BaselWorld is over for 2012, but we had an exciting time visiting the biggest watch exhibition in the world. Most of the news has been spread already and rumors on new watches have been confirmed or neutralized. What to think of the Rolex Sky-Dweller, the new OMEGA Speedmaster Racing, or the Patek Philippe Nautilus models with white dials (after 35 years)? Let’s dive into a few of these watch moguls from Switzerland and see what they came up with during BaselWorld.
Let’s start with ‘the house’ of Geneva, Rolex. Just before BaselWorld, rumors were spread about the Sky-Dweller watch. Is it a new kind of GMT-Master or other aviation watch? Is it a hoax? No. There really is a Sky-Dweller and it is not some kind of GMT-Master or aviation watch either. Some call it a big dissappointment, some call it the new cool. At least it is a complication watch, something that Rolex rarely manufactured although we’d like to call the Daytona (chronograph) and Yacht-Master II (regatta) true complications as well. The Sky-Dweller is an annual calendar watch with a second time zone and a day/month indicator. A very useful complication, although you still have to set the month ‘February’ yourselves. Price? The Rolex Sky-Dweller starts at $42,000.00 USD.
Besides the Sky-Dweller, Rolex introduced the long awaited successor of the Submariner No-Date, a new Yacht-Master combination including an updated version of the folding clasp and a Datejust II watch with a smooth bezel. So yes, the Sky-Dweller is finally something really new and innovative by Rolex.
Omega, or OMEGA (capitalized these days) had a bunch of novelties. Like every year, there is a limited edition Speedmaster Professional ‘Moonwatch’. This year it is the Apollo 17 ‘Last Man on the Moon’ that is being commemorated with a coin-dial and special limited edition box set. More interesting was the new Speedmaster ‘First OMEGA in Space’, a re-edition of the watch that Wally Schirra wore during his space mission in 1962.
Also introduced by OMEGA is the Seamaster Professional 300m ‘Bond’ edition to commemorate 50 years of James Bond. That’s right, it began in 1962 with the great Dr. No movie. Furthermore, OMEGA expanded their succesful Seamaster Planet Ocean watches with CERAGOLD models. The secret lies within the manufacturing of the gold and ceramic bezel. Beautifully crafted, using high-tech materials and processes to fabricate a smooth polished black bezel with embedded brushed gold numerals.
The Rolls-Royce amongst watch brands had a few nice novelties during BaselWorld. One of them is the much talked-about already Rattrapante Chronograph Perpetual Calendar with a moon phase, also known as the ref.5204(Platinum) with a 240.000 CHF price tag on it. A beautifully crafted Patek Philippe complication watch, only for the fortunates amongst us.
For the more down-to-earth customers, Patek Philippe introduced a new Nautilus sports watch and created white dial versions of their existing Nautilus models. The chronograph ref.5980/1A, the basic 5711/1A, and the new moon phase 5126/1A come all in white dial versions as well as the original color they’ve been using for the past years. Prices of the white dial versions are equal to those of their blue/black versions, starting at $26,000.00 USD
Bell & Ross
Not exactly a brand with the same track record as the aforementioned brands, but nevertheless, it is impressive what these guys have accomplished since the company has been founded in 1992. Famous for their square shaped BR timepieces, based and inspired by aviation instruments, this year they’ve introduced the WW2 Bomber Regulateur. A timepiece inspired by the time measring instruments the bomber navigators were using during WW2. Word is, that B&R’s WW2 doesn’t stand for World War 2 but for Wrist Watch 2, as they’ve also have a line of watches inspired by World War 1 time pieces (both pocket and wrist watch) called Wrist Watch 1. All part of their Vintage collection.
The WW2 Bomber has an odd shaped watch case, but nevertheless based on a similar design of the late 1930s/early 1940s. B&R made sure they added a vintage appearance by creating the same look and feel as with the real vintage military pieces. The dial has some presumable patina and yellow/camel-colored hour markers, numerals and hands. If you didn’t know better, this could definitely be misidentified as a vintage timepiece from the mid-20th century. Put on a leather strap with some ‘damage’ on it, to give it a vintage and worn look, and it will be a great looker and conversation piece for sure.
Next week we will cover some more brands that we’ve visited during BaselWorld 2012. Stay tuned!