It’s hard to believe it’s that time of year again, but later this week we will be roaming the halls of Baselworld and taking in the latest and greatest that our favorite luxury watch brands have on offer. By now, a number of new releases have been teased ahead of the fair, fuelling a reasonable amount of excitement about the year to come. Most surprisingly, Patek Philippe, having just officially joined the world of social media with their first Instagram account, dropped cover on one of their upcoming releases via this new channel over the weekend.
With four days planned on the show floor and nearly 50 brand appointments in the calendar, there will be much to cover from Basel (much of which you’ll be able to follow on our new Instagram feed, @Sharp.Watch). For the time being, here’s a closer look at some of the new releases we’re itching to see first hand once we land in Switzerland.
Patek Philippe Ref. 5524R and 7234R Calatrava Pilot Travel Time
Initially released in 2015 in a white gold case with a blue dial, this duo of new rose gold examples surfaced this past Sunday through social media, which came as quite the surprise. Rather than a single model, Patek decided to offer up “his and hers” versions of the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time, with the identical ladies’ variant coming in at a compact yet wearable 37.5mm in diameter. The sunbrushed brown dials used provide an excellent compliment to their warm rose-gold case, much in the same way we’ve seen in rose gold references of the Nautilus over the years. They also play nicely to the ever-growing trend of brown-dialed watches we’ve seen in the luxury watch sector in recent years.
Arnold and Son Globetrotter
Having broken cover earlier in March, Arnold and Son has revealed an elegant and very three-dimensional world timer ahead of Baselworld. The otherwise rather slim caliber features a large domed representation of the earth, as well as a clear sapphire 24h disc, both suspended by a large bridge that spans the entire diameter of its dial. This design isn’t the most legible when it comes to a world-time watch, however the trade of artistry and design for the sake of utility is a fair one, especially considering the entry price of the new watch. Cased in stainless steel, the new Globetrotter is priced at $16,995 USD.
Chopard L.U.C Quattro
Though not a brand new model (the Quattro dates back to 2005), this fresh iteration is just what the brand needs to capitalize on the growing appeal of slightly less traditional dress watches. Crisp blue indices set against a light brushed grey dial provide ample visual appeal, however there’s plenty more to love about this Chopard below its dial. The self-winding caliber L.U.C 98.01-L boasts an impressive 9-day power reserve, which is no small feat when considering it lives in a 43mm case that is only 8.84mm thick. What’s more, this new edition will be limited to only 50 pieces worldwide ($24,400 USD).
Rolex Datejust 36
While technically still speculative, Rolex’s recent teaser images of a jubilee bracelet can really only mean one thing — a fresh update to the Datejust 36 is on its way. The brand updated the 41mm Datejust in 2016 with an all-new caliber, bringing the icon back to the forefront in terms of power reserve and accuracy, and there’s little doubt that the same sort of technical update is coming for its more compact sibling. That said, a few of us are holding out faint hope that Rolex will go way outside the box and offer up one of their GMT-Master ii models on a jubilee bracelet for the first time in history. But given how tightly the brand holds to its roots, that is an unlikely proposition to say the least.
Stepan Sarpaneva’s outside-the-box creations have long found fans amongst those obsessed with smaller independent watchmakers. However, until now his creations have relied on the outsourcing and modification of calibers from other makers (primarily Soprod). We’ve known for some time that an in-house caliber was in the works, and it seems 2018 is the year things come to fruition. Aptly dubbed the Moonment, a nod to Sarpaneva’s penchant for moonphase complications, this new release was unveiled via Instagram this past week, featuring a partially skeletonized caliber, and a unique moonphase indicator made of optical fibre. The hand-wound caliber will offer a power reserve of 57 hours, and due to the painstaking manufacturing process only a few of these rare birds will be produced each year with a list price of 33,500 Euros.