The most frustrating thing about not being at Baselworld is the difficulty associated with covering new brands and watches that present great value. Of course I love reading about the amazing mechanical pieces from the worlds most exclusive brands that debut each year, but at the end of the day people really want to read about watches they might be able to buy at some point in their life. Whilst Instagram is a great way to spend hours trawling through countless images of haute horology, I’m itching to see some affordable watches or watches from new brands I haven’t seen.
From what I’ve got at my disposal (A handful of friends Instagram accounts and some websites ) I’ve complied a selection of new and value choices from brands you might know and brand’s you might not.
I was reading yesterday that interestingly Rolex only has two overarching watch ‘collections’, the Oyster and the Cellini. Historically the Cellini has been Rolex’s answer to the luxury dress watch category and whilst it’s a returning model, for many it will be the first time they’ve seen the name, which is why I included it in this post. Hidden in the shadows of the dominant Oyster collection Rolex unveiled 3 new Cellini models, all gold and all sized at 39mm honouring classicism and the eternal elegance of traditional timepieces. The entry-level Cellini ‘Time’ (below left) starts at 14,500 CHF ($17,600 AUD) and whilst not cheap, is a lovely change from the more common Rolex Oyster models.
Zenith Captain Power Reserve and Central Second
Whilst most watch journalists are writing about the El Primero Lightweight chronograph, it’s the Captain collection that has continued to catch my eye. In my opinion the Zenith Captain collection is one of the most underrated and attractive ‘affordable’ watch collections on the market today. I recall images of the Elite (Central Second) surfacing during SIHH (where Zenith doesn’t officially show) however I’ve seen a snap of both the Elite and the Power Reserve on Instagram in the last few days so assume they’ve now officially debuted. These watches house a Zenith manufactured movement, they look gorgeous and they’re uncommon. I’d expect prices for the Elite to start from around $6000 AUD however I’d save the extra money for the Power Reserve – that grey dial is something special!
Nomos Ahoi Atlantik
The Ahoi Atlantik was presented at Basel last year but I had to include the 2014 edition with new dark grey dial, available with or without date function. I’ve written about Nomos time and time again, but I truly believe Nomos along with other German manufacturers like Glashutte Original are presenting unbeatable value for the quality of product they produce. If you’re looking for your first serious watch, look no further. $4800 AUD.
Sinn 144 St S Jubilee
I’m about to write about an Omega so don’t get offended when I say I’d scoop up the Sinn 144 St S Jubilee over the Speedmaster Mark II. This is a solid everyday sports chronograph, a watch you could really rely on. Not only is it limited to 300 units which makes it instantly desirable, the Tegiment technology stainless steel case makes this watch one of the toughest on the market, virtually scratch proof. To cap it off the 144 St S Jubilee also features Ar-Dehumidifying technology to stop fogging – not that you’d ever need it. Around $6000 AUD I’d expect.
Omega Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial
I just got an email from Omega today saying I could view this watch in July and I’m pretty excited. As I said in my Omega overview on the weekend the heritage of this particular model will make this watch highly collectible, yet still a serious tool watch priced at 5,500 CHF ($6720 AUD).
Tudor Heritage Black Bay Midnight Blue
This watch killed it last year and I think the Midnight Blue is even better than the Red. Hats off to the Tudor for the Ranger also. Both covered in my post from the weekend.
Tissot le Locle Small Seconds
I’ve featured Tissot on a few of my lists, including the popular article ‘10 Great Men’s Watches Under $1000‘. This year at Basel they unveiled the Le Locle Small Second, which contains Tissot’s all-new Caliber 2825, an innovative, automatic movement that allows the placement of any type of counter subdial (hour, minute, or second) anywhere on the dial. Whilst the placements might appear unconventional I think they add a contemporary touch to a classically styled watch. Price should sit around $1500.
Bremont Boeing Model 247
This year at Basel Bremont announced a new collaboration with Boeing, capitalising on their experience in advanced material research using metals that have never been used in watch manufacture. The pick of the bunch for me was the Boeing Model 247 chronograph based on the Valjoux 7750. Made from custom 465® Stainless Steel it features double vacuum-melted age-hardenable alloy developed for the aerospace industry capable of superior strength, hardness and corrosion resistance. Innovative and stylish – an unbeatable combo.
Moritz Grossmann BENU Power Reserve
Finally, a brand I’ve only known about for the last few days Moritz Grossmann, displayed some beautiful watches at Basel this year. Not only are their watches stylish and classic, they are finished immaculately, just like their Glashutte cousin A. Lange & Söhne. I’m not sure about prices but you can guarantee they’ll be a fraction of Lange!