My fourth day of reporting from the Baselworld watch fair, I got a look at new watches from a variety of brands, from boutique producers like Cuervo y Sobrinos and Ulysse Nardin to industry giants Rolex and TAG Heuer.
If you’ve been following our Baselworld coverage on WatchTime.com, you’ve probably already seen many of the new Rolexes on our contributor Alexander Linz’s blog, Watch-Insider.com. Here I’ve included another shot of Rolex’s headliner timepiece for 2013, the 50th anniversary year for the Rolex Daytona. It is the first Daytona in a platinum case and it features a distinctive color scheme of what Rolex calls an “ice blue” dial and “chestnut brown” bezel. While the U.S. price has yet to be determined, Rolex says the watch will retail for about $75,000.
Interestingly, another famous sports watch, TAG Heuer’s Carrera, also turns 50 this year, and the company is launching various new models of the Carrera to commemorate the occasion. Linz has numerous shots of the new Carrera models on his blog, along with an interview with TAG Heuer CEO Jean-Christophe Babin. Here I’m trying on my personal favorite of the lot — continuing with the “blue” theme of I’ve seen across the board this year — a Carrera Calibre 1887 chronograph with a shiny blue dial. For more on the new TAG Heuer models, click here.
The “Swiss brand with Cuban heritage.” Cuervo y Sobrinos, outdid itself with its new booth this year, a tropical-themed hacienda reminiscent of Old Havana, easily the most eye-catching destination in the new Baselworld Hall 2. Product-wise, the focus was on the new CYS Racing Collection, launched to coincide with the brand’s sponsorship of a vintage car rally in Bormio, Italy. All of the watches have a sporty red-and-black color scheme and incorporate carbon fiber into their design. Most have subdials with a rotating hubcap-style “spinner” for the small seconds. The most intriguing is the Robusto Chronometta (in keeping with its Cuban theme, most of CYS’s families are named after cigar sizes), a chronograph that tallies both the chronograph seconds (in red) and minutes (in yellow) via center-mounted hands. Below is a shot of the Racing Collection watches in their natural Cuban habitat. The Chronometta is on the far right.
Cuervo also showed me one unique piece, the first tourbillon in its oversized Pirata collection. It’s got a rose gold/white gold two-tone case, a handsome perlage mainplate/dial, and is priced at $115,000.
At Ulysse Nardin, I finally got to see (and hear) the brand’s new musical timepiece, the Stranger, which we covered here on WatchTime.com shortly before Baselworld. The little chimes that play Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night” could be heard across the room. Afterward, I saw some new models, including two new Freak models, the Cruiser (which has what UN calls a “carrousel flying tourbillon”) and the Phantom (formerly called the Diavalo, until some markets had issues with the “devilish” name, according to UN) in a new rose-gold case. One of the most impressive new offerings was the Skeleton Tourbillon Manufacture (front and back, below), containing a brand-new skeletonized tourbillon movement, caliber 170, with bridges shaped to resemble those of vintage Ulysse Nardin pocketwatches. It’s got a seven-day power reserve from two barrels and will retail in the $80,000 range.
Also, as anticipated, Ulysse Nardin followed up last year’s Marine Chronometer Manufacture with its new Marine Chronograph, the first UN watch to be equipped with the Caliber 137 movement that it purchased from Ebel, now known as Ulysse Nardin manufacture Caliber 150. The Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronograph (front and back pictured below) will be priced at approximately $42,000 in gold and approximately $15,000 in steel.
One more day for us weary WatchTime staffers at Baselworld… more news and photos tomorrow.