The 12 Best Watches of Baselworld 2019

Baselworld 2019 has bestowed its annual bounty of watches upon us, and these are the top 12 among them from Rolex, Tudor, Patek and more.

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This guide covers the best watches released at Baselworld 2019. You can read our other Baselworld 2019 coverage here, or skip right to the best watches below.

There were a couple of surprises at Baselworld 2019, but the show also saw some anticipated iterations, updates and a lot of vintage re-releases. With the Swatch Group’s many prominent brands absent from the show this year for the first time as well as more brands participating in SIHH earlier in the year, Baselworld felt smaller and more focused than in the past. Brands continued to draw on their heritage with many new releases celebrating notable anniversaries of some kind or another — among them, the 50th birthdays of major watchmaking innovations in 1969.

Even if technical or design innovation wasn’t the show’s central theme, there were a lot of satisfying new watches to enjoy. Reproducing “heritage” watches or new watches based on them has often allowed brands to focus on simple models with mass appeal and proven design longevity. This intersects well with trends toward smaller, more wearable sizes and entry-level pieces. While industry insiders may see creative stagnation, many consumers will welcome retro styles with modern specs.

Tudor Black Bay P01


Why It Matters: Given the teaser photos on Instagram, the watch community at large may have been expecting a new Submariner, but what it got was something decidedly different. The Black Bay P01 is based on a model Tudor designed for the U.S. Navy and patented in the 1960s — but the government never purchased it, and Tudor never put it into production. With a unique bezel-locking mechanism and bracelet, 12-hour bezel and automatic Tudor calibre MT5612 powering the time-and-date dial, the P01 is most definitely a departure for the brand, and a welcome one at that. Even if you’re not keen on the aesthetics, it’s hard to argue that this watch doesn’t follow the brand’s “Born To Dare” ethos, a sentiment that’s sometimes lacking in the watch industry.

Price: $3,950
Diameter: 42mm
Water Resistance: 200m / 660 ft.

Learn More: Here

Itay Noy Reorder


Why It Matters: While Itay Noy may not be a household name, the Israeli watchmaker has been making unique timepieces in Tel Aviv for nearly two decades. The Reorder is Noy’s newest attempt to rethink the watch dial, and splits it into analog and “digital” sections — a conventional set of hands in the center of the dial indicates the time, while a series of numeric windows cut into the watch face seem to fill as if by magic, indicating the hour. Though the design is eccentric and not for everyone, Noy’s timepieces never disappoint those who are searching for something just a little bit different — and willing to embrace the inclinations of a designer who’s following his instincts.

Price: $6,800
Diameter: 44mm
Water Resistance: 50m

Learn More: Here

Monta Atlas GMT


Why It Matters: Monta has been batting 1,000 lately with its no-nonsense tool watches — the Ocean King was one of our favorite divers under $2,000, and the Skyquest, one of our favorite GMTs at any price point. The Atlas GMT happily takes the best design cues of both and integrates them into one kickass GMT that features a thin 38.5mm case. While the Skyquest is a tank and gives you three time zones in a dive-ready body, the Atlas flies completely under the radar while still giving you that tough Monta quality. Available in three dial colors, this is a watch that’s hard to argue with for the price, and another sure-fire hit.

Price: $1,410 – $1,615
Diameter: 38.5mm
Water Resistance: 150m

Learn More: Here

Patek Philippe Weekly Calendar Ref. 5212A


Why It Matters: The Calatrava family in many instances has represented the platonic ideal of a simple, time-only dress watch. But the truth is that this iconic line has taken many forms over the years, occasionally operating as a design platform for complicated watchmaking. The new reference 5212A includes a weekly calendar with time, date, day of the week and a pointer hand that indicates the week number between 1 and 53. While this last bit of information may not be strictly useful for all, the design is beautifully executed and exudes a sense of whimsy and classic Patek elegance. What’s more, the watch is non-limited and available in steel. Considering how rarely Patek uses non-precious metals, that’s enough to turn heads by itself.

Price: $29,500
Diameter: 40mm
Water Resistance: 30m

Learn More: Here

Rolex Datejust 36


Why It Matters: Sporting the newest Rolex 3285 movement, the new Datejust 36 features a steel and white gold case, black sunburst dial and the iconic Jubilee bracelet. In production since 1945, the Datejust is by no means a new model, however this particular iteration is a timeless execution of one of the most recognizable watches in the world. Comfortable and classy on-wrist, the combination of white gold and steel flies under the radar, but gives the watch some heft that lets you know that you’ve made it. This is a forever watch, and one that’s meant to be passed down.

Price: $8,200
Diameter: 36mm
Water Resistance: 100m

Learn More: Here

Doxa SUB 200 LE


Why It Matters: When one thinks of modern Doxa, oversized, cushion cases, incredible water resistance ratings and the liberal use of the color orange all probably come to mind. But in celebration of its 130th anniversary, the brand went back to the archives and released the Sub 200 130th Anniversary Edition, a steel diver limited to 130 pieces with vintage design cues galore. Though you could easily confuse this with a vintage model, it features all the tech requisite of a modern Doxa (albeit with a water-resistance rating that has been pared down to 200m). Best of all, the price is right at $1,190.

Price: $1,190
Diameter: 42mm
Water Resistance: 200m

Learn More: Here

Porsche Design Globetimer UTC


Why It Matters: Porsche Design had been developing innovative watches in conjunction with companies like Orfina and IWC for years, but it’s been exciting to watch the company grow into its own watch fully fledged brand. The new Globetimer UTC is built with the traveler in mind — the pushers on the side of the case allow the user to advance the hour hand in hour increments in order to quickly jump time zones, and a handy pointer date function displays the date. Available in three dial colors in titanium or with a black dial in solid yellow gold, this is a luxury tool watch in a funky, futuristic package.

Price: $6,350+
Diameter: 42mm
Water Resistance: 100m

Learn More: Here

Bell & Ross Bi-Compass


Why It Matters: We’re sorta cheating here, as the Bi-Compass came out shortly before Baselworld, but we included it for the following reason: though we love the flight jacket-inspired B&R MA-1, the Bi-Compass simply takes the badass factor to a whole new level. With a design taken from another cockpit instrument, the Bi-Compass is the wristwatch embodiment of functional, cool instrument making. There’s a reason Bell & Ross stands out from the crowd, and this 42mm watch, with its striking dial colors against a matte black background, perfectly embodies the brand’s ethos.

Price: $3,900
Diameter: 42mm
Water Resistance: 100m

Learn More: Here

Zodiac Aerospace GMT


Why It Matters: A modern update of a classic from the 1960s, the new Aerospace GMT is a welcome addition to the current Zodiac lineup, which until now featured buckets of affordable dive watches but no GMT. Though the modern version is a tad chunkier than the incredibly svelte original (40mm instead of 36mm wide), all of the classic design cues remain, including the two dual-color bezel options, Oyster-like bracelet and simple, legible dial. The use of an ETA movement means ease of service, and, as usual, Zodiac is delivering a ton of watch for not a ton of cash.

Price: $1,695
Diameter: 40mm
Water Resistance: 200m

Learn More: Here

Breitling Navigator 806 1959 Re-Issue


Why It Matters: Under Georges Kern’s direction, Breitling has been pumping out attractive reissues lately, not the least of which is one of the brand’s latest, the Navigator 806 1959 Re-Issue. Fans of vintage Breitling will undoubtedly be familiar with this reference, an iconic watch with a distinctive beaded bezel. In re-creating the original, the company consulted with one of the top Breitling collectors in the world, and the result is something that wears and looks very much like the original, down to the exact number of beads used on the bezel.

Price: $8,600
Diameter: 40.9mm
Water Resistance: 30m

Learn More: Here

Zenith Defy Inventor


Why It Matters: In 2017, Zenith introduced a fascinating technology that reinvents the traditional watch escapement using the naturally springy properties of silicon, and it represents one area of real innovation in the current watch world. The Defy Inventor felt notable at this year’s Baselworld because it took the next step toward industrializing this fascinating technology, with production volume now in the hundreds. Some elements have been updated from the 2017 Defy Lab for the 2019 Defy Inventor, but the new model’s aesthetics — with the strange texture of its Aeronith bezel and a skeletonized dial that displays the large silicon oscillator twitching madly away beneath at 18Hz — are somewhat avant-garde. It’s exciting to imagine where this and similar technologies will lead for the future of mechanical watches.

Price: $17,800
Diameter: 44mm
Water Resistance: 50m

Learn More: Here

Seiko Prospex LX Spring Drive Collection

steven swinnen

Why It Matters: Seiko continues to redefine itself and push upmarket. The new heavy-hitting LX series introduces a tier within Seiko’s Prospex family of tough sport watches in each the Land, Sea and Air categories. These include GMT as well as time-only functionality, but also the brand’s extremely cool Spring Drive movements which are not often found outside of Grand Seiko watches. They also approach Grand Seiko in terms of price points, but they raise the profile of the Prospex name and amount to some seriously cool sport watches for those with the wrists, wallets and appreciation of Seiko’s impressive watchmaking to take them on.

Price: $5,000 (Land); $5,500 (Air); $6,000 (Sea)
Diameter: 44.8mm
Water Resistance: 200m (Land & Air); 300m (Sea)

Learn More: Here

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