Baselworld 2019 arrived after a year of unparalleled drama in the watch industry. Watch brands have been pulling out of tradeshows, including SIHH and Baselworld, during a general atmosphere of uncertainty about the future of the watch industry, amidst a backdrop of general economic and geo-political turmoil. The big names in traditional watchmaking (typically owned by large luxury groups) have been stalwart in their reluctance to experiment with new marketing, product development, and distribution styles. The corporations are predictably taking slow, cautious routes forward while, once again, the smaller and more independent names in watchmaking are leading the way when it comes to what we would call “real innovation.” What does all that mean for the new watches we saw at Baselworld 2019?

Not on the lists below but definitely worth mentioning among fantastic 2019 novelties are the new Konstantin Chaykin Joker Dracula watches.

That’s a very good question because, perhaps surprisingly, the aBlogtoWatch team found more new timepieces to be excited about at Baselworld 2019 than in recent history. Each of our half-dozen team members who attended Baselworld 2019 walked away with more than a few timepieces on our minds that we would put down our own money for this year. A combination of market price-category holes left open by the big groups and sober pricing trends, in general, along with the availability of new materials and production technologies, have apparently come together to allow for a very impressive modern wrist watch product landscape.

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Breitling’s three-piece airline collection.

Sometimes I feel as though we are living in a period that will last several more years, which is a sort of  a “last hurrah” because smartwatches ultimately become the dominant timepiece product in the market. Available production capacity by traditional suppliers opened up by smaller orders from the traditional brands are giving new or boutique companies the ability to be creative, while having their items produced by the powerhouses of case, dial, hands, strap, bracelet and, of course, movement-making. It won’t last forever because the relatively boutique industry of “creative watches” can’t sustain the massive industrial machine necessary to make everything required to produce wrist watches. In a dozen or so years, some of these watch-part manufacturers and suppliers will remain; until then, all of them will be available for hire to creative brands who, in the past, would have never gotten their time or attention as the suppliers focused on major orders from group brands.

The Grand Seiko Spring Drive Sport Chronograph.

Instead of a Top 10 list to share the most important watches from Baselworld 2019, the aBlogtoWatch team decided to forgo a generalized list and discuss some of our favorite watches across a few categories. For instance, we feel that different attention should be given to products that are line extensions of existing products (such as new colors or materials for existing pieces), and other products which represent entirely new models. Let us also remind the community that we will only include watches officially debuted at Baselworld and not those debuted outside the show or intended by the brands to be released later in the year (as is the case with a good number of watches we saw). Finally, the Swatch Group (which includes brands such as Omega, Breguet, Blancpain, Longines, Hamilton, Tissot, Glashutte Original) and more chose not to participate at Baselworld 2019 and won’t be releasing information about new products until May 2019 and later. Let us now take a look at the aBlogtoWatch favorite watches of Baselworld 2019.

Favorite New Watch Product Lines At Baselworld 2019

Reservoir Hydrosphere

Only about two years old now, France-based Reservoir watches is the brainchild of a watch-loving entrepreneur who wanted to make something both affordable and different based on his love of gauges. The company developed a proprietary module that goes on a base Swiss automatic movement that offers a retrograde seconds hand, jumping-hour indicator, and power-reserve indicator. The newest Reservoir model is the Hydrosphere Diver, and it’s beyond cool, looking as it does like a real diving instrument. It comes in a few colors and is probably our favorite innovative dive watch of 2019.  Price for the Reservoir Hydrosphere is around $4,300 for most models.

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Tag Heuer Autavia 2019 wrist photo

TAG Heuer Autavia Isograph

Entirely reimagined from the ground up, TAG Heuer’s new Autavia collection introduces a new sport watch with mainstream appeal that also contains enough refined design and technology for the serious enthusiast. TAG Heuer really took its time to make the time-only (with date) Autavia watches something special, and the colors and materials hearken to current wrist watch fashion trends we see all around us.

Coming in steel or bronze, and with various dial colors, the 42mm Autavia has a flawlessly legible dial and contains TAG Heuer’s latest horological technology, a proprietary carbon composite hairspring it calls Isograph. Better than silicon in some ways, Isograph is the hidden guts which add the final tasty icing on this attractive and very wearable wrist watch package.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT wrist photo

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT

In addition to being the world’s thinnest automatic chronograph movement, the in-house-made caliber in the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT is also the thinnest automatic GMT movement – but Bulgari isn’t bragging or anything. Debuted in a 42mm-wide sandblasted titanium case, this watch features a 30-minute chronograph, as well as a pusher that controls the main hour hand that works in tandem with a subsidiary 24-hour GMT hand.

It’s not only elegant and attractive but also is more real innovation and technological handiwork from the Italian luxury house (whose watches are all made and designed in Switzerland, of course). This record-thin chronograph is priced at $17,600.

Hublot Classic Fusion Ferrari Carbon Chronograph wrist photo

Hublot Classic Fusion Ferrari GT

Hublot’s biggest sin with the Classic Fusion Ferrari was calling it a “Classic Fusion,” as it doesn’t really fit into the Classic Fusion collection at all. Forget the name for a moment and appreciate that this is the second (and most practical) timepiece actually designed by Hublot partner Ferrari. Their own design team created the case and dial for this collection of three watches (to start) which is extremely comfortably on the wrist and easy to look at. The Classic Fusion Ferrari contains the popular in-house-made Hublot UNICO automatic chronograph movement, and the collection represents a still bold, but more sophisticated and refined way of wearing a modern high-end sports watch. That it truly combines the efforts of Ferrari and Hublot makes it even more interesting to collectors of both watches and automobiles.

Carl. F Bucherer Heritage Bi-Compax Annual watch

Carl F. Bucherer Heritage Bi-Compax Annual

In an ironic turn of phrase, the Carl. F Bucherer Heritage collection is new for the Swiss watchmaker. Its first model is the Heritage Bi-Compax Annual that evokes the look of an authentic vintage Bucherer watch. What the vintage model didn’t have is the combination annual calendar with big date and chronograph display on the dial. It’s pleasant that, instead of merely rehashing the past, Carl F. Bucherer used it as a starting point to add something new. Annual calendars and chronographs are among the most popular complications today and are rarely both found in the same watch. In steel with a solid rose gold bezel, the Carl. F Bucherer Heritage Bi-Compax Annual has a retail price of $10,200.

Porsche Design 1919 Globetimer UTC wrist photo

Porsche Design 1919 Globetimer UTC

A brand new world time module developed in-house at Porsche Design lays at the heart of the new 1919 collection Globetimer UTC. One of the most uncommon elements of the watch is that each of the five hands is mounted in the center of the dial. The movement features two pushers for the user to change the local time forward or backward with ease, depending on what direction one is traveling in. A pointer-style date is also connected to the time-changing mechanism and, likewise, adjusts when necessary. While not for all wrist sizes, the 1919 watch case the Globetimer UTC is based on adds additional interest to the product and is undeniably linked to the Porsche Design brand DNA.

Citizen 0100 Eco-Drive Super Titanium wrist shot

Citizen Caliber 0100

There is a special sense of trust and reliability you can only get from extremely accurate watches that, without any external interference (such as being updated by other clocks), can tell you the time accurate to within a few seconds year. The Citizen Caliber 0100 watch movement (the actual watch has the same name) is accurate to just one second per year. It also is powered by light and doesn’t require a battery change. Citizen’s engineers somehow developed an 8.4 megahertz quartz movement that is efficient enough to be powered by light.

High accuracy quartz movements have, in the past, been susceptible to using so much power they were not practical for wrist watches. In a small and elegant package that doesn’t seem to hide a large battery, Citizen has, seemingly, solved this age-old technical challenge — which, along with other impressive tech, sits inside the lightweight Super Titanium Caliber 0100 watch case. Price is a hefty $7,400 for one of the 500-500 black or mother of pearl-dialed titanium versions and about double for the 100 pieces in white gold on leather.

Click on to the next page to see our Favorite Entry-Level Price Watches At BaselWorld 2019.

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