Baselworld 2016 Roundup

In which we turn to our resident pundit, pal, and all-around watch maven Adam Craniotes—senior moderator at Timezone.com; contributing writer for publications like iW Magazine, Gear Patrol, and Supercompressor; lifelong watch collector; and founder of the awesome RedBar, which you should check out or be doomed to a life of horological FOMO—to get his takeaways on this year’s Baselworld…

On Current Trends

“Trends are a tricky thing when applied to shows like Baselworld, but if there’s one thing that I noticed being flaunted, it was value. This may not be something that translates into fashion, but the focus was definitely on offering more for less, with many brands refocusing their collections around a lower price point and introducing more reasonably priced models. That’s not to say that the usual suspects didn’t wow the crowds with exotic pieces of unobtanium (and some unexpected suspects—hello, Seiko Credor Tourbillon!), but overall there was a welcome shift towards bringing value back into the equation.”

On 2016’s Differentiators

“Again, in a word, “value.” Brands are feeling the pinch from the slowing global economy, and with the implosion of formerly hot markets, such as Russia, Asia and South America, we’re seeing an industry-wide retrenchment, where the focus isn’t so much on new models, as it is on refined interpretations of existing models. In fact, many of my favorite watches from this year’s show were variations on pieces that I’ve already grown familiar with. Mind you, this isn’t a bad thing at all.”

Your Must-Have 2016 Release

“Easily the new Rolex Daytona. With the addition of the scratch-proof Cerachrom bezel on the steel models, Rolex has finally brought this vaunted line up-to-date. They didn’t stop there, either; under the hood, the in-house 4130 chronograph movement also benefits from an overhaul that adds additional bite to the “Superlative Chronometer” text on the dial. (Rolex’s new standards are twice as rigorous as COSC, with cased movements deviating by no more than -2/+2 seconds per day.)

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona

“Honorable mention: The Blancpain Fifty-Fathoms Bathyscaphe in blue with plasma gray ceramic case. Just a color/case change of an existing watch, but…wow.”

This Year’s Surprises

“Again, easy: the new Tudor Black Bay Bronze. Not only is the material a surprise—in this case, a bronze aluminum alloy that will develop a unique patina over time—but also its increased diameter vs. the rest of the Black Bay collection (43mm as opposed to 41mm). Tudor, like its parent company Rolex, is all but defined by its stubborn resistance to trends, and yet here we have an upsized, bronze-cased watch—something which has been done with varying degrees of success by the likes of Panerai, IWC, Zenith, Bell & Ross, and more. While Tudor may be following in the footsteps of others here, the end result is surprisingly compelling.”

Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze 79250BM

Emerging brands to Keep Your Eye On

Moritz Grossmann is a relatively new German brand, which draws its name and inspiration from a legendary German watch and clockmaker. Founded less ten years ago by another German watchmaker, Christine Hutter, Moritz Grossmann has been slowly but surely developing a following among the watch cognoscenti, and their offerings for this year continue the trend. The ATUM Pure Steel brings you true Glashütte watchmaking for a fraction of the price of an A. Lange & Söhne, while the ATUM “M” variant replaces a portion of the dial with mesh to allow a glimpse of the fantastic in-house movement from the front. It’s precisely this combination of value (there’s that word again) and whimsy that makes this brand one to watch.”

Moritz Grossmann ATUM Pure Steel

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