We’re continuing with the theme of good value for this installment from our trip to Baselworld. The industry as a whole has seen a shift to price reductions, feature increases, or a combination of both. There are a few brands who have always been in that sweet spot of value for your money, however, some of whom we visited on day four of our trip.
Oris has been a brand that has consistently provided great quality watches with reasonable pricing. That they continued in that vein is not surprising, but they did have one surprise in store, which is both on-theme for the trend of heritage and vintage-inspired watches that we saw all over the fair and a standout piece that is different from the rest of the Oris collection.
Oris had, for many years, thought that their first ever pilot’s watch was created in 1939. One day, someone stumbled across some documents that indicated that their first pilot’s watch was actually created in 1917. Great story so far from a brand that both acknowledges and embraces their long history… and then they actually found the original and decided to reintroduce it.
The Oris Big Crown 1917 is a re-creation of the original, and when you see them side-by-side, you can really see what a great job they did being faithful to the original design. The case shape and size, dial, crown shape, hands, numerals, and even the pusher the wearer operates in order to set the time are all on point. The limited-edition piece comes with two straps and a leather case. We think this is one of the best executions of a heritage-inspired piece this year.
Nomos has been producing solid new releases each year, and this year is no different. While there weren’t any surprises in terms of movements, they unveiled a new version of their Club model that is geared towards the younger buyer and/or a gift for a recent graduate, starting at $1,500. An added bonus of the Club Campus is that it comes with free engraving for the wearer, making it even more memorable for a first-time mechanical watch owner.
Our other favorite things from Nomos were their bright new dial colors. The Club Automat Datum and Ahoi Datum are available in signalblau (a bright, cheerful blue) and the Club neomatik and Ahoi neomatik are available in signalblau and signalrot (an intensely bright orangey red). Every time we passed the Nomos booth while walking around the fair, these bright pops of color caught our eye. I’m particularly fond of the whimsical nature of these dial colors, and despite my propensity for dressing like an urban vampire, I can see myself wearing one of these and smiling every time I look at my wrist.
We saw a handful of interesting and well-priced pieces from Longines, but the standout was the Heritage 1945, based on a vintage piece (which, of course, was a major theme at Baselworld this year). It’s a great looking time-only piece with details that pay tribute to the original piece while providing some updates like a larger case and brushed dial finishing. At $1,700, this is a great-looking watch that’s a pretty decent value for the price.
More to come as we continue our highlights from Baselworld 2017.