We all faced the dilemma of buying a new watch. Because Christmas 2014 is coming, we, at Monochrome, decided to help you and to give you a few ideas of what could be the best watches to buy, depending on your budget and your tastes. Of course, watches are expensive toys and some of them are, for most of you (and for us too), dream-timepieces. However, this selection is wide and will go from 150 euros to north of 150,000 euros. Here is the Watches buying-guide for Christmas 2014 by Monochrome-Watches.
For more details about the watches selected, click on the link to find a complete article with our thoughts.
Watches under 3,000 euros
The toughest category for sure, where competition is the hardest. Of course, you can easily go for a used Omega, a simple TAG Heuer or a vintage Breitling. You can even find some second-hand Rolexes. However, we wanted to focus on new timepieces. Here are the best ‘affordable’ watches of 2014:
- Tudor Black Bay Midnight Blue: a very cool, vintage-inspired dive watch, with a stunning look on the wrist and a superb quality. Price: 2,780 euros on steel bracelet and 2,530 euros on leather strap (both option also include a fabric strap)
- Longines Heritage 1935: a modern reinterpretation of a military watch, with a solid design, a good quality and a very reasonable price. A watch that suits a classy or sporty outfit. Price: 1,450 euros.
- Swatch Sistem 51: the cheapest watch of our selection delivers a lot for the price. A real innovative watch, with a strong horological content, swiss-made and produced in-house. A 2014 must have. Price: 150 euros (only…)
- SUF Paroni Flying Finn: for the adventurous collectors with low budget, we found the possibility to have a watch almost unique. We bet you’ll never see someone else with this watch made by Sarpaneva. And it also looks very cool. Price: 2,480 euros.
Let’s be classical and elegant. Here is a category where novelty and originality is rare. However, you know us: we love complicated and innovative watches. So, even if we tried to keep this category classical, our Watches buying guide for Christmas 2014 has to reflect our love for beautiful watchmaking. Here are 4 of the best dress watches made in 2014:
- Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin 1907: one of the most elegant and thinnest watch in the world. This JLC represents everything a dress watch should be: thin, reasonably sized, discreet. It even has quite a strong movement. Price: 15,000 euros.
- Montblanc Meisterstück Heritage Perpetual Calendar: A classic watch and perhaps not overly spectacular when talking about design but that comes with a perpetual calendar for the price of a simple calendar. Montblanc have created a very interesting offer. Price: under 10,000 euros in steel and 16,900 euros in pink gold. We challenge you to find a cheaper perpetual calendar.
- Breguet Chronometrie 7727: the winner of the 2014 edition of the GPHG, a watch that mixes a stunning but classical design with a truly innovative movement which uses magnetism to improve accuracy. Price: 34,000 euros.
- Girard-Perregaux 1966 Blue dial and Pink Gold: one of our favorite watches of Baselworld 2014, with its sumptuous blue dial and pink gold case. A dress watch that brings some freshness and originality with a nice movement. Price: 13,450 euros.
Sports watches are certainly the most important market for brands, as the competition is extremely tough and the range offer very large. Because of this reason, we tried to have a selection of ‘must-have’ timepieces that will be for sure best-sellers: Rolex, Omega and IWC… You can’t go wrong with these watches. If you had to choose only a single watch, you should buy one in this category, as they will suit you in every occasion.
- Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 Ref. 116600: it’s back! The iconic dive watch by Rolex in its updated edition, with a clean design, finally a good bracelet and a ceramic bezel. Timeless, classical, robust and efficient. A very serious contender. Price: 8,400 euros.
- Omega Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial: THE watch that people talked about in Baselworld 2014, using the iconic vintage design of the 1957 Seamaster 300m with a superb movement and a great look. Rolex, be very careful, Omega has done quite a job with this one (even the price is highly competitive). Price: 4,950 euros in stainless steel.
- IWC Aquatimer Chronograph: A very cool watch, mixing a great diving capacity with a chronograph. An icon for IWC, updated this year with a very nice design and its usual tool-watch inspiration. Price: 6,500 euros.
- Oris Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter: A massive, bulky pilot watch with an interesting feature: a mechanical altimeter. Ok, it is not very useful for most of us, but it is very cool. Quality and price are also great. Price: 2,900 euros on fabric strap.
The watches presented here could have been placed into ‘Sports Watches’ or ‘Dress Watches’ categories. However, the chronograph is the most common complication and certainly the preferred one. Once again, the competition here is extremely tough and the chronograph can range can go from simple ETA-powered timepieces to extremely complicated and superbly finished watches. Without any consideration of the budget, here are 4 chronographs that might be considered as the best of 2014.
- Montblanc Montblanc Meisterstück Heritage Pulsograph: this one could very well be selected for its movement only: a vintage manual Minerva calibre, with one of the most beautiful layouts and finishes, activated by a mono-pusher. Well, the design and the feeling on the wrist are also stunning. A very successful watch (be fast, it is limited to 90 pieces and likely to be sold out. Other watches use the same movement in the Villeret Collection). Price: 27,000 euros.
- Omega Speedmaster Lunar Dust / Grey Side of the Moon: A iconic watch with a technical approach, a case made of metallic grey ceramic that looks superb in the flesh. In-house movement, great design, very high quality. A desirable chronograph. Price: 9,400 euros.
- Patek Philippe Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph ref. 5990/1A : the new edition of the Nautilus Chronograph, with an added time-zone indication and still, the same iconic design and superb quality. What else to say? If you can afford it, run! Price: 43,520 euros.
- Glashütte Original Senator Chronograph Panorama Date: a dress chronograph, made with all the respect due to German Watchmaking. Elegant, balanced and coming with an handsome movement. A beautiful watch for those who want to mix elegance and sports. Price: 25,500 euros in gold.
Independent watchmakers… Something we are craving for here, at Monochrome-Watches. This category is highly personal and mixes all types of watches. Of course, this selection won’t focus on price or simplicity. What we want here is to show how heterogeneous is the watch industry and what independent companies can create, far from the mainstream brands. Complication, unusual displays, stunning finishes.
- F.P. Journe Chronomètre Souverain Solid Gold dials: A proper gold watch: movement is in gold, case is in gold, hands are in gold and now, dial is in gold. However, it is never showy. It has a true finesse and a superb movement. Perfect to keep refinement and classism, far away from mass luxury. Price: 26,800 euros.
- Speake Marin Spirit Wing Commander: A true pilot watch with the perfect dosage of exclusivity. Take all the elements of a navigation tool, mix it with Peter Speake-Marin design codes and you obtain a very cool watch. And the price / quality ratio is impressive. Price: circa. 6,200 euros.
- URWERK UR-105: a value proposition.. Well, no worries, it is still one of the most extravagant watch presented this year. Satellites to indicate time, control board on the back, in-house movement: it is 100% URWERK. And it looks so-cool. Price: 58,000 euros in steel and 63,000 euros in black DLC.
- HYT H1 Red2: nothing here is reasonable: 48mm diameter, fluidic indication of time, use of medical technology, non-compromising design. We tried it and we loved it, simply because of this extreme spirit! Price: 59,000 euros.
Here, we don’t want to look at the price and instead dream of what could be our wish-list of the best watches presented in 2014. If you were on an unlimited budget, what should you buy or offer this year? Let’s hope all of our readers can afford such watches, at least if not right now, then sometime in the future!
- A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar Terraluna: one of the most complicated watches made by Lange & Sohne, a perpetual calendar with regulator display and a caseback that reveals a pure dream machine. It has everything: complications, elegance, extravagance, exclusivity. Price: 185,000 euros.
- H. Moser Endeavour Perpetual Black Edition: the proof that a complicated watch can also be simple in appearance. Moser brings us the most simple perpetual calendar we’ve seen so far, together with a stunning design and a movement to die for. We love it here at Monochrome. Price: Around 43,000 Euros.
- De Bethune DB28 MaxiChrono: another dream machine, with one of the most beautiful movements ever produced and a finish worthy of a Pagani Zonda. Furthermore, it enhances the chronograph system with no less than 3 different clutch mechanisms, 3 column wheels and 5 hands on a single axis. An impressive piece of modern horology. Price: Around 160,000 euros.
- Gronefeld Parallax Tourbillon: An exceptional piece of subtle horology, with a modern design and a crazy attention to details. The cool feature: a flying tourbillon that makes a full rotation in 60 seconds, and a large central seconds hand that moves in parallel of the tourbillon. Price: around 165,000 euros.