This year is a particularly difficult one for me to pick favourites because, despite some online reports to the contrary, I found Basel a veritable treasure trove of watches I coveted at almost every brand I saw. Of course, there were the obvious choices like Rolex’s reworked 43mm Single Red Sea-Dweller with cyclops date and the to-die-for yellow-gold Daytona with Oysterflex bracelet, the Patek Philippe ref. 5320G Perpetual Calendar and the Harry Winston Histoire de Tourbillon 7, plus the now-expected clutch of Tudor Black Bays, but the joy spread far beyond these usual suspects.
Like so many other punters, I’m a sucker for vintage-inspired looks and that wish was fulfilled in spades, as were my loves of beautiful design, inventive engineering and a quirky aesthetic – if the objective of owning something is to make one happy rather than provide a pension pot, then most of those exhibiting hit the mark. And that’s the basis for my choices below; they may not be the most original, the most technical or the most expensive, but each one stood out and all would be welcome to find a permanent home in my collection.