2019 had seen a paradigm shift in the watch industry. Marked with some drastic changes and the launch of polarising novelties, it was certainly an exciting year for many watch collectors.
Before we mark the end of 2019, we shall take a look at some of the most definitive timepieces that were introduced this year. These watches are either blockbuster pieces that had shook the industry, or they are simply great watches that we think deserves a special mention in this article.
What are the watches that have made it to the list today? Let’s find out!
Rado Tradition Golden Horse Limited Edition
We begin the column with arguably one of our favourite modestly priced pieces from Rado. Cue the Traditional Golden Horse Limited Edition.
For our regular readers, the Golden Horse is probably no stranger to you. It was covered extensively on our review article, as well as the Throwback Sundays column as well. There is no doubt why the vintage reissue captured our hearts – it has a very palatable case size at 37mm, and its stunning red dégradé dial is a sight to behold. The vintage cues, in addition, lends a very nice rustic charm to the timepiece as well.
The cherry on the top of the cake lies in its price point. The Golden Horse retails at S$2,410, which offers compelling value for new and seasoned collectors alike. We really do think that Rado might be on to something with this piece right here.
Kurono Classic by Kurono Tokyo
The Japanese watchmaking scene had risen in popularity in recent years, but it is still showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, Kurono Tokyo is a new kid on the block that is offering something even more special than usual.
Created by the legendary Hajime Asaoka, the Kurono is an interesting take by the independent watchmaker to offer collectors a more reasonable option on his watches. The main focus here is on its design cues, and the quality of its finishing on the case, dial, and hands. Notably, Hajime fitted with the Kurono Classic with the top-end Miyota 90S5 Premium movement, to maintain its competitive price point without compromising on its quality.
Priced at S$2,998, the Kurono Classic is available in two limited edition models – each with 50 pieces only. This is not just a beautiful watch, but one that spreads the joy and spirit of watch collecting with modestly priced watches. On top of that, it is also nice to know that a portion of the sales proceeds are donated to charity as well. It is truly a special watch indeed.
A. Lange and Söhne Odysseus
The A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus is definitely the talk of the town during the last quarter of 2019. The timepiece, being the Glashütte-based watch manufacturer’s first ever sports watch, was certainly met with equally polarising views.
Premiering just a couple of months ago, the Odysseus is a 40.5mm timepiece that had broken its own rules. As we have mentioned, this is a luxury sports watch – and one that is constructed in stainless steel. For the uninitiated, this is the first regular production timepiece that A. Lange & Söhne is producing in stainless steel (coupled with an integrated metal bracelet).
Powering the Odysseus is a totally new manufacture Calibre L155.1, a self-winding movement that is known as the Datomatic. The movement features a large date and day display, and in addition a power reserve of around 50 hours. The watch is also fitted with a new in-house free sprung balance spring, secured by an engraved balance bridge. We reckon that the is meant to make the movement more shock resistant, considering the nature of it.
The Odysseus is priced at S$40,800, which we think is priced decently for a top-tier luxury sports watch that perhaps has one of the best finishing touches around. This watch certainly gives the “holy trinity” a run for their money, although we have yet to see if the positive reception translates into sales figure eventually. This is, without a shadow of doubt, definitely one of the most controversial watches in 2019.
Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Moonshine
2019 might be a special year for many, but it perhaps meant a little even more for Omega. After all, it is the 50th Anniversary since mankind took its first daring steps onto the moon – together with the Omega Speedmaster.
There were two watches that were produced to commemorate this special occasion. The Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Moonshine – cased in full 18k Moonshine Gold – is the certainly the more sublime one between the two. This particular piece pays tribute to the Speedmaster BA145.022, which was a full gold Speedmaster that was presented to the astronauts during the “Astronaut Appreciation Dinner”. The 18k gold case and bracelet is stunning, and the burgundy bezel insert adds a nice contrast to the timepiece. It is also now fitted with the modern Master Chronometer Calibre 3861, which is notably finished with gold-plated main plate and bridges.
The Omega Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Moonshine is priced at CHF 32,000 (approximately S$44,376), and it is limited to a production run of 1,014 pieces. This is not just any limited edition Speedmaster, but a truly special one with a great provenance and case combination as well. Now, this is a timepiece that is worthy to mark the 50th Anniversary of a landmark occasion for mankind.
MB&F LM Thunderdome
MB&F is known for collaborating with some of the top watchmakers to produce some of the most stunning timepieces that we’ve seen in recent times. But this particular piece is a tad more special.
Produced in collaboration with Eric Coudray and Kari Voutilanen, the LM Thunderdome is an epic watch that features a triple axis tourbillon, a sublime light-blue guilloché dial, and a ridiculously finished movement. It is certainly noteworthy to point out that the tourbillon features a unique combination of Potter escapement, hemispherical balance and helical hairspring – with the 3 axes completing its record-breaking revolutions in 8,12, and 20 seconds respectively. Talk about theatrics at its finest.
MB&F have never failed to surprise us with its novelties, and the 44mm LM Thunderdome is no exception either. In fact, this is perhaps one of the finest creations by the company ever, and it has definitely set the benchmark even higher for its future references. This spectacular timepiece – cased in platinum – is priced at CHF 270,000 (approximately S$374,420). Expensive? Yes. But then again, how can you ever price perfection?
Ferdinand Berthoud FB1L
Ferdinand Berthoud is an intriguing brand, created by the great Karl-Friedrich Scheufele of Chopard. The idea behind the brand is to recreate watches by master clockmaker Ferdinand Berthoud – but re-imagined it with access to modern technology and materials.
The FB1L is one of the latest pieces from the brand itself. The design dialect is an entirely mind-boggling concept – in which it is unlike any usual regulators (the main central hand indicates the seconds, which is vastly different from the usual), and the dial is predominantly a large negative space. The latest variant comes with the usual patented power reserve indicator, as well as the rare “age of the moon” complication.
The surprise does not stop only at the dial. The movement – Calibre FB-T.FC.L. – is certainly a treat, with brilliant finishing and different technical bits incorporated. It also features some of the most sought-after complications, such as a giant tourbillon (measuring 16.5mm) and fusée and chain system. This is surely one of best, if not the best, movements that we have seen in a timepiece.
Not surprisingly, the FB1L comes attached with a hefty price tag. Prices for the titanium model with white gold bezel begins at CHF 250,000 (approximately S$346,685), while the full white gold variant retails at CHF 265,000 (approximately S$367,487). This is, however, something that is truly special – and we reckon that there aren’t many watches out there that is capable of matching what the FB1L has to offer.
The selection, admittedly, might be a little contentious. But watch collecting is subjective after all, isn’t it? That’s the hallmark that makes it an interesting hobby for us.
What are some of your thoughts on our selection today? What are some other watches that you reckon deserves a spot on this list? Let us know in the comments section below!