These are the watches from Baselworld 2018 that you need to know about
Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi
The first ‘Pepsi-bezel’ GMT-Master from Rolex since 2014, this new model — reference #126710 — is, we’re thrilled to hear, crafted from (Oyster) steel and features a new, more efficient movement, a Cerachrome bi-directional bezel, and the classic Jubilee bracelet — something that, until now, was reserved solely for the Datejust. It’s a triumph.
Breitling Superocean Heritage B01 Chronograph
Breitling revealed the Superocean collection at last year’s fair, and while the time-and-date model featured a bespoke movement (actually provided by Tudor), the chronograph utilised an ‘off-the-shelf’ ETA/Valjoux engine. That’s changed in 2018 — the new Superocean Heritage II Chronograph is fitted with Breitling’s in-house and technologically impressive B01 calibre. At 44mm, it’s a big watch, but we think the retro aesthetic tones the whole thing down. The mesh bracelet is particularly nice.
Hublot Big Bang Unico 42mm
For those who felt as though they couldn’t get away with wearing Hublot’s 45mm Big Bang Unico, you’ll be pleased to hear that the brand has revealed a smaller 42mm version. Hublot’s signature movement is utilised in many of its watches; however, it’s not until now — after some research and development to cleverly reduce its size — that it’s been offered in a smaller case. But don’t worry, this is still the same double-clutch chronograph as in the larger model, visible in all its glory through the exhibition dial.
Patek Philippe 5270P Perpetual Calendar Chronograph with Salmon Dial
Twenty-eighteen will forever be known as the year Patek Philippe joined Instagram. Ahead of Baselworld, the last independent, family-owned, Geneva-based watchmaker took to the popular social media platform and surprised everyone by revealing two watches, one of which was a version of the Pilot Travel Time in an elegant combination of rose gold with a brown dial. At the show itself, however, our favourite of Patek’s new models was the platinum 5270P Perpetual Calendar Chronograph, with its distinct salmon dial and Arabic numerals. It’s simply stunning.
Zenith Type 20 Chronograph Ton Up
Zenith’s Type 20 Chronograph Ton Up takes a watch fundamentally designed for pilots and turns it entirely on its head — reinterpreting it instead for the café racer motorcycle community. For 2018, the brand has revealed a menacing all-black, time-only version, complete with a matching black nubuck leather strap. The best thing about the watch is that it would still look right at home in the cockpit of a vintage bi-plane. Trust us when we say you’ll never be late again.
Bell & Ross Vintage BR-V2 Steel Heritage
A sort of amalgamation of numerous vintage dive and aviation watches from various brands, Bell & Ross’s new two-piece range of Vintage BR-V2 Steel Heritage pieces is wonderfully minimal and, as is not always the case with modern interpretations of old objects, very tasteful. We particularly love the sand-coloured markers and numerals, designed to look like aged tritium, and the contrasting red depth rating on the dial — a feature more commonly associated with rare Rolex Submariners.
Tag Heuer x Bamford Watch Department Monaco
Last year, Tag Heuer announced Bamford Watch Department as its official customiser. Now, the brand has revealed a special-edition carbon-fibre Monaco created together with the Mayfair boutique. Sized at a sensible 39mm (despite the carbon construction) and retaining the classic left-hand crown, we think the watch is actually an exercise in restraint. And if you happen to love aqua-blue like us, you’ll agree Tag is on to a winner with this one.
Parmigiani Fleurier Type 390 for the Bugatti Sport
Earlier this year, we delved deeper into the Parmigiani Fleurier Type 390 — an innovative wristwatch said to embody the Bugatti Chiron — with the Molsheim marque’s head of interior design, Etienne Salomé. Now, with the launch of the new Chiron Sport at Geneva last week, Parmigiani has revealed a unique piece in the same black-and-red colour scheme as the 261mph hypercar. As you’d expect, it comes with an equally outrageous 300,000-US-dollar price tag.
Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8
The latest in Omega’s line of menacing ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ Speedmasters, this edition marks the 50th anniversary of Apollo 8’s first orbit of the moon. It’s got a skeletonised dial with contrasting yellow accents, and beneath the surface, it’s fitted with a customised variant of the 1861 movement (some of which is visible through the cutaway dial). At 44.2mm, it’s a hefty watch, but it’s bound to attract attention with your horological-minded friends.
Nomos Glashütte Autobahn
An entirely new creation from quirky German watchmaker Nomos Glashütte, the three pieces that form the Autobahn collection take clear inspiration from automotive analogue dash counters. Designed together with Studio Aisslinger, the automatic watches are teeming with intricate details that implore you to peer closer. Whether there’s simply too much going on is for you to decide.
Tudor Black Bay GMT
If you can’t quite afford the 8,800-CHF Rolex GMT-Master II, the Geneva giant’s sister company Tudor has also revealed a ‘Pepsi-bezel’ Black Bay GMT, priced at just 3,700 CHF with a bracelet (and 3,400 CHF without). What’s more, it’s fitted with an in-house movement with a proper GMT complication. This watch is further proof that Tudor is rather good at listening to its dedicated community — well, don’t you want one?
Photos: Rolex / Parmigiani Fleurier / Breitling / Patek Philippe / Bell & Ross / TAG Heuer / Nomos Glahütte / Omega