There are some watches we know will come in 2023. Then there are a few we expect to come. And finally, there are the watches we hope will come out this year. On the first day of the new year, we will present you with a small list of predictions, expectations, and far-fetched wishes. There will be brand and watch models celebrating nicely rounded off birth years, for instance. The Omega Seamaster turns 75 this year, for instance. Did you know the Rolex Daytona has been around for six decades this year? Seiko has reached the honorable age of 110. And both the Swatch and the G-Shock celebrate 40 years of fantastic plastic watches. But there are also predictions based on releases, rumors, and unfulfilled wishes from 2022.

Let’s start with a list of watches celebrating a birthday this year. In order of age, we will see many limited editions from Japan celebrating 110 years of Seiko watchmaking. And because there’s probably a lot to come, the brand already started putting out celebratory editions like the Prospex SPB333J1 Save The Ocean Limited Edition. The brand already released the Presage Craftsmanship Series Limited Edition SPB359J1, which takes inspiration from the 1913 Laurel, the very watch that marks the starting point for Seiko as a watchmaker. And that Laurel homage either show Seiko’s eagerness or means there’s stuff to come that’s even more celebratory. Like a Laurel that rises way above Presage level. A platinum Laurel 110th Anniversary Edition, for instance. A noble remake, if you will, with a gold movement and an enamel dial.

Watches we are most looking forward to in 2023

Watches we are most looking forward to: the 75-year young Omega Seamaster

Thinking about what Omega will do regarding the 75th birthday of the Seamaster can cause a bit of a headache. Remember the classic 1948 Limited Editions Omega launched five years ago? There was a Seamaster Central Second model, plus a watch with small seconds. There were 1,948 pieces in steel of the two iterations and 70 in platinum. Maybe, because the Seamaster was Omega’s first family of watches, 2023 will be a year that will see special anniversary models throughout the range. I’m thinking of a box set with special editions of the four Seamaster subfamilies: Aqua Terra, Diver 300M, Planet Ocean, and Heritage. What I would be curious to see is a Seamaster 1948 Limited Edition in all of Omega’s different gold alloys, especially a version in nautical bronze gold.

Watches we are most looking forward to in 2023

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms 70 years

Blancpain calls its Fifty Fathoms “the first modern diver’s watch” so when that same watch turns 70, celebrations are in order. And what better way to celebrate than with limited editions of revamped, historical models? Blancpain already communicated that the anniversary will be celebrated with watches and experiences. 2023 marks not only 70 years of the Fifty Fathoms, but also 20 years of the contemporary Fifty Fathoms. Interestingly, the contemporary version from 2003 was a return to the 1953 dive watch.

The current Fifty Fathoms replaced the dive watch from the Trilogy collection that also included a GMT watch and the Air Command chronographs. Watches from 1997 — when Blancpain became part of Swatch Group — with a peculiar textured bezel that never made any real waves. A return to that design is very unlikely. Still, a classic-looking, small Fifty Fathoms in black or gunmetal gray ceramic with an updated bezel — the sapphire one feels and looks a bit outdated if you ask me — is something to look forward to.

Watches we are most looking forward to in 2023

Swatch and Casio G-Shock are 40 years young

Like Seiko, Casio already started a party to celebrate a memorable watch moment. We already featured four Casio G-Shock 40th Anniversary watches on Fratello at the end of 2022. And many more will come this year — anniversary models in all shapes, colors, materials, and price ranges. I like the earlier released GMW-B5000EH, the first G-Shock × Haze collaboration model with a full-metal design, and since I’m a square fan, I look forward to more of those. But maybe you have a particular “CasiOak” or high-end MRG design in your mind, you realized. Let me know in the comments.

More secondary watches on the horizon

Forty years ago, a collection of 12 plastic watches changed the watch world. The first Swatch collection sold over a million units in its first year and helped rescue traditional, mechanical Swiss watches.  For Swatch, it started with an injection molding bought by engineer Elmar Mock. After 15 months of prototype creation, Mock and his colleague, Jacques Muller, created a plastic watch that was one piece and welded together and required just 51 parts. Sidenote: the mechanical Sistem 51 of 2013 was a revolutionary homage to the original battery-powered watch.

In 2020 Swatch presented the bioreloaded 1983 Models — three years too soon? — and 2023 will undoubtedly be a year in which a lot of celebratory “secondary watches” — the idea of having more than one watch to match any kind of outfit also led to the name of the Swatch. Any favorites from the 1980s you want to see again, or do you want something revolutionary?

Rolex Daytona 116509H on the wrist – Picture courtesy of Sotheby’s

Watches we are most looking forward to in 2023: 60th Anniversary Rolex Daytona and an improved Milgauss

The Daytona turns 60 this year. That might seem a big thing, but it’s not unthinkable; Rolex begs to differ. Maybe they will wait until the chronograph turns 75 to celebrate with something new. But then again, maybe they won’t. If we do get lucky this year, we might see a steel Daytona with a green dial. A bit like the white gold Daytona reference 116509H, but with a green lacquered dial instead of the hard stone, chrysoprase dial. But I don’t mind the soft natural hue of the hard stone, and the Roman numerals are also quite festive. Do you want a ceramic bezel on that? I don’t, but let me know if you do.

The updated Air-King Ref. 126900 of 2022 leads us to think there’s a new Milgauss — the Ref. 126400 will replace the Ref. 116400 — on the way. Same case as the new Air-King, same movement, same everything except for the dial and maybe a colored crystal above a dark dial. And the white-dialed version will be topped with a clear crystal. I really am looking forward to a revamped thunderbolt seconds hand.

Tudor Black Bay Pro “Polar”

I’m not going to say anything (anymore) about the original Black Bay Pro and what it looks like. Especially because if Tudor decides to release a white-dialed Black Bay Pro “Polar,” it will be more of a stand-alone creation. Yes, it will have Explorer II vibes, but not as strong as the “Freccione” ones the first “BB Pro” gave off. And if Tudor wants to make sure nobody thinks of a watch with a crown on the dial, a navy blue BB Pro could also be very nice.

Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5811/1R, sure, but also a Calatrava Ref. 5326R Annual Calendar Travel Time

Do you want a new Nautilus in 2023? Sure, no problem, piece of cake. You can have the material you want except steel. And that’s why 2023 will see the launch of the 5811/1R, a full rose gold Nautilus with a smoky brown dial. I wouldn’t mind seeing a Nautilus Ref. 5811/1G with a snow-white dial, but that’s probably not happening. What else? Maybe a Calatrava Ref. 5326R Annual Calendar Travel Time with a blue dial. The white gold version, with a charcoal dial that came out last year, mixed luxury with functionality. The watch was met with mixed emotions. I liked the complex case construction, the finishing, and the decoration of it, plus the textured surface of the dial.

IWC Ingenieur SL – Picture courtesy of A Collected Man

Anticipating a new Ingenieur from IWC plus something monochromatic

We heard through the grapevine that IWC is working hard to get back into the integrated sports watches game. With a revamped Ingenieur, of course. Something based on the elegant Genta-designed Ingenieur SL “Jumbo” Ref. 1832, of course. Not the clunky Ingenieur Ref. 3239.

One of the watches we are most looking forward to in 2023 is a polarizing one. Also, because it’s the complete opposite of the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Top Gun Edition “Lake Tahoe”. That’s why I made the worst artist impression in the history of artist impressions. The diapositive image of the white ceramic chronograph might look horrible, but you at least catch my drift of what I want to see in 2023, a black ceramic case with an arctic white dial. And now you also know the dial color of 2023, white. And on that note, I wish you all a very fresh and bright new year!

Find and follow me at Lex Stolk • Instagram.