Now that we’ve had a chance to settle back into reality, we’re ready to round-up the rest of our favorite new releases from Baselworld 2016. It was like finding a needle in a stack of needles, but we somehow managed to pick out three each.
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 37.5mm
I have always appreciated the Planet Ocean’s design and functionality but unfortunately it just kept growing wider and thicker, becoming bloated and impractical for the average wearer’s wrist size. Omega finally bucked the trend this year. They not only decreased the diameter but were also able to decrease the case thickness, which a huge plus. Many times it’s the case height, not just the diameter, which plays into how large a watch wears. The 39.5mm Sedna Gold Seamaster seems to be getting most of the fan fare, but I was able to wear this stainless steel 37.5mm Planet Ocean and it was fantastic. 38mm is the size many classic dive watches and that’s what this feels like. This is one instance where the Seamaster benefits from its chunky case. The dimensions may seem small, but in person and on the wrist, it’s just right, and all the proportions work. This would be a fantastic go anywhere, do anything watch. I wouldn’t call this a ladies watch; I would call this a perfect watch for any Seamster fan.
NOMOS Tetra Neomatik
I will preface this by saying that I don’t think I’ve ever wanted, or was even interested in, a watch with a square case. Well, consider my mind officially changed. Part of their Neomatik line, The Tetra features a 33mm square case and comes with either a deep blue dial or silver plated dial. As with all watches in that family, it features the NOMOS Cal. DUW 3001. I was surprised at how well the 33mm case wore. On paper, those dimensions are deceptive. This watch definitely has wrist presence. It doesn’t wear small but it’s not too big by any means. The Tetra’s size is in that Goldilocks zone — all the proportions are just right. Out of all their new Neomatik watches, this is the one that captivated me. I didn’t want to take it off, especially with the extremely well done Shell Cordovan strap. My preference is the deep blue dial which can change shades and coloring depending on how the light hits it, but the silver dialed version looks great as well. Once again, NOMOS continues to create great looking watch with an unmistakable style all their own.
Oris Diver’s Sixty-Five, Blue Dial on NATO
The Diver’s Sixty-Five was one of our favorite watches last year and for good reason. You can’t beat it in terms of looks and cool factor, especially at the under $2,000 mark. This year Oris released a version with light blue and grey dial on a matching Nato strap. Prior to seeing it in person, I wasn’t overly impressed with the color combination. All that changed when I had it on my wrist. It just works. The Nato is also in a class by itself. It was not flimsy at all, but also not bulky. Because of the innovative deployant clasp, the excess fabric is hidden underneath the main portion of the strap and not bunched up on the outside as is common with most NATOs. I would probably wear their NATO on my other watches, it’s that good. Oris has taken their winner from last year and made it even better. Once again, I don’t think there’s a better watch at this price point. Well done, Oris. Well done.
Laurent Ferrier Galet Square Double Spiral Tourbillon
Okay, so this isn’t a typical pick for me — at all. As Dean so often likes to make fun of me, I typically lean towards military-style watches, or my self-coined GADA watches. Whatever, Dean! I’m going to have fun with this one. Neil and I were lucky enough — and felt quite honored — to sit with Laurent Ferrier and get a look at his unbelievably elegant and gorgeous watches. I don’t just like rugged tool watches; I absolutely appreciate and love fine watchmaking, and Laurent Ferrier’s watches are near the very top of my drool list. Let’s put it this way: I don’t need to be swayed to enjoy the good life of haute horlogerie, I just need to be funded. That’s why I’m going with the Galet Square Double Spiral Tourbillon. I posted a couple pictures of Ferrier’s Classic Double Spiral Tourbillon on Instagram, but his newest Baselworld release puts that jaw-dropping movement in his recognizable square cushion case. Tourbillons aren’t exactly necessary, but dammit if they aren’t pretty to look at. And in expected fashion, Ferrier maintains an understated dial-side appearance, opting for a vintage-esque sector dial, and his also recognizable long markers and unique leaf/spade hands. I would not be opposed to making this my GADA.
Oris Divers Sixty-Five 42mm
Out of all the brands at Baselworld 2016, I think a case for Oris having the best all-around show could easily be made. As Neil noted above, the Divers Sixty-Five was a big hit for us last year, and somehow they managed to one-up themselves with it this year. When I heard they were trying a 42mm case, I was immediately skeptical, however, it wears much nicer than expected. From there, it only gets better. The deep blue lacquered dial is gorgeous in person, and I really like the look of the markers. Still, it gets better. Oris then went ahead and made a damn rivet bracelet(!). Who does that? Well, I guess them and Tudor. Nonetheless, this is THE most comfortable bracelet under $3,000. Bar none. I typically find most modern bracelets too chunky and heavy, but this one was kept fairly thin, yet still sturdy. For dive watches under $3,000 (hell, maybe under $5,000), your money cannot be better spent.
Bremont SOLO-32 LC
If you thought a tourbillon was an odd pick for me, how about a ladies’ watch? Okay, so maybe it’s not for me to wear, but I have to give some props to Bremont for putting this much effort into a ladies’ watch. Ya know why? Because it seems they’re one of the only brands to do so. I feel like every ladies’ watch these days has either a quartz movement and/or a ton of precious stones on it. This year, Bremont said bollocks to that (because British, obviously). Here we have a perfectly sized 32mm hardened-steel case, featuring Bremont’s patented Trip-Tick design. What’s more, the SOLO-32 will pack a COSC certified movement, which certainly is not the standard for ladies’ watches. I like the look on the bracelet, but the straps are quite nice as well. If your gal was looking for a GADA, look no further.by