2017 is over, so welcome 2018! 2017 was a big year for us at Fratello Watches. Reader traffic grew and our team is stronger and more excited than ever to bring you unique content. Regarding that notion, let’s take a look at our least worn watches of 2017 – from most of the team that is – and, why not, we’ll talk about what graced our wrists most because that seems to be a popular thing to do this year. There are some surprising picks!
Balazs Ferenczi’s Picks
Balazs – he’s often known as “Blaise” because his name can be tricky to pronounce (seriously, ever been to Hungary?). But, in 2017 we all learned how to say his name correctly – you can even hear him give some lessons on the a Time4APint Podcast! You know him as the man who scours the world for the dopest wrist kicks as he brings us his Watch Strap Reviews (31 and counting). Let’s see what he didn’t wear in 2017…
Least Worn Watches:
My least worn watch from 2017 is my first and – so far – only Swiss Made quartz watch; the Tissot PRC 200. It is not a particularly expensive watch by any means but a very special piece, at least for me. In a way, the Tissot watch is the timepiece that somehow served as a catalyst to my interest in watches. While I’ve always been into timepieces, buying the Tissot some 10 or so years ago and then reading about it, researching the brand and contributing to various online watch forums set me on the path I’m on today. It is a comfortably sized quartz chronograph with a black dial, round pushers and yellow chrono hands: a color combination I still adore to this day. I guess we all have a quartz in our collection from the early days when we either did not know better or could only afford one of these battery-operated wonders. That’s the Tissot PRC 200 for me. Funnily enough while I’m not wearing it, a friend of mine does. It is a constant loaner to him as he’s a watch world rookie who wanted to wear the Tissot to see if watches are for him. I’m happy to say he’s been converted and hopefully will purchase his new timepiece soon.
Most Worn Watches:
It’s tough to say which particular model I wore the most in 2017, but if I had to guess I’d say it was my Rolex GMT 1675.
If we’re talking brands though, it has to be Angelus for me. I have a few Angelus chronographs, a time-only example and a few more, which I enjoy wearing in a rotation. I guess adding up all the Angelus timepieces I wore them the most.
Still the Rolex got a lot of wrist time in ’17. I talked about it here and of course if you read this article you probably know the watch. To me the Rolex GMT 1675 was the watch I always wanted from the “Crown”. I cannot really explain why; the design just spoke to me. The added complication of the date and GMT hand, the 2-tone bezel and the overall look is a home run in my book. It is very comfortable on the wrist, regardless if it’s on a strap or bracelet. I managed to find a folded Jubilee 6251H for it this year too, which also added to the period correctness. While I like modern Rolex GMT’s, they don’t tickle my fancy as much as the 1675. If you compare the 2 mine feels like a cheap toy – yet, for all of you out there who have one or have ever held one in your hands, (or on the wrist) I’m sure you all know the unique feeling. No new Rolex can trigger this emotion. Not now, not ever.
Teun van Heerebeek’s Picks
Teun – you probably know him as Mr. Watches And Pencils with his recurring series of horologically-inspired cartoons on Fratello Watches and his website under the same name. We tend to know him as “Toon” for obvious reasons. It’s been a big year for Teun as his website has taken off in a big way – who knows what we’ll see from his pencils in 2018!
Least Worn Watches:
The Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday edition. Why? Just because I received it in November and this is my latest acquisition ? I’m sure this won’t be ‘the least worn watch of 2018’; I did almost wear it everyday since the moment I got my hands on this Speedy.
Most Worn Watches:
Close call, but I think the Tudor Pelagos (TN25500) wins again. It’s an automatic dive watch, easy to service and suits almost every occasion. This ‘toolwatch’ can handle it all and still has some unique design features. I hope upcoming years a new competitor will rise. This will probably be something from a brand like Nomos or (Grand) Seiko. Nothing super-fancy, just a nice, well engineered mechanical watch with functional design elements that I personally like.
Gerard Nijenbrink’s Picks
Gerard – he’s simply known as “G2” which stands for “Gerard Geld” – a nice play on “G Money”, but it’s best pronounced in German for full effect. G2 brought the goods in 2017 with his weekly series #52Mondayz where he wore a different watch every Monday and wrote about his thoughts. There were some seriously different pieces that spanned the year – I mean, really, that 90’s Universal Geneve “Senna” piece is unbelievable in about every way imaginable! For a guy who switches it up so frequently, this was a tough question for him – and, of course, with surprising answers.
Least Worn Watches:
The least worn watches in 2017 were my G-Shock collection. Only one of the 24 pieces came out of the box this year. In week #34 to be precise, and it was this one. No idea why that was. I still love them mucho, but I guess there were just other things to wear.
Most Worn Watches:
Although I still refuse to think of it as a watch, people tend to name it like that. The Apple Watch has been the watch I wore the most in 2017. As you might know, I wear a different watch every week. So in 2017 I wore 52 watches equally much. However, almost the whole year round I wore the Apple Watch on my right wrist. Functioning as my iPhone’s remote screen.
Robert-Jan Broer’s Picks
Robert-Jan – he goes by “RJ”, but often responds to “Jan”, “John-Robert”, “Robert” and a bunch of other nonsensical rubbish that people concoct out of a hyphenated name. This was a big year for J-R because, of the obvious, SpeedyTuesday. This wasn’t a typical tie-up between a site and a brand, although there’s nothing wrong with that; this was history due to one of the largest watch brands choosing to sell something via a social media platform. It was groundbreaking stuff and, to me at least, shows that some watch brands are serious about getting with the times and embracing their rabid grassroots fan base.
Least Worn Watches:
A close tie between my newly purchased Submariner, just before Christmas and my 2006 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak ‘Jumbo’ 15202. The fact that I wore my Submariner so little, has to do with the time of ownership. The Rolex is a bit of a rational purchase, and after some discussion with Michael and Gerard I decided to go for a Submariner. A no-nonsense watch and my first ‘ceramic’ Rolex. I have to say that the watch feels very solid and it is simply a good watch for a fair price (pre-owned, around €6000). I have had a couple of Rolex models from the pre-ceramic generation from the 2000s, and they really stepped it up in the last 10 (or so) years. The quality of the Crown has always impressed me, but it seems to me that Rolex implemented more innovations in the last decade than they did in the two decades before.
The Royal Oak is a different story. I love this watch dearly, and where the Rolex Submariner was more or less a bit of a rational purchase, the Royal Oak has always been a somewhat emotional piece to me. It was one of the first high-end watches I really wanted to have back in the late 1990’s, but I was still a student at the time so I had no funds whatsoever. You could say it was my Holy Grail watch. I started out with a 39mm reference 15300 in 2009, also known as the Royal Oak Date, but quickly after I traded it for this Royal Oak ‘Jumbo’ (or Extra-Thin, as they are being referred to these days). The main reason for the trade was the caliber 2121 movement, which I really adore. After my trade I also quickly discovered that the 15202 has the perfect dimensions (both are 39mm, but the 15202 being much smaller than the 15300). The thin Royal Oak bracelet is the best bracelet I’ve ever had on my wrist. So why did not wear it as much as in the past? I lost a bit of love for Audemars Piguet as a brand for several reasons, and that makes me want to keep the Royal Oak in the safe and not on the wrist. It is rather sad. Sure, I have some other dust collectors, like a Bulova Accutron Spaceview and a Chronoswiss Régulateur, but the first one is something I just bought for ‘having one’ and the latter one has been confiscated long time ago by my wife.
Most Worn Watches:
Omega Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday
Let me start by writing that 2017 has been an incredible year for Fratello Watches. We had more visitors and views than ever before (nearly 36% more traffic than in 2016) and peaked last January when we announced the Omega Speedmaster Professional Speedy Tuesday Limited Edition. This watch celebrates our 5th anniversary of the weekly recurring Speedy Tuesday feature on Fratello Watches and the tens of thousands of #SpeedyTuesday hashtags used by Speedmaster fans all over the globe. Well, you know the story, 2012 watches were reserved within 4.5 hours and over 7500 people had to be put on a waitinglist. I received a prototype late December 2016 already (and had to keep it hidden under my sleeve until January 10th) and got my own piece in June. I have worn it a lot, using different strap and bracelet combinations. It got a lot of wristtime because I am proud of this watch and because it means a lot to me, being a Speedmaster collector since almost two decades but also because it simply a nice looking watch. The process of designing the watch was very interesting, being a bit involved in the processes at Omega until the actual ordering page went on-line was amazing and an important experience. Also the production and delivery processes, and especially some of the challenges there, were highly interesting (some times frustrating) to follow closely. Early December we picked up all of the team’s Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday watches and received some more insights in the production and testing of Omega watches during our manufacture visit.
However, there’s another watch I have been wearing a lot in 2017. It is my Omega Constellation Globemaster in Sedna gold. It isn’t my first gold watch, and hopefully not my last, but I found myself opening up to them since a while. This Globemaster is very precious to me, but nevertheless I wear the heck out of it. As I’ve written in my initial review of this watch, quite some time before I got this one actually, this is the first time a watch makes me remind it so much of my grandfather’s gold Constellation that he wore for 42 consecutive years in a row. I also have that watch, but it is very small and perhaps too precious to wear. It is also his watch, not mine, if that makes any sense to you. The Globemaster is a constant reminder of him though, and the proud feeling he must have had when he put his Constellation on his wrist in 1969 is echo’d in when I am strapping on mine in the morning. I feel the Globemaster is an underrated watch though and that will hopefully change in the future. Is it then all Omega for me? No. This is often being held against me – mainly by other journalists from competing titles -, and I do collect Speedmaster watches, but I admire a lot of other brands and watches. Some are simply out of reach for me at this point (or forever), others I admire a lot but haven’t come to a final purchase yet (like a Grand Seiko or NOMOS). On the other hand, I put my money where my mouth is every Tuesday. A non-Omega I’ve been wearing a lot in 2017? The Seiko Marinemaster 300 for sure, talking about bang for the buck. Another advantage of being a watch journalist is, that you get to wear a lot of watches from different brands all the time, so don’t worry too much about the diversity on my wrist.
Bert Buijsrogge’s Picks
Thinking about which watch I have worn the least and/or the most kinda raises a huge question mark over my head. With the work that we do we find an endless amount of watches on our wrists for various reasons. During the big watch events we try on a lot of things and we also get the loan watches which we have for reviews. Funny thing is that sometimes you first look at a watch and think ‘nah’ and end up loving it on the wrist. Sometimes it’s the other way around. But apart from all the watches that aren’t ours I had to shoot through the endless amount of wrist shots on my phone to get an idea of which watch got the most wrist time.
As we didn’t receive our Speedy Tuesday until the beginning of December this one didn’t make it. Although it got a lot of wrist time ever since I got it it’s been too short to be the most worn this year. If we would have received it earlier it would have been a no-brainer for sure. Given the fact that we were involved in the process this watch is and will always be very special to me and the rest of the guys. Together with the watch that was on the wrist of my old man when he was still around, these are the most valuable ones in my collection I think. However both of them didn’t get enough wrist time this year to be the most worn. Which one did? After going through my phone’s photo library I found out which one did. I discovered that I like to travel with my Omega Speedmaster X-33 a lot. It’s lightweight and I must say that I find the alarm on it very useful. So this watch had definitely been on my wrist a lot. But looking at the images I found it to be a tie with the Seiko Prosper SRP581K. Although it’s not something high end I just enjoy this watch a lot. The near black dial looks different depending on the light and the build quality is simply amazing for the price and I like the design.
There are several watches that got hardly to no wrist time at all this year for various reasons. Most of them spend their life in the bank safe for the obvious reason and the few times I go there you always pick something that triggers you more. So you could see it as a hint that they get little time outside or it’s just to maintain the pristine condition they are in. For this exact reason I think my Rolex Submariner 1680 could be the least worn watch this year. Having bought it some years ago in a mint Rolex serviced condition it’s easily one of the best looking 1680’s I’ve ever come across. And although I always say you should wear a watch as they are made for that specific task I find myself leaving the bank many times without that watch. For the wrong reason obviously as watches are to be worn. I will give it more wrist time next year for sure.
Michael Stockton’s Picks
And then there’s me, Michael Stockton. I go by “M2” which apparently stands for “Money Mike”- continuing the hip-hop theme because, yes, we are that hardcore. I suppose if I’m known for anything, it’s my #TBT series on vintage watches. While I do write about new watches, it’s the old metal that excites me. I try to “live” my watches, so I do my best to rotate daily. This was a tough one!
Least Worn Watches:
This was a pretty easy one. While there are definitely watches that never made it to my wrist in 2017, a piece came to mind that had the sharpest year over year drop-off and that’s the Heuer Autavia 2446M “Jochen Rindt”. I love this watch, so what happened? Honestly, it’s a watch that I paid good money for and I do my best to wear everything I own, but it rocketed in value so greatly that I actually became a bit apprehensive about wearing it. Sad, right? Well, yes, but there were plenty of other things to wear and, hey, the watch actually traveled to an exhibition. It was actually featured in the Watches with Nicknames exhibit held by the Davidoff Brothers at a swanky hotel in Geneva last April.
Most Worn Watches:
This was a tough one, overall, for me because I do change watches so frequently, but I’ll let you in on my 2 standby pieces and then the watch that surprisingly found its way to my wrist most. My 2 “go to” pieces are easy – I love my Breitling 765 CP “Jean-Claude Killy” and my Omega Speedmaster 145.012-67SP. The Breitling is, hands down, the favorite vintage chronograph I own. I love it for its simplicity, mass, and customized movement. It always feels “just right” when I’m not in the mood to wear something else.
With the old Speedy, it’s a similar case of wearing a very familiar, and nearly perfect, design that looks good with anything and everything I’m wearing. Plus, that 1039 bracelet is super comfortable with its expanding links. I used to be a bigger fan of the straight-lugged Speedmasters, but I’ve changed to the lyre side.
But if there’s one watch that’s found its way to my wrist more than any other, I’d have to say it’s the two-tone Rolex GMT-Master 16753 “Root Beer”. It was at the exhibition I mentioned above in Geneva where I first saw it and then I had to have it. I love the way it looks and how it’s so different from anything else I own. Plus, it’s a conversation starter and most who see it also end up falling in love. Case in point, I know of one friend who tracked one down after seeing mine – yeah, it’s oddly contagious! And, it led me to finding the all gold 16758 version that finds its way to my wrist far more than you might think!
Thanks again for your readership this past year and for taking a look at our Least Worn Watches of 2017. We look forward to a fantastic 2018 – we definitely have some fun in store! Happy New Year!