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 — seven timepieces that our watch-loving staff are obsessing over right at this very moment.
Omega Seamaster 1948 Small Seconds
There are few watch brands better at digging into their archives for inspiration than Omega — and, considering its history is so storied, that’s no surprise. One of its most recent revivals is the Seamaster 1948, which I haven’t stopped thinking about since I saw it at Baselworld in March. It was created to honor the 70th anniversary of the Seamaster line’s introduction, and it’s based on early models from the era without being an exact replica. Because of that, it has perfect mid-century proportions (a perfect, versatile 38mm case size) and a sub-seconds hand at 6 o’clock that’s evokes the era’s timepieces. But there’s also a modern twist: the Omega logo is etched onto the domed sapphire crystal right above the center of the dial. It’s just a beautiful thing to look at, and a connection to a time when watches didn’t scream, but spoke softly instead. — Justin Fenner, Senior Associate Editor
Grand Seiko 4520-8010
I’m not much of a gold watch guy, save for this 1971 45GS. The minimal dial, the hand-wind 36000 Hi-Beat movement, the textured linen-like 18k gold case — just the shape of it has me moving funds around to see if I could make it work. I’ve gone far down the Seiko rabbit hole (as many of my previous watch obsessions would show you), and there’s no greater expression of the Seiko portfolio than a Grand Seiko. I’ll eventually add one to my collection. I’d pair it with a JPM Shell Cordovan leather watch strap and never look back. — AJ Powell, Assistant Editor
IWC Calibre 89 Steel
I have a soft spot for the Cal. 89 from IWC, and I also have a soft spot for black dialed, steel watches, so this particular reference seems like a no-brainer. Many watchmakers and industry professionals agree that the Cal. 89 was one of the best time-only movements ever designed, and after having owned one for a couple years, I can certainly agree. After powering the famous Mk. XI pilot’s watch, IWC adopted this movement for some of its most elegant dress pieces, of which this 35mm steel example is one. Produced in gold and steel, they’re pretty tough to find with orignal, untouched dials, so when they do come up, it’s worth paying attention. — Oren Hartov, Assistant Editor
Omega Speedmaster Professional – Full Kit
I’ve had the good fortune of owning an Omega Speedmaster. Then, like a total idiot, I sold it. Say what you will, but bring me a room full of watch guys and I’ll show you a room full of guys who feel my pain. Watch love is often cyclical, but I have never fallen out of love with the Speedmaster, and I doubt I will. It was the watch the rode shotgun during the most intense periods of human exploration and advancement, and the only watch to touch the moon… Later ‘Professional’ models often get overlooked, but this one, with its full kit, ultra clean dial and refurbed (read: ready to rock) bracelet, is making me feel things. — Jacob Sotak, Content Director, Gear Patrol Store
Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT SBGJ203G
I’ve been obsessing over GMT watches lately. I guess I’m finally getting tired of hunting for vintage divers, if you’d believe it. And while the new iteration of Rolex’s GMT is truly glorious (a jubilee bracelet! a Pepsi bezel!) maybe a bit of Rolex fatigue is setting in, too.
So look here — the merit of any Grand Seiko is kind of a forgone conclusion. Just look at the damn thing. The warm black subtly-textured dial is like a pit of existential longing, open and ready to receive me. Honestly, it’s so appealing that I can barely stand it. The steel bracelet Seiko uses here is my only real qualm; I’d much rather see a jubilee that works with this case’s finish level (I doubt one exists, but if it does, please tell me). All that being said, I’d solve my one qualm with a soft black alligator strap and call it a day. Yes, my friends, this could be the watch for me. — Andy Frakes, Editorial Assistant
Omega Speedmaster 1620
LCD watches from the 1970s and 1980s haven’t aged well. Once considered cutting-edge disruptors of the watch world, they now have the same dated feel as the synths on Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long.” The thing is, I kind of love that song. And what’s more, I’m really fond of that era of watches — not despite their clunky and uncomplicated design, but because of it. Recently, I’ve been particularly obsessed with the Omega Speedmaster 1620. The watch ads to the retro-futuristic dissonance of LCD timepieces by sporting the same name as the famed moon watch worn by the Apollo 11 astronauts — but with none of the same prestige or beauty. Wearing it today is like seeing a car with the same look, feel, and performance as a 1998 Suzuki Esteem with a Mercedes-Benz badge on it. Who wouldn’t want to wear something so unexpected? — J.D. DiGiovanni, Assistant Editor, Editorial Operations