If you haven’t been into watches for a long time, you’ll soon discover that all the innovations and new releases presented each year only mark marginal changes. Especially when compared to electronics or cars, for example.
The announcement of a new watch based on last year’s but with a different dial color can be a huge thing for watch aficionados and brands alike. Not only that, but watch collectors can go on for hours about the new color of a hand or the new typeface used for the model name on the dial. In extreme cases, they are more than ready to get into virtual fistfights over these small differences. But let’s assume that you’re not one of them. Let’s see what trends this year’s Baselworld brought us.
Sinn, Tudor, Grand Seiko, Rolex, Omega, Patek Philippe, and Zenith. These are just a few of the brands that put the color blue in the spotlight this year by applying it to some of their most beloved models and making them ‘2018’. That is not a bad thing, as the Sinn 103 with blue dial and bezel is gorgeous.
The same goes for the new Omega Seamaster 300M with a blue wave dial and, of course, the Patek Philippe Nautilus Perpetual Calendar with blue dial. The limited edition Grand Seiko with a blue dial made in celebration of the 9S high-beat movement’s 20th anniversary is also pretty cool. Blue is here to stay (it already was) and is a nice change of pace when you’re used to buying and wearing watches with black, silver, or white dials.
The trend of creating vintage-inspired watches continues. Oris has extended the success of the Divers Sixty-Five, Tudor has brought in some Pepsi love with their Black Bay GMT, and Seiko has released their Tuna quartz in black and gold, just like they did in 1978. Omega is celebrating 70 years of the Seamaster and is doing so with two beautiful 1948-inspired watches. One has a central seconds hand, and the other has a small seconds hand, as was the case for the original two Seamaster models from 1948.
TAG Heuer surprised us with a new edition of the Monaco Gulf and a very modern, Bamford interpretation of the Monaco made of forged carbon. Why do brands use their heritage as inspiration? It’s simple: These models have proven themselves over time and are now often considered timeless collector’s items.
Bi-Color but Not Too Much
While it was less than I had personally hoped for, again this year we see a couple of brands jumping on the bi-color bandwagon. I love this 1980s and 1990s style. It brings back some of that Miami Vice feel, and, to be honest, we could use a bit of that today. Tudor hit a home run with this gold and steel Black Bay model with a gold-colored dial. Omega has also made sure their new Seamaster Diver 300M range has a couple bi-color variations (steel and yellow gold, steel and Sedna (rose) gold) as well as a tri-color variation (titanium, tantalum, and Sedna gold). Breitling’s new CEO, Georges Kern, also decided to keep the bi-color trend going, as some of the new Navitimer models have been enhanced with a touch of gold.
Rolex has brought back the “Root Beer” GMT-Master. Although they have left the brown nipple dial behind, they have used a beautiful brown tone for the ceramic bezel inlay and Everose (rose) gold for the bezel, hands, crown, and the center links of the Oyster bracelet.