December 29, 2018
by Bilal Khan
This year we marked 11 years of aBlogtoWatch (pretty wild, right?) and I’m now personally entering my 4th year working with the site and team I couldn’t be more proud of. The end of the year serves as a great time to visit the articles we published this year that you guys read the most, and while we can have a pretty lengthy list since so many pieces got record-breaking traffic, I decided that 10 is the number we can cap off at. Past that just goes into overindulgence, doesn’t it? I’m not going to do a lot of pomp and circumstance here, since I know you guys just want to get to the list so without further ado, here are the top 10 most read articles from aBlogtoWatch in 2018.
This follow up article from our David Bredan’s original Top 10 Affordable Watches That Get a Nod From Snobs garnered a lot of discussion. Of course, there are way more than 10 great affordable watches from 2018 that can make this list and you guys certainly weighed in with plenty.
No surprise here. Shipments of steel sports watches from Rolex, Patek Philippe, and certain others have trickled down to drought levels. The second-hand and gray markets are seeing premiums of 35% to well over 100% for models like the Rolex GMT Master II ‘Pepsi’, Patek Philippe Nautilus & Aquanaut, and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra Thin. There’s little reason to think 2019 will fare any better for buyers looking for these models.
This was a piece I wrote inspired by my real life conundrum a couple of years back (when these steel Rolex sports watches were still easily attainable from a retailer). The Rolex Explorer II and Submariner are two quintessentially classic icons, and I am sure I’m not alone in weighing between these two for a purchase decision (with models like the GMT Master II thrown in there as well). Though I ended up with the Explorer II, this article goes through both the history and detailed specs of both watches with the end result being that the deciding factor comes down to taste (of course).
This watch caused a lot of chatter this year, and our David Bredan’s coverage of both the release and our “in the metal” hands-on got a ton of attention. The steel and gold-plated models were some of the breakout hits of Baselworld 2018 and turned the heads of even someone like myself who isn’t the biggest G-Shock guy. In a year of so many big releases, it’s a testament to the strength and draw of Casio G-Shock that they still have such a powerful pull on the casual and enthusiast watch buying community.
It’s the dirtiest secret in the watch community. Fakes, knockoffs, replicas and the people who buy them. We looked into the psychology of these buyers as well as which watches and models are the most commonly faked. You can probably guess since it’s the usual suspects, but the Swiss watch industry has never taken this corner of the market lightly, claiming losses in the many millions from knockoffs.
Omega’s knockout updated Seamaster Diver 300M with wave pattern dial was a Baselworld show-stealer and for good reason. Omega has been refining and updating their watches steadily for years now, and a lot of people have been whispering (and things much louder) that they’ve outdone their main competitor with the green crown here. Starting at under $5,000 it’s hard to argue that point, honestly.
The new Rolex GMT Master II ‘Pepsi’ may have gotten most of the spotlight, but I know that a lot of people have been impressed with the subtle new black and white dial Oyster Perpetual watches introduced this year. A study in discretion and refinement, I was pleasantly surprised to find that these watches got their fair share of attention and weren’t overshadowed by some of the sexier Rolex models. At $5,700 these are phenomenal offerings from the brand for someone who wants the quality, style, and timelessness without any of the fuss or hype. Glad a lot of readers thought so, as well.
The ~$300 Orient Bambino has always been a fan favorite at aBlogtoWatch so it comes as little surprise that the updated ‘small seconds’ model review got a lot of attention from you guys. Always at or near the top of the any great “best value” list, Ariel couldn’t recommend this piece enough. Especially for the price, obviously.
The steel sports watch that is the (and excuse the hackneyed phrase) grail for so many watch collectors, the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 is a Genta-designed piece that actually lives up to its fantasy-inducing reputation. It’s no surprise that so many of you wanted to know what Ariel thought of the watch, even while knowing that even if you can afford it, finding one is a whole other matter. I’m sure a lot of people have understandable and probably correct opinions about this watch being “overhyped” but personally, the Nautilus is a collection-ender. Well, I’d opt for the Aquanaut but we’re not discussing that one here.
Early this year I got an Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M 43.5mm watch, but I had to do some pretty exhaustive research before doing so. The Planet Ocean line is so well-known amongst enthusiasts but the SMP line (and obviously the Speedmaster) seemed to have been covered so much more exhaustively. Of course, given my personality that meant that I felt the world needed a comprehensive guide of every Planet Ocean watch generation. It’s honestly a piece I’m incredibly proud of and even at nearly 8,000 words (!) I see it as an ever-evolving guide and resource for people interested in learning more about the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean. I’m glad so many of you were as interested in reading the piece as I was in going through the incredibly time-consuming process involved in researching and writing a piece such as this.