These are my picks for my favourite watches of 2013. Creating this list has made me realize just how much my taste leans towards retro styled watches. I have not included watches that I admire or are important from a technical standpoint but chosen watches that I find appealing and could conceivably be within my grasp to own someday.
Best Watches of 2013 – Alpina 130 Heritage Pilot Auto Chrono
The design of the Alpina 130 Heritage Pilot Automatic Chronograph is based on Alpina`s renowned “Alpina 4”watch from 1938 regarded as one of the first sports watches and as Alpina`s first iconic model. This new model is a faithful recreation of the early model albeit with a larger case to suite modern tastes. The dial features a classic retro design, with outer Telemeter and central ‘snail’ Tachymeter scales and comes in white, black, or anthracite.
Available in Stainless Steel or gold plated the Alpina 130 Heritage Pilot Automatic Chronograph has the “look” and aesthetic appeal reminiscent of the classic chronographs of the 1930s and 1940s but has all of the advantages of a modern mechanical chronograph.
Its style conjures up images of a bygone era and manages to capture the charm of the original vintage model but has all the technological trappings of present day. (www.alpina-watches.com)
Best Watches of 2013 – Omega Seamaster Bullhead
Omega Seamaster Bullhead watches started appearing in the 1960′s and many brands produced one including amongst others Breitling, Heuer, Bulova, and Japanese brands such as Seiko and Citizen. These early models have become quite collectible, although during their time they were not very popular. The re-issue of Omega’s 1969 Bullhead Chronograph unveiled in Baselworld faithfully recalls the original version and fulfils a long-standing request from Seamaster Bullhead fans.
The asymetrical wedge shaped case with its unusual design has an idiosyncratic feeling to it that I really like. The case exhibits the quality you expect from Omega, the brushed and polished steel case has flat pushers which distinguish it from the original but the most significant change can be found with the movement. This new Bullhead features an an automatic Omega Co-Axial calibre 3113 movement instead of the manually wound caliber 930 found in the original, this is the more desireable column wheel-equipped chronograph. I like both dial combos, the white version has a more classical look while the black has a sportier feel and they come with matching stitched leather straps combining to give the watch a nice modern retro look. (www.omegawatches.com)
Best Watches of 2013 – Longines Avigation
Longines are well known for their aviation watches and this year they released a new model to compliment their current collection.
The name of this model is formed from a combination of ‘navigation’ and ‘aviation’ and is called the Avigation. Im a fan of the styling of Longines retro style pilots watches and this new one features a large attention grabbing onion crown. It comes in three variants but my favourite is the chronograph, partly because the other two designs feature a chopped 6 caused by the date window but also because I like chronograph models.
The stainless steel case has a fluted bi-directional bezel and loop style lugs and inside the chronograph version is Longines L615 self-winding mechanical movement which uses the sought after column wheel type and is very reasonably priced considering.
Like some of Longines other Aviation models the Longines Avigation recalls a bygone era from the early days of flight, with the oversize crown a distinct reminder of the practical features used in early pilots watches adding to the charm of this watch. (www.longines.com)
Best Watches of 2013 – Bremont Codebreaker
During the Second World War the British military intelligence hq at Bletchley Park significantly helped to hasten the end of the war by unlocking the secrets of the German Enigma and Lorenz machines with their codebreaking. Bremont chose to commemorate this for their latest limited edition watch the “Bremont Codebreaker“
It features all the technical aspects you expect from a Bremont watch combined with some unique details that have been created using historical artefacts acquired from Bletchley Park. Attached at the nine o’clock position on the side of the case is a unique serial number displayed using numbers from a punch card from one of the early computers used to help with codebreaking. While the crown also incorporates wood from from Bletchley Park, in this case using wood from Hut 6 considered the nerve centre of operations. Furthermore internally the movements rotor actually uses metal from an original Enigma machine rotor.
This is Bremonts first flyback chronograph and with its pieces of code breaking history from World War II makes for intriguing and charming piece conjures up images of a bygone era. (www.bremont.com)
Best Watches of 2013 – Tudor Heritage Chronograph Blue
Inspired by a vintage Tudor watch, the“Montecarlo” ref. 7169. This new model is a remarkably faithful rendition of the vintage model apart from its size and some small details. The Tudor Heritage captures the look of the original version nicely while this new model has been updated to a contemporary size of 42mm and apart from a design standpoint this model is also new and improved version through its use of modern materials for its construction.
The Heritage Chrono Blue`s case is as you would expect beautifully machine finished with bevelled case edges. The colourful dial and its combination of orange and white over blue really works nicely, the treatment of the two sub-dials adds to the vintage styling and I think it looks particularly good in combination with the striped Nato strap with matching colour scheme.
The Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue has Swiss horological excellence with inspired retro styling, I really like this dial version because of its traditional vibe and it has the wrist presence of a vintage watch combined with the case size of a modern piece. Originals of this watch can go for $25k so this piece is no doubt very collectible but has all the technological trappings of present day. (www.tudorwatch.com)
This article is part of “Best Watches of 2013” series for DreamChrono Blog :
http://blog.dreamchrono.com/2014/01/best-womens-watches-of-2013-by-tracey-llewellyn/ (2013 Picks of Tracey Llwellyn)
http://blog.dreamchrono.com/2013/12/best-watches-of-2013-by-amr-sindi/ (2013 Picks of Amr Sindi)
http://blog.dreamchrono.com/2013/12/best-watches-of-2013-by-angus-davies/ (2013 Picks of Angus Davies)
http://blog.dreamchrono.com/2013/12/best-watches-of-2013-by-michael-weare/ (2013 Picks of Michael Weare)
http://blog.dreamchrono.com/2013/12/best-watches-of-2013-by-ken-kessler/ (2013 Picks of Ken Kessler)
http://blog.dreamchrono.com/2013/12/best-watches-of-2013-by-eduard-osipov/ (2013 Picks of Eduard Osipov)