This year was my very first Baselworld, and it was incredible. Despite being jet-lagged and hungry most of the time, the rush of running around and seeing all the new releases was really invigorating. We met with numerous brands from Rolex to Ressence and everything in between, all with very different offerings. Here are my top five favorite watches from Baselworld 2016.
1. Rolex Cosmograph Daytona In Black
As much of a predictable cliché as this choice may seem, this watch was truly awesome to behold in person. Literally everyone at Baselworld (okay, maybe not everyone, but the entire HODINKEE team) was talking about this watch. And even though I like to go against the trend, I just couldn’t help myself with this one. Both black and white dial versions were shown, but given the choice, I would definitely go for the all-black version with black Cerachrom bezel. It’s just a super cool watch and even though it is 40 mm, it wears well on my wrist (at least I think so). For more information on this watch, read Ben’s post here.
2. Tudor Heritage Black Bay 36
Aside from the new Daytona, the other watch that was probably most discussed was the sleeper hit – the Tudor Black Bay 36. No one expected this watch to show up at Baselworld, but it made a very big impression on people when it dropped. It’s so nice to have a brand make a reasonably sized watch with a solid design, and for a reasonable price. For more on this, you can read my hands-on here.
3. Chanel Monsieur de Chanel
This watch was truly a shock. When we went to the meeting, I was expecting to only see the updated steel version on the Chanel Boy.Friend. I was wrong. Chanel dropped a bomb on us with their very first dedicated men’s watch with in-house movement (with a little help from the Romain Gauthier). I’ll admit, the watch isn’t perfect. I could do with a different hour aperture, but understand that it is supposed to look like a Chanel perfume bottle, so I’m inclined to be forgiving. I think the most interesting thing about this watch is that a legendary fashion brand decided to invest time and money in making an interesting complication all in-house. For more details, read the our quick look here.
4. Hermès Limited Edition Slim d’Hermès With Enamel Dial
Another of my favorites was the Slim d’Hermès with enamel dial. The Slim d’Hermès was released last year, and it was a big hit. This year the maison has released a few new versions of the Slim d’Hermès, including a limited edition series of 100 pieces with grande feu enamel dials. Like many people, I am a huge fan of enamel dials and this watch is gorgeous to see in person. The 39.5 mm case is wearer-friendly due to the thinness of the case, which measures 9 mm. The font is designed by renowned French graphic designer Philippe Apeloig, and looks incredibly fresh on the creamy enamel dial. For more details you can read about the watch here.
5. Dior VIII Grand Bal Coquette
I know that most of you (okay, maybe all of you) will think my final choice is frivolous, but I find this limited edition Dior VIII Grand Bal Coquette to be a really fun and colorful watch. This is a 36 mm automatic, stainless-steel watch set with diamonds with the rotor placed on the front of the dial. The rotor is made of feathers that are weighted down by diamonds (yes, you read that correctly), and it rotates around the sunburst dial with blue lacquer (and yes, it’s fully functional). This watch is made in a limited series of 88 pieces and the price is “upon request,” which we all know means “don’t even ask.”