Once a year, Basel turns into the Watch heads Capitol of the world. From March 17 until the 24th the world biggest watch show is the place to be. So we decided it’s time to give you an update about the beautiful, great, stunning, crazy and ugly new watches that are present at the watch show. Lets start with the news from the establishment, the big brands that don’t need introduction. So we save time to focus on the interesting small brands and independents in other articles.
Rolex; showing us no big innovative thunders, but thats the charm and power of the brand. The two most distinct new things on the block from Rolex are the new Air King and the Cosmograph Daytona.
This is the first update since almost 16 years of the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona reference 116500LN in 904L steel. The most eye catching update is the new bezel made of Cerachrom. This ceramic bezel has a newly designed tachymeter engraved. The new Daytona is powered by the 4130 movement, not very new, but Rolex guarantees us an accuracy of +2/-2 seconds a day, not bad for a chronograph movement. There are two versions: the white lacquer dial with black subdial indexes and a black lacquer dial with white subdial indexes.
If you pay attention you can see that they have changed the design of the tachymeter scale the numbers are now counter-clockwise engraved and follow the curves of the round bezel. The previours version of the Daytona has the numbers all horizontal. So what you think Watch Heads could this Cosmograph Daytona satisfy us for another 16 years?
Another remarcable upgraded or reintroduced model of Rolex is the Oyster Perpetual Air-King reference 116900 . I would say the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-King is back, and better than ever. Ok guys it’s not a Daytona, but still pretty cool though. Size matters, so the new Air-King has a diameter of 40mm, this Air-King has had a better workout than his predecessor of 34mm. The Air-King is powered by the 3131 in-house caliber which operates at 28,800 vph and has a power reserve of 48 hours. The older Air-King versions I scale in the Oyster Datejust family without date. But now the Air-King is more in the line of the Explorer. Bigger and more sporty.
The numbers 3-6-9 and 12 index are quite similar to the Explorer model. Since Rolex decided to display hour and minutes on the dial, it became a bit crowded in my opinion, but hey that’s a matter of taste isn’t it. The Air-King is only available with this dial, so let’s hope you do not agree with my opinion. The colour printed logo is also something we don’t see with other models. It reminds me of a dealer clock or a Rolex clock at a sponsored sports event. But after two times looking at it, there’s something cool to it. However, i’m still not sure if me and the coloured logo is a happy mariage.
So, I see you having doubts if you should buy an Explorer or an Air-King.. It is not a matter of price the Explorer will cost $6,500 and the Air-King $6,200. Huh? Yes for $300 less you will get 1mm more watch even and a thicker anti-magnetic soft-iron case. Okay, maybe the price difference can be found in the Parallax shock absorbers we find inside the Explorer? Both watches are powered by identical calibers. So spend your money well, and follow your heart. (since when do I look at watches so rational instead of emotional, shocked). However, just do what you think is best for your wrist and your inner movement.
Later on we we bring you more news from Basel World, so stay tuned.