Once again, this year’s Baselworld saw a myriad of new (old) releases. Heritage brands are heavily invested in vintage ‘reissue’ watches, a trend that has been taking center stage for a couple of years now. Here’s my Baselworld 2018 top 3 picks (below S$5,000):
Seiko Prospex SPB077
Last year, Seiko released the modern rendition of the 62MAS diver watch – SPB051 and SPB053 – under the Prospex line of watches. Fans are certainly not disappointed this year.
The Seiko Prospex SPB077 is a reinterpretation of the 1968 Seiko 6159-7001, Japan’s first hi-beat diver watch. It is powered by the mid-range Seiko 6R15 calibre, beating at 21,600bph with 50 hours of power reserve. At 44mm in diameter, I reckon it wears like the Seiko Marinemaster SBDX017 – hefty and an impressive wrist presence. The stainless steel case is coated with a proprietary super-hard coating for additional protection against scratches and dings. On top of all these, you get all the diver watch goodies: screw-down crown, bracelet with three-fold clasp and diver’s extension.
While there is also the Limited Edition SLA025, the production run SPB077 and the blue variant (SPB079) on rubber strap are well-packaged at an incredible price of 1,100 Euro (~S$1,790) for the SPB077 and 900 Euro (~S$1,460) for the SPB079.
Oris Big Crown Pointer Date
Oris, in recent years, has been ‘quietly’ releasing new watches that should deserve more love. For instance, the Diver Sixty-Five and Artelier Calibre 113 (10-day power reserve!) are great value watches.
Those who love aviation watches, especially vintage-inspired ones, will be very excited about the Oris Big Crown Pointer Date. It features a vintage railway track chapter ring on the dial with large arabic hour markers on the inner side and date markers on the outer-side of the dial. The modified SW200-1 enable the center hands to tell the second, minute, hour and date. With a 40mm case diameter, oversized crown and ridged bezel, it is definitely a modern fit for an aviation watch.
The asking price for the Oris Big Crown Pointer Date is not too shabby at just CHF1,220 (~S$1,690). Thanks to its vintage aesthetics, I bet it looks like a million dollar on the wrist!
Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight
If there is a story around brand success, you will definitely see Tudor on the list. I’m a huge fan, well not too much on their recent celebrity endorsement spree, but Tudor is definitely enjoying a huge slice of the pie in the watch industry. The Black Bay is the right product at the right time, and Tudor is making it even better this year – by simply reducing it to 39mm in case diameter and adding some gold accents.
The Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight is powered by a new manufacture calibre, the MT5402. Featuring a 70-hour power reserve, it is a smaller movement at 26mm with time and date functions, proudly certified as a chronometer by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC). If you were put off by the 41mm Black Bay, you will be very excited about this watch, not only for its reduced size (about 3mm thinner too) but also its 1950s heritage appeal.
When purchasing a Tudor Black Bay, please go with the bracelet model – no need to be thrifty, just pay more for the bracelet. And no need to break the bank too, the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight on steel bracelet is priced at US$3,575 (~S$4,680).