Frank Geelen’s Baselworld 2017 Top 10 and Musing about the Fair

back in 2008 the arena faced a brand new mission. the worldwide economic disaster started out with the crumble of Lehman Brothers. the following year the watch enterprise became sort of frightened and saw a small drop in sales. And while the monetary disaster went on, on a worldwide scale (we’re nonetheless recovering from that), the massive disaster inside the watch enterprise didn’t truly come via… yet. last yr become the primary yr that manufacturers and luxury companies posted numbers that confirmed severe signs of the crisis, and this 12 months’s numbers are genuinely extra than worrisome. This year the crisis could also be felt in the novelties as supplied by using the manufacturers, now not only at some point of the SIHH in January, but additionally on the one centesimal edition of the Baselworld Watch & rings display that has just come to an quit. nonetheless, it turned into viable to listing ten watches that were given me exited! however first some musings about this year’s edition of Baselworld…

Seiko 62Mas Re-edition SLA017

more of the identical, yet higher proportioned

In preceding years we saw more complicated, greater hand-made and hand-finished watches. This 12 months the manufacturers particularly showed remodeled collections, a few ‘minimum’ changes to collections, and ‘small’ novelties. That’s necessarily a awful aspect, and it’d even smooth up brand’s catalogues (with often manner too many collections). when you consider that a few years we already see that manufacturers have transformed existing collections to barely more fashionable and wearable proportions. The Rolex DateJust II has been changed to come to be the DateJust 41, comparable for the DayDate II, and the (now out-phased) Sea-Dweller ref. 116600 featured more fashionable lugs and case shapes than for instance it’s sister the Submariner (that also functions the beefy lugs). This year Oris does the precise equal with the famous Aquis series.

the general consensus amongst crew Monochrome become that the offering at this 12 months’s Baselworld changed into instead… dare I say it… uninteresting. but there were virtually a few watches that stood out from the gang! earlier than I move directly to my top 10, I’d like to share a few novelties that would have made it to my top 10, and comment on some topics that genuinely stuck my attention.

in my view i was no fan of the cumbersome DateJust II and seeing the new DateJust 41 is sort of a breathe of clean air compared to its predecessor. Rolex appears to have performed the entirety right on the brand new DJ41 and it’s very good to subsequently see the stainless steel models, inclusive of that lovely jubilee bracelet, being presented. perhaps not pinnacle 10 fabric, however truly something that will A) be appropriate for Rolex’ turnover of this (and coming) years and B) resonate thoroughly with Rolex aficionados who’ve been asking for this, for decades.

stainless-steel in place of gold

similar for the Sky-Dweller. i really like it, the annual calendar and 2nd timezone headaches are high-quality, and so properly accomplished. And now sooner or later to be had in metallic/gold and stainless steel with white gold fluted bezel, and the beginning fee of € 13.250 Euro is simply tremendous for the most complex Rolex within the whole collection. however it’s also breaking with the manner that Rolex has dealt with precious metal and the DayDate in the beyond. The Sky-Dweller might be regarded as the epitome of Rolex complicated watches, and in the past that right now supposed it’d in no way become to be had in chrome steel… and now it is to be had in stainless steel. ordinary? For certain! but additionally very welcome, and just like the 41mm chrome steel Datejust, it will likely be superb for Rolex’s annual sales figures.

unfashionable-notion: unexpected pride or worrisome sign?

For the beyond years we have seen many watch brands introduce unfashionable-inspired models, or even collections. however while Patek Philippe released the Calatrava Pilot travel Time ref. 5524 a few 2 years in the past, i was baffled. Patek didn’t play at the “vintage” emotions. And now they did. This 12 months they do it again with a Calatrava Perpetual Calendar (that is actually adorable), and with the ref. 5960 Annual Calendar Chronograph that now comes with a matte darkish blue dial, just like the dial of the aforementioned ref. 5524.

every other second that my jaw almost hit the floor, become when I saw the brand new Rolex SeaDweller that celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Don’t get me incorrect, i love it, but I’ve in no way seen Rolex include a retro-stimulated version, or maybe with a few small unfashionable-stimulated layout features. unheard of (however it seems actually cool).

Seiko already used the retro-proposal since some years. Re-variants of the Grand Seiko 44GS, the Spring pressure version of the Golden Tuna (ref. SBDB008), the Marine master 1000m Emperor Tuna Rose Gold (ref. SBDX014) and the unfashionable-stimulated “Turtle” are collector’s favorites. This year the japanese watch logo comes with greater antique-inspired watches, and the message that Grand Seiko will, as of now, sail along as a separate brand!

Now why could this be worrisome? I’m not involved about both of the 3 cited brands, but seeing Rolex introduce positive fashions in steel rather than treasured metals is unusual. And their first model with a unfashionable-inspired pink writing at the dial (we could count on some thing like that from sister brand Tudor, but from Rolex themselves…?)  is surely unusual, to say the least. but it appears fantastic.

similarly for Patek Philippe. every other emblem that didn’t play on the retro-thought, and only introduced strictly classic layout, and changed into usually very successful doing so. since the ref. 5524 Calatrava Pilot tour Time that ‘code’ has been broken, and this yr the Geneva-based brand adds some models to the antique-infused fashions, with the Calatrava Perpetual Calendar and the white gold edition of the ref. 5960. once more form of atypical to look this, but the watches additionally appearance very good, specially that beautiful Calatrava QP.

ok… sufficient speak, now on to my top 10. The watches are in alphabetical order, simply saying…


Baselworld 2017 pinnacle 10

Bulgari Octo Finnissimo automatic

communicate of the city all through Baselworld became no longer a Rolex, but the Bulgari Octo Finnissimo automatic. What an eye! For starters, it distinguishes itself with extra than simply brilliant looks. The huge (40x40mm) sandblasted titanium case this is very thin (five.15mm) wears high-quality at ease, yet has a tremendous wrist presence. The dial flawlessly matches the matte finish of the case, and is likewise in grey, with black painted hour markers (Arabic numerals at 6 and 12) and a small 2nd hand among 7 and 8 o’clock.

in my view I’m very lots charmed by using all the above, and the arena’s thinnest self-winding motion that ticks inside. The movement, calibre BLV138, that is simplest 2.23 mm thick and no much less than 36.00 mm in diameter, is a brand new global-report. although a certain Geneva-primarily based (Piaget) emblem has the name for ultra-skinny movements and watches, Bulgari is crushing one report after another inside the previous couple of years. In latest years the Italian emblem added the world’s thinnest tourbillon movement (1.95mm, at the same time as the complete watch is 5.00mm thick) and thinnest minute repeater (6.85mm for the entire watch, whilst the in-house motion, BVL caliber 362, is only three.12mm thick).

Bulgari is placing the brand new benchmark for extremely thin, or even for ultra thin complications. The layout is some thing that the Italians have always been exact at, and the whole lot provides as much as a magnificently interesting series. hold a watch on them!

Grand Seiko hello-Beat 36000 professional 600m Divers

As of Baselworld 2017 the Grand Seiko emblem will continue as an impartial brand next to Seiko. That’s what Shinji Hattori, Chairman and CEO of the Seiko Watch agency, and direct descendant  of  Seiko founder Kintaro Hattori, announced in the course of the click convention. That’s massive information, and something that specifically we inside the “West” likely recognize higher than for a few atypical mix of Seiko, Grand Seiko, and Credor, underneath the identical flag.

With this assertion additionally came a right novelty, namely the very first computerized diver watch from Grand Seiko! And boy, it’s miles best! The clous de Paris dial in dark blue, the big, however very light titanium case and bracelet, the ceramic bezel… it all works. that is a dive watch that is prepared for severe movement at masses of meters underneath sea-degree, and equally looks proper in any casual setting on land. With its measurement it won’t be the high-quality preference for wearing with healthy & tie, but I can not think of some other occasion that it’d now not look true in (plus it wears very cozy because the case and bracelet are in titanium, and thus very light.)

Omega Railmaster master Chronometer

one way or the other we predicted the Omega Trilogy and all of us loved it. the only that I didn’t assume, and actually like even better than any of the trilogy portions, is the new Omega Railmaster. Its size is pretty much right for a remarkable every day beater and so are its looks. This new vintage-stimulated Omega comes in variations, one with a dark gray dial, and one with a silver/metallic dial. The dials are made in stainless-steel, completed with a vertical brushing. this is pretty uncommon as dials are primarily made in brass, or silver for watches inside the better segment (over €10k).

With a right records the Railmaster nevertheless is still anti-magnetic, even though now not like its predecessor by a soft-iron internal case, however because of Omega’s master Chronometer motion with stellar a-magnetic residences. The watch may be worn on a metal bracelet, or on a material strap, and either mixture is priced nicely underneath € five.000 Euro. click on right here for our first palms-on article with the brand new Omega Railmaster master Chronometer.

Oris large Crown 1917 restricted edition

This yr Oris re-designed the very famous Aquis series and that i assume they did a extremely good process on that. Of direction there were more new models, however one somehow charmed me from the moment I saw it: the constrained version big Crown 1917. at the start look you might wonder why, and what is so special about it. he satan is in the details as they say, and in this example it’s within the small pin this is positioned just above the outsized crown.

however allow me pass lower back into history first. inside the early 1900’s there had been simply no longer that many wrist watches, and often pocket watches had been worn at the wrist (and pilots often on wore a huge pocket watch strapped to their leg). Now the component with these vintage wallet watches is that they often had a small pin next to the crown. That pin served a purpose, namely to alter the time. The crown could not be pulled, and best turned. whilst the pin become not driven in, turning the crown meant that the movement turned into being wound. but while the small pin became being driven, and on the equal time the crown was became, the arms can be set to an appropriate time.

Oris re-created the sort of pin-lever motion, or in reality re-created a modern watch with a crown that cannot be pulled, and a pin that functions exactly like at the vintage pocket watches. Is that cool or what. See here for the full article approximately the Oris massive Crown 1917 constrained edition, and soon we’ll do a complete fingers-on article.

Patek Philippe Calatrava Perpetual Calendar ref. 5320

I already touched upon the as a substitute unusual layout of the new Patek Calatrava QP, but what I didn’t say is this watch took my by surprise. And that was now not because of the creme-colored dial, or the carried out Arabic numerals which might be harking back to the aforementioned Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot journey Time. No… it became the lugs and the case!

The lugs are so known as stepped lugs, and you can find stepped lugs on watches from the 1920’s and 1930’s, even on a few up until the 1950’s. i’ve no longer visible many stepped lugs on later models. Hand-finishing those stepped lugs is pretty a project, as the whole thing is carried out through hand, and every area is sharp! no longer razor sharp of direction (that could be kind of dangerous) but to get each traces so immediately and sharp calls for an professional with many years of revel in to do the completing. And that’s just the case! The relaxation is ‘just’ a superbly elegant Patek Philippe with a perpetual calendar.

Porsche design Monobloc Actuator

The chronograph re-invented! That’s a bold announcement, and it’s no longer from Porsche design, however from me. the new Porsche design Monobloc Actuator 24h-Chronotimer, as it’s miles officially baptized, is (by means of a long way) the perfect chronograph in use. So one could say the chronograph re-invented. That’s due to the fact you just must ‘slap’ the aspect of the case to start, prevent or reset the chronograph. adequate, i would exaggerate a piece, but the chronograph is certainly lots less difficult to actuate than every other chronograph that I’ve had on my wrist.

it is also because of the ingenuous use of rockers that may be observed in the engine of the Porsche 911 RSR. the use of those rockers, and a completely smart case-band, make actuating the chronograph so easy. except the superior capability and usefulness, the appears also are wonderful. The dial is very clean, and subsequently very legible. moreover, the layout comes from the Porsche design Titanium Chronograph that the logo released collectively with IWC back in 1980. perhaps the Monobloc Actautor is an unexpected one in my pinnacle 10, but this watch without a doubt does it for me. The records, the functionality, and the innovations. That’s what makes a remarkable device watch. read extra approximately the Porsche design Monobloc Actuator 24H-Chronotimer right here, or look forward to the overall technical explanation in order to come inside a few weeks.

Rolex Daytona on Oysterflex

I’m likely one of the few humans at the face of our planet who does now not surely fancy a Daytona. The screw down pushers, the polished middle hyperlinks of the bracelet, the dearth of the date… It’s probable an accumulation of this stuff that make me form of indifferent towards the Daytona. that is, till this year’s Baselworld, after I sat in one of the rooms on the Rolex stand (or instead constructing), to look their ultra-modern novelties. three new Daytona models on what might be the fine rubber strap inside the enterprise, the Oysterflex, and that i without a doubt fell in love. that is how i really like to see the Daytona, and i like it loads.

especially the yellow gold edition, however also the white gold edition seems without a doubt fab! The seems are pretty an awful lot equal to what we expected for the white gold edition, and that i couldn’t have imagined that it might look so top on the wrist. It’s the combination of a beautifully completed and well fashioned case, a stylish chronograph dial, and the general high-quality of Rolex, that do the trick. click on here for our first impressions after seeing the new Daytona fashions. an intensive arms-on will observe soon!

Rolex Sea-Dweller

generally I’m eager about smaller watches. Now Rolex adjustments the good vintage 40mm Sea-Dweller and enlarges the case to 43mm, and puts one line of pink textual content at the dial. and that i simply like it. The identical and the red font is not what I expected, and didn’t assume to love it. but as soon as at the wrist, the 43mm seems fantastic, because by some means the thicker case appears higher proportioned with the larger diameter.

That one line of purple text on the dial provides a antique aptitude, and without a doubt seems correct. The handiest factor that I questioned turned into the date magnification cyclops but (again), once on the wrist, I genuinely didn’t notice it anymore. The date became honestly visible, but the presence of the cyclops changed into hardly substantial. Altogether I really like the new Sea-Dweller, and it nearly feels as though it sooner or later rose to its full ability, and accurate length. A properly-sized advanced dive watch.

Seiko Presage tooth automated Chronograph SRQ023

last year Seiko delivered the Presage series as an low cost line of mechanical watches. The offering became already pretty numerous and blanketed two limited edition chronographs (mouthwateringly stunning, and spectacularly priced), and a bunch of beautiful conventional-styled watches with an automated motion.

This 12 months the japanese watch logo adds four new models with an enamel dial, and all four fashions come at fees between € 1.a hundred euro for the round 3-hander, to € 2.650 for the chronograph. The latter is one of the quality offerings I’ve seen for the duration of this 12 months’s Baselworld version and it A) seems super, B) is priced extra than extraordinary, C) functions an teeth dial and D) comes with a totally high-quality in-residence movement with vertical seize and column wheel actuation of the chronograph features. Who can beat that? No-one! nicely carried out, kudos to Seiko. this is a win-win for my part, because it opens up “in-house chronograph” and “enamel dial” market for people with a price range underneath € three.000 Euro.

Tudor Black Bay metallic/Gold

And all of a sudden it have become tough to pick only ten watches from Baselworld 2017. if you consider my declaration approximately the truthful being sort of ‘uninteresting’ this becomes form of an strange aspect. but the metallic/gold model of the Tudor Black Bay might be exemplary for this 12 months’s Baselworld in preferred. It’s not anything new, it also isn’t world-surprising, or #BREAKING information… but it’s far a completely fine watch, one which I would really like to put on on a each day foundation (and trust me, my wrists are spoiled!)

the new Tudor Black Bay steel/Gold just appears incredible, and prefer all its siblings it additionally wears remarkable. The Black Bay is really certainly one of team Monochrome’s favorites, as both Brice and Robin (and that i) sold one and put on it a lot. The addition of the in-house movement, the date (finally, what saved ’em goodbye?) and the metallic/gold execution make this into the best each day beater. whilst in the workplace, at the seashore, next to the swimming pool, or inside the gymnasium. It’s fantastic in quite much each occasion.

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