Best Watches at Baselworld 2016
Bezels, Breitlings and breaking Rolex news: Highlights of the international luxury-watch event.
For watch enthusiasts, Baselworld is the Super Bowl and Christmas all wound up into one. At the world's biggest watch fair, held in Switzerland, the finest luxury watchmakers unveil a new year's wares.
This year has been pretty spectacular, and perhaps the biggest news involves two of the most iconic brands: Rolex and Omega. In the case of Rolex, it's the release of the gobsmackingly beautiful 2016 Cosmograph Daytona, an update to one of its most classic models that now comes with a black bezel. (This is big news — really.)
It's 40mm, available with a white or black face and is priced at approximately $12,200.
Its release date is TBD. There's also a yellow-gold version with a green face, if that's how you roll.
In terms of Omega, a.k.a. the brand that was worn by the first astronauts on the moon and they'll never let you forget it, there are two big releases. The Speedmaster Grey Side of the Moon Meterorite is truly stunning, and that's not just a movie-poster quote: See, the dial is made of actual meteorite.
The bezel, hands and dial are made with 18-karat Sedna gold.
Priced at approximately $13,400, it will be in stores this June.
The new Omega Speedmaster Moonphase has a gorgeous blue face and bezel, and a realistic moon phase at 6 o'clock:
See, gorgeous! It's priced at approximately $9,700.
Bell & Ross's supercool BR 03-94 AeroGT chronograph is auto-inspired, with a nifty square case that reveals the watch's innerworkings and black-and-red racing-leather band. It's a limited edition of 500 pieces.
As for being auto-inspired, that inspiration is an actual Bell & Ross car.
Also unveiled at Baselworld, the AeroGT concept car references a super-streamlined fighter jet. It's imagined with a 4.2-liter V8 twin-terbo engine, 610 horsepower and the abiilty to hit 100km in less than 3 seconds. Will it actually hit the market? Here's hoping.
Also of note: Breitling — which is delving into Bluetooth-enabled smart watches — unveiled the all-black Breitling for Bentley B05 Unitime Midnight Carbon. A 500-piece limited edition, it can access 24 time zones and features a raised globe in a black carbon-treated brushed-steel case:
Priced at $14,765, all 500 pieces may have dispersed to every corner of the globe as you read this.
If chronographs aren't your speed, you might be tempted by the elegant Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater. It's the Macbook Air of its class, meaning superthin, with a titanium case only 6.85 millimeters thick. The face is 40 millimeters, and it's water-resistant to 30 meters.
Pricing and release date are TBA.
Zenith is issuing a fleet of new watches, including the El Primero Classic Cars, an update to their '60s-era self-winding chronograph with a racing-inspired strap. It's 42mm with a gradiated dial and is priced at $6,900.
The Zenith Academy Georges Favre-Jacot Tourbillon is a stunning 150-piece limited edition. The 45mm black ceramic case reveals the watch's innerworkings and the black rubber strap is moto-cool:
This sleekster is one of the most striking minimalist watches we saw. Jaquet Droz's Grande Seconde Off-Centered has a dial of polished black onyx and an alligator strap.
The super-slim Nomos Tetra Neomatik Tiefblau has a deep-blue dial with green accents and a horween shell cordovan leather strap:
It's priced at $3,980. If you dig it, order now — delivery time is about five months at the moment.
For more inspiration, check out our roundup of the 15 Best Luxury Watches on Instagram