Quarantine Lust: Three New Watches I’ve Been Crushing On During Lockdown
After weeks in isolation, one thing is clear: there are still plenty of impressive releases in the first quarter of 2020.
While Watchonista's calendar year typically begins with Watches & Wonders, followed by Baselworld, 2020 has proven to be more unpredictable than a tiger at the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park. However, one thing is for sure, we all find ourselves with a bit more time (pun intended) on our hands to peruse the watches that have managed to be released in 2020.
Below is a totally biased, lust-worthy list of watches that have caught my eye so far this year.
Breitling Top Time Limited Edition
Here’s a piece that I wasn’t expecting at all. Under the leadership of Georges Kern, Breitling has continued down the path towards a return to greatness. One of the central pillars of this company-wide transformation is the brand’s heritage revival.
With Breitling’s new Top Time Limited Edition, the brand is transported back to the heady days of the 1960s. Inspired by the original Breitling Top Time, this new limited edition echoes Willy Breitling's mission to make a watch that was “particularly suited to the needs of the young and active professionals.” This new sub-$5,000 limited edition certainly delivers. And could be the ultimate quarantine buy.
This accessibly priced (for the brand) model is sized at a modest 41mm and comes fitted to a brown nubuck leather strap. The Top Time Limited Edition is powered by Breitling's Caliber 23 movement, which utilizes a base ETA Valjoux 7753 calibre. Inspired by the original Top Time, the dial layout features a decimal scale along with two retro-styled subdials placed at three and nine o’clock.
What I love the most about this vintage-inspired chronograph is the color motif. Bright orange hour, minutes, and chronograph hands lend a nice contrast to the monochromatic dial colors. The only other splash of color is on the three o'clock 30 minutes subdial, which also features a small red accent. Bravo!
TAG Heuer Formula 1 Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Special Edition 2020
Like many racing fans, I was excited for the start of the 2020 Formula 1 season. Would this be the year that Lewis Hamilton [Interview HERE] matched Michael Schumacher’s [Interview HERE] record of seven F1 World Championships? As it turns out, we may never know as the season is on an indefinite pause.
However, just before the planned (and now canceled) 2020 season opener in Melbourne, Australia, TAG Heuer launched a new Formula 1 model designed in partnership with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing. This 43mm quartz-powered chronograph was designed to mirror Red Bull Racing's 2020 F1 car, and for this writer, it certainly delivers! Plus, it comes in at a price point that is quite accessible to a large portion of F1’s fanbase.
Last year, at the Montreal Grand Prix, we got to sit down with Red Bull F1 driver Pierre Gasly [read HERE] for a discussion about the current state of F1 and the efforts which Red Bull is undertaking to return to their championship-winning form. It's clear that Red Bull means business, and they've found the right partner in TAG Heuer, especially considering that the Swiss brand has been in racing since almost their inception 160 years ago.
[Re]master01 Audemars Piguet Selfwinding Chronograph 40mm
Never one to shy away from making a statement, Audemars Piguet gave the world a taste of their 2020 lineup just before shutting down their Le Brassus manufacture. The new [Re]master01 is a modernized take on the brand’s iconic chronographs from the mid 20th century.
Taking inspiration from an Audemars Piguet chronograph wristwatch from 1943, the [Re]master01 is a two-tone (steel & pink gold) limited edition that’s sure to entice old and new collectors of the brand. Watchonista recently had the chance to discover this piece in person, and I must say, I was blown away. The watch is well proportioned, and its stainless-steel 40mm two-tone and case sits nicely on the wrist. Plus, the champagne dial has the perfect vintage flair, while the blued chronograph hands complete the look.
The [Re]master01 is powered by Audemars Piguet’s entirely new calibre 4409 chronograph movement. Made for last year’s CODE 11.59 by Audemars Piguet, this beautifully decorated flyback chronograph movement is visible through the massive sapphire crystal caseback. Admirers, take note of the excellent ‘Clous de Paris’ finishing on the pink gold rotor. From the classic “Audemars Piguet & Co Genève” stamping on the dial to the graceful lines of the highly ornate case, the [Re]master01 is worthy of your attention (and wallets).
Priced at $53,100 and limited to 500 pieces, the [Re]master01 Audemars Piguet Selfwinding Chronograph 40mm is available wherever Audemars Piguet timepieces are sold.
(Images provided by the brands)