Much like the string of annual autoshows, watchmakers also look forward to a handful of major watch expos, where participating brands can show off concepts, new debuts, and updates. Of the two or three major shows, Switzerland’s annual Baselworld is the largest. Baselworld 2017 is currently underway, and we’ve seen some seriously cool new models from some of the biggest brands in the business. Chronographs were a big draw this year, and we’ve picked out three of the most interesting debuts from the show.
Tudor Heritage Black Bay Chronograph
Unveiled for the first time at Baselworld 2017, the new Tudor Black Bay Chronographs is one of the sharpest watches to emerge from the Rolex sub-brand. It’s a very classic design, incorporating a clean two-register black dial with stainless steel case.
To keep prices relatively affordable when compared with parent company Rolex, Tudor’s have historically used off-the-shelf movements from other manufactures. More recently, Tudor unveiled its first in-house movement, launched in conjunction with the North Flag a few years ago. It’s no small feat to create a chronograph movement from scratch, so for the new Black Bay chrono, Tudor teamed up with Breitling.
The result is the new MT5813, a column-scroll automatic chrono movement that was co-developed by the two Swiss powerhouses. It’s got quite the spec sheet, including a 70-hour power reserve and a vaunted COSC chronometer certification.
Prices for the handsome Black Bay Chronograph begin at $4,725 with leather strap, and jumps to $5,050 for a steel bracelet.
2017 TAG Heuer Autavia
Much like American automakers did in the mid-2000s, there’s been a recent push toward vintage-inspired products from watch manufactures. These designs are pulled from the brand’s historical archives to create a neo-retro, translational design.
The new TAG Heuer Autavia is a landmark reference for the well-known brand – this was one of the first crowd-sourced releases from a major nameplate. TAG left it up to fans to vote on the reissued Autavia’s design, and in the end, the beloved Autavia Ref. 2446 made famous by F1 driver Jochen Rindt was the favorite.
Now, at Baselworld ’17, TAG unveiled the finalized production Autavia. At 42mm, it’s noticeably larger (and thicker) than its 39mm historical ancestor, but wears a handful of desirable retro design elements, including the return of the “Heuer” script on the dial without “TAG” accompaniment.
Powering the Autavia is the Caliber Heuer 02, an automatic movement with an impressive 80-hour power reserve, viewable through a sapphire caseback. Prices begin at $5,150 on a leather strap, and $5,300 for a bracelet.
Breitling Navitimer Rattrapante
Breitling and Tudor might have teamed-up for a new chronograph movement, but Breitling brought a new chronograph variant of its own. For the first time since the 1940s, Breitling now offers a split-second chronograph (rattrapante), powered by Breitling’s first in-house split-second movement.
It’s housed in a rather large 45mm case, so this isn’t for the faint of heart. The dial is busy, but no more than a standard Navitimer, created with pilots and navigators in mind.
The new B03 split-second chrono movement is COSC chronometer certified, returning excellent accuracy. Mainly, we’re just excited to see watchmakers continue to release splint-second complications considering the complexity of design and relative obscurity outside collector’s circles.
The Breitling Navitimer Rattrapante can be yours in steel for $11,090 or $32,895 in red gold (limited to 250 units).