Watchonista’s Top 10 Articles Of 2020
A unique year resulted in some of our best content to date.
Team Watchonista saw many firsts in 2020. From HOMEtime Live to the Unlikely Watch Collector series, our team was hard at work presenting unparalleled content for a world in confinement. Featuring unique activations with our retail partners, to photoshoots 10,000 feet above New York City, there were more than enough memorable moments on Watchonista in 2020.
And though we published over 500 articles and an untold number of social media postings, only 10 articles can make our list of top 10 visited articles of the year.
10. Golden Age Of Aviation: The Watches That Flew On TWA, Pan Am, And The Concorde
Today, the thought of air travel conjures images of cramped seats, crying babies, and borderline inedible food. While it’s true that these inconveniencies are the price we pay for affordable airfare, we can’t help but long for the luxuries typical of the Golden Age of Flight. So, today on Watchonista, we daydream about the watches we could have spotted on flights during those halcyon days.
Flying was extremely expensive back then. Usually, if people needed to travel, they would take a bus, train, car, or boat instead of a plane. As a fan of those times, this writer wonders: What watches would we spot while flying during the Golden Age of Flight?
9. The Rolex Submariner In 2020: What’s Actually Changed?
Rolex had everyone on the edge of their seats this September when the brand released a thoroughly revamped lineup of Submariners. While many of the “Introducing” and “Hands-on” headlines were solely focused on the new colorways and slightly upsized proportions of the iconic tool watch, numerous changes and upgrades were hiding in plain sight.
Thanks to the team at Rolex USA, Watchonista was able to experience some quality time with a selection of pieces from the new Submariner 41mm collection. We were provided with three examples, the stainless steel (Oystersteel) no-date ref. 124060, the steel-case with green bezel Submariner date ref. 126610LV, and finally, the Submariner date in white gold with blue bezel ref. 126619LB.
8. King of The Monsters: Godzilla and Grand Seiko Rampage In LA For A Colossal Celebration
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Spring Drive, Godzilla himself made a special trip from Japan. Witness the disruptive power of a night with Grand Seiko and Godzilla!
Watchonista travels to Los Angeles to witness the destructive force of this unique partnership. For one night only, Grand Seiko reproduced a Tokyo underground scene inside Goya Studios, a popular Hollywood filming location. While the main attraction of the evening was certainly a seven-foot tall Godzilla, the event also had a Fast & Furious Tokyo Drift element to it. Multiple new and vintage Nissan GTRs were on display, including one from the personal collection of the late Paul Walker (aka Brian O'Conner in Fast & Furious).
7. Video: Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept, The Continued Quest For Extreme Ultra-Thin
In traditional watchmaking, achieving a mechanical wristwatch with a total thickness of just 2mm was thought to be a totally unachievable goal. The common wisdom was that components could simply not be reduced enough without sacrificing the accuracy and daily wearability of the watch.
In 2014, Piaget set out to develop a super-thin watch with a maximum overall thickness of only 2mm. Very quickly, technicians and watchmakers understood that to reach this goal, they would have to totally rethink all of the traditional methods of producing a mechanical watch.
Watchonista recently had the chance to explore the Piaget Manufacture to fully understand the creation and development of the thinnest mechanical watch on the market. Join us on this incredible journey with our exclusive video.
6. A Show Of Hands: See If You Can Identify These Watches Just By Their Hands
Many iconic watches are quickly identified by their easily recognizable hands. For many brands, this element can become the cornerstone of the watch. See how many you recognize!
5. The Unlikely Watch Collector: Prince Charles
The future king represents the epitome of longevity. Prince Charles's recent confinement gave us the ideal opportunity to take a deep dive into his watch collection.
As a collector and aesthete, Prince Charles takes great care in choosing his watches, matching them to his outfits with great discretion and discernment. In October 2018, for example, when attending a ballet at London's Royal Opera House held in honor of his 70th birthday, he wore a Patek Philippe reference 2503 with his evening attire, instead of the Breguet watch he'd received as a gift eleven years earlier.
The case of the latter classic gold regulator-dial reference 3680 BA with automatic winding, bore the inscription "In commemoration of your 6Oth Birthday. 14 November 2008." However, the vintage rectangular Patek Philippe watch in gold, however, is a rare collector's item, very seldom seen gracing the princely wrist.
4. The Unlikely Watch Collector: Queen Elizabeth II
As Great Britain’s longest-reigning monarch since Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth II has a good number of stories to tell after more than 68 years on the throne. The 93-year-old has seen 14 different U.K. Prime Ministers, 13 U.S. Presidents, and has owned at least 30 corgis. Being one of the most photographed people on earth, our discerning eyes naturally turned to her wrist.
Over the years, QEII chose particular wristwear. Sensible yet stylish, the watch should never overshadow or clash with the famous Crown Jewels. If we trust the number of portraits in which Her Majesty wears a watch, we can easily deduce that she, too, is a great watch collector.
3. Autumn In New York: The TAG Heuer Carrera Sport Chronograph Goes For A Drive
There are few more extraordinary sensations than that of a crisp fall morning. We awoke at the crack of dawn, and as is customary in my household, we brewed a pot of Kauai coffee and planned our route for what was to be an exciting day with TAG Heuer's new Carrera Sport Chronograph 44mm and a modern Porsche 911.
As we strapped ourselves into the cockpit of our test car, a Porsche 911, I was far more excited to experience the watch on my wrist than I was the mid-engine German sports car, and that's saying a lot as we had a lot of twists and turns ahead on our adventure!
2. Jacob & Co. Brings The Mechanical Bling With This Exclusive Epic X Chrono Sky Blue
This new timepiece is the latest version of Jacob & Co.’s celebrated Epic X Chrono. Visually, it’s stunning. The first thing you notice is the contrast between the blue mineral crystal dial with rose gold accents and the 47mm Grade 5 titanium and 18K rose gold case. These elements are pleasingly balanced with the attention of a master jeweler.
1. Winter Is Coming: Hands-On With The New Seiko Prospex Built For The Ice Diver U.S. Special Edition
Naomi Uemura, the first person to complete a solo dog-sled run to the North Pole, and Yuichiro Miura, the oldest man to scale Mount Everest, are among the most venerated adventurers in Japan. And both the polar explorer and mountaineer’s watch of choice for their adventures was a Seiko diver’s watch.
How did an underwater tool-watch wind up at the top of the world and the ends of the earth? The story reaches back decades, but the latest chapter is still being written by Seiko’s most recent launch, the Seiko Prospex - Built For The Ice Diver U.S. Special Edition.
(Photography by Liam O’Donnell and Pierre Vogel)