2020 is off to a bang for the watch world...
So it looks like we’re not hanging around in 2020 - 1 month in and we have lots of big news from the industry. In just 31 days we’ve seen multiple watch releases from huge brands, our first international watch show, an important auction, and some thought-provoking industry news. Let’s not waste any more time and get straight into it...
The new Longines Heritage Classic Chronograph 1946
January started off strongly with news from the beloved Longines and their new Heritage Classic Chronograph 1946. Following the growth of the Heritage line up, the 1946 is another example of Longines flexing their huge archived references to release something that combines desirability and accuracy.
What can we say about this release? In true Longines style, it’s beautiful, with a timeless design that is sure to appeal to anyone who is still enamoured with all things vintage.
Christopher ward out of CW
Early in the month an announcement from Christopher Ward Holdings via Mike France confirmed that one of the three original founders (Christopher Ward himself) had left the business.
“Of course, as a co-founder and the man whose name adorns the dial, he will always be part of the history of the brand but as many people inside CW know, his involvement with the business has declined significantly in recent years and it seemed right for everyone, including Chris, that this was the moment to formally step aside.” - Christopher Ward Forum post.
This should make for some interesting times for CW. With Chris’ name printed onto every watch produced by the brand we can imagine the immediate future should be an interesting one. Best of luck to both CW and Chris himself.
The Omega Speedmaster 321 in Steel
Omega has finally given a lot of people what they want. The 321 had a re-birth in 2019 however it only existed in limited edition watches. Now in 2020, it’s here to stay for all to enjoy in the new 321 Stainless Steel Speedy. At a glance, not much is different here from a standard Speedy. Emphasis on ‘at a glance’ as when you look closer the case is smaller (39.7mm) with the straight lug design, fauxtina is present throughout the dial, sapphire crystal, as well as a ceramic bezel and finally an old school bracelet all are features. The price is also a little different when compared to a standard Moonwatch as it comes in at £11,300.
H Moser & Cie steel chronograph with 2nd hand-counting minutes
Staying with chronographs we have a first for H Moser in the form of their new Streamliner. This automatic chronograph, in steel with an integrated bracelet, is noticeably lacking in one conventional chronograph feature… a sub-dial. The Streamliner has a different approach for keeping track of elapsed minutes using a second hand hidden behind the chronograph hand when not in use. To give you some context, the above image shows the chronograph has been running for an elapsed time of 23 mins and the chronograph hand is currently at 36 seconds.
The whole watch oozes space-age style design which we’re naturally fans of...
LVMH Watch Week
Next up was LVMH Watch Week in Dubai. This week-long event was the first of its type for the brand with Zenith, Hublot and Bulgari all releasing new pieces for the year. We’ve covered the event in more detail here, however, the Zenith Land Rover Defy 21 edition and Bulgari Octo Finnisimo in steel would be my stand out picks.
The Omega Constellation Gents receives a facelift!
The Omega Constellation has been a bit of an oddball in the Omega line up. It has all the DNA of a watch that should be immensely popular, but seldom are they seen on the wrist in the wild. The recent designs of this traditional Omega name haven’t really stood the test of time since the 80s so it was certainly due an update (2018 saw the women’s range updated, now it’s the gents time).
The design of these watches has now become a little more defined. A little more ‘serious’. What was previously a little soft around the edges has become structured confident and sharper. It looks like the bracelet tapers more from the lugs and the claws at 3 and 9 on the bezel are more integrated into the design than being stand out. This is certainly a step in the right direction for Omega. I’m pretty eager to get some hands-on time with these releases.
The Watch Act! Auction
Australia and the devastating fires that have been raging throughout the country have been rightfully unavoidable on the news for the past month. The great people at Time & Tide have decided to auction off 16 watches with all proceeds going to five charities committed to helping Australia. The auctions end on the 31st January so if you’re interested in picking up a unique piece watch, and helping Australia at the same time click here to check out all of the watches.
The Geckota R-01 is here!
After years of work, the new Geckota R-01 Rectangular Watch is now live and available on the Geckota site! The watch comes in two designs Classic & Vintage with 10 different dial options at launch. The watch is 24.6mm tapering to 23mm but don’t be put off, the watch is comfortable on my 7 ¼ inch wrist. Throw it on a different strap, or pick up a rose gold case with silver dial version and you have the perfect women’s watch.
A Rolex Deepsea like you've never seen before...
And finally, we have something we've never seen before. If you mention the Rolex Deepsea to any collector, the likelihood is images of rotating bezels, high water resistance ratings and date windows will conjure up in minds. However, one of the latest additions from Menta Watches might make us all second guess our watch knowledge. Here is a Rolex OP Deepsea reference 6532. This reduced sized 34mm oyster case displays the Deepsea name. Many other now-iconic Rolex model names existed on similar time only watches but with Rolex focusing on the Deepsea for the past few years at Baselworld, this watches relevance seems even more prominent.
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A dedicated diving watch capable of withstanding 500m depth pressure and being 100% visible in the darkness of the deepest ocean.