Baselworld 2016: Rolex
Last week, I boarded a plane and journeyed across the Atlantic to Basel, Switzerland, for an eventful ten day trip. While there, apart from exploring the city on its fantastic tram system or indulging in its cultural offerings (think surprisingly good Thai food one night, to superb Italian cuisine the following evening), I attended the world-renowned Baselworld watch and jewlery fair.
Upon arrival, I didn't even bother to check into my hotel or to drop off my luggage. No, no. I headed straight to Baselworld. Wearing the same clothes (shorts, t-shirt) I had worn on my long flight, I sprinted into the fair and stopped over at the Rolex booth to get my first glimpse of Rolex's 2016 creations. Yeah, I will admit it was a little amusing when everyone around me donned bespoke Brioni suits, while I looked like I had just completed a 9-mile run.
Okay, enough with the rambling.
Rolex finally incorporated elements of older watches into their latest designs. For instance, the new 2016 Cosmograph Daytona features a patented "Cerachrom" bezel. That same black bezel was most recognizably used in an acrylic/bakelite form on the references 6241, 6240, 6264, and 6263. This 2016 Daytona also boasts contrasting chronograph registers and a black outer track, giving the dial a "panda" aesthetic, similar to the Paul Newman Daytona: 1965-1968 (6239), 1967-1968 (6241), 1968-1970 (6262), 1969-1970 (6264), 1970-1971/72 (6263, 6265).
It's understood that the screw-down pusher was an advancement for Rolex back in the day, and the company has since never produced a watch with pump-pushers; however, come Baselworld 2017, I would love to see a pump-pusher chronograph brought to the Daytona collection.
The new 40-mm Air King was one of the coolest time-only watches at Basel this year. Although this Air King retains many of the same characteristics as Rolex's 39-mm Explorer I, the black dial with brilliant green "Rolex" text and seconds hand truly stands out. This watch is rugged, practical, and what I envision as a future collectible.
All in all, I admire what Rolex did this time around. They also released their first ever 41-mm Datejust--no, not Datejust II--and a stunning collection of 40-mm Day-Dates. I particularly favor the green-dial Day Date offered in Everose gold (second photo from the top), due to its close resemblance to the sought-after green Stella dial Day-Date. Stay tuned for more of my insight into Baselworld 2016!