NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- This year you won't have to listen to me drone on about the warm, analog upside of mechanical timepieces in our bitter, cold numeric age. Stephen J. Pulvirent is more than happy to that heavy lifting for me.
"We live in a digital world, for sure. In fact, we are a digital business," said Pulvirent, who is associate editor of Hodinkee, the New York City better men's watch website and analysis firm. "But a mechanical timepiece needs you to work. And that relationship is surprisingly compelling in our lives."
Pulvirent and his boss, founder and Executive Editor Benjamin Clymer, very kindly sat down with me for a lengthy chat on what's really ticking in the mechanical watch world for 2013. And we all agreed that, never mind Samsung's high-tech app-based Gear watch or the impending Apple (AAPL) iWatch, the real news for this past year was the bumper crop in timepieces that tell time without the need for pesky batteries.
Believe it or not, mechanical wristwatches now make up the vast majority of new watches sold worldwide, according to Statistics Brain, the data collection service managed by Seth Harden. According to information it compiled from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, Convention Patronale, Bank Vontobel and others, when consumers do enter the better watch market, it's the mechanical timepiece they are seeing value in. And mega watch brands such as The Swatch Group, Richemont and Rolex dominate this market. This was a solid year for value, design and innovation among smaller makers as well. There was even an American watch maker or two worth watching.
How great is that?
So as we step into the final moments of the holiday shopping season, here are my picks for the top 10 best mechanical watches for 2013. Invest in any one of these for you or your loved ones and be reminded moment by moment of how precious time really is.