These Are the Watches We’re Obsessing Over in January 2021

We're flipping our lids over a cool Unimatic, an oversized vintage chronograph, the new Speedy and more.

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As watch lovers, we spend our afternoons poring over watches both new and vintage. When a new timepiece comes across our radar, one that particularly resonates with our tastes, we can’t help but obsess over it. So, here’s a taste of that process — four timepieces that our watch-loving staff are obsessing over right at this very moment.

Excelsior Park Oversized Chronograph

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If you're familiar with Excelsior Park, it's likely because you've seen examples of vintage chronographs (such as Zeniths) that used their movements. Well, occasionally you'll find watches signed by EP itself, such as this stunner from the 1950s. Everything about this watch — from the case proportions, to the ultra-cool typeface to the clean look of the dial and the funky 45-minute counter — is just perfect to me. If I were in the mood for a chronograph that flew under the radar, I would spring for this thing. -Oren Hartov, Associate Editor

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Nivada Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver

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Since relaunching in 2020, Nivada has teased the rerelease of its vintage Chronomaster the whole time, but only actually announced it for sale recently. From what I can tell based on their newsletter and Instagram (which I've followed every step of the way), they've executed it really nicely. The details and features appear thoughtful, and the specs and sizing are just right — chronographs tend to be thick and chunky, but the Chronomaster's 38.3mm diameter sounds delectable. I was surprised to learn that it's priced under $2,000 and am pretty sure I'll be smitten when I finally get to try one on. -Zen Love, Staff Writer

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Unimatic U4-A

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I blame our resident designer Hunter Kelley for introducing me to Unimatic, the boutique watch brand from Italy. The U4-A was released in December, but I missed scooping up one of the 500 that went on sale. However, for what I believe is the first time ever, Unimatic opened up a waitlist for the watch. The dial eschews numerals for dots and dashes that maintain a legibility that you don't usually get from such a minimal timepiece. The oversized crown looks like it should have been a bezel, but it gives it the look of a GMT with a popped-off bezel (here's to you, Brando), and it sure as hell lives up to its military inspiration. -Tyler Chin, Associate Staff Writer

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Baltic Aquascaphe GMT

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There is a direct correlation with me diving deep into watch-shopping mode and the general state of the world. Pandemic hits? Watch scrolling time. Police brutality? Check out that chronograph. Hometown threatened by a deadly wildfire? Let’s read more about some indie watch brands. Violent mob attacks the Capitol? The double-tap goes wild on Instagram watch accounts. The watch I’ve been ogling most while down here, head in the sand, has been this Aquascaphe GMT with the navy and orange bezel. My God, what a handsome watch. And given that I’ll likely never spend enough to get a new Rolex or any other high-end Swiss watch — the price on this feels pitch perfect. Maybe I’ll even get it after the Tsunami hits. -J.D. DiGiovanni, Associate Editor, Editorial Operations

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Omega Speedmaster 3861 Hesalite

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I've been pretty convinced for the last six or so years that it is a matter of time before I plunk down for a Speedmaster. Because I read every moon book, watched every moon documentary and even bought the Saturn V lego set, the watch will necessarily be as close to Armstrong Spec as possible with the constraint that I do not have 105.012 money (or the patience to find one that isn't at least partially fake). The new Hesalite 3861, with its tastefully revised bracelet, solid case back and subtle dial changes over the outgoing 1861 should do just fine...at least until a solid case back 321 comes out. -Henry Phillips, Deputy Photo Editor

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