Upon first glance, Baselworld 2019 appeared to fall a little flat, however, once you accept Omega's absence and wade through the lacklustre Rolex offering, diving a little deeper unveils a number of excellent releases - many of them affordable too. Here are our favourites from Baselworld 2019.
Bell & Ross BR V2-92/94 Military Beige
Bell & Ross adding circular watches to their portfolio has broadened the brand's appeal immensely. At Baselworld 2019 they continued their fine form of recent years, adding to their BR-V family with a striking Beige dial three-hander and Chrono on steel bracelet or NATO starting from $4200.
Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT
It's easy to forget that the jewellery powerhouse that is Bvlgari produces groundbreaking horological highlights. This year Bvlgari announced its fifth world record with the new Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT, the world’s slimmest self-winding watch with chronograph and GMT functions. If you haven't seen an Octo in the flesh, do yourself a favour.
TAG Heuer Autavia Isograph
TAG Heuer's new Autavia Isograph is an absolute pleasure to look it - they've got the dial elements, crown size and bezel combination spot on. Inside, it sports the brand's in-house 'Isograph' carbon hairspring, which forms part of a hybrid Chronometer specification Calibre 5 movement bridging the gap between “off the shelf” third party calibres and those developed in-house. Yours from $4700.
Tudor Black Bay Chronograph Steel & Gold
While the majority of the limelight was hogged by the controversial Black Bay P01 (just make a modern snowflake sub already!), the trusty old Black Bay family caused fans to swoon with the addition of a steel and gold Chronograph, no doubt following the success of the S&G Black Bay launched last year. Another solid year from Tudor strengthening their admirable brand.
NOMOS Glashütte Club Sport Neomatik
For those that have followed NOMOS for some time, venturing into the unknown with a 300m rated dive watch on a new metal strap is an exciting proposition. In the case of the 42mm Club Sport Neomatik, we finally see a NOMOS that is less 'design' and more designed to cop a bit of shit. An appealing everyday wear at $5730.
Oris Big Crown Pointer Date Burgundy Dial
Whether you're starting out collecting or looking for one watch to rock for the rest of your life, value propositions don't come much finer than the Oris Big Crown Pointer Date. Combining vintage style with immense versatility, the new Burgundy dial is an undeniable winner and a steal at just CHF 1550.
Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Norton Edition
Breitling's Premier collection is less than a year old but it didn't stop them from launching a range of new references including a cracking collaborative effort with Norton Motorcycles. The Norton Edition sees the introduction of numerals on the dial to replace the indices and it makes the Premier dial far more compelling. It'll set you back $10850 with a buckle or $11250 with folding clasp.
Chopard L.U.C XP
Chopard, a favourite in the BH office, unveiled a number of fantastic watches at Baselworld 2019 from both its L.U.C and Mille Miglia collections. It was, however, the striped back L.U.C XP that won our hearts over with its contemporary lines, simple but elegant Galvanic Blue dial and intriguing Virgin wool and leather lined strap. Pricing TBC.
Sinn 104 St Sa A G
If you're looking for a proper tool watch that is both affordable and rugged, Sinn is hard to go past. These classic pilots watch with metallic green dial is limited to 500 pieces and embodies the aviation roots of the German manufacturer. Cop it at Define Watches for $2125.
MeisterSinger Metris Bronze
Another highlight of Baselworld 2019, from another German manufacturer, was the updated Bronze line from MeisterSinger, famous for their single hand watches. Three watches were launched from three of the brand's collections including the Metris in a svelte 38mm bronze case contrasted with a striking sunburst blue dial. Prices to range from €1800-€2100.
Angelus U50 Diver Tourbillon Black Edition
The relatively unknown Angelus brand mixes its retro narrative into captivating modern machines and their U50 Diver Tourbillon is the perfect example. Crafted in a 46mm titanium case with a black DLC treatment the U50 Diver Tourbillon incorporates a helium escape valve inside the skeletonized movement. Limited to 25 pieces it's rare, innovative and effortlessly cool. CHF 30’750.
Patek Phillipe Nautilus 5726/1A
What's there to say? The universally loved Nautilus Annual Calendar gets a gradient blue dial and it's great. EUR 41,320 if you can find one.
Rolex Yacht-Master 42 White Gold
Not only did Rolex failed to impress at Baselworld 2019, they further angered fans by dropping more watches no one will be able to buy in any AD anywhere in the world. Fortunately, they snuck one decent release in, a personal favourite of mine but in a new 42mm white gold case - the Yacht-Master. Price will be CHF 26,500.