LIST: 7 of the best sub-$5000 watches of Basel 2018 – from beyond the glitz of Hall 1 LIST: 7 of the best sub-$5000 watches of Basel 2018 – from beyond the glitz of Hall 1

LIST: 7 of the best sub-$5000 watches of Basel 2018 – from beyond the glitz of Hall 1

Daniel Senia

Much of the hype of Baselworld is transfixed on the monolithic Hall 1, where the majority of the media attention is focused on the big industry players from the Swatch Group and LVMH, as well as big indies like Rolex and Patek Philippe. But beyond the glitz, there’s another Baselworld. Hall 2, located across the way under the iconic Baselworld clock, is a building chock-full of smaller watchmakers, who sometimes produce excellent, exciting watches at great prices. I took some time out of my schedule and Hall 1, to find seven of the best.

Laco Pilot Watch Leipzig Erbstück

Laco have a long history of German watchmaking, dating back to 1925. Based in Pforzheim in the Black Forest, known as the birthplace of the ‘Flieger’ style of watches, the Leipzig Erbstück takes a love of vintage pilot watches to the next level. Each one is aged by hand to give that vintage look, meaning each piece is unique to the owner. There are 42mm, 45mm and 55mm versions, with either hand-wound or automatic movements. 1950€

Anonimo Epurato Automatic

Bronze has been in vogue for a while now and the Epurato Automatic is definitely on trend. Housed in a 42mm bronze case and available with an anthracite, galvanic matt blue or galvanic green sunray dial, with interchangeable straps, these Italian-designed, Swiss-made watches offer great value for money. 2990 CHF

Laco ‘Seven Seas’ Squad

While being famous for pilot watches, Laco’s other ranges are not to be overlooked. Developed in collaboration with the German Army, the Squad watches, available in black PVD or sandblasted stainless steel, are fully equipped for function with 1000m water resistance and a helium valve built into the case. The SuperLuminova on the hands and indices is also quite impressive, as is the weight and nigh on indestructible rubber strap. 1940€

MeisterSinger Perigraph AM1017

I’ve been a fan of MeisterSinger for a while now, with their recognisable single-hand watches, designed after the first timekeeping device, the sundial. The Perigraph AM1017 has a stunning black-old radium dial and is available on a variety of leather or stainless steel strap options. $2813 AUD

Mühle Glashütte Teutonia II Weltzeit

It’s widely regarded that Glashütte is the capital of German watchmaking, with a long history of quality manufacturing under strict Glashütte guidelines. The Teutonia II Weltzeit is a world-timer with a bidirectional inner bezel to instantly change the second time zone function.  Available at 41mm, with a night blue dial and in a variety of crocodile leather or stainless steel strap options, the Weltzeit is a great entry in the Glashütte watchmaking tradition. 3190€

Meccanica Grezza — MG02 GMT

Swiss-made and Italian-designed in Bergamo, Italy by owner and architect Flavio Oreda, these limited edition, signed and numbered watches are genuinely unique. After launching in 2011 with the MG01, this year at Basel the MG02 GMT was launched, taking its design cues from nature — and the pebbles found in the famous lakes of northern Italy. 2800€

Bonus – Doxa SUB 300 Professional

Doxa is located on the upper level of Hall 1 at the fair, but it wouldn’t be right not to include them in this list.

Doxa was founded in 1889, but it wasn’t until the 1960s that their iconic dive watches were born. Long a collector favourite, the Doxa SUB was re-born in 2002, staying true to the design of the original. The Doxa SUB 300 is a 50th anniversary edition, bringing back the original 1960s icon. At 42.5mm, it comes with chronometer-grade ETA movement and Doxa’s unique ‘beads of rice’ style stainless steel bracelet. $2490 USD