Out of the hundreds of great Rolex Submariner Replica introduced in 2019, whittling them down to a top 20 is a tough gig. For various reasons, ranging from innovative engineering to outstanding presentation and execution, the following watches represent, in our opinion, the best of watchmaking this year. Being some of the hottest watches on the planet, and being made in limited series, many of these timepieces are not immediately accessible. In fact, some have wait lists rumored to be a decade long. We would therefore like to mention that every one of their makers introduced other, equally admirable watches this yearover the past five years, as a matter of factthat some collectors are sure to consider even more notable, so do browse the websites in the links. There is nothing wrong with choosing two new watches: you could join the wait list for a treat down the road, and indulge in some immediate gratification now.
Moser blends contemporary minimalism with mechanical maximalism and throws in a touch of irony, an excellent combination that qualifies this watch as a top-twenty contender($350,000). The rectangular case with its screen-like dial resembles an Apple watch, yet the watch mocks the smartwatch for what it will never do: employ a tourbillon escapement to chime the time via a mechanical minute repeater function, two ultimate symbols of mechanical watchmaking.
The Vacheron Constantin Twin Beat($199,000) is one of the most important innovations in mechanical watchmaking of the past decade. It contains two separate movements that run at different frequencies: one for when you're wearing it, oscillating at 36,000 vph (5 Hz); and the other for when you take it off, oscillating at 8,640 vph (1.2 Hz) which saves power and prevents wear on the movement. In 1.2 Hz mode, the watch has a 65-day power reserve (the average is 42 hours).
Japanese watchmaker Seiko has been outdoing the Swiss for yearswith accurate mechanical movements, by inventing quartz, and by developing some of the world's first tool watches. Now, the luxe Grand Seiko brand has emerged as a master of hand-finishing. The complex, hand-crafted pattern on the dial of its Snowflake watch ($76,000, limited to 30) is a nod to the snowcapped hills of the Shinshu region where it is made. It contains a state-of-the-art manual Spring Drive movement.
This watch represents two firsts: it's the only non-limited-edition Calatrava watch in steel($33,454) since the 1970s; and the world's first and only weekly calendar complication. Week numbers are a standard reference in Europe compared to the week-of-month reference used in North Americaalthough some manufacturing and printing companies use weekly numbers for production schedules. The numerals and lettering on its silvery opaline dial are based on the handwriting of one of its designers.
The Nautilus is the hottest watch on the planet right now, and this annual calendar is one of the most sought-after models. Warning: It is also one of the most difficult watches to get at retail, and prices on the secondary market are rising. If you don't mind joining a lengthy queue, the Annual Calendar Ref. 5726A with a modern gradient blue dial ($45,928) is worth waiting for. If you don't like waiting, and have your heart set on a new blue-dialed Patek, a more accessible model, one with a more vintage allure, is the chronograph Ref. 5172G ($73,712).
Who better than the inventor of the tourbillon to take this illustrious complication to the next level? The trick to skeletonization is selective reduction: carving away as much as possible without compromising strength and functionality. Here, Breguet pares caliber 581SQ down by 50% to a mere 3 mm thicknessin the case, it's 7.70 mm thickremarkable for an automatic tourbillon ($225,200). What's left is made of glistening 18-karat red gold. $225,200 in red gold.