31 Baselworld 2017 novelties that really impressed me.

Why 31? That´s the number I counted when finishing my choice and putting the story together. 

Please do not expect a product listing of ticking superlatives here or a ranking of the most expensive / crazy watches.

What I will show you instead are watches that really impressed me – 31 in total. Either through their good and cool design, technical realization, impeccable quality and/or reasonable price. 

The watch brands featured are:

Blancpain, Breguet, Breitling, Bulgari, Certina, Chanel, Chopard, Frédérique Constant, Glashütte Original, H. Moser & Cie., Hamilton, Harry Winston, Hermès, Hublot, Longines, Mido, Nomos, Omega, Patek Philippe, Porsche Design, Rado, Rolex, TAG Heuer, Tudor and Zenith.   

The prices mentioned below are either in Euro including 19 % VAT, Swiss Franc including 8 % VAT or in USD without VAT.

Blancpain Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC

This 2017 Fifty Fathoms is a Fifty Fathoms no doubt. So what’s new? The size of the case is “only” 40 mm, instead of 45 mm. So this Fifty Fathoms fits on more writs than ever. The problem is that the watch is limited to only 500 pieces. What I also like is the water tightness indicator recalling the designs of the 1950s. This water-tightness indicator was present on the dial of the Fifty Fathoms model called the “MIL-SPEC 1”, which was introduced in 1957 – 1958 to meet the strict requirements of the military. Price: 13.200 CHF.

Breguet Marine Équation Marchante

Breguet has properly revised its Marine collection. The Breguet Marine Équation Marchante kicks off. The equation of time in my eyes is a fascinating horological complication. It serves to display the difference between mean solar time, corresponding to civil or standard hours and minutes, and true solar time, meaning the actual solar hours and minutes. Mean solar time may show a discrepancy with true solar time ranging from minus 16 minutes to plus 14 minutes. On just four days a year, the two times are exactly the same. Price: 223.900 Euro (platinum) / 209.000 Euro (rose gold)

Breitling Navitimer Rattrapante

Breitling developed its own split-second calibre named “B03” and packed it into the legendary Navitimer case. The dedicated push-piece to operate the split-second mechanism is built into the crown. One could not have done it better! The Navitimer Rattrapante was a kind of missing link in the Breitling collection since every chronograph specialist should offer this rare and sought watchmaking complication. Well done, guys! Price: 10.140 Euro (steel) / 25.770 Euro (pink gold)

Breitling Superocean Heritage II 42 mm

The good-looking diver is waterproof up to 200 meters, features a ceramic bezel and is powered by an automatic calibre delivered and manufactured by Tudor with 70 hours of power reserve. In return Breitling delivers its chronograph calibre “B01” to Tudor. Due to the fact that the Tudor calibre is less thick than the ones used from ETA befroe, the all over height of new Superocean case could be reduced. Price: 4470 Euro as shown here on the picture.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo

Bulgari has developed a new in-house movement to power its Octo Finissimo Automatic. The Bulgari Calibre “BVL 138” is only 2.23 mm thick!  It is currently the slimmest self-winding movement on the market. The 40 mm sandblasted titanium case is therefore only 5,15 mm thick. The Octo Finissimo is stunningly beautiful and fits perfectly on the wrist. Bulgari is on the way to become the number one manufacturer of ultra-thin watches. Hey guys at Piaget, wake up! Price: 11.900 CHF with leather strap / 12.900 CHF with full titanium bracelet.

Certina DS Action Diver Powermatic 80

This 43 mm DS in its steel case meets the strict ISO-Norm 6425 for diving watches. The diver is waterproof up to 300 meters and powered by the so-called Powermatic 80 calibre from ETA with 80 hours of power reserve. The steel bracelet can be adjusted in its length; the bezel is unidirectional of course. You may choose in-between a black and blue dial and the watch is also sold with a rubber bracelet. For the latter version you only pay 780 Euro, for the version with a full steel bracelet 795 Euro. Any questions? Incredible price-quality-ratio!

Chanel Mademoiselle J12

I simply love this J12 even though I am not a woman. For the 30th anniversary of watchmaking at Chanel it is Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel showing the time. But not as “primitive” as on a Mickey watch from Gerald Genta! Coco is three-dimensional and therefore always funny to observe. Every minute and hour she expresses something else with her arms. The full ceramic watch Mademoiselle J12 is available either in white or black and limited to 555 pieces each. Price: 6900 Euro.

Chopard L.U.C XP

And there it is the affordable and good looking, ultra-thin Chopard L.U.C! Yes, Chopard can! I always asked myself when such a watch would come to the markets. The 40 mm steel watch is refreshingly different! For my very personal taste the regular L.U.C collection is slightly to baroque looking. Too much of everything and these roman numerals … not really my style! The L.U.C XP is a stunning beauty, powered by an in-house developed and manufactured automatic calibre with a micro-rotor, offering 58 hours of power reserve. In the press-text I read: “The pure and contemporary ultra-thin model from Chopard displays a brand-new design.” Please Chopard don’t let this be a onetime exception of your usual design! Price: 8.100 Euro

Frédérique Constant Flyback Chronograph Manufacture

The Flyback Chronograph Manufacture is a real price-cutter in its class! The new automatic chronograph calibre FC-760 was fully developed in-house from scratch over a six-year period, most of the components are today being manufactured in-house and finally the caliber is fully assembled in-house in the Frédérique Constant workshops in Plan-les-Ouates / Geneva. Yes, it can be done! Yes, you can manufacture an in-house chronograph with column-wheel for such a price. The Manufacture Flyback Chronograph will be sold below 4000 Euro, starting at 3695 Euro.

Glashütte Original Senator Chronograph Panorama Date

For me it was love at first sight. It is so easy to enhance the sales. So be courageous, just play with colors, the best is blue and “pimp” an existing design. I learned that this chronograph did sell really well. It is hard not to believe.  The 42 mm steel case houses the Glashütte Original Calibre 37. It was first presented in 2014 and it was the first integrated chronograph calibre manufactured by Glashütte Original. Price: 13.400 Euro. 

H. Moser & Cie. Pioneer Centre Seconds Automatic

This is the first steel watch (42,8 mm diameter / 14,9 mm height) supposed to be manufactured in a bigger quantity from the small and fine manufacturer Moser in Neuhausen in Switzerland. But don’t worry there still wont be many of them, maybe 120 this year – not more. Since the brands slogan is: “Very rare”. Congratulations! Bravo! The Pioneer with its Fumé-dial is a stunning beautiful wristwatch powered by the new automatic calibre “HMC 200”, developed and manufactured in-house by Moser of course. Price: 11.350 Euro.   

Hamilton Intra-Matic 68 Auto Chrono

When Hamilton presented its “Chronograph A” with black sub-dials on a white dial in 1968, and its “Chronograph B” with two white sub-dials lying against a black background, creating a “reverse panda” face, these watches perfectly reflected the spirit of the time. We are in the year 2017 and I predict that the Hamilton Intra-Matic 68 Auto Chrono vintage design will today perhaps have more fans than ever before. The only problem might be that you will not be able to get one since the watch is limited to 1968 pieces and costs only 2150 CHF. Just in case you like the 42 mm Intra-Matic 68 Auto Chrono, do act quickly and make your reservation.

Harry Winston Project Z11

The identity of each Project Z timepiece relies on the architectural design of its mechanism, its ergonomics and the unique Zalium case – an alloy exclusive to Harry Winston. I would say the actual Project Z11, limited to 300 pieces, is a highly wearable timepiece with a modern design powered by the automatic calibre “HW3206” with a silicon hairspring. In only three words: A cool watch! The “HW3206” by the way is manufactured by Frédéric Piquet, the former producer of watch movements from the Vallée de Joux, today belonging to and manufacturing for Blancpain. Price: Not yet exactly defined. I suppose around 20.000 Euro. The correct price will follow a.s.a.p.

Hermès Slim d’Hermès L’heure impatiente

Hermès always creates distinctive objects. On this ticking companion you set the counter to the time of an eagerly awaited event that will take place in less than 12 hours. Exactly one hour before it occurs, the mechanical hourglass (the sectorial countdown scale at 7 o´clock position) is set in motion and its progress can be followed. At the end of the 60 minutes countdown you will hear a mechanically generated gong. This is a romantic complication, unique and rare for 31.000 Euro.

Hublot Techframe Ferrari 70 Years Tourbillon Chronograph

This is a chronograph to commemorate Ferrari. The Italian sports car manufacturer celebrates its 70th anniversary this year. The watch was designed together with Ferrari and imitates the skeletonized chassis of a high-performance car. I must admit it looks incredibly cool. The calibre HUB6311 is a mono-pusher chronograph with tourbillon; it was modified upon Ferraris definite ideas. This watch for me is the ultimate proof that the partnership in-between Ferrari and Hublot is much more than just an agreed deal. It becomes more and more family business! The Techframe Ferrari 70 Years Tourbillon Chronograph is sold as a limited series of 70 pieces for 125.000 Euro in the titanium case shown here. The watch is also available in a King Gold and Carbon case, also limited to 70 pieces each.   

Longines Record

To celebrate its 185th anniversary Longines upgraded the Record collection with a new calibre and design. The automatic “ETA A31.L11” calibre features a silicon balance spring and is certified as a COSC chronometer; different sizes and executions are available. All the new Record watches have one thing in common: An incredible price-quality-ratio. The astonishing quality and the good name of Longines in fact costs almost nothing. All the 38,5 mm and 40 mm versions are sold uniform for 1990 Euro.

Mido Ocean Star Calibre 80 Titanium

This is another price breaker from the Swatch Group. The Powermatic 80 calibre is housed in a titanium case waterproof up to 200 meters, equipped with a unidirectional rotating bezel that features a sandblasted anthracite aluminum inlay. The cool, orange rubber strap can be adjusted in its length and be exchanged for a full titanium bracelet. As shown here the Ocean Star is sold for 1020 Euro.  

Nomos Ahoi Date

This 40,3 mm Ahoi is considered to be the first real sport-watch from Nomos. The Ahoi with its screw lock type crown is waterproof up to 200 meters and powered by the in-house developed and manufactured calibre “DUW5001”. You may choose three different colors for the dial: white, deep blue and the signal blue shown here. The only thing that is mediocre is the price: The Ahoi is sold for 3620 Euro.

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Co-Axial Master Chronometer Railmaster

The long name of the watch already tells you almost everything. This 40 mm steel case (height 12,65 mm) houses the best Omega watchmaking technology. The automatic calibre “8806” with 55 hours of power reserve resists magnetic fields greater than 15.000 Gauss. What I despite all the technical superlatives like most is the unparalleled vintage design and the price of  this Omega. 4500 Euro (not a typographical error!)  

Omega 1957 Trilogy Limited Editions

These are three absolute superb replicas to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Railmaster, Seamaster and Speedmaster. You can buy them either alone or the trilogy in a set. If sold one by one the limitation is 3557 pieces each, sold in the trilogy the limitation is 557 sets. The prices: 6300 Euro for the Railmaster, 6500 Euro for the Seamaster and 6700 Euro for the Speedmaster. The Trilogy is sold for 20.000 Euro.

For all other details please click here: https://www.watchadvisor.com/news/baselworld-2017-omega-1957-trilogy-60th-anniversary-limited-editions  

Patek Philippe Reference 5320G

Some Patek Philippe hardcore collectors didn’t like the new perpetual calendar inspired by timepieces from the 1950s. They said: “If I want a vintage watch I buy one from the 1940s and 1950s”. Ok guys, so this one is not for you. That’s even perfect since I was told that the Reference 5320G did sell well; too well even, endless long waiting lists are the result. For me that’s simply a stunning beautiful wristwatch. It is another Patek Philippe that did not please the old-fashioned collectors, but all the rest of the world. Well done, Thierry Stern! Price: 73.000 CHF.

Porsche Design Monobloc Actuator 24h-Chronotimer

Porsche Design is back with a respectable innovation. What you don’t see are push-pieces to start, stop and reset the chronograph calibre. They are fully integrated in the titanium case at the right side as one big unit. To enable its function Porsche Design uses two rocker switches, to be precise two miniaturized rocker switches as they are used in a Porsche engine for the valve control. The here shown execution in a titanium case is sold for 6450 Euro.

Rado HyperChrome Captian Cook

Design must not always be necessarily new to be real cool. Rado in this case took some inspirations from the “Captain Cook” of the 1960s and created a new contemporary version. The 45 mm grade 5 titanium case, with a ceramic bezel, houses an ETA calibre with 80 hours of power reserve. For 2340 Euro you get a lot of high-tech materials and besides this a good-looking wristwatch that only at  second sight can be identified as a Rado.

Rolex Cellini Moonphase

I really like this new Cellini. This Rolex is a very elegant, modern looking non-“Oyster” model featuring a moon-phase indication that is accurate for 122 years when once correctly set. The moon disc is made out of a meteorite stone. The Cellini is powered by the Rolex calibre “3195”, certified as a Superlative Chronometer. So what you get when spending 24.300 Euro is the best possible quality in which a wristwatch can be manufactured – the so far unmatched Rolex quality.     

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller

There is no need to introduce a Rolex Sea-Dweller. The watch is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and therefore Rolex presented a fully updated version. The 43 mm case now houses the latest generation of Rolex automatic movements: The calibre “3235”, it is being protected by 14 patents and offers a precision of -2/+2 seconds a day. Yes, -2/+2 seconds! If you still do not own a Sea-Dweller now the moment has come to buy one. Better than ever! Price: 10.400 Euro.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller

The Sky-Dweller with its indication of a second zonetime and annual calendar function is not new. But it is the first time available in a combination of a steel case and a white gold bezel. This reduces the price to 13.150 Euro and brings the watch in range for many more buyers. A very cool watch, especially with the blue dial!  

TAG Heuer Autavia Heuer 02 Chrono

Authentic, cool and fair priced! Created and christened by Jack Heuer in 1962 the Autavia chronograph quickly became an iconic timepiece. The new Autavia Heuer 02 Chrono 42 mm is an authentic replica of an Autavia from 1963. What you get is the cool look from the 1960s paired with the newest watchmaking technology from 2017. Go for it! The prices: 4800 CHF / 4600 Euro with the leather strap and 4950 CHF / 4750 Euro with the 7-row steel “Grains of rice” bracelet.  

TAG Heuer Link Calibre 5

This is the return of the iconic “Link”-model from the 1990s with its S-shaped bracelet. The 2017 version features a matt and polished case that houses an automatic calibre either from ETA or Sellita. The S-shaped “Link”-bracelet is smoother and better than ever, therefore fits perfectly on the wrist. I predict that for those who will look for a sporty-elegant wristwatch for a good price the “Link” will be a first choice and maybe even the preferred choice over other much more expensive equivalents. I especially think the “Polo S” might suffer. The TAG Heuer will of course not match the quality of the Piaget, but at least the watch is authentic! Price: 2600 Euro.

Tissot Ballade

Tissot enters the segment under 1000 Euro with a steel watch powered by the ETA “C07.811 Si” calibre that features a silicon hairspring and is certified as a COSC chronometer. This one is a hard nut to crack! Dear competitors wake up if you still offer a watch comparable to the Ballade that is more expensive and that does not offer this impeccable quality. The Ballade offers the best possible price-quality-ratio of almost all the watches I have seen this year so far. Price: 950 Euro.

Tudor Heritage Black Bay Chrono

I expected Tudor to launch a chronograph in the Black Bay collection, but I did not expect Tudor using the Breitling “B01” calibre to power it. As already mentioned above with the Breitling Superocean the two brands exchange calibres. The “B01” is entirely manufactured by Breitling for Tudor. The calibre is being modified with a 45-minutes counter and the Tudor-silicon hairspring. The Heritage Black Bay Chrono is a stunning beautiful chronograph and in terms of the price a little sensation. With the leather bracelet the Heritage Black Bay Chrono is sold for 4410 Euro, with the metal bracelet for 4700 Euro.

Zenith Defy El Primero 21

With its high-tech chronograph calibre and the new materials used to manufacture it the “El Primero 21” sets new standards. The chronograph measures the 1/100-second. Therefore two escapements have been implemented. The balance wheel to measure the time oscillates with 5 Hz, the balance wheel of the chronograph with 50 Hz. For the first time ever a watch is equipped with a Carbon-Nanotube spiral. The latter is a new type of spiral the LVMH engineers and watchmakers have developed and now is used for Zenith. The watch is sold for 9700 / 10.600 or 11.500 Euro depending of its executions.