Heritage watch releases, or watches that are essentially reissues of old designs from a brand’s back catalog, have been a mainstay on the watch scene for years now. There’s no doubt that watch buyers find the mix of classic and proven design with modern reliability appealing. Thinking through the most interesting heritage releases of the Baselworld fair, it occurs to me that perhaps we’re a bit light on this type of release this year. It makes sense when you consider the Swatch Group’s decision to sit out this year, as Omega, Longines, Hamilton, and other Swatch brands can be relied upon to offer several new models annually in this category. Still, if we look at the releases from the brands that did attend, there are some notable new (but old) watches to consider. Here are our top picks.
Did your favorite heritage release make our list? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.
Seiko Ref. SLA033
For the past few years there has been a certain pattern to Seiko’s Baselworld releases in that we typically see a high-end, over-engineered, and finely finished version of a classic sports watch from their back catalog. This year, we have the SLA033, perhaps most notable as the watch worn by Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now. The reissue has a beautiful Zaratsu polished bezel (normally found in higher end Grand Seiko watches) and a high-end movement with a 50-hour power reserve. It also has a retail price over $4,000, likely making this the target of only the most die hard Seiko collectors (and Apocalypse Now fans). Seiko
Zodiac Aerospace GMT
It’s no secret — I love this watch. It does exactly what we want a heritage release to do: reissue a much loved design, add a cool new color while also maintaining the original, increase the size marginally for modern consumers, and slap a modern workhorse movement in there for maximum reliability. About the only thing this watch didn’t do was get a serial production run. If you haven’t placed your order yet, then you’ll likely have a hard time tracking this one down as they seem to be sold out online. Zodiac might be able to help you track one down, but definitely keep an eye out on the secondary market. Zodiac