Time to Reflect: 2019 in Review
As the year draws to a close we look back at 12 months in the world of watches, from exciting new releases to the most expensive timepiece ever sold. 2019 has been a time of great developments and outstanding design.
As the world prepares to enter a new decade, we look back at some of the highlights that have made the headlines in 2019.
Million Dollar Code
January started with a bang - with the new stunning Code 11.59 collection from Audemars Piguet. Contemporary in design and extraordinary in detail, the 13 new references attracted vast interest with its avant-garde technology.
One of the models, the Tourbillon Openworked Code 11.59 - a two-tone 41mm case in white and pink gold with 2948 movement - sold for one million dollars at the Only Watch charity auction later in the year.
We enjoyed seeing some of the whacky models coming out of the annual Salon Internationale de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) with a bumper crowd of 23,000 packing in to see new watches including Richard Mille’s sweet ‘bonbon’ collection - a series of bold marshmallow-esque offerings for those with a sweet tooth - unleashed.
And how could we forget the pricey Swiss Alp Watch Concept Black from H Moser & Cie with the £266,000 price tag. With no method of displaying the time, the wearer simply relies on sounds to tell the time. Wonders never cease!
Patek’s Nautilus Sets Sail
February brought with it the sad demise of Patek Philippe’s hugely popular Nautilus 5726 - the stunning timepiece that was inspired by portholes on transatlantic liners. Having only made its debut at Baselworld in 2010, it was quite a surprise to see it discontinued.
Baselworld brought watch enthusiasts from across the globe to Switzerland to admire the latest offerings from with Rolex, Patek Phillipe and more but it was Rolex who brought the show-stopping Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42, with a 42mm size, complete with new-generation calibre 3235 and glimmers of 18ct white gold, to the table.
The spring saw some rumours flying around about the new Bond watch for the upcoming 25th spy movie, ‘No Time To Die’. It has now been confirmed that Omega has created a special 007 watch, with special design input from the man himself, Mr Daniel Craig. The Seamaster Diver 300M timepiece will come in two styles.
Need For Speed
With many brands celebrating major milestones this year, we also delved into some of the best offerings. A one-off gold Speedmaster Apollo Anniversary limited edition watch by Omega was among the hit timepieces.
With the birth of a new royal, Archie Harrison, we took a look at some of the fancy watches he could be in line to inherit from his relatives, including a Cartier Tank Francaise from his mum Meghan and a Breitling Chronometer Aerospace watch from his dad, Harry.
Autumn saw six eagerly-awaited (and limited edition) timepieces released by Patek Philippe for the Watch Art Grand Exhibition, which opened in Singapore. This included the World Time Chronograph Singapore 2019 ref. 5930G-011 is a jazzy version of the thinnest ever World Time Chronograph but hard to get hold of with just 300 watches produced.
In November, the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime 6300A-010 became the world’s most expensive watch ever, selling for a whopping £24million, bought by a private telephone bidder at Only Watch, the biennial charity auction for research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Auctioneers had only predicted a bid of £1.9 million for the timepiece.
Winter has seen Rolex announce it is set to hike up its retail prices by 7.4 per cent tomorrow but it is yet to be seen whether other luxury brands will follow suit - whatever happens, we’ll be sure to keep you updated.
That’s all for now. From everyone here at Luxe Watches, we wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year.