02, in-house – automatic integrated chronograph, column wheel and vertical clutch – black alligator strap on folding clasp – ref. CBK221B.FC6479 – Limited to 1860 pieces – EUR 5,850