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Square Mile Watch Awards 2020: The Icon

You might recognise the collection, but these new models bring a fresh take on the most prized watches on the planet. It might be a new complication or simply a tweaked design, but these are the icons that have captured our imagination in 2020…

Contrary to popular horological belief, not everybody loves watches. For some the deep cultural history or meticulous craftsmanship doesn't quite land the same emotional blow as it does for the better initiated.

That being said, there are some watch collections so deeply popular that they transcend their industry. We're talking about the Submariners, the Speedmasters and, of course, the Nautiluses – these are what you would call icons of the watch world.

The Icon award focuses on the models that breathe fresh life into a familiar face; a new chapter in a collection's story. 

From the most popular watches on the planet to coveted timepieces for collectors, this year five icons duke it out to take home the title.

Meet this year's shortlist…

A Lange & Sohne Lange 1 Time Zone

A Lange & Sohne Lange 1 Time Zone

The Lange 1 may not be the most iconic icon on this list, but any watch collector worth their salt dreams of adding one of these models to their collection.

Why? Without the Lange 1, there would be no modern A Lange & Sohne. When the collection launched in 1994, it signalled the return of Saxon watchmaking to the upper echelons of haute horlogerie. The unorthodox dial and impeccably finished movement continues to beguile watch lovers to this day. 

This subtly tweaked world timer is simply the most recent in a long line of Lange 1s to drool over.

Omega “Silver Snoopy Award” 50th Anniversary Snoopy Speedmaster

Omega “Silver Snoopy Award” 50th Anniversary Snoopy Speedmaster

There is perhaps no horological collaboration as famous as Omega, NASA, and Snoopy. The Speedmaster, the watch that won the race to be the official watch of the space program, is famous for being the 'watch that went to the moon' – a watch so reliable that it could work in deep space.

Snoopy's role in the story was a little more serendipitous: the Peanuts star became something of a symbol for the USA's obsession with space exploration after Charles M Schulz created multiple images of the beagle on the moon. By 1968, the Snoopy-NASA association was made official – the agency introducing the Silver Snoopy Award for achievements in the field of human flight safety and mission success, a prize that is still awarded to this day.

This brilliant blue rendition commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Silver Snoopy Award, with plenty of little easter eggs for fans of Snoopy and NASA.

Patek Philippe Ref. 6007A-001 Calatrava

Patek Philippe Ref. 6007A-001 Calatrava

Yes, the Calatrava doesn't have quite the same widespread luxury appeal as the Nautilus, but Patek Philippe's traditional dress watch is an enduring symbol of the Swiss giant's commitment to high-end watchmaking.

First introduced in 1932, the bones of the Calatrava have changed little in the 80-odd years it has adorned wrists, but in 2020 the factory in which it is constructed has modernised greatly. 

To celebrate the new multi-multi-million-pound facility, Patek has released a limited-edition Calatrava – blending tradition with the modern. The case shape and movement are nothing new, but the design features a more contemporary dial quite unlike anything we've seen in the collection before.

Rolex Submariner

Rolex Submariner

You'll only need one hand to count the number of watches that can match the Submariner for overall fame. But do any really best it: the original Bond watch, the ultimate tool watch, the banker's choice? It's tough to say. 

The Submariner blends innovation and watchmaking heritage (first launched in 1954), with a broad presence in popular culture. The latest version sees the case grow in size slightly, while subtle design changes somehow make it the most wearable Submariner ever.

Add to that an updated movement with everything Rolex can throw at it, and you're looking at one of the most-talked-about watches of 2020.

Urwerk UR-210 Final Edition

Urwerk UR-210 Final Edition

Urwerk doesn't get the recognition it deserves outside of horology, but for fans of independent watchmaking it is an icon unto itself. 

The UR-210, nicknamed the Maltese Falcon, encapsulates the company's ethos of challenging the way we perceive and read time. Debuting in 2012, it featured a totally unique case shape, turning 'satellites' displaying the hour, and a retrograde minutes display; it looked like nothing we'd ever seen before. 

This new version, the swan song for this collection according to Urwerk, is a celebration of a unique contemporary masterpiece.

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