Baselworld 2019 Coverage: Our Thoughts So Far

By: Kaz & Mike

As we make our way through Baselworld 2019’s press day, it’s already evident that, from a distance, this show feels quite different from what we’ve encountered in the past. Almost immediately, the Swatch Group’s absence has been realized and from the TBWS side of things, this almost significantly cuts down on the number of watches we’d usually talk about. But, we thought it would be fun to gather our thoughts so far and update this post throughout the week as we get our hands on the growing pile of press materials. So here are some watches that have stopped up in our tracks—for better or worse.

Also be sure to check out our Tudor Baselworld 2019 Coverage roundup.

Here’s What We’ve Got So Far:

Zodiac Aerospace GMT Reissue

Modern case dimensions, cool color options, and a $1,695 price point. This is how reissues are done. With press day at Baselworld 2019 coming to an end, this is the clear winner for me. The Zodiac Aerospace GMT reissue shows that the brand still has plenty to squeeze out of their old catalogs while introducing a modern design twist. Unfortunately, each version is limited to just 182 pieces and it’s a good bet they’ll be selling out soon. Let’s hope Zodiac explores some non-LE alternatives: like the Pepsi variant from the 1960s. -M


Oris Aquis GMT Date

Not exactly a dive watch or a “Pilot” watch when you consider Oris designs, but the Aquis GMT Date really caught my eye as I was sifting through releases this morning. The Aquis on rubber is an incredibly comfortable watch. To see it in a travel-ready GMT version just makes me want to unplug, pack my bags, and take it somewhere awesome. Surely, Oris will continue to experiment with this variation and bring us some interesting new color combos. GMT or not, I’d recommend an Aquis above all else if someone is considering their first Oris. Only downside is that it’s a little pricey at CHF 2,600. -M


NOMOS Glashütte Duo Collection

I love seeing NOMOS push the envelope with their watches and some of the recent dual-time and dive-style releases come to mind. But, I love the fact that for 2019, they’ve managed to simplify and minimize some of their most popular models to offer a bit more variety at the lower end of their price spectrum. I don’t know why, but I’ve been loving the whole 2-hand + no running seconds thing lately and this Duo collection executes that approach very well. I can see these being popular with both men and women looking to get into the brand. Like the Campus collection, complimentary is included. Prices range from $1,380 to $1,660. -M


Rolex Deep Sea Dweller in Two Tone

The whole two-tone thing is coming back so get ready to have it rammed down your throat. The next chapter in “What if we just two-tone it?” comes to us from Rolex with their popular Deep Sea Dweller line. My initial impressions is that obviously, the Rolex vibe lends itself well to being two-tone. But at 43mm in diameter and approx 15mm thick, it’s a watch that will just look odd in two-tone. But let’s see what happens as folks start getting these on wrist. Price: $21,600 -K


Tag Heuer Autovia Isograph Collection

Tag continues its push into breathing new life into its line of historic pieces. Next to bat is the Autavia with the new Tag Heuer Autovia Isograph collection. There are several dial varieties and bezel options available (plus bronze cases). My initial impression is that the sheer amount of options out the gate makes it seem like Tag is trying to compete with the Tudor BB collection. My other impression is that these strangely look like microbrand divers to me. That may be intentional if Tag is trying to capture the watchfam’s attention. More to come as I learn more. Price range: $3,500 – $4,300 depending on the model you choose. -K


Bell & Ross V2-92 Military Beige

In this shit torrent of incredibly underwhelming watches competing for our attention I’m drawn very strongly to the Bell and Ross V2-92 in Military Beige. I find the approach of producing a dial color that’s essentially not glamurous as oddly refreshing and very welcomed to my horological palette for the time being. B&R have it at 41mm in diameter with a bi-directional bezel, which is an odd choice. It’s shown here on the bracelet but there is an elastic canvas strap also available – plus it’s comes in a chronograph configuration. I’m interested in seeing more for sure. Price: $3,200 on bracelet ($2,900 on canvas). -K


Rolex GMT-Master II with Meteorite Dial (126719BLRO)

You didn’t ask for this – I didn’t ask for this. Goddamn no one asked for this thing to exist. But it’s here. I don’t even know where to begin. I recognize that all the elements will be executed well but for me this watch scratches an itch that many other microbrand pieces could do (with a much smaller price tag). Inexplicably sticking a meteorite dial in the Rolex GMT-Master II has the same impact as a 90s limited edition holofoil comic book cover – you’ll “ohh” and “ahh” for a second and then post-coital reality will hit you and clarity will move your attention elsewhere. The watch is entirely white gold and the reference number is 126719BLRO. For those in the market to wear this for some reason the price is $51,620 -K


Chanel J12 with Kenissi Movement

I love being surprised – and I love wild cards. And for me this new Chanel J12 with a Kenissi movement really did it for me. I personally prefer the black version and although I feel like off the bracelet it could be a strap monster – I have to call out how awesome the bracelet actually is since it’s ceramic (as is the entire case). The movement in the new Chanel J12 is also a big improvement since it’s being provided by Geneva-based Kenissi, which Chanel recently purchased a percentage portion of. Oh and one of the best parts? These beauties are 38mm, feature a COSC certified movement, Super-Luminova, and lacquered dials. The bad part? Price is $5,700. Too rich for my broke-ass blood. -K


Seiko Sumo Generation III (first glimpse – photo credit:@det.briscoe)

Scroll through the photos – some of the later ones are pretty clear. The hands certainly look different as does the bezel – green looks cool too. I’m suspecting the price will be 3 times as much as most folks paid for their Gen 1/Gen 2 Sumos, so take that into consideration – will share more info as I find it. -K


New Seiko Save The Oceans Models (first glimpse – photo credits:@det.briscoe and @calibramagazineph)

New Save The Oceans dials are on display in Basel – the new blue serious pops and I like the touch of grey on the bezels. The ocean texture seems a bit more heavy-handed to look like ocean/water texture. Pretty interesting – I want to see more of these. But initial impressions are that they’re certainly beautiful. I don’t really have any other info at this time. -K


Laco Erbstücke Collection

A terrific blundering mistep on such massive proportions – I’m shaking my head and throwing in the towel (so to speak). Laco has taken the faux-tina battle to new plains of horological existence with the Erbstücke Collection. The fully lumed dial and case are treated in such a way to make them look like they’ve passed through the unforgiving digestive system of a stegosaurus, because faux-tina is in I suppose. There is an A dial and a B dial option and Laco offers folks the choice of either an automatic ETA 2824 or a manual wind ETA 2801-2. The reason I’m so upset also is because this is a smaller brand with an incredible history, and they’re in a position to offer really incredible pieces that don’t have to rely on novelty finishing. Regardless, I’m clearly not the target demographic for this, which is fine. But if I needed another reason to be deterred the price is approx. $2,220 USD. -K


Junghans Form A 100 Jahre Bauhaus (First Glimpse – Photo credit: @juwelieroeke)

Interesting Limited edition from Junghans spotted at Basel. Overall seems like a fun option for those who enjoy the Bauhaus style but still enjoy a bit of color flourish. I also enjoy the detailing on the date window. If I get any more info I’ll be sure to share. -K


New Victorinox Alliance Mechanical Collection Pieces

Found this quiet release from Victorinox within the Alliance Mechanical collection. Really fun looking automatic 3 handers being offered in great color combos. Powered by the ETA 2892 movement – no word on the sizing yet but based on other similar offerings I wouldn’t be surprised if it was somewhere near 41/42mm and anywhere between $700 – $1k USD. But that’s research driven speculation on my part so I’ll confirm the facts when I can. -K


Chopard Mille Miglia 2019 Race Edition in Stainless Steel

Normally Chopard isn’t really ever on my radar. But as I slogged and clawed through the information that’s coming out of Basel this particular chopard caught my eye. The previous iterations in the Chopard Mille Miglia line always seemed a bit heavy handed and campy to me. There was always something slightly off. However with this year’s new Mille Miglia 2019 edition in stainless steel I was actually pretty into it. The design inclination seemed to have been to make it feel more modern. The dial’s unique features are far more nuanced and subdued that previous models (at least that I’ve seen). Of particular note is the orientations within the subdials – they’re all done slightly different. Some of the more heavy handed Chopard racing features endure though – the underside of the strap features a tire tread pattern. But otherwise I felt this was a noteworthy piece to bring up to you fine folks. Price approx $7,700 USD limited to 1000 pieces.


Citizen Altichron Promaster 30th Anniversary Limited Edition (BN4055-19L)

Citizen pretty quietly releases several new iterations within their Promaster line. This one caught my eye simply because it’s quite beautiful. At 46mm and powered by Eco-drive tech, the Citizen Altichron Promaster 30th Anniversary Limited Edition timepiece features an altimeter capable or charting 10,000 meters above sea level (for some reason) and 300 meters below sea level. All info is expressed through analog readouts which I think is just so cool. The case construction for this piece features slightly gold portions of the case which serve an aesthetic and functional purpose; the Altichron Promaster 30th Anniversary Limited Edition features Duratect MRK surface hardening to ensure the watch can withstand the harshest of environments. Speaking as someone that’s never climbed a mountain to fight a chimera in blizzard conditions, I’m particular attracted to the play of surface metals on here – plus the blue on the dial is special. The wildcard bit for me is that it looks like the watch is on a bund strap, which I never would have pictured for a Promaster piece, but it totally works. Best part is that the price is actually incredible for what you get. Limited to 1989 pieces, the projected price is $975 USD.



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