It is the time of the year again, where watch enthusiasts and journalists make their annual pilgrimage and gather at Messe Basel for the Baselworld Watch Fair.
Many of us are certainly preoccupied with the novelties that manufacturers are going to launch over the next couple of weeks. But then again, the visitors are also concerned with the watch that they should bring along to the exhibition. Should it be something conversational? Or will it be more rational to wear a solid and reliable tool watch?
Well, for this week’s article, we will be looking at six watches that we recommend wearing to Baselworld. It is selected based on our preferences, although they should have certain merits to it as well. Let’s find out what we have chosen!
NOMOS Tetra neomatik
We begin the article with one of our favourite entry-level watch manufacturers: NOMOS.
NOMOS is brand that we have often waxed lyrical about. It is really difficult to find fault with the Glashutte-based watch manufacturer, really. The company offers reasonably priced in-house produced watches, with a simple Bauhaus inspired design.
The 33mm Tetra neomatik is a piece that we highly recommend. It features an interesting square case, and fitted with a solid in-house automatic movement (the Caliber DUW3001). Coupled with a price of S$4,920, we reckon that this is a conversational timepiece that many will find it tough to resist.
Seiko 60th Anniversary Automatic Limited Edition Chronograph
In last week’s Throwback Sundays article, we have featured this particular Seiko for its exceptional value and quality. It is not really difficult to see why, considering that this in-house produced chronograph retails at a reasonable price of €2,800 (approximately S$4,220).
This watch is not just a timepiece with a pretty face; it is fitted with a solid and reliable movement as well. Beneath the lustrous Urushi dial – which is produced by hand-polishing using the sap of a particular Japanese lacquer tree – the watch is powered by Seiko’s Calibre 8R48. This is an automatic movement, fitted with a vertical clutch and column wheel system for its chronograph. The watch also comes with a date indicator between the 4 o’clock and 5 o’clock position, as well as a decent power reserve of around 45 hours.
We believe that this is one of the nicest Seiko watches that is not from either the Credor or Grand Seiko collection. It is highly underrated, but certainly well-appreciated by seasoned collectors who have an eye for such pieces. We do think we have something good going on here.
Chopard L.U.C. GMT One
Following that, we have another darling that is highly-revered by many collectors: L.U Chopard.
The L.U. Chopard is the flagship collection that is produced to pay tribute to Louis-Ulysse Chopard, the watchmaker and founder of Chopard. It features some really nice pieces, such as the Full Strike Minute Repeater and the Perpetual Calendar Chronograph. But the more affordable pieces in the collection are no slouch either. Take the new L.U.C GMT One for example. The 42mm timepiece is an example of an elegant and well-designed watch, featuring a clean looking dial and functional features. It includes a date indicator at the 6 o’clock position, as well as a GMT function that allows a traveller to keep track of two different time zones.
The watch is powered by Chopard’s self-winding Calibre L.U.C 01.10-L. The movement is adequately finished, and it boasts a power reserve of around 60 hours. It is available in either Stainless Steel or Rose Gold, and they are priced at S$13,630 and S$27,540 respectively.
Jaeger LeCoultre Tribute to Deep Sea Alarm
We then move on another interesting timepiece with an interesting complication. Cue the JLC Tribute to Deep Sea Alarm.
Back in the 60s and 70s (and some in the 50s), a few watch manufacturers – including JLC and Vulcain – produced watches with the alarm function. The function is simple, yet rather useful. It allows one to keep track of time easily, by adjusting the time to the exact moment when you want it to buzz. The use of an audio cue definitely makes it more practical as well.
Over the years, JLC had continued to produce alarm watches, and the Tribute to Deep Sea Alarm is definitely one of our favourites. We simply adore the aesthetics, which remains faithful to the original model that was produced between 1959 to 1961. The watch, notably, is fitted with the updated Calibre 956. It is an automatic movement, with a power reserve of around 45 hours. It is also fitted with a case-mounted brass gong, in which the sound is produced when the circular gong mounted the case back is struck.
The 40.5mm watch is available in two different dial variants, and it is priced at US$11,950 (approximately S$16,750). It is limited to 359 pieces and 959 pieces for both the American and European version respectively, and we believe that your best bet to get your hands on these watches is through the secondary markets.
It is inevitable that a Rolex will appear on this list. But the main question is: which one?
We have selected the Explorer in this week’s article, for two very simple reasons. It is a simple and likeable watch, backed with excellent build-quality and a workhorse movement. The simple aesthetics makes it versatile and a breeze to pair with different style of clothing, and its reliable movement ensures that it will perform as and when it is required to do so.
The updated Explorer comes with a few tweaks. Visually, the hands are slightly longer, and the “3,6, and 9” indices are now filled with lume. In terms of the movement, the Calibre 3132 comes with a Parachrom hairspring and Paraflex shock absorbers. It is also tested in accordance to Rolex’s Superlative Chronometer standards, which requires the movement to perform within +2/-2 second a day.
Finally, the 39mm retails at S$8,770. While it might be a small fortune for some, but the Explorer is a reliable timepiece that will last for many years to come.
Patek Philippe Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph
Lastly, we have the legendary Patek Philippe Nautilus. The particular model that we have selected is the Travel Time Chronograph, cased in Stainless Steel (Reference 5990/1A).
The 5590/1A was launched previously in Baselworld 2014, in a collection where there aren’t many variations in its offerings of complications. It was definitely a welcoming addition, especially for a traveller who wants an iconic timepiece with a dual time zone function. The watch is powered by its in-house Calibre CH 28-520 C FUS, equipped with a fly-back chronograph mechanism and a dual time zone function. In addition, the watch also boasts a date indicator, as well as a power reserve of at least 45 hours. The finishing, needless to say, is impeccable.
One of the most interesting aspect of the watch, in our opinion, is still its design. We were intrigued by how Patek Philippe had managed to integrate the different pushers seamlessly into the case, and hence retaining its shape and symmetry. This incredible watch is priced at S$70,500, and it is surely a watch that combines both form and functionality beautifully.
In this week’s article, we have selected six different watches that you might considering wearing to the upcoming Baselworld Watch Fair. Each of them has its own positive attributes, mostly either in terms of its aesthetics or functionality. For instance, both the Patek Philippe Travel Time Chronograph and the L.U.C GMT One allows the user to keep track of two different time zones, while the JLC Tribute to Deep Sea allows one to keep track of time with its alarm function. On the other hand, both the NOMOS and Seiko are unusual and rare pieces, and it will certainly attract the attention of other collectors. The Rolex, undoubtedly, is a safe bet for someone who wants an over-engineered and versatile timepiece.
Do you agree with our choices? Or will you be wearing something different during the upcoming Baselworld? Let us know in the comments section below!