Some Thoughtful Basel Notes

basel watch strap

We’ve had some time to ingest and digest the barrage of social media posts about all the new watches released at Baselworld 2016. Judging by my Facebook feed, much of the watch press is headed home, presumably to be replaced in the brand pavilions by distributors and retailers who are there to transact actual business.

But looking back over the last several days, does it feel a little like there are watches we like and watches we feel we’re supposed to like but leave us cold?

Take the updated Patek Philippe ref. 5230 World Timer (updated with Dubai instead of Riyadh, Brisbane instead of Noumea, and Moscow an hour earlier). The watch is projected to be nearly $75k, but that’s not what gives me the weird vibe. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a gorgeous piece. But there’s something about world timers… all those city names in two layers around the outer dial ring. I know, I know… that’s what a world timer is. But it’s also what I don’t like about them. Give me a good old GMT any day.

patek philippe 5230R1 World Time

Patek Philippe 5230R1 World Time

And I know a few of you will think I’m nuts, but I’m absolutely in love with the Breitling Avenger Hurricane. Super lightweight, super tough, and a 24 hour dial to boot. But from my unscientific survey, I’m the only one who likes it. At a watch get-together this weekend, a buddy said to me, “It’s a plastic watch!” I refrained from retorting, “Oh… you mean like a G-shock – toughest watch on the planet?” Alas…

The Breitling Avenger Hurricane

The Breitling Avenger Hurricane

On the other hand (and I know I’m talking about watches I’ve already mentioned here the last several days), there’s the Omega Speedmaster CK2998. This limited edition panda dialed Speedy (straight lugs, no crown guards thank you) is the piece US buyers have been wanting ever since Omega released the panda Speedy Pro ONLY to Japan a while back. I love it.

The Speedmaster CK2998

The Speedmaster CK2998

But what about some pieces that have been totally overshadowed? Lost in the pandemonium, as it were? The Tudor Heritage Advisor Cognac – lost in the flurry of attention paid to the Black Bay Bronze and Black Bay 36.

The Tudor Heritage Advisor Cognac

The Tudor Heritage Advisor Cognac

The Heritage Advisor is a tidy little alarm watch – which means it’s got the two-crown layout some call the “super compressor” configuration. Frankly, it’s a configuration I find visually satisfying. And the alarm function is an eminently practical though vastly underrated complication.

I’ll stay on this more thoughtful, less frenetic line of thinking this week. Hopefully we’ll take a more detailed look at some of the pieces that dropped, and cause some of the Basel Buzz.

Stay tuned!

The post Some Thoughtful Basel Notes appeared first on Bezel & Barrel written by Ed Estlow.

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