These are the 16 best watches of 2016. We think. And we have categorized them by topic. Here we go!
The 16 best watches of 2016
Longest name for a watch: Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph Blancpain Ocean Commitment II
Size: 43.6 mm
Price: $ 20,100 | € 18.760 | CHF 18’800
This diver not only has a very long name, it’s also serving a good cause. From every sold piece of the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph Blancpain Ocean Commitment II 1,000 Euro’s will be donated to support oceanographic research. That alone earns a place between the 16 best watches of 2016. Besides that, the watch has a unique blue ceramic case and these Fifty Fathoms (since 1953) have a very good track record for diving.
Good: great brand, great diver
So-so: such a long name is stupid
Best sounding watch: Chopard L.U.C. Full Strike
Size: 42.5 mm
Price: CHF 265’000 | € 246.500 | approx. $ 238,000
The Chopard L.U.C. Full Strike is not only the first minute repeater by Chopard, it also uses crystal rings as gongs. Yes, the hammers are ticking against glass. Listen to the audio fragment in the post and be surprised by its clear sounds. Furthermore, it’s quite affordable for a minute repeater as most of them are about half a million. Worth a place in the list of 16 best watches of 2016.
Good: the gold is fair-mined
So-so: we can’t think of any, can you?
Coolest tribute watch: Zenith El Primero Skeleton Tribute To The Rolling Stones
Size: 45 mm
Price: $ 11,100 | € 11.400
Lots of watch brands are paying a tribute to a thing or person or animal or whatever. Most of these are rather dull, but this Zenith El Primero Skeleton Tribute To The Rolling Stones isn’t. It’s cool. Because the tongue of Mick Jagger himself is on the dial and spins like a vinyl record. Zenith attached the famous Stones logo on a disc connected to the small seconds mechanism. That’s enough to belong to the 16 best watches of 2016.
Good: seriously black and skeleton with some fun on the dial
So-so: it’s Zenith’s sixth watch paying a tribute to the Stones. How many do you want?
Most complicated watch: Patek Philippe Grand Complications Ref. 6300G-001 Grandmaster Chime
Size: 47.4 mm
Price: CHF 2’500’000 | approx. $ 2,450,000 | approx. € 2.244.000
This Patek Philippe Grand Complications Ref. 6300G-001 Grandmaster Chime is not even a limited edition. Although Patek had to spend more than 100,000 hours to develop, produce and assemble the watch. Yes, the price can be a hurdle (for more than 99.99% of the world) but with its 20 complications it can almost do anything a watch can technically do. Except for connecting with your phone. Who cares?
Good: belongs to the best of the best
So-so: when would you dare to wear it?
Most golden watch: Casio G-Shock MR-G GPS Hybrid Gold Hammer Tone MRGG1000HG-9A
Size: 54.7 x 49.8 mm
Price: $ 6,200 | approx. € 5.700
Forget about the fancy name, this Casio G-Shock MR-G GPS Hybrid Gold Hammer Tone MRGG1000HG-9A is the most golden watch of 2016. But it’s not gold. The hammered case is from coated titanium. And it has the size of a small country. The number of complications surpass those of the Most complicated watch of 2016, but this is a quartz. Which makes it a little easier to produce despite a Japanese guy who hammers all 300 pieces by hand.
Good: wearing it is making a statement
So-so: you look like Mr. T from the A-Team
Most artistic watch: Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso a Eclipse Self-portrait as a painter
Size: not specified
Price: € 101.000 | approx. $ 112,000
Jaeger’s Reverso is a classic, this Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso a Eclipse Self-portrait as a painter in particular. The dial contains the world-famous self-portrait of the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. It’s a hand-painted miniature enamel of the man who cut off one of his own ears. There is a roller on the right top of the watch to open or close a window to either show or hide the painting from 1888.
Good: the eclipse system
So-so: maybe you want Van Gogh’s Sunflowers on it? Jaeger has it…
Most transparent watch: Bell & Ross BR-X1 Tourbillon Sapphire
Size: 45 mm
Price: $ 500,000 | approx. € 460.000
Sure, a skeleton offers a great view on the movement, and sometimes your skin, but this one goes beyond that. The Bell & Ross BR-X1 Tourbillon Sapphire is made from sapphire showing you every part of the watch. It looks a bit weird, especially with the translucent rubber strap, but it will give you hours of pleasure to watch it move. That is why it’s on the list of the 16 best watches of 2016. And as sapphire is the second hardest material on earth you don’t have to worry about breaking it.
Good: it’s not as vulnerable as it looks
So-so: it looks a bit acrylic which is kind of cheap
Coolest astronomical watch: Christiaan van der Klaauw Hypernova
Size: 44 mm
Price: € 7.575 | approx. $ 8,265
This Christiaan van der Klaauw Hypernova is named after the most catastrophic event in the universe – save for the big bang. And for a watch less than 10,000 it has so much cool details, it’s almost a bargain. In a positive way. The moon phase is cool, so is the large date hand, the day/night indicator and the clean design of the dial. This watch proofs even very small watchmakers can create lovely time pieces and therefor it deserves a place in the list of the 16 best watches of 2016.
Good: fair price for such a quality watch
So-so: we’re still thinking…
Most mysterious watch: Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Skeleton Mysterious Hour
Size: 42 mm
Price: $ 75,000 | approx. € 69.000
We are not going to tell you how these hour and minute hands seems to float in the watch. The origin of floating hands goes back to 1839, and in 1912 a French clockmaker created a mystery clock for Cartier. Today this Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Skeleton Mysterious Hour still uses the same technical principles. It has something to do with glass. And illusions. Okay, read the post and we will tell you how it works.
Good: the skeletonized dial with roman numerals cut-out
So-so: people might think you’re a magician
Best looking not so expensive watch: Tissot Quickster NBA Teams Special Edition
Size: 42 mm
Price: € 380 | $ 395
Less than 500 and still looking attractive? Tissot has it. Although the sponsor contract for the National Basketball Association is probably not very cheap, these special editions of 10 NBA teams are very affordable. Yes, the Tissot Quickster NBA Teams Special Edition has a quartz movement, one that serves many quality watches from other brands as well, but this Tissot just looks good. And for the price of a proper automatic you can buy all 10 models of this one.
Good: lot’s of different colors (well, different straps)
So-so: the dial is not very NBA-ish
Coolest bronze watch: Montblanc 1858 Automatic Dual Time Bronze
Size: 44 mm
Price: € 4.990 | approx. $ 5,500
This year Montblanc launched three models with bronze and we think this Montblanc 1858 Automatic Dual Time Bronze is the coolest. Unfortunately, only one of these models has a bronze case, not this one. This one has a satinated stainless steel case with a bronze bezel and bronze crown. Which makes it more affordable while still having this touch of vintage Minerva military watches from the 1930s.
Good: the bronze develops its own unique patina over the years
So-so: a little over-prized for just a bronze bezel and crown
Best updated watch: Omega Speedmaster CK2998 Limited Edition
Size: 39.7 mm
Price: € 5.300 | CHF 5’400 | $ 5,200
Every watch lover knows the Speedmaster. And most of them love Speedmasters. We love all Speedmasters. Including this latest limited update: the Omega Speedmaster CK2998 Limited Edition. We have heard that it is already sold out (all 2,998 pieces) so if you find a new one: go for it. It keeps with tradition in a way it should, yet with some subtle changes and only 0.7 millimeters bigger than the original from the late 1950s.
Good: never stop developing
So-so: nothing beats the original (but it costs a lot more)
Closest to mother Nature watch: Jaquet Droz Charming Bird – the art of nature at its peak
Size: 47 mm
Price: CHF 410’000 | approx. $ 402,000 | approx. € 370.000
Pierre Jaquet-Droz (1721–1790) added music and automata to his clock movements and today the basics of these complications are still used. So, this Jaquet Droz Charming Bird – the art of nature at its peak has a tiny bird within a sapphire crystal dome. It is really singing a melody by blowing air into its mechanism. Take a look at the fascinating movement in the video of the post. It is why this watch belongs to the 16 best watches of 2016.
Good: astonishing techniques
So-so: do you want a watch with a bird in it?
Best retro watch: Oris Divers Sixty-Five Green Edition
Size: 42 mm
Price: CHF 1’900 | approx. $ 1,865 | approx. € 1.705
Retro means ‘imitative of a style or fashion from the recent past’. Look at this Oris Divers Sixty-Five Green Edition and judge for yourself. Its dark green dial, beige indexes and hands and the strap of ‘used’ leather makes it very vintage. A direct descendent of one of Oris’s first diver’s watches, introduced in 1965. If you really want to dive with this watch, go for the one with a rubber strap. Or buy another watch and keep this just to be retro.
Good: good size, good price, great looks
So-so: there are about a million different models, it’s not very unique
Coolest racing watch: TAG Heuer Formula One Max Verstappen Youngest Grand Prix Winner Special Edition
Size: 43 mm
Price: € 1.350 | approx. $ 1,475
Formula One has a new kid on the block: the 19-year-old Dutch racing driver Max Verstappen. He started in the Formula One when he was 17 and won his first Grand Prix in 2016, at the age of 18. Which makes him the youngest GP winner ever. This TAG Heuer Formula One Max Verstappen Youngest Grand Prix Winner Special Edition celebrates that precious moment. Cool detail: 18 in 180 on the tachy scale is in orange. 18 for his age, orange for the colors of The Netherlands.
Good: the happy color scheme
So-so: the price does not match with the quartz movement
Coolest pilot watch: Longines Avigation Watch Type A-7 1935
Size: 41 mm
Price: $ 2,050 | € 2.960
When you hold an aircraft’s control yoke, reading you watch can be difficult. That is why you should wear this Longines Avigation Watch Type A-7 1935 on the inside of your left wrist. The dial angles at 40º to the right so pilots can read the time without releasing the control yoke. The bigger, the better for a pilot, however this one measures 41 millimeters. It’s predecessor was 49 millimeters. Can we have something in between?
Good: nice price for such a cool pilot
So-so: 49 mm is too big for most of us, but 44 for a pilot is okay. Not 41 mm
These were the 16 best watches of 2016.