In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and the major watch shows declaring they would not take place this year, many of the world’s watch brands said they would delay releasing new models, and some, including Patek Philippe, postponed their entire 2020 launch programme by a year.
Since February, when lockdowns were imposed in China, there has been steep decline in the industry. In March, Swiss watch exports dropped 21.9 per cent by value compared with 2019. In Hong Kong it was even worse, a fall of 41.3 per cent.
Then, at the end of April, things began to recover as companies partially reopened watchmaking facilities and activity began to return to the watch world, albeit slowly and cautiously. These three new pieces from Patek, TAG and Tudor represent the latest signs of recovery in the sector.
Patek Philippe 6007A-001 Calatrava
The arrival of Patek’s new Calatrava caught many by surprise considering the company said it wasn’t going to release any new watches this year. But considering this piece has “2019” on the sapphire caseback, this may well be a watch that was previously delayed.
Built to mark the opening of the Patek’s new production building in Plan-les-Ouates on the outskirts of Geneva, the limited edition 6007A-001 Calatrava has a 40mm polished steel case and blue dial encasing the Caliber 324 S C self-winding movement with a power reserve of 45 hours. Water resistant to 30 metres, this is a surprisingly sporty piece from Patek for the more traditional Calatrava line.
Significantly for Patek, this is a steel watch – a rarity for the brand. Steel Patek’s often have two-year waiting lists and as a consequence frequently go for double the retail price on the second-hand market.
Price: £21,710 | Patek
Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight “Navy Blue”
Tudor has been continually getting things right since the brand’s unofficial relaunch back in 2010.
This week, Tudor announced a navy version of its Black Bay Fifty-Eight, which has been in such demand since its launch in 2018 that most dealers still have months-long waiting lists to buy one. It’s a perfect dive watch, with a 39mm steel case, 200m of water resistance and 70 hours of power reserve.
Fans of the brand have been asking for this watch in more colours, hence this blue Black Bay Fifty-Eight available on a steel bracelet, a synthetic ‘soft touch’ strap or (our choice) a NATO-style fabric strap. The colour has significance to the brand, too, as the navy colour here references the classic “Snowflake” Submariner watches Tudor produced for the French Navy in the 1970s.
Price: from £2,520 | Tudor | Beaverbrooks
TAG Heuer Connected summer editions
Five years after TAG’s first smartwatch, the 2020 edition of the Connected was announced back in March adding its own custom Sports app for golf, running and cycling. Running Wear OS, the 45mm sports smartwatch with built-in GPS and heart-rate sensor, is as premium-looking as before, with a stainless steel and new titanium case options. And now you also have ceramic bezels and pushers to go with a 1.39-inch OLED 454 x 4545 display that’s closer to the sapphire.
This week, TAG launched three additions to the line that introduce new colours as well as a new Helios watch face: two stainless-steel options with a deep blue ceramic bezel and either a steel bracelet or blue rubber strap, and a third option of lightweight sand-blasted titanium on a black rubber strap. Our pick is the steel version, with a navy rubber strap and the Deep Blue iteration of the Helios face.
Price: from £1,495 | TAG Heuer
Jeremy White is WIRED’s executive editor. He tweets from @jeremywired
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