Cartier Champagne
Opinions

Team Watchonista Recaps 2018 And Gives Our Wish List For 2019

Our favorite moments, the watches we bought, our favorite songs, our resolutions, and a guess of what we’ll see in 2019.

By Watchonista

2018 has been an eventful year in watchmaking, and for all of us here at Watchonista. To help ring in the new year, we sat together and reflected on 2018’s memorable moments. For our team in Europe and America, we came up with a list of questions (watch-related and otherwise). We even have a special guest! Here are the results.

First up: What was your favorite personal moment of 2018?

Alexander Friedman (@alexanderfriedman): Every time I land in NYC!
Marco Gabella (@marcogabella): Painting, as much as I can.
Josh Shanks (@joshshanks)Would have to be the most significant moment of my life! Marrying my beautiful wife and our special guest, Viviana. Another very special moment was my Mom being declared cancer free! 
Benjamin Teisseire (@benjamin_teisseire)A light exhibition on Picasso, the Spanish Masters & the Seventies at the Carrières des Lumières in Les Baux de Provence. A magical moment in stone caves! 
Vincent Daveau: Being the skipper of the Eilean sailboat during a pre-regatta in June
Joel Grandjean: When time stopped, on my birthday. I had been kidnapped for this special occasion by a person who is very dear to me. And there, in Saint Lucia, I experienced my first hurricane. Suddenly, without a phone, network, electricity, or internet, my mechanical watch made a lot of sense.
Hyla Bauer (@hylanyc)A long summer beach vacation in Rhode Island.
Rhonda Riche (@rhonda.riche)It’s a tie: Seeing Nick Cave (the musician) live twice and seeing Nick Cave (the artist) speak in person.
Liam O’Donnell (@crownwise): Proposing to my girlfriend at Observation Point, Zion National Park, Utah.
(Our Special Guest!) Vivana Shanks (@vivi.watches)Although 2018 was filled with awesome moments, changing countries, and meeting great new people, the one that stands out the most is getting married to my best friend and soulmate Josh. It was a simple affair, but the fact that we shared this precious and unforgettable moment with our close friends and family was magical! 

What was your favorite watch moment of 2018?

Alexander Friedman:  Late night out in Geneva with François-Paul (Journe) and Thierry Stern. Priceless.
Marco Gabella: The COUTUREtime party organized by Watchonista at the Neon Museum in Las Vegas. It was an incredible venue and a truly unique experience for our guests. 
Josh Shanks:  There have been many! But I would probably choose the collaboration we did with TAG Heuer for the Indy 500. As an Indiana boy, it was extraordinary to be "working" at the 500.
Benjamin Teisseire: Discovery of the Chronomètre Contemporain from Rexhep Rexhepi (Akrivia) at Baselworld 2018. A grail watch! The new Speake-Marin Academic 1&2 in titanium and blue dial. Spectacular, sleek and elegant.
Vincent Daveau: Finishing the restoration of an old pocket watch with a minute repeater. 
Joel Grandjean: The EPHJ 2018 exhibition in Geneva, exclusively dedicated to watch subcontracting. I led a panel discussion on behalf of Watchonista, and I had the opportunity to meet watch designers and to have Richard Orlinksi and Eric Giroud on the same microphone. This trade fair is a fantastic place to spot trends, evolutions in techniques, and other discoveries.  
Rhonda Riche: The party at the Neon Museum in Las Vegas! A gorgeous desert location spent with so many watch geeks was supernatural.
Hyla Bauer: Experiencing the new automatic Patek Philippe Twenty-4. I am usually a bracelet person, but I really love the look of the Twenty-4 on a strap. 
Liam O’Donnell: Experiencing Baselworld for the first time.
Viviana Shanks: It was a year filled with watches, but meeting Thor (Chris Hemsworth) at the Indy 500 with TAG Heuer was my best watch moment this year. I was quite jealous of my husband’s one on one interview with the God of Thunder.

What was the favorite watch you bought or acquired in 2018?

Alexander Friedman: For sure the Bvlgari Octo Finissimo in titanium. This watch is just incredible!
Marco Gabella: As my in interest for watches has many different sides, it's difficult to choose an absolute number one. My favorite acquisition wasn't a watch but a strap... I found an original 1957 Metal bracelet for my Omega Seamaster 300 CK 2913. It was an exceptional moment.  
Josh Shanks: This is a tough call, I'll probably go with the Tudor Black Bay GMT. After it was released at Basel, I just knew I had to have it.
Benjamin Teisseire: A Zenith pocket watch from the late 1910s with enamel dial. 
Joel Grandjean: None for me. I have concentrated all my resources on personal historical research of one of my ancestors, who was a watchmaker in Le Locle. I discovered his exceptional life and many mythical timepieces. Some great collectors have a watch from this great figure, and I will have mine one day, I promised myself. 
Vincent Daveau: I bought an Omega Constellation from 1967… Cal. 555.
Hyla Bauer: My great aunt's white gold Art Deco style watch from the '30s. It's a beautiful design. It has not been serviced in over 40 years, and it still starts right up when I wind it.   
Rhonda Riche: I fell in love with the NOMOS Glashütte Tetra Petit Four at Baselworld and made it my 2018 mission to buy one!
Liam O’Donnell: My Nomos Orion Neomatik 39 White.
Viviana Shanks: People who know me know my love for everything Snoopy related. So when Timex launched the Marlin Automatic Snoopy, I had to get mine.

What was your favorite song of 2018?

Alexander Friedman: More than just one song - I would choose my life classics as Depeche Mode / Massive Attack and a DJ set from Solomum… I love his sound. 
Marco Gabella: So many good things this year! But in 2 different styles, Arctic Monkeys "Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino" and  Video Age "Old One (I Was Wrong)." 
Josh Shanks:  There has been some phenomenal rap music in 2018. So I’ll give three. First is “Uproar” by Lil Wayne and Swizz Beatz (Zenith ambassador ftw!). Such an anthem! Second, “APESHIT” by Jay-Z and Beyonce, braggadocio at its best. Lastly, “Adam and Eve (feat. The-Dream)” by NAS, this Kanye West produced track is NAS at his Queen's finest.
Benjamin Teisseire: Meute - The Man with the Red Face (remix from Laurent Garnier's hit). A marching band playing house music. So uplifting! And an oldie: GUTS - Man Funk featuring Leron Thomas. Funky music at its best. 
Vincent Daveau: Only classical : Jordi Saval : “les voies humaines”. 
Joel Grandjean: " Wapanhoun" the last single by Nash, the Ivorian female artist whom I co-produced. I'm a fan. It's ethnic rap-tinged with Africanized languages and the spirit of my roots.  
Liam O’Donnell: I can’t pick just one song, and so my answer will be an album: Ordinary Corrupt Human Love by Deafheaven.
Hyla Bauer: All the Stars by Kendrick Lamar and SZA.
Rhonda Riche: I can't pick just one! Breeders "Spacewoman" is great. Childish Gambino "This is America" is excellent. Don't make me choose between them! 
Viviana Shanks: I was in awe of the new Jay-Z Beyonce album, and I have a hard time deciding which song I liked best! Plus, it was filled with watch references including the now famous "Philippe Patek"  

What watch would you like to see in 2019?

Alexander Friedman: A titanium Rolex Deep Sea! ;-)
Marco Gabella: A watch that can surprise me in terms of style and/or watchmaking pertinence. I don’t care about innovation and tradition, let’s make it just in a proper way. 
Josh Shanks:  Probably the watch I ordered in 2016, the Rolex Daytona Ceramic with white (Panda) dial. Otherwise, I’d have to say a full ceramic (case and bracelet) Daytona. One can dream right?! 
Benjamin Teisseire: The new Speake-Marin line-up, and total transparency from all brands on what they actually do "in-house"... I know, I am a dreamer ;-)
Vincent Daveau:  The future Vacheron Constantin with the really innovative complications…  
Joel Grandjean: The next complication of Label Noir, a luxury brand embodying swiss made personalization. In 2018, its CEO the watchmaker Emmanuel Curti fulfilled a customer's wish by manufacturing the first Rolex Tourbillon watch. It was a Milgauss. I hope that another customer has made an equally crazy order and that an extraordinary and unique watch will be launched in 2019.

Hyla Bauer: Van Cleef & Arpels' poetic complications are in a class by themselves. I can’t wait to see the new models.
Rhonda Riche: I am keen to see more adventurous women’s watches — Parmigiani Fleurier and Richard Mille both had to-die-for timepieces in 2018 and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2019.
Liam O’Donnell: I’d like to see a watch that carves out its own niche, making a subcategory for itself. Conservative sizing is always appreciated.
Viviana Shanks: Oh the watches I want to see in 2019, I have more watch wishes that I can count. I would love to see Rolex do new and more attractive Datejusts. I miss the linen and stone dials we on the vintage watches.

What is your New Year’s Resolution?

Alexander Friedman: GET BACK IN SHAPE! HARD WORK AND A LOT OF FUN!!!!
Marco Gabella: Sell a couple of watches bought in time to acquire fewer pieces but more qualitative to my eyes and my heart. Same resolution from years ;-)
Josh Shanks:  Continue Watchonista’s growth in the US market and attend more F1 races!
Benjamin Teisseire: Blend my two passions, Watches & Wine, together even more.  
Vincent Daveau: To be ordered as a Maltese Knight…
Joel Grandjean: Very humbly apply and share with as many people as possible an incredible value of fundamental watchmaking that has become a slogan at Piaget: “Do Better Than Necessary.”
Hyla Bauer: Keep up with my Pilates classes! 
Rhonda Riche: I don't make resolutions, but I always strive for self-improvement, so I'm going to try for fewer typos in 2019! 
Liam O’Donnell: To focus on having a “touch once” approach with everything I do.
Viviana Shanks: Same thing as every year, conquering the world!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!