Most Important New Watches: Best of Baselworld

Surprising Alliance

Two of the last independent Swiss watch brands are joining forces: Rolex will in future use Breitling movements in the new chronograph of its second brand Tudor – and Breitling will be using Tudor movements on certain models.

“We deliver our chronograph movement B01 to Tudor,” says Breitling boss Jean-Paul Girardin of the “NZZ am Sonntag”. Tudor refines the plant with a silicon balance spring (patent from Rolex, Patek and Swatch Group), names the work MT 5813 and has it certified as a chronometer (COSC).

“We use the Tudor MT 5612 three-hand movement as the basis for the Superocean model,” Girardin continues. A capital-like interdependence between the companies does not exist. Both make themselves more independent of the Swatch Group, which supplies Tudor and Breitling with movements. In addition, both brands also work with their own movements.

The Retro Wave Rolls on

Almost every brand now has vintage models in their collection that are based on earlier models. Under the dial, however, most of the latest technology is installed; The watches are more precise, reliable and really waterproof. The collection, which looks similar to the earlier ones, is reminiscent of an earlier model in their collection.

The Prices Do Not Climb Anymore

The times of constant price increases are over – for now: Many watch manufacturers have recognized that 5000 and 10 000 francs for many buyers are sound limits. Watches in steel instead of gold cases are now on display, with the accent on classic functions. Blue dials are also visible almost everywhere: blue is the new black.

15 Watch Novelties Under the Magnifying Glass:

1. Tudor Heritage – Black Bay Chrono

The first Tudor with the Breitling movement: Certified as a chronometer (COSC), with an impressive 70-hour power reserve, screw-down pushers and crowns – and water-resistant to a depth of 200 meters. The balance spiral may only be fitted by Rolex-Tudor because this company has a patent on it (together with Patek Philippe and Swatch Group). With leather strap the 41 mm Tudor Chrono costs 4500 Fr., the dark blue textile strap is available for free. With steel band 4800 Fr. are due – for the offered quality a fair price.


2. Zenith Defy – El Primero 21

The first Zenith that can even measure 1 / 100th of a second. It takes credit for the developments that Guy Sémon has made for TAG Heuer: the brand’s new figurehead works with two different inhibitions. For the time, it uses a regulator that ticks at 36,000 beats per minute or 5 Hz per hour. For the short-term measurement, however, an escapement is used which vibrates ten times faster, with 360,000 vibrations or 50 Hz. This is possible thanks to a new balance spring made of a composite material with carbon. This material should be able to withstand strong magnetic fields up to more than 15 000 Gauss without any problems. The large stop pointer with the red tip makes a full turn per second, the fraction of the second can be read off the outer edge. The subdial at 6 counts the full seconds, that at 3 minutes. Both mechanisms each have their own energy reserve: The timepiece for the time indication has a power reserve of 50 hours, whereas that for the short-term measurement only has more than 55 minutes. Twenty-five turns of the crown are enough to raise the spring completely.

3. DAY Heuer – Autavia

The design has been chosen by 50 000 fans, from different references of the past. The winner was the 1963 version, which once worn the Formula 1 racer Joachim Rindt on the wrist. However, the movement is new: The in-house chronograph caliber Heuer 02 with 12-hour counter has a power reserve of 80 hours. 4800 Fr. with leather and 4950 Fr. with steel band.

4. Omega Speedmaster – Racing Master Chronometer

The current edition of the “Speedy” is based on a model from 1968 with the typical “racing” dial: The alternating markers of the minute circle should increase the readability, the orange hands on a black background provide maximum contrast. This Speedmaster with the proven Co-Axial movement meets Meta’s certification (chronometer precision and highest resistance to magnetic fields) – and has a four-year warranty.

5. Hublot – Classic Fusion Italia Independent

The collaboration with Lapo Elkann, the nephew of the legendary Fiat boss Gianni Agnelli, is bearing fruit: Elkann and his design company “Italia Independent” have clothed Hublot with the fabrics of the men’s tailor Rubinacci.

6. Rolex – Sky-Dweller

One of the most complex models manufactured by Rolex is available in a steel case for the first time. The bezel, however, is made of white gold – noblesse oblige. The Sky-Dweller has an annual calendar (the month is shown in red at the end of the index), which only needs to be corrected once a year (end of February). A second-time zone is displayed on the rotating disc above the center. The functions can be easily controlled by turning the bezel. To make all this possible, a movement of 380 components is required. The 42 mm watch is certified as a chronometer with a precision of +/- 2 seconds. The Rolex standard is considered one of the best in the industry.

7. Patek Philippe – Ref. 5170

In this deep blue dial, which runs at the edges in black, you could sink: The Patek Chronograph Ref. 5170 is ultra-classic. The decisive details are revealed only at second glance: The dial has a sunburst, the indexes are made of baguette diamonds, the case (39.4 mm) made of platinum. The hand-wound Manufaktur movement has at least 65 hours of power reserve. Patek guarantees a precision of -3 to +2 seconds to 24 hours.

8. Breguet – Marine Equitation Marchante

A watch for specialists: At the Equation Marchante the current equation of time can be read in a new way. Why is that important? The civil sun time (which we normally orient ourselves to) can deviate from the true solar time by – 16 to +14 minutes. Breguet displays these two times with two parallel minute hands. It also has a perpetual calendar with a retrograde date indication and a 60-second tourbillon with a balance, in which works a silicon spiral spring. The factory with automatic winding offers a power reserve of 80 hours. Platinum or pink gold case (43,9 mm), price on request.

9. Chopard – Mille Miglia Classic Chrono

Now also for ladies: The classic Chopard chronograph Mille Miglia with white bracelet and silver dial has been slightly reduced for the finer wrists, on 39mm diameter. Although the mechanical movement with automatic winding comes from Eta ( chronograph with cam switch mechanism, 2894-2), its precision is certified by the chronometer testing center COSC.

10. Oris – Sixty-Five

Diving watch based on a model from 1965. The 42 mm timepiece pleases with its balanced proportions and the raised sapphire crystal. The Oris is dense to 100 meters deep. Movement with automatic winding, price 1950 Fr.

11. Eberhard – Scafograf GMT

The small but fine Eberhard brand keeps coming up with models that offer proven technology and aesthetics at a reasonable price. The concept works, Eberhard was able to grow its sales by 13% in the difficult year 2016. The Scafograf GMT is a mix between diver and GMT watch; equipped with a screw-down crown, which holds the clock up to 100m depth – and a 24-hour hand, which indicates the time in a second-time zone. Inside, a sturdy clockwork from Eta (2893-2) is ticking.

12. Rado – Hyperchrome Captain Cook

One of the surprises of Baselworld 2017: Rado, otherwise known for its ceramic clocks, presents a series of successful reinterpretations of models from the 1960s. In the process, even such beautiful details as the rocking anchor were reintroduced: it indicates that the movement is ticking! The small anchor is visible below the 12 on the dial (on a red background). The bezel is made of scratch-resistant ceramic, the Eta movement has 80 hours of power reserve. The hyper-chrome style, which is designed in the style of a diver’s watch (up to 100m), is available in 37 or 45mm size – as well as a pretty women’s model with eight Wesselton diamonds and a fine Milanaise bracelet.

13. Omega – Seamaster “Big Blue”

Radical blue: Not only the dial is deep blue, the whole case (45mm) of this Omega is made of blue ceramic. The diver’s watch (up to 600m) has a 24-hour hand indicating a second-time zone. The Seamaster Planet Ocean “Big Blue” resists magnetic fields up to 15,000 Gauss and is regulated to a precision of 0 to +5 seconds per 24 hours (Meta’s certification). Omega offers a four-year warranty.

14. Favre – Leuba Bivouac 9000

Once the Indian billionaire Tata has joined the small Swiss brand Favre-Leuba, something is moving again: The Bivouac 9000 is a reinterpretation of a model from the 1960s that already had an altimeter. In contrast to then, the new Bivouac is waterproof. This is not trivial because the mechanical altimeter is sensitive to changes in air pressure – but no water may penetrate the clock. A special membrane, originally used in the auto industry, solves the problem.

15. Glycine – Combat 6 Vintage

And that’s what it can do: The Biel-based company Glycine manages to offer a shapely Swiss-watch with the automatic winding (Eta or Sellita) for 695 Fr. Glycine (under the direction of Stephan Lack) today belongs to the American Invicta Watch Group.

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