Momentum at Baselworld

June 15, 2013 1 Comment

Momentum at Baselworld

What better topic to launch our Blog than with our personal highlights of Basel World 2013 – the annual pilgrimage of the watch community!

Running a vintage watches business makes you look behind the scenes of the brands, the inventions, improvements, the specialties, even of smaller niche manufacturers. We couldn’t wait to check out the latest novelties and visit the brands on our list and started off with our favorite brand, Rolex.

Being the 50th anniversary of the Daytona we had heard rumors on what might be released in Basel and needed to find out. There were rumors that Rolex was planning something completely new to celebrate the occasion but what we saw kept our eyes wide open.

Rolex Daytona 116596

50 years of Daytona – the perfect piece to celebrate

The first platinum sports model Rolex has ever made, with an ice blue dial and a chestnut brown ceramic bezel, ladies and gentlemen, the new Daytona!

For my taste it has a very unusual combination, one would expect the brown bezel to harmonize with warm rose gold, like on the Everose Daytona launched in 2011 or yellow gold but NO, it is fitted on a cold metallic platinum case. The color of the sub-dials nicely matches the bezel color and the ice blue dial adds that little accent to make it look unusual but incredibly interesting.  After looking at it for some time I even started liking it.

Rolex Daytona Platinum

The Chestnut brown ceramic bezel matches the record dials perfectly

Collectors estimate the price to be around USD 75,000 which makes it interesting for serious spenders but not for someone who just likes Rolex or has one. By setting the barrier that high, Rolex has already limited the number of buyers for this piece but I guess those who can afford it will want to go for it, especially in the Middle East region this number can be quite high.  Those who can’t will have to hope for the release of a steel-ceramic combination which at some point will have to eventually show up. We should expect a fresh hype on the 116596, not like 20 years back for the 16520 but I guess quite a few collectors will have to wait for one.

This time it’s not vintage but I am sure it will find its way into private collections – with the platinum Daytona, it allows collectors who pay tens/hundreds of thousand dollars for vintage pieces, now to buy a modern one in similar price range without having a bling piece.

The next attraction was the new GMT, unexpectedly with a blue-black bezel, ceramic of course. I have to admit it took a few minutes to digest the fact that Rolex didn’t bring back the Pepsi, initially launched in 1954 and discontinued in 2007 but the new color combination introduces a completely new GMT look.

Rolex GMT Master II 116710BLNR

Black and Blue, a fresh combination for 2013

Nevertheless it treasured a novelty as well, this time one of a technical nature, the blue and black Cerachrom bezel has been made of a blue mono block piece and colored whilst in the production process. This is supposed to bit that difficult that Rolex was the first watch brand to introduce this technique and certainly have patented this.

The next piece at the massive Rolex stand was the Yachtmaster II, this time in steel and with a blue ceramic bezel, a great looking watch and I wonder how much it will go for. I don’t know how the popularity of the white gold YM II will be in future but I am sure this one will be a bestseller.

Rolex Yachtmaster II 116680

Finally available in stainless steel, the blue ceramic bezel gives it a nautical look

Before taking off to Baselworld we heard rumors that the Stella dials would come back this year and I was more than excited to see them, I love Day Dates!

Rolex Day Date 118139

Two of the six new members in the Day Date family, the white gold versions in Cherry and Blue

Two white, yellow and rose gold Day Dates combined with the cherry & blue, green & cognac and rhodium and chocolate dials were equipped with matching leather straps, something I didn’t really expect to see but still pleased me. The range of colors is well selected I am glad they are still in 36mm.

Rolex Day Date 118138

Green and cognac in yellow gold

They will serve well for direct comparisons to vintage Day Dates, especially because a lot of those are on a strap as well.  My estimate is around USD 22,000 – 25,000 but let’s see what the tag will say. We are curious.

Rolex Day Date 118135

Rhodium & Chocolate combined with rose gold

We moved on to the next brand on our list, Patek Philippe. We didn’t have a clue of what to expect there but we liked it.

Patek Philippe Nautilus Chrono 5980/1AR

Relaunch of the discontinued two tone Nautilus variant. The striking blue dial rocks.

Apart from a two tone and rose gold Nautilus Chronograph we eyed the art deco inspired Ref. 5200 Gondolo 8 days with Day & Date indication, truly a piece of art as you would expect from this brand. A conceptual design combined with an 8-days movement with day and date indication made by the finest manufacturer of complicated watches.

Patek Philippe Gondolo 5200

the 5200 8-days is an improvement to the previous 5100 10-days

It may sound ironic but the movement is actually an improvement to the previous Ref 5100 10-days. As a novelty the aperture day and date indication jump at exactly midnight which requires more power than having them slowly changed and still guarantees a power reserve of 8 days. Wrapped in a white gold case the Gondolo comes in a white and blue sunburst dial, we congratulate on this amazing piece.

Helmut Crott, a good friend and German vintage watches legend who has taken over the Danish brand Urban Juergensen & Sonner, a niche manufacturer for mechanical complications and special enameling techniques showed us the Montre Observatoire Email.

Helmut Crott & Tariq Malik

Helmut Crott, the owner of Urban Juergensen & Sonner, & Tariq Malik

The hand painted enamel dial evolves from up to 15 enameling layers and is fired at 800°C to have the glass-like surface, a fantastic deep white I must say.

Urban Juergensen & Sonner

Up to 15 enameling layers to get this powerful white

In the Palace Pavilion my eye was caught by Speake-Marine, a British brand with was not found in the 19th century like all the big reputed manufacturers but in 1985. I was surprised that this small manufacturer had a similar philosophy of highest standards of horological craftsmanship. We had our hands on the Triad, a mechanical art piece dedicated to the musical notation of the Triad – 3 Notes -1 Meaning.

Speake-Marine Triad

The Triad – 3 Notes -1 Meaning

Three sub-dials which all indicate the same time zone garnish the face of the watch, equipped with an onion crown and decorated like a piece of art, we felt like in a museum.

The price for the limited edition of 88 pieces has not been released yet but I doubt that the steel/rose gold Triad will go for less than USD 20,000.

Now one more name on our list was Sinn, a German manufacturer for military inspired tool watches who, until a few years back, sold their watches only from Frankfurt directly.

Sinn T1

T1 – a proper tool watch allowing a diving depth of 1000m

We had a hands-on the T1 Diver, the Diapal and the Frankfurt Finanzplatz-Uhr (Financial Center Watch), all well-made and of great design and with a 3 years warranty.

Sinn 6060M

Frankfurt Financial District Watch, Sinn 6000, around USD 14,000

Sinn deserves much more attention than it has to date, the innovation and engineering behind the models made us spend more than 2 hours at the stand, we really enjoyed the hospitality and detailed explanation on each model.

Sinn 103 St Diapal & 104 St

Diapal & 104 St Sa, two great looking tool watches

Muehle

Most of us only know the big players when it comes to German watch manufacturers, A.Lange & Soehne and  Glashuette Original are the most famous ones. We would like to highlight another manufacturer from Glashuette, Muehle was founded more than 140 years ago and specialized in measuring instruments for the watch industry as well as for watchmaking tools. Over the years the specialization expanded on nautical instruments and wrist watches. At Basel we visited Mr.Muehle who showed us some of his latest novelties. The first one we got our hands on was the The Rasmus 2000, a professional diver which was developed in collaboration with research divers from the University of Rostock and their professional use.

Muehle Rasmus 2000

The watch houses a modified Sellita SW 200-1 automatic movement with a Mühle woodpecker neck regulation

The main focus was to allow precise readability under water, the Super -Luminova is highly visible on the hands and hour markers and is even placed on the zero position of the rotating bezel to indicate the start of a dive, even in fading light. The heavy 44mm stainless steel case is designed to resist pressure of up to 200bar making this a reliable instrument. The crown is located at 4 o’clock to helps afford greater freedom of the wrist movement – an important advantage when working under water. We were impressed by the 38-hour power reserve of the shockproof self-winding movement. Priced at around USD 3,500 this is an interesting watch to own.

Another piece we inspected belongs to the classical range of Muehle, the Teutonia II Quadrant Chronograph.

Teutonia II Quadrant Chronograph

Teutonia II Quadrant Chronograph

The square stainless steel case is quite chunky for an elegant watch but has an interesting shape. The double-framed case with brushed finish on the sides makes this watch a semi-sports and semi-dress watch with a size of 38mm. The blackened hands allow good readability on the silver guilloche dial, we again see how thoughtful the watches are designed. The self-winding chronograph movement allows a power reserve for 48 hours, all in all a great watch for a price of USD 4,500.

Muehle Teutonia II Quadrant Chronograph

With more than 1cm thickness, the case has almost the measures of a sports watch

Either the first Omega Speedmaster in ceramic, the Grand Seiko Limited Edition or the new Tudor Heritage Blue, the trip was a great experience and we can’t wait for Basel 2014. We hope you liked your little review of Baselworld –stay tuned for more interesting posts to come.

What better topic to launch our Blog than with our personal highlights of Basel World 2013 – the annual pilgrimage of the watch community!

Running a vintage watches business makes you look behind the scenes of the brands, the inventions, improvements, the specialties, even of smaller niche manufacturers. We couldn’t wait to check out the latest novelties and visit the brands on our list and started off with our favorite brand, Rolex.

Being the 50th anniversary of the Daytona we had heard rumors on what might be released in Basel and needed to find out. There were rumors that Rolex was planning something completely new to celebrate the occasion but what we saw kept our eyes wide open.

Rolex Daytona 116596

50 years of Daytona – the perfect piece to celebrate

The first platinum sports model Rolex has ever made, with an ice blue dial and a chestnut brown ceramic bezel, ladies and gentlemen, the new Daytona!

For my taste it has a very unusual combination, one would expect the brown bezel to harmonize with warm rose gold, like on the Everose Daytona launched in 2011 or yellow gold but NO, it is fitted on a cold metallic platinum case. The color of the sub-dials nicely matches the bezel color and the ice blue dial adds that little accent to make it look unusual but incredibly interesting.  After looking at it for some time I even started liking it.

Rolex Daytona Platinum

The Chestnut brown ceramic bezel matches the record dials perfectly

Collectors estimate the price to be around USD 75,000 which makes it interesting for serious spenders but not for someone who just likes Rolex or has one. By setting the barrier that high, Rolex has already limited the number of buyers for this piece but I guess those who can afford it will want to go for it, especially in the Middle East region this number can be quite high.  Those who can’t will have to hope for the release of a steel-ceramic combination which at some point will have to eventually show up. We should expect a fresh hype on the 116596, not like 20 years back for the 16520 but I guess quite a few collectors will have to wait for one.

This time it’s not vintage but I am sure it will find its way into private collections – with the platinum Daytona, it allows collectors who pay tens/hundreds of thousand dollars for vintage pieces, now to buy a modern one in similar price range without having a bling piece.

The next attraction was the new GMT, unexpectedly with a blue-black bezel, ceramic of course. I have to admit it took a few minutes to digest the fact that Rolex didn’t bring back the Pepsi, initially launched in 1954 and discontinued in 2007 but the new color combination introduces a completely new GMT look.

Rolex GMT Master II 116710BLNR

Black and Blue, a fresh combination for 2013

Nevertheless it treasured a novelty as well, this time one of a technical nature, the blue and black Cerachrom bezel has been made of a blue mono block piece and colored whilst in the production process. This is supposed to bit that difficult that Rolex was the first watch brand to introduce this technique and certainly have patented this.

The next piece at the massive Rolex stand was the Yachtmaster II, this time in steel and with a blue ceramic bezel, a great looking watch and I wonder how much it will go for. I don’t know how the popularity of the white gold YM II will be in future but I am sure this one will be a bestseller.

Rolex Yachtmaster II 116680

Finally available in stainless steel, the blue ceramic bezel gives it a nautical look

Before taking off to Baselworld we heard rumors that the Stella dials would come back this year and I was more than excited to see them, I love Day Dates!

Rolex Day Date 118139

Two of the six new members in the Day Date family, the white gold versions in Cherry and Blue

Two white, yellow and rose gold Day Dates combined with the cherry & blue, green & cognac and rhodium and chocolate dials were equipped with matching leather straps, something I didn’t really expect to see but still pleased me. The range of colors is well selected I am glad they are still in 36mm.

Rolex Day Date 118138

Green and cognac in yellow gold

They will serve well for direct comparisons to vintage Day Dates, especially because a lot of those are on a strap as well.  My estimate is around USD 22,000 – 25,000 but let’s see what the tag will say. We are curious.

Rolex Day Date 118135

Rhodium & Chocolate combined with rose gold

We moved on to the next brand on our list, Patek Philippe. We didn’t have a clue of what to expect there but we liked it.

Patek Philippe Nautilus Chrono 5980/1AR

Relaunch of the discontinued two tone Nautilus variant. The striking blue dial rocks.

Apart from a two tone and rose gold Nautilus Chronograph we eyed the art deco inspired Ref. 5200 Gondolo 8 days with Day & Date indication, truly a piece of art as you would expect from this brand. A conceptual design combined with an 8-days movement with day and date indication made by the finest manufacturer of complicated watches.

Patek Philippe Gondolo 5200

the 5200 8-days is an improvement to the previous 5100 10-days

It may sound ironic but the movement is actually an improvement to the previous Ref 5100 10-days. As a novelty the aperture day and date indication jump at exactly midnight which requires more power than having them slowly changed and still guarantees a power reserve of 8 days. Wrapped in a white gold case the Gondolo comes in a white and blue sunburst dial, we congratulate on this amazing piece.

Helmut Crott, a good friend and German vintage watches legend who has taken over the Danish brand Urban Juergensen & Sonner, a niche manufacturer for mechanical complications and special enameling techniques showed us the Montre Observatoire Email.

Helmut Crott & Tariq Malik

Helmut Crott, the owner of Urban Juergensen & Sonner, & Tariq Malik

The hand painted enamel dial evolves from up to 15 enameling layers and is fired at 800°C to have the glass-like surface, a fantastic deep white I must say.

Urban Juergensen & Sonner

Up to 15 enameling layers to get this powerful white

In the Palace Pavilion my eye was caught by Speake-Marine, a British brand with was not found in the 19th century like all the big reputed manufacturers but in 1985. I was surprised that this small manufacturer had a similar philosophy of highest standards of horological craftsmanship. We had our hands on the Triad, a mechanical art piece dedicated to the musical notation of the Triad – 3 Notes -1 Meaning.

Speake-Marine Triad

The Triad – 3 Notes -1 Meaning

Three sub-dials which all indicate the same time zone garnish the face of the watch, equipped with an onion crown and decorated like a piece of art, we felt like in a museum.

The price for the limited edition of 88 pieces has not been released yet but I doubt that the steel/rose gold Triad will go for less than USD 20,000.

Now one more name on our list was Sinn, a German manufacturer for military inspired tool watches who, until a few years back, sold their watches only from Frankfurt directly.

Sinn T1

T1 – a proper tool watch allowing a diving depth of 1000m

We had a hands-on the T1 Diver, the Diapal and the Frankfurt Finanzplatz-Uhr (Financial Center Watch), all well-made and of great design and with a 3 years warranty.

Sinn 6060M

Frankfurt Financial District Watch, Sinn 6000, around USD 14,000

Sinn deserves much more attention than it has to date, the innovation and engineering behind the models made us spend more than 2 hours at the stand, we really enjoyed the hospitality and detailed explanation on each model.

Sinn 103 St Diapal & 104 St

Diapal & 104 St Sa, two great looking tool watches

Muehle

Most of us only know the big players when it comes to German watch manufacturers, A.Lange & Soehne and  Glashuette Original are the most famous ones. We would like to highlight another manufacturer from Glashuette, Muehle was founded more than 140 years ago and specialized in measuring instruments for the watch industry as well as for watchmaking tools. Over the years the specialization expanded on nautical instruments and wrist watches. At Basel we visited Mr.Muehle who showed us some of his latest novelties. The first one we got our hands on was the The Rasmus 2000, a professional diver which was developed in collaboration with research divers from the University of Rostock and their professional use.

Muehle Rasmus 2000

The watch houses a modified Sellita SW 200-1 automatic movement with a Mühle woodpecker neck regulation

The main focus was to allow precise readability under water, the Super -Luminova is highly visible on the hands and hour markers and is even placed on the zero position of the rotating bezel to indicate the start of a dive, even in fading light. The heavy 44mm stainless steel case is designed to resist pressure of up to 200bar making this a reliable instrument. The crown is located at 4 o’clock to helps afford greater freedom of the wrist movement – an important advantage when working under water. We were impressed by the 38-hour power reserve of the shockproof self-winding movement. Priced at around USD 3,500 this is an interesting watch to own.

Another piece we inspected belongs to the classical range of Muehle, the Teutonia II Quadrant Chronograph.

Teutonia II Quadrant Chronograph

Teutonia II Quadrant Chronograph

The square stainless steel case is quite chunky for an elegant watch but has an interesting shape. The double-framed case with brushed finish on the sides makes this watch a semi-sports and semi-dress watch with a size of 38mm. The blackened hands allow good readability on the silver guilloche dial, we again see how thoughtful the watches are designed. The self-winding chronograph movement allows a power reserve for 48 hours, all in all a great watch for a price of USD 4,500.

Muehle Teutonia II Quadrant Chronograph

With more than 1cm thickness, the case has almost the measures of a sports watch

Either the first Omega Speedmaster in ceramic, the Grand Seiko Limited Edition or the new Tudor Heritage Blue, the trip was a great experience and we can’t wait for Basel 2014. We hope you liked your little review of Baselworld –stay tuned for more interesting posts to come.





1 Response

Raghunathan
Raghunathan

May 20, 2015

Hi,
Lovely gist of the Baselworld 2013. I love watches but I do see that the watch prices in Dubai are way more than in the US or Europe, inspite of the duty that one would pay to get them across the shores. Why do you think this is? I presently wouldn’t be spending my money on watches that cost above 3000 AED but I am curious to know why that is the case. And there is a whole world of watch brands and movements that are not available in the UAE.

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