2020 has been a mixed year for watch releases. Facing the ongoing difficulties presented by the pandemic, many brands have eschewed some of their larger releases altogether in favor of more modest campaigns. Conversely, other brands charged ahead, taking advantage of the new landscape, adjusting to the conditions, and unveiling creative designs and initiatives for the market.
Despite the turbulence, 2020 has undoubtedly been a remarkable year for the watch world on social media, with brands and collectors connecting like they never have before through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, YouTube, and other channels. In the spirit of social media and looking back on 2020, we put together a list of the top five watches of the year — that is, according to impressions on WatchTime’s Instagram account.
WatchTime Live was one of our favorite highlights of the year, bringing together so many great brands, thought leaders, and collectors for our best digital event yet! One of the most exciting watchmakers we and our visitors caught up with there was fan-favorite A. Lange & Söhne, which over the course of the event unveiled and discussed several of its “Homage to F.A. Lange” Limited Editions.
The new 1815 Tourbograph Perpetual Honeygold, the most astoundingly complex of the Homage trio, quickly caught fire across our social channels. Limited to just 50 pieces and bringing together five different complications, all within a visually stunning design, it is no wonder as to why.
Nothing quite attracts the eye of watch collectors quite like a micro-rotor, and Parmigiani Fleurier’s new Toric Tourbillon Slate Edition, released at this year’s Watches & Wonders digital event, certainly did deliver.
The new watch — which represents the maison’s first to use of a tourbillon movement in the Toric collection — is an attractive combination of luxe textures and expert polishing. With a couple thousand likes for its slate-colored guilloché dial, openworked tourbillon, and platinum micro-rotor, among many other notable features, this was a watch people loved to see in 2020.
IWC picks one of its many collections to refresh each year, and in 2020 the focus was on the Portugieser line, paying particular attention to the luxurious Yacht Club sub-series. That turned out to be a wise move, as few watches caught as much attention on our channels as the brand’s new Portugieser Yacht Club Moon and Tide, IWC’s first watch to feature an unusual mechanical tide indicator.
Besides its unique complication at 12 o’clock, the 44.5-mm x 14.4-mm rose gold piece also showcases a moon-phase, spring and neap tide indicator, and the eye catching automatic Caliber 82835, a movement developed in-house by the brand.
We didn’t expect to find this next model toward the top of our list, and you probably didn’t, either, but the watch world has a way of surprising us all. We are talking, of course, about the Citizen Promaster Sky 30th Anniversary, the flagship model in the Japanese brand’s revamped Promaster line, and one keenly geared toward use by professional pilots.
Priced at $2,500, though currently on sale by Citizen for $2,000, the Promaster Sky 30th Anniversary is easily the most affordable watch on our list and arguably the most eye-catching due to its super-complex dial.
If the Citizen model above was the watch least expected to make the list, the Omega “Silver Snoopy Award” 50th Anniversary, with its amazing and unprecedented moving caseback, was probably the one most anticipated to take the top slot.
With tens of thousands of eyes viewing Snoopy’s mechanical launch into orbit, the unofficial Speedmaster of the Year is as technologically intriguing as it is visually engaging. Even when it isn’t moving, the caseback alone captures your attention thanks to its unorthodox and playful style — a unique look that begs you to flip the watch over to take a peek.
When you are wearing the watch on your wrist, the dial and case feature all the aesthetic elements you love about the original, classic Speedmaster Professional, here in a handsome blue-and-white special-edition package. Altogether it offers something quite unique from Omega, and a highly-praised refresh to an already incredibly popular collection.
What do you think of our list? Mostly what you expected or full of surprises? Let us know in the comments!