Everything in 2020 was unexpected, many things were straight-up insane, and every time we thought we understood what was going on, we turned around and got another shock.
Nevertheless, 2020 managed to be a big year for the watch industry. And we did our very best to cover it all for you amidst the chaos. The stories below proved to be the most popular of all.
Thanks for joining us, day after day.
Here are the top 20 stories from 2020.
20. Introducing: The TAG Heuer Carrera Sport Chronograph 44mm Calibre Heuer 02 Automatic
Twenty-twenty was an important year for the Carrera, and this contemporary iteration turned out to be quite popular. Jon Bues called it “sporty in the right way” in his July 9 introduction to this watch, and found the colorful options equally appealing.
Check them out here.
19. In-Depth: Everything You Need To Know About The Rolex Explorer Ref. 14270
Danny Milton went as deep as anyone possibly could on one specific reference of the Rolex Explorer, and the result was two parts dissertation and one part poetry. After combing through all the different dial executions, bracelet and clasp combinations, and typographic decisions, it’s hard not to come away from this story with a deep appreciation for the Explorer (and for Danny).
If you missed it the first time around, check it out here.
18. Talking Watches: With Bethenny Frankel
Bethenny Frankel has many titles: entrepreneur, author, philanthropist, Shark Tank panelist, and former Real Housewife of New York. Back in January, she added one more to that list: Talking Watches guest. In this conversation with Cara Barrett, Bethenny shares her deep and eclectic collection (a Rolex Daytona ref. 116505 in rose gold with diamond indexes!) along with some stories that are both engaging and genuinely funny.
Watch it again by clicking here.
17. In-Depth: Why The Grand Seiko 60th Anniversary SLGH002 Is Some Of The Biggest Watch News Of 2020
Every once in a while, all you really need to do is pour yourself a nice big mug of coffee, sit in your most comfortable chair, and read a 3,000-word technical exploration by Jack Forster. In this piece about the Grand Seiko 60th Anniversary SLGH002, Jack went long on the company’s caliber 9SA5 and its new type of escapement, taking us on a trip that begins all the way back in 1755.
To take the journey again, click here.
16. Introducing: The Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 With New Colorful Dials
Right at the start of September, Rolex announced a slew of new watches, including these OP 36 models with cheery colored dials. Jon made the case for these watches, arguing, “It’s a fully spec’d out modern Rolex that would make a really compelling argument for everyday wear.” If only you can find one.
To check them out, click here.
15. In-Depth: Comparing Moonwatches: Hesalite Versus Sapphire
Some debates are eternal, and Hesalite vs. Sapphire is one of them. The best debates usually feature the most well-stated version of each side of the argument, and in this piece, Cole Pennington manages to provide exactly that. Which comes out on top? The answer may not be so simple.
To take a trip to the Moon and back with the Speedy, click here.
14. Hands-On: The Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight ‘Navy Blue’
Who better than James Stacey to examine the new Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight “Navy Blue?” While this piece was not entirely unexpected, it was nevertheless a major release. James put it best: “After seeing it in person, I can’t think of a better or more fitting addition to the Fifty-Eight lineup.”
Click here to see more of the new “Navy Blue.”
13. Breaking News: Rolex, Tudor, Patek Philippe, Chanel, And Chopard Leave Baselworld
Rolexit! On April 14, news broke that several major brands would pull out of the famous Baselworld trade show in order to launch a new Geneva-based version alongside the FHH. This began a tumultuous period that led to the cancelation of Baselworld as well as the rise of its replacement, HourUniverse. Still, the Rolexit news on April 14 was the first domino to fall.
To look back at that crazy period, click here.
12. In-Depth: The Apple Watch, Five Years In
Somehow, the Apple Watch simultaneously feels like it’s always been here, and like it just arrived. Stephen Pulvirent helpfully reminded us that only five years have passed since its launch, and that the watch has already made an indelible impact on both Apple and the industry at large.
Read this super well-reported piece here.
11. A Week On The Wrist: The Seiko Prospex SPB143
James’ love letter to the Seiko Prospex SPB143 is uncomplicated and straightforward. Here’s a guy who just really loves this watch, and he wants you to know about it. With more than 200 comments, it’s clear that James struck a chord. We’re not surprised the piece (not to mention the watch) connected with so many.
Read more by clicking here.
10. In-Depth: Twelve More Mistakes New Watch Enthusiasts Make (And How To Avoid Them)
In 2016, Ben Clymer wrote a piece called, “In-Depth: Twelve Mistakes New Watch Guys Make, And How To Avoid Them (From Someone Who’s Been There).” It was a wild success, and it’s still a story that we hear about regularly. And so, in 2020, Stephen decided to offer up a sequel, featuring 12 more mistakes to look out for.
See which pitfalls to avoid by clicking here.
9. Introducing: The Omega Speedmaster Caliber 321 ‘Ed White’ In Stainless Steel
There are stories that introduce new watches, and there are stories that introduce new watches. This piece, from Jack, is decidedly the latter. Jack eventually got to spend some serious time with this watch for A Week on the Wrist, but his first impressions still hold up today.
Read this article from January here.
8. A Week On The Wrist: The Rolex Daytona Ref. 116500LN
How do you look at one of the most hyped watches on offer with fresh eyes? According to Jack, “The Rolex Daytona is a very difficult watch to evaluate, and I think there is no way around it – it takes time, and it needs to be seen and experienced in person over time.” Fortunately, Jack got to spend some time with the Daytona for A Week on the Wrist, and his conclusions were, if not surprising, definitely poignant.
7. Three On Three: Comparing Mechanical Watches Under $ 1,000 From Seiko, Hamilton, And Tissot
Suppose you’re looking for a great mechanical watch for under $ 1,000, but you just don’t know where to start. Well, Jon, Cole, and Jack got together to share some news you can use, each offering up a suggested watch in the category. Which is the winner is up to you, but the real fun comes in reading the case each author makes for their pick.
Compare them all by clicking here.
6. Introducing: The Rolex Submariner Ref. 124060, A 41mm No-Date Sub With An Upgraded Movement (Live Pics & Pricing)
Our most-read watch introduction this year probably comes as no surprise. If Rolex launches a new Submariner, it’s a good bet that people will be interested. Stephen got to see the new watch in-person when it was launched, and he shared some surprising insights about the model as it compared to the outgoing ref. 114060.
Dig into the details by clicking here.
5. Reference Points: Understanding The Rolex GMT-Master
In March, Jon gave us a reference-grade dive into the world of the Rolex GMT-Master, and it’s hard to look at the watch the same way again. Starting with its roots in other classic Rolex sport watches, this edition of Reference Points spans half a century and concludes with the hard-to-get models of present day. With a look at everything from aviation to ceramic materials science, this one really does have it all – including what Jon refers to as, “the quintessential 1980s luxury watch.”
4. The Value Proposition: The Cult Classic Casio G-Shock GA2100 1-A-1 ‘CasiOak’
At just around $ 100, the so-called CasiOak is, according to Cole, “perhaps the single G-Shock that’s most likely to convert people who don’t generally embrace the line of rugged watches.” Its octagonal bezel is clearly the genesis of the nickname, but in this article, Cole looks just a bit closer to see what all of the fuss is about.
Follow along with him by clicking here.
3. A Week On The Wrist: The Seiko 5 Sports SRPD
If it ain’t broke, can you actually fix it? James went long to try to answer that question back in January, looking at the new Seiko 5 Sports SRPD through the lens of the Seiko SKX007 and his own entry into the world of watches. The result is personal, charming, and chock full of pretty pictures.
Spend A Week on the Wrist with the Seiko 5 Sports SRPD by clicking here.
2. Antiques Roadshow Features Man Who Bought Rolex Oyster Paul Newman For $ 345.97 In The Mid-70s And Never Wore It
Our No. 2 story of the year really does have it all: a Paul Newman Daytona, a stunned reaction, and a sweet camo headband. It’s hard not to be happy for this guy as he learns that the watch he bought for $ 345.97 is worth way, way more than that today.
Relive the whole thing here.
1. Just Because: Study Shows That Yes, People Who Wear Watches Really Are Superior Humans
This was our most-read story this year, and the margin wasn’t close. Do with this information what you will.
To read it, click here.
Do you have a favorite article from 2020? Let us know in the comments below!