It may just seem like another year is coming to a close, another year is around the corner. However, 2020 isn’t just another year. It ushers in a new decade. 2010 may not seem like that long ago, but here are a few things to put it into perspective. In 2010, the hit TV show Lost was in its final season. Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon first debuted the History of Rap at the Emmys. The film Inception hit theaters. The world lost celebrities like Dennis Hopper, Leslie Nielsen, and Alexander McQueen. A lot has happened in pop culture and in our world in the past ten years. The same is true in the watch industry. Since 2010, we’ve seen the release of some incredible models. Some of them feel like they’ve been around for more than a decade, and some might surprise you. This is by no means a definitive list. It’s simply our attempt at a retrospective of watches that have shaped our industry in the last ten years. From 2010 to 2019, here are some of the best watches we’ve seen in the past decade.
2010: Tudor Heritage Chronograph
We’re kicking off our look back at some memorable watches of the decade with the Tudor Heritage Chronograph in 2010. This model was the talk of the town leading up to its debut at Baselworld. As the name suggests, it draws inspiration from the brand’s 1970s chrono called the Monte Carlo. This modern take on the design features slightly larger proportions and some other upgraded features.
2011: OMEGA Speedmaster Co-Axial Automatic Chronograph
Next up is OMEGA’s Speedmaster Co-Axial Automatic Chronograph, released in 2011. We’d go so far as to say this model wasn’t just a hit for the decade. It’s a hit within the Speedmaster line as a whole. Let’s work from the inside out. Arguably, the most exciting feature of this model is the brand new, in-house, automatic co-axial chronograph movement. Next, it gets a new dial layout with just two horizontally oriented registers. You’ll also notice larger 44.25mm proportions and the option of three metals: stainless steel, platinum, and rose gold. Last but not least, there’s an upgraded bracelet with a new, easy-to-use size adjusting system.
2012: Bell & Ross Vintage BR126 Sport
2012 welcomed a new offering from Bell & Ross: the Vintage BR126 Sport. This model was another standout from Baselworld that year. The “sport” designation comes from the watch’s bezel, which is reminiscent of dive watch bezels of the 1950s. It marked the first appearance of such a bezel design within the Vintage BR collection. Like most vintage remakes, the BR126 Sport boasts more modern proportions. Overall, this is a highly versatile piece for everyday wear with just the right touch of vintage cues.
2013: Rolex GMT Master II Batman
All right, here’s an example of a model that may be hard to believe it debuted just six years ago. The 2013 Rolex GMT Master II Batman marked a major feat for the brand. To understand why, you have to rewind back to 2005. That year, Rolex first unveiled their all-new Cerachrom bezel in the GMT collection. However, at the time, they were only able to create it in a solid colorway. It didn’t allow for the beloved two-tone design that had become a signature of the line, until 2013. After eight years, Rolex finally developed a patented method, and the first two-tone Cerachrom GMT was born.
2014: Nomos Orion 1989
While the Nomos brand is relatively young, it’s deeply rooted in history. They established just months after the fall of the Berlin Wall and soon after, the end of the Cold War. In honor of the 25th anniversary of this monumental moment for the brand and their country, they debuted the Orion 1989 in 2014. The model incorporates subtle details to commemorate the milestone, like a galvanized “November” grey textured dial with diamond polishing.
2015: TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer 01
TAG Heuer first welcomed the legendary Jean-Claude Biver as CEO in December 2014. When the Carrera Calibre Heuer 01 launched in 2015, it marked the brand’s first new Carrera offering under his leadership. One of Biver’s goals was to move TAG Heuer out of the Steve McQueen era and into the new millennium in order to reach younger buyers. The Carrera Calibre Heuer 01 reflects this objective while potentially isolating more traditional devotees of the brand. It features an ultra-modern skeletonized dial and hybrid titanium and stainless steel construction. This model was controversial to say the least, but controversy has proven successful for Biver. Just look at what he did for Hublot with the Big Bang.
2016: Hublot Big Bang Unico Sapphire
Speaking of the devil, our pick for 2016 is none other than the Hublot Big Bang Unico Sapphire. The Big Bang, in its original form, is one of the most bold and avant-garde models on the market. In 2016, they upped the ante with a striking totally clear iteration. To achieve this unique effect, the brand constructed the case, bezel, and caseback entirely from sapphire crystal. This marked an industry first for the production of a large-scale series of watches.
2017: Longines Heritage 1945
Some consider 2017 a year of going back to basics, a year for the time-only watch. The Longines Heritage 1945 is an example of near perfect execution in this area. It showcases clean lines, it’s incredibly versatile, and dare we say it has a dash of elegance? The Heritage 1945 features a 40mm stainless steel construction and contrasting brushed copper dial. This is a truly modern incarnation of a mid-century dress watch.
2018: Breitling Superocean Heritage II B01 Chronograph
2017 marked the monumental 60th anniversary of Breitling’s Superocean collection. The occasion spurred a few new models in the collection, including the Heritage Ii Chronograph. Just a year later in 2018, Breitling gave the commemorative model an upgrade in the form of the brand’s in-house Caliber B01 movement. Breitling took five years of research and development, and looked at the best chronograph movements available to design the B01.
2019: Panerai Submersible 42mm
So, here we are, back in present day, the year 2019. Our pick for the year is the Panerai Submersible 42mm. We certainly appreciate Panerai’s history of robust, monster-sized watches. However, this slightly smaller 42mm variation is a welcome addition to the collection. It helps make the brand more accessible to all wrist sizes and personal preferences. Despite the more modest proportions, the model is still thoroughly modern.