Year in review: Top 10 posts of 2019

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As the year draws to a close today, we take a moment to review the year. We are grateful for your support, and with it, this site has grown both in volume but also in influence and relevance in the industry. Here are the Top 10 posts which were the most popular in 2019. In order of increasing page views:

10. Review: The Return of the Fugu: Citizen Promaster NY009

We begin with the Citizen Promaster 2019 edition. We covered the re-introduction of the Fugu in 2018, and the 2019 edition proved popular enough for it to make it on this list.

Six models were released.

And what’s there not to like. Here is a no-nonsense, all rugged diving watch, which is very appropriately priced. The watch is certainly one of our favourites too.

9. Throwback Sundays: Six Watches for Billions’ Bobby Axelrod

We took a look at popular TV Series – Billions and speculated on what watches might suit Bobby “Axe” Axelrod, played by Damian Lewis. We took into consideration Bobby Axelrod’s status as a top hedge fund manager, and his choice of dressing (typically casual, with a pullover or t-shirt and jeans) for this fun exercise.

Image courtesy of Showtime, taken from a screen grab in Season 4’s first episode showing the character with the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore “Camouflage”.

We begin the selection with the stainless steel Rolex Daytona as a daily beater, a dressier watch in the form of the Lange 1815 Chronograph and another iconic sports watch, the Patek Philippe Nautilus. And then MB&F HM9 and Ferdinand Berthoud FB1L were selected for their technical merits, as well as the fact that they transcend beyond their function of serving as a time-telling device. We finally round it up with a Richard Mille.

8. Throwback Sundays: Six Alternative high end sporty watches to the Patek Nautilus

The Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711/1A’s has the enviable status of being one of the most desirable watches that you could probably afford at retail. But becomes vapourware when trying to secure one. We presented six alternatives.

Indeed the list is varied and eclectic, with pricing ranging from less than half the asking retail price of the Patek Nautilus 5711/1a to more than quadruple.

  • Get on the waitlist. We know, its long and you will need to develop a relationship with the Authorized Dealer, and save the firepower to grab it when the AD calls. Meanwhile, scratch the itch with another watch. Watches like the JLC Polaris Memovox, the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms or the Breguet Marine Chronograph are suitable.
  • Or buy another watch circa the same price and forget about the Nautilus. In this category would be the VC Overseas Chronograph, or the AP RO in SS, which we did not discussed in this article, or stretch for the WG version which we did discuss. We are aware that the AP RO is also on the endangered list, but perhaps easier to procure one at retail.
  • Or go the whole hog and get the Laurent Ferrier Tourbillon Grand Sport and stop buying watches for a while…a long while.

7. The Bronzed Patina: The curious case of patina

Our Technical Editor (or Chief Technical Elf, as she likpes to call herself) went on an experimental rampage and explored the phenomena of the patina on a bronze watch. Though this article was published in 2018, it still made no7 in the 2019 list.

How about a rainbow for your patina?

She tells all on what it takes to do it right, and what not to do, and perhaps most important of all, what to do to “reset” the patina if you get it wrong.

6. Review: Enter the dragon: The Citizen AQ4020

Another article first published in 2018, The Citizen Chronomaster proved to be a very popular watch at our offices. It was one of the watches which changed our Chief Editor’s mind on quartz watches. The other influence being the Grand Seiko 9F. But The Citizen Chronomaster remains the top contender.

The indices on the dial are appliques and also polished zaratsu style to create sparkles of light.

Citizen got everything right in this watch. Ultra accuracy. Perpetual Calendar. Light powered. Magnificent finishing. Artisanal washi paper dial. Rugged case and bracelet (croc strap version also available). And though they topped the technical merits with the even more accurate AQ 6010, the AQ4020 remains a favourite.

And we also have had requests for the article to be translated into Chinese, Japanese and Hebrew.

5. Throwback Sundays: Six Chronograph Alternatives to the Rolex Daytona

The Rolex Daytona in SS with ceramic bezel proved to be another watch in the unobtainium arena. We explore the alternatives if you do not happen to be “on the list”.

Many of the watches on our list are icons in their own right, and some offer excellent bang for the buck. Habring² is one good example, as an independent watchmaker with the brilliant split second chronograph function. The Zenith El Primero, Breguet Type XX and Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Chronograph are excellent choices as well, from well-established high-end manufacturers. And we didn’t leave out favourites like the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch nor the Grand Seiko Spring Drive Chronograph.

4. Revisit: Grand Seiko SBGM003

An oldie, but a goodie, as they say. And we had our Senior Writer talk about the Chief Editor’s personal Grand Seiko mechanical GMT. The SBGM003 is a very popular watch, and the Chief has had his for a long time.

The GS is a nice blend between tool and dress with just the right amount of nuances in finishing. The complication; a GMT, is commonly agreed to be much more useful than a chronograph. The current edition SBGM221 has less clutter at the bottom after the brand decided for the Grand Seiko logo to replace Seiko at the 12 position. Apart from that no significant changes were made. This is a classic GS, that has been in production for 2 decades and will likely stay in production for several more to come.

3. Review: Casio G-Shock “G-Steel” GST-300L

Another Casio on the list. And of course from the ultra rugged G-Shock series. This one is the G-Steel. Goes to show again, inexpensive, rugged, well designed and good looking watches steal the show.

And Casios have always been multi-purpose watches. Easy with casual and street wear, but also in semi-formal situations. And the ruggedness is a big plus for the urban landscape.

2. The Rolex Submariner and Omega Seamaster

And the top spot is a 1on1 comparison between two of the most popular watches ever! The Rolex Submariner fights with the Omega Seamaster in this match up.

Who wins, who loses. Neither Rolex nor Omega. But we explore the merits of both, and let you decide.

1. Breaking News: Rolex Baselworld 2019 Novelties

It was supposed to be a year when Rolex rested, so that the production and supply can catch up with the super high demand. And perhaps so, that the Press Release of the Novelties, published on Day 1 of Baselworld made No. 1 on this list.

Goes to show the power of the brand with the Crown. We reviewed in detail all the new watches in the release, but the full release article takes the popular cake.

Concluding thoughts

Here are our takeaways and lessons learnt from what you told us you would like to see:

  • lists – Throwback and comparisons remain popular.
  • Japanese watches – among the top 10, we had all the usual suspects from Citizen, Grand Seiko.
  • less exotic watches. Though Rolex and Patek Philippe feature well in this list, by exotic we mean the megabuck ones, which cross the S$100k retail mark.
  • though not on this list (we searched the database for highest page views), we found you also downloaded our Watchscape wallpapers frequently, and as these are large files, accounted for a good portion of the bandwidth spend for 2019.

So we hear you. The list of notes are very similar to what we noted for 2018. Perhaps we took away those lessons and gave you what we thought you loved, and you reaffirmed this.

But we will also continue to bring you highly technical, detailed analysis of the exotic and high end watches. Deployant remains one of the few sites to provide such deep analysis, and we will continue. We also came in strong with photography related articles in the same analytical style, and though none of those made this exalted list, we will continue to explore the high end photography world as well.

We thank you for your support and will strive to continue to be relevant to your horology quests. Big shout out and many thanks to all our readers and supporters for 2019, and we look forward to a great 2020.


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