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Contributors 2020 Watches - Under the radar: 2020 picks

Contributors 2020 Watches Under the radar: 2020 picks

Plenty has happened in 2020, so our contributors and WorldTempus staff weigh in on which watches deserved more attention this year.

2020 has been a busy year, to say the least. And while news in the watch industry certainly hasn’t dried up (if anything, there’s been almost too much news to cover!), there are a few watches that have gone a little too under the radar for our liking. So here is our attempt to rectify this injustice:

Jordy Bellido
Editor, WorldTempus

Golay Spierer Napoleon Bonaparte unique piece

“Beyond the mechanical aspect of the watches, I think that the historical side of certain pieces deserves to be highlighted. Although years of research and development are the very source of today’s timepieces, some parts are distinguished by components coming directly from the past. This is the case of the Napoleon Bonaparte watch by Golay Spierer, which contains the signature that the Emperor had signed on one of his letters dating back to 1807, as well as a gold Napoleon coin of 20 francs minted the same year. This watch is one of those pieces that is so rare that it’s sold at auction; at Sotheby’s in this case. I am looking forward to seeing their 2021 piece dedicated to Einstein!”

Sous le radar : les choix de 2020

Napoleon Bonaparte © Golay Spierer

David Chokron
Contributor, WorldTempus

Girard-Perregaux Laureato 42mm Infinity Edition

“2020 didn’t give the Laureato Infinity a chance to shine. By now, the Laureato is a timepiece we know inside and out. How come then did its Infinity Edition come to be such a surprise? The Infinity in question stems from a pure, black, smooth and shiny onyx dial. What’s more, its hands are flat and smooth. No texture, no Super-LumiNova, just arrows of sheer metal. They’re stacked up very close to one another, bringing them just under the crystal. Underneath them, the absolute darkness alters the perception of depth. The Laureato Infinity thus feels like a reflecting pool. The subtlety of this effect deserved much more attention, especially since it renews the Laureato design in a welcome, sophisticated manner.”

Sous le radar : les choix de 2020

Laureato 42mm Infinity Edition © Girard-Perregaux

Joy Corthésy
Editor-in-Chief, LADY by GMT

Schwarz Etienne Roma Synergy by Kari Voutilainen & Raymond Weil Freelancer Calibre RW1212

“One of the watches that’s definitely gone too under the radar for my liking is a collaboration between Schwarz Etienne and Kari Voutilainen: The Schwarz Etienne Roma Synergy by Kari Voutilainen. It combines Schwarz Etienne’s clean lines and lacine-shaped hands with Kari Voutilainen’s stunning dial treatments with different guilloché patterns on the hour track, seconds subdial and inner circle. Both the silver and blue dial version are gorgeous, but I must admit I have a soft spot for the silver dial.”

Sous le radar : les choix de 2020

Roma Synergy by Kari Voutilainen © Schwarz Etienne

Brice Lechevalier
Director, WorldTempus

Eberhard & Co. Alfa Romeo 110 Anniversario Chronograph

“Eberhard & Co. is one of those brands whose value goes far beyond brand awareness. Only true connoisseurs have followed its daring patented four-counter chronograph (the Chrono 4) or its distinction at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève for its Scafograph 300 in the Sports Watch category in 2016. Eberhard & Co. skillfully nurtures its traditional taste for the automotive world by building its collections around specific themes, such as historical rallies (Vanderbilt Cup), driving legends (Tazio Nuvolari) or trans-Alpine manufacturers (Alfa Romeo). It was in this spirit that the Alfa Romeo 110th Anniversario Chronograph was launched in November, a limited edition of 110 timepieces with a design as elegant as it is powerful. The piston-shaped pushers evoke the link with the automobile brand, whose famous snake appears discreetly on the dial and on the back of the sapphire crystal, revealing the oscillating weight of the automatic movement. Another very successful component: the structured grey rubber strap harmoniously completes the ensemble, which is distinguished as always by a very good value at this level of production.”

Sous le radar : les choix de 2020

Alfa Romeo 110 Anniversario Chronograph © Eberhard & Co.

Roberta Naas
Contributor, WorldTempus

Montblanc 1858 Split-Second Chronograph
“Montblanc’s 1858 Split-Seconds Chronograph may have been overshadowed by its Geosphere sibling that always melts hearts (mine included). That’s too bad, though, because this bold Rattrapante (that allows the wearer to time multiple events that start at the same time but have different end times) is a dynamic piece inspired by a 1930’s Minerva chronograph yet updated for modern appeal. The blue Grand Feu enamel dial is accented with bright orange and white, and its intriguing snail-style tachymeter is incredibly eye-catching. The reworked pocket watch movement boasts striking haute horlogerie finishes. You couldn’t ask for more—even at the approximately $36,000 price tag.”

Sous le radar : les choix de 2020

Montblanc 1858 Split-Second Chronograph Limited Edition © Montblanc

Yannick Nardin
Contributor, WorldTempus

Kerbedanz Florence

“While Kerbedanz remains (for the moment) relatively off the radar, it is hitting the bull’s eye with the “Most Important People”, with a fortune of $30 million and more. The “Florence” model shows what the brand is capable of: a breathtaking mastery of craftsmanship, with more than just a touch of soul — a tribute to the symbols and legends of the prestigious Tuscan city.”

Sous le radar : les choix de 2020

Florence © Kerbedanz

Olivier Müller
Contributor, WorldTempus

Hermès Slim d’Hermès GMT

“Surprising. Hermès is definitely a surprising brand. At a time when the vintage revival is still going strong, the house boasts more than just creativity: inventiveness. This Slim GMT is playful, teasing and elegant. With a simple grammar but a mad talent, Hermès combines Parisian chic and watchmaking excellence, with as much consistency as coherence. Hats off!”

Sous le radar : les choix de 2020

Hermès Slim d’Hermès GMT © Joel Von Allmen

Suzanne Wong
Editor-in-chief, WorldTempus

Raymond Weil Freelancer Ladies Black Diamond Automatic

This may come as a surprise to some people, but I wasn’t always crazy about watches. Growing up in Singapore, the country with what is probably the highest per-capita watch purchase rate in the world, I was always aware of this particular world, but it wasn’t until my late twenties that my horological passions were ignited. That said, one of the earliest brands I can remember becoming aware of as a child was Raymond Weil; they (or their regional distributors) sponsored the local evening news programme. As a result, the brand has always been associated in my mind with no-nonsense utility, reliability and accessibility. Just last year, their classic modern collection, the Freelancer, has brought out a unique take on the date display, using a semi-circular aperture in the upper half of the dial. While it looks like it ought to be a retrograde date display, it’s actually a double-marker rotating disc below that allows the watch to indicate the correct date along either side of the curved date aperture. Particularly appealing is the 38mm Freelancer Ladies model in anthracite PVD, bezel set with black diamonds. Its subtle dark looks make this a watch almost designed to be overlooked, to slip under the radar — but ironically that’s also the most attractive thing about it.

Sous le radar : les choix de 2020

Freelancer Ladies Black Diamond Automatic © Raymond Weil

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