Baselworld may seem like a distant memory but as the event that keeps the luxury watch world ticking, it’s never far from our minds. Here’s part 2 of our round-up of the best luxury watches from the event
Baselworld may be over for another year but we have been left dazzled by the offerings from the various watch brands. And, with 2017 marking the 100th anniversary of this world-renowned fair, the standards were high across the board – making our job even more difficult. It’s no wonder then, that we’ve had to create two blog posts to cover all our favourite launches. Here we bring you part two of the round up of the new and important launches of 2017.
Tudor Heritage Black Bay Chrono
Big news for Tudor – and Breitling – fans this year: the two brands announced at Baselworld that they have been collaborating and sharing expertise in producing certain mechanical movements. The result? The new column-wheel chronograph movement MT5813, featured in Tudor’s new Heritage Black Bay Chrono, is based on Breitling’s innovative B01 chronograph movement, while Breitling has adopted Tudor calibre MT5613, modifying it to create Breitling Calibre B20 (seen on Breitling’s stunning new Superocean Heritage). We are huge fans of the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Chrono – the Black Bay’s famous angular snowflake hands and domed dial and crystal are preserved in its sporty steel 41mm case, while the date remains at 6 o’clock. The watch comes with either a steel or leather bracelet, each of which come with a complimentary denim jacquard woven strap.
TAG Heuer Autavia
This year, TAG Heuer has proved just how influential social media can be. The brand put out a call online, asking fans and collectors which first- generation 1960s Autavia model should inspire the rebirth of its iconic watch. More than 50,000 votes were cast, with the famous Autavia Ref. 2446 Mark 3, designed in 1966, the clear winner. At the time, the watch became known simply as the ‘Rindt’ after the celebrated Formula 1 driver Jochen Rindt, who often wore the watch while racing. The new-for-2017 model is a beefier 42mm (instead of 39mm) and houses TAG Heuer’s new Heuer-02 calibre, a proprietary chronograph movement which powers a new date window. As soon as we clapped eyes on it at the fair, we knew it would become another classic collector’s item, thanks to its retro details. The watch features the original’s ‘mushroom’ pushpieces, a ridged crown, the original Heuer logo and a distressed calfskin leather strap.
Hublot Big Bang Blue
Hublot is a cult favourite among our customers, and this year’s bold offerings are just what we’ve come to expect from the brand. Colour, in particular blue, is once again at the forefront, as seen on the Big Bang Blue with its gorgeous blue sunray satin-finished dial. The stainless steel 44mm case and bezel are also satin-finished, giving this watch a sophisticated look. Inside ticks Hublot’s HUB4100 self-winding chronograph movement, and the watch is finished with blue rubber and alligator strap.
Price: £10, 700
Gucci’s stunning watch launches at Baselworld had a very different feel to the other new offerings on show. We were big fans of the Le Marché des Merveilles quartz collection, featuring dials intricately embroidered with bees, snakes and tigers in Gucci’s trademark green and red colourway, or in a preppy blue and red. The 38mm yellow gold PVD cases come with either a vibrant, contrasting-colour web nylon strap or a leather cuff strap, and each of the watches has a stainless steel snapback case back engraved with a small bee – truly exquisite.
Price: from £560
Longines Conquest VHP
Over at Longines, we were impressed by the new V.H.P. (Very High Precision) collection – in particular, this 41mm three-hand model with a black dial. Longines first introduced this impressive quartz technology on the Conquest V.H.P in 1984, which set a precision record for that time. For this year’s new Conquest V.H.P., the brand has improved its accuracy to within ± 5 seconds per year. Its quartz movement is also able to reset after any exposure to magnetic fields, using a clever GPD or gear position detection system. This sporty new steel watch comes in either a three hands/calendar or a chronograph version, with a choice of blue, carbon, silvered or black dials.
After a highly successful year, Hugo Boss didn’t disappoint at Basel. We loved the new GQ Men of the Year Watch, which will be released in July. Last year’s model was a bestseller within its first week of launch, so we have high hopes for this new timepiece. The Navigator chronograph has a 44mm case with a mesh bracelet, and will be landing in stores in late summer, so look out for it!
Last but not least: Tissot. We loved the brand’s varied collection this year, especially the Limited Edition Moto GP line, which now comes in a variety of colours. Our favourite is this automatic version in rose gold and black PVD, which features tell-tale motorbike features such as the dashboard counters on the carbon-like dial, footrest pushers and a tyre tread silicon bracelet. Only 2,017 pieces will be made, each presented in a cool helmet box.
Price: From £695