2020 has seen incredible disruption to the typical annual watch release schedule due in no small part to the coronavirus, but also to the continued attrition of brands from Baselworld, the world’s largest and most important watch trade show. Despite all this disruption, however, we’ve still gotten plenty of cool new releases from brands large and small to ogle over and aspire to. Here are 10 of our favorite new watches of the year, thus far.
Hamilton Pulsar PSR
Movement: Digital quartz
Seiko Prospex SPB Series
After playing around with the concept of reissuing its famous 62MAS diver’s watch in modern form, Seiko finally got it right this year. The size and specs of the new SPB dive watches are spot on, and the design is well balanced. Best of all, the watch accessibly priced.
Movement: 6R35 automatic
Timor Heritage Field Watch
Not just a vintage model, but an entire brand was resurrected with the Timor Heritage Field Watch, which is based on the famous WW2-era member of the so-called “Dirty Dozen.” The watch has a timeless quality, and with modern specs like sapphire crystal and solid Swiss movements, you don’t even have to know the watch’s history to find it appealing.
Movement: Selita SW260 automatic or SW216 handwound
Breitling Top Time Limited Edition
Marketed to younger men who weren’t necessarily bound to spring for the professional Navitimer and Co-Pilot lines, the Top Time was available in several different configurations. The Top Time Limited Edition recalls a classic version of the watch with a white “Zorro” dial and features a 41mm steel case and Breitling Caliber B23 chronograph movement.
Movement: Breitling cal. B23 automatic (Valjoux 7753 base)
Cartier Santos Dumont XL
The 2020 update that fit the Cartier Santos watch with a manually wound mechanical movement gave a lot of fans exactly what they were looking for. The movement also helps keep the case of the new version thin at only 7.5mm, and the whole package comes together with a unique look and story.
Movement: 430 MC mechanical (Piaget 430P)
TAG Heuer Carrera Silver
All the TAG Heuer watches over the years that have been named “Carrera” have channeled in some way the DNA of the Heuer original. This, however, is the original — or a modern remake thereof. There were a ton of vintage watches that returned this year as contemporary reissues, but the Carrera Silver (limited to 1,860 examples) has got to be one of the most satisfying and attractive.
Movement: Heuer 02 automatic
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Calendar
A new case design means that this contemporary take on JLC’s famed mid-century triple calendars could easily be mistaken for one that was actually released in the 1950s. Interestingly, the pointer date hand jumps from the 15th to the 16th instantaneously, in order not to obscure the moon phase display at 6 o’clock. If you’re a fan of classic 20th-century watchmaking, this beauty needs to be on your radar.
Movement: JLC Calibre 866AA automatic
Price: $11,000 (steel); $22,400 (gold)
Panerai Luminor Marina PAM 1117/118/119
A trio of Luminors in exotic, technical materials represent what’s new at Panerai: one in Fibratech, one in Carbotech, and one in titanium. Each has strips of luminescent material in the crown, crown guard and the crown-locking lever — highlighting the iconic collection’s most prominent feature. If you want a historical design dressed up in the most modern possible materials, look no farther than these PAMs.
Movement: P.9010 automatic
Audemars Piguet [Re]master01 Selfwinding Chronograph
AP only made 307 chronographs between the 1930s and the 1950s, and good luck getting your hands on one. But what you can get your hands on — albeit for $53,1000 — is this gorgeous modern take on a chrono from 1943. Done up in ax exquisite steel-and-pink-gold case and featuring a beautiful movement, the [Re]master01 Selfwinding Chronograph is tough to take your eyes off of.
Movement: AP cal. 4409 automatic
Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept
When it was announced in 2018, the Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept, though the thinnest mechanical watch in the world, was merely a prototype. Now it’s in serial production, available in 10,000 possible permutations. Incredible to behold and impossibly thin, this AUC may be one of the coolest watches of the decade.
Movement: 900P-UC ultra-thin handwound
Price: Upon request