For watch enthusiasts there is no event more anticipated and longed for than Baselworld. Baselworld, held in Basel, Switzerland in March, is like draft day for watches, a time to see what is upcoming in the watch world. Watch and style fans will be with bated breath in anticipation of seeing the new watch models and the changes made to their favorite watches and their favorite brands. The new models generally won’t hit jewelry stores until late summer early fall, but here are a few that you should be looking for:
Rolex brings back the iconic Pepsi GMT. When the Rolex GMT II evolved into a new case with a ceramic bezel insert the multi-color bezel options were lost and only black was available due to more time being needed to perfect the coloring of the new ceramic material. Now the blue and red bezel affectionately referred to as the “Pepsi” bezel is back and as cool as ever. The GMT has gained a cult following as one the greatest and coolest tool watches ever made. This distinct model, popular with pilots and special operation soldiers, has a coolness that is only equaled by its distinctness. This version of the classic Pepsi is now only offered in a white gold casing making it one the more pricey GMT’s starting around $40,000. Maybe one day it will be back as a base model option, but for now it’s good to know it is back.
New from Tudor, a company owned by Rolex with a rich history of the quality of a Rolex at a lesser price, is the Tudor Heritage Ranger. This offering is an attempt by Rolex at making the best watch for under $5000 and this watch, which starts around $2800, hits the mark. The classic military styling and the 42mm case size of this watch gives a clean and sharp appearance while maintaining the bullet-proof functionality that has made the Rolex company the most popular watch brand in the world. Starting at $2825 this watch should be on must have list of any serious watch collector.
The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, the classic French Frogman diver, will now be offered in a chronograph model. The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe retains the styling of the original but brings in the very popular chronograph feature in the hopes that it will be the Swatch Groups competitor to Zenith’s El Primero. The Fifty Fathoms has a rich dive history having been a watch used by French Combat Divers, US Navy Divers, and Jacques Cousteau, and this model continues in that tradition with the pushers being able to stay waterproof and be used all the way down to 300 meters. This beauty comes with a price tag starting around $14,800.
The Omega Speedmaster Mark II is back with vintage styling, better materials, and a modern movement, making it Omega’s watch to watch. The original Speedmaster Mark II made its debut in 1969 just a short time after its predecessor traveled to the moon on wrist of Astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Omega kept the sixties looks and updated the movement from a hand-wound calibre 861 to an automatic co-axial movement calibre 3330. Along with the movement update came better luminescence and silicone gaskets. So shoot for the moon and take a look at Omega’s modern Speedmaster with vintage looks and a COSC Chronometer rating that starts with a price around $6250.
The newestoffering from Tag Heuer is an update of a Heuer classic the Carrera, a hugely popular watch model that is now updated with modern trappings. The Tag Heuer Carrera CH 80 is the first watch to have Tag’s completely in-house designed and produce movement the CH 80. This handsome chronograph is sure to turn some heads and is available for a price starting in the mid $500’s.