It’s the end of March, which means Baselworld has come and gone again. Hence, we are beginning this roundup with some of the new watches that were just launched at the year’s biggest watch industry trade show. Kickstarting things is Rolex’s new stainless steel Daytona with Cerachrom bezel. This new watch is something that Rolex fans have been wanting for a long time, so take a close look at it to see if it lives up to fans’ expectations. Another important new watch that we are going to check out at Baselworld is Tudor’s new Heritage Black Bay Bronze. Tudor is on a roll lately, and this new bronze Black Bay is a bold move from the brand. See if this watch can live up to the reputation of its predecessors.
Baselworld aside, we also take a look at the state of the watch industry. It’s no secret that the Swiss watch industry is in a little bit of the doldrums, but what are the causes and are things really as bad as they are made out to be? What about smartwatches? Will they pose a real threat, and will Swiss brands embrace them?
1. Voutilainen VINGT-8 Watch Hands-On
Kari Voutilainen is, as many of our readers would know, often regarded as one of the top independent watchmakers today. The VINGT-8 is one of his simpler watches, as it’s a three-hander with a subsidiary seconds dial. But don’t be deceived, even the simplest things can be difficult to achieve, and this is certainly the case for this particular VINGT-8 watch. For example, the two-tone hands are not merely painted steel hands. Blued steel is used for the ring and connection point, and the orange parts are actually made out of gold. This means the two components need to be carefully welded together. Look at how complicated the hands alone are to make. And we haven’t even got to the movement, which is expectedly drop-dead gorgeous, featuring an outsized balance wheel and haute horology finishing throughout.
2. Girard-Perregaux 1966 Skeleton Watch Hands-On
Skeletonized watches tend to be divisive. You either love it or you don’t. However, what cannot be argued against is the amount of skill and work that is required to properly execute a skeletonized watch. First and foremost, since most skeletonized watches bare their all to the world, they must be meticulously finished. Any flaw is greatly amplified. Another important consideration is legibility. A lot of attention must be paid to the skeletonized movement as well as the hands themselves to ensure that time can still be easily read on the dial. With this in mind, a watch that we think has accomplished all these is the new Girard-Perregaux 1966 Skeleton – a watch that was made to commemorate the brand’s 225th anniversary. Have a better look at it by hitting the link below.
3. Dominique Renaud DR01 Twelve First Watch Priced At 1,000,000 Swiss Francs
It’s not often that we get excited about renderings of watches, but then, Dominique Renaud is no ordinary watchmaker or indy startup. Despite having spent the last 15 years in retirement, Renaud is still widely regarded as a top watchmaker. After all, Renaud is one of the founders of famed movement design firm APRP. In any case, Renaud has emerged from retirement with a revolutionary concept for an escapement called The Blade Resonator and has also designed and planned for a run of 12 new watches that will gradually improve on his idea of The Blade Resonator. The watch will also have an eye-watering price of 1,000,000 Swiss francs. So what’s the fuss about this new escapement and watch? Hit the link below to find out.
4. New Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Watch With Black Ceramic Bezel & Updated Movement Hands-On
Arguably the biggest news from Rolex at Baselworld 2016 is the introduction of the new Cosmograph Daytona watches with black ceramic bezels. Rolex fans have been clamoring for an updated stainless steel Daytona with ceramic bezel for the longest time and Rolex has finally delivered. The Cerachrom bezel on the new Daytona has some notable advantages over the steel bezels of the older Daytona. It’s super resistant to scratches and because the engraved tachymeter scale is coated with a layer of platinum, the scale never ever fades or loses its sheen. Take a closer look at what is certainly going to be one of the best sellers of 2016.
5. Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze 79250BM Watch Hands-On
In 2012, Tudor released its first Heritage Black Bay watch and the rest is well and truly history. Today, the Heritage Black Bay is widely regarded as one of the best bang-for-buck watches money can buy, and is a hit amongst casual watch lovers and connoisseurs alike. For 2016, not only has Tudor updated the entire Black Bay range with their new in-house MT5601 movement, they have also introduced a new slightly larger 43mm Black Bay model in bronze. Now, bronze is a very interesting case material and is loved by some collectors because of its ability to develop a patina. This patina is unique to the watch because it is dependent on factors like where the watch is being worn and the environment it is being used in. Some collectors really love this unique property of bronze. Here’s a closer look at what is surely going to be one of the hottest dive watches of 2016.
6. Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater Watch Is World’s Thinnest
Bulgari has been doing some pretty amazing things lately. In 2014, it stunned the world with its Octo Finissimo Tourbillon watch, which is the thinnest tourbillon watch in the world and measures just 8.34mm thick. This year, it has done it again with its new Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater watch, which is the thinnest minute repeater watch in the world. It’s only 6.85mm thick, which is over a millimeter thinner than the previous record holder. The movement in this watch is just 3.12mm. Now, that’s seriously impressive!