Baselworld 2018 did not disappoint. The presenting brands came out strong, the collections were more focused than they have been in years past, and as our Managing Editor Ilya wrote here, it seems that the industry at large is putting its energy toward producing watches consumers actually want to buy.
Despite the overwhelmingly strong showing, there were a few pieces that stood out against the competition. Today, the Worn & Wound team picks their top pieces from Baselworld 2018. And no, it’s not all Black Bay Fifty-Eights.
Brad Homes – Seiko Presage ref. SJE073
For me, the standout watch from this year’s Baselworld is undoubtedly the Seiko ref. SJE073, a watch that impresses as much for the movement as for the aesthetics. At first glance, the SJE073 looks pretty close to the JDM ref. SARX055 (aka the “Baby Snowflake”) which was announced late last year and which we drooled over in our write-up here. You’ll see the real difference between the two watches in the profile, which reveals that the SJE073 comes in at under 10mm thick. Couple that with the beautiful dial and case finishing (the case is given Seiko’s high-end Zaratsu treatment usually reserved for the Grand Seiko line), and you’ve got an absolutely killer watch.
The thinness is made possible because of Seiko’s new caliber 6L35, which is 1.3mm thinner than the well-known and ubiquitous 6R15. It’s a better movement all around, with improved accuracy tolerances and an increased beat rate of 28,800 per hour.The watch is $2,200, so it’s a bit pricier than most watches in the Presage range, but there’s no denying that the Seiko ref. SJE073 is a whole lot of watch.
Allen Farmelo – Grand Seiko Hi-Beat ref. SBGH267
In the realm of $6,000 watches, Grand Seiko delivers unrivaled craftsmanship, and the limited edition Hi-Beat 36,000 SBGH267 is a noteworthy case in point. Commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Caliber 9S and the 50th of the Hi-Beat 61GS movements, the steel SBGH267 incorporates the renowned 9S85 movement, a vibrant blue anodized rotor, a Zaratsu polished case, and a mesmerizing spiral dial. The steel SBGH267 joins two other limited editions: a solid gold Special (+4/-2 secs/day) for $29,000, and a platinum Very Fine Adjusted (+3/-1) for $53,000. If, like me, you can live with the COSC-trouncing +5/-3 rating, the SBGH267 delivers the important goods for $6,300. Under a loupe, the blue spiral dial reveals a minuscule engraved pattern of G, S, and the Daini Seikosha logo. The touches of yellow-gold add needed warmth to the otherwise chilly colorway. Proportions are perfect at 39.5mm across and 13mm thick, and I’d use the drilled lugs to mount warm-colored leathers faster than you can say Hi-Beat.