Each year, the watch world eagerly anticipates that fateful moment in March when the brands reveal the latest and greatest horological offerings. Baselworld, again, did not disappoint. We’ve rounded up some of the watches that caught our eye and reflect this year’s market trends from five of our favorite brands.
Baselworld: Market Trends
When the fashion world debuts their collections for an upcoming season, particular colors, patterns, and silhouettes tend to dominate the runways. Similarly, we see certain trends rise to the surface in the world of horology. The SIHH laid the foundation for some styles we could expect to see in the coming year. However, with the much wider array of brands and offerings exhibited at Baselworld, we can get a clearer picture of the direction the watch world is moving.
Much like at the SIHH, the goal of attracting the younger, up and coming generation of watch collectors is still a primary focus. Yet, brands certainly haven’t forgotten about the loyalty of generations past. Vintage inspiration also prevails among the 2018 offerings. In the past several years, we’ve also seen a stronger emphasis on color. This is definitely another reflection of a more modern approach to watchmaking. This comes from an industry that used to work almost exclusively in neutral palettes. And although the focus on the younger generation of watch collectors has started to increase the number of more casual, everyday wear type watches, don’t fret. Brands have not lost the art of fine watchmaking. There are still a number of sophisticated and highly complex offerings for you to marvel at and envy.
Video Credit: Rolex YouTube Channel
Rolex updated two of its old standbys this year at Baselworld. First, the GMT-Master II. For the first time ever, the brand is offering the beloved model with its iconic, two-tone, red and blue Pepsi bezel. This is a long awaited moment for fans of the original GMT and the reimaged GMT-Master II. In addition to the Pepsi version, which is available in steel, they’ve also added the equally iconic Rootbeer bezel. The Rootbeer comes in both rose gold and two-tone rose gold as well as steel variations. Second, the new Cosmograph Daytona. On-trend with color, sophistication, and a slightly feminine touch, the brand’s latest version of the Cosmograph Daytona comes in rose gold with a rainbow of gemstones on the bezel and dial.
Two of our favorite offerings from Patek Philippe this year are its updated Nautilus and Aquanaut models. Over the years, the Nautilus has undergone numerous reinterpretations. In 2004, we finally saw the return of the iconic grooved dial and baton indexes. This year, the brand has decided to add the perpetual calendar complication to the model. The new Aquanaut Chronograph is another standout from Patek Philippe. We predict this model will soon become a highly coveted collector’s item, ideal for that younger clientele looking to add a statement piece to their collection. However, the bold orange accents give the model a bit of a 1970’s vintage vibe, so it might appeal equally well to more seasoned collectors.
Video Credit: Tudor YouTube Channel
Tudor has been on the rise for the past few years, and they’re certainly not stopping anytime soon. They presented three standout offerings for 2018. First, their own version of the GMT. Similar to their parent brand, Rolex, the new Black Bay GMT comes in steel with its own interpretation of the Pepsi bezel. Next, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight, which pays homage to the brand’s Submariner Ref. 7924 circa 1958. This undeniably vintage-inspired model is highly detailed, down to the modest 39mm size. Finally, the Tudor 1929. While the brand has been updating most of its watches with its own in-house movements, the 1929 sticks with the ETA 2824. The result: a lower price point, making this a perfect entry-level piece for that first-time buyer. Plus, its sleek and simple design is completely gender neutral, making this a great option for ladies as well.
This year, TAG Heuer gives us two distinctly unconventional updates to two of its most popular models. First, the Carrera Tête de Vipère, produced in a limited quantity of only 150 pieces. This highly complicated variation of the iconic model celebrates the 55th anniversary of the Heuer Carrera chronograph. It features a tourbillon function and the brand’s in-house chronograph movement, certified by the Besançon Observatory in France. The Tête de Vipère certification is even more prestigious than COSC. Only around 500 watches have received it to date. Second, the Monaco Bamford. TAG Heuer began its partnership with the Bamford Watch Department last year, and this is their first official collaboration. Together, they reinterpreted the classic Monaco with a modern black carbon-fiber case and turquoise accents.
Video Credit: OMEGA YouTube Channel
Much like Rolex, Omega brings us new interpretations of some of its most beloved models this year, including the Speedmaster and the Seamaster. First, they continue their Dark Side of the Moon series with a commemorative edition. The Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 celebrates the 50th anniversary of the mission where astronauts first circled the moon. In turn, they became the first to see the “dark side” of the moon. The words of astronaut Jim Lovell: “We’ll see you on the other side,” are etched in the caseback. Second, they debut two limited edition iterations the Seamaster 1948 in celebration of the model’s 70th anniversary. These sized-down versions embody the look and feel of the original Seamaster, which was as much a dress watch as it was a diver.