Watchonista's Top 10 Articles of 2019

Watchonista’s Top 10 Articles Of 2019

This year has been one of the busiest yet for Team Watchonista. Before ringing in the New Year, we take a look back at the Top 10 articles of 2019!

By Watchonista

If 2019 had a primary theme, it would likely be one of transformation and celebration. From Omega's 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Speedmaster to Ulysse Nardin's continued innovations. Now more than ever, brands are embracing ambassadors and traveling the world to tell their stories. From Shanghai to St. Moritz and all points in-between, brands are utilizing experiential events to bring buzz and awareness to their products. 

2019 has been a tremendous year for Watchonista, so it's hard to distill 52 weeks and 365 days of excitement down to just 10 articles. So we'll let our reader's viewing habits do the work for us. Here are our top 10 most visited articles of 2019!

10. Ulysse Nardin: An Inside Look At Two Decades Of Silicium Revolutions

2019 marked the 20th anniversary of Ulysse Nardin's never-ending quest for increased precision. In the 21st century, silicium has become one of the most explored techniques in watchmaking. Sigatec, a joint venture between Ulysse Nardin and Mimotec, is at the forefront of this technology and offers new opportunities to the La Chaux-de-Fonds brand. Let's go in-depth!

Ulysse Nardin Freak neXt

9. The Cellar Effect: The Peculiar Correlation Between Wine And Watch Vintages

Two devouring passions, two sources of pleasure, exchange, and endless sharing. Wine and watches inspire collectors and enthusiasts young and old. But a critical question must be asked, are they linked in their creativity, development, aging, and final result? A major existential question deserving an answer.

Rolex GMT Master ref. 16710 'Pepsi' & Mission Haut-Brion

Combat Mode: Inside Panerai's Marina Militare Comsubin Experience

This past month, Watchonista was invited to take part in a once in a lifetime training session with the COMSUBIN, the Italian Navy’s elite frogmen force. We take you inside this unusual and unique experience that all money in the world can't buy.

Panerai Submersible Marina Militare Carbotech™ 47mm
Panerai Xperience – Diving ©Panerai

The Year Of The Omega Speedmaster

2019 was a milestone year for Omega's Speedmaster. To celebrate the anniversary of Apollo 11's July 24, 1969 landing, two Limited Edition 50th Anniversary Speedmasters were released (read our review HERE). Watchonista also traveled to Cape Canaveral to celebrate the anniversary of Apollo 11 (read HERE). A special gala was held underneath an original Saturn V rocket and included all-star guests such as Thomas Stafford (Commander of Apollo 10) and Charlie Duke (Lunar Module Pilot, Apollo 16). George Clooney acted at the night's MC and you can read all about it in our trip report HERE.

Omega's two Limited Edition 50th Anniversary Speedmasters
Omega CEO Raynald Aeschlimann and George Clooney

6. Clearing Up A Common Misconception: Wait Lists Are NOT Chronological

The modern watch market has become less of a passion-driven industry, and more of a Gordon Gekko inspired activist investment vehicle. Gone are the days of buying what you love and what you can afford. Due to stratospheric demands, waiting for the most popular models is the new normal. But do any of us know how waitlists actually work? We set off to find out.

Wait Lists Are NOT Chronological

5. The White Ceramic Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar: The Perfect “Why Not?” Watch

Audemars Piguet recently released its Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in bright white ceramic and it’s hard not to have an opinion on it. This combination of color, complications, and materials is the newest territory in the ever-expanding Royal Oak universe, and the result is both a little foreign and a little exciting. On the wrist, the watch feels transformative. You can’t help but wonder, “could I actually pull this off?"

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar White Ceramic

4. Confessions Of A Collector – Acquiring My Dream Watch, The Rolex GMT Master II CHNR (aka Root Beer)

Certain watches, especially grail pieces, can elicit feelings, usually a feeling of butterflies in the stomach. But sometimes these grails can be unachievable, either due to availability or simple financial limitation. For this article, we chronicle what's it's like to purchase a grail timepiece. The Rolex GMT Master II CHNR in two-tone Everose and Oystersteel, which has earned the nickname, "Root Beer." 

The Rolex GMT Master II CHNR (aka Root Beer)
The Rolex GMT Master II CHNR on the wrist

3. Video Series - Inside Akrivia

Now more than ever, independent watchmaking is on the rise. Rexhep Rexhepi, the founder of Akrivia, is steadily making his mark in this world. In our six-part series (Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, and Part VI), Watchonista takes you on an in-depth video journey to the heart of Geneva’s Old town, highlighting Akrivia's Atelier. 

Rexhep Rexhepi and his brother Xhevdet Rexhepi
Akrivia AK-06 on the wrist

2. The Italian Job: Experiencing The 2019 Passione Engadina With Bulgari

For the second year, Bulgari partnered with the Passione Engadina as a primary sponsor and further strengthened its presence in historic car racing. This themed gathering of passionate car lovers brings out the very best Italian machines. Watchonista has even participated (and competed!) in the last three editions (read HERE and HERE). Beyond the beautiful machinery on display, the definite highlight of each year's edition is the Julius Baer Rally. Competitors from around the world gather to win the coveted St. Moritz Challenge Cup.

Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Black Ceramic
A Maserati Merak participates in the 2019 Passione Engadina

1. From Brad Pitt To Mario Andretti, The Best Celebrity Interviews

Throughout 2019 we sat down with actors, race car drivers, and even heavyweight boxers (read HERE). Leading our highlights is an interview with Brad Pitt (read HERE) held during the Breitling Summit in Los Angeles. As Motorsports (read our articles HERE) is a common second passion for many of us at Watchonista, we took the opportunity to interview numerous track legends in 2019. Our interviews with Mario Andretti (read HERE) and Pierre Gasly (read HERE) are the most visited of 2019.

Brad Pitt wearing a Breitling Avenger Chronograph during our interview
F1 Driver Pierre Gasly
Mario Andretti

Omega's New York City Seamaster 007 launch was honored by the presence of the most famous British Secret Service spy: Daniel Craig. We participated in a round table discussion with Raynald Aeschlimann, Daniel Craig, and Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli.

Daniel Craig

Bonus: Only Watch 2019

The 2019 edition of the Only Watch charity auction brought in a whopping 38,593,000 CHF! All for research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. In a rare moment of unity, the watch industry united for a good cause. In the end, 50 brands participated by donating a unique piece to the charity auction. You can learn more about the unique pieces on Watchonista’s Dedicated Only Watch Page. We also sat down with Thierry Stern (President of Patek Philippe), to get his reaction to setting a new world record.

Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300A

(Photography by Pierre Vogel and Liam O'Donnell)

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