Swatch, Shinola, TAG and IWC watches

Having done over 40 appointments alone at BaselWorld not to mention all the other press launches that have happened this year, doing a round-up was never going to be easy. However, the end of the year demands that we at least make some attempt to summarise what our watch highlights were.

Here’s a small, but by no means definitive, selection of some of the things that we wanted on our wrists.

Under £250

This category has really come on in the last year. A couple of years ago, you’d have been hard pushed to find anything but plasticky rubbish for under £250, but now there’s everything from the vintage delights of Olivia Burton to the frankly amazing automatic that is the Sistem51. In fact, this price bracket has so many good watches, you could quite easily have a new one on your wrist for every day of the week.

Swatch and Shore Projects watches Nixon, Olivia Burton and Guess watches

(Clockwise from top left: Swatch Sistem51 RRP: £108; Shore Projects RRP: £115; Guess Jetsetter RRP: £149; Olivia Burton Flower Show RRP: £65; Nixon Kensington RRP: £89)

£250 – £1,500

Design was the way the watches in this category grabbed our attention. There was Tory Burch taking inspiration from vintage jewellery designs while Mondaine plundered its Swiss typographical history and launched Helvetica. Shinola burst onto the scene with its slice of pure old-school Americana, which Hamilton also referenced with this gorgeous Pan Europ.

Shinola, Tory Burch, Mondaine and Hamtilton watches

(From left to right: Shinola Runwell RRP: £470; Tory Burch The Sawyer RRP: £635; Mondaine Helvetica Black RRP: £325; Hamilton Pan Europ RRP: £860)

£1,500 – £5,000

For those who think you need to spend inordinate amounts of money to get a really classy automatic, this category has plenty of delights to prove them wrong. And there was plenty this year to satisfy every taste. From the elegance of the new Montblanc Boheme and Boucheron collections and the Bauhaus cool of Nomos’s Metro to the chunky proportions of the Tudor Heritage Black Bay or the sleek sporty lines of the TAG Heuer’s new Carrera for women, these watches really did offer lots of reasons to raid the piggy bank.

Tag Heuer and Nomos watches Montblanc, Boucheron and Tudor watches

(Clockwise from top left: TAG Heuer Carrera RRP: £4,295; Nomos Metro RRP: £2,390; Tudor Heritage Black Bay RRP: £2,120; Boucheron Reflet RRP: £2,640; Montblanc Boheme Bleue RRP: £3,475)

Blow the Budget

There are some people who can afford the watches in this category and, suffice to say, we are insanely jealous of them. However, for most of us these are objects of lust pure and simple. But what objects. There’s the piece of aviation history contained in the Bremont Wright Flyer, the commemorative Patek Philippe that put rather masculine complications in a women’s watch and the slimline elegance of Bulgari’s Octo Finissimo. That’s not forgetting Chanel’s revolutionary beige gold and the frankly knee-weakening beauty of IWC’s first-ever range for women – the Portofino Midsize. A collection we did briefly considering robbing a bank to buy.

It’s been a fantastic year, watch-wise. Let’s hope 2015 delivers even more delights.

Bremont and Patek Philippe watches IWC, Bulgari and Chanel watches

(Clockwise from top left: Bremont Wright Flyer in rose gold RRP: £30,950; Patek Philippe MultiChrono RRP: £45,120; Chanel J12 in beige gold RRP: £POA; Bulgari Octo Finissimo RRP: £18,000; IWC Portofino Midsize Moonphase RRP: £POA)

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