Another year has passed and we naturally want to clarify things in time for the start in 2020: Which timepieces were the clear winners of 2019? Which brands belong in every collection and what surprises did 2019 hold for the watch market? Get inspiration for your Wishlist 2020 and expand your expertise by adding last year’s top ten luxury watches.
Rolex remains undisputed
Rolex has now had the reputation of THE luxury watch par excellence for many years. Nobody has ever denied this reputation: In 2019 Rolex will be the most sought-after and bought watch in the world. The stable value and timeless class of the timepieces also makes them popular investments. Moreover, it is now no longer a secret that you can get only the finest of the best for your money. This means that an investment in Rolex does not involve any risk, but rather that you can fulfil a long-awaited dream with a clear conscience. After this explanation, no one will be surprised that first place goes to the brand in 2019. The Rolex Sea-Dweller Single Red Ref. 126600 is last year’s winner. The watch has been on the market since 2017 and, apart from a 43mm diameter, it comes with everything you are used to from the professional Sea-Dweller range – and that is mainly thickness. The glass, back and bezel of the Sea-Dweller models are not for the faint of heart. Even the obligatory helium outlet valve is represented. The advantage of the Single Red Version: it is slimmer overall than the older Sea-Dweller models and is therefore much more comfortable to wear than the watches called “Bumblebees”. It is also ahead in terms of visual coherence, the proportions of the individual components appear ideal and the look in the style of the Red Submariner captivates the eye across the board. The black dial with the red lettering creates a legendary image – details are what make the look great. It is also the first Sea-Dweller with the characteristic date magnifying glass that usually adorns every Rolex model. With the Sea-Dweller Single Red, the Geneva-based manufacturer has finally succeeded in closing this gap. A very special model for the anniversary of the series. The demand for this model has been enormous for years, but who would say it is not justified? We say congratulations to the deserved first place.
The competition is on the rise
Rolex even made it to the second podium. That the Rolex GMT Master II Ref. 126710BLRO is far ahead of the rest is something everyone might have guessed. The noble case made of Oystersteel stainless steel, specially developed by Rolex, promises the best corrosion resistance, durability and exceptional shine. The 18-carat gold indices, the high-quality five-row Jubilé bracelet with Oysterlock safety folding clasp and the two-tone Cerachrome dial with 24-hour graduation of the ceramic bezel rotating in both directions embody technical sophistication and flawless beauty. The calibre 3285 inside the watch has been the subject of ten patent applications. Find out what it means to experience a new generation Rolex. This Swiss chronometer is unrivalled in terms of precision, reliability and power reserve (70 hours).
However, third place is not taken by Rolex itself, but by a classic counterpart that is available for a little less money: Frederique Constant. The brand is known for classic elegance, and the wonderfully clean lines are a hallmark of the Classics collection. The Frederique Constant Classics Moonphase Ref. FC-335MC4P6B2 did not make it to the winners’ rostrum for nothing, because this noble luxury watch has a lot to offer, and at an incredible price.
The noble tone-in-tone look in silver with case and strap made of resistant stainless steel never goes out of fashion and allows the fine details that make this watch stand out: Filigree black Roman numerals, a beautiful moon phase display at 6 o’clock and a clear view of the movement at 12 o’clock make this timepiece without doubt one of the most beautiful models of our time. Fourth place is also taken by a model from the Classic range of the affordable luxury brand: the Frederique Constant Classics Moonphase Ref. FC-335MC4P5 with a gold case and brown leather strap.
5th place among the most popular watches of the year is again taken by Rolex with the Rolex Datejust 41 Ref. 126334 (A), as well as 6th place with the Rolex Submariner Ref. 114060 and 7th place with the Submariner Date Ref. 116610LN. The blue dial of the Datejust 41, the date display with window at 3 o’clock with automatic date change and the cyclopup on the watch glass for an ideal date readability make this watch a classic but exclusive eyecatcher. Paired with stainless steel Oystersteel and white gold a luxury piece of the extra class – a Rolex. If you can do without white gold and are looking for a robust, reliable companion with strong contrasts, then head for the Submariner Date.
The surprise of the year
The Omega Seamaster Professional Diver 300M has had many fans for almost twenty years, so it’s no wonder that the modern Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Co-Axial Master Chronometer Ref. 18.104.22.168.01.001 model has also been well received and made it into last year’s top ten by inheriting its famous maritime heritage. No one can argue against this combination of tradition and modernity, complemented by tasteful design. The bezel and dial in black ceramic with a diving scale in white enamel and a date window at 6 o’clock already look noble at first glance, but the laser engraved waves on the dial add the finishing touch. The watch comes with a stainless steel case and bracelet, in the heart beats the Omega Master Chronometer calibre 8800, which can even be admired in detail through the glass case back.
A well-deserved 8th place in 2019 and the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Calibre 7 GMT Automatic 43mm Ref. WAY201F.BA0927 made it to the 9th place. This timepiece clearly reminds one of the model in 2nd place: the Rolex GMT Master II Ref. 126710BLRO. TAG Heuer offers here an impressive alternative. The finely brushed stainless steel and aluminium watch defies all resistance and boasts a water resistance of a proud 300 metres, a double safety clasp and rhodium-plated luminous indices. However, it only has a unidirectional rotating bezel.
The surprise of 2019 is the tail light of the top ten: Mühle Glashütte makes it to 10th place with the 29er Tag/Datum Ref. M1-25-34-NB. This sporty watch is inspired by sailing and is a reflection of ideal balance – this timepiece does not let environmental influences get in the way. The balanced ratio of date and weekday display, the high-quality stainless steel case and the sporty look in modern titanium grey with a robust textile strap are convincing all along the line, making this a worthy last place among the ten most popular watches in 2019. Even though most of the year’s clear winners probably don’t cause astonishment, it has become a diversified top ten of the past year. Which of these celebrated luxury watches is your favourite? We are already looking forward to the Top Watches 2020.
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