APPLE AND SAMSUNG SMARTWATCHES ARE FEARSOME FOES AT THE FASHION AND QUARTZ END OF THE MARKET, BUT THE WATCHMAKERS FEATURED HERE WILL NOT GIVE UP THE BATTLE FOR STYLE-CONSCIOUS CUSTOMERS, AND THESE WATCHES LOOK A WHOLE LOT BETTER THAN A BLACK SCREEN.
WATCHES OF THE YEAR WINNER:
Victorinox, the brand synonymous with the traditional Swiss army knife, added a stunning GMT version to its bestselling FieldForce collection this year. Much like the brand’s hugely popular INOX watch range, the FieldForce is built with indestructibility in mind.
The addition of more functionality is an evolution that should please its fans, especially those travelling between time zones again once covid stops ruling our lives.
The 42mm steel watches, which house a Ronda quartz movement, come with a 5-year warranty. Versions are available with black or blue dials and with the options of black leather or rubber straps or a stainless steel bracelet.
WATCHES OF THE YEAR: FASHION AND QUARTZ
MONDAINE CLASSIC SPRING
How do you improve on a design as timeless as Mondaine’s Classic? The answer in 2020 was to take the much-loved watch down an environmentally friendly route and add splashes of colour.
As usual, the design is based on the Official Swiss Railway (SBB) Clock, with the red lollipop second hand on a white dial. The selection of coloured textile straps, including mint, coral, chilli red, anthracite grey and classic blue, are where the watch earns its green credentials. They’re made from recycled materials, which chimes with the brand’s ongoing sustainable push (“We care” is one of Mondaine’s mission statements). Not only are the straps environmentally friendly, they’re also very practical. Thanks to Mondaine’s quick-change system, the straps can be swapped without tools.
Deeply influenced by Missoni codes, with its exciting range of variations the Missoni M1 collection is a strong statement of modern style. The essential case silhouette exalts the vibrant colors and fine materials chosen for dials and straps.
In one model, the geometric, eye catching enamel striped dial is paired with a sober black calf leather. In another one, the game of chromatic
contrasts is reversed, with the metal guilloché dial combined with a colorful zigzag embossed leather strap.
A third version, which is a perfect idea for Christmas, comes with a precious dial embellished with a zigzag knit lamé fabric hallmark of the Missoni style. The gift set is offered with an interchangeable metal bracelet or lurex strap. Indeed, all straps and bracelets in the Missoni collection are interchangeable: thanks to the quick change system, the watches change style, offering endless possibilities for customization.
PAUL SMITH SPECIAL EDITION
This collaboration between two iconic brands has managed to play to both companies’ respective strengths. Braun’s German Bauhaus minimalism and Paul Smith’s renowned sartorial elegance combine to produce a watch that is distinctive and classy. The watch has the traditional clean lines and finish that Braun is famous for, but it has been spiced up with the multi-coloured stripe, which is a design signature of Paul Smith, on the second hand.
“The subtle addition of Paul Smiths unmistakable stripe and logo adds a playful detail to three timeless designs that prioritise form, function, and clarity,” the companies say. The partnership also produced a wall clock and travel clock, which are made with the same aesthetic and ergonomic harmony.
CITIZEN SUPER TITANIUM ARMOR
To help celebrate the 50th anniversary of its first titanium watch, Citizen brought out three Super Titanium Armor watches in 2020. In 1970 Citizen claimed to have made the world’s first titanium watch, which was known as the X-8 Chronometer. The X-8 Chronometer was 99.6% pure titanium, but the current collection uses a proprietary surface-hardening technology called Duratect to make them more resistant to scratches.
It also makes Super Titanium easier to polish and can be given different colour tones such as silver, black, gold, and pink gold.
Appropriately, this year’s anniversary watches are inspired by modern armour and its bold, sharp lines. A three-hander with date has a crown at 4 o’clock while two chronographs have unidirectional bezels that cover the pusher creating a seamless case design.