There are hundreds and hundreds of watches on display at Baselworld, the annual watch show held in Switzerland, making it almost impossible to pick the “best.” We spent hours visiting the different watch makers and inevitably found a favorite at each one. However, following the show, a few remained in our memory, which we think makes them the coolest. They aren’t always the most expensive or the most technically innovative; but they are ones we’d purchase.
Here are our favorite watches from Baselworld 2018:
Edox Automatic Chronograph Carbon
We’re fans of Edox’s sportier watches already, and the forthcoming Chronograph Carbon stands out with its carbon-coated stainless steel case, ceramic bezel, and transparent rear. The sapphire crystal is 3mm thick, the strap is made from rubber, and the watch is water resistant to 50 ATM. Four different colors will be released in total and we fell for the carbon black version seen in our photos.
Casio MRG-G2000 “Tetsu-Tsuba”
Casio’s MR-G series represents the pinnacle of both design and technology in its G Shock series, combining all the tough features you expect, with hand-built appeal and stunning detail. The design of the MRG-G2000 limited edition — only 350 will be made — is inspired by the tetsu tsuba Japanese sword, and many parts are hewn from solid blocks of titanium and finished by hand, making each piece unique. The watch has a Bluetooth link to your phone, along with G Shock’s Tough Solar charging, GPS time signals, and Multi-Band 6 time settings.
Diesel Mega Chief and Tumbler Blue Transparent
Diesel’s watches are always eye-catching, in particular the massive 51mm Mega Chief; but the new Blue Transparent color scheme softens the shape and makes the design perfect for the spring and summer. The 48mm Tumbler is Diesel’s latest watch for men, and it also comes in this great new colorway, complete with an indigo, color-fading strap, blue IP plating, and transparent case sections. Available beginning in the fall, we can’t wait to put one of these on our wrist again.
Ateliers DeMonaco Admiral Chronographe Flyback
Only 88 of the wonderful, stunningly presented DeMonaco Admiral Chronographe Flyback watches will ever be made, and we’re honored to be able to have put one on our wrist. The watch is painstakingly time consuming to hand produce (just the dial — made of white gold and carbon in the model we wore — takes two days to make). There’s sapphire crystal on the front and the back, the stainless steel body is polished by hand, and the automatic movement has a 38 hour power reserve.
Oris Carl Brashear Chronograph Limited Edition
The multi-piece bronze case, crown, and pushers really make this stunning Oris watch something special. Turn the watch over, and the rear is engraved with a quote from inspiration Carl Brashear, saying, “It’s not a sin to get knocked down, it’s a sin to stay down,” and features a diving helmet image. The bronze case is only going to become more attractive over time as it reacts to the environment. Just 2,000 of these beautiful watches will be made.
Zodiac Olympos LE
A reimagined modern update to a watch originally launched in the early 60s, the Zodiac Olympos LE has an unusual “mystery dial” feature, where the hour hand is actually on the dial itself. This already makes the design interesting, but not as eye-catching as the manta ray-like stainless steel case that’s sized modestly at 37mm. Inside is a Swiss automatic movement and the dial is covered by sapphire glass.
Patek Philipe Aquanaut 5968 Chronograph
More modern than we’re used to seeing from Patek Philippe, the Aquanaut 5968 looks superb in this orange and polished case combination with sapphire crystal covering both the front and the back. The chronograph is new and utilizes the second hand, leaving a single sub dial for the minute counter. Also, spot the date in the 3H position. We love the continuing evolution of the Aquanaut, and would favor the orange strap over the black version that will also be included out of the box.
Best known for being the watch of choice for a Navy SEAL, Luminox has also struck a partnership with the Iceland search and rescue team, which is made up of dedicated civilian volunteers. This commemorative watch takes its inspiration from the equipment carried by the team — check out the carabiner motif on the second hand, for example — and the color and material used for the strap matches their protective clothing. It’s as tough as it looks too.
Raymond Weil Freelancer AC/DC
Is there anything cooler than a rock band? Raymond Weil’s latest music-inspired watch is a tribute to the AC/DC band, complete with its logo, studded indexes around the dial, a great color scheme, and a strap made from — what else — black leather. Only 3,000 will be made and the standout design feature is the fabulous Calibre RW1212 movement that rocks from side-to-side, referencing the balance of an electrical AC/DC system.
If these timepieces are a bit too out of reach (or style) for you, check out these great time-tellers under $500.