From a crowdsourced chronograph to a running equation of time, day three in Basel presented a wide breadth of noteworthy timepieces. Here, a few highlights.
By Jonathan Bues and Courtney Kenefick
The Rolex Sea-Dweller turns 50 this year, and to pay homage, the diver’s watch was shrunk to a new 43 mm model, and updated with Rolex’s caliber 3235 in-house automatic movement and a cyclops lens for the date on its sapphire crystal. Positioned at 3 o’clock, the new addition magnifies the date indicator and serves as both an aesthetic and functional improvement.
Coming off the heels of last year’s buzzed-about steel Daytona Cosmograph, the brand also introduced its three new versions of the iconic racing model: yellow, white, and Everose golds with Oysterflex bracelets. It’s hard to live up to the hype of 2016, but the precious metal and rubber strap combo did not disappoint. It did, however, leave one question unanswered: which color do we like best?
This year’s showpiece from Breguet is the Marine Équation Marchante 5887. The grand complication watch features a tourbillon and perpetual calendar—which seem routine compared to its running equation of time, an impressive movement which simultaneously displays mean solar time and true solar time. The timepiece, available in platinum and rose gold, nods to the brand’s nautical history as the watch of the French Royal Navy with its new-wave pattern on the face and anchor-shaped hand.
Tag Heuer’s Autavia is (not surprisingly) the only crowdsourced timepiece we’ve seen at Baselworld. Its design was chosen by enthusiasts who took part in the “Autavia Cup,” an online voting platform that pitted 16 vintage designs against one another. The winner, a 1963 model, was meticulously reproduced and updated with a new in-house automatic movement built specifically for the Autavia. Even more impressive is how Tag Heuer proves that watchmaking can be inclusive.
Corum’s Golden Bridge watch, recognizable for its architectural design and movement, now comes in a rectangular shape. Called the Golden Bridge Stream, it’s a follow-up to last year’s round introduction, and features the same Golden Gate-inspired elements. Like the classic model, the 18-karat gold calibre is the timepiece’s center of attention.
On the opposite side of the Corum spectrum is the brand’s Bubble watch collaborations with DJ Steve Aoki and a French rapper named Booba (whom we admittedly have never heard of). It’s a slightly comical reminder of the range in consumer base the brand has.
Omega’s Speedmaster, the iconic chronograph that became part of watchmaking legend when it helped NASA astronauts safely land on the lunar surface, turns 60 this year. Omega produced an homage, in stunningly accurate form, of the original Speedmaster Ref. 2915-1, dubbed the “Broad Arrow,” for its oversize hour hand. In addition to this special reissue, which comes as both a standalone product or as a three-part set, Omega has also updated the Speedmaster Chronograph range across a number of sizes, versions, and men’s and women’s pieces.
Click here to read Part One of our Baselworld Recap
Click here to read Part Two of our Baselworld Recap.