Armchair picks: Three most appealing everyday watches from Basel your pocket will thank you for
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Armchair Picks: Two Classics and a Wildcard from Baselworld 2018
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Armchair Picks: Three watches from Baselworld 2018 that could sum up a collection

by Daniel Chua on April 3, 2018

So Baselworld 2018 is now over, after a week of horological frenzy. As the dust settles and (cigar) smoke clears, a collector like yourself may be lost in the sea of horological extravaganza. So how exactly should you navigate? Well, let’s take some time to mull over the myriad of irresistible offerings by the major brands and make ourselves more well-informed and knowledgeable collectors. Without further ado, here are three watches I’ve selected from Baselworld 2018 that could almost encapsulate one’s collection from low, to mid and high-tier pricing from Nomos, Tudor and Breguet.

 

NOMOS Autobahn

If you’re like me and love a surprise, then you’re in for a treat with NOMOS’s latest offering for Baselworld 2018. At first glance, the Autobahn is no different with its clean and elegant, Bauhaus-inspired design found on NOMOS watches. But, look closer and the differences becomes apparent.

 

Designed with the concept of speed, the Autobahn features distinct curves on its dial that transitions seamlessly from edge to edge, expressing movement. And when the light goes out, those large, raised bars of glowing SuperLuminova along with the lumed hour hand mimics the look of a speedometer that climbs steadily – a seductive spectacle to behold. There is no lume on the minute hand, however.

 

 

While the application of lume might not make sense from a functional standpoint, we love the playfulness that this watch expresses, being a deviation from the rather serious and practical outlook present with the brand’s collection. The variant I like best would be the ‘sports gray’ color scheme. With a blue ‘speedometer’ ring and orange accents, it adds a charming contrast to its minimalist white dial. This piece was design to be a work of contemporary art and frankly, we think they’ve succeeded.

The NOMOS Autobahn is powered by the updated DUW 6101 neomatik caliber, which features a date mechanism while keeping a slender profile. This allows the watch to remain unobtrusive yet practical. Retailing at SGD 6,610, we feel it’s a outstanding choice for your weekend jaunts.

 

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Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight

Part of the Heritage family, the original Black Bay drew inspiration from Tudor dive watches of yesteryear. With its gilt-style printing, snowflake hands and “Big Crown”, the Black Bay oozed vintage vibes and will probably be an instant hit among collectors.

 

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight

 

To be frank, as much as I loved the original Black Bay, its bulk meant that it never materialised as a part of my collection. With the new Fifty-Eight, however, it has effectively tugged my heartstrings: whilst sharing similar design cues with its bigger brother, the most notable difference between the Fifty-Eight and the original Black Bay would be its size (or lack thereof). For Baselworld 2018, Tudor went a step further and placed the Black Bay on a diet, resulting in a decreased thickness from 12.7mm to a leaner 11.9mm. And – purists rejoice, as its case has been downsized from 41mm to 39mm. While the difference in size may not seem significant on paper, it has certainly won over those with smaller wrists.

On the face of it, the Fifty-Eight has been treated to golden fonts and printing similar to that of historical models. The gold contrasts very nicely with its matte black dial, resulting in a appearance that shimmers under light. Moreover, the domed sapphire crystal complements its profile nicely, giving the Black Bay Fifty-Eight a nostalgic charm with modern benefits.

With its updated aesthetics and design elements, Tudor’s Black Bay Fifty-Eight pays respectful homage to its ancestors. The sleeker dimensions has won over my heart and would most certainly do the same to fans whose wrists are of smaller size. The watch utilises the manufacture caliber MT5402, and, with a 70-hour power reserve as well as chronometer certification, we reckon its a solid all-rounder for your daily-driver needs. The Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight will retail for CHF 3,400 (bracelet) / CHF 3,100 (leather/nato).

 

Read also:   Throwback Sundays: Six Excellent Diver's Watches That Are Not Rolex Submariners, from Our Archives

Breguet Marine 5517

Known for its guilloché-dialed timepieces, the Marine is a departure from Breguet’s conservative and traditionalist design. With its sporty yet elegant outlook, it ushers in a new era for Breguet.

 

Breguet Marine 5517

 

In Baselworld 2018, Breguet had gone a step further and introduced the Marine 5517, a simplified version of the Grand Complication 5887 launched last year. Our favourite aspect of the new Marine is its availability in Titanium – a first for the collection. Not only does it reinforce the idea of a true sports watch, but serves as an accessible entry to a Haute-Horlogerie marque. Perhaps it’s only flak on its otherwise pristine appearance might be that the striking and intricate “wave” motif  is only available for the gold version and not offered for the Titanium model, which comes with a grey sunburst dial.

The Breguet Marine 5571 is powered by an in-house 777A automatic movement which features a date complication, and a 55-hours power reserve. With the option of a leather or rubber strap, it can be easily dressed up or down to suit any occasions. The watch retails for S$ 26,500 incl GST / CHF 18,000 for the titanium versions and S$ 41,200 incl GST / CHF 28,000 for the gold versions.

 

Concluding Thoughts

Baselworld 2018 mainly saw refinements and enhancements made to existing watches. But, there is no denying that the improvements made have taken them to a higher echelon. These three pieces have been chosen with purpose and appearance as priorities. The Black Bay Fifty-Eight’s compact dimensions pays respectful tribute to its predecessors, and will appeal to a larger audience. Breguet’s new Titanium Marine has helped re-position the brand to a contemporary following while staying true to its roots.

Perhaps the star of this year’s Baselworld for me was the NOMOS Autobahn: a unique and fun piece that blends Bauhaus simplicity with chic style.

So, what are your thoughts on my selection? Was there a piece that you’d have chosen otherwise? Let us know in the comments below.

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