I’m a classics kind of girl. That’s not to say trends and flashy features don’t catch my eye. But, when it comes to what I’m most drawn to collecting myself, I almost always reach for watches with timeless designs. So after the buzz of Baselworld died down and the trend reports stopped flooding my feed, I revisited the incoming class to see what watches I think will stand the test of time and be worth making a permanent addition to the collection.
Why bother seeking out timeless designs when there are so many great modern watches? Well, when when we look back on some of the most collectable, revered, and drool-worthy timepieces, many of them are unique and beautiful iterations of institutional classics. So, here’s my list of the best luxury watches with timeless designs from Baselworld 2019 – the modern classics that I think will hold (and even increase) in value over time. We might laugh at this in a few years, but for now, just enjoy this article and take it with a grain of salt. I don’t have a crystal ball, after all.
White Gold Rolex Day-Date 36
There isn’t a watch more luxurious and classic than the Day-Date President. Period. An icon and titan of not only Rolex, but the entire industry, the Day-Date has serious clout. So what I love about the new Day-Date 36 is that it is more than elevated, but has a hint of surprise and modernity while totally remaining true to its roots. It has a unisex, versatile 36mm case that is completely constructed from high-class 18k white gold.
White gold might go unnoticed to the untrained eye, but you’ll feel the beautiful extra weight every time you slip it on. Of course, the movement has also been updated with the killer new Caliber 3255. I think both these details, in particular, will separate this Day-Date from the rest as the years go on, making it a timeless classic and a solid investment. Plus, you can’t deny how good this Datejust looks with that elegant white gold President bracelet.
Rolex Batman GMT-Master II with Jubilee Bracelet
The new Batman GMT-Master II is an answer to the wishes of many Rolex aficionados, combining the brooding black and blue “Batman” bezel with the handsome and dressy Jubilee bracelet. That being said, there are collectors who are upset to see the classic Oyster bracelet go – as Rolex has nixed it all together for the stainless steel GMT models. With the introduction of new Batman GMT-Master II, the Swiss watchmaker also discontinued the iconic monochromatic black bezel GMT-Master II which has been a solid staple since the early 1970’s.
I think this kind of shake-up adds extra value to the new Batman GMT, as it’s ushering in a new era for the GMT-Master II line, which one day will fade like the rest. And while the blue and black bezel Batman isn’t exactly a longstanding classic, the GMT is, making this one of the new timeless designs for 2019. And with this new update, I can’t help but think this new watch will go down in the books as a game changer. Plus, the combination just looks so sharp, doesn’t it?
Tudor Black Bay Chrono S&G
Okay, the Black Bay might not be a classic, per se. But while this collection was only introduced in 2012, its design and history is built on the backbone of Tudor’s rich dive watch history that dates all the way back to the 1950’s. It might also feel like the Black Bay has been around longer than it actually has because it’s such an industry heavyweight. From the beginning, with that first Black Bay with that burgundy bezel, this collection has been popular amongst collectors.
So while this model released at Baselworld 2019 isn’t Tudor’s first Black Bay chronograph or their first Stainless and Gold (S&G, get it?), it is certainly one of the new timeless designs for 2019, and a stunning example of how this popular model is growing and evolving in the Tudor catalog. Plus, the aesthetics are a distinctive representation of a classic (vintage Rolex Daytona anyone?) that’s sure to help it age gracefully over the years.