BaselWorld 2018: These Are The Standout Watches You Should Not Miss

Here are 8 outstanding timepieces from BaselWorld 2018.

BY Celine Yap | Mar 27, 2018 | News

Rolex GMT-Master II

Rolex GMT-Master 2

Quite possibly THE most talked-about watch of the year, this evergreen classic appeared as a surprise because Rolex fans all around the world had actually predicted a black-and-red Cerachrom GMT-Master II, also known as the Coke. Blue-and-red Cerachrom has been on the market since 2014 when Rolex finally did the impossible, producing a monobloc ceramic bezel in blue and red Pepsi hues. To the disappointment of many, however, Ref. 116719 was launched in white gold which made it more expensive and therefore unattainable.

But Rolex definitely redeemed itself this year with the Ref. 116719 made in steel; the company even delivered it with a new movement Calibre 3285 as well as a jubilee bracelet. Most everything else remained the same but one small additional detail is the second crown at six o’clock between the words Swiss and Made symbolising an update movement within.

Omega Seamaster 1948 Limited Edition

Some watches you really have to see them in the flesh to “get.” This pair of elegant watches is exactly like that because pictures simply don’t do them justice. As tributes to the original Seamasters in the late 1940s which were made for the British Ministry of Defence, they sport just the right amount of vintage so you get all of the old world charm but none of the reliability issues of yesteryear movements.

Indeed, Omega has equipped them with the new Calibres 8804 and 8806, proffering either a small seconds sub-dial or a central seconds hand. The hour and minute hands are different between the two, one uses dauphine and the other, leaf-shaped hands. Also different are the straps, where one comes with calfskin leather and the other uses a very unique sturgeon leather—subtle allusions to land and sea. Finally, the “land” model has a chemin de fer minutes track while the “sea” model has a neutral minutes track.

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 16

There are so many things to like about the new TAG Heuer Carrera. First of all, this watch with its classic case and two counter chronograph is absolutely iconic. Secondly, because vintage Carreras are always something of an obsession to many chronograph lovers, this one comes with a vintage-inspired design which is not exactly a reissue and so has its own character and style. Third, the fact that it uses Calibre 16 means this watch is among the most wallet-friendly offers on the chronograph market. There are two variations, black and blue, and our eyes are set on the black.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day-Date 70s

One of the hottest watches on the market now, Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms made headlines at the 2017 Only Watch auction after the MIL-SPEC unique piece sold for an amount far above the MSRP. Introduced in 2012, the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe with its toolish design is a more technical variation of the regular line. This year Blancpain released a Day-Date model that’s reminiscent of watches from the 70s. Why the 70s? During this decade Blancpain had rolled out a series of new Bathyscaphe models with specific design codes that were emblematic of that era. They had a silvered dial ring with rectangular forked indexes and Arabic numerals at every five minutes. But what’s going to be the part that hooks a watch aficionado is the smoked grey dial which is lighter in the middle and darker around the circumference. The signature syringe hands are present as is the lollipop central seconds.

Breitling Navitimer Super 8

With so much history and materials in its archives, Breitling does the right thing by getting inspiration from the past. This solid utility watch is one of the latest pieces sharing stories about Breitling. Linked to a historical stopwatch reference 637 used in WW2 by bomber pilots not on their wrists but strapped to their thighs, the Super 8 is a huge watch because it needed to be user-friendly. The left-hand crown is also extra large again for practical reasons. But because the case is in titanium it’s not awfully hefty and that beautiful sunray finished green dial is what every watch connoisseur is crazy about these days. To be true to the original model, the bezel has an industrial finish that is almost rugged and rough but at the end of the day that’s why you buy a watch like this in the first place.

Tudor Black Bay Fifty Eight

Black Bay fanatics will be pleased with this new line extension because one main gripe about the in-house movement models has been addressed: Case thickness. This is the key difference between the shield models and the rose models which are sadly out of production. The rose models are powered by an ETA caliber which is thinner than the Tudor in-house one. So what’s a Tudor guy to do when he wants a Black Bay that sits better on the wrist but with an in-house movement? He goes and buys a Fifty Eight—fortunately the number refers not to the diameter but to the year when Tudor made its first dive watch.

Tudor managed to slim the case down by creating a new movement MT5402 which is a midsize Calibre at 26mm that uses a silicon balance spring. The bubble back has been replaced with a flat one and all excess height is absorbed by the dial, which is now closer to the crystal than other Black Bay models. An extremely good looking watch, it is now almost comparable with the ultra popular Black Bay Black.

Nomos Glashutte Autobahn

We simply cannot get enough of the clean, sleek and Bauhaus style design of Nomos Glashutte watches. So on-point and contemporary yet also timeless. What’s even better? All their watches are made with beautiful in-house movements. Are you impressed yet? The new Autobahn was co-created with German industrial designer Werner Aisslinger who spent four years coming up with this design. He found inspiration from the dashboard of cars but rather than going the super sports car or muscle car route he kept it very pure and balanced. Aissliger mainly looked at vintage cars because he loved the mechanics of the past.

Nomos Glashutte produced a new movement for this watch with a profile that’s quite flat but a diameter that’s larger than its usual milieu. This is because the date ring has been placed around the movement instead of atop it. So the Autobahn has a date display at he bottom of the dial which has a speedometer design that glows blue in the dark. There are three color variations: white, black and blue

Patek Philippe Chronograph Perpetual Calendar Ref. 5270P-001

Salmon dials are becoming really hot now and if you’re thinking of getting one, do yourself a favour and get in line for this gorgeous Patek Philippe grand complication. The rich red-golden hue is stunning on its own and the manufacture has very tastefully paired it with blackened gold hands and applied numerals. With the arrival of this model, Patek Philippe will discontinue the Ref. 5270R-001 in rose gold which was introduced in 2015.

Ref. 5270P-001 is cased in platinum; you can see that there’s a single diamond set into the case at six o’clock. Concave bezel and stepped lugs add some nice detail to the case. On the inside we have the in-house Calibre CH29-535 PS Q which is based on Patek Philippe’s first full in-house chronograph calibre. It’s a horizontal clutch, column wheel chronograph by the way. Manual-winding too, so you’ll definitely want to order the piece with a sapphire case back—although, that can be interchanged with a platinum back that comes with the watch. Another reason to go for this watch? Everyone is going for the World Timer Minute Repeater Ref. 5531 or the Nautilus Perpetual Calendar Ref. 5740-1G-001, so go for something just as amazing but a little more under-the-radar.