10 of the best sports watches of 2020 over $10K, with Rolex, Grand Seiko and MoserZach Blass
Yesterday we explored the Top 10 sports watches under $10,000, but if you are willing to stretch your budget, there is an entirely new tier of top sports watches to explore as well. Here are 10 of the best sports watches of 2020 over $10,000.
Hublot Classic Fusion 40th Anniversary yellow gold
The watch that birthed the luxury rubber trend, the Hublot 40th anniversary models are classic meets modern luxury sports watches. It blends the heritage of the brand with the Hublot we know today to create one of the most compelling watches within the category. The three watches come in either titanium, ceramic, or the purest homage to the original of all – yellow gold. The dials are polished black lacquer with gold appliqués on the yellow-gold model, and rhodium appliqués on the titanium and black ceramic models. The date window blends into the dial with a matching black disc and white numerals that do very little to interrupt the overall aesthetic. Inside powering the watch is the Hublot caliber HUB1112, which is based on the SW300-1 but is finished and assembled by Hublot themselves. RRP: in titanium – $11,600 AUD, black ceramic – $14,600 AUD, and yellow gold – $35,100 AUD.
Moser Streamliner Centre Seconds
Originally a limited edition run as a chronograph model, we thankfully have a regular production model featuring less complications – and, in turn, a more affordable and accessible Streamliner. Moser, always ahead of the curve in the dial game, has opted for a rich gradient green dial that is sure to make onlookers and fellow collectors green with envy. The case is slightly smaller than its chronograph sibling, brought down to a more classic 40mm. Interestingly, the integrated and scalloped profile makes for a lugless watch — its lug to lug effectively equal to its diameter. This makes the watch incredibly wearable, with a presence that adapts to the wrist of the wearer. While the in-house Moser caliber is superbly decorated, its case and bracelet truly elevate the watch to a whole new level. Predominantly satin, they are however hairline bevelled on the sides of the case, including its more angular facets where the case meets the bracelet. It continues down the flanks of the bracelet, with the underside of each crab-like link exquisitely mirror polished as well. No detail was ignored to create one of the most intriguing integrated steel sports watches of the year, if not ever! RRP: $21,900 USD.
Bulgari Octo Finissimo Steel in blue
When initially released, the colour schemes and finishes within the Octo Finissimo were fashionably understated. Matte finished, it presented itself as a modern foray into the integrated sports category. That being said, the latest incarnation of the reference, which now includes satin and polished finishes, elevates the offering further, in my humble opinion. I would say it makes the watch more classic in sex appeal, but the truth is the baroque faceted profile of the case and bracelet is anything but dated and saturated in the market. It’s totally fresh and new, and the blend of finishing further shows off the case profile and plays with light incredibly. The blue dial is the icing on the cake — it makes an already gorgeous model that much more tasty. Thanks to a new screw-down crown and 100 metres of water resistance, there is little reason to remove this ultra-thin sports watch from your wrist. RRP: $17,800 AUD.
Lange Odysseus on rubber
Like the Octo Finissimo above, when the Lange Odysseus was initially announced, it was a welcome change of pace for the brand and industry as a whole. Sure, it may have been another entry into the category of integrated stainless steel watches with a blue dial, but nonetheless stood out for its originality in design and stellar use of Lange technology and layout – and c’mon the first production Lange watch in stainless steel! Fast-forward and it makes sense the next evolution of the line came in the form of a precious metal watch. Interestingly, though, the bracelet was forsaken, and replaced with a superb rubber strap. The white gold/black rubber combo is an incredible display of stealth wealth, with the grey of the dial creating a modern monochromatic look within its case. It really blends old and new, bringing the operatic apertures Lange has become known for with a form and functionality that meets the desires and demands of consumers today. It will be very interesting to see how this lineup evolves further. RRP: $40,600 USD.
Grand Seiko SLGA001
While a certain famous diver touts “Superlative Chronometer” accuracy, the Grand Seiko SLGA001 is approximately four times as accurate, thanks to its spring drive movement. Most would be satisfied with a power reserve of 72 hours, but Grand Seiko takes things to a whole new level with 5 days, or 120 hours, of power reserve – thanks to the brand new 9RA5 caliber. The watch is just shy of 47mm in diameter, but the short and sharp angular lugs allow this to not wear much larger than a Rolex Sea-Dweller. Incredibly, the watch may be a professional sports reference but it still has a Zaratsu finish you won’t find outside the Grand Seiko catalogue. The watch, which is a limited edition of 700 pieces in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the brand, is water resistant to 600 metres – making it the most robust, efficient and powerful diver yet from Grand Seiko. RRP: $16,500 AUD.
Piaget Polo S limited edition in green
While certain nautical-inspired watches are extremely hard to get at retail, there are other options available that may tickle your fancy. The Piaget Polo caught the eyes of consumers upon its initial release years back, with some claiming the reference was a case of haute homage. In all fairness, I have at times referred to the watch as a “Naquanaut” as it is, at first glance, a blend of both the Nautilus and Aquanaut references from Patek Philippe. In the metal, however, upon closer inspection you’ll see the ways in which the Polo distinguishes itself from the two famous Patek steel references. The satin bezel has a horizontal brush in favour of a vertical brush, and the bracelet is finished in an inverse fashion – opting for polished surfaces where you would typically see satin and vice versa.
The date window is situated at a more symmetrical 6 position in favour of the standard 3. The reality is the Piaget Polo is much more approachable in price, almost half the price of an Aquanaut and a third of the price of a Nautilus – and with a lug to lug of 47mm on a 42mm case it is arguably much more wearable. Considering it is a 100m water resistant watch, there is a case to be made that a rubber strap would really suit the Polo lineup overall (it is currently only offered on steel or leather bracelets). There is a real value proposition here as Piaget is deeply rooted in watchmaking tradition, producing some of the finest watches and calibers in the industry. This limited edition of 888 pieces, with a green guilloche dial, is a great way to get a luxury integrated steel sports watch that will stand out from the crowd. RRP: $11,900 USD.
MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual EVO
By far the most complicated watch on this list, the MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual EVO recently blew the minds of collectors around the world, if not just because it was damn unexpected. Instead of the usual precious metals, the 44mm case is made of a robust zirconium. To further cement the EVO into the sports category, the watch is rated with a water resistance of 80 metres (or 270 feet). The movement is a fully integrated perpetual calendar developed for MB&F by Stephen McDonnell, featuring dial-side complication and mechanical processor system architecture with inbuilt safety mechanism. The hand-finishing throughout each of the 581 components is some of the best in the industry, done by one of the best hands in the industry. It is manual winding with double mainspring barrels. The signature bespoke 14mm balance wheel is visible on top of the movement, which has a power reserve of 72 hours. Complications include hours, minutes, day, date, month, retrograde leap year and power reserve indicators. RRP: $167,000 USD.
Rolex 126610LV Kermit
Whether you are one of the lucky few to get one at retail, or bitter that you will likely be “ghosted” by your AD, it is hard to deny the appeal of this new take on the Rolex Kermit. Some have playfully referred to the watch as the “Starbucks” due to the new darker tone of the green bezel against the black lacquer backdrop of the dial. The watch does not only revisit a vintage colour scheme, but also harkens back to vintage tapers. While on paper you may get frightened by the new 41mm case diameter, it does not really increase the size of the watch – in fact, the lug to lug is only .1mm larger than its predecessor. The extra mm in diameter actually works to create a greater taper effect, almost like the mm added to the case was removed from the width of the lugs. The Submariner has finally upgraded its movement as well, utilising the Chronergy escapement that boosts the power reserve to 72 hours. RRP: $9550 USD.
The Omega Seamaster Diver 300M “No Time To Die” 007 Edition
Cheating a little bit here, but this watch is too deserving to be on the list to be disqualified for being a month too early. Announced in December 2019, but likely did not hit shelves worldwide until January, the Omega Seamaster 300M “No Time To Die” 007 Edition is one of the best Bond watches ever made. Designed in partnership with Bond actor Daniel Craig, the watch blends drool-worthy aesthetics with neat technical innovations. The dial features tastefully done “fauxtina”, as well as the famous RAF arrow over the 6 marker to really drive home the Commander Bond military look. Even the caseback engravings are a nod to the British Royal Air Force. Omega claims that opting for aluminium on the dial and bezel will mean that the watch will gracefully age further over time – which will be interesting to see down the line. The watch is also made of a tough titanium, with a titanium mesh bracelet that is super comfortable and incredibly hard to manufacture. More expensive than its other Seamaster siblings, the watch is technically more powerful than its competitors, and with its new titanium build is still priced competitively against brands such as Rolex. The best part: unlike the Spectre watch, the “No Time To Die” model is standard production – making it much more accessible at retail. RRP: $14,025 AUD.
Girard-Perregaux Laureato Infinity
One of the more classy references on this list, the Laureato Infinity from Girard-Perregaux is a svelte, sleek, sexy and stealthy sports watch that is the perfect example of a “beach and boardroom” watch. The deep black of the dial is akin to staring into the infinite depths of spaces, and thanks to its tone-matching date disc at 3, has very little interruption to the dial. While it initially threw me off, the mismatched rose gold seconds hand and markers actually work to increase the legibility and provides a subtle pop of colour to introduce fun and vintage vibes to this modern watch. With 42mm of stainless steel and 100 metres of water resistance, this watch and its onyx black dial will fit any situation – a great candidate for a one-watch collection as it really covers all the essential bases one would need in a timepiece. RRP: $13,200 USD.