Editors’ Holiday Watch Wish List Buying Guide For 2013

Editors’ Holiday Watch Wish List Buying Guide For 2013

Editors Holiday Watch Wish List Buying Guide For 2013   ablogtowatch editor top lists

For 2013, the aBlogtoWatch watch gift guide will take the form of an editor's and contributor's wish list. Some of the editorial team has gone ahead and chosen a few of the timepieces from last year that are really high on their list. These are mostly newer watches, but ones that should be available for purchase now. So for this holiday season you'll get a good idea of what we've personally wanted, and we didn't include crazy stuff that no one can get, even if they could afford it.

What you may find interesting is how often watches get put on the same list. We've made it possible for the same watch to appear as many times as people choose them. Often guides will have each person choosing separate items so that we can maximize the opportunity to discuss as many watches as possible. These lists are completely pure and you'll get a good indication of what some of the most popular watches are going to be.

Ariel Adams

Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial Chronograph Dark Side Of The Moon

The internal waiting list at Omega itself is about a year to buy the Dark Side Of The Moon black ceramic version of the Speedmaster Co-Axial Chronograph. Hitting retailers at about the time we publish this post, it is going to be the hot Omega for a while. What is really impressive is that the ceramic case is polished to match the steel version of the watch in a fantastically satisfying manner. Sporty and modern, yet traditional and functional, the Dark Side Of The Moon is perhaps the most interesting member of the already interesting new Speedmaster collection with its in-house made Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial Chronograph (reviewed here). Price is about $12,000.

Ressence Type 3

Our favorite Belgian watch makers Ressence, captured the hearts and minds of watch lovers around the world with his liquid-filled Type 3 timepiece. A crownless case made mostly of sapphire crystal looks like nothing else on the market, and delivers elegantly bold looks and marvelous (yet unique) legibility. This is really a watch lover's watch and it is sure to be as rare as it is cool. Though it is unceremoniously expensive at $34,000. Though for that exact price I am not sure what else I would get.

Rolex GMT-Master II Day/Night

A little color can go a long way. Rolex has proved that time and time again, but with the GMT-Master II Day/Night they also showed-off a new feat of in-house developed technology. Several years ago the new Rolex GMT-Master II watch debuted with a ceramic black bezel. Now it comes in a perfectly dual-colored black and blue bezel. This is a single piece of ceramic that has two colors. Rolex uses a unique process to accomplish this, and was the first one to market with dual color ceramic parts. The Day/Night is a thematic homage to the famous red and blue Pepsi dial GMT-Master which Rolex may also release in the future once they are able to do the same with blue and red ceramic. Until then, this remains among the coolest new Rolex watches to own. Price is about $9,150.

Ulysse Nardin Freak Cruiser

When I first discovered the Freak watch years ago I was a bit weirded out by the "freakish" design. It wasn't that the Freak looked bad to me, but rather that it simply looked so different I didn't understand what it was trying to do. The Freak was only strange because it was so radically different. Years later after a lot more watch education, the Freak started to grow on me, starting with an understanding of the innovative use of silicon, complex design, and legibility despite its highly unorthodox face. I became a Freak lover, but it didn't happen overnight. The Freak Cruiser is the most advanced "non tourbillon" Freak which means it is worlds more refined than the original. No doubt the watch is a statement, but it is a statement I want to make. Price is a dream-worthy $87,500. This is a "wish list" after all right?

James Stacey

Editors Holiday Watch Wish List Buying Guide For 2013   ablogtowatch editor top lists

Tudor Heritage Black Bay

The Black Bay offers an excellent mix of distinctive vintage styling, Rolex build quality, and an easily serviced and reliable movement. The rosy-red bezel, gilt dial, and snowflake hour hand add a bit of flare to the basic Sub ethos that made Tudor and Rolex Subs the legends they are today. I like that the Tudor respects the core elements of the Sub backstory but has made the Black Bay their own. Price is $3,500.

Bremont Codebreaker

Aside from a feature set including Bremont's first flyback chronograph and a GMT complication, the Codebreaker serves as a tribute to Bletchley Park, home to Britain's WWII code-breaking force. Bletchley Park had a profound impact on the outcome of WWII and thanks to great minds like Alan Turing and successfully decrypted code from the German Enigma and Lorenz machines. Each Bremont Codebreaker incorporates actual artifacts from Bletchley Park, such as the serial number which is taken from a punch card used to process information during the war. Furthermore, the Codebreaker's winding rotor incorporates metal from an actual German Enigma machine and the crown is capped with a pine insert taken from the floor of Bletchley Park's famed Hut 6. The mere fact that a watch like the Codebreaker even exists is wild and it may be the absolute coolest way to own a piece of WWII history. Price is $18,500.

H. Moser & Cie Nomad Dual Time

Hey, a fella can dream, right? The H. Moser & Cie Nomad Dual Time, just look at it. Achingly pretty, the Nomad Dual Time boasts H. Moser's first in-house automatic movement, the HMC 346, which allows for a standard time display, am/pm indication and a second timezone display. Exceedingly rare and beautifully finished and with a second timezone display, you'll be finding any excuse to travel. Given the $46,500 price tag, this one is little more than a dream, but can you blame me?

Halios Tropik

Bringing me back to reality is the Halios Tropik, the latest diver from one of the better known and respected micro-brands. At 41 x 14mm, the Tropik is a bit smaller than previous models like the Laguna and Bluering. The bronze version has already begun shipping and the steel version, with either a blue or a black dial and bezel, also began shipping this past month. Available directly from Halios for $650, the Tropik sports a Miyota 9015 movement, a sapphire crystal and is water resistant to 300m. I've got my eye on a blue one and I'm just hoping that I don't have to wait until Christmas to get it on my wrist.

Patrick Kansa

Editors Holiday Watch Wish List Buying Guide For 2013   ablogtowatch editor top lists

Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial Chronograph '57

The Omega Speedmaster '57 is one of the latest iterations of the Speedmaster line, and when I saw it in person, I was taken. I'd started to be drawn more to the Speedmaster line this year in general. At the same time, I've started to be drawn more to white-dialed watches - which meant that the Speedmaster that everyone knows and loves wasn't quite my cup of tea. That was, until Omega changed the cup. Upon the arrival of the co-axial Speedmaster '57, with its bright white dial and dual-register layout, and I became a fan. While the one I reviewed here came in yellow gold, I think I'd more likely opt for a different model. That said, I'd have a very hard time choosing between the steel model with blue dial ($9,000) and the titanium version with a white dial ($11,400). The Speedmaster has been one of the most popular sport watches since its walk on the moon, and this latest version manages to be simultaneously familiar and refreshingly different. This particular model pulls together some great elements from others in its lineup, meaning you can recognize where the watch came from, while still rocking a more modern feeling design. And hey, even if you're a traditionalist and go for the black dial, you're still getting some great design and history, paired up with an excellent movement. Priced from $8,000 - $30,000.

Michelsen Arctic Explorer

As I mentioned with the Speedmaster '57, white-dialed watches have really grabbed my attention. Pair that with my favorite complication (a GMT indicator), and you're running into a pretty narrow field. While the Rolex Explorer II is a good choice, I ran across the Arctic Explorer from Icelandic brand Michelsen. While the comparisons between the two pieces are inevitable, the Arctic Explorer really stands on its own. For one, it was put through some extreme testing in an Antarctic expedition in a trek to the South Pole - not exactly a forgiving environment. To survive in that, amongst other modifications, the ETA 2893-A2 (Elaboré grade) has special oils to resist the cold temperatures. While the model you and I have access to won't have those improvements, it's still a great watch, from both a technical perspective as well as a aesthetic one. Comparisons to the Explorer II are inevitable, and while I think they're similar (and I did almost put the Explorer II in this list), I think this one stands on its own, not as an homage, but a new watch with some inspirations from the Rolex. Priced at $1,950.

Magrette Moko

Magrette is one of those brands that I became instantly familiar with when I first started writing about watches, and their cushion-cased designs have just clicked for me. For all of their lineup I've written about, though, I've always kept an eye on the two higher-end pieces they have in their lineup. My favorite of the two would be the Moko. To get the Moko, they start off with their very familiar case and build (what looks to be) a Moana. However, rather than the Miyota movements we're familiar with, this one carries an ETA 2824-2. Before that assembly occurs though, Andrew Biggs picks up his engraving pen, and creates an amazing piece of art. Utilizing a Manaia mask (which repeats), the case takes on the feel of a Maori tribal tattoo - and becomes something amazing. Hand-engraving truly is an art, and Mr. Biggs has really helped to elevate this Magrette. As there are only 10 pieces worldwide (plus the upgraded movement and hand engraving), pricing comes in at a level we're not used to with Magrette: $4,485. From what I see in the pictures, though, it would be worth it.

Christopher Ward C60 Trident GMT

I've long been a fan of what Christopher Ward has been producing, and to me, their C60 Trident design is one of the best in their more affordable lines. Back when I reviewed the C60, I was really taken by the overall styling, fit and finish, and the multi-color lume. Now, with the addition of the GMT complication, you've got (in my estimation) one great bargain, both in terms of price and utility. While there are a handful of dial and bezel colors available in the other C60 models, the GMT comes only with a black dial, and your choice of white or orange indices, with my favorite being the one with the white indices. There are also a variety of strap choices (leather, nylon, or bracelet), but my favorite (which also was on my earlier review model) is the black/maroon/olive NATO - just a classic combination to go with this watch. That also makes it rather simple for swapping in other straps, which of course is another way to freshen up a watch you've had for some time. At an asking price of $845, this is also quite an affordable piece of kit... more »

38 comments
Watchik
Watchik

Are we sure the price of this watch is $15k? It's actually not much if you consider what you are getting.

PaulUK
PaulUK

When i win the lottery ! the Ulysse Nardin from the main picture above is mine :)

aworon
aworon

Jeez I want that Omega Speedmaster with date and blue hands in one of the photos so bad.  I'm happy to see that Christopher Ward is mentioned in good light on the site.  Makes me more confident in my love for the c8 and trident I bought earlier this year.  

Piero
Piero

Unfortunately not all the watches in the list are covered with a review... that would have helped to understand better why the authors like them...

The lists are very nice, i particularly like the tudor black bay, the panerai luminor submersible, the omega speedmaster '57 and the christopher ward.

Lesthepom
Lesthepom

Fantastic I artical I find it interesting that even thoug most of these guys have handled or at least see lots of watches of $100k + the majority of the watches are from mainstream brands I got a Tudor Pelagos a few weeks ago and can see why it is on the list and most people think rolex are expensive just have a look at some of the of the wall watches some have picked WOW may be Ariel could do a list of watches to by your best mat to go fishing in assuming you best mate isn't Richard Branson

I am looking forward to seeing the omega dark side of the moon may be next Xmas

spiceballs
spiceballs

Interesting lists - thx to all contributors.  Don't know about others here but for me "expensive" watches are the Rolex GMTII and Omega Dark Side, and thus represent my likes and "dreams'.  Anything over and above just seem excessive - to this mortal?

Gorgon777
Gorgon777

While I agree that some of the watches are unattainable by us mere mortals, in defense of the authors they did state it was a dream watch. I think the majority of the watches were interesting and I liked something from each author. For me the dark side of the moon Omega speedmaster and anything by Tudor is what appeals to me the most. The A. Lange & Sohne luminence is the dream watch, for me, they are ahead of Phillipe Patek right now. 

Fraser Petrick
Fraser Petrick

I can die after the Leafs win the Stanley Cup,the Blue Jays win the World Series, and I acquire Patek-Phillipe Calatrava all in the same calendar year. After those three gifts from heaven, what more is there to live for?

Fraser Petrick
Fraser Petrick

Fascinating!

Now, for us poor-as-church-mice, restrict your wish-listers to <$1000 watches.

Someone clue me in on Tudors: did I read somewhere that they can gain or lose up to 16 seconds a day? 16?

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

Some great choices here, and some inexplicable ones as well, but to each his own. 


The Black Bay is one that goes right over my head. I'd have to think twice before buying that one for $100, let alone $3k+, but then my choices would certainly concern others, so again - to each his own. 

distancecat
distancecat

The Trident and Michelsen are also realistic options from my perspective but an expanded "real world" list is definitely still needed.

distancecat
distancecat

With the exception of the Halios and Tudors, this list is great for my dreams. A "real world" XMas list from ABTW would certainly be appreciated. How about four selections under $1K from each of the editors?

bichondaddy
bichondaddy

Would love to see a buying guide for the rest of us that cannot spend several months of mortgage payments on a watch!!   I've never known anyone that can spend $750,000 on a watch...although I am sure those guys are out there.  My name just doesn't happen to be Tiger Woods, Alex Rodriguez or Drew Brees.   

Hummm...I wonder what the on-air shopping channels have for sale????

craneial
craneial

Can't wait for the more down to earth buying guide. I'd like to see the guy with $750,000 to spend on a watch actually try to buy one. It's got to be a total nightmare, logistically. It's not like buying a Fossil at Macy's.  Then once it's obtained, can it ever be worn in public? Or is it just placed in a vault with the diamonds, cash, and gold bricks?

Panagiotis
Panagiotis

Tudor is killing it! Good for them. One of the companies that we can all agree on methinks...

MID
MID

What?!  No Grand Seiko?!

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

I was hoping to see a Hydroscaph in there somewhere, especially with the number of colour options they now offer.  Choice is brilliant, we need to see more of that in the industry.  Still, some nice picks.

DG Cayse
DG Cayse

Christmas lists?

Mr. Kansa and Mr. HUbbards' choices will merrily fill my stocking. 

Add in the Carier Tank Americaine from Mr. Paige and I would be, as they say, "Good to go!"

Maximilien
Maximilien

Since I was greedy in my initial response and included a 5th watch (yes, black as well) and it did not make the editor's cut for lack of space, here is the text (as is) for those interested or curious:

"""

Garmin Forerunner 620, $450. http://sites.garmin.com/forerunnerCoach/

This is a new release from Garmin of their popular top of the line Forerunner running watches. I've own three of the previous models and just sold my FR610 so I can buy this one when available in December. What makes this new model interesting to me is that like all Garmin GPS running watches it packs everything you need to monitor and meter your run and more. This new model now includes virtual coaching features, in particular it includes estimation for VO2max, recovery time, as well as advance data on your run mechanics when using the new HR monitor that optionally comes with it. And best of all it comes in a package that is smaller and lighter than previous model while increasing battery life more than 50%. You got to love technology!

"""

LapYoda
LapYoda

All great watches, but with few exceptions these watches are unattainable by mere mortals (or at least those of us who have obligations other than spending 10 grand or more on a watch).  How about a list of watches this year that don't require applying for a mortgage?  That way we can say to our wives or partners, "You know, I saw this article and have an idea for a Christmas present for me..." without the response, "Uh, no."

MarcTravis
MarcTravis

@Fraser Petrick How would we know what you read? :)

Tudor uses high quality ETA movements. I doubt they would be that inaccurate.


ocabj
ocabj

@bichondaddy "I wonder what the on-air shopping channels have for sale????" Invicta. You don't need a guide for that. They're all equally crappy.

LapYoda
LapYoda

@craneial You can wear a $750,000 watch in public, but you have to be performing your latest chart-topper from your most recent multi-platinum album.  Or when you gather your council of supervillains to figure out how to defeat Batman.

ocabj
ocabj

@craneial Did you immediately just look for the highest priced item on the list? The list had a wide range recommendations from sub-$5K to the tens. Granted, it's not "down to earth" as far as for the general public buying a watch for a friend. Most of the general public isn't going to buy a friend a $1K+ watch. Hell, most of the general public isn't going to buy a family member a $1K+ watch. 99% of the watches sold during the holiday season are going to be $50 to $300 Michael Kors, Fossil, Skagen, Nixon, etc quartz watches you can get at Macys or Nordstroms.

Fraser Petrick
Fraser Petrick

@MID I too want a Grand Seiko. But, face it, it smacks of bank manager retirement present.

Inline5
Inline5

@Ulysses31  

Unfortunately their designs lack any inspiration and end up looking like department store watches. Utterly forgettable unless one is into having ungainly wall clocks adorn their wrist. 

bichondaddy
bichondaddy

@ocabj  LOL....I was joking....

Actually...I think my wife would object to me adding yet another watch to my collection...since I am rapidly closing in on 100 watches!!  Mainly...right now I am only collecting vintage pieces...from the 1950's.  They made some pretty cool looking watches back then.

MID
MID

@Fraser Petrick @MID Every bank manager should be so lucky.  I got my GS44 a few months ago, and I can say, first hand, it is one beautiful watch.

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

@Inline5 @Ulysses31 They actually have quite a following.  Their designs are anything but forgettable - in fact they are quite daring without taking things too far.  Radical and modern without Hublot/RM levels of ugly.  Out of curiosity, is there any watch you'd have wanted to see on the list that wasn't featured?

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