As sure as orbit, each year yields a crop of watches of every stripe and description that are, for now at least, best sampled at the annual watch expos held in Geneva and Basel. But for these, the watch lover must brave many barriers hinted at by all that impolite noise about turdy food and spotty wi-fi at stiffed-me prices. Here, replacing the irksome price of entry with a soundtrack in your head, Revolution presents the best of the crop from BaselWorld 2018, watches which consumers should look out for before committing cash.
Beyond the Sea: Divers
Dive watches never fail as a source of delight for the tech-savvy and adventure-hungry folk out there. Whether you enjoy a casual frolic in the ocean or consider yourself a bit of a Jacques Cousteau, this assortment of dive watches will have you covered, accompanying you safely from sea, to land, and everything in between.
Come Fly with Me: Pilot’s
As always, pilot’s watches were well-represented at Baselworld this year. From the archetypal Rolex GMT to a trusty Sinn chronograph, for Revolution’s top picks of sky-bound timekeepers there’s everything an aviator could want. We couldn’t resist putting in one wildcard though: drawing inspiration from the “nose art” found on Second World War military aircraft, the Corum Bubble is so charming, how could we not?
Mama Weer All Crazee Now: High Complications
While this year’s Baselworld could be characterised by a preponderance of strong value offerings, there was still no shortage of creativity in the complication segment. From maiden minute repeaters by independent brands, to elegant reissues of staples, to forward-looking leaps in materials and complication, there was something for every taste, as evidenced by the wildly differing brands that make up this list. The appeal of watchmaking resides in its craziest creations, and here we find everything we need to stand in awe.
The Final Countdown: Chronographs
The chronograph complication has been around for a long time – the earliest known chronograph dates back to 1816 – and it remains one of the most popular complications of all. This year at Baselworld, so many chronographs were introduced that it was a serious challenge to narrow the best down to six. This eclectic collection of timekeepers is impressive, for sure, ranging from monopushers to flybacks to chronographs combined with other complications. Enjoy.
Simply the Best: Time-only
The essence of watchmaking is easily defined by its most simple form: the time-only, two- or three-hand watches. Even though you could think there’s nothing too exciting about them, you would be wrong, because each one of these watches reinterprets timekeeping in its purest form.
But calling them “simply the best”? Yes, because they are efficient and brilliant. And, chances are, a time-only watch like this was your first horological love, so you will most certainly enjoy them all.
Give Me Just a Little More Time: Unisex, 38mm
The world is coming to a compromise. The women are getting what the men have and that means one size fits all. In the watch world, the time has come to meet in the middle – 38mm sizes that are a perfect fit for dainty wrists to thicker ones. We’re talking curved lugs, a great bracelet width and a universal design that would fit whether you’re a man, woman, or an otherworldy being.
Those Were the Days: Vintage Inspired
May we declare a moratorium? Can accusations of “no imagination” and “boring!” desist when brands look to the past? The entire ethos of the mechanical watch is based on aged technology, so get over it. Vintage styles dominate without rancour in every area: fashion, cars, music, film. Watches inspired by the past ooze one thing that the radical stuff cannot: a sense of rightness that has stood the test of time. Pun intended.
Pretty Baby: Art Dials
The best moments of Baselworld are without a doubt when you see something you just didn’t expect. From the tiniest painted details to using rare Japanese techniques to create dials out of charcoal or sewing duck feathers onto a titanium sculpture of a spider (if you have arachnophobia, maybe skip this one), Baselworld delivered on the métiers d’arts front.
Get the Party Started: Gala Watches
Whether you are one for making a big statement on the red carpet or for simply letting your wrist-wear do the talking, when it comes to the right watch for a special occasion, dressing to impress is never out of fashion.
True Colors: Bold Colour Watches
Life is colourful, and if time had its own colour it would surely be vivid and vibrant. At Baselworld there were many timepieces showcasing not just black and white, but daring, bold and bright colours. It’s time to pick one for yourself and show your true colours in 2018.
With a Little Help from My Friends: Collaborations
Proving two sets of hands are better than one, a whole host of watch brands have teamed up with external companies, organisations and individuals over the years. And this year is no different. Some of our six picks in this category are new collaborations while others have stood for years, but all are the better for working together.
A Secret Love: Under-the-Radar Brands
The number of Baselworld exhibitors dropped dramatically this year, going from 1,300 to 650, causing lively discussions on the future of the fair. One of the positive results of these numerous departures, however, was that they left space for a new wave of brands to join the show and present their timepieces to the watch industry. With fewer brands to see, revolution’s Editors had more time to go exploring, resulting in some interesting new discoveries.