Baselworld’s come and gone, and despite it being a sleepier show than it has been in past years, there were some great watches to come out of the fair. We’ve gathered some of the Worn & Wound editorial team to lay out their top picks — regardless of price — from this year’s show. Let us know your favorite watches from Baselworld 2019 by leaving a comment below.
Mark McArthur-Christie – H. Moser et Cie Endeavour Concept Minute Repeater Tourbillon
Price – $320,000
I’m a Basel grump. Vintage is usually my bag, so lots of flashy new stuff is about as appealing as a car controlled by a computer, not a carburetor. But this year, I take my metaphorical hat off to H. Moser et Cie for their Endeavour Concept Minute Repeater Tourbillon. I’m already a Moser fan for the way they poke fun at the whole Swiss haute horlogerie thing whilst making things like this. You get a completely plain, black lacquered, dial but look a little closer and there’s a flying tourbillon with a skeleton bridge and a pair of minute repeater hammers. Moser have even added space to the case to act as a soundbox (a little like a guitar). Not so grumpy now.
Ed Estlow – Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition
2019 was an odd year for Baselworld, what with Swatch Group pulling out (and others following), major brands releasing unexpected “love it or hate it” pieces, and the uncertainty around the show itself.
But let me back up. I’ve always been a fan of Breitling (I own two), and especially the Navitimers both old and new. But I love the vintage pieces especially, which are smaller and somehow more elegant. So imagine my surprise when amongst all the controversy, Breitling announced the new Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition, a watch that scratches nearly every watch related itch I have! I nearly went incontinent!
The original 806 is legendarily popular among Navitimer cognoscenti, and the Re-Edition is faithful to the original in nearly every way. The overall dimensions (40.9mm x 13.43mm), the beaded bezel, the slide-rule (of COURSE the slide-rule), black dial and sub-dials, even the old winged logo.
The only real updates, Breitling calls them “concessions to modernity,” are water resistance (boosted to 30 meters — older Navis were famously un-water-resistant), Super-LumiNova, and a brand spanking new movement: Caliber B09, a COSC-certified hand-cranker based on the B01. Per the Breitling website, the B09 was “developed specifically for historical re-editions.” I take that as a hint that we’ll be seeing siblings joining the 806 1959 Re-Edition.
All well and good — everybody’s doing it — but for me, the 806 Re-Edition would be enough. The original 806 was a great watch and 1959 was a great year. Not quite my birth year, but my wife pointed out it’s hers, so of course this is a great watch!
The Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition comes equipped with a black leather strap, is limited to 1959 numbered pieces, and is priced at $8,600.