Journalists and watch enthusiasts are currently flocking to a usually-sleepy corner of Switzerland for the largest and most impressive watch show in the world – Baselworld 2019.
Glitzy stands fill the cavernous exhibition centre in Basel, showing off the best innovation and invention horology has to offer.
Expect announcements from brands including Rolex, Tag Heuer, Hublot, Tudor and many more…
T3 have joined the fray, and will be bringing you the latest releases from the show. These are the best watches announced as Baselworld 2019 so far…
Seiki brough a number of new watches to Baselworld 2019, mainly focusing around the brand’s Proxpex range.
The piece that really stood out for us is the glorious re-creation of Seiko’s 1970 diver’s watch. This year’s model is slightly larger than the original but is faithful in every other respect to its design.
Of course, it’s been completely updated inside, incorporating the caliber 8L35 which was specially designed for use in diver’s watches.
If you looking for something a little more modern, you should check out the new Prospex LX line, which has been developed in collaboration with Ken Okuyama Design.
All watches in this first collection have different functions based on a set of three specific activities. The land version has a GMT hand and a compass bezel for direction finding. The sky version also has a GMT hand and a bi-directional bezel for showing time in a third time zone and the sea version has a uni-directional bezel to indicate the length of diving.
Maurice Laqroix has already released a number of watches earlier in the year at SIHH, but it held the Aikon Venturer back for Baselworld.
This sporty watch is “designed for the intense, fast-paced life of major metropolises”. It features an automatic movement and the stainless steel case measures 43mm.
It watch comes in two options, one with a blue ceramic bezel and brushed dial, and one in black. It comes on a 5-row in stainless steel easy change bracelet.
One of the biggest surprises at Baselworld (for us at least), is this stunning GMT from Zodiac (which is now owned by the Fossil Group). It harks back to vintage Zodiac models from the 1960s, but this modern re-edition features a slightly larger 40mm case and modern reliability.
It’s available in two colourways: an understated grey and black, or a retro blue and orange (representing sun and water).
Grand Seiko marked the 20th anniversary of its Spring Drive by announcing a new series within the Grand Seiko Elegance collection. There are four slim, refined watches in the series, all featuring two new manual-winding Spring Drive calibers.
Both of these calibers have the signature glide motion seconds hand, reflecting “the natural and continuous flow of time”. All offer one-second-a-day precision and a long power reserve, thanks to the dual main-spring design of both calibers.
CARL F. BUCHERER
At Baselworld 2019 Carl F. Bucherer unveiled its latest addition to its Heritage collection. It looks back at the watchmaker’s history and acts as an ode to the zeitgeist of the 1950s.
The Heritage BiCompax Annual (pictured above) combines an elegant, timeless design with modern mechanics.
This chronograph from the Lucerne-based watchmaker features a large date display, an annual calendar, and a distinctive BiCompax dial design. It’s available in either stainless steel or 18 k rose gold, each limited to 888 pieces.
Victorinox has drawn inspiration from firefighters for it’s latest limited edition watch, the I.N.OX. Carbon. The watch looks ready for business, with a beautiful (but strong) carbon case and dial, bright neon para cord strap, and yellow and red details.
The lightweight watch is limited to 1,200 pieces, and arrives in a shockproof box in firetruck red, accompanied by a matching Swiss Army Knife Rescue Tool.
There is also an interchangeable black watch strap made of firefighter boot leather, and a black bumper that protects the case.
Rolex brought a whole host of updated watches to Baselworld 2019, with the GMT Master II Black and Blue, Datejust 36, Yacht-Master and Sea-Dweller all receiving a significant refresh.
Starting with the Yach-Master 42, which brings a new size to the range. It’s equipped with a new-generation calibre 3235, crafted from 18ct white gold, and fitted on an Oysterflex bracelet.
Next the Sea-Dweller, which is offered for the first time in a yellow Rolesor version. This new version marks the arrival of 18ct yellow gold to the range.
Finally there’s the GMT-Master II. This is arguably the highlight of Rolex’s new watches. Last year we saw the red and blue ‘Pepsi’ GMT-Master updated, and this year we get the blue and black ‘Batman’. Just like the Pepsi, it’s fitted with a stunning Jubilee bracelet and new-generation calibre 3285.
TAG Heuer has reintroduced the Autavia as a stand-alone collection, with a range of models that boast the versatility, ruggedness and reliability that characterised the original Autavia from the 1960s.
The 42mm stainless-steel models feature a gloriously retro rounded case and bevelled lugs from the 1960s, while a bidirectional rotating bezel with a 60-minute scale in ceramic or stainless steel enhances the sporty look of the watch.
The XL crown takes inspiration from pilot’s watches, and the watch is highly legible thanks to lashings of SuperLuminova.
As well as the Autavia, TAG Heuer also launched a new Connected Modular 45 “Golf Edition”, designed specifically with golfers in mind. The smartwatch is linked to the TAG Heuer Golf app, which enables players get the most out of their rounds of golf no matter what course they’re playing on.
Tudor had big shoes to fill after last year’s Baselworld, where it launched the (T3 Award winning) Black Bay GMT. This year, it unveiled the Black Bay P01, a watch based on a legendary prototype developed in the late 1960s for the US Navy.
The P01 (which stands for Prototype 1) features a hinged end-link system which provides a stop system for the bidirectional rotating bezel.
It’s waterproof to 200 metres, and is fitted with a domed matt-black dial with painted luminescent hour markers. Respecting the utilitarian aesthetic of the prototype that inspired it, the case is entirely satin-brushed for a matt finish.
Inside the P01 is Tudor’s Manufacture Calibre MT5612, which is certified as a chronometer by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) and has a 70-hour power reserve.
Tudor also announced an updated slate-grey colourway for the Black Bay Bronze, and Steel and Gold options for the Black Bay Chrono and Black Bay 41, 36, and 32.
Oris has a set of releases with an environmental aspect at Baselworld 2019, first with the Clean Oceans Limited Edition, which celebrates the partnership with Pacific Garbage Screening, and second with the Great Barrier Reef Limited Edition III (pictured above).
In partnership with the Reef Restoration Foundation , Oris has created this stunning limited edition dive watch, based on the Oris Aquis.
The new model, limited to 2,000 pieces, has a gradient blue dial and an aqua blue ceramic insert in its bezel, recalling the colours of the reef waters. Inside its 43.50mm stainless steel case is an automatic movement that provides it with a small seconds and a circular date window. It’s water-resistant to 30 bar (300 metres).
Hublot’s novelties at Baselworld 2019 mostly centred around its partnership with Ferrari (so much so its stand has a car in the middle of it).
But it’s the latest Classic Fusion Orlinski which caught our eye. The watch case and faceted dial plays with light and shade, which is an aesthetic signature of artist Richard Orlinski. The 40mm case is available in titanium or King Gold, transforming the piece into a jeweller’s objet d’art.
Next up is another Classic Fusion, but this one draws inspiration from the “Gran Turismo” universe. The Classic Fusion Ferrari GT watch features an extremely innovative design which integrates the UNICO manufacture movement in a case with distinctive and dynamic lines which resemble an aerodynamic car body.
Scuderia Ferrari is celebrating the 90th year since its foundation in 1929, and Hublot is marking the occasion with the Big Bang Scuderia Ferrari 90th Anniversary watch. This model reflects the rich history and heritage of Scuderia Ferrari and illustrate the development of the materials used in the racing cars over the years.
And finally, we have the Spirit of Big Bang Tourbillon 42mm. It has all of the spirit of the Big Bang in a barrel-shaped carbon-fibre case. This double edition, limited to 100 models, beats to the rhythm of the new HUB6020 tourbillon movement, which has been specially designed for this case.
With its innovative “Zenith Oscillator” that replaces the traditional sprung balance, the Defy Inventor is an ultra-precise timepiece built for reliability and stability.
It features a case made of lightweight titanium and Aeronith (an innovative aluminium-polymer composite) teamed with a black rubber strap with a midnight blue alligator coating.
Zenith also released the Defy El Primero 21 in carbon fibre, and if all of that is too modern for you, the 1969 El Primero chronograph in white, rose or yellow gold.
This year at Baselworld, Nomos Glashütte has unveiled a collection of sports watches with a link bracelet. At 42mm in diameter, the new Tangente Sport neomatik and Club Sport neomatik are large, robust, and water resistant to 1000 ft.
The automatic neomatik date caliber (DUW 6101) is housed inside the steel case.
The German watch brand also announced a set of new, affordable watches for smaller wrists, called “Duo”. These 33mm watches are simple, elegant, and make ideal gifts.
Among its 2019 novelties Breitling introduced the Aviator Curtiss Warhawk Editions and the Navitimer 1 Airline Editions, soon followed by the new Navitimer 41 and the Superocean collections.
T3’s favourite launch was the partnership with British motorcycle company Norton with the introduction of the Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Norton Edition (pictured above).
The two-register chronograph layout gives it a beautiful vintage-inspired look, especially with the subtle gold tones on the applied Arabic numerals and hands. The distinctive Norton logo is engraved on a plate on the left side of the case, and the transparent caseback features an inscription of the Norton motorcycle and logo.
It’s powered by the Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01, which is COSC-certified.
Patek Philippe brought a number of new watches to Baselworld 2019, but the one that stands out for us is this stunning Annual Calendar Regulator.
The ref. 5235G was introduced in 2011, and included a number of firsts for the brand. It was powered by the high-tech 31-260 REG QA calibre, which packs a number of technologies all of which came straight out of Patek Philippe’s Advanced Research Division.
For 2019, the Patek Philippe has introduced the Ref. 5235R in a rose gold case, with a two-tone graphite and ebony black dial and vertical satin brush finish, giving the watch a beautiful art deco look.