New year, new you: or so says every man as the 365-day calendar resets itself. Old habits die hard however, and if you consider yourself a watch aficionado, it’s one that’ll accompany you to the grave whatever the century. So providing your taste for a fine ticker is still intact (which we’re presuming it is - why else would you be here?), we’ve compiled a list of the watch brands with big futures ahead for 2018. Bon appetit.
Tudor does things differently. First, they tapped David Beckham for an ambassadorship. Then an alter ego, Lady Gaga. Then they released their first chronograph, and we were at a loss as to what would happen next. And frankly, we can’t wait to see. Unlike Rolex, Tudor is less committed to tradition and prone to taking risks. While a titanium Rolex is unthinkable, Tudor simply presents the Pelagos. This year, it’s almost certain that we will see more variations of the Black Bay. We are also hoping to see new elegant pieces from the brand taking into account the prior launch of the Oysterdate – or as some may call it, the little brother of the Rolex Datejust.
The old stereotype of German efficiency extends to the watch world. Junghans, a brand that amassed a small but mighty following, channels old East German aesthetics that are increasingly en vogue against the backdrop of older, more traditional tickers. It’s quite obvious that Junghans, like many other manufacturers, will continue producing heritage models in 2018. The nice thing is, that no matter the model, Junghans pieces are classic, characteristic, and altogether affordable.
Though hardly a newbie, Montblanc is quickly becoming a serious contender for the likes of Cartier and Rolex. How is that possible, you ask? Well, the German maison brings three swords to the battle - leathers, writing tools and watches - that gives unrivalled brand visibility, and one that continues to grow. Horological services of the brand include tourbillons, monopusher chronographs, and Geosphere models. The more sophisticated pieces feature a Montblanc calibre whereas the simpler models are installed with a Sellita based movement.
Watch wearers needn’t be afraid of over-engineering. As Zenith has longed proved, meticulous detail to the dial can be done in a tasteful way, and after a stellar year with several reiterations of the El Primero, the Swiss manufacture is finally back into the groove. In 2017, Zenith revolutionised the watchmaking world with the Defy Lab – an invention similar to that of the balance spring and coil spring. The innovative oscillator system is extremely accurate, durable, and low-maintenance. As of now, Zenith has produced 10 versions of the Defy Lab with further production on the way. Thus, we are keen to get to Zenith first at this year’s Baselworld.
Panerai has experienced a questionable standing in the watch world in recent years – mostly due to problems with manufactory movements and fans wondering why models were only being produced with water resistance up to 30 meters. A look at SIHH novelties reveal, however, that the Italian luxury manufacturer is positioning itself more broadly. In addition to classic models, Panerai is further expanding its “Due” collection with diameters of 42mm and, for the first time, 38mm. Pieces with sophisticated complications were presented as well, making us wonder if Panerai is evolving from a focus on tool watches to that of a more versatile luxury manufacturer. The upcoming year should thus be exciting.
Nomos has achieved a great deal since its founding following the collapse of the Berlin wall. While focusing on a “less is more” aesthetic, the company continues to produce in-house manufactured movements featuring developments such as the Swing System and the revolutionary ultra-flat DUW calibre. In late 2017, the New York Times revealed that Nomos is working on manufacturing a metal band. Although it may seem unimaginable to picture a Nomos on a metal band, everything that the Glashütte manufactory touches turns to gold. Whatever Nomos will be up to in 2018, you can be sure that it will work.
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