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These Are the Watches We’re Obsessing Over in January 2019

A Panerai Submersible, an oversized vintage Omega and a Grand Seiko are some of the watches we’re flipping our lids over right now.

Henry Phillips

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 — six timepieces that our watch-loving staff are obsessing over right at this very moment.

Grand Seiko 6156-8020

I’ve yet to shake my obsession with vintage Grand Seiko watches, and a cap gold, kanji day-date, hi-beat Special is only more fuel for the fire. This watch was made at the Suwa Seiko factory in 1971 and is a true hi-beat movement that beats at 36,000bph. The 36.5mm case diameter is just the right size. Now, what’s the going rate for a kidney? — AJ Powell, Project Manager, Gear Patrol Studios

Buy Now: $4,500

Panerai Submersible 42MM

Panerai answered a lot of prayers a few weeks back when they dropped the brand new 42MM Submersible at SIHH. The 42MM is a perfect match for those who adore the Submersible aesthetic but can’t bring themselves to don its big brother. I added this bad boy to my mental wishlist the moment I saw pictures. It might be time to take a few diving lessons to justify a future purchase! — Alyx Effron, Account Executive

Buy Now: $9,500

Rolex GMT Master 16700, Black Bezel

I need a grail piece — something to end my ‘search’. After all, it is far easier to aim when you have a target. Finding a mint example of my birth year GMT Master might actually be easier than sourcing a GMT Master II at the moment — and I would be gladly forfeit the reliability of the newer movement for the history of the 16700. — Tim Murray, Account Executive

Buy Now: $10,250

Omega Oversize 30T2

I’m pretty sure I don’t even have to say anything — just look at that dial. It’s evidently a restored dial, and I don’t remotely give a crap. Both the movements and the dials that Omega was putting out in the 1940s were simply incredible; the 30T2 is a legend of simple, time-only movements, and the sector dial present here is perfectly complimented by the thin, open-circle minute hand. Is this a $4k watch? Probably not. But it doesn’t really matter. This is all fantasy, anyway. — Oren Hartov, Assistant Editor

Buy Now: $~4,002

Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Bi-Compass

Watches, cars, and aeronautics cross paths so often it’s impossible to sift through news and new model releases of one industry without bumping into hints and themes from one of the others. Watch design is a natural canvas to take on inspiration from altimeters, speedometers, and tachometers. Incorporating those designs subtly and with a classy execution is a target a lot of watch designers go for, but few actually hit. And that’s exactly why I find myself regularly staring at images of the BR 03-92 Bi-Compass, on the fence about pulling the trigger and making the purchase. Strapped to a wrist, it’s tactical yet subtle and not too on-the-nose about its inspiration. And at the same time, you can bolt it into a cockpit dashboard, and it’d look just as at home. — Bryan Campbell, Staff Writer

Buy Now: $3,900

King Seiko

From the bright silver dial to the brushed cushion case and the smooth high-beat movement within (King Seiko was a precursor to Grand Seiko), this watch was made with a timeless, appealing design and stands as a testament to what Seiko has been doing right for decades. My only hope is that they find their way back to the heights of mid-century watch design sometime soon, and reissue more of their stunning 1960s and ‘70s gems to rabid Seiko fans like myself. In the meantime, well, there’s a watch like this one. Things could be worse. — Andy Frakes, Editorial Assistant

Buy Now: $506

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