As I think back over 2019, I am reminded what an energizing year it has been in the realm of watches – from changes to the significant fairs and displays to corporate acquisitions, directly on down to amazing dispatches from brands, there was sufficient to keep us on our toes.
Here I relate the absolute greatest astonishments for me from 2019, ones that I think will make them last impacts across the business for different reasons.
So tallying down my greatest shocks of 2019, drum roll please.
No. 10: TAG Heuer carbon composite hairspring
Debuting unobtrusively in Geneva in the Caliber Heuer 02T Tourbillon Nanograph , the carbon composite hairspring from TAG Heuer (and the LVMH gathering) was expected to supplant standard Nivarox hairsprings as the expense and usefulness was comparable.
Designed to be vastly adaptable for every movement and to improve work over time, the Tourbillon Nanograph’s presentation was somewhat of an astonishment, essentially on the grounds that it occurred during the SIHH where TAG Heuer isn’t an exhibitor thus would not produce close to as much buzz as though they dispatched a week or so after the majority of the SIHH buzz had kicked the bucket down.
Later, during Baselworld 2019, the spring was presented in an entirely reasonable watch, the Autavia Isograph , however its creation and additionally conveyance appears to have slowed down and the full rollout still remaining parts to be seen.
Still, any new hairspring innovation is a purpose behind fervor on the grounds that there hasn’t been a critical, very much upheld innovation since silicon was presented pretty much twenty years prior. It will be fascinating to perceive what comes of the tech.
No. 9: Voutilainen 28ti
Some watches aren’t completely unforeseen. Or then again at any rate, individuals are expecting to see something they’ve been wishing will get made for a while.
This is the thing that happened when Kari Voutilainen delivered the Voutilainen 28ti , a rearranged movement watch that features the unimaginable movement design that so many of the autonomous watchmaker’s fans are in love with.
After long stretches of being told by gatherers they wished they could wear the watch in reverse since it is so excellent, Voutilainen chose to give individuals what they want.
This was astonishing basically in light of the “customary” nature of Voutilainen and his work. He has been killing it in the autonomous game for almost twenty years and, beside a couple tourbillon models and brief repeater, each watch has included a full dial without any looks into the movements from the front.
I am continually saying I need the movement to be the focal point of consideration, yet it additionally seemed like that just wouldn’t be the route for Voutilainen. The 28ti proved me joyfully off-base and was right away loved by the gathering community, in any event, venturing to such an extreme as to win the Men’s classification at the 2019 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève .
This unquestionably was a lovely astonishment of 2019.
No. 8: SIHH and Baselworld move dates consecutive, and SIHH changes name to Watches & Wonders Geneva
Right toward the finish of 2018, the watch world discovered that Baselworld and SIHH would change their dates and by and by rejoin as consecutive shows for the 2020 edition.
The change was certainly a shock, and when we as a whole met on the Palexpo in January 2019 for SIHH it was one of the principle subjects of discussion. Those columnists and industry staff who had encountered the consecutive shows of the past were at the same time energized and terrified. Energized on the grounds that it implied an alternate encounter and, gratitude to the new dates toward the finish of April and start of May, the climate would be acceptable, and we wouldn’t need to pressure through the Christmas season as we prepared for Geneva in January.
But individuals were additionally frightened in light of the fact that a consecutive show timetable can be absolutely ruthless. As the still generally new person on the square, I saw looks of suggestive wistfulness and the heaviness of fear gradually choosing shoulders.
But that isn’t all the changes: it’s currently been affirmed that the “SIHH” is no more as it will hereafter be named Watches & Wonders Geneva and highlight two focal points, one at the Palexpo called Watches & Wonders – The Salon and one in midtown Geneva called Watches & Wonders – In The City (genuine cunning, that one).
The show configuration will change a piece with new contributions, more free, and incorporate brands recently prohibited gratitude to the “In The City” portion.
The new arrangement, date, and consecutive situating with Baselworld was unquestionably a shock, and it ought to prove intriguing to perceive what the progressions mean for the business all in all. Expectation appears to be high, as does some delay as the progressions have had some other not exactly good outcomes. See the entirety of Baselworld’s foreseen changes in Baselworld Becomes The Story: Baselworld 2020 And Beyond Will See Big (And Positive) Changes .
No. 7: Breitling, Casio, Seiko/Grand Seiko leave Baselworld 2020
We can’t discuss the progressions to SIHH and Baselworld without digging into the greatest shocks concerning Baselworld, the way that significant players like Breitling, Casio, and Seiko/Grand Seiko will not be returning for the 2020 version. Breitling is a significant free brand that possesses a huge spot among the ground-floor stalls. What’s more, after the mass migration of the Swatch Group in 2019, the way that Breitling is pulling out implies that Hall 1.0 will be changing pretty significantly once again.
Then, when you think about that there were three significant Japanese brands at Baselworld up to now (Casio, Citizen, and Seiko/Grand Seiko), and discover that two of them are leaving, it implies that Baselworld is quick becoming a show just taking into account a more modest portion of the market, explicitly LVMH, Patek Philippe, Rolex, Chopard, and a handful of others, rather than being the accepted focal point of watchmaking as it has been for quite a long time (see 1917-2017: A Brief Retrospective Of 100 Years Of Baselworld ).
The year 2019 previously considered a to be rearranging as numerous more modest brands chose to pull out over expense issues, and now Baselworld is losing more significant players as the coordinators make a ton of changes to attempt to rejuvenate the show.
I don’t have a clue what’s on the horizon for expos, or explicitly Baselworld, yet it appears to be evident that there may be more astonishments en route concerning the longest running expo in watchmaking.
No. 6: MB&F Thunderdome/Legacy Machine FlyingT
We realize that specific brands will consistently have intriguing models coming out each year, and we anticipate them as the seasons change. MB&F is one of those brands, however relying upon what has been delivered now and then we can expect it will be a thought dependent on a previous model, kind of the number of the Legacy Machines seems like advancements of one thought (perhaps excepting the Perpetual Calendar ).
But 2019 saw the arrival of two Legacy Machine pieces, identified with one another however certainly not the same as what had come previously, starting with the absolute first women watch by MB&F.
The Legacy Machine FlyingT was planned from the beginning as a ladies’ watch and was so generally welcomed that it won the Ladies Complication prize at the 2019 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève .
Then, only days into December, MB&F delivered the Legacy Machine Thunderdome, a watch along these lines as the FlyingT however with the unfathomable expansion of a triple-pivot tourbillon for certain genuine highlights. I feel like these two watches are nearer to overcoming any barrier between the madness of the brand’s Horology Machine models and the traditional cutting edge styling of the Legacy Machine pieces.
No. 5: MIH Gaïa Series I and Genus GNS 1.2
Sometimes we foresee the following watch from a particular brand, yet different occasions we are bushwhacked by something we didn’t know to anticipate. That is the means by which I feel about the dispatch of both the Genus GNS1.2 and the MIH Gaïa Series I , two pieces that I did not understand would seem this year.
Earlier in the year the strangely cool and complicated Genus GNS1.2 dropped, showing that there is a ton of horological imagination prepared to blast forward from inside the business. The presentations are fabulous, and it was, similar to others on my unexpected rundown this year, so generally welcomed that it won the Mechanical Exception prize at the 2019 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève against some solid competition.
While the Genus emerged from left field as a completely new autonomous watch brand with an honor winning watch as the main model, only a couple a long time before the GPHG grants in November the Musée International d’Horlogerie (MIH for short) calm reported its subsequent membership observe ever, the MIH Gaïa Series I . Fourteen years after the primary MIH watch from 2005, the Gaïa Series I is less difficult than the first yet at the same time as elaborately spellbinding and lovely an illustration of clean design.
I had thought the first MIH watch was a once in a blue moon bargain, so seeing the gallery utilize the idea of a membership watch to help raise assets for the rebuilding a few astonishing verifiable pieces is awesome.
It’s an extraordinary motivation to buy a cool watch, and I am overwhelmed by the unexpected appearance of a second MIH watch.
No. 4: LVMH purchases Tiffany
Corporate consolidations and acquisitions happen constantly, so it shouldn’t come as an unexpected when two behemoths make an arrangement. Yet, except if you are mindful of the business, you probably won’t have understood that popular gems house Tiffany & Co. as a matter of fact hasn’t been doing horribly all around compared to different brands in the market, for example, Van Cleef & Arpels, Bulgari, or Cartier (the ruling champion).
So I was extremely astonished to discover the LVMH had obtained the brand for an astounding $16.2 billion, which presently implies that LVMH has a much greater hang on that section of the market and will be significantly even more an opponent to Richemont.
With the procurement, LVMH presently controls Bulgari, Chaumet, Fred, and Tiffany & Co. to counter the Richemont possessions of Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Buccatelli, and Giampiero Bodino.
It will likewise make a fascinating future for Tiffany-marked watches since the current relationship with Patek Philippe (a secretly held competitor to LVMH brands) may go bye-bye. Or on the other hand something different may happen that was completely unforeseen.
No. 3: Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Only Watch sells for CHF 31 million
What else do I need to say beside “31 million Swiss francs!” This is a world record, and a record by far, by about CHF 8 million to be exact.
The past most costly watch sold at sell off was another Patek Philippe, the Henry Graves Supercomplication, which sold for simply over CHF 23 million of every 2014. The following most elevated is the Paul Newman Rolex Daytona , which sold in 2017 for CHF 17.7 million. So this new record will undoubtedly represent a while.
I am in fact not shocked that it sold for a great deal, however the last cost is crazy. The first six bits of the Grandmaster Chime sold to authorities for CHF 2.5 million each, so the opportunity to offer on a one of a kind piece obviously drew out certain people with profound pocketbooks.
This model was additionally a tempered steel adaptation, something seldom found in ANY Patek Philippe high complication pieces, not to mention quite possibly the most complicated striking watches the brand has at any point constructed. At the point when I heard the outcome, I could just let out a little, scarcely perceptible “come again?”
Our proofreader in-boss, Elizabeth Doerr, was on the spot as the mallet descended on the record-breaking watch. See her contemplations on this set of experiences making occasion in Only Watch 2019 Post-Auction Thoughts: Smashing Records For A Great Cause Plus The $31 Million Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime’s Record Grab On Video .
No. 2: Audemars Piguet Code 11:59
I’m sure everybody perusing this rundown who has been focusing over the most recent year was contemplating whether I planned to make reference to this. It was in a real sense perhaps the greatest astonishment of the whole year, and for some not for the privilege reasons.
Now I will not by and by examine quality or plan or make any judgment articulations about the item. What I will specify is that the dispatch, shall we say, didn’t go easily ?
Code 11.59 was dispatched via online media, and the underlying photographs left a ton to be wanted by fans. Also, when they were found face to face at the equal running SIHH, it was difficult to take photographs in the lighting provided – and with the domed dials and sapphire gems, an unmistakable, without glare photograph was nearly impossible.
Several models were accessible to us to try and handle when we visited the stall at SIHH, and, likely because of the early pushback, individuals in control were in genuinely sharp states of mind and not especially accommodating.
The pushback to the pushback from the brand was somewhat threatening, and fans wherever were either attempting to safeguard Audemars Piguet or mercilessly assaulting the brand for what many saw as a failure.
It was somewhat astonishing most definitely, and as the tumult faded away, individuals started to really draw in with the watches from a more target highlight talk about the geniuses (of which there were many) and cons, which, obviously, were restricted principally to sincere beliefs on what AP ought to have made and how the brand strategically managed the launch.
In the end, the Code 11.59 Minute Repeater Supersonnerie model wound up winning the Men’s Complication prize at the 2019 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève , showing that it was getting some love after all.
Die-hard AP aficionados, particularly those that hold the Royal Oak to act as an illustration of a “amazing watch,” actually may not be ready, yet many have come to concur that it is a generally excellent item – and maybe for certain changes, it could proceed to become an incredible expansion to the brand to hit an alternate demographic.
No. 1: A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus
Oh, kid. I don’t think any watch, even the Audemars Piguet Code 11.59, drew as much astonishment and unreasonable analysis as the A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus . This is most likely on the grounds that while Audemars Piguet has devoted fans, the A. Lange & Söhne swarm likes itself as being important for the best of the best in watchmaking.
And I can’t differ that A. Lange & Söhne is one of the most awesome brands out there. The plans at first dispatched in 1994 have remained practically unaltered over the most recent 25 years since they apparently are really darn perfect.
When A. Lange & Söhne dispatched the Zeitwerk , individuals were amazed, yet it actually felt like it appeared well and good inside the brand language and it was a moment hit. In spite of the fact that to be reasonable, web-based media didn’t exist similarly in 2009.
The same can’t be said for the most recent delivery, the Odysseus, in any event on the off chance that you tune in to its detractors.
The Odysseus is the principal customary creation tempered steel watch for A. Lange & Söhne, something many idea may never come. Also, it has a full arm band, another first for Lange in a creation model.
Building on that, it is water impervious to 12 bar (120 meters/400 feet), implying that while is anything but a jump watch, you truly have no stresses over getting it wet in ordinary conditions, something you can’t actually say about most Lange watches.
And, at last, it comes with all the A. Lange & Söhne styling attributes that have made most different watches commercial triumphs, and here provides another dial style with a work day and enormous date complication.
The look is magnificent, and it fits pleasantly directly in the center of the assortment, yet individuals dissented. I get it, change is hard. Also, when you envision something in your mind, it is unthinkable for the genuine thing to meet your fantasies.
And that is the thing that we have here: a huge load of A. Lange & Söhne enthusiasts with fantasizes about what a Lange sport watch in steel may resemble, and the Odysseus simply wasn’t what they had as a main priority. It doesn’t make any difference that the watch is amazingly very much done and bodes well inside the brand’s contributions; it wasn’t what some imagined.
I actually was astonished when the Odysseus came out , yet simply because I didn’t realize that A. Lange & Söhne would have been dispatching a steel watch with an arm band any time soon, so it was a move I hadn’t anticipated. In any case, I realize the brand is absolutely fastidious with regards to the plan language of its pieces, so the Odysseus is entirely in sync with other models.
I can comprehend that individuals teased it hard for being another round, blue-dialed sport watch – see Watch Design: Originality, Similarity, Or Imitation? – yet these individuals appear to fail to remember that A. Lange & Söhne is a keen company that needs to sell watches, and its administration realizes that this watch will sell (which it as of now has, very well).
I think, regardless, this watch was a reminder to certain authorities that A. Lange & Söhne isn’t actually the business rebel that they like to think it will be; it is an exemplary brand that gets things done in an extremely German manner, which incidentally turns out to be a little defiant compared to the Swiss way.
But still, A. Lange & Söhne isn’t MB&F , and a totally adjusted steel sport watch that utilizes comparable plan signals as watches across the business (since, you know, they are for the most part as yet unchanged item classification, so likeness is unavoidable) isn’t that surprising.
It remains very Lange in its execution, provides some cool and extraordinary highlights, and comes in at a competitive (yet still generally exorbitant cost. I see why individuals went crazy, however I need to say the shock for me is that individuals blew a gasket so adversely in any case to a mind blowing new A. Lange & Söhne.
You may likewise enjoy:
Lange & Söhne’s Long-Awaited Odysseus Smart Casual Stainless Steel Watch: Extreme Details, Thoughts, Live Photos, And Wristshots
Lange & Söhne Odysseus: Quill & Pad Team Talk, Strong Opinions After Handling The Already Controversial — And Polarizing — New Steel Lange (With Video)
Introducing Genus GNS1.2 By Sébastien Billières: A Serpentine Turning Point In Horological Indications (With Lume Video)
New MIH Gaïa Series I Watch: Surprising In Its Use Of Brutalist Design
MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT: A Sensational Ladies Watch Both Technically And Visually Scintillating
Kari Voutilainen 28ti: The Flip Side Has Never Looked So Good
Only Watch 2019 Post-Auction Thoughts: Smashing Records For A Great Cause Plus The $31 Million Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime’s Record Grab On Video
TAG Heuer Carrera Caliber Heuer 02T Tourbillon Nanograph: New Carbon-Composite Tech Offering Big Advantages
TAG Heuer Autavia Isograph: Carbon-Composite High-Tech Hairspring For All
Code 11.59 By Audemars Piguet: How To Fail At Marketing, AKA To Break The Rules You Must First Master Them