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Best of Baselworld 2019: Luxury watches from Rolex, Tag Heuer, Bulgari, and Zenith

Horological highlights from the second day of Baselworld 2019.

Rolex Sea-Dweller two-tone in yellow Rolesor 

  • Rolex Sea-Dweller two-tone in yellow Rolesor

If you’re one of the eccentric few who think purpose-built tool watches that can withstand extreme conditions should also look pretty, Rolex has heard you. Its latest Sea-Dweller just got the Rolesor treatment, which is Rolex’s fancy way of saying “two-tone”. The beefy 43mm steel diver’s watch now features yellow gold on the bezel, hands, indices and centre links of the tapered bracelet, but its impressive movement — the Calibre 3235 with Parachrom hairspring and Chronergy escapement — remains the same.

 

Zenith El Primero Revival A386

  • Baselworld 2019 Zenith El Primero Revival A386

It’s the 50th anniversary of the Zenith El Primero this year — the first ever fully-integrated high-frequency automatic chronograph in the world at the time of its release and still one of the most precise chronographs today. The El Primero formula hasn’t changed much over the years (and honestly doesn’t need to) so to celebrate this momentous milestone, Zenith has re-released the original A386, this time in precious metals: white, rose and yellow gold. Each version is in extremely limited quantities (by El Primero standards), with just 50 pieces made.

(Related: SIHH 2019: Stunning pieces from A. Lange & Sohne, Cartier, Panerai, Vacheron Constantin, and Parmigiani)

Tag Heuer Autavia

  • Basel World 2019 Tag Heuer Autavia

While the Tag Heuer Autavia was designed with both automotive and aviation inspirations in mind (hence the portmanteau-derived name), it was often closely linked to the former. Hoping to remind the public of the latter, it has released seven new references that pilots would appreciate. In them you’ll find Tag Heuer’s revolutionary carbon-composite hairspring as well as aviator-friendly features like a bi-directional 60-minute bezel, oversized crown and chunky Arabic numerals. There are five models in steel with blue, black or grey dials, and two in trendy bronze with a brown dial or smoked green dial.

 

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic

  • Basel World 2019 Bulgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic

It’s hard to imagine a complication as robust as a chronograph could benefit from some slimming, but not only has Bulgari gone and done it, it also set a world record along the way. At 6.9mm thick, the Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic is the thinnest mechanical chronograph in the world and is powered by the BVL 318 movement, itself a mere 3.3mm high. The sandblasted case, dial and bracelet are all crafted in titanium — giving it an extremely sleek and modern look — so in addition to being svelte, it’s also incredibly light.

(Related: Best of Baselworld 2019: Luxury watches from Breitling, Hublot, Chopard, Tudor and Urwerk)