The 8 most important watches announced at the world's largest watch show

Longines Heritage 1945LonginesThe Longines Heritage 1945.

What’s old is new again at the watch industry’s largest worldwide expo in Switzerland.

Baselworld is often an occasion for the world’s largest and most popular watch makers to release their shiny new models. It’s about as exciting as the watch industry gets — think Christmas for watch geeks.

A whole lot of new models were announced at the show this year, as were tweaks to existing models. And it seems that with the scorching vintage watch market and a struggling Swiss watch industry, brands are trying to capture the zeitgeist with new, updated releases to classic 20th-century watches.

We rounded up eight of the biggest announcements and rew releases.

Grand Seiko

Grand Seiko, newly spun out from under the larger Seiko brand, is its handmade luxury division.

Seiko watches have a great reputation for a good reason -- they're excellent pieces. This year, the brand is releasing a modern version of its original 1960 classic piece in three different metals: gold, steel, and platinum.

Seiko Prospex Diver

Seiko has a rich history for its main watch brand, too.

In 1965, the company made its first diver watch. This a close reproduction of that piece, but with the expected modern upgrades.

Rolex Cellini Moonphase

The Rolex Cellini Moonphase is the newest entry to the brand's 20th-century-inspired dress watch line. The addition of a moonphase marks the first time the brand has included that complication since the 1950s, according to Hodinkee.

The moonphase complication will remain accurate for 122 years without adjustment, according to Rolex. It tells the current lunar phase with a blue disk carrying an empty ring and meteorite appliqué moon.

Patek Phillippe reference 5320 perpetual calculator

Any time Patek Phillippe makes a new piece, the watch industry turns its head to look.

This one, however, is even more special, with retro-inspired details like a cream dial, numerals, and luminous hands. Those features are things you're much more likely to find on a vintage piece.

Breguet Classique 7147

This Breguet watch is leaning into the brand's rich tradition.

You won't find any complications. This time-only watch instead features a slim bezel to keep its dressy looks, and it has an enamel dial painstakingly painted by hand.

Omega Railmaster

Omega gave us all a bit of a surprise with the release of the new Railmaster.

With all of the details in its 1957 original, it's also significantly updated with modern advances. The watch is also priced extremely fairly at $US4,900, according to Hodinkee, and its limited release of 3,557 units will surely go fast.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic

Bulgari is regularly on the forefront of watch advancements.

They're back at it again with the Octo Finissimo Automatic, which contains the thinnest automatic movement in the world.

Longines Heritage 1945

Longines dug deep into its heritage for this beauty, first released in 1945.

Updated, increasing the case size by two millimetres and switching out a manual movement for an automatic movement, it's a worthy successor to the original.

One of the pieces from its 1945 release is part of Hodinkee founder Ben Clymer's personal collection. Longines actually borrowed that particular model from Clymer to use as a basis for this new watch after seeing him wear it in an Instagram post.

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