The first 6 months of 2020 have seen some immense releases in the watch industry. Omega kicked off the year with an Ed White re-edition and bringing the famed calibre 321 movement back into mainline series production. Not to be outdone, Grand Seiko showed the world just what it could do with a range of hand engraved limited editions, and Montblanc again showcased their Minerva powered monopusher chronograph in March. What 2020 has also brought to consumers, is a raft of more affordable luxury watches for those of us for whom Bulgari’s latest diamond encrusted tourbillon is a little too rich.
2020 has been a difficult year for everyone, but the watch industry has shown that even in times of tighter belts, impressive timepieces can still be had. Here are our top 5 under 6k for 2020 so far, in no particular order of course.
The Sinn U50 range
For years the Sinn U1 has been a huge hit amongst enthusiasts despite its larger case size of 44mm. So when Sinn announced the release of the Sinn U50 range, essentially a scaled down version of the aforementioned U1, fans of the German manufacturer rejoiced. The Sinn U50 offers a whopping 500m water resistance in a more mainstream appealing 41mm case. Sinn again impresses with the use of the brands signature tegemented steel, offering a greater level of scratch resistance, ensuring that this is a watch built to take a beating.
The Sinn U50 range starts at $4,320.00 AUD for the standard model, $4,570.00 AUD for the beefed up U50 SDR.
The Baume Et Mercier Hampton
Baume Et Mercier breathed new life into its Hampton range this year, focusing on classic art deco inspired designs for its rectangular cased line. In keeping with its classical design brief, the new Hampton automatic reference 10522, shows just how sweet, simple can be. With its opaline and grained silver dial, flanked by black ruthenium numerals and hour markers, the Hampton automatic hits a sweet spot between Cartier tank and JLC Reverso.
Available for $3,700.00 AUD, the Baume Et Mercier is fit for all of our Hamptons lifestyle dreams.
The Longines Hydroconquest (Green)
Longines used 2020 to jump aboard the green diver trend, somewhat late as it may be, by introducing the Hydroconquest green. Available in two case sizes, 41 and 43mm and either on a rubber strap or stainless steel bracelet, everything from the previous Hydroconquest model is still present. 300m water resistance, applied indices with generous lume and a 65-hour power reserve. Only now its green. Whilst a change of colour doesn’t make a whole new watch, in this case the departure from traditional black and blue dive watches in favour of this military-esque olive green, does make the watch undeniably more desirable.
The new Longines Hydroconquest green (Reference L3-781-4-06-6) is available for purchase for $2,325.00 AUD.
The Seiko Prospex black SPB125J1
Perhaps the unofficial kings of the budget friendly dive watch category, Seiko launched the Prospex black limited edition collection in 2020. The model here features a distinctive hard outer black coating to the stainless steel case, accented with bold orange hands and indices, this watch not only looks the part, its 200m water resistance and screw down crown mean it plays it too. Make no mistake, this is no petite desk diver, at 45mm wide and with a height of 13mm the Prospex black is a substantial watch on wrist.
Priced at $1400.00 AUD and limited to 7,000 pieces worldwide, the Prospex black is one special sumo.
The Breitling Navitimer 35
Breitling led the way this year in hosting their 2020 novelties online after the demise of Baselworld. The brand has found new life under the hand of CEO Georges Kern, reissuing heritage pieces, slimming down core line offerings, and here introducing a 35mm Navitimer to the collection. Whilst the brand markets the Navitimer 35 towards women, there’s no denying that this range sits beautifully on any wrist. Focusing on the three time only, non-diamond adorned variants, the Navitimer 35 is available in Silver, Blue or our personal pick of the bunch, Copper dials.
All three variants of the Navitimer 35 are priced at $5,620.00 AUD