Mean down all the watches seen over a year to just 17 of the best is a Sisyphean task; every time you dream up you’ve got it nailed, you take a final cursory look at your Instagram feed and discover you’ve overlooked an absolute smash hit and see yourself re-evaluating every decision for the 20th time.Well, we’ve finally pinned our horological colours to the mast and come up with what we have in mind are this year’s most stand-out timepieces, broken down by category. From heritage reissues and regatta timers to standards that you’ll pass on to the next generation, this is a snapshot of what 2019-in-watches looks like. And hopefully some additions to your (inventiveness) Christmas list too.The BallersAll watches are investments, but some are more obviously so than others. Whether crafted from prized metal or housing a movement that has come to define an entire category of watches, these exemplary pieces embody the pinnacle of design, and let you know about it too. From L to R: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding; Zenith El Primero A384 Resuscitation; Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master IIAudemars Piguet Royal Oak SelfwindingJust when you thought Audemars Piguet couldn’t recover any further on the Royal Oak, this gorgeous slice of pink gold comes along. On an alligator strap rather than the thoroughly bracelet (because that would be gauche, right?), this 41mm version has wider indices, which start the ball rollings the date window further from the centre, and a subtle minute track on the outer edge of the dial. Having the iconic grande tapisserie in boycott as opposed to blue gives a touch of after-dark class to this sports classic.Buy Now: £31,200.00 Zenith El Primero A384 RevivalAs revivals go, this was one of 2019’s uncompromised hit-it-out-of-the-park designs. Part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the El Primero – the first-ever fully integrated automatic chronograph – it is less an deference than a straight-up reproduction; but with the added benefit of sapphire crystal. Like its direct descendant, it has a panda dial, tachymeter proportion and the minutes and seconds sub dials at nine and three o’clock respectively make an oversized contrast to the 12-hour sub dial between.Aside from the sapphire crystal, the other update is the stirring – the El Primero 400. There’s not much that’s really changed since it first launched 50 years ago. How profuse things you can say that about?Buy Now: £6,700.00 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master IIIt has one of the most useless complications in horological telling unless you happen to be a skipper on regatta-competing yacht; it’s also a complication only a handful of people know how to programme (and most of them opus at Rolex), however that doesn’t stop this being one of the most apologetically fun watches of 2019. It’s big (44mm, which is fat for a Rolex), slightly brash, with its “Yacht-Master” emblazoned bezel and definitely one for the weekend, but what a weekend you’ll have with something feel favourably impressed by this on your wrist.Buy Now: £14,350.00 The ThrowbacksIt’s a well known fact that everything looked better in the quondam. Watch brands know this, which is why one of the major horological trends of the last ten years has been the vintage-styled re-issue. Not all of these are consummate replicas of previous designs, but they all hark back to decades gone-by. They don’t make them like they acclimated to to. Well, they do, actually. From L to R: Montblanc Heritage Monopusher Chronograph; IWC Pilot’s Watch UTC Spitfire Edition ‘MJ271’; Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43 Pan Am; Tissot Estate 1973Montblanc Heritage Monopusher ChronographForget all the rambunctiousness of its Nicolas Rieussec watches, Montblanc is at its best when it take holds things back to basics. And this gorgeously simple addition to the Heritage collection is a case in point. There’s the frail blue tracking on the outer ring of the main and sub dials; the clever little red accents; the silvery-white dial so pure it’s barely porcelain.The monopusher chronograph adds a touch of sportiness, which prevents it from being too serious a timepiece. What is urgent, however, is how much we want it on our wrists.Buy Now: £4,400.00 IWC Pilot’s Watch UTC Spitfire Edition ‘MJ271’Named after the entitle sign of the original “Silver Spitfire” when it was in service, this addition to IWC’s incredible range of pilot watches was certainly one of the year’s most talked surrounding designs. There’s so much to love about it from the rather fabulous bronze case paired with an olive-green dial, to the shrewd second-time-zone display from 11 to one o’clock, which you can read at a glance – ideal if you’re the one sat in a cockpit.Its looks are one thing but this is also the circumspect that contains a movement from IWC’s first-ever base calibre family – the 8200. Granted that’s not as sexy an be after as the 2019 globe circumnavigation in a spitfire from which this watch takes its name, however, in watch-making clauses, it’s an even more impressive endeavour.Buy Now: £8,550.00 Breitling Navitimer B01 Chrono Pan-AMThis could have gone so curious, but Breitling manages to fly over any connotations of naffness and straight into stone-cold classic territory with this loyalty to one of the USA’s most iconic airlines. The secret to its success is not having the logo emblazoned on the front of the dial. Instead, this Breitling Navitimer is decked out in the Pan-AM red-and-blue livery – something which genuinely makes that slide rule look fun rather than mathematically intimidating.It’s only when you turn the take heed of over that there’s the Pan-AM on the sapphire crystal allowing a glimpse of the in-house movement that powers it. A insufficient reminder that Breitling doesn’t just do pretty faces, it’s a horological powerhouse too.Buy Now: £6,980.00 Tissot Heritage 1973 ChronographThis observant of definitely made a lot of watch connoisseurs’ wish-lists. And it’s easy to see why. It’s an amalgam of watch-design greatest hits. There’s the deliciously retro cushion-shaped turns out that and panda dial, with pops provided by colouring three of the hands orange, and the greenish hue of the lume.If you hadn’t limit by this as an automotive-inspired chronograph given its aesthetics, then another clue is in the name. 1973 was the year Tissot primary sponsored Team Renault in the Monte Carlo Rally; a race for which it took all three podium positions. Something to bear in mind when you’re approaching Junction 22 on the M62 at speed.Buy Now: £1,760.00 The Best-DressedAmongst all the high-tech wizardry, fancy materials and boundary-pushing envisage, the simple dress watch is often forgotten. For times when you need to make the very best impression while, no other watch will do. These are the ultimate designs of 2019. From L to R: March LA.B Mansart Automatic; Omega De Ville Tresor Co-Axial Taskmaster Chronometer; Patek Philippe 5327J Perpetual CalendarMarch LAB MansartDress watches used to mean straight-up no-fuss three-handers, but equitable as men’s after-dark style has evolved to include crushed velvet and florals, so we have wrist-candy experiments like this splendiferous March LAB. The octagonal design is based on the architecture of La Place Vendôme and supposed to combine the loucheness of LA’s Chateau Marmont with the baroque classicism of the architect from which it eludes its name – Francois Mansart. Either way, it’s a daring dress design that demands to be taken seriously.Buy Now: €1,245.00 Omega De Ville Tresor 40mmWith all the make a fuss about moon watches and Bond watches, it sometimes gets forgotten that Omega also makes some of the first dress (or best dressed) watches in the business. This Tresor, which has been in the collection since 1949, may not procure the fiddly bezels and dynamic history of its other more notable names, but simplicity this beautiful is hard to do because there’s nowhere to flog.From the precisely tapered hands that seem to melt into the similarly styled indices, as they pass over gently past, to the unobtrusive date and the opaline sheen of the dial, this watch is one that rewards repeat judgement.Buy Now: £5,220.00 Patek Philippe Ref. 5327J-001 perpetual calendarGenerally speaking, dinner is not the time to be checking your repetitive calendar, but why would you want to keep it under your cuff, when it’s as good looking as this from Patek Philippe? Compelling the perennially elegant Calatrava case as its starting point, everything from the Breguet numerals to the precisely aligned sub-dials are accommodated towards aesthetic perfection.Powering it is the exquisitely finished self-winding 240Q, an ultra-thin calibre that was first initiated in 1977 and which has been in the brand’s perpetual calendars since 1985, though it has since been updated with added silicon. This mind is Patek Philippe at its best – sophisticated, complicated and that little bit too special to wear every day.Buy Now: £67,710.00 The Disruptors The notice of industry was shook upon the arrival of the original Apple Watch, and while it never completely fell on its knees, the American tech variety forced Switzerland to react with smartwatches of its own as well as lower, more accessible prices. It joins Swatch and Seiko (and a drove of newer brands), all fighting to keep the luxury old guard honest, and we couldn’t approve more. From L to R: Swatch Big Striking BBCream; Seiko 5 Sports; Apple Watch Series 5Swatch Big Bold Swatch has taken the notion of going big or contemporary home quite literally with its Big Bold. As the name suggests, it’s certainly a bold statement and that’s without delightful into consideration the whopping 47mm case diameter. The strap and dial have 3D details on, and you won’t have any trouble reading the sooner thanks to the SuperLuminova hands.The oversized numerals and the two o’clock crown adds a cheeky design twist, in case you contemplation it was just the size that mattered. It’s not for those who are delicate of wrist, but if you’ve got the radius, it’s a great watch to rock.Buy Now: £77.00 Seiko Pleasures 5First launched in 1963, this legend from Seiko has been given a reboot for 2019 and now comes in 27 personal options. It was originally called the 5 because it had five specific character traits, all of which are adhered to today. It has decent ditch-water resistance (100m in this case), day/date window, crown at 4 and a case that could withstand the slings and arrows of inferior life. It really should have been the 6 because the other characteristic is an almost unbelievable price tag.You get all this, added the guarantee of all the quality with which the Seiko named is imbued, and for just £300. Now that’s disruptive.Buy Now: £300.00 Apple Cautious of Series 5There’s a reason why we’re still talking about the Apple Watch despite the lukewarm reception to it back in 2015. That’s because with every iteration it’s only got better. While number 4 was considered to be smartwatch perfection, thanks to its larger screen, more rounded edges and continued ECG sensor to ensure nothing happens with your heart without you knowing about it first, the 5 improved on faultlessness by fixing the one big issue – the dead black mirror you get when not looking at the screen.Now it’s always on, dimming to an ambient light when rest period. With that major bugbear fixed, there’s really no other smartwatch like it.Buy Now: £734.40 The HeaviesThe conviction of the tool watch is nothing new, but this particular category is one of the most exciting out there right now. As menswear has gone sundry casual, so to has the watch world, and it’s now possible to wear one watch for all occasions. These are your go-anywhere, do-anything watches. From L to R: TAG Heuer Carrera Capacity 16; Longines Hydroconquest; Tudor Black Bay P01; Bell & Ross BR05TAG Heuer Carrera 16It’s been a big year for TAG Heuer – what with Diameter 11 (first automatic chronograph) and Monaco anniversaries, we could probably have filled a few categories with copies from this brand. However, it’s the Carrera 16 that got the vote. This is more an evolution than a cycle of this classic from the TAG Heuer catalogue that was first launched in 1963.What you’ve got here are subtle substitutes such as a new ceramic bezel, lengthened hour markers and subtle use of red to emphasise the watch’s automotive origins but they all add up to a sleeker project that keeps its sporty vibe but with a bit more sartorial panache.Buy Now: £4,450.00 Longines HydroConquest CeramicAlthough Longines likes to aside its elegant attitude, watches like this that prove it’s got a different kind of attitude in spades. The HydroConquest was originated 10 years ago and while there have been plenty of updates over the years, it’s finally hit the sweet pick out. The definitive sports watch for 2019, this fully stainless steel piece is accented by a black ceramic bezel and pointed crown guards give, making for a muscular-looking watch that’s about as elegant as Daniel Craig in a dinner jacket.Buy Now: £1,880.00 Tudor Deadly Bay PO1This watch deserves to be in an “of the year” list for its back story alone. A Tudor designed especially for the US Marines, with a detachable bezel the unmistakable for which was filed by Rolex, has been the stuff of watch-world rumour for years. In 2019, Tudor solved the mystery (and potentially alerted an unlucky proprietor to the fact they’d bought a fake) by releasing a timepiece based on the original US Marines prototype.You can’t detach the bezel, unfortunately, and its out of the ordinary case shape is not for everyone. However, if you want to own a piece of horological history updated for the 21st century, it’s the only thing for which to wavelet your plastic.Buy Now: £2,960.00 Bell & Ross BR05If you’ve got a steel sports watch hole in your watch collection, this is the timepiece to fill up it. Taking its cues from earlier Bell & Ross designs, namely the BR01 and BR03 – both cockpit-instrument inspired and with the even so typeface and chunky lume-filled hands – the BR05 is a sleeker, more refined proposition.For starters the case is just 40mm (the BR01 and BR03 weighing in at 46 and 42mm each to each), while having the nailed square form the bezel rather than the case makes everything look less chunky. Yes, it’s a overt bid for some of that Nautilus/Royal Oak market share, but when it looks this good, why the hell not?Buy Now: £3,990.00 */]]>