Style | March 31, 2019 5:00 am

The 10 Best Watches Of Baselworld 2019

Your wrist is about to get a whole lot better looking.

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The watch industry’s largest event, Baselworld, took place in Switzerland from March 21st – 26th. The annual gathering brings together many of the most important watchmakers and watch brands in the world, for the sole purpose of unveiling their most important releases of the coming year.

All told, some 550 brands were in attendance to show off their wares, and while it can be overwhelming for those in attendance, if you pay attention, some dominant trends start to reveal themselves, whether it’s a proliferation of green dials or a return to the two-tone styles that were popular in decades past.

We’ll get to those in future pieces, we promise. But for now, we give you the 10 watches that most stuck with us after we flew home, the ones that felt best on our wrist, did the best job reminding us of the magic that’s happening inside these tiny little pieces of art we mount on our wrists every day.

Tag Heuer Autavia Isograph
Now two years removed from the extremely successful launch of their Autavia 02 Chronograph, Tag is back with the Autavia Isograph, a reimagination of the precursor to the original Jack Heuer Autavia design. Its highly legible dial is perfect for adventurers and casual wearers alike, with large numerals and a date window at the 6 o’clock position. It’s 42mm in diameter and chunky enough to make its presence known, both on the wrist and to observers, but it’s not so big as to seem desperate. Far from it, in fact. The Isograph is available in a number of different colorways and materials, but we’re partial to this one with the smoky green dial and bronze case. If you’re the kind of guy who cares about remaining on trend, this one will get you there.  

Buy It Here: $3,600

Oris Aquis Clean Ocean
Oris has long held a commitment to preserving our oceans as one of its biggest charitable priorities, and they continue down that path with the Clean Ocean Limited Edition. The watch features a remarkably colorful caseback made of recycled plastic harvested from the ocean by Pacific Garbage Screening, and it’s limited to 2,000 pieces, which come in a box made partially from algae. Aside from the striking sky-blue gradient dial, the most notable thing about the Clean Ocean is that it comes in at 39.5mm, a welcome change for those of us whose wrists cannot support the 44mm size of the rest of the Aquis line.

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Breitling 1959 Navitimer Re-Edition
If you’re of a generation that most associates Breitling with shiny, oversized dive-watches that would adorn the wrists of men like Arnold Scwarzeneger, then you’re going to want to pay attention and re-evaluate. Since taking over in 2017, CEO Georges Kern has the brand moving in a kinder, gentler and all-around more understated direction, with a focus on their rich military history. At this year’s Baselworld, they debuted the 1959 Navitimer Re-Edition, a mind-bogglingly accurate recreation of the original version of their most iconic watch. From the dimensions to the colors to the applied markers, the attention to detail is as impressive as the watch is stunning.

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Zodiac Aerospace GMT
The recently revived Zodiac brand (now owned by Fossil) has quietly been producing some very nice watches, namely the vintage-inspired Sea Wolf diver they released a few years back. They’ve now done some minor tweaks to that watch and turned it into the Aerospace GMT, which is among the best looking and most affordble GMTs you’ll find. It’s priced at just $1,695 and was made in a blue and orange colorway that sold out pretty much immediately, as well as the gray and black version you see above, which also now appears to be gone. It’s a bummer, too, because this one would no doubt have wide appeal. Rumor has it there are more coming later in the year, though, so keep an eye on it.

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Rolex Datejust 36
Granted, there is not a whole lot going on with this updated version of the Datejust — it’s now made with a combination of Oyster steel and white gold — but man, it’s a nice reminder that every other purchase we’ve ever made in our lives can seem trite and inconsequential. This is the kind of piece you buy and you know you’re going to have forever, not something that cycles in and out of your life like the wind.

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