So as some of you may have gathered by now I had to unexpectedly cancel my annual visit to Baselworld this year at the last minute. This was due to circumstances outside of my control and was made all the more frustrating by the fact that my prepaid flights and hotel were non-refundable. Consequently, I have not been able to get hands on with all the new watches I wanted to (well, not yet anyway). That being said, there were still a number of cool new releases this year that – money permitting – I would snap up sight unseen. Here’s a selection of them.
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch CK2998
The new limited edition Speedmaster Moonwatch CK2998 from Omega may not have been the most talked about chronograph at Baselworld – that honor probably goes to the Rolex Daytona with the Cerachrom bezel – but in my opinion it was still one of the coolest. Inspired by the original CK2998, the short-lived second generation of Speedmaster, the new version comes in a very wearable 39.7mm stainless steel case complete with the iconic Speedmaster Seahorse medallion embossed on the screw-in caseback. Inside is the manual wind Omega Caliber 1861 which is the same movement that was used in the very first Moonwatch. The CK2998 is limited to 2,998 pieces (clever, right?)
Hublot Classic Fusion Berluti
It’s no secret that Hublot collaborates with pretty much anyone and everyone and to be honest most of the time the end result is just not that interesting. I must admit though, we really sat up and took notice when we saw the result of the brand’s latest partnership with Parisian shoemaker Berluti. This isn’t just the same watch with a few colors changed on the dial and a fancy new strap. No, this time Hublot has really challenged themselves to create something amazing and they have delivered. As you can see in the picture Berluti had made the entire dial from gorgeous, tobacco brown embossed leather. The version pictured is the Scritto edition and comes in a 45mm 18k King Gold case complete with a matching rubber/leather strap. Insanely cool.
Patek Philippe 5930 World Time Chronograph
Next up on the list is another very exciting chronograph, the new Patek Philippe 5930 World Time Chronograph. The 5930 marks the first time Patek Philippe has brought together flyback chronograph and world time complications in a regular production model. It’s a huge coup for collectors and undoubtedly will prove to be one of the brand’s best sellers this year (and probably for years to come). The initial model shown at Baselworld (and pictured above) is the 5930G, which boasts a 39.5mm x 12.86mm white gold case paired with a silver/blue dial that features manual guilloche in the center. Inside is the Patek caliber CH 28-520 HU, an automatic column-wheel chronograph with a vertical clutch and of course a world time module.
MB&F HMX Black Badger Edition
Probably one of the best collaborations we saw this year was that between independent watch maker MB&F and industrial designer Black Badger, with the end result being the HMX Black Badger Edition. Based on the Horological Machine No. 5 the HMX was originally launched in 2015 to celebrate MB&F’s 10th Anniversary and was an instant hit. This year nothing has changed functionally for the HMX but the watch now looks even cooler (who knew that was possible!) thanks to the addition of some very luminous materials. Color options include “Radar Green,” “Phantom Blue,” and “Purple Reign.” It’s also worthwhile noting that MB&F and Black Badger collaborated on a special edition of the Starfleet Machine this year which is definitely worth checking out.
Frederique Constant Manufacture Perpetual
Bringing things home for us on a slightly more sombre note is the new Frederique Constant Manufacture Perpetual. Now I must admit I have always admired the truly exceptional work Frederique Constant does to deliver top quality watch-making at more affordable prices but I could never really see myself wearing one. Until now that is. I mean seriously, a highly legible perpetual calendar complete with moon phase accurate to the year 2100 for under $9,000? Just shut up and take my money already.
The above is by no means an exhaustive list so please let us know what other watches from Baselworld 2016 you would add in the comments below!