Baselworld 2019 Personal Round-up

At the time of this writing, Baselworld 2019 is still ongoing.  However, most of the big releases have come and gone at this point in the show. Below are some of my thoughts on the new releases, some good and some bad. Overall, I felt it was a rather underwhelming show this year but that may be because so many brands went big last year. Enjoy!

Oris

I am excited to see a GMT join the Aquis family. It looks like, for now, only the 43.5mm blue Aquis will get the GMT complication. If I were buying an Aquis today, it would be this one.
40mm Diver 65 models with the round indices is very welcome. I love the Diver 65 line, but felt the numeral versions, which came in 40mm, were the only ones for me. These are going to be a great seller for Oris.

Oris GMT Basel 2019 Release
Image courtesy of Oris

Zodiac

The winner of Basel in my opinion. The new GMT is beautiful and calls back to their history without getting too dorky. It’s crazy that one of the best releases this year came from a Fossil owned brand.

Zodiac Aerospace Basel 2019 Release
Image courtesy of Zodiac Watches

Seiko

Seiko needs to stop messing around and put these $2,000 + watches in the Grand Seiko family. Many of us love Seiko for their affordable, well-built enthusiast dive watches.
I’m happy that Seiko is starting to put the 6R35 movement in some new watches, like the 3rd gen Sumo. It will be interesting to see if they start putting this movement in all new dive watches. Given that the new Sumo has sapphire and the new movement I think its $950ish price tag is justifiable.

Seiko Basel 2019 Release
Image courtesy of Seiko Watches

Rolex

Meh.

Tag Heuer

The new Autivia line shows, at the very least, Tag still has some decent designers working for them. Many are going to gawk at the movement (ETA 2824) selection and price tag (3500-4300). However, Tag has a good gray market presence and these well-built watches will go for much less than that.

Tag Heuer Autavia Basel 2019 Release
Image courtesy of Tag Heuer

Tudor

I can’t say anything about the P01 that hasn’t been said already. All I will say is that we have so many great military watches that were adopted by militaries around the world. Why do we need one that hit the scrap bin?

The winner this year for Tudor is the Black Bay Chrono in steel and gold. I would never buy one for myself but it does look good.

Tudor Black Bay Chrono Basel 2019 Release
Image courtesy of Tudor Watches

Monta

I love seeing a smaller brand debut some great pieces at Basel. Monta has proven themselves over the past couple years and I think 2020 is going to be a huge year for them. I don’t know if I see one of their new releases in my future or not, but I really like the Atlas. The incorporation of the GMT into the chapter ring is clever.

Monta Atlas Basel 2019 Release
Image courtesy of Monta Watches

Swatch Group

I heard there were some nice restaurants in their former booths.

Bulova

Bulova came in hot with some great vintage inspired pieces in not-so-common case shapes. Exciting to see them come out with something that doesn’t look like a kid drew it with crayons.
They also knocked it out of the park with new colors on the Oceanographer and new digital watches. It’s fun to see a brand reach into their back catalogue for something that isn’t another dive watch. Not too often you see a digital reissue.

Bulova Digital Basel 2019 Release
Image courtesy of Bulova Watches

Citizen

Citizen debuted the most accurate quartz movement in the world last year. Accurate to within 1 second per year is absolutely astounding. This year they put it in a wrist watch. While the technology is amazing, the design of the wrist watches themselves felt very uninspired. With that said, these are more than likely a proof of concept. It will be interesting to see where Citizen takes this technology in the coming years.

Citizen Basel 2019 Release
Image courtesy of Citizen Watches

Breitling

The only release from Breitling I cared about was the Navitimer Re-edition. They knocked it out of the park. Coming in at 41mm with their old logo and classic Navitimer busy dial I think it looks great. It’s a shame it is another limited edition.

Breitling Navitimer LE Basel 2019 Release
Image courtesy of Breitling
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