WristReview’s Top 10 Watches of 2023

Here it is, our most favourite watches of the year.


Ah, 2023 is a year to remember, although not always for the right reasons. This year has been mixed, shall we say? We’ve seen loads of great watches and reviewed more (hopefully, we’ll do even more reviews next year). We also started writing about movies, which is quite fun. 

Before we forever close the book on the year 2023, there’s just time to go through our favourite watches of the year. We’ve written about hundreds of watches this year, and it’s not possible to remember all of them. If we’ve missed something you like, we’ve probably written about it somewhere on WristReview, so you can use the search bar function to check our thoughts out.

Anyway, onwards with the list. These are done in our order of preference.

The honourable mentions:

We really wanted to include these watches somewhere on our list, so we put them into the honourable mentions category. These would make fine additions to any collection.

IWC Pilot’s Watch Performance Chronograph 41 AMG

IWC’s partnership with German automaking giant Mercedes-Benz is renowned in both industries, and the brands come together to make products that are generally tasteful and would be appealing to someone who isn’t a die-hard fan of either brand. The Performance Chronograph 41 AMG was revealed alongside a model dedicated to the Petronas Formula One team that Mercedes-Benz also runs, but this one is the regular titanium AMG model and we felt that it would slide into a collection a little easier than the Petronas version which has a black ceratanium case.

Read more about it here

Bell & Ross BR-X5 Green Lum

The BR-X5 Green Lum by Bell & Ross impressed us significantly with its application of SuperLumiNova all over the case. Of course, a few watchmakers have done this, but very few watches have the same level of drama as the BR-X5 Green Lum. From a brand that’s gone from making square pilot-y watches to a maker of watches for all people, this level of experimental daring isn’t seen very often and we’re glad it’s coming from Bell & Ross. This watch is a limited edition one, but as it’s a fairly recent release compared to other watches on this list there’s a chance there’s still some left.

Read more about it here

10 – Oris AquisPro 4000m

Kicking off our list is the AquisPro from Oris. It was unveiled at Geneva Watch Days but I got to see it live at Watches & Wonders, and I was very impressed. Sure, it’s not the most practical watch Oris released this year, and it’s certainly not the greenest, but this watch was an experiment for the brand as their deepest-diving wristwatch ever. The name isn’t just for show, this near-50mm x 23mm behemoth was built to take on the ocean and I hope some wearers get to try that out in real life.

Read more about it here

9 – Grand Seiko Evolution 9 “Ushio” SLGA023

Grand Seiko has been coming a long way in terms of making watches that truly compete with the established competition over the past few years. You might be surprised by the fact we didn’t choose their Tentagraph SLGC001 as the pick this year. It was tempting, but we loved how understated the “Ushio” SLGA023 looks. If you love the modern aesthetics of Omega’s Seamaster Planet Ocean, the “Ushio” SLGA023 should be on your radar as well. The only downside? It’s quite pricey.

Read more about it here

8 – Longines Hydroconquest GMT

For 2023, Longines refreshed their Hydroconquest GMT line of watches and gave them updated aesthetics and a fresh batch of colours. Blue was our favourite dial/bezel colour, and at 41mm x 12.9mm these watches are quite wearable for most people. With self-winding ETA-based movements inside them, a long 72-hour power reserve and stainless steel cases (with a choice of various straps) that are 300m water resistant, it’s hard to see why some brands charge as much money as they do for their watches, brand names aside.

Read more about it here

7 – Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo” ref. 16202BC

Early on in the year, Audemars Piguet showed off a limited edition version of the Royal Oak “Jumbo”, one of the most in-demand versions of the Royal Oak (which itself is probably their most demanded watch). The watch is made from 18k white gold and measures a reasonable 39mm x 8.1mm, but that’s not what grabbed the headlines. Recently, Audemars Piguet has been playing around with dial textures other than tapisserie guilloché which has been seen on Royals Oaks since they first appeared. The blue-grained texture is very refined; shame we can’t buy one now as it was a limited edition.

Read more about it here

6 – Seiko Prospex Land Series GMT Navigator Timer Reissue SPB411

To be clear, this isn’t the award for the watch with the longest name, although this Seiko Prospex SPB411 could probably claim it. This watch echoed the Navigator Timer watch from 1968, a classic in the Seiko collection, with a sunray polished grey dial and a relatively modest case diameter of 38.5mm. There’s something quite nice about Seiko’s vintage re-imaginings. I’m usually bored out of my mind with vintage re-issue pieces, but this one is one that I’m happy to make an exception for.

Read more about it here

5 – Omega Seamaster 300 Summer Blue

Omega’s had a pretty strong year this year, and we’ve liked nearly all of their releases. Their Summer Blue collection from June this year brought a set of blue themed watches which almost any of could’ve been on this list. The Ultra-Deep 6000m watch had a whimsical use of lume on its dial, which we loved, but for us, the Seamaster 300 Summer Blue is the cream of the crop. It’s a 300m sports watch with a classy appearance, a clean dial and a wonderful blue gradient. While the Seamaster Diver 300m and the Planet Ocean 600m watches are the ones people choose the most, we think that this watch is a bit of a sleeper. Also, it’s got a lollipop seconds hand, and that’s just great.

Read more about it here

4 – Hublot Square Bang Unico Sapphire 42mm

I saw this one at Watches & Wonders Geneva and just thought, “Wow”. I can understand that Hublot may not be to the tastes of some, but they deserve all the credit when it comes to making genuinely interesting watches out of crazy materials. Sapphire crystal isn’t new to Hublot or to watch cases in general, but at this size and in this shape, it just seemed to click with me more than any of the other watches I saw that day. It’s also got an in-house self-winding movement in and the rubber strap is clear as well. If you’re gonna go big on a watch you might as well go all-out and this does just that.

Read more about it here

3 – Glashütte Original Sixties Chronograph Annual Edition 2023

Glashütte Original is another brand that’s a bit of a “sleeper” when it comes to watches, but you ignore them at your own loss because they’ve been on fire with their releases recently. The Sixties Chronograph Annual Edition 2023 seriously impressed us with its easy wearability, automatic chronograph movement and that dial. We can tell you loved the dial, too; the article’s comments section doesn’t lie. When you factor in that this is a sub-$9000 watch offering something that most brands wouldn’t hesitate charging double for, it’s easy to see why Glashütte Original was a top pick for us.

Read more about it here

2 – Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 126529LN

For 2023 Rolex revamped its iconic chronograph model, the Cosmograph Daytona. As is usual with Rolex, the changes to most of the watches were subtle, and the changes to others were subtler still. Discerning the new watches is actually fairly easy. All the new models with ceramic bezels have a ring of metal around the edge of the bezel to protect the bezel from chipping and potentially cracking. The 126529LN comes in a white gold case and has markers reminiscent of the “Newman” Daytona, Paul Newman was a big fan of this model and made it very famous. Rolex doesn’t officially say this is a Paul Newman-inspired watch, but it’s very clear what they were aiming for with this. Oh, also, it’s one of very few Rolex watches currently to have an open case back, displaying the brand new movement as standard from the factory.

Read more about it here

1 – Zenith Pilot Big Date Flyback ref 03.4000.3652/21.I001

While the Cosmograph Daytona received a minor update outside and a major update inside, the Zenith Pilot was replaced entirely this year. To be clear, I liked the old watch as it had style and panache, but I can see how the very large cases and onion crowns so forth would’ve made it a hard sell. I realise I’m in the minority here. The watch we got has come a long way from the previous versions. It still has an El Primero calibre, a brand new one with a butter-smooth chronograph operation. Zenith said they went into great detail when developing this watch, such as the chronograph, which requires 500g (approximately) of weight to operate, and the big date window, which sounds like those old-school flip-board signs they had in airports and train stations (it did sound like that). It also helps that the watch looks great in general, and while the black version is classy the stainless steel version is the one I’d pick.

Read more about it here

Well, there you have it, our top picks for the watches of 2023. Of course, there’s been so many this year that could well have deserved to be on our list. Tell us your favourites in the comments!