Welcome to the 43rd episode of Fratello Talks. Today, we are feeling retrospective, so we decided to look back at some highlights released throughout this year so far. You join RJ, Lex, and Nacho, who will run through what, to them, are the best watches of 2023. Each has been tasked with picking their five favorites from the year. They kept these picks to themselves, but as you’ll see, there was no overlap. But before we check out their highlights of the year so far, it’s time for a wrist check.

Coffee corner watch talk

Wrist check

We kick things off with Lex, who is still riding a high with his Chronoswiss Timemaster. As he explained last Monday, he has rediscovered this watch for himself and rekindled his love for it. This is a known phenomenon to watch collectors. Sometimes absence, followed by a lack of passion, signals that it’s maybe time to pass a watch on. But other times, it truly makes the heart grow fonder. For Lex, his love of the 44mm Chronoswiss Timemaster once again burns as bright as its impressive lume dial.

RJ has opted for something slightly more understated than a 44mm lume-dialed watch with a giant onion crown. He’s keeping things classy with his Rolex Datejust 1601 from the early ’70s. This is a special one for RJ as he received it as a graduation gift from his parents. It still comes out of the safe from time to time. As Nacho says, “You can’t go wrong with a classic.”

Finally, Nacho is back to his beloved Omega Seamaster Professional 300M 2254.50. Today, he’s testing out a new Hydroflex strap from Artem (not pictured above). The latest product from the brand, it uses FKM rubber and its signature sailcloth material to create a refined yet resilient strap. Perfect for sportier watches, the strap is incredibly comfortable. Available now from the Artem website in four different colors (khaki green, gray, black, and blue) it’s an option worth considering. As Lex points out, it’s also a nice match for the Seamaster as well as Nacho’s outfit of the day. But don’t worry — we’re not about to start telling you what you should wear with your watches.


The best watches of 2023

So, which watches did the guys pick? You can see the list of watches below:

1. Longines HydroConquest GMT [7:58]
2. Aquastar Model 60 + Fratello LE [16:20]
3. Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Tech Gombessa [19:55]
4. Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Chronograph 8Tech [25:00]
5. Arken Alterum [29:03]

1. Rolex GMT-Master II in gold and steel [6:40]
2. Breguet Classique 7637 Répétition Minutes [12:06]
3. Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Paris Olympics 2024 Special [18:23]
4. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar [22:54]
5. TAG Heuer Carrera 60th Anniversary in 18K Gold [26:51]

1. Panerai Radiomir Officine PAM01385 [4:00]
2. IWC Pilot’s Chronograph 41 Top Gun Mohave Desert [9:09]
3. Bvlgari Octo Finissimo CarbonGold [17:12]
4. Audemars Piguet × 1017 ALYX 9SM Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph [21:58]
5. Tissot Sideral in yellow [26:00]

As you can see, they’ve gone with a mix of high-end highlights from Rolex, AP, Bvlgari, and Breguet as well as some more affordable choices from Longines, Tissot, Aquastar, and Arken. On top of their five picks, each added some honorable mentions along the way. With so many great releases this year, it indeed was a challenge to narrow it down to just 15 total picks. Did your favorite make the list? Did we miss it? Make sure to listen to this week’s chat (or watch the video podcast), and let us know your top five watches released this year in the comments below!

Remember to tune in next week for a new episode of Fratello Talks!