The Red Dot is one of – if not the – world’s most important and widely recognized design awards.
The Red Dot organization awards prizes for design in a multitude of categories, from refrigerators to lawn mowers and everything in between. The prizes are awarded on many levels: Best of the Best, Design Prize, and Honorable Mention.
Until the 2015 competition, there was no dedicated watch category. That thankfully changed, and now the prestigious German prize features a three-man jury dedicated just to watches.
The 2020 jury included Jens Koch of German watch magazine Chronos; Jörn Kengelbach, editor-in-chief Robb Report Germany; and Swiss-based design guru Simon Husslein, who has been responsible for the design of several Nomos and Ventura watches.
For an interview on the creation of the timepiece category and what goes on behind the scenes at the Red Dot, see The 2015 Red Dot Has A New Watch Category. And The Winners Are . . .
It is worth noting that brands do have to pay to enter watches for a Red Dot award, but that is true of any professional award competition, including the IF Design Awards and the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.
Red Dot Best of the Best winners 2020
The three watch judges orient themselves primarily on the nine assessment criteria that Red Dot created and they try to be as objective and impartial as possible. In particular, the jurors look for a successful overall design, elements bringing a new aspect to watch design, and emotional value above and beyond a coherent shape.
Designers and companies from more than 60 countries submitted more than 6,500 products to the Red Dot for the 2020 competition, 18 percent more submissions than in 2019. Only 76 of the 1,600 winners of these products received Best of the Best honors in the 2020 competition.
Porsche Design 1919 Globetimer UTS: Red Dot Best of the Best
That Porsche Design won another high Red Dot award for its 1919 Globetimer UTC should surprise no one. Porsche Design has been at the forefront of design since its founding in 1972 and the Globetimer UTC, launched at Baselworld 2019, is a great example of the legible, clean, and clear style kicked off by Professor Ferdinand Alexander Porsche in products other than automobiles.
Many two-time-zone watches don’t work as well as you might hope, almost as if they were designed by people who never travel themselves. Some highlight the fact that you can “conveniently” change the time zone using just the crown, but what they don’t tell you is that when doing so you also mess up the current settings of the other time zone, which then need to be corrected again.
Others bypass this with a corrector on the case band, but once settled comfortably in your airplane seat, you discover you don’t have anything to push the corrector with, so the search for a toothpick, fine liner, or safety pin begins.
Porsche Design’s approach is simpler: just two buttons on the side of the case. The top one advances the current time zone in one-hour increments, while the one on the bottom sets the time zone back in one-hour increments.
Minutes and seconds remain untouched and accurate, and the date changes automatically with the changes in time zone. The 1919 Globetimer UTC even includes a day/night indicator, visible through a small opening in the dial.
Porsche Design is known for superb dial legibility and the Globetimer UTC does not disappoint; all indications are easily read at a glance.
As part of Porsche Design’s 1919 collection, the shape of the “framework” lugs add to the wearing comfort – as does the light titanium case.
For more information, please visit www.porsche-design.com/en/Timepieces/1919-Collection/1919-UTC/1919-Globetimer-UTC-All-Titanium-Blue.
Quick Facts Porsche Design 1919 Globetimer UTC
Case: 42 x 14.9 mm, titanium
Movement: automatic Caliber WERK 04.110 (Sellita SW 200 base) with Porsche Design rotor and travel time module, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency, 38-hour power reserve, officially certified C.O.S.C. chronometer
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date, UTC function,
Price: €6,450 on a titanium bracelet
Nomos Glashütte Tangente Sport neomatik 42 Date
As part of its new lineup for 2019, Nomos Glashütte introduced the Tangente Sport neomatik 42 Date at Baselworld 2019. With an impressive water resistance of 300 meters (1,000 feet), a screw-down crown, and the brand’s first metal bracelet, this new Tangente proved to be a “good sport.”
Thanks to its sporty features and bold diameter of 42 mm, it is a classy tool watch for every day and should certainly be up to any task on the field and in the great outdoors.
Featuring a sliding lever unique to Nomos Glashütte’s automatic movements, the Tangente Sport is the first of the brand’s watches offering three crown positions, and the date can be set forward or backward.
For more information, please visit www.nomos-glashuette.com/en/tangente/tangente-sport-neomatik-42-date.
Quick Facts Nomos Glashütte Tangente Sport neomatik 42 Date
Case: 42 x 10.9 mm, stainless steel, water resistant to 300 meters
Movement: automatic Caliber DUW 6101 with Swing System escapement, ultra thin, 3 Hz/21,600 vph frequency, power reserve 42 hours
Functions: hours, minutes, (hacking) seconds; date
Red Dot Design Prize for 8 more watches
The Louis Moinet Memoris Titanium has won both a Red Dot Design Award and a first prize in the Excellent Product Design – Luxury Goods category from the German Design Award organization earlier in 2020.
Louis Moinet’s Memoris chronograph places the chronograph complication front and center, allowing the wearer to see the mechanism at a glance in tribute to the brand’s namesake, now officially recognized as the original inventor of the chronograph.
Introduced in 2015, the Memoris puts the chronograph functionality, including the gears and levers that make it tick, on center stage, and relegates the time-telling to second place. While the design of this chronograph is based by and large on classical watchmaking codes, Louis Moinet pieces stand apart for their whimsical, ornate, and slightly quirky accents that bring modernity and originality together in a unique package.
For more information, please visit www.louismoinet.com.
Quick Facts Louis Moinet Memoris Titanium
Case: 46 x 16.4 mm, titanium
Movement: automatic Caliber LM54 with dial-side visible chronograph assembly, 48 hours power reserve, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency
Functions: off-centered hours and minutes, monopusher chronograph
Limitation: 28 examples
Price: 24,100 Swiss francs
This is a most unusual Meistersinger watch: its display of weekdays features celestial bodies and their classical symbols going around and around in an everlasting circle of life.
Despite the additional function taking up a great deal of the dial’s real estate, it remains eminently recognizable as a Meistersinger thanks to its single hand making rotations around the dial displaying both hours and minutes.
For more information, please visit www.meistersinger.com/shop/astroscope-black-blue.
Quick Facts Meistersinger Astroscope
Case: 40 x 10.5 mm, stainless steel
Movement: automatic Sellita Caliber SW220 with Meistersinger module, 38-hour power reserve, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency
Functions: hours, minutes; date, weekdays
Sinn Modell 936
Known for its tool watches, Sinn entered a timepiece into the Red Dot competition for the first time in 2019 took home a Design prize. Sinn did it again this year, winning yet another prize for its Modell 936 bicompax chronograph.
For Lothar Schmidt, owner of Sinn Spezialuhren, the award is confirmation that the principles on which the development and design of Sinn Spezialuhren timepieces are based hold true. “We are of the firm belief that form should always follow function when designing our watches and that each and every watch should be fit for purpose. It is therefore our great pleasure to receive such a renowned award for our bicompax chronograph 936. This demonstrates once again that the outstanding design quality and uncompromising functionality of a Sinn watch are mutually dependent rather than mutually exclusive. We will continue to stand by our fundamental belief in future, too.”
For more information, please visit www.sinn.de/en/Modell/936.
Quick Facts Sinn Modell 936
Case: 43 x 15 mm, hardened stainless steel
Movement: automatic Caliber SZ05 (base ETA Valjoux 7751), 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency, power reserve 42 hours; magnetic field protection to 80,000 A/m
Functions: hours, minutes, hacking seconds; date, chronograph
Sternglas is a young watch brand from Hamburg, Germany founded in 2016 by designer Dustin Fontaine with a successful Kickstarter project. His Sternglas watches have a Bauhaus style comprising clear design, good quality, and great value for money.
“What a great success,” Fontaine said about winning this prestigious prize. “This makes me proud.”
For more information, please visit www.sternglas.com.
Quick Facts Sternglas Zirkel
Case: 40 x 10 mm, hardened stainless steel
Movement: automatic Miyota Caliber 9015, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency, power reserve 42 hours
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date
The other four Design Prize winners are the Detomaso Viaggio Automatic Green, a 42 mm stainless steel watch powered by a Seiko movement; the Laco Frankfurt GMT Schwarz, a 43 mm automatic pilot-style timepiece powered by an ETA caliber; Nordgreen The Pioneer, a 42 mm chronograph powered by a Japanese quartz movement; and the Braun BN0265 Classic Chronograph, a 40 mm quartz chronograph.
In addition, the Red Dot watch jury awarded Design prizes to two Braun digital travel alarm clocks, the Mooas All-New Smart Clock MC-W6, a Shenzhen ChampsA Technology electronic watch winder, and the Qlocktwo Touch Pure, a precision table clock with alarm function.
The latter is an interesting development as Qlocktwo’s products display the time using a matrix of letters to spell it out in words. You can see more on this German manufacturer’s products at Word For Word: Qlocktwo Presents A New Approach To Telling The Time.
For more information about the Red Dot awards, please visit www.en.red-dot.org.