The largest event on the horological calendar—Baselworld—came to a close this week, leaving watch fans with a taste of what the world’s premier manufacturers have in store for the rest of 2018. Hundreds of watches were unveiled at the show, from new Casio G-Shocks (don’t sleep on their retro tribute to the very first model) all the way up million-dollar pieces from haute horology’s most exclusive makers. These were our favorite pieces from the show—and they all happen to be under $10,000.
Tudor Black Bay 58
The unofficial winner of Baselworld 2018 was from Rolex sister brand Tudor. Borrowing on the aesthetics of the parent company’s iconic Submariner, the Black Bay 58 is an appeal to watch enthusiasts who like the classic diver style but are turned off by the 40-millimeter-or-more case sizes of modern dive watches. Measuring just 39 mm across and 11.9 mm thick–thanks to Tudor’s new in-house MT5402 movement—and priced at around $3,500 on a bracelet, we recommend getting on the waiting list, well, yesterday.
Rolex GMT Master II
The “GMT” complication is one of the most useful and elegant in all of watchmaking, allowing the wearer to set the time in three separate timezones with minimal visual fuss. For 2018, Rolex has updated its GMT Master II in its proprietary stainless steel, with a ceramic red-and-blue “Pepsi” bezel, and a jubilee link bracelet. The GMT Master II will retail for 8,800 Swiss francs, or approximately, $9,200. (Tudor also released a GMT model to much acclaim, starting at around $3,500.)
Omega Seamaster 1948 Limited Editions
The trend of watchmakers creating modern interpretations of their vintage pieces is not slowing anytime soon. Omega perhaps more than any other brand has jumped in feet first, having unveiled tributes to their 1957 Speedmaster, Seamaster, and Railmaster at Baselworld 2017. For 2018 the brand has looked nine years earlier in its history with a pair of watches to celebrate the 70th anniversary of its Seamaster. At a 38 mm case size, the watches lean more toward vintage territory but behind their display caseback is a thoroughly modern movement: Omega’s co-axial master chronometer calibers 8806 (for the version sporting a center seconds hand) and 8806 (for the model with a small seconds hand in the subdial). Both editions are limited to 1,948 pieces each and will start at 5,700 Swiss francs, or approximately $6,000.
NOMOS Glasshütte Tangente Neomatik 41 Update
For those with more modern-minimalist tastes, German brand NOMOS has updated their 41 mm Tangente model with one of the sleekest date complications on any watch. Instead of displaying the date as many others do, in a window at the 3 o’clock or 6 o’clock positions, for the Tangente NOMOS placed the date numerals on the outermost rim of the dial and used two red markers to indicate today’s date. The Tangente Neomatik 41 Update will be available in the first half of 2018, priced at $4,100.
Grand Seiko Caliber 9S 20th Anniversary Limited Editions
Don’t tell the Swiss, but one of the finest watches announced at Baselworld 2018 was from Japanese manufacturer Grand Seiko. Honoring the 20th anniversary of their “hi-beat” 9S movements, which tick 36,000 times per hour or 10 times per second, Grand Seiko revealed three stunning limited watches in platinum ($53,000, limited to 20 pieces), yellow gold ($27,000, limited to 150 pieces) and stainless steel ($6,300, limited to 1,500). It’s the more affordable of the three that caught our eye, with its patterned blue dial, golden second hands and GS logo, and impeccable polished stainless steel case.