After our Top Ten commencement of the best Dive watches , the best GMT watches and the best Tourbillon watches of Baselworld 2018, it’s time to focus on quite possibly the most important and popular categories: chronographs . This version of the Basel Watch Fair proved, once more, that the chronograph can be morphed into any style: rich, sporty, modern, vintage, affordable, exclusive. So here is our diverse selection of the Ten coolest chronographs introduced at Baselworld 2018.
Bell & Ross BR 03-94 R.S.18 – The Most Racing-Oriented
The new year means another Formula 1 season, and that means new Renault F1-inspired watches for Bell & Ross. After the R.S.16 and the R.S.17 watches, it’s now an ideal opportunity for the R.S.18 assortment. And what’s better than a chronograph to celebrate racing… The new Bell & Ross BR 03-94 R.S.18 is again a striking, colorful watch, with various F1 design elements (carbon fiber dial, Renault F1 yellow accents, tachymeter scale) however the idea has been pushed a couple of steps further this year, with another case and strap. Both are emptied and carved to remove weight without altering the structure. Along these lines, the pushers impersonate gearbox paddles. The watch featured beneath is the “accessible” version, yet note the existence of a skeleton chronograph and of a tourbillon chronograph. Powerful and racy.
Quick facts: 42mm x 42mm – microblasted titanium – red anodised aluminum pushers – calibre BR-CAL.301, programmed chronograph (ETA-based) with date – black perforated rubber strap with titanium pin clasp – restricted to 999 pieces – EUR 5,900 – more details on www.bellross.com .
Breguet Marine Chronograph – The Most Nautical
This watch deserves to be seen in the metal, as the press images don’t do justice to this refreshed Breguet Marine assortment. Existing in 3-hand or with an alarm work, the chronograph is the most striking version thanks to its dark blue or gray dial. It complements the recently designed case (accessible in titanium, and presented here in white gold), which has integrated lugs and combines several historical features (fluted caseback) to an overall modern allure. Inside the case is another version of the Lemania-based programmed chronograph found on Type XX, entirely redecorated and improved for the occasion. Once more, a watch that deserves to be tested on the wrist.
Quick facts: 42.3mm diameter – titanium (gray dial), white gold (guilloché blue dial) or rose gold (guilloché silver dial) – calibre 582QA, programmed chronograph with flyback capacity and date – accessible with leather or rubber strap – USD 22,600 in titanium, USD 33,800 in gold – more details on www.breguet.com .
Chopard Mille Miglia 2018 Race Edition – The most Classic
2018 marks the 30th anniversary of the partnership among Chopard and the Italian race Mille Miglia – the legendary rally transformed into a classic car masterpiece. For the occasion, the brand presents another version of its committed chronograph, with classic style and several references to the world of vintage cars: circular grained metallic dial with contrasting sub-dials, markers and tracks inspired by dashboard instruments, perforated leather strap with rubber coating (printed with a rubber-like pattern) and red stitchings. On the off chance that the watch isn’t revolutionary, it is honestly very attractive.
Quick facts: 42mm diameter – steel or steel and gold case – motor turned anthracite dial – programmed chronograph development (ETA with Dubois-Depraz module), COSC certified, with date – perforated leather strap with rubber coating – restricted to 1,000 pieces in steel and 100 pieces in steel and gold – EUR 5,170 (steel) or EUR 7,350 (steel-and-gold) – more details on chopard.com .
Czapek Faubourg de Cracovie Chronograph – The Most “indie”
While most of the watches you’ll see in our Top Ten are from mainstream, grounded brands, one stands apart from the rest because it is produced by a small atelier: Czapek. For the first run through since the re-introduction of the brand, a chronograph is offered in the assortment – which already comprises the time/date/power reserve Quai des Bergues model and a tourbillon . Inside a rich case and under a hand-guilloché dial (or white finish) is a brand new development manufactured by Vaucher – and it is a significant development, with section wheel, vertical grasp and 5Hz frequency. An excellent, original yet exquisite very good quality chronograph.
Quick facts: 41.5mm diameter – XO stainless steel case – guilloché dial in blue or dark or in white polish – programmed, integrated, high-beat chronograph (by Vaucher) with date – leather strap or rubber strap – from CHF 24,000 – more details on czapek.com .
Glashütte Original Senator Chronograph Steel – The Most German
For 2018, Glashütte Original brings another version of its already known (and very good) Senator Chronograph. Presented in steel with a dark dial in 201 7, it currently comes in a reversed variant, with a white dial and a steel case, on which the brand has chosen to apply darkened indices and hands – and they are largely luminous. At 6 o’clock is the signature Panorama date window with two exceptionally decipherable digits and inside the case is the in-house programmed Caliber 37-01, a modern, integrated, section wheel development with pleasant finishing. The German style, with a twist.
Quick facts: 42mm diameter x 14.6mm thick – stainless steel case – white dial white dark accents – Calibre 37-01, programmed, integrated, section wheel chronograph with large date and power reserve – leather/rubber/steel options for the strap – from EUR 13,200 – more details on www.glashuette-original.com .
Maurice Lacroix Aikon Automatic Chronograph – The Most Accessible
As we said in the intro, a chronograph can also be accessible… This year, Maurice Lacroix demonstrates that you can create a pleasantly designed watch, loaded with pleasant details, with a programmed chronograph and a luxury sports watch inspiration for an accessible price. In fact, the new Aikon assortment , which also comprises a programmed 3-hander, combines the appearance of some of the best watches around (think AP or GP) at a price of CHF 2,690… Not terrible, don’t you think?
Quick facts: 44mm diameter x 15mm stature – stainless steel case – accessible in silver, dark or blue dial – programmed chronograph development with day-date, based on Valjoux – accessible with leather strap or steel bracelet – from CHF 2,690 – more details on www.mauricelacroix.com .
Omega Speedmaster CK2998 Pulsometer – The Most Panda
What happens on the off chance that you take a classic Speedmaster with straight lugs and add a Panda dial and a cool racing look? Indeed, you end up with the new and desirable Speedmaster CK2998 Pulsometer. Obviously, there’s nothing really new about this watch, except for the dial and the pulsometer bezel in dark ceramic and white lacquer, yet at the same time, for what reason should we complain? This new watch is absolutely cool, proportional, slightly vintage and perfectly executed. We couldn’t ask for more.
Quick facts: 39.70mm diameter x 14mm stature – stainless steel case – panda dial, pulsometer bezel in ceramic – caliber 1861, hand-twisted with chronograph work – perforated leather strap with pin clasp – restricted to 2,998 pieces – EUR 5,400 – more details on omegawatches.com .
Patek Philippe 5270P Salmon Dial – The Complex One
When it comes to the idea of the Perpetual Calendar Chronograph, the Patek Philippe group knows what it’s talking about – truth be told, Patek created the first QP Chrono with its Ref. 1518. For Baselworld 2018, the latest version of the Ref. 5270 brings together a platinum case with a salmon dial (a killer combination), adorned with superb applied indices and numerals (take a gander at the size of the indices at 3 and 9). No compelling reason to say that the development is both complex and perfectly decorated. An exclusive and expensive watch… sadly.
Quick facts: 41mm diameter x 12.4mm thickness – 950 platinum case – in-house, hand-wound flyback chronograph with perpetual calendar – alligator leather strap with platinum collapsing clasp – EUR 168,340 – more details on www.patek.com .
Rolex Daytona 116595RBOW Rainbow – The Most Flamboyant
Let’s come to the heart of the matter: the new Rolex Daytona 116595RBOW Rainbow, presently in Everose gold, is miles from the idea of calm discretion. It shines, it has a multicolor sapphire bezel, it has gold crystal sub-counters and diamonds on the lugs and crown protection. And still, regardless of whether it is colorful, the recipe is perfectly mastered and the execution is flawless. The work done just to source the stones and the manner in which they are integrated into the overall design is superb… The rest is up to everyone’s personal taste.
Quick facts: 40mm diameter – Everose gold case with 36 loaf cut colored sapphires on the bezel and 56 diamonds on the lugs – programmed, integrated, in-house self-winding caliber 4130 – Everose gold bracelet – CHF 92,400 – more details on rolex.com .
TAG Heuer Carrera “Tête de Vipère” Chronograph Tourbillon – The Snakiest
Yes, this watch is named “Tête de Vipère” (viper head in English) yet this has nothing to do with marketing or the weird color of the case – in blue ceramic. The “Tête de Vipère” is the hallmark of the Besançon Observatory, an official certification program – and this watch is chronometer-certified to the highest standards. The rest is familiar: the 45mm modular Carrera case, caliber Heuer 02T with tourbillon and integrated, programmed chronograph and the overall striking, modern design. The price is still very impressive, at CHF 19,900 or EUR 18,550.
Quick facts: 45mm diameter – blue ceramic/steel case – programmed development caliber Heuer-02T with hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph and tourbillon – alligator/rubber strap on collapsing clasp – CHF 19,900 /EUR 18,550 – For more information, visit www.tagheuer.com .