Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But what is that on his wrist? Here’s hoping it’s not one of ugly watches below – my personal selection of the worst of 2020 so far. You may not agree with my choices, but that’s the beauty of subjectivity. To each his own. Here are eight watches I’d never own . . .
Richard Mille RM 33-02 Automatic – $153,230
Sometimes, a watch leaves me speechless for all the wrong reasons. This is one of those ugly watches. I have few words to describe this monstrosity. All of them will be defined by a lexicographer as expletives. Is there any Richard Mille you find attractive? I’m struggling to think of one that I do.
A bullhead-style first from the independent watchmakers in Schaffhausen, the thick case, concave bracelet and lack of ingenuity – beyond the bought-in chronograph movement – leave it well-short of being pretty. A chronograph is always a good idea but this one’s badly executed. [Click here for RF’s take.]
Hublot Big Bang MP-11 Red Magic – $86,000
A watch that looks like a Happy Meal toy, this Art of Fusion is really adamant that you know how many days of power reserve you’ve got left. Its paunch gives it an insane amount of thickness and time-telling is squeezed into a corner. Regular drive-thru visitors will recognize the bulk in its midsection. For more repugnant watches, browse Hublot’s catalog.
Zenith Defy 21 Land Rover – $14,300
Automotive partnerships rarely yield beautiful results (for a beautiful exception from the past, watch this video). The Zenith Defender is just a muddy expression of an uninspired case design which actually houses a great movement. The strap looks like it was literally run over by a Land Rover. Recently, Breitling has recently been doing alright with their Bentley chronographs.
Girard-Perregaux Quasar Light – $294,000
The watchmaking is first-rate, but the Quasar Light is let down by its completely see-through dial and case, completely illegible time display and completely ridiculous size (46mm). All you’ll see wearing the GP is your own wrist hair, and that’s not very attractive at all. For sapphire done tastefully, see OMEGA’s DeVille Hour Vision.
Seiko SLA041 – $4,800
Another big watch, a brute actually, suffering from shyness? A tiny dial with juvenile graphics and a shroud surrounding the case cannot save it from being ungainly and unsightly. Seiko also released a very attractive dive watch alongside this one, the SLA037, so there is still hope.
Ulysse Nardin Freak X Magma – $28,900
This watch looks like it’s on fire . . . literally. Although the movement is technically impressive, it’s housed in a plastic case that melts your eyes. Only the brave will emerge unscathed, but their taste will be questioned.
Hamilton PSR – $995
POS PSR is a digital watch recreation with a case that looks like Rosie the Robot’s face. It’s truly one of the ugliest of ugly watches. Best to leave this horological relic where it belongs – in the past.