The world of watches was subdued in 2016. Coming into the year, global economic and political uncertainty, and the continuing slowdown in major Asian markets, meant there was a cautious approach to innovation and design from the biggest groups.
At the major trade shows we witnessed a reluctance to shock with models that might have only limited appeal. Brands instead tweaked their blockbuster models, ensuring that they could still sell pieces from 2015 while feeding 2016 novelties into the channel.
It pains me to introduce a roundup of 2016 in this way because, if the rest of the world had performed even close to the UK market, the global watchmaking industry would be having the greatest Christmas party ever seen.
I keep waiting for the fun to stop in the UK. Most of the biggest brands (with the notable exception of all Swatch Group companies) had compensated for the weak pound by September with a 10% price hike, but the good times have just kept coming here in Blighty.
In October, alone, sales of luxury watches costing more than £1000 were up by a staggering 53% over the same month in 2015.
So, we are here to celebrate in grand style, by presenting you with the 100 watches that have impressed us most this year.
As only WatchPro can, we have mixed top end tourbillons from the biggest maisons with the sort of fashion fixes that punters can buy as a pay day treat. Because what delights us most is business success; the alchemy where design, innovation, engineering, manufacturing, branding, merchandising, salesmanship and customer service come together to turn horology into hard cash.
We are delighted to be helped this year by the incredible publishing teams at Hearst Magazines UK, who produce peerless fashion and lifestyle titles including Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, Men’s Health and Elle.
Editors of these titles really know their watches, and particularly the watches that their readers love, so our roundup this year is enriched with star watches chosen by journalists from their key titles.
For the full list of winner of this year’s WatchPro Watches of the Year in association with Hearst Magazines UK, please follow the links below: