Baselworld returns this week and we’ll be there, reporting on the latest launches from some of the world’s biggest brands, including Rolex, Patek Philippe and TAG Heuer. Make sure you follow us on social media, so you’re among the first to hear the hottest horological news
The world’s largest luxury-watch fair opens its doors this week. From 21 March to 26 March, journalists, retailers and watch lovers alike will descend on Switzerland for Baselworld, the annual show that benchmarks the latest timepiece trends.
This year’s exhibition has extra significance. News of the Swatch Group’s departure from the fair has left us intrigued as to how it will adapt and develop. It’s also the final year before Baselworld co-ordinates its dates with the other key event in the watch-world calendar: the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), formerly held in Geneva in January. From 2020 until 2024, the two events will happen back to back, from 30 April to 5 May.
However, despite all the changes ahead, the likes of Rolex, Patek Philippe and TAG Heuer are still very much in evidence, and we can’t wait to see what they and other brands will debut at this year’s edition. Spring is traditionally a time for new beginnings, and we’re sure Baselworld will continue to provide a platform for the latest innovations and set the bar high for global horology. As ever, we’ll have a team on the ground ready to report live on new creations, and you can read our daily dispatches here on the Calibre hub, in our Calibre newsletters or on our Facebook and Instagram pages.
So, what’s in store? While every watchmaker remains secretive about its upcoming releases, we can make some educated predictions. First up: Rolex. Just last month, the brand posted an image of the scientific Milgauss on its Instagram feed, so we have high hopes for a new iteration of this legendary anti-magnetic watch with its distinctive lightning-bolt seconds hand. The Rolex Submariner is another odds-on favourite for those speculating about the new collection – it may well be equipped with the new calibre 3235 movement, with its extended 72-hour power reserve. The SIHH in January saw a return to more classic watches, so perhaps a vintage-style model is on the cards.
Meanwhile, also in the vintage vein, Rolex’s sister brand Tudor gave us a teaser of its plans with a cryptic Instagram post of what could be a 79090 Tudor Submariner dial, so we may see a comeback of the classic Submariner, first released in 1954.
Elsewhere, Patek Philippe is celebrating its 180th anniversary in 2019, so we have our fingers crossed for the return of a classic – perhaps the beautifully simple Bauhaus-influenced Calatrava.
Another horology house celebrating a significant date is Zenith. This year, the Swiss brand marks the 50th anniversary of its El Primero chronograph movement, which remains one of the most accurate automatic chronographs still in production. It released an anniversary box set back in January, so chances are further anniversary models are in the pipeline at Basel.
Last but by no means least, TAG Heuer. Its iconic Monaco also hits the half-century mark in 2019, so our eyes will be peeled for new iterations of old favourites.
The show itself has undergone some architectural changes, with the addition of the spacious and attractive new Central Plaza, which Baselworld’s organisers hope will serve as a ‘tranquil place for communication and regeneration amidst the hubbub’. It will be interesting to explore the new layout, with participating brands potentially taking up positions in new locations.
We’ll be sharing all the stories the moment we discover them, so keep visiting the Calibre hub and our social channels for all the latest updates.