Switzerland's annual Baselworld watch and jewelry show saw brand new timepieces that boast technical innovation, extravagant design, retro inspiration, and precision watchmaking.
While this year's show was heavy with high-end timepieces created with the expert horologist's eye in mind, there were some traditional-looking variations on some classics—and at least one fascinating and affordable resurrection from the '70s. Check out our picks for the best of Baselworld 2019 below.
Hublot Big Bang UNICO Italia Independent
Hublot is no stranger to using unlikely materials on a timepiece, from real tobacco leaves to bezels made from Ferrari brake plates.
In the brand's latest collaboration with Italia Independent, with founder Lapo Elkann took inspiration from his grandfather, Gianni Agnelli, who was consumed by a passion for sailing.
The result is a timepiece that features the style codes of cutting-edge yacht designs like Azzurra and Agneta, setting authentic sail cloth on its straps with a genuine teak bezel. $24,100
Zenith Defy Inventor
While Zenith continues to revolutionize mechanical watchmaking, they’re also experimenting with new materials to match their disruptive innovations.
The Defy Inventor ticks at an unheard frequency of 18 Hz (the average is 4 Hz). But what's most impressive is the use of a proprietary material dubbed Aeronith.
The lightest aluminum composite in the world, it was developed using an exclusive process that yields a material weighing three times less than titanium. $17,800
MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT
MB&F is known for creating watches that look like anything but a device that tells time.
Their Legacy Machine FlyingT is a domed snow globe-like construction on a full pave base with a black lacquer indication dial resting on the tourbillon cage, tilted upwards so only the wearer can see what time it is. $115,000-$300,000
Rolex GMT-Master II
Rolex is best at tweaking their classics that people know and love with updates.
This year, Rolex upgraded their GMT with a special Meteorite dial – yes, a real piece of meteor – with a white gold case measuring 40mm in diameter with a blue and red “Pepsi” bezel and Oyster bracelet. $36,800
Seiko Presage Arita Porcelain Dial
Seiko infuses its heritage into their Presage collection with new dials designed with Arita, a Japanese porcelain made in its namesake town on Kyushu island since 1830.
Created by master craftsman Hiroyuki Hashiguchi, these pieces fuse Japanese craftsmanship and the prestige of Seiko’s watchmaking resulting in beautifully-constructed watches with a solid movement. $1,700-$2,000
Bulgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic
Bulgari released the world’s thinnest automatic chronograph ever, which has already proved to be a crowd favorite in both technical innovation design.
The sleek, sandblasted titanium case features an octagonal shape inspired by the ancient Roman landmark Massentius Basilica, emphasizing its Italian artistry in a record-breaking 6.9mm-thick case.
The timepiece is 42mm wide and marked with minimalist typography on the indicators and subdials. $17,600
Bulova Computron LED Watch
Bulova is bringing back its futuristic Computron from the 1970s, a full digital LED wristwatch in three new colorways.
The watch comes in gold-plated and red, silver stainless-steel and blue, or black and red with a rubber strap in addition to its single-screen LED digital read.
Bulova added a dual time-zone feature and a date function, which can be activated with the crown. $295-$395