A very happy new year, and a warm welcome to the first round-up of 2019. We kick off with a recap of the first major watch fair of the year — SIHH 2019. Join us as we also take a look at the most-read stories here on aBlogtoWatch in the past year. Finally, we feature an interview with LVMH’s new head honcho of watches, Mr. Stéphane Bianchi, and also offer up the captivating story of how a unique F.P. Journe watch came about.
1. TOP 10 WATCHES OF SIHH 2019
In a blink of an eye, SIHH 2019 has come and gone. According to numerous reports, many brands have held back on their releases, keeping some for the remaining part of the year. Still, there’s no denying that we saw some really nice watches at this year’s show. My personal favorites are the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpetual, the Vacheron Constantin Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar, and the Hermès L’Heure De La Lune. Find out what the team’s ultimate top 10 watches of SIHH 2019 are via the link below.
2. ROLEX EXPLORER I 214270 39MM REVIEW
Stainless steel Rolex models are extremely popular nowadays, and near the top of the list has got to be the Explorer 1 214270. It’s a watch with its own special allure. In terms of aesthetics, I find it sportier than the Oyster Perpetual and Datejust models, but not quite as gung-ho as the Submariner or Daytona. Its size of 39mm, coupled with its sturdy case and bracelet, and the ever-reliable Caliber 3132 also makes it perfect for everyday wear. It’s very cliche to say this, but if you are looking for a versatile watch under ten grand, it doesn’t get much better than this.
3. THE MOST READ ABLOGTOWATCH ARTICLES FROM 2018
At the end of each year, I’m always eager to learn which articles are the most-read of the rich and varied stories we publish. Given the diversity of our readers, it isn’t at all surprising to see that the top 10 most-read articles consist of an eclectic mix, deep dives into a range of watches that include perennial favorites Seiko, Rolex, Omega, and Patek Philippe. Hit the link below to explore readers’ favorites in 2018.
4. ABLOGTOWATCH EDITORS ON THE FAVORITE WATCH ADDED TO OUR COLLECTIONS IN 2018
People don’t seem to like my Apple Watch very much. No matter, it’s their loss. But in all honesty, this post was exciting for me just to see what were the favorite watches my colleagues added to their collection. Unsurprisingly, there were two Rolexes. Surprisingly, however, there were no Seikos. However, I think it’s fair to see that David’s addition of the Konstantin Chaykin Joker was the boldest and the most interesting and outrageous.
5. OMEGA RELAUNCHES OMEGA CALIBRE 321 THAT POWERED THE ORIGINAL MOONWATCH
One of the most shocking recent developments in the industry was Omega’s announcement that it would be restarting production of the legendary Calibre 321. It was in production from 1946 to 1968, and it powered the first Speedmaster that went to the moon. Needless to say, it is a historically important movement. Coincidentally (or not), 2019 also marks the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, and I’m willing to bet that Omega will be releasing some sort of a special 50th-anniversary Moonwatch, and likely with this new Calibre 321. Just you wait and see.
6. MONTBLANC HERITAGE PULSOGRAPH & HERITAGE AUTOMATIC WATCHES HANDS-ON
One of the most notable trends at SIHH 2019 was salmon dials. Audemars Piguet, A. Lange & Söhne, and even Montblanc released watches with salmon or pink gold dials. Of them all, the Montblanc releases were easily the most accessible. And they released not one, but two watches with salmon dials. One is the Heritage Pulsometer, which is a chronograph that is powered by an exquisitely decorated Minerva movement. The other is the Montblanc Heritage Automatic, a simple three-hander (no date even!) that is priced at $2,270. I think both are winners.