The Bucket List Watches of 2020

From special Speedmasters to Ultimate Concepts made real, these are the watches we'd buy if money were no object.

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This story is part of our end-of-year series This Year in Gear rounding up the most notable releases of 2020. For more stories like this, click here.

Whooohooo! 2020 is donezo!

But what if it weren't? (Cue Twilight Zone theme music.) What if 2020 was the last year ever...and we had to choose our bucket list watches. And we had unlimited cash. What would we go for?

Thankfully, besides being a no-good, rotten, all-around shitty year, 2020 was at the very least filled with some awesome watches from brands large and small. Some of these were announced previous to 2020 and had much anticipation building around their release. Others came seemingly out of the blue. All were dank.

So here, then, are our Bucket List Watches of 2020. Celebrate the death of 2020 and the coming of 2021 with a new timepiece, or merely gaze upon them in wonder. It doesn't matter! Have some fun, damnit.

Panerai Radiomir Venti 45MM

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In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Paneristi website, the Italian-founded, Swiss-run company released a special limited edition Radiomir in a 45mm stainless steel case. Dubbed the Radiomir Venti (PAM2020), it features the Paneristi insignia on its dial and case back.

Price: $6,500

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Nomos Lamda 960.S1

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The Lambda, which has always been an outlier in the Nomos catalog due to its precious metal case and $20,000+ price, just got a steel makeover. Available in white, black and blue dial variants, the new, limited-edition — which celebrates 175 years of watchmaking in Glashütte, Germany — is one handsome watch.

Price: $7,500

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Frederique Constant Highlife Perpetual Calendar Red Bar Edition

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Frederique Constant teamed up with the watch enthusiast group RedBar to create special edition versions of its new Highlife watches. A perpetual calendar model and a time-only automatic model are available, each of which features special touches and highlights and is limited to 10 and 100 examples, respectively. (We say go for the QP.)

Price: $9,295

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Ming 19.05

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Enthusiast favorite watchmaker Ming has introduced the final model in its 19 series. Featuring a titanium case, a sapphire crystal and a high-end movement with a hand-anglaged micro-rotor (trust us — it's fancy), it's a pretty special thing. Only 15 examples will be made.

Price: ~$10,920

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Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date Desert Edition

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A stunningly beautiful new entry in the Bathyscaphe line, the Day Date Desert Edition features a dial inspired by the Nevada Desert. A limited edition of 500 pieces, it's powered by the Blancpain 1315DD automatic movement and ships on a sand-colored, sail canvas strap.

Price: $12,700

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Zenith Defy El Primero Black and White

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The modern look of Zenith's Defy collection isn't merely stylistic, but also represents the truly innovative movement technology inside. New versions of the Defy 21 chronograph and Defy Classic are among the most striking yet, with ceramic cases and bezels in a contrasty black-and-white colorway that wouldn't look out of place on a Star Wars stormtrooper.

Price: $13,600

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Omega Speedmaster 321 Stainless Steel

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The new caliber 321, which replicates a movement that's been out of production for 50 years down to its tiniest detail, now powers a thoroughly modern Speedmaster. And though the watch is based on a reference that preceded Omega’s iconic Moonwatch, it satisfies those ardent fans who have long been waiting for an authentic modern Speedy.

Price: $14,100

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Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Memovox Timer

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Cell phones make for convenient alarm clocks, but if you're tech-fatigued, why not substitute yours for a more classically inspired one: the new Jeager-LeCoultre Master Control Memovox Timer. It updates the famed Swiss maison's mechanical alarm watch with a new function — namely, the ability to set a countdown timer by selecting the number of hours until the alarm rings.

Price: $15,600

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Cartier Privé Tank Asymétrique

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Reviving an unusual model that debuted in 1936 (and has since seen several updates), the Tank Asymétrique turns the watch's formal rectangle into a rhomboid and rotates the dial elements by 30 degrees — resulting in a natural reading angle for the wearer. With Arabic numerals executed in a playful font, the Asymétrique has a unique appeal unlike that of any other dress watch.

Price: $26,400–$30,100

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Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 6007A

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The 6007A-001, which celebrates the opening of the maison’s new building in Plan-les-Ouates, features a gorgeous new blue dial with outer minute and inner hour tracks and applied white Arabic indices, plus a smaller concentric railway track with triangular hour markers. A distinctly modern take on a classic dress watch.

Price: $28,351

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A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Thin Honeygold "Homage to F. A. Lange"

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No one does simple elegance quite like Lange. The new 1815 Thin Honeygold, with a white enamel dial and 38mm solid honey gold case, is stunning to behold, with an exquisite hand-wound movement visible through a display case back.

Price: $34,400

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Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Ref. 7234G

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The new Patek Philippe Travel Time Ref.7234G, a sporty Calatrava Pilot with roots going back to the 1930s, is highly pragmatic but refined to the nth degree. It has familiar features but also feels even more practical than ever in a smaller, 37.5mm size.

Price: $48,500

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Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept

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Piaget announced the Altiplano Ultimate Concept back in 2018 as the thinnest mechanical watch in the world, but at the time, it was just that — a concept. Now the AUC is available as a full production model in over 10,000 possible permutations; buyers can customize the watch's dial, handset, bridge and more.

Price: Upon request

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