Six Wonderful Winning Watches From CH24.PL Watch Of The Year (WOTY) 2020
The eleventh edition of Poland’s Watch of the Year by CH24.PL took all timepieces introduced in 2020 into consideration to compete across six categories. All the shortlisted watches were nominated by the prestigious international jury comprising journalists from six countries (including yours truly). Brands did not have to enter their watches; the shortlists were made by the jury.
Unfortunately, there was no in-person edition of this charming event in 2020 due to the current COVID-19 crisis, but that doesn’t stop us from celebrating the winning watches now!
Grand Prix and Innovation in Watchmaking: Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic
The Grand Prix rewards the “best watch of the past 12 months,” which is chosen from the six jury-selected category winners. So after winning its own category – Innovation in Watchmaking – the jury decided that this new Bulgari Octo Finissimo also deserved the Grand Prix.
Introduced during Geneva Watch Days, Bulgari released what could well be called the biggest horological news of the loose fair: the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic Watch combines a monopusher chronograph with a tourbillon powered by an automatic movement with a peripheral rotor and housed in an ultra-thin case. Its movement is only 3.5 mm in height!
This clever watch certainly deserves to take home both prizes.
Quick Facts Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic Watch
Case: 42 x 7.4 mm, sandblasted titanium, water resistance 30 m
Movement: automatic Caliber BVL 388 with peripheral rotor and one-minute tourbillon; skeletonized; 52-hour power reserve; 3 Hz/21,600 vph frequency
Functions: hours, minutes; chronograph
Limitation: 50 pieces
Complicated Watch: A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Minute Repeater in white gold
This repeating wristwatch is unusual mechanically as well as visually as it is a decimal repeater. The Zeitwerk’s mechanical digital display is suited to the rare decimal chimes as it is particularly intuitive to read off: you read the time left to right just like you would read a digital clock.
For a full description of this watch’s mechanics, please see A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Minute Repeater: A Decimal Repeater With Attitude!
For much more on this particular variation, please see A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Minute Repeater And Its Large Digits: Does It Cause Hyperdigitalia?
Quick Facts A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Minute Repeater white gold
Case: 44.2 x 14.1 mm, white gold
Movement: manually wound Caliber L043.5 with constant force and free-sprung balance spring; 2.5 Hz/18,000 vph
Functions: jumping hours and minutes, running seconds; power reserve, decimal minute repeater
Limitation: 30 pieces, available exclusively in A. Lange & Söhne boutiques
Classic Watch: Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Kingsman Knife
Diving into its brand history, Jaeger-LeCoultre transformed a 1907 pocket watch nicknamed couteau, in reference to its razor-thin edge, into a wristwatch.
At only 4.25 mm high, it is very slim, but not the slimmest watch in existence – it is not even Jaeger-LeCoultre’s thinnest timepiece (that honor belongs to 2015’s Master Ultra Thin Squelette, coming in at 3.6 mm).
Jaeger-LeCoultre updated the dial’s design for a more clean-cut look with blued sword-shaped hands, which makes it look contemporary yet based on old values. That’s perfectly in line with the style of the cinematic action film – The King’s Man – which features rather discerning gentlemen and for which this watch was created.
For much more on this timepiece, please see Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Kingsman Knife Watch: Cutting A Sharp Edge.
Quick Facts Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Kingsman Knife
Case: 40 x 4.25 mm, pink gold
Movement: hand-wound Caliber 849, 1.85 x 20.2 mm, 19 jewels, 3 Hz/21,600 vph frequency, 35-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes
Limitation: 100 pieces
Remarks: launched in collaboration with Mr. Porter
Sports Watch: Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 Ed White
Inspired by the wristwatch worn by American astronaut Ed White, who performed the first spacewalk in 1965, this Speedmaster’s bezel comes in polished black ceramic with a white enamel tachymeter scale.
But its real treasure is found inside and visible from the back: Omega Caliber 321 is the second-generation descendant of the classic Moonwatch movement, Caliber 27 CHRO C12.
Quick Facts Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 Ed White
Case: 39.7 mm, stainless steel
Movement: manually wound Caliber 321 with column wheel and 18-karat Sedna gold PVD finish, 55-hour power reserve, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; chronograph
Ladies Watch: Vacheron Constantin Égérie Moon Phase
Vacheron Constantin introduced an entirely new collection for women called Égérie at the beginning of 2020. No stranger to thinking of women with its exquisite timepieces, the venerable Geneva-based company concentrates here on the asymmetrical within a traditional round case.
The WOTY jury chose the 37 mm pink gold variation, whose case is outfitted with a highly asymmetrical crown at 1-2 o’clock, a position that does not disturb the round case design but does enhance the unusual location of the moon phase at the same position. Rounding out the off-centered balance, the Vacheron Constantin logo is placed directly across from the subdial at 7-8 o’clock.
And – as any women’s watch worth its salt should have in this day and age – the Égérie boasts an interchangeable leather strap system, no tools required, perfect for wardrobing. The gold model comes with a set of three different-colored straps.
For the full story of this watch, please see 5 New Watches For Women We Would Have Seen At Watches & Wonders (SIHH) 2020 By Cartier, Piaget, Vacheron Constantin, Hermès, And MB&F.
Quick Facts Vacheron Constantin Égérie Moonphase
Case: 37 x 10.08 mm, pink gold, bezel set with 58 diamonds (1.0 ct), crown set with moonstone cabochon
Dial: set with 36 diamonds (0.09 ct), mother-of-pearl clouds
Movement: automatic Caliber 1088L, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency, 55-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes, (hacking) seconds; moon phase
Price: €26,200 (steel), €34,600 (pink gold)
Watch Priced below €2,500: Doxa SUB 300 Caribbean
This category is similar to the Petite Aiguille of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, where the idea is to honor a more affordable watch for the general public.
Doxa is famous for its diver’s watches. And while there is little variation among the models except for the colors – why change a winning formula? – the SUBs continue to be excellent value for a whole lot of diver’s watch. And the color combination on this new Caribbean model is truly fun.
Quick Facts Doxa SUB 300 Caribbean
Case: 42.5 x 14 mm, stainless steel; 1,200 m water resistance
Movement: automatic Caliber ETA 2824-2, power reserve 38 hours, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency; official C.O.S.C. chronometer certification
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date
Public Prize: Certina DS PH200M Blue
The DS PH200M is a straight-up re-edition of a historical Certina diver’s watch from the 1960s used in expeditions and research projects in both high altitudes and underneath the oceans. The only visible concession to modern technology is the movement: ETA’s fantastic Powermatic 80, introduced in 2013 and used in watches by Swatch Group siblings Hamilton and Tissot as well as Certina.
Kiss drummer Eric Singer chose the black version of this model as one of ten best he saw at Baselworld 2018 (see Kiss Drummer And Passionate Watch Collector Eric Singer’s Baselworld 2018 Top 10).
The first version of the Certina DS PH200M was WOTY’s 2018 winner in the category for watches costing below €2,500. This new color obviously also caught the jurors’ eyes.
Quick Facts Certina DS PH200M Blue
Case: 42.8 mm, stainless steel with unidirectionally rotating bezel, water resistant to 20 bar
Movement: automatic Caliber ETA Powermatic 80.611 with a power reserve of 80 hours
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date
Special Jury Prize: Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO Bulgari
Jean-Christophe Babin has had a very big year, making the news for both another record-breaking Bulgari watch (as seen above) and for taking a chance and organizing Geneva Watch Days, which ended up being the only functional watch fair in Switzerland in 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
Babin joined Bulgari in 2013, and on his watch Bulgari has become a real contender in the men’s haute horlogerie segment, notably with the quest for ultra-thin watches, including 2014’s Octo Finissimo Tourbillon (5 mm in height) and the automatic version of the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon from 2018 (3.95 mm).
The WOTY jury honors Babin here for these accomplishments as well as his courageous leadership, which led to the successful Geneva Watch Days.
For the original CH24.PL post in English announcing the winners see www.en.ch24.pl/2020-ch24-watch-of-the-year-the-winners.