Just as we’re still getting excited over the fact that Baselworld is 100 years old, WatchLocker joined other watch enthusiasts, buyers, collectors, designers and journalists alike to seek out the most interesting and exciting brands hitting the market for the next 12 months.
Talking about the prestigious watch event which took place from March 23 to 29, would be incomplete without talking about the exhibited timepieces that filled temporary luxury boutiques (where you can't actually buy anything) despite our desire to get our hands on a few.
There was just so much to see and so much to be excited about but if we were to talk about all we saw, we would never finish. So without further ado, here a few of exciting timepieces that were shown at Basel 2017.
In general, the focus of watchmakers was more in the line of expanding favourites among enthusiast as well as refining some of their pieces already in the market.
We begin our highlights with the TAG Heuer Autavia as an example of favourites that made a comeback.
In 1962, when it was just named Heuer, the Autavia was introduced, as a chronograph wristwatch for racing drivers that was discontinued in 1986.
The story behind the modern-day TAG Heuer Autavia is that it was chosen by enthusiasts of the brand who voted in an online campaign and it features a 42-mm stainless steel case, a reverse-panda dial scheme and black rotating bezel. It’s powered by TAG’s latest movement - the Heuer 02, which is an in-house automatic chronograph with a 75-hour power reserve.
TAG Heuer Autavia
The moment you set your eyes on Bulgari’s Octo Finissimo Automatic, it’s an instant attraction. It doesn’t hurt that it’s a three time record-breaking thinnest tourbillon [a kind of watch with a mechanism designed to compensate for the effects of gravity on its movement]
Many of you might recognise Bulgari as a fashion brand for its unique jewellery pieces but that shouldn’t dampen the craft work of this watch one bit, as at 5.15 mm thick, the Octo Finissimo Automatic is the slimmest self-winding watch on the market.
The eight-sided face and case was influenced by ancient Roman architecture and made of sandblasted titanium and the case is water-resistant up to 30 meters.
The beautiful timepiece comes in two options, so you’re never out of play - it’s either a black alligator leather strap with a titanium pin buckle or a titanium link bracelet with a folding clasp – when we were asked to describe this watch, all we could say is “utterly beautiful”.
Another watch we’re excited to see is in the market is the “Omega Railmaster 60th Anniversary Limited Edition Master Chronometer 38mm”.
It was first launched in 1957, designed for scientists and featured a double case to increase its resistance to magnetism – as you can imagine all the innovation and experiments taking place at the time. In reviving the classic, Omega used a special digital technology to derive the design templates but stayed true to the original model with just slight revisions.
The limited edition piece boasts a very modern black aluminium bezel and an Omega Master Chronometer movement. It has the touch and elements of simple yet elegant and it’s definitely a showy piece for any occasion.
Omega Railmaster 60th Anniversary Limited Edition Master Chronometer 38mm
Talking of pieces you can show off, check out the new the Breitling Navitimer Rattrapante – it can count split seconds!
It comes with automatic winding, date indication and a 70-hour power reserve. The 45-mm case of the Navitimer Rattrapante is available in either stainless steel or 18k rose gold. The rose gold version has a clear sapphire caseback and is limited to 250 pieces.
Truly, keeping with the brands talk of “instruments for professionals”, the watch has all the features we’re used to in a Breitling timepiece – the dials, the corrugated round-face and the classic wings logo underlined by the word “BREITLING”.
It is an exciting watch in terms of craft but not so much for design, however we can’t help ourselves around such instruments for professionals.
Breitling Navitimer Rattrapante
You’ve probably owned one at some point in your life during the “G-shock paranoia” – well, everyone in the office did, except our boss. And if you didn’t own one, you saw on so many people in different colours, you just had to be curious, it’s the Casio G-Shock.
A favourite among fans for its design and technology, Casio unveiled the Casio G-Shock GPW2000 GPS “Gravitymaster” at Baselworld 2017.
Featuring a new concept called “Casio Connected,” the first-ever Bluetooth connected model in the Master of G series which has connected GPS capabilities including stuff like Mission Stamp – a function that will record time and location (at least we’re not getting lost anytime soon) which transmits information via Bluetooth to a special Smartphone Link app.
Casio has always seemed like the kind of brand that belongs in the niche of “smartwatches,” outside of electronic makers like Samsung. The new watch comes with standard G-SHOCK technology of shock resistance and 200M water resistance, as well as magnetic resistance, all in a 57.1mm case.
Not the best look for a suit except you work in a creative environment, however Casio G-Shock is definitely a statement piece that all about youth and technology – if you can pull it off, why not.
Casio G-Shock GPW2000 GPS Gravitymaster
We were curious to see what the global watch industry leader Patek Philippe will release and it definitely was no disappointment. At Baselworld 2017, the Swiss brand launched anniversary collections. The Aquanaut collection celebrated its 20th birthday with an anniversary model and added an ultra-thin self-winding piece for extra measure.
What caught our attention was the new Ref. 5168G, the first men’s Aquanaut wristwatch in 18K white gold. The design is similar to that of other Aquanaut’s from the watchmaker with gently rounded octagonal bezel and vertically finished flats. The colour is quite interesting as the night blue of the dial graduates from bright in the centre to black outwards.
It’s a little too easy on the eyes except you take a closer look as the watch gives off this young and preppy appeal that seeks to attract the attention of the informal crowd in an elegant way.
Patek Phillipe Aquanaut Jumbo Ref. 5168G
Popular Swiss watchmaker Rolex also worked the classic angle at the prestigious watch show with the return of the 1967 professional dive watch “Sea Dweller”. The name alone gives off the face that this watch is meant for water but nonetheless, why should we deny ourselves the pleasure of an excellent timepiece.
In 1967, Rolex launched the watch which featured waterproof to a depth of 610 meters.
In 2017, we meet the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller which celebrates half of a century with a revolutionary helium escape valve, new case dimensions and a red text saying “sea dweller”. The case of the new Sea-Dweller is 43 mm in diameter with a scratch-resistant face (things we love about Rolexes). It also comes with a Cyclops lens over the date window at 3 o’clock, enhancing its legibility.
This time however, it’s resistant to a depth of 1,220 metres, which leaves you saying WOW!
You’re most likely not going anywhere close to that depth but we can’t deny that the “Sea Dweller” is a statement piece that you want in your closet, any day, anytime and for any event.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller