WristReview’s Top 5 Autumnal Watches

Autumn may officially have started, but does anything really get started until we've written about it?


It’s been a while since we’ve done a Top 5 article, hasn’t it? Did we forget? Well, maybe, but we’re not telling! Now, you may have noticed that the seasons in the Northern Hemisphere have changed. The leaves are beginning to descend from the trees, pumpkins are amassing their army ready to be thrown into every possible food or beverage imaginable, and the defrosting of Mariah Carey has officially begun. That’s right, autumn has begun, or fall if you live in the USA, because leaf fall down or something.

Anyway, with the changing of the seasons and several reminders from the boss, a new Top 5 list is upon us. It’s another first for us, as this is our Top 5 Autumnal watches, which is a topic we’ve not covered before. I’ll be honest, the requirements are quite fast and loose, so instead, we went down the situational route as we did with the Top 5 Winter Watches articles. Let’s get started.

5 – Making mulled cider – TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph 44mm CBN2A1N.FT6238

TAG Heuer’s Carrera lineup started looking really good about 2 years ago we reckon. An overhaul of the design brought it bang up to date with sleek lines, clear dials and sporty cases. I’m sure there are 1 or 2 folks out there claiming it’s lost some of its idiosyncracies, but for the rest of us, it just got more handsome. You can have this watch on a bracelet or a strap, and we’d understand if you wanted the bracelet option but the rubber strap with its pattern looking like bracelet links is pretty cool. It reminds me of the old Jaeger-LeCoultre sports watches with rubberised metal bracelets, those were the days. Anyway, the Carrera comes with a solid movement and excellent design, plus the natural green of this season.

4 – Planning a winter holiday to escape the chills – Citizen AQ4103-16E Black Washi Paper Dial Limited Edition

“Is it me, or have Citizen’s watches just got interesting?” No, it’s just you, Citizen have been making super interesting watches for a while; it’s just we in the West don’t usually get to hear about them. Thankfully, the AQ4103-16E Black Washi Paper Dial watch is one we did hear about and can own, although it’s limited to 350 examples. The fibrous Washi paper creates a beautiful dark backdrop for gold leaf to be applied to with a technique called Sunago-maki. All of it is then covered in clear lacquer. Citizen is renowned for its solar-powered Eco-Drive watches, and this is one of them, with the quartz A060 movement keeping time to within 5 seconds per year. The case is made of Citizen’s Super Titanium and then Duratect gold-coated, it would have gotten higher up the list if it used actual gold, but the dial is super duper cool.

3 – Getting in early on the holiday shopping – IWC Big Pilot’s Watch AMG G 63 ref IW501201

It feels like only yesterday I was writing about an IWC pilot’s watch. Anyway, we all know that now is the best time to get cracking on buying presents for the holiday season ahead. I don’t know about you, but when I’m out and on a mission, I’m not paying too much attention to my watch. That means I’d want something that doesn’t care about getting beaten a little, and IWC’s new Big Pilot’s watch is made from Armor Gold, a unique blend of gold that’s significantly more scratch-resistant than regular gold. It’s also completely over the top, just like Mercedes-Benz’s iconic Geländewagen, or the G for short, which can often be found in the company of Bentleys and Lamborghinis in car parks. 

2 – Going for a brisk walk through a leafy park – Grand Seiko SBGJ273 Yuka-Momiji Hi-Beat GMT

Grand Seiko’s GMT Yuka-Momiji watch has an exceptionally long name but an exceptionally pretty dial, too. Its colour and pattern are inspired by the reflections of red Japanese maple trees on shiny polished wooden floors. Yeah, seriously. The red colouration is extraordinary here and a perfect colour to reflect the season, and the fact that the floorboards on the dial are at slightly different heights shows exceptional attention to detail. A self-winding 9S86 calibre provides the time and GMT function, and it has a bracelet which provides some pleasing reassurances about its durability. Let’s be honest, the slippy wet leaves of autumn make walking along some footpaths a nightmare. A pity it’s only water-resistant to 30m.

1 – Sipping on that sweet sweet pumpkin spice latte – Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin ref 16202XT.OO.1240XT.01

Watchmakers seemed to really lean into other natural hues instead of blue this year. Green was the most obvious one, there were loads of green-dialled watches at Watches & Wonders Geneva this year, but red is my personal preference despite my surname. The Royal Oak “Jumbo” is a special thing; being a 39mm watch with a slim 8.1mm case, it’s definitely a dressier piece. But the titanium case with BMG (Bulk Metallic Glass) bezel and bracelet links indicate a subtle solidity, although I wouldn’t want to test how far that solidity goes. The self-winding movement seems to be more dressy than rough and ready, and if you have to ask Audemars Piguet nicely if you can perhaps buy one from them, it’s better not to waste that opportunity. The dial looks excellent, though, despite not having the signature tapisserie guilloché.

What were your favourites? Do you have any other suggestions for these scenarios? What do you usually get up to in autumn? Tell us about it in the comments!