Best New Watches At Baselworld
As any self-respecting horology nerd will know, the world's biggest watch-related event is happening this week. Yep, Baselworld 2019 is in full swing in Basel, Switzerland. So we've traipsed our loafers up and down the show floor in search of our favourite new releases from TAG Heuer, Patek Phillipe, Bulgari and plenty more esteemed manufacturers.
From a $1,183,750 tribute to endangered tigers to the Big Bang's sequel, here are the best new watches from Baselworld 2019. For even more timepieces to take your fancy, be sure to check out our GQ Watch Guide 2019.
Rolex GMT Master II
Perhaps Rolex’s landmark launch for 2019, the GMT Master II black and blue ‘Batman’ (as it is - very much unofficially - known) is a thing of brilliant mechanical simplicity and beauty. Finished with a nifty oyster lock and comfort link, the case has been recalibrated so that it catches the light that little bit better (very Rolex). A new generation movement is also housed within. It’s an easy wearing 40mm and comes in at $9,393. Good lucking getting your hands on one...
Tudor Black Bay P01
This is Tudor’s new Black Bay P01. The crown is positioned at 4 o’ clock and the bi-directional bezel is fixed. The reason for these knock-proof affectations? The watch is inspired by a prototype designed for the US military in 1968 which never went into production. The hour markers are painted on, it features a hybrid leather and rubber strap. Best bit? It’s not limited and it’s out in July.
Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Norton
This is the Breitling Norton Premier, the near result of a collaboration between the British motorcycle manufacturer and the Swiss marque. It’s a new take on the dressier Premier collection, which Breitling launched earlier this year. Note the vintage leather strap, the retro gold indices and the sharp 42mm size. $8,800 on a folding clasp. And even better, it’s not limited! A great new addition to the current retro trend.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42
Rolex has been making waterborne Yachtmaster watches since 1992, but they’ve never been this big. For 2019, the world-beating marque has introduced a 42mm take on the style for the very first time. Exclusively available in white gold, the watch contains a new generation 3235 movement, is finished with a cerachrome bezel, an elegant black dial, and an ultra-comfortable oysterflex bracelet. Yours for $28,100.
Zenith Defy Inventor
This, the chunky, 44m Zenith Inventor, is the result of several years of research and innovation by the Zenith Defy Labs. Featuring an oscillating plate made of silicone behind the skeleton used dial. The plate replaces the balance wheel, the balance spring and the lever and vibrates at some 18hz (fast) - making this watch both extraordinarily efficient and super precise. Limited to 100 pieces.
Breitling Navitimer 806 1959 Re-edition
Introducing the Breitling Navitimer 806 re-edition. This is the first of a number of re-editions the 135-year-old marque will be releasing over the coming 18 months. This watch is an exact replica of the 1959 806 Navitimer, the only difference beingthe movement inside - a new movement - Breitling’s first in house handwound 12 hour calibre. There are some 93 beads around the bezel and the case is a sleek 40.9mm. The steel version is limited to 1959 and comes in at $8,570. Available from May.
TAG Heuer Autavia
The new iteration of TAG Heuer’s Autavia (a portmanteau combining automotive and aviation) is the ultimate in functional elegance. We’re particularly taken with the brown sunray dial model (brown sunray dials are a bit of a trend). There are five steel models in the collection, plus two further pieces in bronze (bronze is another trend we’ve already noticed after just a few hours in Basel). A great starter timepiece.
Patek Philippe Ref 5172G chronograph
Not only is this an excellent take on the pervasive blue on blue trend, the detailing is also extraordinary: featuring neat guilloche detailing on the tip of the crowns, three-tier lugs, a smart box sapphire and a blue suede strap. It’s also great on the wrist at 41mm.
Bell & Ross BR03-MA1
The new Bell & Ross BR03-MA1 is inspired by the classic MA1 military jacket: khaki on the outside (for camouflage) and orange on the inside (to turn inside out when you need rescuing). In a nod to the classic jacket, this new timepiece comes in khaki ceramic, features orange superluminova indices on the dial and the strap is khaki on the outside, orange on the inside – it’s also reversible! What’s more, it’s surprisingly affordable.
Nomos Glashutte Club Sport
Introducing the new Club Sport by Nomos Glashutte. The largest watch the marque has ever made, at 42mm, the Sport comes in both the Club, with a slightly curved bezel, and the more angular Tangente. It’s water resistant to 30atm (helped along by a crown protector on the Tangente model and a thicker sapphire on both the Tangente and the Club) and both styles feature superluminova indices on the dial. What’s more, this is the first Nomos watch ever to feature a steel strap (which has a nice Eighties-style profile).
Patek Philippe Ref 5212 Calatrava Weekly Calendar
Introducing the new, excellently retro Calatrava Weekly Calendar Ref 5121A by Patek Philippe. Inspired by a unique Calatrava from 1955, the watch features the time and date on the dial, in addition to the day of the week, the week number and the month. Five for the price of one. The retro mood is accentuated by the handwritten months, finished in steel and with a calfskin strap.
Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu II
This is the newest addition to the Sang Bleu x Hublot collaboration. Featuring a design influenced by the tattoo artist’s geometric creations, this new titanium piece, limited to 200 units, features a three-level dial and comes in at $27,400. Also available in king gold for a smidge over $40k.
GyroGraff Endangered Species 48mm
There are only four watches in Graff’s extraordinary Endangered Species Gyrograff collection. One features a “diamond marquetrie” elephant on the dial, another has a gorilla, there’s a panda and there’s this – the tiger. Pleasingly abstract and extraordinarily complex, each dial consists of between 112 and 139 pieces (and that’s before you get to the movement within) and only one of each watch exists. Each watch takes over 200 hours to construct and one could be yours if you have a spare $1,183,750 or so. There’s a double axis tourbillon and a moon phase in there somewhere too, don’t forget.
Bulgari Octo Finissimo
If Batman had a watch. This, the black-on-black full ceramic Octo Finissimo by Bulgari, is not only stupidly sexy but it’s also incredibly light and low profile enough to slide easily under the sleeve of your work suit (or your Bat-suit). A snip at just under $19,700.
Hublot Classic Fusion Ferrari GT
Flavio Manzoni, the head of design of Ferrari, has been incredibly closely involved in the conception and creation of the new Classic Fusion Ferrari GT watch by Hublot. Available in carbon fibre, king gold and titanium, this, the carbon model comes in at $29,700. Limited to 500 pieces, note the engine-like movement display, the prancing horse on the dial and the red Ferrari ignition button on the top right hand side of the bezel, it's a brilliantly wearable driving watch in a year of excellent driving watches...
Patek Philippe Ref 5168G Aquanaut Junbo
Another highlight from Patek Philippe at Baselworld 2019, the new 5168G white gold Aquanaut Junbo in khaki. Potentially the most elegant take on the military trend we’ve seen thus far. Get on the waiting list now...