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The Best Watch Releases From Baselworld 2017

The watch brands at Baselworld 2017 showcased an eclectic mix of sporty, classic, and lux watches. There were, however, some clear winners. We’ve broken down the best watches into the following three categories: ‘Best Dress Watch,’ ‘Best All-rounder,’ and ‘Best Sport Watch.’

Best Dress Watch: The remastered Grand Seiko (SBGW 252) 

At Baselworld 2017 Grand Seiko released its remake of the first Japanese watch model from 1960. Seiko is known for its high-precision and elegant function, but up until now they haven’t been known for classic vintage timepieces. With this new release, that is all about to change. This new release is a truly stunning timepiece. From the original simplistic design of the dial and case, to the yellow gold bezel, crown, and lugs, the aesthetic of this watch is truly timeless and classic. Up until 2017 Grand Seiko was a subsidiary of Seiko, but Grand Seiko has now rebranded itself to hit the high-tier watch market. The quality of the function and movement of Grand Seiko has been on par with Rolex for sometime, if not exceeding it in terms of polish and movement ingenuity. However, the name recognition of Seiko has pulled the value down due to the brand also catering to the lower segment of the watch market. Nonetheless, by departing from Seiko and rebranding the design with Grand Seiko as the dominant name on the watch, the Japanese watch designers are emulating the Toyota-Lexus split that saw Lexus’ value shoot into the luxury segment of the market. Now is the best time to invest in this elegant watch as the value of such a rare and sought after design, coupled with the Grand Seiko rebrand, is likely to see its value increase sizeably over time.

The remastered Grand Seiko
The remastered Grand Seiko

Best All-rounder: The Sky Dweller Rolex (Ref. 326934)

Rolex comes in with another all-rounder watch. The Sky Dweller in steel is a real beauty of a day watch. The fluted bezel gives this watch a classic Rolex finishing, while the slightly paler blue dial gives the Sky Dweller a modern twist. The Sky Dweller has several un-Rolex-like complications. First, its finishing, from the face and execution of the movement, to the light refracting dazzle of the crown and bezel, the watch is a clear example of Rolex’s immaculate Swiss design and style, with just enough additions that the watch is fascinating to look at while not appearing cluttered. The Sky Dweller leans towards a statement watch, with its multi-faceted surface allowing it to reflect light from every angle, it’s hard to wear this watch and not have it catch the eye of onlookers. The watch has all the features of a classic Rolex with the cyclops, fluted bezel, and oyster bracelet, while having unusual details like the pale blue backdrop and red accents on the face that make it unique from the Rolex Date Just or Submariner. This is an excellent watch to invest in for those entering the luxury watch market, as the technology behind its function and movement and the fact Rolex have released a steel model will mean it needs less servicing. While its stylish design is sure to give it a profitable resale value when it is eventually declared a vintage.

The Sky Dweller Rolex
The Sky Dweller Rolex

Best Sport Watch: The Omega Sea Master Planet Ocean ‘Big Blue’ 

This watch has been appropriately dubbed Big Blue with its ceramic navy colouring, accents of orange and its function as a diver’s watch. The Big Blue is a real statement timepiece and is best worn with casual wear. Omega has combined diving watch features with a GMT function to create a multi-purpose watch that looks as appealing as its function. Omega is also pioneering ceramic watch design, and aside from the sleek aesthetic, ceramic watches are a lot harder and don’t scratch as easily as steel or gold. The only downside is that they can shatter, but like any watch with a glass face, this is best avoided. The 18K white gold hands and indices make the watch look clean and sharp while the navy and orange body give it a real modern edge. This watch is the perfect piece for a collector who is looking to diversify their collection.


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