At the 100th anniversary of Baselworld, the world’s biggest and most prestigious watch event, watch and jewelry experts, trend-hungry journalists, buyers, and traders all united in the city of Basel, Switzerland. Those looking for the latest in horology were not disappointed by the unveiling of this year’s collections.
The show more than lived up to its reputation, with Omega and Breguet leaning on history and classicism, while Tag Heuer, Hermès and Bulgari showed off the latest innovations in conceptual timepieces. There was an overall nod to vintage pieces, with many brands celebrating their own history along with the show’s. And while there were many standouts across the board, there were three pieces that caught our attention:
Over $20,000: Rolex Yacht-Master II 40mm Everose
Think of this as your live-in-technicolor sports watch. Swiss watchmaker Rolex has upped the ante of its Yacht-Master collection. The new edition features a crown of multi-colored gems lining a rotating bezel, which is comprised of the brand’s signature 18-karat rose gold alloy, “Everose”.
An Oysterflex rubber band dutifully offsets the varying shades of 32 sapphires, eight emerald-hued tsavorite stones, as well as a single diamond perched at the 12th hour. This is the first time Rolex has also added stones to the 40mm model.
Price: While official pricing has not been set, $24,950 has been listed as the suggested retail price.
$10,000–$15,000: Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic
Bulgari has once again set a new world record for ultra-thin watches. This marks its third record in the category, following the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon and Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater. The Octo Finissimo collection’s subtle faceting continues in this sandblasted titanium model, blending an outer look of steely strength with a classically graphic face. The matching titanium link bracelet also adds to the masculine look of the watch, with geometric edges complementing the gradating face.
Under $5,000: Seiko SLA017
Two new iterations of Seiko’s original dive watch have made their way to the surface of Baselworld’s horological ocean: the SLA017 and the SPB051/SBP053. While both are a considered riff on the 1965 model, the SLA017 is the true update. While the hands, hour markers, dial and case shape are a near carbon-copy of the original, Seiko has made a minute increase in size and a protective bump in water resistance from 150 to 200 meters.
With a limited run of only 2,000, collectors will covet this model. The SPB051 and SPB053 are more widely available and less true to the 6217, with a boost in size and larger, more pointed hour markers. They cost 1,000 and $800, respectively.
With many more models about to hit the market from Baselworld’s anniversary showing, now is an excellent time to invest in a new watch. Classic detailing and technological advancements as well as fine attention to details make this year’s timepieces a worthwhile investment.
A fine wristwatch does more than tell the time—it communicates worlds about the wearer. Learn what your timepiece says about you.