Team Watchonista’s Favorite Watches Of 2020
Our entirely biased list of the watches we loved in 2020.
With over 500 articles and thousands of social media postings dedicated to covering the world of luxury watches and watchmaking, Watchonista's team has been hard at work, bringing you the best of the watch industry. Now, as the year comes to an end, we asked a few of our team members to select the watches they loved in 2020.
Marco Gabella - The DOXA SUB 300 Aqua Lung US Divers
The ‘cool factor’ can’t be bought. It takes years of dedication and innovation. And while people talk about the lasting influence of Steve McQueen and Paul Newman on the watches they owned, designing a timeless watch is not a daily occurrence. For a watch lover, the DOXA SUB 300 Aqua Lung US Divers has so much to offer in the coolness department. First of all, its look with the iconic DOXA shape from the original 1967 SUB 300. Plus, with a case, bezel, and dial made of strong and textured forged carbon. The yellow and white printed numerals and indices in Super-Luminova make this a fully functional and easily readable watch, just as a good tool watch should be.
The well-integrated rubber strap is extremely comfortable, including the clasp, which allows for an effortless and precise size setting. The second point is Aqualung’s magical partnership with Jacques Yves Cousteau that made the DOXA SUB 300 known worldwide.
Available in a limited edition of 300 pieces with only a few remaining in DOXA e-shop. For CHF 4,795, there is no doubt this watch belongs alongside other iconic ‘cool’ watches.
Alexander Friedman - Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept
This watch is simply amazing. It really is the "ultimate concept watch." I briefly had a glimpse of the prototype back in 2018, but I finally saw it in the metal at the GPHG jury voting session last month in Geneva. I was left speechless.
It is so thin, so light, with a modern design that keeps the elegant look of the Altiplano. It's the superlative timepiece of 2020, a remarkable technical and aesthetic achievement! Plus, the video Watchonista made with Piaget's team was one of my favorite things of 2020! Bravo!
Josh Shanks – Oris Hölstein Edition 2020 Chronograph
As an owner of the watch, I may be biased, but I love the Oris Hölstein Edition 2020 Chronograph because it got me out of the house! Let me explain. In early summer, the world was beginning to open up ever so slightly, and for the first time in months, I left New York City for the Monticello Motor Club. On that day, not only did we track-test a Nissan GT-R, but we did a cool trackside photoshoot with the Hölstein Edition 2020 Chronograph too.
I ended up loving this watch because of its all-bronze case, bracelet, bezel, and gold-plated dial. Plus, I have a particular affinity for Oris’ motorsports heritage and always love an excuse to add another chronograph to the collection. I can’t wait to see how this watch patinas in the months and years to come.
Rhonda Riche- A Tossup Between Grand Seiko and Frederique Constant
It is a tie between the Grand Seiko Soko ‘Shadow’ (SBGA429) and the Frederique Constant Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture RedBar edition. In each case, while I love the integrated stainless steel bracelet and the finish and layout of the dials, it’s the little details that do it for me. The scarlet moon phase (a subtle tribute to Red Bar Group) on the Frederique Constant and the green seconds hand on the Grand Seiko (inspired by the Arashiyama bamboo forest in Kyoto) evoked a strong emotional response that is hard to explain. In the end, though, isn't that what we want in a watch?
Sophie Furley – Omega De Ville Trésor Orbis Edition
This watch popped up in my inbox just last week and made my heart skip a beat. I have been following Omega's partnership with Orbis for several years now, and if you are not familiar with Orbis, it is a flying eye hospital. The organization refurbished a cargo plane and kitted it out with a state-of-the-art teaching facility, operating room, classroom, and recovery room. Orbis flies teams of elite eye care specialists to developing countries to treat patients and share skills and techniques with local medical teams.
Thanks to partners like Omega, Orbis has been able to carry out over three million eye screenings and 78,000 eye surgeries and laser treatments since it began. Each child that visits the flying eye hospital gets a teddy bear, a picture of which replaces the number eight in the date aperture of this gorgeous 40mm Trésor timepiece in 18K white gold. Proceeds from the sale of these timepieces go to Orbis, making me love it even more.
Viviana Shanks - The Breitling Superocean Heritage ’57 Limited Edition
I liked the Breitling Superocean Heritage '57 Limited Edition so much that I bought it! With a redesigned Chronomat and Lady Navitimer and new collections like the Endurance Pro, Breitling hasn't slowed down its releases this year and is hitting all the rights notes for collectors. But my favorite of them all was the Breitling Superocean Heritage '57 Capsule collection, or as we call it, the Breitling "Rainbow" with a blue dial.
As soon as it was launched, we were in a quest own to it, and since we could only see pictures of it, we decided to call our retailer to secure a piece for us. When the watch arrived in August, we were far from disappointed! It was thinner than we expected and had the perfect summer feel. On an even more positive note, a portion of the watch's proceeds is being donated by Breitling to leading charities that support frontline healthcare workers in the global fight against COVID-19.
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell & Pierre Vogel)