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.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date 70s with stainless-steel case and dark-brown antiqued-leather strap (Image © Revolution)
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date 70s with stainless-steel case and dark-brown antiqued-leather strap (Image © Revolution)
Longines Legend Diver with black PVD-coated stainless-steel case and black rubber strap
Longines Legend Diver with black PVD-coated stainless-steel case and black rubber strap (Image © Revolution)
From left: Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver Bronze with bronze case and brown calfskin-leather strap; Seiko Prospex 1968 Automatic Diver’s Commemorative Limited Edition with stainless-steel case and bracelet. (Image © Revolution)
From left: Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver Bronze with bronze case and brown calfskin-leather strap; Seiko Prospex 1968 Automatic Diver’s Commemorative Limited Edition with stainless-steel case and bracelet. (Image © Revolution)
From Left: Angelus U50 Diver Tourbillon with titanium case and black rubber strap; Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Dial with Oystersteel case and bracelet (Image © Revolution)
From Left: Angelus U50 Diver Tourbillon with titanium case and black rubber strap; Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Dial with Oystersteel case and bracelet (Image © Revolution)

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?

Clockwise from top: Rolex GMT-Master II with Oystersteel case and bracelet; Breitling Navitimer Super 8 with titanium case and brown leather strap; Corum Bubble 47 Chronograph with black PVD-coated titanium case and black rubber strap (Image © Revolution)
Clockwise from top: Rolex GMT-Master II with Oystersteel case and bracelet; Breitling Navitimer Super 8 with titanium case and brown leather strap; Corum Bubble 47 Chronograph with black PVD-coated titanium case and black rubber strap (Image © Revolution)
Clockwise from top: Sinn 103 Sa B E with stainless-steel case and brown leather strap; Laco Erbstück with stainless-steel case and brown leather strap; Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special with bronze case and blue nubuck leather strap with rubber lining (Image © Revolution)
Clockwise from top: Sinn 103 Sa B E with stainless-steel case and brown leather strap; Laco Erbstück with stainless-steel case and brown leather strap; Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special with bronze case and blue nubuck leather strap with rubber lining (Image © Revolution)

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.

From left: Harry Winston Histoire de Tourbillon 9 with white-gold case and black alligator-leather strap; Patek Philippe Nautilus Perpetual Calendar ref. 5740/1G with white-gold case and bracelet; Moritz Grossmann ATUM Hamatic with rose-gold case and brown alligator-leather strap (Image © Revolution)
From left: Harry Winston Histoire de Tourbillon 9 with white-gold case and black alligator-leather strap; Patek Philippe Nautilus Perpetual Calendar ref. 5740/1G with white-gold case and bracelet; Moritz Grossmann ATUM Hamatic with rose-gold case and brown alligator-leather strap (Image © Revolution)
Clockwise from top: Laurent Ferrier Galet Minute Repeater School Piece with stainless-steel case and brown alligator-leather strap; Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater Carbon with CTP case and bracelet; Hublot Big Bang MP-11 with 3D Carbon case and black rubber strap (Image © Revolution)
Clockwise from top: Laurent Ferrier Galet Minute Repeater School Piece with stainless-steel case and brown alligator-leather strap; Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater Carbon with CTP case and bracelet; Hublot Big Bang MP-11 with 3D Carbon case and black rubber strap (Image © Revolution)

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.

Clockwise from top: Glashütte Original Senator Chronograph Panorama Date with stainless-steel case and black rubber strap; Breguet Marine Chronographe 5527 with white-gold case and blue rubber strap; TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Tourbillon Chronometer “Tête de Vipère” with blue ceramic case and rubber-sewn, black alligator-leather strap with blue stitching (Image © Revolution)
Clockwise from top: Glashütte Original Senator Chronograph Panorama Date with stainless-steel case and black rubber strap; Breguet Marine Chronographe 5527 with white-gold case and blue rubber strap; TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Tourbillon Chronometer “Tête de Vipère” with blue ceramic case and rubber-sewn, black alligator-leather strap with blue stitching (Image © Revolution)
Clockwise from top: Omega Speedmaster “Dark Side Of The Moon” Apollo 8 with black ceramic case and black leather strap; Patek Philippe Ladies’ Chronograph ref. 7150/250R with stone-set rose-gold case and grey alligator-leather strap; Dolce & Gabbana Il Sogno di Guglielmo with platinum case and blue alligator-leather strap (Image © Revolution)
Clockwise from top: Omega Speedmaster “Dark Side Of The Moon” Apollo 8 with black ceramic case and black leather strap; Patek Philippe Ladies’ Chronograph ref. 7150/250R with stone-set rose-gold case and grey alligator-leather strap; Dolce & Gabbana Il Sogno di Guglielmo with platinum case and blue alligator-leather strap (Image © Revolution)

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.

Clockwise from top: Nomos Glashütte Autobahn with stainless-steel case and black textile strap; Chronoswiss Flying Regulator Open Gear Anniversary Edition 35 with stainless-steel case and blue alligator-leather strap; Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39 with Oystersteel case and bracelet (Image © Revolution)
Clockwise from top: Nomos Glashütte Autobahn with stainless-steel case and black textile strap; Chronoswiss Flying Regulator Open Gear Anniversary Edition 35 with stainless-steel case and blue alligator-leather strap; Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39 with Oystersteel case and bracelet (Image © Revolution)
Clockwise from top: Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Sandblasted with pink-gold case and bracelet; Zenith Defy Classic with titanium case and blue alligator-leather strap with rubber base; Breguet Marine 5517 with titanium case and black rubber strap (Image © Revolution)
Clockwise from top: Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Sandblasted with pink-gold case and bracelet; Zenith Defy Classic with titanium case and blue alligator-leather strap with rubber base; Breguet Marine 5517 with titanium case and black rubber strap (Image © Revolution)

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.

Oris Divers Sixty-Five Bronze Bezel with bronze and stainless-steel case and brown leather strap (Image © Revolution)
Oris Divers Sixty-Five Bronze Bezel with bronze and stainless-steel case and brown leather strap (Image © Revolution)
Omega Seamaster 1948 Small Seconds with stainless-steel case and brown leather strap (Image © Revolution)
Omega Seamaster 1948 Small Seconds with stainless-steel case and brown leather strap (Image © Revolution)
From left: MeisterSinger Metris with stainless-steel case and black textile strap; Breitling Navitimer 1 Automatic 38 with stainless-steel case and blue alligator-leather strap (Image © Revolution)
From left: MeisterSinger Metris with stainless-steel case and black textile strap; Breitling Navitimer 1 Automatic 38 with stainless-steel case and blue alligator-leather strap (Image © Revolution)
From left: Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time 7234R with rose-gold case and brown calfskin-leather strap; Tudor 1926 with rose-gold and stainless-steel case and bracelet (Image © Revolution)
From left: Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time 7234R with rose-gold case and brown calfskin-leather strap; Tudor 1926 with rose-gold and stainless-steel case and bracelet (Image © Revolution)

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.

From left: Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical 38mm with stainless-steel case and green textile strap; Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight with stainless-steel case and bracelet (Image © Revolution)
From left: Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical 38mm with stainless-steel case and green textile strap; Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight with stainless-steel case and bracelet (Image © Revolution)
Tissot Heritage Antimagnetique 2018 with stainless-steel case and brown leather strap (Image © Revolution)
Tissot Heritage Antimagnetique 2018 with stainless-steel case and brown leather strap (Image © Revolution)
Clockwise from top: Rado Tradition 1965 XL Auto with titanium case and brown leather strap; Oris Big Crown D.26 Limited Edition with stainless-steel case and brown leather strap; Bell & Ross BR V2-94 Steel Heritage with stainless-steel case and bracelet (Image © Revolution)
Clockwise from top: Rado Tradition 1965 XL Auto with titanium case and brown leather strap; Oris Big Crown D.26 Limited Edition with stainless-steel case and brown leather strap; Bell & Ross BR V2-94 Steel Heritage with stainless-steel case and bracelet (Image © Revolution)

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.

Clockwise from top: Louis Moinet SpaceWalker with rose-gold case and black alligator-leather strap; Blancpain Villeret Métiers d’Art Binchotan with red-gold case and brown alligator-leather strap; Jacob & Co. Astronomia Clarity Spider with white-gold and sapphire crystal case and black alligator-leather strap (Image © Revolution)
Clockwise from top: Louis Moinet SpaceWalker with rose-gold case and black alligator-leather strap; Blancpain Villeret Métiers d’Art Binchotan with red-gold case and brown alligator-leather strap; Jacob & Co. Astronomia Clarity Spider with white-gold and sapphire crystal case and black alligator-leather strap (Image © Revolution)
Clockwise from top: Claude Meylan Lac Poya with stainless-steel case and black alligator-leather strap; Chopard Happy Fish with rose-gold case and blue alligator-leather strap; Graff Métiers d’Art Samurai with rose-gold case and black alligator-leather strap (Image © Revolution)
Clockwise from top: Claude Meylan Lac Poya with stainless-steel case and black alligator-leather strap; Chopard Happy Fish with rose-gold case and blue alligator-leather strap; Graff Métiers d’Art Samurai with rose-gold case and black alligator-leather strap (Image © Revolution)

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.

Clockwise from top: Harry Winston Premier Precious Moon Phase Automatic 36mm with rose-gold case and brown alligator-leather strap; Graff Diamond Secret with stone-set, white-gold case and bracelet; Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse ref. 5738R with rose-gold case and black alligator-leather strap (Image © Revolution)
Clockwise from top: Harry Winston Premier Precious Moon Phase Automatic 36mm with rose-gold case and brown alligator-leather strap; Graff Diamond Secret with stone-set, white-gold case and bracelet; Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse ref. 5738R with rose-gold case and black alligator-leather strap (Image © Revolution)
Clockwise from top left: Chopard L.U.C Quattro with rose gold case and blue calfskin-leather strap; Carl F. Bucherer Manero Tourbillon Double Peripheral with rose gold case and brown alligator-leather strap; Jaquet Droz Lady 8 Petite Akoya with red gold, stone-set case and red-gold bracelet set with stones and pearls (Image © Revolution)
Clockwise from top left: Chopard L.U.C Quattro with rose gold case and blue calfskin-leather strap; Carl F. Bucherer Manero Tourbillon Double Peripheral with rose gold case and brown alligator-leather strap; Jaquet Droz Lady 8 Petite Akoya with red gold, stone-set case and red-gold bracelet set with stones and pearls (Image © Revolution)

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.

Clockwise from top left: Anonimo Epurato Imperial Green with bronze case and green felt strap; Seiko Presage Shippo Enamel Limited Edition with stainless-steel case and blue crocodile-leather strap; Glashütte Original Sixties with stainless-steel case and black calfskin-leather strap (Image © Revolution)
Clockwise from top left: Anonimo Epurato Imperial Green with bronze case and green felt strap; Seiko Presage Shippo Enamel Limited Edition with stainless-steel case and blue crocodile-leather strap; Glashütte Original Sixties with stainless-steel case and black calfskin-leather strap (Image © Revolution)
Clockwise from top: H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Purity Cosmic Green with white-gold case and beige kudu-leather strap; Hublot Big Bang Unico Red Magic with red ceramic case and red rubber strap; Chopard Mille Miglia Racing Colours with stainless-steel case and black calfskin-leather strap (Image © Revolution)
Clockwise from top: H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Purity Cosmic Green with white-gold case and beige kudu-leather strap; Hublot Big Bang Unico Red Magic with red ceramic case and red rubber strap; Chopard Mille Miglia Racing Colours with stainless-steel case and black calfskin-leather strap (Image © Revolution)

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.

Certina DS Action Diver Sea Turtle Conservancy Special Edition with stainless-steel case and bracelet (Image © Revolution)
Certina DS Action Diver Sea Turtle Conservancy Special Edition with stainless-steel case and bracelet (Image © Revolution)
Hublot Big Bang Referee 2018 Fifa World Cup Russia with titanium case and black rubber strap (Image © Revolution)
Hublot Big Bang Referee 2018 Fifa World Cup Russia with titanium case and black rubber strap (Image © Revolution)
From left: TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 01 Aston Martin with stainless-steel case and black rubber and leather strap; Raymond Weil Tango Marshall Amplification Limited Edition with black PVD-coated stainless-steel case and black leather strap (Image © Revolution)
From left: TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 01 Aston Martin with stainless-steel case and black rubber and leather strap; Raymond Weil Tango Marshall Amplification Limited Edition with black PVD-coated stainless-steel case and black leather strap (Image © Revolution)
From left: Junghans Max Bill Edition Set 2018 watch with stainless-steel case and black leather strap; Oris Paradropper LT Staffel 7 Limited Edition with black-plated titanium case and green textile strap (Image © Revolution)
From left: Junghans Max Bill Edition Set 2018 watch with stainless-steel case and black leather strap; Oris Paradropper LT Staffel 7 Limited Edition with black-plated titanium case and green textile strap (Image © Revolution)

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.

From left: Fugue Chronostase with stainless-steel case and black leather strap; Giberg Niura Flying Tourbillon Trilevis 6118 with stone-set, red gold case and red lizard leather strap (Image © Revolution)
From left: Fugue Chronostase with stainless-steel case and black leather strap; Giberg Niura Flying Tourbillon Trilevis 6118 with stone-set, red gold case and red lizard leather strap (Image © Revolution)
From top to bottom: L&JR S1303 with stainless steel case and black calfskin eather and rubber strap; MW&Co. Asset 2.1 with titanium case and black rubberised-leather strap; Vault V1+ with rose-gold case and black rubber strap; Itay Noy Full Month with stainless-steel case and blue leather strap (Image © Revolution)
From top to bottom: L&JR S1303 with stainless steel case and black calfskin eather and rubber strap; MW&Co. Asset 2.1 with titanium case and black rubberised-leather strap; Vault V1+ with rose-gold case and black rubber strap; Itay Noy Full Month with stainless-steel case and blue leather strap (Image © Revolution)