There was more elbow room at Rolex watch Baselworld this year. Chalk it up to a skittish economy or the emergence of the smartwatch but whatever it was — it sure made for easier walking in Hall 1. Watch brands showed signs of caution too, many dropping prices and reducing new models. But there was still a whole lot of horological goodness to enjoy.
While it’s tempting to look for trends in the watch world, the fact is, product development takes years rather than months. So reacting to fashion fads or customer tastes is a slow process. But we did see a lot of red and black, more bronze cases, blue dials and smaller diameters this year. Some companies pushed the boundaries of style and engineering, and others scaled back to the basics. After 60 appointments over five days, gallons of espresso and a lot of chocolate, we’ve distilled a list of our favorite new timepieces from Baselworld 2016.
The new stainless steel Daytona is the watch Rolex lovers have been waiting for. Keeping its perfect 40mm Oyster case, screw-down pushers, and proven calibre 4130, the watch’s updates are subtle but significant. Replacing the engraved steel tachymetre bezel is a black Cerachrom engraved monobloc — one previously only found on the gold and platinum Daytonas. In addition, the white-dial watch gets black surrounds on its chronograph subdials; the black dial gets silver. The new watch is reminiscent of the 1965 reference that introduced the black bezel and is much sought after by vintage collectors, a fact not lost on Rolex.