With just one month to go until the biggest watch and jewellery show, what can we expect from some of the biggest brands?
The start of each year is always an exciting one. SIHH a few weeks in is the perfect cure for the January blues, February we tend to see certain brands releasing teasers and models for the year to come, and of course, March brings along Baselworld. The largest watch and jewellery show.
Just under one week full of some of the hottest brands in the industry all coming together to announce their new models, with eager watch collectors sat in anticipating to see if the next 12 months will bring an update to watch collections around the world.
Fortunately, there's only 1 month to wait until all is revealed to the world. But for now, there is no harm in speculating what we can expect for Baselworld '19...
First up let's start with a very popular brand, one I believe will get a lot of the attention once again. Last year we saw the Black Bay 58, a watch which looked back to the introduction of the 7924 Big Crown from 1958. The 58 came with a new case, a new movement and slightly new colours. which leads nicely on to this year's new models and our predictions...
Tudor Black Bay 89 - The 30th Anniversary of Tudor Submariner Series 2
Ever since their re-launch in 2014 Tudor have been big fans of re-releasing models and it seems they're going down the same route for 2019.
It's rumoured that Tudor will re-release or at least honour, the Tudor Prince Oysterdate Submariner 79090. This rumour has only been helped further by the teaser shot Tudor posted recently on Instagram, showing a macro of what is assumed to be a 9'o clock lumed marker sitting on a matt black dial.
Another assumption that can be made is its bezel colour being initially red. Not only did the first Black Bay in 2015 start off with a red bezel but also an interesting video was released from Tudor on 01/01/19 to celebrate the new year. This shows off both watch shots and general lifestyle imagery. The majority of the watches shown are all new models in the current Tudor line up.
However, if you pause around the 0:14 seconds mark (yes you have to be quick) an original Tudor Submariner appears fitted with a red bezel...
We'd love to see this new watch from Tudor sit in the Black Bay 58 case and with potentially some modifications to the movement to allow for a date if Tudor does decide a direct Tudor Submariner re-release is the direction they want to go.
It will be interesting to see how Tudor handles this new watch. One part of the watch which stands out to me is the hour hand used.
Clearly, the 79090 is a Mercedes hand, synonymous with Rolex. It feels more and more each year that Tudor is moving away from direct homages of Rolex which makes me believe we could be seeing a snowflake hand appear on the Tudor Sub. If a 79090 re-issue is to be expected next month then this wouldn't be factually correct, however, the snowflake hand perfectly fits into the existing lineup and to me, makes logical sense.
Expansion of the classic, dressier models
In November 2018 we saw Tudor release the Glamour Double Date, shifting focus away from their sports models for a moment to further add to their more classical line up of timepieces. This is something I'd like to see Tudor continue this year.
The Tudor Style and Tudor Classic for me are in need of an update. The chunky shouldered case, wide fluted bezel and almost out of place use of red on the Classic's dial looks to me like a model which is in need of some attention. 38mm for a watch like this feels a little large, especially considering the fluted bezel on these watches tend to make them feel a little larger on the wrist.
The Tudor Style in its' current state is a similar story for me, unfortunately. It's price point is very appealing however with a few tweaks it could easily become a serious player in the £2,000 market for everyday watches.
Black Bay 58 in more colours
If you're a regular here on the WatchGecko Online Mag, you'll know I've been wanting some more colours for the Black Bay 58 range ever since the original was released last year. Based on the 41mm Black Bay we should be seeing a blue bezel with silver details and a red bezel also with gilt coloured details very soon for the Black Bay line up. Fingers crossed 2019 is the year!
And based on the above mockup image from our Black Bay 58 review, it's hard to argue it wouldn't look great.
Stay tuned to the blog for hands-on coverage of Baselworld as it happens.
Another big one people desperately wait for news about is of course Rolex. Last year we saw the GMT Master II with a Pepsi ceramic bezel, in stainless steel and with a jubilee. We also saw an updated case for the Datejust 36 line up of two-tone models as well as a crazy gem set rose gold Daytona. So for 2019 what can we expect?
Rolling out of the new Datejust case
I'm a big fan of the updated Datejust case from Rolex. It reminds me a lot more of the vintage Datejust cases found on models such as the 1601. Seeing this new case rolled out to the rest of the Datejust line up is an inevitable addition for 2019. The current Datejust line up has an incredible amount of dial colours available. You only need to have a play around on Rolex's recently updated website to get an idea of how many options there are. It seems to me like this could be a good opportunity to add even more options as well as a new material option.
A full yellow gold Datejust with a similar amount of dial options would be a very cool addition to the Rolex line up. Gold seems to be slowly coming back into style (in certain circles it never really went anywhere) so now would be a great time for this.
A refresh for the Air King
If you've been watching our YouTube channel for the past 12 months, you'll know this is something I talked about this time last year when Ben and I sat down to discuss our 2018 predictions. And, well my opinions on the Air King remain unchanged as I'd still love to see the Air King range receive some deserved love. This is the range in the Rolex line up with some fantastic history dating back to 1945. For a model which was created in the same year as the Datejust this watch arguably an equal amount of historical relevance than the Datejust. And yet, the current edition of the Air King with its green colouring across the dial, 3,6,9 raised indices and 5-minute markers remains relatively unloved.
Let's have a new iteration of the Air King Rolex. It could even make the most of the new Datejust case to keep its proportions classic.
As we have learnt since Georges Kern has taken over as CEO of Breitling, one aim for the company is to encourage a new youthful audience to be invested in the brand. 2018 was Kern's first step towards this new approach with most noticeable releases being the new, updated Navitimer range as well as the end of last year saw the re-introduction of the Premier line. Taking into consideration Kern's keen interest in historically important models in the brand's history, let's make an educated guess on what Breitling might have up their sleeve this Baselworld...
The Breitling Chrono-matic 1969
2019 marks an important year for the chronograph with the anniversary of the Zenith El Primero, Omega Speedmaster's iconic moon landing and the Seiko 6139 chronograph movement.
In 1969 Breitling introduced a new model called the Chronomatic. This used a movement which was the result of Heuer/ Breitling/ Hamilton/ Dubois Depraz's joints efforts. This automatic chronograph uses bright colours such as orange, red and white to create a very bold and uber 60's look.
The overall colours of this watch are actually very similar to the Navitimer 1 Chronograph 43 TWA Edition recently announced, however, I think Breitling could really make the most of the Premier case and create a re-issue style watch to really honour such a milestone for the business and watchmaking along the same lines as this model below, it would be a real winner:
View this post on Instagram
BREITLING Chronomatic 1970 ref: 2110 with Cal 12 movement. 40mm Another example of Breitling drawing upon design keys from its past for the "Capsule Collection". (Swipe) Georges & the Breitling design team have revived the subdial design from this watch (swipe) We are loving the “modern retro” feel of these new limited editions ! #breitling #vintage.breitling #vintage #vintagebreitling #calibre12 #breitlingwatches #ref2110 #cal12 #retrowatch #vintage #vintagewatch #vintagewatchesonly #vintagecatalog #vintagebrochure #hodinkee #watchesofinstagram #watchcollector #carcollector#watchfam #timepiece #horology#montres #rare #collectable #breitlingvintage #impeccabletaste #modernretro #breitlingnavitimer01 #watchuseek #watchfam
An honourable mention...
Although Omega and Swatch Group have pulled the plug on Baselworld (for now) we cannot talk about new watches for 2019 and not mention Omega and their new (old) Caliber 321. This was the movement powering the Speedmaster that 50 years ago landed on the moon for the first time apart of Apollo 11.
With this in mind, I think it's inevitable that we will see a 50th-anniversary moon watch. With the wide range of Speedmaster special editions currently available on the market, who knows what a 50th anniversary would look like. My one personal request would be a dial construction which is stepped much like this 321-105.003-5 reference below...
Whatever the coming months bring us, it's always an exciting time for watch fans across the world. Oh, and you can be sure to expect a lot of Baselworld coverage from the whole WatchGecko team both here on the online magazine, our Instagram and of course the YouTube channel.
Stay tuned, you won't want to miss it!