What's Ticking

The Hottest Top 10 from Baselworld

Published on Apr 11, 2018


Revolution magazine’s Swiss editor, Sophie Furley, shares her top watch wish list from the Baselworld watch fair.

Sophie Furley

After six days, 99 appointments, 150,000 steps and close to a thousand watches viewed, I am ready to name my Top 10 favorites from the Baselworld watch fair. The criteria for my selection is simple: “If I had the money, would I buy it?” And for the watches that follow, the answer is a resounding “yes”.


The Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight was love at first sight. I have been stealing my husband’s Black Bay with its deep red bezel for a number of years now, but it is a little bit on the large size at 41mm, so when I slipped the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight on my wrist, it was like it was made for me. At 39mm in diameter and 2.85mm thinner, this is a much easier size for the smaller wrist (TGV: You will love it!) It also has a new, smaller, in-house movement — the MT5402 — with a 70-hour power reserve. It comes with a choice of a metal bracelet, a distressed leather strap or a Nato strap and prices start at $3,250.


Everyone has been raving about Bvlgari’s Octo Finissimo Automatic Sandblasted Trilogy in the Revolution office as they all had a sneak preview of the collection before Baselworld. I had yet to see the timepieces, but when I sat down with the lovely people at Bvlgari during the fair, all became instantly clear. While most of the watch world is still focusing on vintage designs, Bvlgari is doing its own thing, and it is refreshing. These timepieces are as beautiful as they are technical and as comfortable as they are unique. Get yourself to a store and try one on and you’ll see what I mean. Prices from $12,800


I am a big fan of the Monaco design and am fortunate to own the Caliber 12 Automatic, so my eyes popped out of my head when I laid eyes on this latest version that has been created in collaboration with the Bamford Watch Department. The case is crafted out of lightweight carbon fiber and the movement is the Caliber 11. What I love about this particular version is what Bamford has done with the dial. Note the jet-black background combined with the Gulf- racing-blue color details that look like the SuperLumiNova has been turned on in the daytime! Price: $8,100


There are so many great timepieces available from Oris right now that I could have chosen any one of them for my top 10, but my favorite has to be this new Big Crown Pointer Date with a blue dial. Housed in a 40mm steel case with a light brown, naturally-tanned leather strap, the Oris Pointer Date is stunning, highly legible and comfortable on the wrist. The movement is based on Sellita’s automatic caliber with a pointer date function that is shown on the dial by a red-tipped hand. There is also a black dial version and a green dial paired with a naturally-ageing bronze case. Prices start at $1,550.


Zenith re-launched its Defy collection at Baselworld last year with the Defy Primero 21, the revolutionary 1/100th of a second chronograph. This was followed later in 2017 by the Defy Lab, featuring a brand-new type of oscillator. The Defy Classic takes the Defy aesthetic and puts it into an every-day sports watch. The Defy Classic comes in a titanium case that takes the same shape as its older brothers and sisters, but comes in a smaller size of 41mm. The timepiece is available in a brushed blue titanium blue dial, or with an open-worked dial (photographed here) which showcases the movement. The watch is powered by the Elite caliber and prices start at $5,900.


Meistersinger is one of the lesser-known brands that definitely deserves to be better known. Instantly recognizable by its solitary hand, it takes a little getting used to, but like anything, once you get it, it is easy. The design is ‘70s-inspired with a unique case shape, conical flanks and crown protectors. The watch is engineered to be shock-resistant, water-resistant (to 200m) and robust for everyday use. It comes in a choice of blue, opaline silver, ivory or black and prices are around $1,850.


One of my favorite watchmakers right now is Itay Noy from Old Jaffa in Tel Aviv. We have been Instagram friends for a while and when I discovered he was exhibiting in Baselworld, I popped over to say hello, and I was so glad that I did. Itay Noy’s watches are certainly worth the detour. Being located far from Switzerland means he isn’t influenced by anything Swiss; he just does his own thing and it is refreshing. He has a number of new timepieces this year, including this Full Month Moon Collection which indicates the phases of the moon around the entire dial. There is also a date version and a Hebrew Date model that are just gorgeous. Price: $9,800.


Now I know this is The Urban Gentry website and you gents probably don’t want to know about women’s pieces, but believe me, one way to get a free ticket to future watch purchases is to treat your other half to a new timepiece and how about these beautiful square timepieces from Nomos. I’m calling them the cupcakes, even though the official name is the Tetra. They come in a square stainless steel 29.5mm case and are powered by an in-house Nomos manual winding calibre with a 43-hour power reserve. There are four colors to choose from: Grenadine, Azure, Matcha and Pearl. Price around $2,080.


Rolex novelties are always the talk of the fair and this year was no exception with the new GMT-Master II in steel, the Cosmograph Daytona and the new Deepsea, but the timepiece that caught my eye was the Rolex Everose GMT-Master II with a split black and brown 24-hour bezel featuring the brand’s updated calibre 3285 with Chronergy escapement. Full gold watches can sometimes come across as a little flashy, but this is just pure elegance on the wrist. Price approx $35,000
I also really liked the ladies Oyster 31 with butterfly set dial in Everose if you are reading this, Santa!


Last but not least, no Baselworld round-up would be complete without a Patek Philippe and there was plenty to choose from. One of my favorites would have to be this Nautilus Ref:5740/1G. This version features a perpetual calendar, the first grand complication for the Nautilus line after chronograph, second time zone and annual calendar models. This particular timepiece is powered by the ultra-thin self-winding Caliber 340 Q, comes with a blue sunburst dial and a white gold case, making it probably the most elegant of sports watches presented at Baselworld this year. Price approx $105,000.


Interesting choices. That Tudor is a stunner as is the Oris, The cupcakes are refreshing ladies timepieces. The rest are meh, and the Tag is downright ghastly.


I am sorry to say that this collection is, in my honest opinion, well overpriced ‘tatt’. Far beyond the average mans price range for a watch