The exciting releases from Baselworld '18 that no one is talking about…
Naturally, there is a lot of Baselworld talk at the moment. although the show finished around about a week ago we still have found that people can't get enough of this year's great releases and the talking points they have brought up. Tudor with the BB58 and the controversially timed release of a Pepsi GMT much like their bigger brother Rolex, the extensive continuation of the vintage / faux patina re-issue trend still ongoing and impressive independent pieces made with passion and commitment.
But every year, there always seems to be a handful of watches that are announced which seem to, unfortunately, be ignored and pushed to the back of the queue by the big boys. Most of the time these releases deserve as much press as any other brand, so with that in mind, here are my top 5 sleepers from Baselworld 2018...
1. Sinn 910 SRS
Sinn has had a great year this year, another limited version of the 103 Chrono now in a great sunburst blue and new additions like the 836 and 936 rounded Sinn's new collection of pieces off well. However, for me, the one that caught me by surprise was the 910 SRS. Coming in a 41.5mm, this modern sized flyback chronograph is available with a stunning cream / white dial which really helps this piece sit comfortably on the wrist. As always, the use of red from Sinn is a welcomed addition to the dial along with the black hands and hour markers.
The watch does have a little chunk to it (15.5mm thick) but paired with the black leather strap is sits nicely on the wrist. I think this watch does a great job of combining modern and authentic heritage very well. You get hints of old school style with the cream colour of the dial, but then the modern sporty look of the red, the logo on date window placement and overall size reminds you you've purchased a new piece.
A great looking solid automatic flyback chronograph with a lot of charm from an impressive German brand...
2. Rolex GMT Master II White Gold Blue Dial
I know I know. 'Rolex' and 'Sleeper' aren't normally in the same sentence (especially after this years releases) However, while everyone was talking about the new stainless steel GMT Master II at Baselworld 2018 and that new root beer styled piece ( a personal favourite of mine...) it was the new dial on the White Gold GMT Master II that really caught my eye. All it was really was a new dial for the white gold version of the GMT Master II. Now in an almost sea blue colour, this precious metal tool watch from Rolex now looks a lot more casual to me. All it needed was a new dial colour and now I find the watch to be a lot less serious.
Excluding the White 'Gold-ness' of the watch for a moment, this updated dial version of the watch doesn't look to be taking itself too seriously.
3. Reservoir Longbridge 39mm
Reservoir are a very young company who only started a year ago, they really focus on their passion and love for all things mechanical. Whether it be a classic British racer or a cockpit of iconic aircraft, Reservoir go crazy for it all. Every model in their vast range all share the same dial layout and look but with differences such as colours and textures, sizes, materials used etc.
I had a great chat with the François from the brand who showed me the new Longbridge watch. This piece's creation comes from the brands love and appreciation of the British Mini with dial colours and font styles to match. Much like the car, the new timepiece comes in a smaller size, right around 39mm in width which sits on the wrist very well. This 39mm beauty with it's classic styling, solid execution of inspiration and unique approach to watchmaking makes for a great release that deserves more coverage. For me, it's the Green or the Brown dial that does it for me...
4. Certina DS PH200M
Photo courtesy of Certina / www.certina.com
This is one of the most interesting 'sleeper' releases of the show. Certina offer a quite a large range of watches in lots of different styles. A lot of what they offer includes watches that remind me of those Tudor, Longines and Omega models that don't get a lot of coverage on popular blogs. However, this new (well, new/old) DSPH200M released this year was a silent hit. The trend of vintage-inspired watches doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon (sorry if you're not a fan, but we are!) and brands such as Certina have capitalised on their 130 years of heritage much like RADO with the Captain Cook recently and created a watch inspired by original 60's models.
This new DS PH200M is incredibly accurate to the original piece, everything from those large, legible diving hands, the use of red for the second's hands and cross detail on the dial and lastly that great looking bezel. I also love the fact that Certina avoided going with a faux patina look and making the piece look like a brand new one right out of the factory in 1960. Priced at £565 as well, it does look to be quite a bargain...
5. Longines Military Watch
And to round up this Top 5 list, another vintage-inspired piece. Now if you're a regular visitor here to the WatchGecko blog, you would see that I've written a fair bit about this piece here, here and also talked about them in a video here... but I think I could say a little more.
Of course, based off an original military piece from the 30s / 40s this little Longines Military Watch has been a hit with the everyone fortunate enough to handle the piece. You may be sat there thinking how is this a sleeper release as it's received a fair amount of coverage from publications out there, however once you realise even Longines themselves didn't mention this at all on social media around the time of Basel, there is no mention of the watch on their website and the fact the watch wasn't even displayed at Baselworld 2018, it then becomes obvious this is one probably the best example of a 'sleeper' watch from the show. It also happens to be one of my favourite from Baselworld 2018 which I think is quite understandable after seeing the images of this piece.
So that's my little, short but sweet list of the top 5 sleepers of the iconic 2018 show. I'm sure there are more I haven't covered yet (that new orange dialled diver from Bulova looked like an interesting piece) so feel free to put your suggestions down in the comments below and I'll be sure to reply to any questions you have. Overall Baselworld 2018 brought with it some great releases, sleeper or not, I feel confident in saying the majority of brands have done a good job this year...