Brands did well at this year’s Baselworld, with a new record-breaking watch, vintage re-editions and first-ever women’s watches by men’s brands. But which were the most popular on social media?
To keep things simple, we won’t be differentiating between new/older models or variations in dial colour, material or type of strap. As the hashtag has been used more than 226,500 times and each image must be reviewed individually, we calculated percentages from a sample size of 2,500 images to determine which watch is the most popular across the hashtag. So here they are: the top 5 #baselworld on Instagram.
Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition
Percentage of total: 13%
History: Originally released in 1952, the Navitimer is Breitling’s flagship model, worn by countless personalities from pilots to jazz musician Miles Davis and F1 champion Jim Clark. This 2019 version is an exact replica of a 1959 model, with the same dial design, hands and beaded bezel. The changes are technical with a new movement, Breitling’s first in-house manual-winding movement.
Why: Sixty years on, this is a homage to one of the most venerated early Navitimers. Everything about it screams old-school and vintage which, as we know, has huge appeal to fans who can’t wait to strap it around their wrist.
Bulgari Octo Finissimo Chronographe GMT Automatique
Percentage of total: 10.5%
History: The Octo Finissimo has been breaking records ever since it debuted in 2014: thinnest tourbillon movement, thinnest manual-wind then automatic watch, thinnest minute repeater and this year, thinnest chronograph. With a 6.90mm-thin case, this new Bulgari chronograph features a second complication, a GMT, and a totally new in-house movement, the BVL 318 which is 3.30mm thin with an autonomy of 55 hours.
Why: Bulgari confirms it is a force to be reckoned with, so it’s no surprise that the brand finished higher in this year’s ranking than in last year’s Top 5. The Octo Finissimo’s contemporary design, which we described as “divisive” last year, seems to be capturing the hearts of watch fans, and their social media feed.
Patek Philippe Aquanaut Jumbo Ref. 5168G
Percentage of total: 6%
History: Patek Philippe first introduced the sporty, chic, and less expensive Aquanaut at Baselworld 1997 in a bid to appeal to younger men. The “Jumbo” version followed 20 years later with a blue dial. This year the brand has introduced a colour variation on that 2017 model with the release of this khaki green edition.
Why: This is not the first green Aquanaut. That honour goes to one produced between 2010-2011, but only for a handful of special clients. When Patek heard that a lot of fans had been purchasing green rubber straps, sold separately, and fitting them on their black-dialled Aquanaut, they banned retailers from selling green straps to customers who didn’t have the original green-dialled Aquanaut. Hence why the green Aquanaut remained a unicorn until Baselworld 2019. Listening to the fans clearly paid off, given the outpouring of love this khaki green version has received on social media.
Oris Aquis Clean Ocean Limited Edition
Percentage of total: 6%
History: The Oris Aquis Clean Ocean Limited Edition is the third in a series of timepieces from the brand that are intended to raise awareness for greater sustainability. Oris created it in partnership with Pacific Garbage Screening, a German non-profit organisation fighting marine plastic pollution. This timepiece has a gradient blue dial, reminiscent of the ocean, with a medallion made from recycled plastic bottles set into the caseback. Even the box is made from environmentally friendly algae with a recycled plastic inlay.
Why: More and more brands are committed to building a better future, partnering with charities and working with them to develop unique timepieces. While some partnerships may seem disingenuous, Oris’ longstanding commitment to clean oceans informed the design of their watch, showing a real connection to their partner’s mission.
MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT
Percentage of total: 5%
History: Since it was founded in 2004, MB&F has only produced watches for men. All that changed at Baselworld this year, when the brand released its first ever women’s timepiece: the Legacy Machine FlyingT. Staying true to the aesthetic of both the brand and the Legacy Machine collection, the Legacy Machine FlyingT is a three-dimensional art piece set with diamonds and showcasing a flying tourbillion. Hours and minutes are shown on an angled dial at 7 o’clock, under the 20mm convex crystal dome.
Why: In a video that accompanies the release, MB&F founder Max Büsser explains, “It was time to get out of my comfort zone and create something for a woman. And I realised I had no idea what a woman wants.” Considering which, he did a pretty good job! While the brand clearly markets the watch as being for women, many men will also want to get this Legacy Machine FlyingT around their wrist – if only to snap a shot for social media.