Watches We Wore the Most in 2020
Modern Rolex, vintage Enicar, and everything in between from contributors and friends of Rescapement
In a blatant attempt to copy a popular feature from a much more successful watch publication, this week we’re featuring “The Watches We Wore the Most in 2020,” from Rescapement contributors and “friends of Rescapement” — individuals we’ve featured or interviewed, or who have otherwise had the unfortunate pleasure of being pulled into the Re orbit. 2020 was a crazy year, and no doubt it influenced the watches we reached for.
As Michael Williams said in our recent chat, he still reaches for his trusted Tudor Black Bay during quarantine, but often finds himself strapping on an Apple Watch too, which, he said: “kind of makes me sad…it's kind of embarrassing, and wearing a mechanical watch is so much better — holding it, what it says about you, the idea of it.”
While self-isolation may have caused us to reach for different watches, no doubt the love for traditional watches has continued on despite — or perhaps, because of — the pandemic.
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Michael P. — MK3 Enicar Sherpa Graph
This is the watch I wore most in 2020 — a MK3 Enicar Sherpa Graph. The Sherpa Graph is arguably the most iconic Enicar model (though not my personal favorite). Enicar is the brand I primarily collect and focus my watch scholarship on. I love the history of the company, unique/funky design language across their entire catalog, and “Enicaristi” collector community. 2020 was a great year for my Enicar collection and I hope for more of the same in 2021!
William Massena — Rolex GMT-Master II ref. 126710
Like everyone, 2020 was a strange year for me, especially watch-wise. It’s the first year in 25 years I did not go to Basel and SIHH, and I only traveled once to Switzerland (in January), when in normal times I usually go every 6 weeks. It is also a year I have not seen many watches in the metal.
I wore a lot of [Massena Lab] prototypes inside the house, it was a great way to test them discreetly. First with the Uni-Racer, but also some new watches for next year. I also wore my Apple Watch 4 a lot. In the house it’s really a great watch — I can look at my texts while cooking or doing some menial task and I don't need to worry about locating my phone. But I think the prototypes and the Apple Watch are somewhat indoor watches for a 'special circumstance'. So what did I wear the most when I sometimes went out?
The answer is simple: my Rolex GMT-Master II ‘Pepsi’. I like the watch a lot: it’s comfortable, sleek, and it reminded me of travel, something I really long for. Just looking at that watch made me think of flying, exotic countries, and friends. 2020 is the year I bonded with the Rolex Pepsi GMT 126710. A watch I considered a fun but expensive novelty became the constant companion of this motionless traveller.
Charlie Dunne — Vintage Baume & Mercier
I've bought several watches over the past year, each bringing a great deal of enjoyment to what would have otherwise been a monotonous 2020. However, the watch I wore the most is one I acquired in mid-2019, a vintage time-only Baume et Mercier. Other than it having a compressor case by Ervin Piquerez, there isn't really anything wildly impressive to elaborate on that would distinguish this simple timepiece from others. In addition, it is my least expensive watch.
I've been fortunate to have handled and admired many incredible watches throughout this year. Yet this one always manages to bring a smile to my face with its self-effacing nature. It hasn't been featured in any ads or books. I've never witnessed anyone wearing one on social media. It's pretty much devoid of any noteworthy context, yet it’s still extremely special in my eyes. When I stare at it, I'm often reminded of how fulfilling the simplest things are in life. I like watches like this.
Eric Wind — Omega Speedmaster 105.003-63 ‘Ed White’
Rich Fordon — Omega Speedmaster 145.022-69
What a surprise right? A Speedmaster is the watch I wore the most this year. As a creature of extreme habit, I fail to resist this 145.022-69 most days. Back in July, I added this “Uncle Seiko” reproduction flat link bracelet that brought with it a new appreciation for the watch. All that being said, I’m going to make a point of this Speedmaster not dominating my 2021.
Naheem Browne — Seiko SARB033 and Junghans Max Bill
I know I’m breaking the rules here, but it’s a hard split for me between my Seiko SARB033 and my Max Bill quartz.
I’ve recently graduated to the next level of “wabi sabi” and cracked the acrylic crystal on my Max Bill so that’s been taking a back seat, but it’s such an incredible piece of design history. The proportional balance between the large crystal, case, and the dial graphics kind of give it a layered feel — from a distance it’s refined, minimal, and elegant, but up close it’s a well-thought-out, mathematical masterpiece with excellent use of negative space and hierarchy.
As far as my SARB033 goes, I’m not sure if I could really improve upon what’s been already said about it — it’s a straight-up heavyweight champion. People typically call it the “baby grand Seiko” or “affordable Datejust” etc., but I think that’s a bit unfair to the piece. It has its own character, flair, and value that you notice after owning it for a while — you’ll itch to throw it on every morning and start neglecting your other watches. Every time I put it on, I feel empowered knowing that I have a piece of well-crafted Japanese steel on my wrist that I’ll be wearing for the rest of my life.
Read our interview with Naheem here.
Tony T. — Rolex Explorer Date ref. 5700
2020 basically feels like the same long, never-ending week. So, I often find myself reaching for one of the few watches I own that actually has a date window. My favorite has been this Explorer Date from the 1960s. I even take the time to set the (non-quickset) date on it. Never mind that the corner of my laptop tells the date just fine.
Nick Federowicz — Rolex Explorer II ref. 16570
92 days. How do I know exactly? Well...the way I enjoy wearing my watches is picking one to wear for the entire month (this one got the call in January, November and December). I’d say it’s my favorite, and this year, we celebrated our 10-year anniversary together. Wearing my watches in long stretches keeps me connected to my past, keeping the feeling alive that I felt when I bought my first Rolex in the late ‘90s — planning for it to be my only watch. A big reason I choose this particular watch the most, besides loving its look and spirit, is for nostalgia. Again, it takes me back to a simpler time in my life, purchased before Instagram became a part of my life and before we had kids!
Chase Fancher — Oak & Oscar Olmsted
Oak & Oscar
The Olmsted has been my go-to watch this year. Super comfortable, matches pretty much everything I wear and can handle all that 2020 could have thrown at it. It's definitely my go-to timepiece.
Thanks to everyone for a successful 2020. I’ve been able to write about tons of great watches, people, and stories. I didn’t do a post like this last year featuring contributors and friends of Rescapement, but if I had, the list would’ve basically been me and my cat. But this year Rescapement has connected virtually with tons of people, sometimes a world away. See you in 2021.
Okay ciao! -Tony
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