Friday, March 18, 2016

Baselworld 2016 – notable novelties

Baselworld 2016 – notable novelties 

So here we are finally, after all the longing and waiting, the Baselworld 2016 Watch Fair is underway. The moves of the brands this year are quite predictable, to be honest by HK Watch Fever Group.

Rolex and Patek Philippe remain to be the center of all spotlight.

Zenith and Breguet have each given us some nice new watches as well.

The long awaited new Rolex Daytona 116500LN is out this year. It comes with two dial options, black and white, with their sub-dials surrounded by grey rings and black rings respectively.
The ceramic bezels are black on both models. The white dial version seems to be more handsome than the black dial one as it is too dark in the overall tone. Other than that, the white dial version also reminds us of the “Paul Newman” Daytona.
The ceramic bezel’s engraved graduations are coated with a layer of platinum – just like other Rolex ceramic bezels.
The movement remains to be Cal 4130. However, Rolex is not testing all its watches with its own standard of +2/-2 seconds per day. Impressive, isn’t it? The new Daytona also meet such rigid standard.
The new Daytona 116500LN will certainly be a hit. If you do not have a Daytona yet, buy this. If you already have a Daytona, save up for a gold 116508 which now bears the new style tachymeter bezel and a green dial for now. As the reference number 116500 states, the new Daytona may not replace the ref 116520 which may leave us with two options in style – an elegant polished steel bezel or a sporty ceramic bezel.

Other than the Daytona, Rolex also releases a new Air King ref 116590. The views on this watch polarize. Some say it is an unusual watch and some say it is handsome. Let’s get into the aesthetics of the new 40mm Air King. My personal Comment is very good as The yellow and Green can stand out sharp on the dial.
What attract me most are the yellow crown and the green “Rolex” fonts underneath it at 12o’o clock. It is special and catchy. The second thing worthy noting is that Rolex blends the minute markers 3,6,9 with minute markers 5,10,20,25,35,40,50,55.  
In pilot watches we often see minute markers to be 5,10,15,20,25,30….The fonts of “Air King” at six o’ clock is vintage-inspired. The second hand of the new Air King is green in color which echoes with the green “Rolex” letters.. Rolex has done a good job in this watch by finally linking it to the Air King theme – aviation.
What is worth criticizing is that it seems like Rolex has only added something on the Explorer design. The 3,6,9 reminds you of the 216570 Explorer I. Also, the dial seems, to many of us, to be too busy. To me, I hope the watch could be thinner to retain the curves it should have. However, at 5900 CHF, this is a good entry-level Rolex.

The most notable release of Patek Philippe this year is the PP 6300g-001. It is the white gold version of the 150th anniversary Grandmaster Chime but without the engraving on the case. It is also a predictable release as PP devoted a lot of time and effort on developing the Grandmaster Chime. I expect there will be more versions coming next year.
The other notable release is the PP 5930g-001. It is a world-time chronograph which should become a direct competitor with the Girard Perregaux Traveler WW. TC.


Zenith and Breguet have released two military pilot watches which are both very impressive. Zenith has released the Pilot Café Racer. The watch has an aged stainless steel case. It is 45mm wide and comes with an olive green nubuck strap. The numerals are beige in color and it has a grained slate grey dial instead of a black dial. The whole watch feels super military and vintage.
If that is not enough for lovers of military style watches, check out Breguet’s new Type XXI Ref.3817. The watch is the stainless steel version of the platinum one which Breguet released for Only Watch 2015. I will let the picture speaks for itself.
Jason L
HK Watch Fever Group

HK Snob

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