While Swatch Group’s withdrawal from Baselworld 2019 didn’t spell the doom of the eponymous tradeshow, the conspicuous absence of their 18-brand portfolio — including key exhibitors such as Breguet and Blancpain — proved impossible to ignore given already diminished attendance figures. Group CEO Nick Hayek remains adamant about parting ways with MCH (the company that owns and organises Baselworld) and based on new initiatives like “Time to Move”, it looks as if a warm and fuzzy reconciliation won’t be happening any time soon.
Instead, the group chose to host their own product presentation this May, dubbed (somewhat impishly) “Time to Move”. Key retailers and members of the press were invited to Zurich, where the group’s 6 most prestigious brands — Breguet, Blancpain, Glashütte Original, Harry Winston, Jaquet Droz and, of course, OMEGA — unveiled new timepieces for 2019. Every manufacture brought their A-game for the inaugural “Swatchworld” presentation — shoutout to Blancpain for bringing back the Air Command Chronograph — though 2019 has been an especially significant year for OMEGA. Swatch Group’s crown jewel celebrates its 125th anniversary this year, in addition to the 50th birthday of the Speedmaster Professional. So naturally, that meant a landslide of new novelties that will be making their way to retailers later this July — here are our favourites.