It may be hard to believe, but we’re more than halfway through the year. From Moonwatches to automatic chronographs, 2019 is a big year for milestone anniversaries in the watch world. Yet, rather than reissues and commemorative timepieces, we looked back at the last six months to see what new luxury watch models and collections top timepiece brands have unveiled this year.
Audemars Piguet Code 11.59
For the first time in decades, Audemars Piguet released an entirely new watch collection at SIHH 2019 with silhouettes that do not resemble its flagship Royal Oak models. Named after the minute before midnight in anticipation of a new day, the Code 11.59 collection made its debut with no less than six models, three new calibers (plus three existing ones), and more than a dozen references. While the watches differed in terms of complications—from time and date to chronograph to perpetual calendar to tourbillon—and materials, the design hallmarks shared between the new Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 watches were the unconventional case design (41 mm) with an octagonal midsection, the open lug construction affixed to the bezel, and the doubled-curved crystal architecture.
Patek Philippe 5212A Calatrava Weekly Calendar
Granted, the Calatrava has been around since 1932. Yet, Patek’s signature watch collection welcomed a brand new complication at Baselworld 2019 in the form of the ref. 5212A Calatrava Weekly Calendar. Not only is this Calatrava in stainless steel—rare for the collection that prefers expensive precious metals—but it also showcases a new complication: the weekly calendar paired with a day indicator and date window. Powering the Patek Philippe 5212A Calatrava Weekly Calendar watch is the new automatic Caliber 26‑330 S C J SE. What’s more, the typography used on the dial housed inside the 40 mm case is based upon someone’s handwriting; that is certainly not something you see every day from the normally reserved Genevan manufacture. Emphasizing the more casual nature of this brand new Calatrava model is the use of a light brown calfskin strap rather than the formal alligator leather bands the watchmaker typically favors.
TAG Heuer Autavia Isograph
The Autavia moniker is another name that has been around since the 1930s, yet at Baselworld 2019, TAG Heuer presented a brand new watch lineup dubbed the Autavia Isograph. The new collection serves to remind us that “Autavia” has its roots in both AUTomobiles and AVIAtion. And since TAG Heuer has been focused more on the motorsport part of the Autavia, this time around, the Autavia Isograph is all about the pilot watch design. As such, the 42mm watches feature all the customary pilot watch design cues, from the stark Arabic numerals to the larger center hands to the oversized winding crown. However, as a new luxury watch model, there are also modern touches such as the timing bezel in high-tech ceramic and TAG Heuer’s innovative “Isograph” carbon composite hairspring for improved chronometer precision.
Glashütte Original Spezialist
Swatch Group may have bowed out of Baselworld indefinitely, but that did not slow down the 2019 releases from the Swiss watch conglomerate. At their own Time To Move event back in May, Swatch Group’s prestige brands introduced their novelties. The fresh crop of timepieces included the new Glashütte Original’s Spezialist collection of tool watches. The German watchmaker kicked off the Spezialist range with new SeaQ dive watches, complete with 1960’s style cases, unidirectional dive bezels in ceramic, large vintage-inspired numerals on the dials, and automatic movements. Watch this space as we’re sure other Glashütte Orignal sports watches will soon join the Spezialist lineup.