12/20/2019
 5 minutes

Our Favorite Watches of 2019

By Chrono24
Our Authors' Favorite Watches: 2019 Edition

There’s no doubt about it: 2019 was busy year for the watch world. Industry events were in flux, and we celebrated some important anniversaries, including 50 years since the Moon landing and 100 years of Bauhaus. But what watches really wowed us this year? And which earned the most time on our authors’ wrists? Keep reading to discover our 2019 watch favorites.

Pascal Gehrlein

Tumultuous and unexpected – that’s how I’d describe 2019 in relation to my watch collection. At the start of the year, I was convinced I owned the perfect “one watch” with the Rolex Explorer. I really should have known better, however, as I tend to make rapid decisions based on gut feelings. Thus, I looked at my Explorer one day and decided I needed something new.

Rolex Submariner 14060

Summer vacation was just around the corner, and I envisioned myself donning a sporty diving watch on the beach, around the pool, and at a local seafood restaurant. Thankfully, my Explorer had appreciated in value during its two years in my collection, giving me a more generous budget to work with than anticipated. I’d never really given much thought to the Rolex Submariner before, but as a vintage fan, I knew the new 6-digit reference 114060 was out of the question. It was too big, too “new,” and too stereotypical. Unfortunately, the ref. 5513 was outside my budget. After a bit of research, I discovered the ref. 14060. As is often the case, within a day I was diving deep into numerous forums, magazines, and YouTube videos to discover the finer details of this reference.

I am very pleased with this watch, and so far it’s suited every outfit I’ve tried it with both during and after my summer vacation. This model is as close as you can get to the ref. 5513 but can still be found for a reasonable price. The watch is slimmer and less imposing on the wrist than the newer model. My Submariner has so much character and has been getting so much wrist time since August that I recently let go of a Datejust in hopes of fulfilling my dream of owning a ref. 1803 in 2020. Of course, there’s no telling what the future holds…

Sebastian Swart

If you like classic diving watches, you will love the Yema Superman. This watch is a true-to-original reproduction of the successful model from the 1970s. The watch later reappeared in Yema’s catalog. Founded in 1948 in the French town of Morteau, Yema originally produced the Superman for French Air Force pilots. I only discovered this lovely model over the summer in a watch forum marketplace.

Blast from the Past: Greetings from the 1970s

Yema Superman

At just 39 mm in diameter, the Yema is the perfect size for a narrow wrist. I am particularly fond of the glossy dial featuring printed indices and its one-of-a-kind case construction. With its ultra-thin bracelet, this watch doesn’t just look like it’s from the 1970s, it feels like it, too. That sets it apart from the numerous heritage watches on the market that are really just high-tech instruments.

Another visually appealing and practical detail is the adjustment mechanism near the crown. This allows the wearer to fix or release the bezel, preventing any unintentional rotations. This is a crucial feature for “desk divers” like me.

Heritage Meets Modernity

Of course, I don’t mind some modern components with a vintage look. In contrast to the original, Yema uses a beautiful domed sapphire crystal that gives the dial a different quality depending on the angle. The lugs and clasp are as large and durable as you’d expect from a high-quality watch from 2019. The Superman is powered by the Swiss ETA 2824-2 caliber, which is a favorite among high-end manufacturers.

Expect to pay around $1,100 for this watch. In short, the Yema Superman is an independent diving watch that comes with an interesting history and a unique vintage look.

Bert Buijsrogge

Looking back at this year’s many new releases, there are a few models that stand out from the crowd. One of these watches is the Oris Big Crown ProPilot X, which launched in Shanghai. This timepiece is a clear indication that Oris is heading in an exciting, new direction, especially in terms of design. Another Swiss powerhouse, Breitling, did an amazing job with the Navitimer ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition. This is how vintage re-releases are supposed to look. Then there was A. Lange & Söhne, who launched a brand new model: the Odysseus. It’s the company’s first truly sporty timepiece. Though the watch initially received some mixed reviews, I was one of the first people to see it firsthand, and can safely say it’s among my top picks for 2019. However, I’ve saved the best for last: the Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary in Moonshine gold.

Omega Special Edition

This is definitely my favorite watch of 2019. Omega based the design on the gold Speedmaster from 1969, the same year as the first Moon landing. The resemblance is truly striking. It comes with a burgundy ceramic bezel, faceted onyx hour markers, and a lot of gold. The alloy used, so-called “Moonshine gold,” has less of a yellow hue than standard 18-karat gold and is simply stunning. You can view the Master Chronometer movement through the sapphire crystal case back. The case back also features the Moon and Earth in accurate proportions. Omega crafts each moon out of actual lunar meteorite. Simply put, this is one fantastic timepiece. A solid gold watch doesn’t come cheap, but the emotions it carries are priceless – and let’s be honest, everybody needs a bit of gold in their life.

Balazs Ferenczi

I’ve thought a lot about my favorite watch of 2019. Is it a watch from Baselworld like the new Rolex Batman, the Doxa Sub 200, or even Breilting’s 806 Re-Edition? Or perhaps it’s a timepiece from earlier in the year, something from SIHH, for example? Who doesn’t love the new Hermès Arceau L’Heure de la Lune or the insanely beautiful Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel? While I love all these timepieces, none of them is my top pick for 2019.

Vintage Omega 1968

Turning to independent brands, the Armin Strom Gravity Equal Force is a lovely and refreshing new watch from a small Swiss company. I also adore what Moser has done with the Endeavour Centre Seconds Concept Blue Lagoon. However, neither can be my top watch since I’ll never be able to afford one. So, I ended up choosing the one watch I always come back to when I’m not sure what to wear. It’s clean, simple, and elegant. My favorite watch is Swiss made, has a chronograph function, and feels great on the wrist. Oh, and did I mention that it went to the Moon? That’s right, my favorite watch for 2019 is my vintage 1968 Omega Speedmaster – a watch I can’t do without.


About the Author

Chrono24

The team behind the Chrono24 Magazine consists of Chrono24 employees, freelance authors, and guest authors. They're all united by a passion for anything and everything…

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